My Experience at Battle Grapple

Battle Grapple weekend was my first time not only competing on a grappling show, but in a sub only bout. At 35 years old i decided to take my grappling alot more seriously. I have dabbled in it since 2008 when i started competing in various forms of MMA. I didnt compete in a Gi until i was 37 and i got smashed to bits, so Grappling shall we say is not my strong suit. 

I heard about Battle Grapple through their match maker Nick and after a little thinking i just decided to go for it. I had not competed in anything for 18 months due to a couple of old injuries keeping out of two scheduled MMA bouts but i needed a test. Battle Grappl ecame up at the just the right time, a show as opposed to a tournament, a focused crowd, a new arena (for me at least) and one to tick off the martial arts bucket list for sure.

On arrival i was greeted by the Combat Performance team and shown to my warm up room and got changed and weighed in. I was informed i was going to be competing at a particular time and after a warm up and some time to relax i was called. 

Standing behind that curtain, waiting for the announcer to call me out to the arena, my legs felt heavy and i was, for the first time in quite a while, very nervous. Not only was i suddenly acutely aware of how little competing i had done in the last year and a half but i was also competing in the Gi, my weakest skill set. Funny thing is, no matter how close i may have got to having an internal melt down once i heard my name and i walked out to the arena and took a bow, all of those doubts went away. All of my experience of nearly 30 years of training and competing in various arts and rule sets washed all the anxiety away and i was just left with one little voice reminding me that its sport, not war. 

The bout started like all grappling bouts, a shake of hands between the competitors and the referee, the slap and bump of hands between the grapplers, and then we were off. 

After engaging Matt (my opponent) and we went back and forth with take down attempts and teasing shots before Matt pulled guard, which i fought hard to pass, after managing to pass guard i relaxed for a split second giving Matt the opportunity to regain his full guard back, and attack my lapels forcing me to rethink my positioning and look for a pass quickly, in my haste to get out of the guard i had not addressed Matts grip on the back of my gi so as i passed guard again this time into side control i realised too late Mat had secured a Gi choke around my collar and started to close it tight around my neck. After realising what was going on i found myself a little clunky to escape the choke causing a delay in position change and ultimately causing me to tap out before i went to sleep about 4mins in to the 6min frame. Disappointed but uninjured i stood up shook matts hand and plotted his just kidding, we spoke of rematching on the next one on August 4th, which i am down for for sure! 

All in all a great show, very well run, very well covered by photography, filming and even a live facebook broadcast. With tickets just £15 each there is no reason not to go, the rest of the card was stacked with some utter beasts in there showing their skills. Next card in August 4th at The Electric Theatre in Guildford, I for one will always support these guys events whenever they run one.  

See you at the next show! 

Wez Lucas

Chief Instructor