Monthly Archives: October 2013

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween everyone!

Hopefully your day is spooktacular! (yes I know that was cheesy, but whatever, I’m just jazzed that it’s my favorite holiday)

If anyone is looking for a last minute treat to make for friends, I made these popcorn brains for a party last week, and they were a hit:



You can find the recipe on Not Quite Nigella– marshmallows, popcorn, (I used cherry) fruit preserves, how can you go wrong?

Anyone dressing up tonight or this weekend? Let me know- otherwise, have a great Halloween everyone!

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IBJJF 2014 Tournament Schedule

It looks like they are getting around to firming up some dates for the IBJJF tournament circuit in 2014, and there are some highlights, and some disappointments.

Previously they had posted Pans as taking place starting around March 12th, which seemed crazy early to me: at the time I looked up UC Irvine’s Spring Schedule (what, I like to research things, don’t judge) and was about to bet a box of Stan’s Donuts on here that they would change it to coincide with the school’s Spring Break, but it seems the Federation has beat me to the punch. So, hooray for being right, boo for not having an opportunity to see who would take me up on the bet.

One disappointment is the announcement that they are moving the early year Boston Open from March to April. I was talking to a teammate and we had agreed we wanted to squeeze in an IBJJF tournament, relatively local, before flying out for Pans and the Boston Winter Open seemed like the ticket. Unfortunately according to the site, the April tournament will be replacing the one usually in early March. Bummer.

Back to the positive side, there is now a Paris International Open, which is pretty sweet. Not this upcoming year, but getting (back) to Paris for a few days in the future would be pretty fantastic, if they decide to keep this Open going. I’m definitely keeping my fingers crossed.

Any Opens you guys are looking forward to attending? Tournaments in general? Anyone wanna make a bet over some doughnuts?

Let me know!


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Happy (Belated) World Judo Day!

I didn’t find this out until class last night when our Coach informed the class, but yesterday (October 28th) was World Judo Day- so grab your closest judoka and give them a good throw in (belated) celebration!



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BJJ and Balance: the Importance of Taking a Break

Good morning everyone!

Last week after Abu Dhabi New York Pro Trials I sort of took it easy in class, sort of lax with my diet and even skipped a day (gasp!) to get ready for a Halloween party over the weekend. It was all right, but I’m starting to get antsy and ready to get back to work, particularly with training.

Breaks can sometimes be just as important to your training as the drilling, sparring, etc. If nothing else, it’s one of those “absence makes the heart grow fonder” situations. Who knows, it may be just what you need to get through a slump you may be experiencing- getting away for a day, or a couple, and coming back to training with a fresh perspective and renewed drive to solve whatever problem you may be facing.

Anyway, hope everyone has a great Monday!


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Happy Friday: Chilly Edition

Happy Friday!

It’s definitely chilly here on the East Coast; while I usually would wear a t shirt under my gi in class and loathe the idea of wearing anything with longer sleeves, I’m actually looking forward to staying warm with my long-sleeve rash guard. Some of teammates will wear socks before class, instead of flip-flops: I still can’t quite get down with that trend. Yet.

How about everyone else? What are you doing to keep warm as the mat rooms get colder?

Let me know: otherwise, have a great weekend everyone!


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Interesting Post/Video of Traditional Korean Wrestling

Huh, you really do learn something new every day.

DSTRYRsg has a post up about a Korean wrestling style, ssireum, that sort of looks like a cross between what’s considered traditional wrestling and sumo. Sort of.

Check it out! 

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The Hardest Thing You Will Learn in Jiu Jitsu

There is one thing that you will learn in jiu jitsu, and it will take years to master- more difficult than Berimbolo with whatchamacallit pass into a spinning armbar…thing.

The most difficult thing you learn in Jiu jitsu is patience.

Patience to hold onto a choke, letting the blood slow to your opponent’s brain, even though it doesn’t look like they are going to tap any time soon.

Patience to wait for hours and hours in an educational facility’s gymnasium with some mascot you don’t quite get how it could strike fear into the hearts of their opponents (Anteaters?) for a few exhilarating minutes in competition, even as the staff is beginning to clean up the trash from the weathered and abandoned bleachers.

Patience to tell a white belt to put their hand here and their foot there, not the other way for the sixth time, and not sound like a jerk.

Patience to watch as the pounds and ounces go down on the scale at what can seem like a glacial pace when you are losing weight to fit into a division.

Patience to explain to friends, family and strangers in a polite and succinct manner what Jiu jitsu entails, and still maintain a pleasant and polite demeanor when that awkward, silence settles because they are still not entirely sure what you are talking about.

And on the other end of the spectrum, patience to deal with the over-enthusiastic guys who will tell you how they wrestled in highschool, took 6 months of Tae Kwon Do when they were 10 and ask questions like, “what would you do if I took you down right now?”

Patience to fail, dust yourself off, fail about 20 more times, and still keep getting up and continue to drill and train.

Patience to watch your teammates add another stripe to theirs belts or change colors as you feel like you are at a standstill in your progress (you’re not, but it can feel that way).

It’s one of the biggest psychological benefits to jiu jitsu, other than its immediate stress relief. The world has too little patience- people rush and claim they understand and appreciate things that take time, as they tap their foot and stare down their local coffee shop barista because they should have hand their latte in hand 30 seconds ago. It’s one of the hardest things to learn, and one of the most essential, in jiu jitsu and in life.


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Yesterdays Post, Expanded: Mainly with Photos and Stuff

Mornin’ everyone, so I promised more stuff- mainly intending just to post more photos. But anyway, if you didn’t know there is a National Martial Arts Day in October. As a way to celebrate this, and to promote the stuff we do at our academy, we basically had an Open House which included demonstrations, face painting, a moon bounce for kids (I’m keeping my fingers crossed we’ll get one that adults can jump in someday), and a teammate and I did a women’s self defense seminar. Unfortunately I don’t really have any photos of the day, but I can assure you a lot of people did come through and it was a lot of fun.

Then at about 5:30/6am the next morning the team rolled out and headed up to Queens for the Abu Dhabi Jiu Jitsu Pro Trials. We spent 13 hours (yeesh) as guests of Queens College as 12 of us competed all day.

I’m posting a couple of photos below (thanks Maggie!)- so, er, enjoy!




I favor playing an open guard and sometimes that means an occasional, accidental foot to the face.

half guard




and it’s not a truly successful day without a photo with Coach and “the Katie face” 

Have a great day everyone!



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National Martial Arts Day & NY Abu Dhabi Pro Trials

Hey guys, this is going to be a pretty short one, but basically this weekend was chock full of stuff: Saturday our academy held a National Martial Arts Day celebration, and I taught a women’s self defense seminar with my teammate, and that was pretty fun.

Sunday was spent all day in Queens for the Abu Dhabi Jiu Jitsu East Coast Trials- I placed third in my division- hooray!

abu dhabi

I’ll post more pictures later and stuff.

Have a great Monday everyone!

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Happy Friday: Busted Sleeve Edition

Happy Friday everyone!

Nothing too interesting to report on this end, other than for the 2nd time this month I had to lay a gi to rest, and my teammate totally took credit for it.

She typically has a problem with her gi sleeves being too short due to her long arms, so I am tempted to print her a t-shirt that says “If I can’t have sleeves, no one can!”




Have a great weekend everyone!

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