Most of you will be aware that I competed in the JMIM on the weekend. Given that is the case I thought I should provide a report on how things went.
I arrived at Chris Legaud's on Friday and we headed off for weigh-in (BTW thanks to Paul for running the Friday class it was a great help!). Chris had been over during the day but the scales weighed lighter than we expected. Both of us came in at 64.something, so easily made weight in the end. We then went back to Chris' and ate heartily.
On Saturday one of the other u73kg didn't arrive so it was decided that Chris (now playing for Victoria instead of France) and I would play each other in the u66kg division before doing it again in the u73kg division with Matthais Clinkert (who won that division last year and beat me in the open as well), to allow him to have a couple of fights. The ex-pat Europeans sure made my mat life difficult and I am certainly feeling the after effects as I write this little report.
Bout one was against Chris, we were congratulated all around for the spectacle and lovely movement which was nice to hear. I had a couple of opportunities early when Chris attempted right uchi matas and missed but I was a little too defensive and couldn't capitalise. It was over 2 minutes in before we had any break. This was great as it meant we were both attacking but terrible because we were both stuffed. At about 2 minutes 40 I was caught by a left uchi mata that did just enough for the referee to can ippon.
The next bout saw Chris against Matthais. This fight went into extra time with Matthais getting a couple of breaks of balance but no scores. Chris get Matthais onto his back once but couldn't complete the throw. Matthais was given the final decision 3 flags to 0.
Ten minutes or so later it was my turn to play Matthais. I think I did the bulk of the work early and came pretty close to a strangle but over the course of the first three minutes things evened out with me sneaking in a couple rests while he looked for opportunities to develop some groundwork techniques. My last ditch efforts in extra time weren't quite enough and I lost 2 flags to 1 at the end.
The last fight was with Chris again to complete the u73kg section. That sneaky left uchi mata caught me with 15 seconds to go but only for a yuko. I couldn't make it up before the buzzer.
In a really exciting development, it seems that next year the organisers have been asked to put on JMIM in conjunction with the Oceania Masters Tournament which will hopefully increase the numbers of shiai competitors. I also hope this will be enough to encourage some more of our mature fighters back onto the mat to join me.