I Lost At The Pan Ams pt. II

March 20

Gracie Humaitá Austin Student #1: On Thursday, our very own Justin will be competing at the Pam Ams and even though we cannot be in the stands we can be with him in spirit. Wishing you good jiu-jitsu – be first, be focused and be sharp!

Gracie Humaitá Austin: Justin Baize will represent with the patch on his back, the fire in his heart, and the team by his side. No better representative to have in battle than JB. Impose your will. Don’t give your opponents an inch, and never let them get started with their game. This is how you win championships. It’s not who has the better game. It’s who forces the match to their best game.

March 21

My Instructor: Let’s all align our hearts and minds with Justin today as he prepares to step on the mat for the Pan Ams today. He and Darren Branch will be repping our family at the tournament this weekend. Today for Justin, Saturday for our man Keebler.


[Time passes]

GHA Student #2: Getting pumped for Justin to represent Gracie Humaitá Austin on the mat!!!

[Time passes]

GHA: Justin Baize is up

My Match

GHA: Hard fought match by our monster aka Justin Baize, today he came up a just a bit short but, we all know that he will come back stronger. One Team. One Family. One Legacy.

My Instructor: Congrats to Justin for stepping up. I guarantee you that after his training for the tournament, the Justin of today would kick the crap out of the Justin from a month ago. And that’s the point.

GHA Student #3: It takes great courage, complete dedication and countless hours of work just to get out there and compete at that level. Thank you Justin for giving it your all and going out there to represent!

GHA Student #1: You fought hard and I’m very proud of you.

GHA Student #4: You’re a warrior Justin! You’re an excellent role model & prime example of the jiu jitsu practitioner I want to be. Props for flying out & laying it all on the line.

March 22nd

from:  A Close Friend Who Trains
to:  Justin
date:  Fri, Mar 22, 2013 at 10:40 AM
subject:  Texted it to you but your phone is prob off

Hey brother I just wanted to send you a msg, which doesn’t need a reply at all. I know the pain of loss and I’m sorry it didn’t go as planned. I am not even going to attempt trying to say something to easy that. Just don’t let it get in the way of enjoying your vacation. You will have countless hours to replay it in your head later – no need to do it now. If you need anything, I can be available for your any request. I love bro.

from: Close Friend #II Who Trains
to:  Justin
date:  Fri, Mar 22, 2013 at 11:40 AM
subject:  No Worries

I thought I would drop you a quick line via email (as requested), while also promising to keep the sappiness/sympathetic [Insert Last Name]-ness to a minimum (I also tried to write this as eloquently as you come off on paper, but failed miserably). I just wanted to say that the tiredness you experienced is probably completely separate from your actual cardio state going into that match. Even if you were not consciously shitting bricks (which 99.9% of the human populace would be doing exactly that), nerves will completely mess up your breathing, etc. I’ve read stories about Mark Kerr spending the first half of his gas tank throwing up in the bathroom for an hour before every fight. Look at GSP vs Matt Serra 1… The nerves of defending his belt for the first time did that to GSP, I promise you it wasn’t his lack of athleticism. I’m just saying, don’t be hard on yourself man. It’s a game of inches, and you lost by 1, and it could have gone the other way around the other 9 out of 10 times. So go party it up, forget about Jiu Jitsu for a few days, get some sun, stare at beautiful women, and just take a deep breath because you more than earned it.

from:  Girlfriend
to:  Justin
date:  Fri, Mar 22, 2013 at 1:08 PM
subject:  Re: I Lost My Very First Match

Oh lover, you have made me so proud. I will not invalidate your feelings by disputing them but I will say that you’re a strong, brave man for whom I have much respect and adoration.  I’ll provide my lap, a movie, a couple of arms and two cheeseburgers whenever you decide you’re ready for company.

from:  My Sponsor
to:  Justin
date:  Fri, Mar 22, 2013 at 5:54 PM
subject:  Re: I Lost My Very First Match

Dude–its fine. I know this sounds cliche, but its true: There is only winning and learning. When you understand that, I bet you’ll never lose to another inferior opponent again.

March 24th

“You are the inspired application of motion in jiu-jitsu. Become it’s logic.”

-An inscription I found on the whiteboard in my room.


I Lost

I lost, I lost, I lost. And I take loss very personally. Yes, I lost. I lost, then I went on vacation in San Diego from Thursday evening to Monday afternoon. In that time, I turned off my phone and wrote a few emails to my close friends and everybody who helped me train.


from:  Justin
to:  My Mom
date:  Fri, Mar 22, 2013 at 12:06 AM
subject:  I lost
mailed-by:  gmail.com

I lost my first match 0-3.  Something felt off today, but I don’t know what.  I think I tried to lose too much weight.  I’d call but, IF I turned on my phone, I’d have to read all the goddamn condolences from all my friends.  And I really, really, really don’t want to.

I love you.  I guess I’m on vacation in San Diego now.  I’ll call you in a few days.  Love you, love you, love you.



from:  Justin
to: Redacted (My girlfriend)
date:  Fri, Mar 22, 2013 at 12:14 AM
subject:  I Lost My Very First Match
mailed-by:  gmail.com

[Insert Female Name Here],

I lost my very first match.  0-3.  It was a very, very pathetic display.  All my dearest friends were watching from home, too.  Why I couldn’t find the energy to muster even the slightest fight is, at least partially, elusive.  I just quit sometime during my match, and I can’t understand why that happened.  I’m a fucking loser — that’s the only answer I’ve got on such short notice.

Anyway.  I said I’d text you about it, but I’ve turned off my phone.  The last fucking thing I want to do is read all the goddamn condolence-type messages (And have condolence-type conversations) with my dear friends — lesser still with my acquaintances.  I miss you.  More than anything, I wish I was in your arms.  Or my head resting on your lap, watching a movie.  Possibly with a cheeseburger in my mouth.  Two.  I want at least two of those three things.

I hope you are doing well.  I’ll stop hating myself in a few days, probably.  I’ll shoot you a text once my phone is back online.



from:  Justin Baize <jjbaize@gmail.com>
to:  The 18 people on the team who helped me prepare for this competition.
date:  Fri, Mar 22, 2013 at 5:04 AM
subject:  Helllooo My Friends
mailed-by:  gmail.com

“My Team, My Family,

I’m writing to thank you all for your continued support throughout my camp these past five weeks. While I did not perform to the standard of which I <i>believe</i> myself capable, I know my performance today would have been all the poorer without your investments of both time and energy. For those things, those various things you have invested in me, I thank you, my friends.

If you did not catch my match earlier today, let me say that you did not miss very much. To digress briefly, I THOUGHT it was Napoleon who said “Fatigue makes cowards of us all,” but apparently (according to the Internet) it was the much less regal Vince Lombardi. I don’t know why I was so tired. It probably had to do with the cut, if I had to guess. But for me at least, no excuse will really suffice. Nothing disgusts me more than cowardice on the mat; and all the fucking more when I’M the one being the coward. I expect nothing less from myself than to perform up to the standard set before us by Donald, Paulo, and The Legacy. I just do.

But I did not perform up to the standard. Not by a long shot.

So I write primarily to thank you so much for your help. I really could not have come as prepared as I did without your help. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you guys.

Taking the liberty on a quote by the illustrious Thomas Paine, “Those who expect to reap the blessings of [Gracie Humaitá Austin] must, like men, bear the fatigues of supporting it.” The sentiment of that quotation is precisely what motivates me to do what I do for the academy, be it instruction, competition, on the mats, or off. I wholeheartedly believe it — in fact, I can feel it…I can feel it in my plums…:

Still, one can only take so public a beating, only display so cowardly a loss before retreating to the privacy of his guest bedroom just two sunny blocks from the beautiful California ocean. ::clicks heels:: I got some goddamn donuts, now I’m on vacation! I’ll be back in town on Monday night, and probably back on the mats by the middle of end of next week.

When I return, I’m going to take a look at the copious amount of notes/data I took during this camp, retool, and, hopefully, return all the stronger and wiser. Thank you guys again and again and again for the continued support. I really, really couldn’t have done this without you all! Aaand I hope to see you, my family, soon!

Much Brotherly Love,

P.S.- If you’d like to reply to this email, please do NOT do it here. Drop me a line at [redacted], instead. I’m not really in the right kind of mood to read a condolence/encouragement-filled FB thread, earnest though I know it will be when written by you guys — and god knows I love you guys and think the world of you all too, by the way. This is also why, as I’m sure some of you have noticed, I turned off my phone. I’ll turn it back on in a few days. Thanks!


from:  Justin
to:  Redacted (My sponsor)
date:  Fri, Mar 22, 2013 at 5:53 PM
subject:  I Lost My Very First Match
mailed-by:  gmail.com

I lost my very first fucking match 0-3.  Five weeks of two-a-days and three-a-days for one of the most pathetic displays of my life.  Possibly the most pathetic seven-minute span in my life.  All my friends from the academy were watching, too.  Why I could not muster the energy to fight is, at least partially, elusive — though I’m sure it’s related to the weight cut.  Whatever the final reason, I feel really fucking lame right now.

Thank you for sponsoring the trip.  I don’t think I would have been able to afford going without your help.  Maybe next time I’ll be able to muster courage enough to do more than just take an ass-beating in public from a profoundly mediocre opponent.  Hopefully.  I’m going to try to do some writing in these few weeks off from BJJ.  Thanks, thanks, thanks again.



Thanks for reading. I’ll be back next Wed.


The Day Before The Pan Ams

I am about a pound overweight, sitting in a guest bedroom in San Diego. On average though, I lose two pounds in my sleep; so I’ll be okay. I am full of energy, because I have hardly done any exercise at all in the past three days. My last tough workout was Sunday afternoon.

I’m really just ready for this whole fucking thing to be over with, finally. My training camp started 5 weeks ago, or thereabouts. In fact, it’s been longer then that still. My training camp for the Pro-Trials was a month long. I took two weeks off after the tournament, then immediately jumped into camp for the Pan Ams.

Training two and three times a day is a grind. Doing supplemental exercises after class are a grind. Controlling my diet – eating chicken breast with roasted broccoli or steak and salad or eggs and bacon for breakfast every single day – is a grind. Looking at my poor pinky, mangled and beaten, middle knuckle now preposterously large, then taping it up so I can train and mangle it up a little bit more is a grind. I guess I’m just tired. I’m just being cranky. I just want to tape my pinkie closed so it doesn’t lose mobility, the way my ring finger did on my right hand. And I just want to eat some goddamn pizza without worrying myself bald(er) about whether that is going to drastically affect my weight.

That’s enough of this ‘putting my complaints to paper’ business. Besides, I compete at 5:25PM on Thursday in Irvine. Pretty soon, I won’t have any more complaints. And it’s all really over already. All the investments in time and energy have been made. The dice are already crafted. Tomorrow, we all make our bets and then collectively throw them.

The time difference is annoying, especially with all this extra energy. I usually go to bed dead-tired. Tomorrow, I’m probably going to be up before the sun. If so, I’m going to walk two blocks to the beach and watch the sunrise – but I’m going to weigh myself before. This ends Thursday.

Thanks for reading.