Competition #2 reflection


Second competition write up! Just like the first one, I had some goals besides ‘winning (still the same as last week).


  1. Getting first place (duh!)
  2. Hitting an arm drag/inside trip takedown
  3. Wrist-lock submission
  4. Don’t let anybody get closed guard on me
  5. Pressure passing (double under/over under combination)
  6. Pacing myself and concentrate on stomach breading.

The competition itself:

The competition I joined was the Dutch Open. One of the biggest competitions of the Benelux with 450+ competitors from The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany… I had 22 people in my division (Blue belt -82,3kg) = 5 fights for first place.

All the fights can be found as a playlist on YouTube here.

First fight:

Lots of stress in my first match but was mostly in control the whole match. Should have finished him faster though IMO. Lets go over some highlights:

Opening the fight with an arm drag inside trip (goal 2), felt really good to hit this one!

Got an easy pass after that and the 3 point. I did however struggle to control the situation and he managed to turtle up and got some kind of reverse. I tried taking the back for a second but gave that up and switched to a kimura, tried to go to an armbar but didn’t believe in it and half assed it. I could have finish it there if I did it properly. When I knew the armbar was gone I transitioned to a pendulum sweep though which I very much like and got an other 6 points (11-0). My control was bad again though and he hip escaped to halfguard, could have attacked the neck there easily. Ended up in open guard (not letting close guard happen = goal 4) and after a sloppy triangle attempt from my opponent and me pressure passing I got an other pass (14-0). My control slacks again and he turtle up, I weirdly jump guard to slow the fight down. He tries to pass, I go for halfguard (my favorite bottom position) and manage to set-up the roll over sweep.

End up chilling in halfguard and not focused enough. I get caught in a very tight triangle/armbar. Still stiff in that arm but managed to escape it last second:

All planned as I get a free pass :p (19-0). Control over the hip sucks again and he turtles up again.
As I have a big point advantage I just wanted to jump guard but end up sweeping him again.

I manage to secure mount position (25-0) and with 1min left on the clock, I finally go for the finish:

Second fight:

With the first fight in the books and blood flowing I’m feeling confident and got the mindset to go for a quick finish. We slap + bump and go, opponent tries to jump (half)guard but doesn’t have good control and I knee slide his guard easily.

Holy shit, bad control again (pattern much?). We end up in a scramble after a sloppy back take, he goes for an over-under pass but I get a hold of a kimura grip and manage to transition to an armbar easily (like I should have in the first fight, remember?). Quick finish!

Third fight:

Quarter finales, if I win this one I’m sure to have 2 more fights! My opponent looks scary: big guy with nice caulis. He pulls guard though, which I like. He tries to play DLR but I manage to stuff his attempts at getting a good hook in. I eventually get control over his hip and drive forward, he reacts with a triangle attempt but I had enough control to pass.

I keep the pressure on him and get a figure 4 grip on him and get the pass (3-0). I was looking to set up an armbar but when I sit down I notice I didn’t have the right position and transition to taking the back. We grip fight while he tries to escape, I manage to shrimp back to a good back control a few times till I feel I have a decent color grip and try to go for a bow and arrow:

It’s not tight enough though and I transition to an armbar. Struggling to stretch his arm I go for my favorite: wristlock!

Fourth fight:

We made it to the semis! This will be a painful breakdown as I’m doing everything wrong here. I don’t play my game and put myself mentally down during the fight. You know what, let me know what I did wrong? Feedback and tips would be much appreciated:

TL;DR: I pulled guard, I want to play top though. I initiate an idiot sweep and end up on my back after a weird sequence. My opponent gets 2 point for this which is technically not by the book I hurt. He gets a strong crossface on my halfguard and my framing/defense is shit. Almost get caught in a Americana and need to give up mount. Recover to halfguard but fail to defend the crossface. Match ends, I’m sad.

Fifth fight:

Losing the semis suck but going home without a medal is even worse. Third place match went quite funny, after some stand up struggle this happens:

I waste no time and go for the finish with all my frustration from the last fight:

Final thoughts

  1. Getting first place = FAIL
  2. Hitting an arm drag/inside trip takedown = SUCCESS
  3. Wrist-lock submission = SUCCESS
  4. Don’t let anybody get closed guard on me = SUCCESS
  5. Pressure passing (double under/over under combination) = SUCCESS – kind off, didn’t do over under though or a perfect double under.
  6. Pacing myself and concentrate on stomach breading = SUCCESS – never felt tiered during the whole day. There was a lot of time between matches though (30min+ mostly)

With 5 fights I have some footage to work with and it surely showed some gaps in my game:

  • Side control is used wrongly, to much on my knees and I don’t control the hip (I think, will ask coach again).
  • Need to work on takedowns if they have grips on me or have a plan how to fight the grips.
  • I love halfguard but only on my left side. Need to work on my right side or have an other plan how to get out of right side half guard.
  • Prevent crossface + recover from it (kind of goes together with the point above).
  • Go over my close guard game again as I hesitated when I got there.
  • Turtle attacks/going to the back when they go belly down

I did however get 4 submission which was fun and rewarding click here now. If you guys have ANY pointers, let me know! Now it is time to work towards IBJJF Paris Open. Normally I had another tournament next week but it seems that I will not have any quality opponents and will be skipping this one as a normal training will have more value.


6 thoughts on “Competition #2 reflection

  1. Roel says:

    You said it yourself bro: put myself mentally down during the fight.
    Never seen you that passive in bottom half (flattened out)…
    That said: Good write up, and even better fighting man.

    • Thijs says:

      Thanks and yeah, I plan on letting everybody take that position on me and get comfortable and know I can get out of it. Hope to train again with you soon ?

  2. Flo says:

    The scoring was kind of funny, I experienced the same thing in my finals as well. I initiated a sumi gaeshi and he got the points.

    You had an impressive run throughout the tournament and I really hoped, I could face you in the finals. You game was definitely shout down completely by the cross-face and amount of pressure. Always work for the underhook. He did the same thing against me and I could defend it with relentless upa-ing and working for the underhook. In the end it all comes down to cardio and fighting spirit. Breath and upa 🙂


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