Sunday, March 8, 2009

Team Ronin & The Return From Arnold - - 08 March 2009

The Three Competitors from Team Ronin:  (left to right)  Muah: No Gi Lightweight, Clem: No Gi Featherweight, Mike: No Gi & Gi Heavyweiht. I may need to work on my Snarl.

Damn, what a trip!  We departed approximately 8am Friday and returned approximately 6am Sunday covering, again approximately, a thousand miles.  All for one extremely long day of waiting, anticipating and being... in the midst of one day of mass competition. 

To describe it all would take too long for a single post.  There were people, lots of people. Professional MMA fighters, celebrities, The Govinator, The Hulk, body builders, women body builders, olympic weightlifters, gymnasts, eye candy girls, protein shakes, and testosterone, more testosterone, and holy hell if there was any more testosterone the Columbus, OH convention center may have imploded

We competed at the NAGA (North American Grappling Association) World Grappling tournament at the Arnold's World Classic.  Two first time competitors and a veteran competitor made up our team, Team Ronin.  

As a first time competitor, from a team sport background, never having even seen a martial arts competition and this being the second largest annual tournament in the United States, I can only provide describing phrases and the hackneyed cliche You had to be there

Too many people, too little space, too much confusion and too much waiting. 
Anxiety, fear, hope and dreams, daydreams and frustration building. 
The security of being with your team and the pull of insignificance. 
Suddenly, presence,
All eyes upon you on a furiously nonchalant stage, 
Blood...Whom's...Relax and play your game.  
Intensity strikes,
and vanishes, 
Hell just happened and I'll soon remember,
I survived and I fought and I was left standing, wanting.
But the wait is over and so fades the weight. 
Euphoria begins and rational thoughts slowly creep in,
Stayed by pints, laughs and teammates smiles, 
The explosion of violence more than covers the miles.

To see more photos from the event click here.

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