© Submitted photo
Morell native Tyler Meade, right, displays his gold medal and training team banner after winning the Sport Jiu-Jitsu International Federation worlds in the blue belt category held last month in Long Beach, Calif. To the left is his championship final opponent Josiah Wakefield.
That was the one thought on Tyler Meade's mind after the won the Sport Jiu-Jitsu International Federation worlds in the blue belt category held last month in Long Beach, Calif.
The Morell native lost in the first round of an International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation tourney a week earlier in the same building.
Seven days later, he manoeuvred his championship final opponent Josiah Wakefield into a choke hold.
Wakefield tapped out and Meade had his prize.
"Redemption, release, pride in my team," said Meade, who now lives in San Diego and trains with The Arena MMA and Baret Submissions. "For me, I think that a strategy (is optional). I have no set game plan, can't plan for the unknown. Keep an open mind and see what happens."
That un-strategy worked for the 28-year-old Meade in a fighting career begun at the St. Teresa Elementary School in classes with John Wilbert, a long-time fixture on the Island judo and wrestling scene.
Meade's mother, Catherine MacAleer (herself a judo black belt) enrolled her children in the program. Meade took to it, but left the sport for a few years when the classes moved to Charlottetown and timing and transportation into the city weren't right.
Though the desire never left him, said Meade. It bubbled underneath, waiting for the right time to surface.
"I feel in love with it, head over heels. It was a way to be an athlete. Not everyone plays hockey," he said. "It's something you can (strive toward) a higher level. It's up to you. If you're willing to (work hard), you can do it."
"It depends on what's happening. Time goes by real slow if you're getting your ass kicked. Or (choking someone out) can be the longest 30 seconds of your life." Tyler Meade, jun-jitsu and amateur MMA fighter, on the nuances of jui-jitsu's six-minute per match format.
Life took over and Meade found himself in Edmonton, Alta., where he met his wife April Navarro, an Ontario native.
In 2012, the couple decided to go south for work and landed in Phoenix, Ariz., where he started training again.
Another move to San Diego ignited Meade and he's already tip-toeing into the world of mixed martial arts fighting.
So far he's 1-0 as an amateur and trains with Baret Submissions, run by two-time world champ Baret Yoshida.
The plan is to turn pro next year, although Meade's happy for the slower pace if it helps him later.
"They don't rush fighters. They make sure fighters don't get off to a crappy starts and can develop. It's hard to get fights as an 0-3 fighter. I'm super-excited."
Meads said he also benefits from UFC fighters training at the same facility. Meade also credited coaches Charles Martinez and Vince Salvador.
Next up for Meade is the IBJJF worlds in June in Long Beach.
So till then he's training, though not without enjoying the pleasures of the Left Coast along the way.
"(There's) better training, life by the beach. It's California. Shorts all year round, and no snow."