My Pan Am Experience Today


Blue Belt
Aug 21, 2007
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Well I did it, I competed in my first tournament. I have been training since November 07 and competed in the WB, Adult, Feather div. I lost my match by decision. I had trained takedowns for the last few weeks and was unable to use any. My opponent jumped into guard at every time we stood and pulled my arm by my sleeve across his body and proceeded to try to arm bar me. He was never successful, but once he gained the mount and picked up 4 points and I lost 0-4. My goal was to go the distance and I did so I am satisfied. I am disappointed that I didn't get a chance to really mix it up and that most of the match was spent in my opponents guard, but next time I will break it. The guy who beat me jumped into guard in his 2nd match and armbarred the guy in 10secs, and in his 3rd match he jumped into guard again, but I believe lost by decision. It was a shock to me to see how many people would just immediately pull guard at the start of the match (I really need to work on guard passes before my next comp). I was proud that I did not get submitted, I got out of mount and side control during the match and stacked two armbar attempts so I did not look like a complete tool.

I learned lots of things, I was caught off guard with how quick it seemed to go and how hard it is to think during competition but I feel motivated to learn more. All the people who were there were real cool and I am glad that I got to go.

I guess it is not a real thread without a question or discussion topic, so I will ask one. I am thinking about trying the Copa Pacifica, has anyone on here competed in that tournament and what can you tell me about it. Size, skill, level, organization, etc..???

Congratulations, it sounds like you did well today. That is a big tournament in which to make your maiden voyage.

The Copa is a large tournament, but not nearly as large as the Pan Ams. It is run by Cleber Luciano, who has a big school in Orange County, CA. It draws a very talented regional group of gi competitors, as well as many competitors from out of state. But few are coming from Brazil or Japan for it. Here is a link to Cleber's tournament site.
Sherdog poster "Cash Bill 52" competes tomorrow, keep an eye out for em.

Cesar Gracie Purple Senior 2 Masculino

Super-Pesado Bill Hotter.........12:40 Purple Belt - Senior 1, 2 and 3

Absoluto Bill Hotter ............7:00 Purple Belt - Senior 1, 2 and 3 - Open Class
Good Job man that was a big tourney for your first, you did well and hung in there. Keep at it, you learn a lot more from your losses. Work on that guard passing!
Great job. It was your first tourny. It's good for experience. You'll get 'em next time. :)
that's great that this was your first tournament. i really wish i was there.......:icon_sad:
thanks for all the props guys it was without a doubt a cool experience, the enviorment there and all in the BJJ community made it a whole lot of fun
Cliff, i was looking for you.

I fought in the same division (also my first tourney) and i got to the finals of my bracket. The guy who eventually beat me one the whole thing. I lost because i was gassed from the 3rd match but oh well!

I went 3 and 1 with 2 subs, and a decision win 8pts 2advantages to 2advantages.

I'm glad you had fun cliff. I know what you mean about "thinking" while it's happening in compettion. I felt like a dear in headlights when i stepped on the mat. The guys that won in the long run were the guys that could slow down and work technique instead of spazzing.

Did you stick around for any other matches?

The next competition i am going for is the worlds, you should check it out too.
Sorry dude, I just now realized that I had a PM from you in my in box.

I stayed till about 2:30 then drove down Artesia and got a tour of the Gracie academy got on the 405 at 3pm thinking I would be ahead of traffic and ended up on the 405 for like 2 hours before I got out of the LA area.

I plan on trying Worlds, too. I am going to try to compete as much as possible. I have already gone over my video several times and am trying to learn from my mistakes.

Sounds like you did real good, not too many of the Whitebelt matches ended in Subs so you did real well. I know I felt gassed by the end of my first match and my legs were shaking, so for you to make it that far says a lot about your composure during the match. I will see you at Worlds.
its better to get the first tournament out of the way to get ready for the others. alot of DQs today, what a waste of money and just nervous.

i'm ready to go to my first tournament at Copa and then Worlds and so on
Pulling guard is lame.

So is 2 guys who obviously don't know shit about takedowns circling each other bent over like old folks for 6 minutes.

You're telling me if you get paired up with a Div 1 wrestler or an excellent Judo player you're not going to jump guard and potentially save yourself a loss on points caused by a single takedown?

I would and have done that, and yes I had to qualify my win with (although they weren't really a Judo BB and D1 wrestlers they were just better than me at TD's):

"how'd you do"

--"Pretty good 4-1 I took second"

"Oh yeah how'd you lose"


"and the wins"

--"Three subs and one decision, But I HAD to pull guard 'cause the one was a BB in judo and the other two were D1 wrestlers so I was screwed if I didn't, IT WAS LAME"

To the TS good job Competing that is a MAJOR Tourney for a first. And remember all a tournament is, is a contest to see which instructor sandbags the most.
To the TS good job Competing that is a MAJOR Tourney for a first. And remember all a tournament is, is a contest to see which instructor sandbags the most.


err gay.

hehehehe. XD

I was in the same division as well (feather white belt), it was my first tournament also. I won my first three matches then got choked out via triangle in my 4th fight (perhaps it was you ragebringer? haha, I remember seeing the guy who choked me out lose to the person who eventually won, so it likely is you).

OP, do you remember who the guy who beat you was? The third guy I beat fit your description well so I might have avenged him for you :)
Pulling guard is lame.

How is pulling guard and sweeping inferior to getting a takedown? How long have you been training?

If you have a better bottom game than top game why would you go for a takedown?
My game plan was to get the takedown, work submissions from side control, get mount, and hang on to the buzzer.

My first match we start off in the old man bent over grabbin the gis move. I figured out later that all my opponents were wrestlers (pretty sure). I couldn't budge the guy and he was content to stand there. So I jumped to guard and arm barred within a minute. I think there is a picture of me with my head off the mat fully extended to get the tap.

My second match was against the eventual winner of my division and I think the absolute. He was a 6' 3" 220 lb Brit who was who was like a British MI6 special forces guy. (author embellishment) He was jumping to guard and triangling everyone in his path. I still wanted to get the takedown but he jumped to guard so I got no points. This guy had like a Death Star tractor beam pulling me down in his guard pushing hard for triangles. I defended pretty well and passed to half guard. I got 1 advantage point. He tried for a KImura but he was no where close. The ref gave him one advantage for the attempt. The match ended 1-1 and the ref gave him the victory. It was very close and I certainly can't complain about the call. I almost passed but not quite. That was the championship match so that's how I got the silver medal.

My third match (first in absolute) was against another wrestler. But I got a single leg off the clinch. he was hopping around the mat and whizzering me. So I beared down and finally got the takedown. I passed his guard easily but when I was in side control he scrambled out. My coach was shouting, "Stay on top!" but I was a little gassed from the takedown so I just went to guard. About 15 seconds later I arm barred him. I wasn't really sticking to my game plan but I just had to adjust.

My 4th and final match in the absolute was against 007 once again. He's only in his 40's but he's "retired" and currently lives in Indonesia. He was a great guy to meet at a tournament. I watched him jump to guard and triangle all his opponents. So I decided I was going to jump to his guard and see how he liked that. It surprised the crap out of him. I immediately started going for the triangle, arm bar, choke, combo. His face was getting red and I thought I had him, but he was one tough cookie. I got 2 advantage points. He was slowly escaping and I was trying to sweep. I could hear team mate yelling, "Sweep!, Sweep!" but no luck. He passed and got three points. He worked to a north south position and basically pinned me down til the clock ran out. I was never in any jeopardy of getting submitted. I wish the matches were a little longer. Oh well...

I learned a lot. I improvised my game plan. I don't normally jump to guard but I did and I found it effective. It's a legitimate strategy.

I met a lot of great people from around the world and had a great time. Thanks to all my team mates and competitors. I'll see you next year when I'll be shooting for the gold!

I'm on the left with the Silver medal.

<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

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