One of my buddies asked why I didn’t have an interest in competing in Brazilian Jiujitsu. The thing is that I do have an interest and when I am ready to compete, I will compete. He then proceeded to mock me and say that I didn’t compete because I was scared. So I sent him this picture of me in action at the Underground Combat League.
Before Mixed Martial Arts became so mainstream or even legal in NY, I was part of an underground network of combat fighters who bounced around the city testing themselves against whomever had the guts to fight. This particular fight was at a gritty location in the Bronx. The fight was a Vale Tudo rules match. Vale Tudo literally translates to “anything goes.” This was true no holds barred combat fighting.
I was supposed to fight a beginner like myself, but that guy didn’t show up. As such my opponent was switched to a guy who was way more experienced than I was. Once I realized who my opponent was going to be, I knew that I was done for, yet I sucked it up and still stepped in the ring. I thought that win, lose or draw, I was going to compete. Also, I thought that I had a punchers chance.
Anyway, I got my ass whooped, but I didn’t give up or tap out. Even as the punches rained down on my face and head, I didn’t give up. The ref called the fight and marked it as a “stoppage due to unanswered strikes.”
Quoting MMA Journalist Jim Genia from his NYPress article below:
At the referee’s signal, the two circle each other. Then Montanez throws a high kick, transitions into a smooth takedown, and in no time a familiar scene plays out. Straddling his opponent’s chest, Montanez showers Rodriguez with punches. This time, however, the man taking punishment is too stubborn to tap out, so the referee steps in and calls it. The wrestler earns another win. Montanez and Rodriguez shake hands.
After the referee stopped the fight, I got up and I hugged and then shook my opponent’s hand. Considering this, it stands to reason that there is no way I’m scared to compete in the much safer, much more controlled and regulated sport of jiujitsu.
The fact of the matter is that I am a beginner, and I don’t think I’m all that good. I’m just learning about grips and breaking some bad smasher habits. I haven’t competed yet because I don’t want to make my coaches or school look bad by losing carelessly.
Personally, I don’t care if I lose in competition, winning ain’t that serious to me. I’m okay with winning or losing in competition, after all, those are the only two possible outcomes. I understand that for every win you can also encounter a loss. You can’t have one without the other.
That being said, it is my belief that if you are going to compete and you are going to try, you better be fucking serious, committed and really make a damn effort. At this point in my life, I’m not willing to put myself through that. I’m still focused on dropping weight, regaining my flexibility, and overall health. I’m not willing to cut weight drastically, or train BJJ 7 days a week, twice a day, my body can’t do that just yet, and it’s not conducive towards my other fitness goals and priorities.
I’m just not willing to represent my coaches if I’m not going to train the way that I’m supposed to in order to do my best. That’s not fair to me, my coaches, my team, my school, or even to my opponent. They too deserve to fight someone who has properly prepared, and if they get a win, they are gonna have to fucking earn it! No freebies or easy wins off of my back!
Since I am a representative of my school on the mats, I will not make my school look bad by competing without properly preparing. The day I do decide to compete, win, lose or draw, I’ll be giving 100% all the way. If I do lose, it won’t be because I didn’t prepare, it will be because my opponent was better than I was. Until I’m ready to go there, I will not shame my school by competing.
So no, I’m not scared at all. I’ve survived much worse than a controlled sports competition. When I am ready, I’ll compete, or I won’t. And I’m good with that either way.