Learning More from Failure

On Feb 24th I competed at a Grappling X tournament in San Diego just a week after turning 32. In coming into the comp the Harris Academy competition team was feeling very confident in the outcome. Over the course of the last few months we had become a tight knit hard working team. One that has become honest enough with each other to call out training flaws and deficiencies which has allowed each of us to take our game the next step. Overall on that day our small team of four took home five medals, two of our guys fighting each other in the finals of the Absolute division. I honestly could not have been more proud of our team’s accomplishments. The smiles were contagious and a positive reminder of why we put in so much time grinding away the extra hours on the mat.

[youtube_sc url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNXbHaOK130″]

With all the successes that were being had by my team I came up short, finishing fourth in a massive division in which my teammate Mike took gold. My first two matches went for the most part as we trained. I wasn’t looking to exert too much energy but win convincingly. My first match I won on points and my second with a nice collar choke after taking my opponents back. I lost my next two by a narrow point decision and a rear naked choke. After my losses I was immediately consoled by my teammates and my Black Belt Instructor Jeff, the kind words and gestures made a deeper impact on me than they will ever know. I look the loss in stride, I guess. After the comp I went to dinner with my wife and in-laws and while eating I was already reviewing tape from one of my losses. I was reassessing the build up to the competitions and trying to process what I could have done better. At age 32, I don’t have a “lifetime” to look forward to. My time as a competitor and as an athlete is counted. With all my responsibilities I feel like I only have a limited time in order to get where I’d like to be so I got to work right away and genuinely felt rejuvenated by the losses. Oddly enough THIS competition was far more impactful on me as a practitioner than any of my gold medal performances were.

My match at the 1:55 mark.

[youtube_sc url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDCS8H4NGxg”]



Comp Team for the Event:

Mike G – Two Golds

Dean – Silver

Juan – Silver and Bronze



Purple Belt Jiu-Jitsu practitioner

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