Monthly Archives: February 2012

Oh No, The Rain!

I don’t know what its like in other parts of the country, but it’s raining and pretty dreary today in the good old Mid-Atlantic region today. Which means, invariably, there will be a low body count in class tonight. While I understand concerns regarding driving in the rain, and other commuting issues, there’s still a small part of me that wonders if my teammates are somehow related to Oz’s Wicked Witch of the West, because when there is water falling from the sky they are no where to be found (I assume they go home, but you catch my drift).

Is it the rain itself, or the environmental ambiance that makes people run home? I have to admit curling up in bed with a book and a cup of hot chocolate sounds tempting, but what is even more tempting is competing at the Pan Games (or is it just Pans now?) and knowing that I took every opportunity to train and try as hard as I could to get my game to its best level in the year between tournaments.

But I can also be a goal oriented over-achiever, so maybe my opinion is a bit biased. Maybe.

So do you find yourself running from the rain, or do you trudge into class anyway? Let me know!

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2012 IBJJF Pan Championships in Irvine, CA


The IBJJF’s Pan 2012 Championship is happening this year from March 29th to April 1st!

Anyone else preparing to go? 


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Oh, That Smile…

Story of my life



I think I would have done really well in the early 1900’s, when no one smiled for photos. It’s sounds depressing, but not really. I just think I look better in photos when either I’m not smiling (hence the goofy expressions) or just not not looking at the camera at all. 

What brings this up is the Maxercise Competition website, which has my bio and photo under the “Fighters” section. Check it out, and see what I am talking about 😉 

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Hyper Criticism and Having a Little Faith

There is an image that has been stuck in my mind, which for some may explain my quirkiness, or at least a small fraction of it.

There was some show, or movie on when I was younger, we’ll say junior high days in which three girls were hanging out, spending time with one another-that sort of thing. One girl decided to perform karaoke for her friends and wow them with her performance. And so with great flourish and quite a bit of sass she did perform…terribly.

When finished the other two friends wiped the looks of shock and horror off their faces to tell her that she did well. 

That scene made me sick to my stomach, and ever since I have gone the opposite way, and have been hyper-critical of everything I do, and I think only recently have consciously acknowledged one of the sources of my hyper critical…ness.

I don’t want to be someone that people can’t critique, or correct when I’m doing something wrong: I never wanted to be someone that did things poorly, and people felt sorry for and would say “good job,” when it wasn’t true.

It’s been hard, but I have slowly but surely attempting to break this cycle, because after a while the hyper-criticism no longer becomes helpful, and in fact destructive. You start to lose faith in yourself, and distrust compliments others give you (a little crazy, I know).  While being aware of your performance in whatever objectively, you also need to have at least some faith in yourself and what you can do- just like jiu jitsu, you need to believe in the technique, and believe in your ability to perform it.

Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, but also have an awareness of what you are putting out into the world.

Now go get ’em, tiger!  *Internet high-five*



Filed under tournaments, Training, women's bjj

Half Remembered Techniques

It’s two parts funny, and one part frustrating: trying to do a technique you can only remember half of the steps. It kind of feels like when you jump on the dance floor at a party for “The Electric Slide” and then realize you only remember about 1/2 of what you’re supposed to do. Fortunately for you, everyone is either too intoxicated or too busy concentrating on shaking their “groovy thang” to notice, but in jiu jitsu sadly you are not afforded that luxury.

It’s bound to happen, when you think about it: there is only so much the brain can retain of each class, and that technique may have just gotten that short end of the proverbial stick that day, or week, if you’re a student at our academy. We typically go through one move on Monday, then review and expand on that technique on Wednesday, and then go over everything again on Friday….

You would think this would cement everything in my brain, but sadly, sometimes that doesn’t even work. Even after nearly 6 years of training, occasionally I forget things. So, there is the option to wait until the technique is taught again, or the better option, be the gold-star student and ask to go over it again at the end or outside of class.

So, don’t fret if you have a couple of half remembered techniques laying around in your head: just remember to get the rest of the technique in there at some point.


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Never Let On How Tired You Are

So, I have been taking some Muay Thai classes, regularly, for the past week or so, and I noticed something.

Occasionally one of the newer guys would lay on the floor, supposedly out of exhaustion. As I saw this, our Coach’s words came to mind, “Get up! Never let your opponent know how tired you are!” I didn’t say anything because really it’s not my place to say anything, and the instructor did get the guys to stand on their feet again, but it still caught my attention.

It kind of reminds me of the earlier days of the UFC, back when it was more of a quarterly event and less of a every week sort of thing. 99 % of the time I could tell who was going to lose because they were obviously tired, gasping for air as they tried for ways to stall or were just eventually submitted or just knocked out.

No one wants to be that guy. So, while we are all training partners and rooting for one another, just like you practice your jabs in the gym to perform them in a fight, the same goes with standing and controlling your breathing. What you do in practice will show itself in competition.

So keep standing and keep pushing forward!…or something to that effect.


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Ah, nothing makes you realize you have changed quite like meeting up with friends you haven’t seen in years. For some, they get married, have kids, take a life altering trip, find their…whatever the hell they have been looking for, and it has changed them.

I have both alluded to it, or outright said it, but since starting jiu jitsu, judo, kettlebells and now some Muay Thai goodness I’m at least 50 lbs lighter and a hell of a lot healthier than before. I have both pushed, and been pushed out of my comfort zone, and that changes a person.

Has anyone else experienced this? It’s an odd experience to say the least; you are still essentially the same person, but something has…changed. I would like to think for the better.

It’s just one of those funny things in life.

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The Side Effects of a Healthy Lifestyle

So, I have been noticing something not necessarily bad, but a little odd as of late. As time goes on, I drink alcohol less and less: really at this point it’s on a holiday or for some special occasion.

I’m sure my liver doesn’t mind, but when presented with a drink on, let’s just say a normal weekend, more often than not I turn it down. Not that I am ranting against the evils of alcohol or even condemning those who do want a drink, I just don’t feel like drinking. I know that I will try to wake up the next morning and try to workout or whatever the next day, and I just won’t be able to put in the optimal performance: I’ll feel icky and it will effect everything I do, so what’s the point? It’s really only on special occasions or when I have a chance to try something new that I am interested in imbibing.

Has this happened to anyone else?

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My Brain is Around Here Somewhere….

I’m sorry guys, but my head is really around somewhere…Just not focused on BJJ blogging at the moment.  I will let on some other things that are rattling around in my head:


1. Downton Abbey: I watched enough episodes that for about a day or so it sounded like actress Maggie Smith was narrating all my thoughts. Which in reality didn’t take that much because I think she is a wonderful actress.

2. Puma shoes: I need new sneakers, and I totally want these. I hate buying things on the internet though. Which I will have to suck up and do anyway.

3. Chris Brown: This makes my head implode. There were women across the internetz saying “I would let Chris Brown beat me” during this year’s Grammy performance…wait…wha…how….the fuck?

4. Pinterest: ZOMG, adorable things! And crafts! And recipes I can’t make while dieting for tournaments, but they look delicious!


That’s about all that’s going on up there, mixed in with some goals and deadlines that I am working to meet, and there you have it.

I should be back to the talking of training and such by Monday. in the meantime, have a great weekend everyone!

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Girl Cries, Guy Dies

I’m not sure how other gyms handle guys training with girls, but we have one fairly simple rule with co-ed training that everyone knows.

“Girl cries, guy dies.”

Of course there is also then a quick addendum that girls must use this wisely and not fake some tears to get a guy in trouble.

Our guys train hard with our girls, and our girls train hard in return, but I really feel with this rule there enforces a real emphasis on technique and not so much of the “I’m gonna smash, go all out and make this painful” element.  And, to be perfectly honest, I can only think of one instance this had to be enforced. Our academy attracts a pretty good crowd, people who can train with others at all levels with respect while giving each other a run for their money.

But, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as they say, and the rule is occasionally mentioned, especially when new guys are on the mat.

Any (relatively) simple rules your academy abides by for co-ed training?


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