This month Fuji Bjj held their inaugural tournament in San Diego at Lincoln High School and a bunch of our guys decided to compete. While chances are, it wasn’t the turnout that Fuji may have predicted, the impression that Fuji made was overall greatly positive. J.W. Wright’s event was professional, organized, and incredibly fight friendly. For example, they were more than willing to add you to or create additional brackets if necessary for competitors to gain more experience.
I went into this competition knowing that I was going to coach a few guys and one of the students from my kid’s class. Coaching is a relatively new endeavor for me, that’s quickly become a passion of mine. I really love helping people get better and watching them fulfill their potential. To say the least, the day was filled with ups and a few downs.
One example would be my student Noah. He did not do well. He was paired up with a kid that was more technical and noticeably larger. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t David and Goliath or anything but still. Noah unfortunately could not escape the mount effectively. When he did, it lead right into the back mount. Being a coach is a strange experience. You’ve in essence been an actor in this movie long enough that you know the crescendos and the plot’s course changes. Often times, even before they actually happen. So trying to convey that message to your charge can be difficult in the moment if it’s not something you’ve covered enough before hand.
In some ways I failed Noah. I never want him or any of my students to experience that helplessness ever again. What I did loved about Noah was his heart. He accepted the result and pushed onto his next match with the same energy as the first. That kind of mental toughness will go a long way. We can and will fix the technical details.
One of the highs of the day was watching and coaching teammates overcoming. Marco for example competed for the first time. He didn’t do well in the Gi, but instead of getting down on himself about it he pushed ahead and jumped into the NoGi division. He had some tough matches and ended up getting gold. When he came off the mat, it had that Rocky moment feeling. His daughter was on his shoulders while everyone cheered as if it was the Worlds. I was incredibly proud of how hard he fought.
Lastly, I wanted to thank everyone that allowed me to coach them. Some was planned while others were kind of spur of the moment. Whenever there wasn’t some one available to work someone’s corner, I made an effort to jump in to help. It was an incredible honor and the pleasure really was all mine.
Thank you for entrust me with that responsibility. I hope I did a good job and I look forward to doing more of it in the future.