First, before I get so worked up about going backwards I should instead consider that maybe I simply wasn't as far along as I thought. And either way, the way forward is clear enough.
Looking back, I see that I was way more afraid of competing than I realized. This makes sense. I've never competed in any kind of sports before, ever. My childhood was spent avoiding the humiliation of sports at all costs and since that's impossible I have a lot of bad memories. I thought I was passed all that. It's been years! WHY NOW?
Anyway, I have finally found a place where it is actually safe to fail, where I won't be made fun of for being slow or weak as long as I keep working hard. It's incredibly valuable, but it can't undo a lifetime of fear in one day.
I was prepared to face my fear of competing. What I wasn't prepared for was the lifetime of childhood fears that ambushed me after my matches were over. The fear of being judged, of never fitting in, of feeling so alone. Feelings I had buried for years completely overwhelmed me.
It took about a day for me to recover enough to breathe properly. I wish I could say that those fears belong to different person, a younger me that no longer exists, but I can't. I will just have to work past these fears like I do all the others.
So, my first BJJ tournament ever was a disaster. I was completely terrified and I didn't even know it until after I had a match, when I had a complete emotional meltdown. Good times.
I'm better now. I have a chance to heal a few childhood scars and become a better person. So what if it now looks like more work than I thought?
Here's a list of some things to work on that actually matter to jiu-jitsu (this is not a complete list, I have a gazillion things to work on, these just stand out after Saturday):
- I really need to figure out how to get into deep half-guard. Seriously, it just confuses me, every bloody time, even when I manage it.
- Takedowns. Suck. They suck enough when you have a vague idea what you're doing but when your mind blanks out on you because you're SCARED OUT OF YOUR MIND it sucks worse.
- Sweeps. I don't get these. Pretty much any of them. I suppose I'll pick one or two and drill them until the weight distribution/timing thing starts to click. And then drill them some more.
- OMFG guillotines. First, I need to not stick my neck out like an idiot and second, if I fail at that I need to set up the defense faster. Its not like its hard.
- Knee-on-belly. This is a side project. Its not high priority, but its fun to try to set up and one day I might actually get it. I'm optimistic.