|Posted by Anthony Sansonetti on January 11, 2015 at 12:20 AM|
One of my competition goals for 2013 was to compete in the Sambo World Championship. It was scheduled to be help in late October in Burgas, Bulgaria. After winning both the USA and British Championships earlier in the year, I felt it was a good time to make a run at the Worlds. I was feeling fast, strong, and confident, and my mind was on training and competition every day. I was training with my team on Long Island, plus also making trips into manhattan to New York Combat Sambo where I would train with my long time friend and Sambo coach Stephen Koepfer and his stable of fighters. Over the previous year I was training more in Judo, and making trips upstate to train at the Jason Morris Judo Center. Jason Morris, for those that don't know, is a 4 time Olympian, he won a Silver medal at the 1992 Olympics, and he was also the USA Olympic coach. The Judoka that train at JMJC are among the very best in the country, many move away from home to live and train there in the hopes that they will one day fullfil their Olympic dreams. It is not recreational Judo, it is hard, tough training, with the best. This also helped my development tremendously as there is so much crossover between Judo and Sambo.
So there I was, in mid July, wanting to get ready for the World Chamionship in 3 months. The big problem I had was that there were not many Sambo tournaments to compete in. I didn't like the fact that I would have to wait 3 months to compete again.
Catch Wrestling in Philadelphia
I saw an advertisement for a late August Catch Wrestling Tournament in Philadelphia. I figured it would be good experience as i am very familiar with Catch Wrestling and have trained many fighters to compete in it in the past.
I did well at the catch tournament. I won a Silver Medal in my weight class, but then went on to win the Openweight division, winning the Frank Gotch award and becoming the Openweight East Coast Champion. Not a bad day at all!
Canadian Catch Wrestling and Freestyle Sambo Championships
The following week on September 7th, was the Montreal Freestyle Sambo Tournament and also the Canadian Catch Wrestling Championships. I decided to compete in both. Long Island to Montreal is about a 6 hour drive through beautiful and scenic upstate new York. I decided to leave early in the A.M. to avoid trafiic through NYC. As I was packing my gear for the trip, my son who was almost a year old, was being changed in the other room and had fallen off the bed. He had quickly crawled away and fell, he is so fast! He had a bloody nose and bump on his head. I have seen many people bleed before, I have seen horrible broken bones, but this was the first time I saw my son bleed and it really bothered me. I stayed calm, stopped the bleeding, we called the Dr, and the baby was fine. I drove up to Montreal the next morning, calling home often to make sure my son was ok. I felt nervous and stressed about the baby falling, and it kept my mind occupied most of the time. Usually when I compete I am in a great mood the day before, I truly get excited about being on the mat and competing. This was different though, I was stressed and conflicted, and feeling guilty I was not with my son (even though he was fine). The day before the competition I was crossing the street in Montreal and a car came speeding around a corner and almost hit me, I immediately slammed my hand down on the car as it passed by. That type of behavior is very unusually for me. Normally, I would just hold my hands up in a "WTF?" manner. The driver didn't stop, which is good, as I would probably be Blogging from a Canadian prison right now. I was too stressed, conflicted, turmoil, starting to feel in a dark place. it could have been that I competed just one week prior and maybe I needed to rest more to let my nervous system calm down. The next day, I was not really "on" during competition. My mind was wandering. I still did good on the day, I won Silver in Freestyle Sambo, Bronze in my weight class in Catch Wrestling, and also Silver in the Open Weight Division. I even had a 20 second victory by heelhook in the Open Weight Division, and I also beat a 260 lbs BJJ Blackbelt. I think I did good in spite of myself. I could have done better and that bothered me. I was unusually tired during the matches. After the tournament, my friend Stephen Koepfer, who ran the Sambo tournament, complimented me overall, but said I looked a little slower than I normally do. I take criticism well, considering I am writing this a year and a half later and still remember it!!
Final thougths on 2013
After Montreal I decided not to go and compete in Bulgaria. I had too many other issues to deal with. Both time and money were factors as well. Although, when I look back on it, 2013 certainly was a great year! I went to New Orleans, the Arnolds, England, Sicily, and Montreal. I won some medals and a few Championships! Every tournament I did, I finished in the top 3. I made new friends, strengthened friendships with old friends, and I tried my best to do all I could for the people I loved to most!
"I will strive for perfection, knowing that "perfection" is the realization that it does not exist. I accept this.....and go forward bravely." - Me