Monday, December 28, 2009

Best Christmas EVER with Ryan & Fifty/50

Recounting the holidays with Ryan and Fifty/50...where to start?

How about with the text message I received from Ryan while I was at work on December 23 since that shaped the rest of our holiday, "Murilo Santana and Ana Lowry are here. Sweet!".

They had arrived to train at Fifty/50 that afternoon with news that they would be in town through New Years. Ryan was thrilled at the thought of training every day with one of the top BJJ black belts - who is also (by far) the best to have ever come out of the DC area. Murilo grew up training at Yamasaki's school in Rockville, MD but now lives and trains in Sao Paulo. And I of course was thrilled to have an excellent female to train with every day!

I can't even begin to describe how happy the two of us were over the course of the entire Christmas holiday. Ryan and Murilo have spent hours training together every day since Dec 23 - even on Christmas day! I was able to roll with Ana for extended periods of time on Dec 24, 26, and 27th and I have totally reclaimed my love of BJJ through the chance to be able to train with a good female every day. Ana's technique is sharper in a broader range than most women I've ever trained with or competed against - not that I was surprised since she won the blue belt division two weights above me this year at the Mundial. We are doing a lot of flow rolling and it's so awesome to be able to move around with someone this way. They will be back in to train tonight, and tomorrow night Murilo was nice enough to offer to teach class and Ryan of course enthusiastically said YES! I can't wait!

So anyway about Christmas...after training with Murilo and Ana on Christmas Eve, Ryan's parent's and 8-yr-old sister came over for dinner. It was their first time in our apartment and I cooked for them since they have been so great helping us and the new gym in so many ways over the last year. Then we went over to our friends' house to play Rock Band - Ryan is gearing up for his week with Jeff Glover, lol! ;)

For Christmas I gave Ryan a glass chess set and Bobby Fischer's book on how to play chess as he's taken a new fancy to playing on the computer recently, and I gave him Dan Gable's book on how to coach wrestling. He was surprised so I think I did pretty good. *patting myself on the back* Ryan bought me the new Shoyoroll gi (so excited!) but it doesn't come in until January. I can't wait to put our new purple Fifty/50 patch on it!

Christmas "morning" around noon we had "breakfast" with Ryan's family and opened up presents. Then we met up with Murilo and Ana at the gym. Ana didn't feel well so we chatted and watched Ryan and Murilo train. Then Ry and I headed off to Riverdale, MD to my grandmother's house for Christmas dinner and gifts with my family. Ryan had been kneed in the face last Friday and had gotten eight stitches below his eye in the ER during the snow storm - so my mom (don't worry she's a nurse) cut them out in my grandmother's kitchen after Christmas dinner with quite the audience peering over her shoulder. Lol! Only in my family... :)

The Saturday after Christmas we trained in the afternoon then headed to my uncle's ginormous house in McLean that Ryan says always makes him feel like he's going to the Batcave for another Christmas dinner and gift exchange with my dad's family this time. Good times!

Sunday was freaking AMAZING! Chrissy Linzy from US Grappling had said earlier in the week that she was coming up for our women's class Sunday afternoon so we quickly announced a semi-impromptu open mat. I taught a women only class to 4 white belts and 4 blue belts and two more female blue belts joined us after during open mat. That's ELEVEN ladies total who made it (counting myself)! OMG it was sooooo much fun to train with everyone! I'm in BJJ heaven!!!!!

This was the best Christmas ever! No seriously. Ever.

Murilo Santana v Andre Galvao

Ana Lowry - Blue Belt Lightweight 2009 Mundial Champ

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