Last weekend our very own Tony Jeanes packed up shop and headed for Victoria to take on his first solo competition.
Naturally we were itching to catch up with him and find out how he got on, so earlier this week I had the pleasure of sitting him down and chewing his ear off for almost an hour to discuss the weekends events.
Below you'll find all the details from the man himself, enjoy team!
I travelled to Melbourne for a holiday with my eldest son and noticed that there was an AFBJJ Tournament on the last 2 days of our stay and decided to enter. It turns out that it is the longest running BJJ Tournament in Australia (Started way back in 1995), The Victorian State Championships, I thought that was pretty cool. I have been competing ever since I started training in 2012, and it has taken me interstate twice before as a White Belt (Sydney Nationals), Melbourne (Pan Pacs) and once to the USA (Las Vegas (World Masters) & NYC (Pan Ams) as a Blue Belt. It’s always been with team mates that I've travelled to compete. This was my 1st trip competing solo.
Going into my first tournament without team mates or a coach was very daunting, and like every comp I've entered, very nerve racking. But you know as soon as your feet touch those mats, the nerves start to fade and your adrenaline and excitement of competing again starts to rise. I knew it was going to be tough it always is competing, but this was super tough. But being the interstate fighter, travelling to an elite bjj level state of Melbourne & fighting guys 8-25kgs heavier with more experience at Purple Belt the odds were against me.
Fight 1 Middle Weight No Gi- Was against a super technical guy who trains at Absolute MMA St Kilda, and rolls regularly with Lachlan Giles if you’re not sure who Giles is, just google the name. I was submitted via Americana with in the 1st minute. He was the eventual Gold Medallist.
Fight 2 Open Weight No Gi- Disappointed with my 1st fight, I said to myself "If I can defend everything this guy throws at me and lose on points, I'll consider that a small win". 16 points down with 2mins 30secs left I manage to escape side control bottom and take his back scoring my 4 points, then I was on the attack for submissions. Rear naked choke was being defended and I looked at the clock, 30secs to go I had to go for something else so I went for the reverse triangle, but my leg got caught in his 1/2 guard. At this point I heard my opponent say to his team mate or coach "how long to go"? I heard, "30secs just hold on". Although I was down on points and had lost the match, I felt a little victory by defending every submission he was throwing at me, lasting the distance & finished by doing all the attacking. 5,4,3,2 ,1... Out of time. My hand not raised, but proud of my effort.
Fight 3 Middle Weight Gi- I went into this match with the plan to get the takedown and finish in side control, but my opponent quickly went straight to 1/2 Guard and got a sweep on me. He feel into my 1/2 guard & was super strong and could feel him passing. I went for broke and set up the baseball bat choke, and allowed him to pass into the choke. His chin was too far down and I couldn’t get my forearm under, I was close to getting it but left my arm a little exposed and he took it... Arm barred, but not without trying something that has worked for me in training before on bigger, stronger opponents.
4th and final fight - My god can I get a break please... Winner of the No Gi 97kg, No Gi Open and Gi 97kg stands to the other side of the officials table. Called onto the mat, I can’t help but notice his worn Purple Belt with 4 just as worn fabric stripes. Just before we started the match I told myself what I tell my youngest son Ashton "Be 1st and play your game"... Straight to single leg X, sweep to foot lock attempt, pretty close but he powered out and switched back up to establish the sweep 2points, a bit of a scramble and we were off the mat. Starting again from standing I pulled him to ground into butterfly guard and eventually pushing off his hips I created enough space for a triangle attempt. After nearly getting the finish he escaped after 30 seconds with heavy pressure and technique. I went for a lassoo sweep that I've hit in comp before but couldn't establish top position. I controlled the match for 3mins and that was a big win for me. The next 1/2 of the match he got a sweep and pass, re-guard and past again (cheeky bugger). With 30secs left he got an arm bar. He went on to win the division, well, all 4 divisions he'd entered to be precise and good on him for doing so.
"You don't always need your hand raised to be a winner"
"Do you have any tips for those looking to improve their competition game?"
I find that having someone record your fights a great way to see what you need to work on when you get back to training. Also when I'm competing theres things I try shut out and things I need to hear from a coach , like time left or if I'm down on points , not go for this or go for that. Sometimes you'll have your arm or leg trapped that prevents you from doing a certain technique, not everything is visable from behind the barriers. It also can help your opponent as he can hear what is being said, so they can prevent a submission or sweep or what ever.
Hearing too many people say all different things at once can scramble your thought process. A good warm up is also important, you don't want to go into your 1st fight cold.
There's so many things to consider, but I feel the best way to handle competitions is simply train hard, have a game plan & compete more.
You want to get better at Jiu Jitsu? You train Jiu Jitsu.
You want to get better at competing? You compete more.
There we have it, Tony is living proof that hard work pays off and proves it every time he steps foot on the mat. He is a fantastic team mate and has a lot to offer! Everyone here at The Arena MMA is extremely proud of his efforts and can't wait to see him roll next.
If you yourself are desperate to get on the mats, don't forget that Roll For a Reason will be held at The Arena MMA Sunday 7th May. Entries close Thursday 4th so make sure you get your name in quick. To enter visit bjjcomp.com and enter "Roll For a Reason"
We hope to see you all there!