I learnt a lot in this training camp, in this competition, in winning and losing. I learnt champions aren’t the ones who always stand on the podium right away.
What people don’t see?
My first adults worlds at brown I was subbed with an armbar under 30 seconds.
My second adults worlds at brown I lost my first match on points.
My third? I made it to the finals and barely lost by an advantage.
I have to mention the energy of the tournament, it is the most intense and draining energy I have ever experienced in my life. As soon as you step into that pyramid you feel it, I’m surprised you can’t see it. It’s the nervous energy of thousands competitors with the best Jiu-Jitsu in the world putting it to the test in hopes of a title.
Today I gave it everything I had, and am more proud of my matches and performance than any other BJJ tournament. Because this one was my hardest by far. My only losses were due to not knowing the answers to what was coming at me technically Jiu-Jitsu wise. But this is why I am a brown belt, and this is why I am coming back for the gold. My losses weren’t because I gave up, my losses weren’t because I didn’t dig deep enough, my losses weren’t because I wasn’t focused, my losses weren’t because I wasn’t prepared, my losses were because I didn’t have the answers. And if I lose to someone who has better Jiu-JItsu than me, I respect that. They have won the battle, but they haven’t won the war.
I learnt through this training camp that being a champion isn’t what ONLY happens on the mats at worlds, a champion is what happens every day damn on and off the mats that gets ready for worlds. That nobody sees but them. And that’s the way it’s meant to be.
It would take me longer than this post to explain the scope of carefully articulated work that is entailed to bring me to this level, and the team that makes it possible.
I have to thank Superdave who last year at this time called me, and bawled me out for wearing myself out so ridiculously in the beginning of a match I should have won. From there on he has been strategically working with me on my Jiu-Jitsu. Best way to explain it is, he has high standards of me because he knows what I am capable of. Even today before the open division I was lying on the ground because I was exhausted in the bullpen and he tells me to get up and get moving to get ready for my matches. And to do well in them. He doesn’t care that I’m tired (quote “you can deal with tired later”) because he knows I’m capable of so much more. There’s no BS, only work to do. He is constantly challenging me as we strategically craft the next set of concepts for me to implement. From studying my opponents before the tournament to evaluating what happened today, then to the mats again as soon as I’m back in town - there’s never a dull moment.
I want to thank you to Jorden who coached me in all my matches today. To have a coach who knows my game, and know the rule set inside and out was a game changer for me. At one point he was yelling at me to put my knee on the mats in the open division during a match, (I didn’t know why, but Jorden knew that would be two points for a sweep) as I was trying to get her back, Jorden kept aggressively yelling it and my opponent wasn’t letting me do it. Finally I did and that scored me the two points to the win. Even more than that, Jorden has provided me with the opportunity to be partners in the gym and we have worked out a schedule so I can train every single day. In fact, if it weren’t for him I wouldn’t have a home gym at all with all my incredible training partners. To have him at the tournament today was such privilege, support, and treat (not to mention the Brazilian BBQ after!)
To Clint Cooper, who has been helping me immensely with the spiderwebs of technical guards. Clint also gives me such epic and relentless rounds that we call it the ‘Mundials’ every time we wrestle. Or I do anyways. Adding these battles to my training camp was one of the best decisions that I made in adjusting my training camp from Pans to Worlds. The hell Clint put me through was actually harder than the hell I went through today. And I can’t wait for more, not because I like the rounds. But because I need to find out what I am capable of.
Then Steph who is my main training partner, and who has the heart of a lion. That is the only way to describe her. We schedule our training and show up. Seems simple doesn’t it? Until your 8 months in. She is the most constant training partner I have every had in my life, and a lot of small wins today that led to the big ones are because of her. She drives me to be better every single training session in ways she probably doesn’t even realize. No questions, no excuses, we just train. We also find a lot of comfort suffering beside each other in kettlebell training as well. She’s the best training partner I could ever ask for. I must also give a shoutout to Erik her husband (who is a very knowledgeable black belt). Erik’s pure honesty with his attention and explanation of details cannot be described in words. Every now and then when he shows up on the mats and coaches us it is a game changer. I am grateful for his help in so many ways.
I wanted to give a massive thank you to Jason Van Montfoort from Lynpinch Personal Training who is my kettlebell coach and my nutritionist. Not at any point today did I feel overwhelmed by strength or gassed out, my conditioning was phenomenal at the highest level in the world and that because of him. Along with cutting my weight down but still being able to perform not for an hour or two, but today was 6 hours of the most intense competing I have every done in my life. This gave me a massive edge today and I would recommend Jason to anyone who is ready to make it to the next level.
Thank you to my training partners, you know who you are. Who wrestle me, and wrestle me hard because you know that is exactly what I need to be prepared and to compete in these tournaments.
And of course my sponsors who keep me on the mats: Joel from Prime Physiotherapy (after pan ams both my elbows were in so much pain I couldn’t even wrestle, he worked with me on them and we got them healed up incredibly quickly to get ready for worlds training camp), Jason from Lynchpin Personal Training, Brett from BC Kimonos who gears me with the best armour for battle (he actually suited me with a beautiful gi that weights only 3.5 pounds, helped massively with my weight cut), and Yoga for BJJ. The yoga has helped me in a massive way in not only flexibility, but also recovery (use my code BJJSARAH for two free weeks, and to enjoy your discount and have your life changed by Sebastians yoga)