Thursday, March 31, 2011

Making weight... Questions at the end.

First... just crazy. I get a weekly email from the Home/Garden section of the Washington Post, and I read one of the articles about kitchen organization. It actually said this nonsense:

"Fridge aesthetics. Have you considered artfully arranging the contents of your refrigerator and freezer shelves? When you open the door, it will be a calming experience."

Some people need to get lives!

Second.  This was on DSTRYR-SG and it made me think-- as I have so often in the last few days-- "I should have done that at the Pan!"  But I'm not obsessing.  Much.

OK, on to more important matters.. Weight. I have given up the dream of ever being a featherweight. Why? Because I'd be unhealthy! How do I know this? (aside from the fact that, to attain such a weight, I'd have to completely give up every foodstuff which brings me pleasure, like donuts, pasta, or pizza, which is unhealthy by definition..)

Because the day I left for the Pan, I had my body fat percentage tested at my gym, Castle Hill Fitness, using the Bod Pod, and here's what the computer spits out. (It's as reliable a measurement as the old-fashioned dunk tank water displacement method, fyi..)

I have 18.1% bodyfat. That, apparently, is considered "ultra lean," "fat levels sometimes found in elite athletes."

Obviously, they haven't seen me in a bikini, but I'm taking them at their word.

For me to go from "squeaking into leve/light" (138 lbs) to "squeaking into pena/feather" (125 lbs) and still keep all my lean mass (113 lbs of muscle, bone, and internal organs) I'd have to go down to 8.5% body fat, well below the "essential fat" range for women of 12-15%.

I was damn happy with all this news.  At 38 years old, to be anywhere near "elite athlete" (even if it's just on a piece of paper) feels pretty good. I also felt relieved that I could stop beating myself up for failing to get down to 125.  I weighed 125 earlier in my jiu jitsu career (weighed 119 before that!) and kept wondering why the HELL it was so hard to get back there... well, it's because I have more muscle! 

Of course, when I was done with the whole weigh in and fight and such at the Pan, I proceeded to indulge my carb cravings.  Tacos, check.  Donuts, check.  Pizza, check.  Here's the FABULOUS pizza at Domenico's in Long Beach, with my friend's boyfriend Todd about to dig in...  trust me when I tell you, after you've made weight at Mundials you want to eat (pieces of) two pizzas.  One, the sausage/pepperoni one (below) at Domenico's, and two, the sausage/pepper one at Boston Gourmet Pizza (also in Long Beach, right next to the Aquarium of the Pacific.)

In fact, I even taste-tested donuts in Orange, CA where my girlfriend lives... I can now tell you that after Mundials make-weight, I will head back to YumYum Donuts on Tustin and have another crumbcake donut.  It. Was. Splendid.  (should have taken a picture.)

Anyway-- can you tell I'm back on Paleo now, and fantasizing?

Spent plenty of time talking to refs, staff, and other competitors at the Pan about the whole make-weight thing and the funny stuff we all do when we're in that place.  The night before I competed, I ate shreds of cabbage and one cup of light, nonfat yogurt.  I ate NOTHING and drank maybe an ounce of water before I weighed in at 1:45ish.  Then on my way to the mat, I drank mango nectar and it was sweet heaven.

Now after all that blather... how many of you people have some disordered behavior when it comes to weight and eating?  What do you do to make weight, or do you care? any special routines or diets or anything else you do?  What have you tried and discarded?  I have one friend who swears a colonic gets rid of 6-8 lbs, and another who said it did nothing for losing weight.  (But if you try it, the advice she shared was "make sure it's a closed system, not the open system kind"-- whatever that means!)

Discuss, and please include your gender, walking around weight, and competition weight.  Thanks!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Reflections on the 2011 Pan.

Here's what it looks like before anything gets started:

I'll tell you right up front, I didn't post my footage yet. I tried to watch it for the first time this evening, but I couldn't bear to. Ended up fast-forwarding through a bunch of it and even that was painful.

Work is really crazy and busy, so I had to work late, then run to make it to the academy for the start of comp class. My husband caught a bad cold at the Pan, and in the interest of not coming down with it too, I took it easy today-- just did my conditioning class at lunch-- and instead of doing the comp class, I got some footage of our warmup for this documentary on women in BJJ that I'm helping with. (I have to get all that footage to the lady who's doing it, Akindini, by the end of the month, yikes! but what a cool project! Akindini is a blue belt in Athens, Greece, and I can't wait to point you to the finished product. But I digress...) So I came home early from comp class and now sitting on the couch, watching "127 Hours" with the hub. And blogging. And not feeling like messing with my Pan footage just yet.

[You know it's bad when you'd rather watch some guy CUT OFF HIS OWN ARM WITH A POCKETKNIFE instead of watching your own footage, amirite?]

So what did I learn from the Pan this year? I still think my lessons from the Pan last year are true. Some repeats, some add-ons:

Purple belts by Koral are the wrong color purple. Too lavender, they show up on the TV cameras as blue, so they're not allowed. You'll have to run and buy a new one. Also, if your belt is frayed and has any of the core showing, gotta get another.
Gis by OTM, Shoyoroll, and any others with the pockets inside the lapel will have to have the pockets removed. (safety hazard for fingers and toes)
Know the rules especially when it comes to gi fit, patches, material.
Know how matches are scored. Remember you get advantages for things like flattening someone out in halfguard.
There's strategy and then there's strategy. I haven't figured these out yet. Otherwise I wouldn't have let her rack up points so bad.
I should have practiced more escapes! BAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!
There's a big difference between an instructor and a coach (expect a blog post on this soon.)
Don't let your opponent cross your foot over their hip-- it's YOU who will be disqualified for knee-reaping.
Know what the hand sign for "stalling" is and know what it means.
Be ready- get your grips and GO GO GO. Don't hesitate, don't wait for a better moment.
This may be impossible to accomplish but, as a goal, don't come to the tournament with techniques that you "kinda" know. In other words, drill everything you know how to do until it's fluid and flawless and doesn't need thought for execution.

From what I did watch, here's what I see in terms of my screwups... I didn't GO GO GO when I got my grips. She did a guard pull and I didn't just go and pass-- I was thinking about being perfect and technical. I specifically thought to myself "Oh, she's doing situp guard. And Donald just told me how to pass that. I'll get my grip just so. I'll kneel forward --." And while I sat there and thought, she acted, and easily swept me.

Oh hell. I'm not going to go through all that. I'll just grab the footage tomorrow and post it but don't feel you have to watch it. In fact please don't. And if you do don't tell me. I'll sit down with Vidush and Donald and wear the hairshirt enough then.

It was a great weekend over all. I loved getting to see friends from near and far including Lana, Jay, Ugo, Sarah, Darren, Hillary, Dolph, Caleb, Katie, Mike, Gianni, Hana, John, Steven, Kristin, Jason, Melissa... I will say, the new arrangement behind the mats makes it hard to say hi to people. Used to be, anyone could come up to the barricade behind the mat-- but now, you have to be a blackbelt with a coaching pass. So I missed seeing a lot of friends I'm sure.

I worked the first full day as a ring coordinator; second day, I competed at 1:20pm, so I was a scorer in the morning, then took a break at 12:00 to see my teammate Rebecca compete. However, divisions were running behind, so at 1:20 she still hadn't gone and I had to run downstairs to be in the bullpen for my division. I was under weight on Thursday, but Friday morning I was ON weight as in NO ROOM TO SPARE. So I was total OCD nutcase in the bullpen, weighing, weighing, and reweighing, over and over, even though the check scale kept on telling me that at 1:20pm I was a pound under.

Here's what it looks like when it's all abuzz and busy:

After my stunning defeat, I showered and changed and returned to work as a ring coordinator. To be honest, it's not a bad job, not overly difficult, occasionally stressful, but it makes the time pass pretty quickly. There's a lot of things RCs can do to make their jobs easier, and some of the RCs don't do them, which makes it aggravating for the scorers.. but otherwise the IBJJF is working hard to improve the processes every day, which is good. Because there's a lot of room for improvement, as competitors who struggled to find their way through the bullpen, gi check and weighin will tell you.

Saturday, again, ring coordinator, and Sunday... ahh Sunday, Blackbelt Day... enjoyed breakfast with some peeps at the tournament hotel first off...

From left to right, it's Caleb of the Fightworks Podcast, Dolph of Jiu Jitsu Blues, Katie of A Skirt on the Mat, me, Mike of MMA Lab in Phoenix and my husband Mitch.

I finally got to watch some matches because I was a scorer. Well, I'd seen a bit and a piece here and there prior, like Gianni Grippo's exciting finals match against Christian Broadnax, one of the "Demon" Twins, in the featherweight purplebelt adult division.... but really nothing else until Sunday. Sadly, we weren't permitted to tape from the scoring tables any more :( But the matches were fun to watch.

Mundials is next... well, the Dallas Open in early May. And I'm going to be ready. Readier.

Readiest :)

Saturday, March 26, 2011


I promise a full explanation & footage when I get home... for now, the smartphone version:

Big props to my husband, best support crew ever. To Steve Hall, Alliance blackbelt, who cornered me out of the kindness of his heart since there was no one from my academy. And to Rebecca, my teammate, who fought two tough matches.

I lost my first match big, 20-0, to the girl who won gold. She was just clearly better than me. It was the kind of domination I dream of handing out. But I took it like... well, like a champ :) It was ugly, though. She pulled guard, swept me quick.. I grabbed bottom halfguard and the underhook but she killed it with a very strong & effective wizzer. I couldn't sweep her, she passed, I got back to half but she passed again, mounted, took my back, and I escaped back to being mounted again, and time ran out.

I have all kinds of thoughts & reflections. Will share soon. But know this- I met a girl there who lost at the Montreal Open 25-0 and came back to fight in the Pan and medalled. So I am NOT GIVING UP and I *will* fight at Mundials.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Breakfast get-together at the Pan American Championship

I'd love to meet you! So if you'll be at the Pans on blackbelt day (Sunday March 27) I encourage you to come to the tournament hotel for breakfast before all the world-class jiu jitsu explodes your head :) And since I compete on Friday at 1:20pm, I'll actually be able to eat on Sunday! Hooray!

Since my husband and I are working the tournament (we'll be ring coordinating Thurs and Fri, and scoring Sat and Sun) we need to leave the breakfast by 8am. Please join us for coffee or whatever suits your fancy at 7am, Sunday March 27, at

Aura Bar & Grill
Hilton Irvine/Orange County Airport
18800 MacArthur Blvd.
Irvine, CA

You'll know it's me if you see a short, curly-topped redhead :)

Now let's drool a bit over some of the talent on display next Sunday... though I feel funny noting these names as if I know so much. I know there's a bunch of really impressive jiu jitsu out there from names *I* don't recognize that others more aware and informed will be excited to see. Just my ignorance I guess.

Felipe Costa
Bruno Malfacine
Caio Terra
Wellington "Megaton" Dias
Bruno Frazzato
Rafael Mendes
Gui Mendes
Ryan Hall
Justin Rader
Lucas Lepri
Jonathan Torres
Claudio Calasans
Gilberto Burns
Abmar Barbosa
Ian McPherson
Andre Galvao
Ricardo Abreu
Marcus Vinicius Almeida
Bruno Bastos
Braga Neto
Stephen Hall

And then the ladies! Holy cow.

Michelle Nicolini
Fabiana Borges
Luanna Alzuguir
Bia Mesquita
Emily Kwok
Hannette Staack
Hillary Williams
Gabrielle Garcia
Tammy Griego

FYI-- male blackbelts (rooster to middle weight) get started at 9am on Sunday the 27th. Brown/black women get started at 11am. Black belt adult men and brown/black females finals matches get going at 3:30pm.

Schedule is up here.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Please send gis for Moldova BJJ program... current info here!

From Bobby McMasters, today!

"I don't know if you're good with technology but perhaps you could make a running counter of how many gi pledges you have, how many were sent, and how many I eventually receive (confirmed by my contact here in Romania). These gis will eventually be brought to Moldova with a kids' team from Braila, Romania probably mid-June.

As you know, I wasn't initially really trying to just get STUFF and give away STUFF or money. This is typically counter-productive. BUT, I think we can keep the materials in the gym teacher's office without them growing legs. Also, I'm about 80% sure we can hold a seminar before, and afterwards we'll hold a competition between an established Romanian kids' team and the Burlacu team. Hopefully this will suffice for the sustainability factor for now and lead on to newer and greater things! For example, before harvest time I plan to have an all-village tournament to further incite interest in BJJ.

I know it's been a while but in light of the Japan situation I didn't think writing about giving stuff to some healthy and happy (albeit very poor) people made a lot of sense. That being said, I don't want people to forget about our Moldovan guys. So, I have some more info for those who want to help us...

First of all, we need probably at least 4 kids gis... these gis can be gis that your kids have grown out of but are still good quality.

Second, we need at least 5 adult gis. Again, if you have some awesome new lightweight gi and you don't need your older (but still in good shape) gi, no matter how big or small you are, send it our way.

Third, we need probably 3 NEW gis that look really nice (one child/teenager size, small adult and bigger adult). I know nobody is trying to buy some new gis just to send them our way but maybe you know someone who would love to put their patches all over them and have someone wear their company's logo around to various tournaments for years to come. These gis would be given out to the winners of our tournament so the probability of them wearing the gi to various judo competitions or even future BJJ competitions, and winning these competitions is pretty high. Also, a pimped-out gi is hard to find in Eastern Europe so on top of it looking cool the competitor could talk about how/where they got it and inevitably it would lead to a BJJ discussion.

Fourth, I would really love to do a women/girl's competition. The Soviets were really keen on equal opportunity and equal rights as far as women are concerned so this is not a foreign concept. I will keep this on the "dreams" list for now though.

Lastly, we will need some money. Even though the transport is paid for, I will need a little cash to build some new shelves for the gym teacher to take care of the gis and we may need money for food for the trip. I will keep everyone posted on this because I definitely don't want to make a budget mistake.

Gi address:

Mihaita Tudor
Str Traian 187-189 ap 32
sec 2
Bucuresti, Romania

AND... once again, anybody wanting to come maybe mid-June or any other time is welcome.


So, everyone, I would love to be a clearinghouse for this. You can send gis straight to them of course! But if someone with HTML skillz wants to help make a widget for me to use on this blog I'd LOVE it. In the meantime I'll just do it the old fashioned way and include a sentence in every blog post!

No kids gis
No adult gis
No new gis

But... I will be donating some of my gis. Gotta wait till after the Pans and do some sorting!

Train hard everyone and send me some gis :)

Super basics.

David Dunn, a JJ Machado bb, teaches a handful of useful stuff, like counters to the stack pass, reversal from bottom side control, an elevator sweep from bottom half... nice solid basic stuff. Thanks to the guys at DSTRYR-Sg for bringing this to my attention.

Inside Robson's head...

Matt and Lindsey, who stayed with me this weekend, train at a Nova Uniao gym in Dallas. Gene, in town for SXSW, got his purple and brown belts under Gustavo Dantas/Nova Uniao. BJJHeroes says this about Gustavo--

"Gustavo Dantas was part of the golden generation of Nova Uniao fighters, considered by many as the best lightweights team to have ever competed, a team that consisted of fighters like Vitor “Shaolin”, Robson Moura, Renato “Charuto” Verissimo, Leo Santos, Rodrigo “Feijao” just to name a few."

So it seems appropo to share the "rolling reflections" of Robson Moura today.

And I wanted to post some Robinho highlights... but so slammed today, I don't have time to watch any and see which is best.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Private, seminar and promotions...

Fun weekend... had houseguests and visitors in town.. Kristine, Triin, Lindsey and Matt for the Hillary seminar, and Gene from San Fran for SXSW.

Did an hour-long private with Hillary Williams before her excellent 3-hour techfest in San Antonio Saturday... wooo! great series! :) Thanks Lana and Andre Monteiro of Flex BJJ for hosting, and thanks Hillary for some truly miserable moments underneath you.

Then today, along with many others more deserving than I, I was promoted... 4th stripe! :)

Good training afterwards. I put into use a suggested guard attack (Thanks Gene!) and even pulled off, in live sparring, a move Hillary taught that I thought LEAST LIKELY to be incorporated by me into my game. Holy crap. And I even pulled off a variation of the sweep Dan, one of our browns, has been TRYING to teach me for two years... not for lack of effort on his part but more from my lack of ability!

Leave for the Pan on Wednesday night, fighting Thursday. On weight right now, though I am cutting it close. (Watched UFC last night, and treated myself with a buffalo burger, but brought my own steamed greenbeans to eat in lieu of the fries. That's either exceptional, or exceptionally lame, haven't decided. But the damn things actually tasted great so I was only sad when my husband ordered the key lime pie. Sigh.)

Training hard still but tapering starting tomorrow-- only noon conditioning and evening class from now through Tues, and only noon class Wed, and will be taking it easy in the evening classes.

I will post updates from the Pans on Facebook and twitter.... :) OH and don't forget, if you're at the Pan, Sunday morning 3/27 we'll have a very informal breakfast get-together at the tournament hotel lobby. I will post a blog entry about it tomorrow when the official schedule is posted.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

New stuff.

SXSW, the biggest pain in the ass music/film/geekout festival, has infested my lovely town.

The upside, besides seeing Fightville's premiere (ROCKING movie) is hanging out with different peeps.

1. Coach Josh, purple belt in BJJ and blackbelt in judo, with his spunky, sassy wife Anri...

2. Tori, visiting from the east coast, fellow lightweight blue belt...

3. Gene, lawyer from San Fran, blackbelt under Marco Nascimento and smaller, technical, different game..

Thanks folks, for sharing your time and effort and energy with me, on and off the mats...

Also big thanks to Vidush, Courtney, Rebecca and lil P, who have endured my training lately and will continue to endure it right up until next Wednesday when I leave for THE PAN AM!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Nuclear crisis is freaking me out.

One of the most gripping, horrifying, can't-stop-thinking-about-it movies I've ever seen is K-19. Before that, I'd seen The Day After in grade school. I was 7 when Three Mile Island melted down and almost 14 when Chernobyl happened (pictured below). And my mom was a radiology technician who made X-rays at a veteran's hospital. So growing up and as an adult, I've always heard about radiation and what it can do to you.

I did a google images search for "radiation poisoning" and be happy I'm not posting any of the pictures.

What's going down in Japan is scaring the living **** out of me.

Great primer on what's up with Japan's nuclear reactors here.

The guys over at Scramble Stuff have put together a very cool tshirt you can order now and all proceeds go to the Red Cross to aid the victims of the tsunami/earthquake in Japan.

The front has the characters for "endure" and the back characters say "pray."

I ordered mine.. and you can text to donate, too. I presume they're all $10 donations, but I'm not sure.

• American Red Cross Relief: text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10
• Salvation Army: text JAPAN to 80888
• Convoy of Hope: text TSUNAMI or SUNAMI to 50555
• World Relief Corp. of National Association of Evangelicals: text WAVE to 50555
• GlobalGiving: text JAPAN to 50555 to donate $10
• ADRA Relief: text SUPPORT to 85944
• GlobalGiving: text JAPAN to 50555
• International Medical Corps: text MED to 80888
• Mercy Corps: text MERCY to 25383
• Save the Children Federation: text JAPAN or TSUNAMI to 20222
• World Vision: text 4JAPAN or 4TSUNAMI to 2022

And here's another list of ways you can help the survivors.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Gunning down immigrants and other democratic experiments....

Published in yesterday's Washington Post, written by Dana Milbank, found here.

"Here in Washington, the immigration debate is in stalemate. But in Kansas, there has been a breakthrough.

This striking achievement came about this week during a meeting of the state House Appropriations Committee on efforts in Kansas to shoot feral swine from helicopters. Republican state Rep. Virgil Peck suddenly had an idea. “Looks like shooting these immigrating feral hogs works,” he commented, according to a recording posted by the Lawrence Journal-World. “Maybe we have found a [solution] to our illegal immigration problem.”

Brilliant! Shooting immigrants from helicopter gunships! Why didn’t they think of that in Congress?

There are a few logistical problems with Peck’s idea, including the fact that Kansas isn’t a border state. But maybe Oklahoma and Texas will grant overflight rights for immigrant-hunting sorties.

Peck, the Republican caucus chairman for the state House, later suggested his brainstorm was a joke, although he also defended himself: “I was just speaking like a southeast Kansas person.”

Kansans may be surprised to learn that the immigrant-shooting idea was offered in their names, but they wouldn’t be the only Americans getting unwelcome news from their state legislators now that many Tea Party types have come to power.

When Louis Brandeis called state legislatures “laboratories of democracy,” he couldn’t have imagined the curious formulas the Tea Party chemists would be mixing in 2011, including: a bill just passed by the Utah legislature requiring the state to recognize gold and silver as legal tender; a Montana bill declaring global warming “beneficial to the welfare and business climate of Montana”; a plan in Georgia to abolish driver’s licenses because licensing violates the “inalienable right” to drive; legislation in South Dakota that would require every adult to buy a gun; and the Kentucky legislature’s effort to create a “sanctuary state” for coal, safe from environmental laws.

In Washington, the whims of the Tea Party lawmakers have been tempered, by President Obama and Senate Democrats, but also by House Republican leaders who don’t want the party to look crazy. Yet these checks often do not exist in state capitols. Though many of the proposals will never become law, the proliferation of exotic policies gives Americans a sense of what Tea Party rule might look like.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s attempt to strip public-sector unions of their power has gained national attention, as have various states’ efforts to imitate Arizona’s immigration crackdown. Arizona, meanwhile, moved on to an attempt to assert its authority to nullify federal law; the last time that was tried, we had the Civil War.

Less well known is what’s going on in Montana. Legislators there have introduced several bills that would nullify federal law, including health-care reform, the Endangered Species Act, gun laws and food-safety laws. Under one legislative proposal, FBI agents couldn’t operate in the state without the permission of county sheriffs. Legislators are also looking into a proposed resolution calling on Congress to end membership in the United Nations.

A “birther” bill, similar to proposals in various other states, would require presidential candidates — they’re talking about you, Obama — to furnish proof of citizenship that is satisfactory to state authorities. Montana has also joined the push in many states to restore the gold standard, and a Montana House committee approved legislation invalidating municipal laws against anti-gay discrimination.

Then there’s House Bill 278, authorizing armed citizens’ militias known as “home guards.” With the home guards mobilized, Montana would no longer have to fear a Canadian invasion. And while Montana repels the barbarians from Alberta, New Hampshire is contemplating a state “defense force” to protect it from the marauding Quebecois.

Some of the proposals are ominous: South Dakota would call it justifiable homicide if a killer is trying to stop harm to an unborn child.

Some are petty: Wyoming, following Oklahoma, wants to ban sharia law, even though that state’s 200-odd Muslims couldn’t pose much of a sharia threat.

Some are mean-spirited: Iowa would allow business owners to refuse goods and services to those in gay marriages.

Some are fairly harmless: Arizona took actions to make the Colt Single Action Army Revolver the official state firearm and to create a Tea Party license plate.

And some are just silly: A Georgia bill would require only “pre-1965” silver and gold coins for payment of state debts.

Even if the Tea Party gets its way in the legislature, it won’t be easy to stop residents of Georgia from using their greenbacks — at first. But compliance will undoubtedly increase once the state calls in those helicopter gunships from Kansas."

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Registered for the Pans!

I registered for the Pans last night. Man, that really puts a smile on my face! Just thinking about the way the crowd vibrates with passion and intensity... ahhhh! Good stuff! Makes me want to hop around and do a dance and pound my fists against the mats.

Anyway, I keep looking at the competitor list on the IBJJF website. It's reminiscent of when I was waiting on bar exam results to come out, and I kept checking that website too. I don't know what I expect to change-- I mean, I'm on the list. I'm not going to fall off. More girls will be added to the list, for sure, since the last day to register is tomorrow. It's not going to make a whitbit of difference if I watch the list like a cat in front of a mousehole... I will fight whoever they tell me to fight and that's that. Right now, 11 girls in my division, so 10 plus me. Anywhere up to 16 girls total is 4 matches to gold. We'll see, I wonder if more than 5 sign up between now and tomorrow midnight.

Now, if I were considering the difference between 10 matches to gold (not uncommon in the bigger divisions, like leve blue belt men) and 3 (not uncommon, say, in pluma or pena purple women) then it would change your strategy-- you'd want a fast finish instead of having grueling points battles-- but the difference for me between 3 and 4 matches total is not great. I either have to win one or two matches to be in the medals.

Had a good workout at lunch even though I was so late to crossfit I might as well not have shown up. While everyone else cooled down and did their ab work, I kept on box jumping and squat jumping and so on.. then did some weightlifting.. And then I curled up with a magazine in the infrared sauna to warm up a bit before heading back to the office. Lunch was a chili-tuna-mango salad with bell peppers and red onions, and some cayenne-roasted lime-sprinkled broccoli and cauliflower. Feelin' sleeeeeepy at the office before competition class tonight, too.


Hot knife.

Had a great private this morning with Donald. There's never any lack of stuff to work on. As always... I want passes, so we worked passing. I realize I've been working on passing guard my whole jiu jitsu life. (Secretly I want to be a hot knife as well as a spinning snowflake-shaped blade. Guess it's not so secret now, huh? Hopefully I find some peeps who play butter guard...)

Then I asked how I can be a better training partner to one of my friends, who is a blue belt about 30-35 lbs lighter than me. I finally think I get it-- a little bit-- because he showed me how it felt. When they do the right thing, you give it to them. When they don't, you wait a second, then YOU do the right thing, which shows them where they went wrong.

Problem being, I'm a blue belt, so I have a lot of uncertainty about what the right thing to do is. This is to be expected, he says.


Oh, and I have a question. WHY oh why has the consistent #1 most viewed post on this blog been the one titled "Lake Tahoe Classic Jiu Jitsu Tournament"??? I mean, for MONTHS and MONTHS it's #1. It used to be titled "Lake Tahoe Classic" and I thought maybe golfers or tennis people or something were stumbling this way, so I clarified it... just crazy! I'm happy to have the viewers but it's not anything amazing...

Monday, March 14, 2011

I love judo.

Great weekend. Super busy at work so I'll just bullet-point it:

* Fightville premiered at the SXSW Film Festival and I can't say enough good stuff about it. Excellent documentary on the lives of MMA fighters and promoters in small-town Louisiana. Props to Dustin Poirier who is now a UFC fighter, and to my buddy Josh Artigue who is their judo coach and appears in the movie beating people with sticks.

* Training not as hard, took the weekend "off" with just light sparring and drilling. Definitely back to pushing it this week though. When work permits, actually, since I have deadlines and was up till almost 2am last night working from home.

* Since Josh was in town, he reminded me by doing that I need to review the Roleta sweep. And he tweaked my judo series.

Thanks Jodi for spotting this first one and posting it on your blog, Combat Sports Review. Check this at about :40!

Love the footwork around 4:50. And I love the numerous replays and slo-mo for 5:50... great learning tools.. Look at the yoko tomoe nage at 8:40...

Teaser: the hemp gi...

From: Datsusara MMA

Coming soon... a review of their new hemp BJJ gi...

Saturday, March 12, 2011

BJJ abroad-- gis, money, teaching, sheep....

From Robert:

To all my Moldova BJJ enthusiasts, first of all thanks for all the good ideas. You have inspired me to ask around and try and do some networking based on peoples' ideas. I must apologize because this will be a long post and I know that long posts can be a pain in the ass to read but please bear with me.

First of all, I don't want to dissuade people who are super-busy and all they can do is donate gis or money. This is absolutely essential so just so you know, I totally understand and we can definitely use this kind of help.

I talked with the guy who runs the BJJ gym here in Bucharest (Tudor Mihaita, and he says he should be able to get a team of kids from a city near the Moldovan border to compete with our small upstart of a team in Burlacu.

For those of you wanting to donate gis, I will have an address to send them to in a little while. As far as money goes, I am still undecided. I think that there will be a good use for money but I don't know how much or how to get it here so I am still looking for good suggestions.

I can also almost guarantee that if/when we get gis, I can put them in a place in the village where they will be both accessable and free from thieves. I'm about 95% certain that I can either convince the gym teacher to keep them in his office or to buy a new lock for the "equipment room", and only give 2 keys away; one to the director of the school and the other to the gym teacher. They are both trustworthy people.

So just to make you guys aware of the situation involved with actually getting the gis to the kids, it's not so easy as just sending them to the village. First of all, you have to go through the right channels and have the right special stamps on certain papers to get "humanitarian aid" to the village. In other words, you can't just get a box full of equipment without any paperwork or proper bribes.

I think if we get the gis little-by-little to Romania first, the kids from Romania can take one or two of them in their travel bags and that way it won't look like there's a huge pile of illegal gis coming into the country.

I think that if we could get a maximum of 7 small (kids' size) gis and a maximum of 7 teenage/adult gis then we should be set.

As far as the prizes for the competition are concerned, I think that a nice (new, pimped-out) gi or maybe cash would be a good prize. And cash could be used to purchase a more traditional Moldovan prize like a sheep. This would definitely spark interest in the sport, not just in the village but in surrounding villages as well.

I REALLY like the idea of folks coming out every year to hold seminars and tournaments. This is an awesome plan I'd like to do anything I can to make it work.

I don't know any current PCVs in the region but I do know that my former boss can help me to network with anyone willing or capable of helping out. I think we should invite some PCVs to the competition (we should plan to hold it this summer) to maybe help people to get involved.

OK... that's enough from me... let's hear some more ideas!

Friday, March 11, 2011


Japan was hit by one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded on Friday. The magnitude-8.9 quake spawned a deadly tsunami that slammed into the nation's east coast, leaving a huge swath of devastation in its wake. Hundreds of people are dead and many more are still missing or injured.

Japan has often donated when other countries have experienced disasters, such as when Hurricane Katrina impacted the United States. Below are organizations that are working on relief and recovery in the region.

AMERICAN RED CROSS: Emergency Operation Centers are opened in the affected areas and staffed by the chapters. This disaster is on a scale larger than the Japanese Red Cross can typically manage. Donations to the American Red Cross can be allocated for the International Disaster Relief Fund, which then deploys to the region to help. Donate here.

GLOBALGIVING: Established a fund to disburse donations to organizations providing relief and emergency services to victims of the earthquake and tsunami. Donate here.

SAVE THE CHILDREN: Mobilizing to provide immediate humanitarian relief in the shape of emergency health care and provision of non-food items and shelter. Donate here.

SALVATION ARMY: The Salvation Army has been in Japan since 1895 and is currently providing emergency assistance to those in need. Donate here.

AMERICARES: Emergency team is on full alert, mobilizing resources and dispatching an emergency response manager to the region. Donate here.

CONVOY OF HOPE: Disaster Response team established connection with in-country partners who have been impacted by the damage and are identifying the needs and areas where Convoy of Hope may be of the greatest assistance. Donate here.

INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL CORPS: Putting together relief teams, as well as supplies, and are in contact with partners in Japan and other affected countries to assess needs and coordinate our activities. Donate here.

SHELTER BOX: The first team is mobilizing to head to Japan and begin the response effort. Donate here.

One man's inspiring journey.

I can't tell you how much I love hearing from you readers. I get SO MUCH SUPPORT and encouragement from you! For example, in response to my post the other day about the little girl who was raped, I received the following letter (anonymized by me and posted with the author's kind permission.) Thought it might inspire and motivate some of you :)

* * * * * * *

Hey Georgette I wanted to thank you and commend you for sharing that personal part of your life in today's blog. It's an opportunity to reciprocate and tell something of one of your loyal readers, me. I am a blue belt under *** and have been training for 3 years. I am [over 35] years old and compete in the *** division. I live on a quiet block a mere mile away from the ***.

For the past 17 years I have been a *** police officer the last ten of which I have been a detective. I am presently assigned to the **** squad in the *** section of ***. I deal with everything from harassing phone calls,domestic violence, sexual assault and murder. Along with anything in between. I rent from my landlord who lives upstairs with his family and who also is a *** cop and is a brown belt under ***.

I was always a drinker but as I ended my twenties and entered my thirties it took me over and I had to go away to rehab for a month or I would have drank myself to death. No particular reason, I was just an untreated alcoholic. It's been nearly 8 years since I had a drink and I am grateful for my sobriety. It goes hand in hand with my bjj journey, things like being patient, it will come when it comes, and leaving the ego at the door are all things I need to have reinforced.

I was always into fitness, excluding the profound darkness of my worst drinking time, but hitting the gym was not doing it for me. As a cop in *** all physical confrontations I was involved with went to the ground. Hearing my landlord talking of training and him putting his hands on me to show me some bjj was all it took.

My goal is to be training and learning into old age and beyond. Being sober has allowed me access to life. Bjj has become a part of my life and I am grateful for that. Few endeavors in life can match the growth experience we are privileged to be engaged in, may it never stop.

So that is me, ***. Yours in friendship and bjj.

* * * * * * * * *

That just made my day. Biggest smile on my face ever! Worth more to me than any shiny medal or spiffy new gi.

Second biggest smile? From seeing my buddy Mike in California's little girl who is starting to train BJJ. A teammate dyed her gi. Isn't she adorable?

I love you readers! :)

New BJJ app for the iPhone!

Read this article on Liam's blog. He interviews Royler Gracie blackbelt Eddie Kone about the new app about to be released, covering all kinds of exciting techniques for maintaining, attacking from, and defending the mount. Unlike many iPhone BJJ apps, you don't get partway in and then discover additional fees and costs to proceed with the lessons. The techniques are taught in sequence from particular positions so you can map out attacks and counters from each.

There are about 16 techniques, each lesson is around 5 minutes long, and there's additional bonus material at the end.

The app will be released in late March-early April. More info about it is on Eddie's blog here.

And if you'd be so kind, when you read Liam's interview please tweet, facebook, and google it by pressing those tiny buttons at the bottom of the post.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

If you're looking for a gi or some new nogi stuff...

You might have heard me mention once or twice how much I like my Black Eagle gi, but you might discount my enthusiasm because they sponsor me.  Really-- it's kind of the other way around.  I like the gi, and I can't shut up about it, so they sponsor me.  If you know me personally (or feel like you do because you read my thoughts here regularly) then you know I'm a viciously constructive critic and a hyperbolic but accurate fan.  I am not exclusively sponsored by BE, meaning I can and do wear other gis for training and competition... and I'm actively involved in roadtesting (mattesting?) gis by other companies... and I do so with a very open mind.  After all, no sponsor (yet!) pays my way, so I'm not risking anything by being honest.  My first and primary goal is my jits, and I'm always wanting the best technique, instructors, training partners, diet, and yes, gis ... to accomplish that goal. So keep that in mind when I blissfully rhapsodize about my Black Eagle gi.

I can't wait for the new Predator II to come out... they're already accepting pre-orders and the first batch should be shipping out very shortly.  Despite coming from the UK they're surprisingly affordable, too.
For US-based customers, including shipping, a white Predator works out to be around $100 and a blue one $120.  That's shipped!!! 
Click here to buy the white pearl weave Predator II.

And click here to buy the blue one.

They have some pretty spiffy new nogi stuff in the works as well. I believe this stuff is further back in the production stages- maybe available later this spring or summer.


First, a great little blurb bashing the NYT's abysmal coverage of the gang rape of an 11 year old girl in Texas.  As a former journalist (photojournalist, but still) and sexual assault survivor, I wince and hang my head on behalf of that NYT reporter.

Second, kind of took yesterday off.  I did a morning open mat/class/lab, went over a nifty choke and some variations on it, did some rolling on video for further analysis.  Went to the gym to work on a technique called the power clean. Here's an example, though I did mine with just the bar (45 lbs.)

After that I did kids' kajukenbo class, before going to BJJ at 6.  There we worked on sit outs and other counters to being sprawled on. I got put to sleep (well, a micronap) by a good friend with a sneaky variation on a sleeve choke.  He's done it to me before and it's way frustrating.  It was pretty cool, though, because I woke up sitting up with my face against his chest and he was hugging me and patting my back.  Awwww all combat-cuddly.

After that, I sat down and talked about a prosecutor's and assault survivor's perspective with one of the guys' wives who came to us for self-defense techniques since she's being stalked by someone at work.  Now she's starting to get a little bit interested in BJJ which is AWESOME :)  But she is delicate, with elegant slender arms and long silky hair.  She also has personal space issues, and is diametrically opposed to my tomboy, rough-and-tumble, looks-pulled-backwards-through-a-hedge self.  I talked about the goal of jits, all the major positions, and showed her a simple guard break and a technical pass.  She was uncomfortable having me between her legs, and was VERY uncomfortable with me putting my hands on her hips, so I think it's great for her to have me showing this and not one of our 6' tall firebreathing specimens of American manhood.  It was nice to have a mellow moment, too, though I felt obscurely guilty for spending prePans time not rolling hard, not drilling technique, not positional sparring.  But it wasn't wasted time in the grand scheme of things, I was happy to prioritize winning hearts and minds for jits over an extra 20 min of training...

This morning was better-- woke up late, got to class in time for the last two side control escapes, drilled with Courtney, and then did two timed matches starting from the feet.  Working on better shots, ankle picks, foot trips. 

Oh, two fun things... one, working on a cracktastic opportunity which might have fallen into my lap, to get sponsored to go to Brazil for a month in late summer, hopefully bracketed by the Rio Open/Masters Seniors Worlds (not sure which I would compete in, but they are on the same day so I gotta pick one) in late July and then another tournament in Sao Paulo in August.  :)

Two, the super phenomenal people at Black Eagle might get me a Predator II gi in time for Pans! I compete in Pans in 15 days!  Wooo!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Swinging dead gerbils....

I think I need a jiu jitsu field trip.  Maybe a month in Brazil (dream on!) or a month in Southern California.  I know I can't make it happen till after Mundials (or maybe even Masters/Seniors Worlds in Rio in July?)

But reading Jake's awesome Pro Trials review on his blog made me feel antsy for a field trip.  To be somewhere where, as he puts it, you can't swing a dead gerbil without hitting good BJJ... *sigh*

Maybe I just need to stay here, but take a month off work, and be SOLELY and strictly dedicated to BJJ.  Like I would be in a different place.  Like Brazil.  I wouldn't do anything extracurricular, eat badly, drink, etc.  I'd just be a pure devotee worshipping at the altar of jiujitsuness. 

Riiiiiiiight. Maybe I just stay here :)

Some treats for your eyes... ADCC Pro Trials, March 6, 2011 (San Diego).

Blue belts for once!! Maybe the guy Jake liked?  Michael Liera, from JJU...

Or check this guy: Angelo Barden, also JJU, also blue belt...

And if you want the blackbelts...

Clark Gracie v. Andre Galvao, semis...

Antonio Braga Neto v Joao Assis

Claudio Calasans v Lucas Leite

Masters finals:  Enrique Ochoa v. Tony Pacenski (whose Sao Paulo Approach to Passing Guard I need to finish reviewing..)

Andre Galvao v. Claudio Calasans, middleweight finals

Eduardo de Silva v. Gui Mendes, finals

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

The Sorcerer and the Apprentice.

The fabulous advice from Mark Twight, the trainer for the cast/crew of the movie "300," bears repeating again, and again.  Yes yes, I know you have read it before.  There's more after the quote, just be patient.  There is a method to the madness.

"If you weren't given the gift you can't get the gift so the best you can do - if your goal is important - is work as hard as you possibly can, pay attention every hour of every day and then maybe, maybe if you've done enough and been smart enough you'll emerge from the muck of mediocrity to shine a bit brighter than you shone before. Then, upon reflection you might decide your goal is a bit more important so you'll start paying attention every minute of every hour of every day. You'll find people who are better than you and you'll take an empty cup when you meet them. Their example will destroy or inspire you and if it's the latter you may stay and learn. You might imitate, doing as they do because you've already accepted that you do not know best - if you did you'd be leading the group they were trying to join. Perhaps being exposed to their superior ability will drive you to work harder than you thought possible, or necessary. Maybe you'll overcome your self-imposed (or worse, society-imposed) limitations and shine even more brightly. Wow, you're getting it: positive reinforcement for hard work and suffering. So maybe you give your goal even more significance and you begin cutting away the ideas and the expectations and the people who you believe prevent you from achieving it. Now you become a real selfish prick, and you begin paying attention every second of every minute of every hour of every day, and you sustain your awareness for weeks and months at a time. You no longer think yourself a unique snowflake, you're a steel-edged blade shaped like a snowflake and you're spinning at warp speed. You're the biggest fish in the pond. You're a badass. Now you have options.

If you think you haven't yet done enough, and you could do more, you might begin to understand that, the more capable you become, the higher the mountain rises ahead of you. At that moment you may recognize the existence of a legitimately serious group, ahead of you, above you, somewhere you're not. They are silent, implacable, constantly improving and evolving and because they are truly capable they are accessible to those who are genuine. Among them there's no defensiveness, no posturing or pretending, and they aren't interested in anyone else's. Selection for such a group isn't based on physical performance alone. Issues of character and commitment, and discipline and persistence balance physical talent. Because you clawed your way out of the muck, were "up all night, dedicated" and maintained interest for long enough to differentiate yourself from the short-attention-span sporting dilettantes who commonly brush up against this group they might accept you as an apprentice. If you empty your cup your chances are better. If you redouble your efforts your odds improve again."

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I know every academy has sorcerers... and most sorcerers have apprentices.  Most sorcerers only have one apprentice.  If you want to apprentice yourself to a sorcerer, you have to find the right one, the right timing, and be of the right mindset to gel with theirs.

You can't ask them to take you on too.  At least, I don't feel like I can.  If they are willing to teach you, they'll make it clear, and if they are already stretched thin, it doesn't help you to put them in a position where they have to deny you.  They're sorcerers in part because they are good teachers, and to make them feel badly that they don't have the bandwidth to accommodate is uncool.

Normally, I think sorcerers and apprentices are both guys, just statistically speaking.  But I also suspect that many of the best female fighters might have been apprenticed to a male sorcerer by way of some sort of romantic relationship-- whether mutual, or just interest on the part of one party or another.  Nothing wrong with that and please don't flame me for saying it.  Just noting that if you're female and NOT blessed with a relationship like this with a sorcerer, it might make it a little tougher to get tucked into an apprenticeship than it seems for an equally dedicated guy.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Hillary Williams. San Antonio. March 19 and 20. Only $30.


'Nuff said, though I will add it's women-only, from 11a-2pm, at Carlson Gracie, and you should contact Lana Hunter for more info.  Also, two scholarship spots in the seminar are available.  Tell Lana why you should get one of them.  Email her at hunter.lana at gmail dot com.

Oh, and Hillary's doing a mens and womens seminar the next day, Sunday the 20th, at Marra Senki in San Antonio.  Same price.  SCHWEEET.

Austin Open tournament report

Wow, our team really did WELL this weekend! Not all competitors in this picture, and not all medals won are being worn, but it's a start....

Donald brought in his top brownbelt, Darrin Branch, from Cleveland, and he won his gi division. Bruce, our enormous blackbelt in Houston, won his gi division. Courtney, who's only been training 3 months! took silver in her gi division. Rebecca took silver in HER gi division. Izel, only training 6 months, won her nogi division (and won her first match with a SLICK Marcelotine from standing in under 30 seconds!) Blake took silver in his gi division. Austin and Joseph took bronze in their nogi divisions; Travis won his nogi division. I'm probably missing some people, I haven't uploaded all the videos to youtube yet.

But how did I do? WOOO! I only competed in gi, only 4 matches total, but I won my division and the absolute!  And I owe it all to my team- especially Josh Lauber, Donald Park, Christy Thomas, and Richard Power for cornering me (I could always hear Josh loud and clear over everyone!) and Vidush, Courtney, Shama, Marc, Rebecca, Randy, Zack, Kirk and Jerry for rolling with me a bunch before this weekend... and Zach Lamano for his wrestling instruction...

First match in division, against Kat Harrison. (Also fought her two weeks ago in Houston.) Won on points, 8-0.

Finals in division, against Tara Talanco. I could tell she was tired (she'd also done nogi, and I had a bye first round whereas she fought a very tough teenager named Ashley DeLeon, who I had to fight in the absolute..) so I had an advantage because I was fresh.  There were some moments where I knew if I hadn't had that advantage it might have gone her way.  Tara is one of my absolute favorites to fight because she feels like a better version of me; I wish she lived here in Austin so I could be her teammate instead. Won with a modified bow & arrow choke.

Then the absolute. First match against Ashley. Won on points, 3-0.

Finals, against Tara again. First video is ours, second is from the tournament people.

Me and Tara--

And I won this nifty gi for winning absolute, from Dom Fightgear.

It's cool not only because of the color, but the jacket is lined with a sleek, microfiber, not-stretchy fabric. I washed and dried it, then wore it to class the next morning... the pants are ripstop, a little slim in the cut for my fat derriere, but they work. The jacket is excellent. I will write a full review when I've worn it a bit more.

AND, then I got this email:

Congratulations on winning the Women's Absolute Division at this past weekend's 2011 Austin Open. In light of that achievement, your final match was named today's Featured Match of the Day. Catch it now right on the main page of

I'm just wooo all over :)

Here's me facing Ashley..

Me and Tara, finals of division...

Finals of division...

Right after the tap in finals of absolute.

Finals of absolute while I spideyed...

Too much work to do, and not enough time to do it, much less all the working out I need to do.  Gotta run.

PAN-- two and a half weeks!  SH!T!

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Update: Gis for Moldova program

Here's the email I received from Robert McMasters, the former Peace Corps volunteer there who toured Christian around... I solicit your thoughts and suggestions... and thank you everyone who has so generously offered gis, rashies, money and time for this project! Let's keep the momentum going!

"Hey, Georgette!

First of all, thanks for the interest in helping our guys out in the village. Getting new gear and other things to help further development in BJJ in rural Moldova is a great initiative. But I think what we're lacking most of all is a purpose. Getting material things is absolutely great but unless you have something to do with the material goods, there's a good chance that they will just sit in a dusty room most of the time.

When I was there I was able to control things, hold practices, work the bureaucracy and generally get things done. I don't think this is happening to the extent that it was when I was there. They lack a trainer and they lack... purpose. Why should they train in BJJ if they just compete against themselves?

I'm not really sure what you have in mind as far as gis (and obviously by seeing Christian's pictures you can see that we could use them) but I have a feeling that unless we have something that the kids will fight for, the gis will go largely unused unless there arises a need to train. It takes a hell of a lot of initiative to go and train BJJ when it is below freezing outside, and general fitness is not a good enough reason for a lot of people.

I suppose this is my chance to propose a series of different things, and maybe you have some ideas as well:

1) Take the money that could go toward new equipment, and set up a fund for people who want to come and train the team and to train other teams in the area to compete with. They would pay their own way out but I would take them to the various villages and we could train the competitors free of charge, eventually setting up the first rural submission/BJJ competition that has ever been done (can you think of another example because I can't).

2) Cut to the chase and hold a submissions tournament with a cash/material prize (even winning a nice new gi would be cool). This would give Burlacu the initiative to train on their own (with a little help of course). This would only be sustainable if we involved local business people/financiers who would hypothetically continue to fund these kind of competitions in the future. This could take work but I'm willing to try if others are as well.

3) Continue discussing the matter between ourselves and come up with a reasonable conclusion. There are a lot of particularities about the village that we could use to our advantage. There are also things holding us back as well...

Ok, enough of my writing. We will be in touch.


Friday, March 04, 2011

Online streamed 24-hr grappleathon fundraiser TODAY, March 5th

My friend Ashley posted this on her blog and it merits a shout-out!

A teammate from my Kingston, Ontario [Canada] club of Martial Arts Planet had the idea to organize a grappling based fundraiser. With a little team effort, the event is taking place tomorrow, March 5th.

It is a "grapple-a-thon" that begins at 9:00am and goes for 24 hours. Participants were to fundraise $25 for a half-hour time slot of grappling, raising money for the Canadian Lung Association.

It was an ambitious endeavor to undertake, especially in a relatively isolated location like Kingston. So, admittedly, the event will be a little small this time around -- although there will still be people rolling for 24 hours. (I even heard rumours about late night Mexican wrestling outfits?? haha) But it definitely has a lot of potential, and I think it would be great if the event could continue and grow in the coming years. Perhaps the idea could even be adapted in other communities, if it hasn't been already.

I commend my teammates for organizing the event and think the initiative exemplifies the greatness of the BJJ community.

Awesomely, the event will be streamed online so you can take a look at what's up in da club. You can find more information on donating and the live stream on the Martial Arts Planet site, here. Yours truly [Ashley] will be participating some time in the evening. It will be a welcome study break!

Please send me gis for the kids in Moldova.

I was incredibly moved by Christian's account of the kids training BJJ in Moldova. He wrote:

"That place is really an experience. As I wrote in the other post, there are holes in the floor, the lights are old streetlights and the soccer goals are just painted on the walls with crayon. Most noticeable though is, that there is no heating, My guess is, that there was probably around 5-10 degrees Celsius in there. I had to wear two tshirts under my gi, socks (occasionally shoes, when it got too cold), and my cap (thanks Nogi, you saved my ass there :)).

The kids found the old, torn gi’s from a back room and got dressed. None of them fit. The belts were mostly random pieces of cloth. One kid had a belt from a robe. The gi’s were way too big and some kids only had pants or jackets. They had lots of clothes on underneath to stay warm."

I mentally looked at the shelf over my washer/dryer, crowded with gis (some of which I don't even wear because they don't fit "just right" or don't feel as good as others.)

I looked at my dresser drawer full of tournament tshirts, rashguards, grappling shorts... and I don't even really WEAR most of those shorts because I think they make me look fat!

So... I'm going to put together a package to send over there. Yeah, yeah, the postage will be ridiculous. As soon as Christian gets me an address, I'll post it here, so you can pay your own postage if you like-- or you can send your donations to me, and I'll handle it.

Send me gis, belts, rashguards, or you can donate to cover postage.


Thursday, March 03, 2011

Tournament on Saturday

I'm competing in a local tournament, the Austin Open, this Saturday, conveniently located in Austin. It's run by the guys at Fight to Win & World Grappling Circuit and it's usually fairly well put together. I'm also working the tournament for spare cash. Just a nice smooth flow tournament is all I ask... my goals are to have everything go at the same speed & intensity as everything else. I am happy with my weight loss progress for Pans (have lost about 13 lbs of my Christmas fat; should be plenty fine for light weight at Pans but for feather, I need to lose about 14 more pounds. Yeah, I truly got porky pig with my Aunt's meatloaf, and lemon poppyseed cake, and the pigs in blankets, oh!)

Comp class tonight rocked, rocked, rocked. Donald's protege, a brownbelt named Darrin, is visiting from his school in Cleveland. He's my height, my size, and he plays (from what I've seen) a very fast, fluid game. And super warm and friendly. I'm giving him a ride to/from noon open mat and hopefully I can take advantage of his presence. Ironically, one of my trainers at the other gym was listening to me recount what I have eaten, how much I'm working out, etc. His prescription? Find a tiny fast brownbelt who will not stall on top but will make me keep moving all the time. In my head I was all "OK,but there ARE no tiny browns." AND, voila, God heard me and plopped Donald's protege into my lap.

So sleepy my eyes are unfocusing. I'm going to sleep in till 7am, work, train, work more, train more, and weigh in tomorrow night.

11 submission flow by Erik Paulsen

If you're not reading Christian Graugart's fabulous blog on his round-the-world journey as the BJJ Globetrotter, you're MISSING OUT. His photography is awesome and his generous spirit really shines through. Read this post on teaching kids in Burlacu, Moldova and I dare you to complain, about anything really....

Pre-schedule is up for Pans... here... Thanks Jay in Seattle!

Got this from Stephan Kesting's excellent Beginning BJJ list... some I know, some I have never seen before, some I really doubt will work but I want to try them anyway (hello, Z lock...)

Had a great private this morning with Donald. Talk about drinking from a firehose.. I mean, the pace of the instruction and the order and levels of detail are absolutely appropriate when I was in the moment. But later when I tried to write things down, I realized that I've probably lost two or three whole layers of finesse. And that just sucks. My respect for him increases exponentially when I consider that he's putting his body at my disposal, and encouraging me to do very uncomfortable things to him over and over, all for the purpose of improving my performance. When he gets knee on belly on me, and I'm POSITIVE he's not really giving it to me the way he would in a tournament, I'm still groaning and wishing I could die just a little bit. I try to spare him that, but he insists, and in my daddy-issued desire to please, I end up (I hope!?) really putting him through it.

Then I had some good near-flow rolling with Kirk, one of the coolest purple belts we have.

I've decided, on the advice of one of my trainers, to start upping the intensity of my noon crossfit class. I've plateaued my weightloss already with (ideally) 15 lbs to go for featherweight at Pans. (If I don't make it, no biggie, I'll do Pans as lightweight again, but I'll sure as hell be a feather for Mundials.) So I'm re-dedicating myself to a stricter diet and more focused workouts. My trainer suggested fish instead of chicken/turkey for protein (yay, I love tuna and he said salmon is good too, which is another favorite) and I also include skim milk and nonfat, no sugar added yogurt on occasion as well. I need more bag work, too. Sigh.

have a lovely day, peeps... :)

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Blogger/Blog reader Breakfast at the Pans--

Soooo... anyone wanna get together for some face time and a bite to eat at the Pan American Jiu Jitsu Championship? I was thinking it would be fantastic to meet you in person, maybe Sunday morning March 27, early, before blackbelt day gets started?

Last year, Caleb of Fightworks Podcast did one of these in the tourney hotel lobby and it was really nice to say hi and have a coffee with people I'd only known as a personality attached to a collection of letters on my screen. I'd love to do it again.  (And yes, I want to do another at Mundials.)

The tournament hotel seems like a good place, yeah?

Hilton Irvine/Orange County Airport
18800 MacArthur Blvd.
Irvine, California

This reminds me: the registration deadline for Pans is March 16th (you can change weightclass by 5pm Cali time on the 19th.) Only $98 if you register by this Saturday March 5th. After that, it's $115.

And that muffin picture, plus my 3-a-day training regimen plus super healthy diet means I need to give you a recipe. ;)

French Breakfast Muffins (pictured above.)

1/3 c. butter, melted
1/2 c. sugar
1 egg (preferably room temperature)
1 1/2 c. AP flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 c. milk

1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter, melted
1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a medium-large bowl, sift together all dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and stir until combined, but still a bit lumpy. Don't overmix. Scoop batter into muffin tins that have sprayed with cooking spray. Using a large ice cream scoop, I got 8 medium-large muffins out of this batter; I think you could get 10-12 muffins by distributing the batter a little less generously. Bake for 20-25 muffins, or until they just start to turn a bit golden at the edges.

For the topping, mix sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Place melted butter in another small bowl. Dip the warm muffins in melted butter, then in cinnamon sugar. CONSUME, ENJOY, GO CRAZY!

Nutty of the day...

From Jake: "10 minutes of skipping [rope] burns the same calories as 30 minutes of jogging" - Jon Hinds, NBA fitness coach

Floyd Mayweather:

And your non-nutty.... resident badass Tim Kennedy lays down the law. PINK IS FEROCIOUS!

I defy you to watch this and not be motivated to go train... thanks Jodi at CombatSportsReview for finding this:

And last: a handy dandy directory of all the muscles and some ways to exercise them :)