No-Gi FO 2019 Adventures: Week 43 of Jiu-Jitsu

“Are you going to watch the No-Gi Finnish Open and do you have a camera?” a training partner asked. I said no, the one I had is yet to be replaced. “I’ll lend you mine so you can photograph at the event”, was the reply. And that was that.ย 

There Goes the Weekend

Laura and Liisi from 3D Treening had asked to stay with us for the No-Gi Finnish Open. They were, as suspected, a delight and a joy to have as houseguests. Laura has been doing this BJJ blogging thing far longer than me and Estonian speakers can read about her No-Gi FO 2019 here. There were also 10 training partners from Crest competing at the tournament, so I had plenty of reason to watch matches for all of Saturday and most of Sunday.

I used to love photography, when I still owned a camera. I don’t think I’ll ever become the kind of cool sports photographer who hunts slick action shots of hip throws and somersaults. But jiu-jitsu competitions offer a wonderful possibility to study people. People giving their all and winning, or giving their all and still losing. People fearing for their friend’s health or ego, and people bumping cheerfully into old acquaintances. And occasionally I saw some pretty amazing execution of BJJ techniques. Like a guillotine making a contestant tap in under 30 seconds. Luckily I had decided to only photograph training partners, friends and interesting things. Otherwise I would have lost my mind pretty early in the weekend.

I want to share some moments with you from the weekend, in photographs.

One. The Wedding Guest Who Got a Medal

Samu from our gym (left) won bronze in his weight class – but couldn’t stay to pick up the medal, he had a wedding to attend. He literally ran off the mat after the last match and into a waiting car. BJJ has gotten important to me too, but I probably wouldn’t have the guts to cram my schedule that full. ๐Ÿ˜€

Two. Best Outfit on a Beast

Sirla from Estonia is a multitude of things, including a creative who knows about stencils. She printed her own rash guard for the comp! Her BJJ is also a form of glittery magic, as far as I can tell.

Three. Happy to Win and to Lose

It was Laura’s first competition as a blue belt. She won her first match and faced a young world champion in the second. The champion won, but Laura scored two points. This picture is one of my favourites from the weekend: it’s okay to choke one another and then be all smiles afterwards. Laura got bronze in her weight category.

Four. That Feeling When…

… you have to fight someone from the same gym in a major tournament. Christian (left) lost to Joni, who is almost 40 and ended up winning gold in his category. Christian got bronze.

Five. Badarse Women Brownbelts Being Badarse

’nuff said.

This weekend was exhilarating and emotional and draining and lovely. I felt proud for all my teammates or friends again, regardless if they won or lost. Competing is usually pretty fucking hard, anyone who puts themselves out there on the mat fills me with awe.

I almost got exited to compete again myself. Though I might have changed my mind by the time I’m actually supposed to be doing it. ๐Ÿ˜€

1 thought on “No-Gi FO 2019 Adventures: Week 43 of Jiu-Jitsu”

  1. Three. Happy to Win and to Lose
    Love it when people don’t take it personally. Of course one is suppose to lose and one suppose to win. I can never understand people frowning after losing the competition

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