WOW. It’s now Monday night and 24 hours ago I was in one of the biggest Judo matches of my life.
Nationals were going well. I had a bye first round, won my next fight with uchi mata (which was a monumental moment) and then won the semi final by throwing my opponent for wazari with uchi mata (again I know!) and then choking him.
The final.......... my game plan had been to grip fight my butt off, pressure my opponent and get as many shidos on him as possible. I was breaking even on grips and not dominating how I wanted. We both got a shido for not engaging. We engaged in some attacks that ended up off the edge of the mat; and instead of walking past me back to his line, my opponent decided to get in my face and try a bit of a stare down. I didn't flinch and the line in the sand had been drawn so to speak. After another minute or so I managed to lock down one side and was looking for a reaction to drop under for sumi gaeshi. Unfortunately, the referees penalised me for a one-sided grip and not him for dropping to his knees. After some more gripping we both got shido's and it was yuko for me wazari against.
I was now in a bit of trouble, another shido and I was disqualified. The realisation triggered something in my brain. The next time I got a grip I dragged him along and launched into a drop seio which planted him flat on his back. Considering I was planning on not committing into a single full fledged attack in the whole fight because of my bad shoulder it was a bit of a surprise!
I couldn't celebrate straight away because the side judge froze and neither signalled that the throw was inside or outside the fighting area. I walked back to the line hoping one of the referee's would make the bloody call. i heard a bit of a noise from the crowd and saw that the ref commission had walked to the side of the mat. That meant one thing: they thought the throw was valid.
When the centre referee came back and signalled my Ippon, I was ecstatic!!!
I won't get into the lack of sportsmanship that followed. However, if I provoked any of it, I am sorry I was caught up in the emotion of it all.
AFTERMATH.........my shoulder hurts like hell. I will get some more scans this week and find out what sort of rehab I will need to do. Hopefully a couple of easy weeks and I'll be right to train my butt off for Oceania, NSW Open, Miami World Cup, US Open and the Worlds (all in 1 month Aug-Sep 2010).