Tuesday, 22 April 2008

The value of tournaments...?

A quick catch up on all the goings on since all the stuff I’ve just written about. I hadn’t trained any since last Wednesday except for a Gym session on Thursday. Friday and Saturday I just felt really tired so took the chance to rest. Sunday, I spent all day out watching Saracens Vs Wasps – gutted to see Saracens (playing in pink for Charity, which turned them all into a bunch of girls) go down 29 points to 40. A great game with some good tries but if only Sarries had played throughout like they did in the 2nd half….

Sunday night I went round to Big Dean’s to watch UFC 83. The main event was Matt Serra Vs Georges Saint-Pierre (GSP) for the Welterweight championship that Serra took from GSP at their last outing. I had hoped that Serra may pull it out of the bag again, but this was always a long shot. GSP looked to have his conditioning spot on and looked focussed in front of a home crowd. Sure enough, it panned out as per the script and GSP was in control every step of the way. Serra’s gas just ran out and at one point was too tired to put up much defence against some well aimed shots. I did see some of the BJJ for which Serra is famed, which was good, but GSP was just too dominant and with some nasty knees going into Serra’s ribcage, the fight was stopped to give GSP the win by TKO. Both fighters were consummate professionals giving each other due respect and plaudits and that was nice to see.

Another fight that I was impressed by was Mike Bisping’s debut at Middleweight against Charles McCarthy. Bisping looked trim and fierce at his new weight and easily outclassed McCarthy to get a TKO in the first round. It’ll be interesting to see where Bisping goes from here in this weight division. Even if he does sound like Ashley from Coronation Street.

So, Monday night’s session, just four of us again and I arrived not feeling 100%. I think it’s a continuation of the tiredness I’d felt last week and has transformed into a weird feeling of mild nausea and weakness. I can’t explain what it is, except that I just don’t feel “right” and it sucks – I’d rather be properly ill – at least that way I’d know what to say about how I feel. Anyway, we focussed on the stand up in prep for Seni – defending base, against throws and against opponents jumping guard. We also did some ankle picks which I found hard, but it was all to do with my posture. I found defending the jump to guard tough too, until Si pointed out that I shouldn’t try to hold onto my opponent as this was dragging me down – problem fixed! I found the whole thing tough – physically I mean – sweating loads more than usual, breathless real quick and my concentration wasn’t too sharp so I came away feeling pretty fed up with myself, but I guess it can’t be helped.

On to the “big” news from me. I’ve decided today that I’m NOT going to enter Seni. There are a couple of factors in this decision. The major one is poor organisation on my part. I thought that I had time to enter and logged on today to do that thinking that the cut off was 23rd (which it is). However, I’ve missed the deadline for early entry and late entry is at a fee of £40. It makes a significant difference to me financially and also in terms of the value that I attach to competing (i.e. do I consider the tournament and any potential benefit to be worth £40 – in short, the answer is no). I feel a bit down about it, mainly because of the time that Big Dean and Si have given in helping me train. I just want to say thanks to you guys. I hope you don’t feel I’m letting you down or that any of that time was wasted – tournament or not, it has all been useful and will still be useful as I turn my attention to other tournaments later this year. Sorry and thanks.

The second, less significant, factor is my current “wellness”. I could well be 100% again by the weekend, but right now I feel mentally and physically ropey, so why spend £40 and potentially give a less than honest account of myself at a tournament. I’ve done this in the past – played in important Rugby games with injury when I should have stepped aside. The result makes you feel a lot worse than if you hadn’t played.

I’m disappointed, but I guess that now, I just get on with training as I always have and I’ll have a look to see what tournaments are around for the rest of the year and decide whether I want to go in for them.

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