About eleven people in my division means some people got a bye for the first round. I wasn't so lucky. I had a total of three fights, which got me a podium. All of my fights I pulled guard, for a couple of reasons. One of them is that I am very confortable on my back and I have a few deadly sweeps I can use, another being that I don't want to be taken down since I lack takedown skills. Once my takedowns and escapes get better, I will risk working for a takedown, since I have a usable guard to fall back on. However, I still believe the guard is the most valuable asset in anyone's game, and is hardest to develop, so should be focused on as soon as possible.
I finished the first fight with a choke from the back, since the guy was busy stopping my second hook from getting in (instead of working his escape). It was pretty funny, since I felt that point of no going back, when his defense were broken, and he pretty much gave up (as in knew he was losing, so was like what the hell, and used half his usual strength). I've noticed I used a shipload of strength that fight, which made it hard for me to do my second and third fights. Apparently the guy has been training for three years. After pulling guard, I worked a DLR sweep which failed, transitioned to tripod, which got me an advantage. The guy started running away from me, but had his leg. Took him down. He turned his back away and I got mount. Put my first hook in and started working on the second one. As he stopped it, I worked a choke and he tapped.
My second fight I don't remember all that well, but I do remember being gassed the hell out. Pulled guard and worked for a double grip on his left arm. Tried to work my sweeps but guys were smart enough to lift the knee off the ground. This guy lost patience and worked a straight ankle lock. Now I have to thank our professor as well as Mitch for having trained us both theoretically and practically at escaping an ankle lock. Without their help I would probably have tapped out. The guy crossed his outer leg on my knee for a knee reap, but the ref corrected him and let the fight continue. I basically got a free sweep as I stood up with my leg planted on the ground. He closed half-guard, and I squeezed his legs together to pass. Held him down in side control, but time ran out before I could continue my attack. All the while, the guy was trying to choke me from his half guard. I just put my first on his throat every time he did that, and he had to let go.
Third fight, I was really dead. So dead I didn't want to fight anymore, but thanks to Luigi I got out there. I pulled guard. The other guy was clearly a top guy. After a few spazzy attempts to pass my guard, he got to this knees and tried to work from there. The whole stinkin' time he tried to go for a single underhook as I tried to force him to stand up. I tried to sweep him, but got no advantage for it. Tried to choke him from closed guard, again no advantage. He tried to pass and he gets the advantage... 0-0 points 1-0 advantages for him. For me that wasn't a loss. If you can't even pass my guard, you can't call yourself better than me.
I've learned that I need more options for my guard, and concentrate on linking techniques better next time.