Coach Matthew and I were not competing this time but we were able to watch an entire day's worth of no-gi competition in Anaheim last week at the IBJJF No-Gi Worlds competition. A couple of things stood out to me:
- Takedown proficiency once again appeared to be an area where many seemed to need more work. This was evident in the technique applied being unsuccessful and the many people who simply dropped to their butts rather than battling on their feet to secure a takedown and top control.
- Passing the Open Guard - As a result of number 1 above, there were many matches that ended up with one person playing an open guard on the ground while the other was standing on their feet and trying to pass. There was a lot of trouble with competitors maintaining a good posture (head up, hips in, good base) and establishing control on the bottom persons feet and hips.
What really struck me however was that there was what seemed like a large number of injuries. Nothing major from what I could see but it became too common that the medics were running out to the mats every few minutes to attend to someone. It looked like shoulders, ribs or neck that were getting injured and usually on the takedown. This is another reason why I believe it to be very important for anyone doing jiu jitsu to be sure to train often break-falls, takedown drills (both giving and receiving) so that the body is conditioned properly for the forces involved with going from the feet to the ground and the body is sufficiently accustomed to this transition. If training on the feet is neglected then it makes sense that the body is not used to the forces and the mind is distressed by the position of being on the feet and the transition of going to the ground. I felt that most of these injuries were avoidable if proper training was done beforehand.
It is always inspirational to see everyone compete. We are ready to get back on the mats and prepare for the next competition.