With the 7th Southwest Classic quickly approaching on October 10th and 11th, competitors are busy making arrangements and planning out their training schedules. While the preparation for the tournament is now the main focus, competitors are also thinking about the day of the tournament. Whether you are a seasoned competitor or someone who is thinking about signing up for his or her first tournament, it is often helpful to hear from experienced competitors on how they handle competition day. Lotus Club brown belt Sean Downie competed and coached at the 2015 Arizona State Jiu Jitsu Championships, which took place on June 27th and 28th at Desert Vista High School in Phoenix. Sean was kind enough to discuss the tournament with us.
-Can you talk us through your day at the AZ State Championships? How many matches did you have and how did they go?
My day started off by arriving at the tournament around 9:30 to be there to coach my kids. This is always the toughest aspect of competitions for me, coaching my kids all morning and then competing myself. I had 10 kids from my gym compete Saturday so it was a long day for me. My kids did awesome, 6 of them winning gold and the other 4 taking either second or third, which was a big part of Lotus Club’s points for the 3rd place kids’ trophy.
After the kids finish I flip the mental switch from coach to competitor, throw on my headphones and start to focus. I knew I was going to be in for some really tough fights Saturday, having rolled with and competed against Daniel Hampton plenty of times and also having rolled with Horlando a few times. I know they are both world class competitors and started to prepare for possibly facing both of them back to back. I ended up making a mistake and leaving my lapel open for Daniel to find the choke in our weight class, which he took advantage of flawlessly. In the open weight I got a bye through the first round and was able to watch everyone go through their first fights, which I feel helped me prepare mentally for my fights. I felt confident that the open weight would be a rematch between Daniel Hampton and me. I was correct, as Daniel made it through his two opponents and I secured my spot with a submission in the second round. I was able to catch Daniel in a knee bar and secure the win in the open weight for brown belt adults. Along with my win in the adult open weight, my teammate Claudio Rios took double gold securing the brown belt masters open weight title along with my adult open weight, which was pretty cool.
Congratulations Sean and thank you very much for your time! You can sign up for the Southwest Classic by going to gdjjevents.com.