Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I pretty much want to crawl into a hole right now and never do jiu-jitsu again. I know everyone always wants to read inspirational stories but sometimes you aren't going through an inspirational moment, you're going through a shitty one.

I have wanted nothing to do with BJJ since returning from the Worlds. Sure I was sick as hell for the first two weeks, but even last week I only managed to half-ass it through positional sparring one single night. I hadn't trained in 3 weeks and didn't want to compete at GQ but was going to be needed to drive people home from it. Of course I couldn't go up and NOT compete or I'd feel like a tool being that at this point I was perfectly healthy (even if out of shape and the heaviest I've been in months - I barely made weight and usually I'm 5 lbs under).

After an embarrassing half-ass display of semi-lazy jiu-jitsu and wanting to scream at anyone who complimented me since I knew inside that I hadn't given it my all, I headed home very annoyed at myself. The last few times I've competed (with the exception of the Absolute division at the Worlds) have just been embarrassing displays. I've received lectures about my efforts and the fact that I am competing below my potential after each one. And admittedly, I deserved every lecture.

Being in this state, it is really hard to accept all the congratulations and well wishes for being promoted last night. I definitely appreciate all the kind words; it's just hard to hear right now since I am so angry with myself after weeks and months of faltering physically and mentally. It will definitely be interesting to see my expressions in the photos from last night.

I really don't want to do BJJ this week but will probably go in to roll with Felipe one more time before he leaves, as I know that I would be angry with myself in a month’s time if I missed the opportunity that I've been looking forward to for so long.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Fifty/50 BJJ in the local news!

Hall Embraces Jiu Jitsu in the Mall

AND Felipe Costa arrives tomorrow! I'm really really looking forward to training with him for a whole week! He is so awesome at BJJ! AND he is doing a seminar at our gym on Monday. Felipe is the the only person I have ever actually PAID to take a private BJJ lesson from and I've attended two of his seminars before. He is also the one who coached me to my third place win in the Absolute division at the Mundials this year since Ryan had to compete right after me.

As if you couldn't tell, I'm soooo excited right now!!!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

I need more creative titles

All I write about are wrestling and the effort to get more women into the program. I need more in my life. Haha!

The wrestling clinic last night was the first session of a three day clinic these kids are going through to get ready for a big tournament. There was one kid about 3lbs smaller than me who I worked with most of the time. They went quickly through a lot of the moves - mostly just trying to get us training hard. It was a little difficult for me to follow along sometimes, so then coach would just have me do techniques we'd been working on instead of what they were doing when it was my turn.

I was a little worried about going into a room of high school boys and how they would react to wrestling with a girl...like how seriously they would take it and whether they'd be spastic and super rough to make sure they didn't get beat by a girl, but I had not a single issue. The kids were really good about having me there (although apparently coach gave them a little talk before I showed up - and that may have helped).

Coach says I'm still too hesitant on my attacks so I am sure we will work on that tomorrow. Now I understand more what he means when he talks about wrestling like a wrestler and not like a girl. The guys are much more aggressive and physical. Not in a dangerous way, just in a "I'm going to take your mother-f'ing ass down" kind of way. The girls are all a bit more tentative and not gentle exactly but...just different. Anyways, I have a lot to work on but I think going really helped me see it a little more clearly.

A new woman came in today, she did really well and is also extremely tough. She's around Mary Anne's size (maybe slightly bigger) so she's perfect for her to train with! She's supposed to come back later this week to try another class. Yay! I also had another email from another woman today interested in coming by. It's possible at this rate that in one month we could double the number of women in our program. I'm so excited!!!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Wrestling Continues and More Girls!


So I skipped wrestling the first week after the Mundials because I was deathly sick and working hard with the new job. Then it turns out the other girls are away for a few weeks at wrestling camp and I was super bummed when I thought I'd miss two more weeks of wrestling. BUT the coach was awesome enough to offer to work with me privately in the interim. Woohoo!

I showed up yesterday and the even though I'd alread done this with Ryan, the first thing we did was rewatch all my matches in the Absolute division - this time specifically for wrestling mistakes. Coach took notes and then we proceeded to begin fixing things for about an hour or so before I had to go to the gym for BJJ practice. Coach was trying to help me with ways to incorporate the wrestling into the gi better which was super cool of him! Mostly we worked on defensive attacks (is that an oxymoron?) and only on things that will work well against a larger stronger opponent. Duck under to the back, duck under to the single leg, arm drag to the single leg, arm drag to the back, low singles, and a couple variations running the pipe. He also added in a couple control techniques on the ground and some "riding the legs" details - known in BJJ as "taking the back".

And he's teaching a clinic tonight to some highschool students in Fairfax and invited me to come watch. He also told me to bring my training gear and he'd try to get me into the clinic. Awesome!

More Girls

We had one new girl join up! Welcome aboard, Kate! Then when I checked the Fifty/50 email the other day, we had emails from two girls who want to come check out the gym! One is supposed to come down tomorrow and the other is going out of the country but wants to come by when she gets back in a few weeks. Both are white belts with some prior training. AND we are getting a new female purple belt who just moved down to the area. (Can't wait til you can make it in, Missy!) My goal is 10 women by the end of the summer! (Cross your fingers)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The littlest one places third

I am a little delayed in writing about the Mundials. I blame it on Kenny for getting me sick and making me feel miserable for the last few days...and on the new job I just started on Monday.

I competed on Thursday in my weight division. Not having watched my weight in the slightest, I still only weighed in at 115 in my gi. My first match was against Karen from Lloyd's. She pulled guard, I stood up, broke her guard open, passed it, took her back and bow and arrow choked her from the top in something around a minute and a half. For some reason, my lungs were burning after that quick match but I ignored it trying to get ready for the next match against the girl who won last year, definitely the best girl in the division. She ended up getting a bye in the first round because her opponent dropped out. I performed really poorly, felt super hesitant and slow and unlike myself the whole match. I ended up losing by 2 pts. I felt like crap and had to go lay down under the bleachers for a while hating myself and trying to get my lungs to relax...that took a while. I don't know what was wrong with my lungs, maybe I didn't warm up as much as I should have. I'm not sure if that was what affected my second match or whether I just sucked because I sucked. But either way, very uncharacteristically, I decided I would do the Open Class the next day (I usually won't fight anyone over 150lbs). But I was pissed.

In the morning at the hotel I was still pissed but also didn't feel like competing anymore. I packed my gi anyway, but had pretty much convinced myself that I wasn't going to compete. When I walked into the venue, the excitement was palpable. The first person I ran into about 10 feet inside the door was a female purple belt from Reno that I met at Pan Ams, Kelley Weatherford. About 30 seconds into my conversation with her, her enthusiasm rubbed off on me and I was DEFINITELY getting out on that mat!

I was the only girl from the Pluma division to do the Open Weight. I won my first match against a girl from the Medio weight class with a single leg takedown, I won my second match against a girl from the heaviest weight class after taking her down TWICE with single legs. The third match was against another girl from Medio and she ended up pulling guard and I was able to take her back towards the end of the match. My last match was against a much larger girl from Finland and I ended up losing 2-0. It was a tough match and although I think I made two crucial mistakes which each could've individually cost me that match, I will admit that I'm not too angry with myself for third place! I'm happy! I am so glad I went through with it!

A quick congrats to Ryan for his third place, Val for placing second in the Women's Brown/Black division (so fantastic!), and to Addie, Ana, Tammy, and Hillary for all winning their divisions!!!

The Fifty/50 guys did really well too. Anthony won a couple matches then got robbed by some bullshit reffing. Andy and Rich both looked tough winning their first matches! Next year it's ON!!! :)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Arrived in LA

We finished our move on Monday, worked our butt's off all day then I had another swim lesson and followed it up with my last hard training class.

Tuesday my body hurt too much to train, so I took the day off. This morning after a few minutes sitting beside the pool, Ryan took me to the airport (he was on a flight arriving much later with Seph).

No complications on the plane, made my connection in Minneapolis with plenty of time. Halfway through the flight I realized that the man sitting in front of me with his wife and two kids was my brother's best friend from high school. He used to hang out at our house all the time and painted our basement once upon a time. I ended up going back to his house in Santa Monica with him and chilling there with him and his wife for a bit before he drove me to my hotel in Long Beach.

Ryan and Seph just showed up (after a two hour delay on their flight).

Other than feeling a little fat from all the food I've eaten the past few days, I feel pretty good. Turns out my body is actually recovering from the tiredness and overuse. Not bad.

Time to sleep and get ready for the morning!!