Weight was a concern, as I was hovering right where I needed to be a week or two beforehand. It was close though, and I would have much rather had several pounds cushion but I didn't. Flew in Thursday night, compete Friday night. Checked my weight Friday afternoon and was one tenth of a pound over with my gi over my cargo shorts, which had a bunch of crap in the pockets. I figured that I was probably a half pound under, but that didn't leave me much leeway to eat or drink.
The vibe in the building was intense, so I decided to spend the bulk of the afternoon sitting in a quiet grassy spot away from the venue. I tried to nap and not worry about the fact that I wasn't competing until 6pm on an empty stomach (no food the night before either). It was a loooooooong wait. Other than nutrition I felt pretty peaceful about the whole thing. Ended up with a bit of a sunburn, but didn't realize it until I got back to the hotel that night.
Finally it's time to at least go in the building. Walter and Chris were both there, which was cool for coaching but frustrating in that I felt like I had to spend time with them when I would have rather been prepping on my own. Stretched a bit on the mats under bleachers. Walter tried to warm me up but was not helpful to my confidence at all. I was already feeling like I was exerting too much and getting out of breath, and again tried to not stress about lack of nutrition.
Decide to go weigh in so that I could at least have some water, and came in at 160.6. Good grief, that's a fair amount of food and water that I could have consumed. Again, poor planning on my part by not weighing myself with compression gear instead of shorts. Gi passes no problem and it's on to the mat.
No real plan to start the match. I figured I would try to gi drag, but I didn't really try at all and ended up in guard. Pretty quickly got swept and thought 'oh shit, this is really, really bad'. Managed to recover to a decent half guard and then full guard. Knew I had plenty of time to work, so stayed patient and didn't panic. She inexplicably kept putting her hands high on my collar, so I tried trapping a side and flower sweep. Didn't really commit to it though and failed. Tried to trap her arm a second and a third and got it good enough to attempt an arm-bar. She stood up but I had a good grip and finished. Was so damned excited to get a win.
I knew that I had about an hour until my next match, so I hung out near the mat. Sat for most of the time, again worried about conserving energy. I was keeping an eye on the order of fights and it looked like there would be a blue belt match and then my next one. But no, they scrapped the blues so I got called up sooner than I thought. I had done a light warm-up, but wasn't really warm. Went out, she pulled guard immediately. Another quick sweep. Damn it. I couldn't really get to a good half guard though, as she was already in a knee cut position and making life difficult. I kept fending off the knee cut but not really improving the position. Almost came up for a sweep once, couldn't complete. Had a kimura at one point and should have really wrenched it, but didn't and she was able to escape and keep top position. Eventually she passed, got to side control and a great lapel grip that finished with a choke.
I was bummed that I lost and felt like I wasn't really doing jiu jitsu or implementing what I know at all, but overall happy that I went down and tried. Talking to Chris and Walter after the match though made me feel worse, as Walter said I made kid mistakes and Chris mentioned like eighteen different things I did wrong. They weren't trying to bring me down, but it made me feel like I was a crappy brown belt. Later on I felt better after time had passed and I talked to James on the phone the next day.
Watching the black belt matches on Sat and Sun was freaking awesome. Definitely a top five if not number one jiu jitsu experience I've had. I was so, so happy that I decided to fly out Monday morning instead of Sunday night, otherwise I would have missed a bunch of the finals.
Overall I'm really happy that I went. I dearly wish I could have brought home a medal, but in the end I'm proud that I tried and can say that I had a submission victory at brown belt Worlds. That's not nothing.