Category Archives: Buckeye Border

Buckeye Border & Team Support at Tournaments

This past weekend was the Buckeye State Grappling Championship… aka the Buckeye Border. Thanks to Deon Thompson from Brasa for the great tournament! Our team did AWESOME! The kids fought hard, the adults fought hard, and Ribeiro walked away with a ton of medals! I’m always proud of how hard my teammates train for a tournament, and how much heart they show on the mats.

Buckeye Border 2013 – 1st place!
In a crazy stroke of luck there ended up being 2 other blue belt girls in my weight class(there were actually going to be FOUR of us believe it or not, but one was a no show). Not bad at all for a local tournament. And I won both matches to get my first gold medal (and yes, I’m proud of my medal collection)! I had incredible support from my teammates, and had great coaches. Even my family and my best friend came to watch my matches!  I went in and played my game, and felt 100x more comfortable during this tournament because I was controlling the game.  (First match won by points from a flower sweep… ironically the very first jiu jitsu move I ever learned… and second with an Ezekiel).

The two girls I fought were amazing! They both were fierce competitors but also wonderful people, and I’m happy I got to meet them.

The two wonderful blue belts – Sarah and Hope! 

So, what did I learn most at this tournament? I need to learn a good single x-guard pass. But more than that, I learned that even though you’re the only one fighting, you are never alone. I don’t really think jiu jitsu is a “solo” sport as much as it is a team sport. Every single move I made during the tournament was because I had repped it or encountered it over and over again with my teammates in the academy. I was able to remain calm and focused because my teammates were there to remind me to calm down and to flow roll a bit to warm up. I could play my game because I was confident in my abilities knowing I put in the mat time with my teammates and could figure out the best game for me. And I could do all this that day because I had incredible coaches on the sidelines during the tournament.

So I think of my medal as much more of a team effort than an individual one. As a black belt once wrote you cannot do this sport by yourself. This sport is hard, but it’s so rewarding. Trying to explain to someone who doesn’t do jiu jitsu what it’s like for your hand to be held up at the end of a match is impossible because it encompasses so many emotions and feelings, but it’s what keeps you going back day after day.

Vince Lombardi once said,

“I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious.”

And I couldn’t agree more.

Also, a huge THANK YOU to all RJJA guys from all the other academies who took a second or two out of their day to wish me luck on Saturday and/or introduce themselves. I absolutely LOVE being a part of the Ribeiro family!
Part of my awesome team!


It was also SO GREAT to see all the girls who represented at the tournament 🙂 Small but fierce and proud group!