November 7, 2013

Unfortunately, I have been the nail these past few weeks. LOL!

Such is life. All I can do now is learn from my experiences and become better for it.

I have been away from the computer for a while, so I apologize for the lack of updates. To get you caught up, I competed on this past Sunday in the IBJJF No Gi World Championships in Long Beach, California. My first match was against Luiz Azevedo, and the match got started quicker than I expected. I wanted to score a take down right from the get go, but he pulled guard so fast that it threw me off guard – no pun intended. 🙂

He used a de la riva guard, and a went so spin away and ended up in a 50/50 ankle lock. I wasn’t really all there in this match mentally for some reason. I’m not sure if it was because I had no coach this time around, or because I had to change my shorts in the last minute due to IBJJF regulations. I didn’t think this would be factors if they in fact were, but I just know that my focus was off. I say this because I let him crank my ankle for a good while before I actually thought to myself, “David, you got to get out of this position.”

We then proceeded to exchange ankle locks from the 50/50, but in the end he got top position and scored a sweep. I went to stand up to try to avoid points but I ended up giving up my back, then giving up the mount to escape the back. That put me behind by a score of 10-0. Whoops!

At this point, I figured it would be time to start trading submissions. That was easy to engage, as he was really hungry for the ankle lock. We got into a quite a few leg lock exchanges, my best one being a knee bar that was nearly on. He did a good job defending the knee bar, turning his foot away each time I pulled to avoid tapping out. I then transitioned to a toe hold, but I didn’t have enough leverage to get the finish.

At some point he got another 50/50 ankle lock and he was trying to go belly down to finish. The ankle lock wasn’t really threatening to me, as I am pretty comfortable taking them. Something weird happened though. As he tried to roll me over, I was resisting the roll and my knee popped. It was a pretty loud pop on the side of my knee and caught me off guard. The referee stopped the match then and there. It was unfortunate, as it just seemed like a freak accident for my knee to pop from a straight ankle lock, but I probably shouldn’t have been playing so much in bad positions to begin with.

One benefit of enduring a Rousimar Palhares heel hook and knee bar submission is that it puts knee injuries in perspective, LOL! This was a walk in the park compared to what I had gone through a few years ago. I was walking the rest of the day, observing the rest of the matches. Not even as much as a pack of ice or an ibuprofen was required. After 8 hours or so, my knee started to stiffen up a bit as expected, but nothing beyond that. As of today, I have no limp or problems moving around, but I still have until next week before I can say I am 100% mat ready.

There is another tournament here in Florida in December, which I will be competing in. I am going to keep to my word and compete as often as possible, to get my mind and body sharper. I didn’t have the same focus for this tournament as I did for ADCC, which I need to remedy. I am going to continue to lean out a bit more, as I still have body fat to burn and bring my lean muscle mass percentage up. I am also going to start lifting weights, as there are no major competitions on the horizon. My wrestling technique is going to be a big focus over the next year, as well as defending the back mount.

At the end of the day, I had fun this past month traveling around the world and competing. I have made some new friends, and strengthened old ties. Before I stepped on the mat in each tournament, I remembered to smile and be thankful that I still have the health and skills to be able to compete at a world class level. It is truly a blessing and an honor to compete with the best competitors in the world. I know that my day will come, but until then, I will continue building my body and mind and helping others do the same.

  • hi David kip going and kip learning I now that we want to win bot no always is possible I compete I a lot of karate and taekwondo matches. some times won some times not, but I don’t mind as i still learn from those matches kip going and good look

  • I really enjoy your website, blog posts, video techniques… but, I specially enjoy your perspective on life. Thank you very much for sharing all these experiences, you are an awesome person 🙂

  • Tobias Blaschke says:

    Hi David,

    Thank you very much for sharing your experiences. I means a lot to see that others sometimes have similar problems and how they deal with them.

    Good health to your knee. Keep on rolling and success for the next competition!

  • Awesome to hear. Look forward to seeing you compete more. Been following your career for nearly a decade now

  • Don Rendall says:


    I admire your positive attitude. Competing at the world class level as you do is unbelievable. I have no doubt that you will get that gold.


  • Hi David
    I’m sorry to hear that, but I like the positive perspective you have about those events and the fact of learn something out of a negative situation. Remember Thomas Edison how many fails before get success, and the more fails you get the closer you are to succeed. A good hunter has lots of patience and tons of persistency.

  • You are the man David, great fighter, great teacher, and seem to be a better person. Right now you are not Lebron, but your Kevin Durant. Only a small percentage can say that in what I believe to be the hardest weight class to compete in. Keep up the good work.

  • LOL. You poor old bastard (that’s a friendly term in Australia). It sounds as though you feel like you’re 80 and have one foot in the grave. Don’t lose the lesson. SNAFU. You’re an inspirtion to many but not if you keep WBMC’ing.

    • Lol! I’m happy Pete, so no worries. I’m not sure what snafu or wbmc’ing means, but I am going to keep moving forward 🙂

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