15 Seconds, That's It?

October 24, 2011
By Justin Dembowski BRONZE, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Justin Dembowski BRONZE, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
3 articles 0 photos 0 comments

15 seconds, That’s It?

“I still can’t believe I have to be up this early for this.” I said to my dad
“Stop complaining. You have to weigh in at eight, that’s why you have to be up this early,” replied my dad. “And will you look up the directions for this place on your phone? I’m not sure where it is.”

“Why can’t you just follow signs on the Turnpike for Monroeville?”

“Well I can, but once we get there I won’t know where to go to get to the Expomart,” my dad answered annoyed.

“Dad, It will be right there, I’m pretty sure you can’t miss it.”

“Fine. So are you nervous at all? I mean since this is your first jiujitsu tournament,” my dad inquired.
“Ya, but right now I’m way too tired to worry bout it. I had to get up at six today, and it’s Saturday,” I replied.
After driving for about twenty minutes we eventually arrived at the Expomart, and found a parking lot devoid of any signs of life, other than a few cars.
“I think we came a little too early” said my dad, stating the obvious.
“Dad, It’s seven, they don’t even start weigh-ins until eight. What are we going to do for an hour?” I retorted very annoyed.
“I have no idea, well at least we’ll know not to come this early next year,” replied my dad optimistically. My dad isn’t one to be an optimist, the only time he does it is to stop me from complaining. I looked at my dad with an unamused look. My dad is slightly taller than me, and is rather thin.

I tried to fall asleep in the car, figuring I could take a nice little nap in the hour I had to wait. I was unable to fall asleep. Slowly the cars came into the parking lot . Finally at eight the doors opened, and inside we found a table with an array of papers that had to be filled out in order for me to participate,only two of which were actually needed: the liability waiver and a sheet that they would put my age, weight and information to place me in the right division. The rest of the papers were going to be used so they could solicit more of their events to me. After I finished filling out all the papers that seemed to be the length of a foreign defence contract, I proceeded to the weigh-in tent. After the lady took my weight she showed it to me and asked me, “Is that ok or do you want to try to run some off?”

I said it was fine, considering there are no defined weight classes for the kids and teens divisions. I then went into the building where there were different booths and other competitions, such as body building, because apparently this was a fitness expo. My dad and I walked around for a while and then people I train with started to show up. I started to walk around with my friend Justin, who’s a few years older than me and about the same size.
“Are you nervous?” Justin asked glancing at me.
“No, not at all,” I answered, which was complete lie.
“Well you should be, you’re gonna lose,” he replied jokingly. This just made me more nervous.
At around twelve-thirty we were allowed to warm up on the mats. First I stretched out, then Justin and I worked on transitions from different positions to warm up. Then we all returned to our seats and listened for our names to be called for our divisions, which seemed to go in no particular order at all. Trying to hear our names was more difficult than we thought, there were three other events going on in the area, and the man reading the names had a thick Brazilian accent. While I was waiting I was sitting next to one of the guys I train with, Mike. Mike was a veteran of the sport and could obviously tell I was nervous. He started to stare at me, and I looked over at him. When I turned away he said, “I wasn’t done staring at you. Ok, now I’m done. Now will you calm down and stop being nervous? You’ll be fine.”

This was rather encouraging, I calmed down and watched some of the matches while waiting for my name to be called. While I was waiting both Justin and Mike got up for their matches, and both got second in their divisions. Finally at around three-thirty I got called up for my division, in which there was only one person. I quickly realized that I would only have one match. This relieved and disappointed me at the same time. I stepped on the mat with my bare feet, and it felt cold. The referee had my opponent and me shake hands. My opponent looked a little bit heaver than me but was about the same height. The referee told us our match would go until someone got a submission, or for five minutes then the winner would be decided by points. I thought that when the clock started what I did would show all my training and hard work. The referee told us to go and the clock started. I immediately grabbed my opponent's head, jumped up to lock my legs around his waist, and pulled him down to the mat into my guard. He kept moving around frantically trying to break my legs from around his waist. I felt him push in tight on me, so I instinctively grabbed his arm and put my leg over his head for an armbar. I pushed on his arm and could feel his elbow bending the wrong way but he wouldn’t tap. I didn’t want do it any harder for fear of breaking his arm, so I gave the referee a look and he clearly understood what it meant. He ended the match and called a submission, and I immediately let go. My opponent was holding his arm and was still sitting on the mat in pain. The referee made sure he was ok, stood us both up, and raised my arm. I had won. I looked at the clock and it said four minutes and forty-five seconds. My match had lasted only fifteen seconds. All that hard work, $65, and waiting all day for just fifteen seconds on the mat! I was disappointed, then I thought about it, I had gotten a submission in just fifteen seconds.That was the quickest submission of the tournament, most matches went the full five minutes. It proved that all my hard work had paid off. Jiujitsu was something I should clearly stick with.

The author's comments:
This is a story about my first jiujtsu tournament.

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