As the year winds down, it is good to look back on what we have attempted and accomplished. This is especially valuable when it comes to competition. At the beginning of 2018 I set the very loose goal of competing more. I had returned to BJJ competition after a 10 year hiatus due to professional MMA fighting and some procrastination in 2017 by competing once at the US Grappling event in Richmond VA and won double gold in Gi and No Gi. In 2018 my goal was to compete in Fight 2 Win Pro and at least 1 IBJJF competition.
In the last weeks of 2018, I can look back and say that my loose goal was accomplished. I competed thrice in Fight 2 Win. I lost my first match via split decision and won my next 2 via unanimous decision and finished the year 2-1 in pro Jiu Jitsu competition. As much as I would like to be 3-0 this year, that first loss was a great motivator for the subsequent wins.
I also competed in the IBJJF Masters World Championships in 2018. This is one of the biggest and toughest competitions in Jiu Jitsu. It had been a goal of mine for the last several years to compete in this tournament. In the black belt division, there are no easy matches at this event. Many of the competitors have 20+ years of jiu jitsu training in them, so the caliber of athlete is top notch. I ended up going 1-1 at this event winning my first match via ref decision and losing the next via 2 point take down. My goal for the event was not to be the world champion. I always try my best to perform at my best when competing, but my real goal at this event was to see where I currently stack up against some of the best in the world. Now that I have gotten my competitive feet wet again, my goal next year is to make it onto the podium and come home with a medal at this same event, and the following year to bring a world championship back to the gym in 2020.
It was also very busy competitive year for some of the instructors and students. We had several of our white belt warriors compete for the first time in various local tournaments. Without exception, every one of them made the gym proud of the way they competed win or lose.
- Hellfish Brown Belt Steve Wilson, competed in 3 Fight 2 Win Pro events finishing the year 2-1
- Hellfish Brown Belt Will Weisser competed more times than I can count in several local events and finished out the year with a double gold medal performance at the Grappling Industries event.
- Hellfish Purple Belt and Coach Zach Shiomos competed in several local events and won gold in almost every one of them. He has submitted and defeated several brown and black belts this year in competition including big wins at the ADCC north american trials. He also competed twice in Fight 2 Win pro and finished out the year 1-1 in that event.
- We also saw our Hellfish kids compete for the first time with great success at the Tap our Cancer charity BJJ tournament.
Before you set your goals for 2019, be sure to take a look back at 2018. Find out where you are in relation to where you want to be and use that information to formulate a plan for accomplishing your new goals in the new year.