I want to win the 100kg masters in this tourney and will train appropriately.USA Judo is pleased to announce 2012 tournaments:
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USA Judo 2012 Senior Nationals, April 21-22
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This weekend I played the Dallas Invitational. It's one of a handful of D Level tourneys in the country (you earn points for your country's national rosters in hopes of getting on a world or Olympic team). The winner of each Olympic division also takes home $1000. People came from all over, including 20 from our Olympic training center in CO Springs. Always nice to watch the power and grace of international level judoka.
Despite my lack of recent training and conditioning--and sleeping 1.5 in my truck the night before--I decided to enter the masters division to kick start my quest for a national masters title. I like the big tourneys because they have a legit masters division, national level black belt competitors. I had four in my pool, one I had beaten before and two I had never played. It was modified double elimination. Win your first two, collect the hardware and go home; let the other guys fight for silver.
Not being in shape, I didn't have time to dick around. My first opponent had a lot of experience on me. Fortunately, he had been kind enough to put his matches on youtube, which I watched as soon as brackets came out. My theory about his gripping weakness was correct. I got the grip I wanted and killed his game. We probably clashed five times, and I got the superior grip every time. I threw him for yuko (minor point) with seoi nage, waza-ari (half-point) with yoko otoshi, and yuko with de ashi harai in the first minute. He made no throwing attempts. Unfortunately, he got three stalling penalties, which gave me another half-point for the win. I would have preferred to throw him for the W, but whatever.
The second match was for gold. My opponent had just beaten a dude who placed in last year's world masters. He also looked like a bigger (240 lb.) Ed Zachary, and that was fucking with me. We locked up, and he seemed stronger than I was, which is unusual in judo. A long match wasn't going to work. I pushed him away to re-grip. I grabbed his lapel and dashed left to fake osoto gari. He stiffened up and I got a baseball grip on his left lapel to switch sides for a morote seoi nage. He had bitten hard on the fake, so it was a big throw. I heard the ref call "ippon," and the match was over in less than 10 seconds. Felt good.
I'll spend the rest of the week recovering and doing a little family trip. Look forward to getting after it.