Yesterday was good, but today was even better!! Between yesterday and today I did not get stronger, but I did get better. I spent most of the night studying positions and preparing my technique for the no gi division today and once again set out to prove Technique Conquers All. I won a tough light feather division and then moved on to the absolute. In the semifinal match my opponent was very strong and I was roughed up a bit but pulled off the win. In the final it was a rematch with Bruno Antunes and this time I made sure I was prepared. I won and was crowned the 2012 American Nationals no gi black belt champ in both my weight division AND the absolute! Technique really does conquer all!!
Our team also did exceptionally well today. Samir Chantre and Osvaldo “Queixinho” Augusto closed out their division! For Samir it was his 6th gold medal at American Nationals while Queixinho finished out the tournament undefeated (closed out his gi with his former team mate). In the brown belt divisions Manny Diaz got second and Victor Paschal got third.
I’d like to take moment to thank my family, and sponsors for making this all possible. I am now sponsored by Gameness and I have to say their gi and no gi equipment was very good. I’d also like to thank versaclimber which I used extensively during the week to help me prepare.
Finally I’d like to dedicate my victory to our team for pushing me to be better. Without training partners and a supportive association I would not be able to do what I do. To everyone else keep training and work on technique not strength because in the end Technique Conquers All!