Monday, January 30, 2017

Refereeing off the Mat

I spent yesterday refereeing at the Events BJJ Initiator Crown, after a really interesting and fun day on Saturday getting together with Machado brown and black belts at Langes MMA, and doing some Jiu Jitsu training.

The competition was held at Ryde Aquatic Centre. If you think it was humid where you were yesterday, consider competing or officiating in a hangar-sized space with no air conditioning and minimal insulation, adjoining a large, enclosed, and partially heated body of water. Like a steam bath.

After a mildly hectic start due to the head referee's plane from Melbourne being delayed, the competition ran well. Highlights were the two black belt matches between Andre Powell and Shaher Khan, one of which I was lucky enough to referee.

On one of my half hour breaks, I was wandering around the hall, dressed in my black referee's pants and black "Referee - Events BJJ" T shirt, trying to clear my mind and return to the Zone before my next stint on the mat.

I came across a mother, dressed in denim shorts and a red Gracie Barra T shirt, playing half guard bottom with her preteen son, similarly dressed, on the wooden floor, no mats, among the spectators. Our eyes met, I gave her "two points" verbally along with the hand signal. We both laughed. A fun, spontaneous moment that only Jiu Jitsu and all its related rabbit hole craziness could have brought about.

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