Just like walking down memory lane, I enter the night club for the interclub and basically there were mats put down on the dancefloor, the fencing around the dancefloor had mats leant against them and it was cold.
This is how most of us 'old skool' guys started out, before purpose built gyms and wall to wall matting, we would train anywhere, sometimes without mats just on a piece of old carpet. The first interclub MMA matches we did was exactly the same, some mats, some space and some eager participants. Absolutely perfect.
In fact the interclub organiser, Spenna, fought his first MMA match in one of our interclubs that were exactly the same as this and he went on to fight pro in some of the country's biggest shows and competed internationally so if this interclub could springboard someone to that sort of level, that would be awesome.
Also reverting back to the no judges' decision rule that we used to use, either win by sub or stoppage, lose by same or draw, that's it. No points, no decisions, simple.
I had thought over this long and hard when we were doing regular interclubs that if a guy completely dominates another guy but ends in a draw, is it really fair? I came to the conclusion that it was, if you can't finish the guy then it means he has some defence and desereves some credit.
Anyway I'm rambling now so back to the interclub. A great turn out from the Fulinkazan clubs and invited friends kept the action going, no lulls just one great match after another. Mainly aimed at giving guys some competition experience so what they lacked in experience they made up for in enthusiasm, every guy giving 100% on the day.
From Combat Base we had Tom Keough making his amateur MMA debut who thoroughly impressed me all round, he dominated both opponents with some crisp striking, good takedowns and some dominating groundwork. Right at the end of the 1st fight he faked a leg kick and executed a superman punch that echoed round the club, something he had only learned 30 minutes earlier!!
Nige Tunningley was in the heavyweight grappling division and, though not small himself, faced some big guys. Against both opponents Nige showed some good standing wrestling getting good takedowns to go to ground where again he imposed his game. Managing to pass guard and having submission attempts both matches ended in draws after full time.
Final Combat Base guy was Paul Lawrence who is brand new to us but very game and wanted to try competition straightaway. He was doing some good work, got the takedown, escaped a tight looking guillotine and passed guard to side control. A scramble ensued and Paul showed his back to his opponent who didn't need a 2nd opportunity jumping on Paul working for the RNC eventually getting the tap.
After all the matches were done, trophies for sub of the day and fighter of the day were given out then ALL the competitors received a medal, whilst this has been criticised before by various people I think it is an excellent gesture to the guys that gave up so much time to train, put themselves in a stressful position having to fight someone they didn't know and whether it is a cliche or not, I firmly believe that everyone who competes is a winner regardless of the result.
As I finish off so many interviews and reports etc with the same thing I hope people now recognise how important it is to be the 'man in the arena'. Everyone wants to win, sometimes you do but sometimes you don't but the main thing is that you try.
Can't wait for the next one.
Well done Spenna and Team Fulinkazan.