Gold at NSW State Championships - No Gi
Yesterday I competed in the NSW State Championships and was fortunate enough to come away with a gold medal in my weight class and a silver medal in the open weights for the No Gi part of this competition. I had 5 tough matches throughout the day and it was a great experience.
As always there were a lot of things I learned from the day and a lot of people that I am truly grateful for.
The biggest thing that stood out for me was how many sports rugby league carries over to. You see many former rugby league players or even current ones who convert to different sports adapt quite quickly to whatever it is they take up. Yesterday was the first time I have ever done No Gi. I haven't trained it at all. Now the thing is for my level of jiu-jitsu I don't do many different things with the Gi on then I would have anyway, as I don't have the skill, but I think my background in rugby league really helped me adapt to the No Gi and controlling opponents bodies without anything to grip on to. Also rugby league is a tough sport. I don't think that many other sports have the same amount of collision and impact as league does. I think the mindset you get from playing rugby league is what sets you up to adapt to other sports as much, if not more than the body awareness and other things
The reverse is also true. You can use principles from jiu-jitsu and apply these to rugby league. You see how much this helps when you look at teams like the Melbourne Storm and also when you look back a few years ago at Manly when Bruno was working with them. Whoever dedicates some time to it, and makes it specific for rugby league the best, tend to be the most successful teams. I have used my mate Kyle Fish many times to come down and teach us certain things which helps the boys control ruck speed much better.
Next thing is the importance of strength training and nutrition. Many people don't really understand what each of these really are as there is so much information out there that I feel they are confused. In the jiu-jitsu world, a lot of people see callisthenics and kettlebell training as strength training. I don't. Squats, deadlifts, chins, presses, power cleans, power snatches etc. make up the majority of
my training along with a lot of assistance or accessory work for my external rotators, hamstrings and VMO for example. It is strength work not a conditioning session. I see a lot do high rep work with minimal rest and just turn what they think is strength training into a conditioning workout.
With nutrition you see jiu-jitsu athletes starve themselves. This isn't the way to go and you have to have your diet in check long before you decide to compete. There is so much to this but that is my biggest observation.
For this comp I didn't change anything from my regular plan. I didn't do extra conditioning work, cut out nutrition, anything like that. I have a solid day to day routine which allows me to compete pretty much at anytime of the year. While I may not have been in absolute peak shape I could get there in a very short time period.
Finally, the most important part of everything, having great people around you. I am very lucky to have a great family who have always loved supported me 100% in everything I do, I have the best partner in the world in Gem who is always there for me and never holds me back from chasing dreams and doing the things I enjoy, and I have great mentors.
I get to learn from the very best in so many fields. Learning from Bruno, Aaron, Igor and training with my good mate Fishy, allows me to learn a lot in much less time. I don't get to spend hours a day training jiu-jitsu so each session has to be very focused if I want to progress. I can also call upon these guys and ask questions about certain positions or situations and they are more than happy to help out which I truly appreciate. Time is the most precious thing and between us there is never a moment where someone wouldn't give as much time as needed. I feel so present around these guys and that is something that only happens when you are around like minded people who are trying to be the best the can be.
Also great training partners teach you a lot as well. I have to thank Graham and Mike as I spend a lot of time rolling with them. In between rolls when we are training hard they will tip me up on things I am doing wrong and things I can work on and this helps a lot. Lucas has helped out with some drills over the past weeks and just hanging around and listening to everyone talk, you pick up so many things as well.
Again I can't thank Fishy enough. If I didn't help him cut a heap of weight in a short time period and have him still compete very well, I would never have met Bruno and the boys. It was because of this moment Gem and I got to meet some great new life long friends and something I will never forget. You have to remember where things started and show the respect to those that have helped you along the way.
"I am not a self made man. I got a lot of help...Like everyone, to get where I am, I stood on the shoulders of giants." - Arnold Schwarzenegger