Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Michelle and Felipe are en route to DC!!!

Michelle Nicolini and Felipe Costa are currently on planes en route to Washington D.C.!

Felipe arrives late in the morning tomorrow and will train with Ryan and with once again visiting black belt, Luis Pantoja from Yamasaki. What a training session that will be! Then Michelle will arrive in the evening and we will be on our way to evening class at Fifty/50 with Ryan, Felipe, and the whole Fifty/50 crew.

On Thursday, Ryan, Felipe, Michelle, and also once again visiting Yamasaki Black Belt, Dave Jacobs will get together in the afternoon. Another awesome training session for Pan Ams! (I totally wish I didn't have a day job, lol!)

Then on Thursday night, Felipe will teach a seminar to the entire Fifty/50 crew! Friday, Felipe will get back on a plane out to California for his seminar in San Diego on Saturday. While Michelle will stay at Fifty/50 to give a THREE HOUR seminar on Saturday for all the LADIES!! Boo Yah!

We'll hold the last super hard pan am training session for all Fifty/50 students going to Pan Ams on Easter Sunday!!! For those of us competing later in the week, we will probably have maybe one or two more hard (or relatively hard) sessions before letting up and relaxing going into the tournament.

We all depart on Wednesday for LA! Look out! (Btw, who put us all on the same flight...it's gonna be madness! Hahaha!)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Visitors and Training for Pan Ams

I'm starting to really see that the more I get into BJJ, the less I have any desire to spend time at my day job...but I have to plug away for a bit longer until the gym does well enough for me to come on full-time. Ugh.

I was finally able to roll with Ryan for about 20 minutes for the first time since hurting my shoulder on Tuesday and even though it was a light 20 minute session, I was happy that my shoulder held up during actual rolling. Wednesday, I went to wrestling class - I don't want to miss anything James shows, lol! We didn't go live, but we did go through all the motions, and I didn't have any trouble, just had to ice for a while after class. Thursday after the techniques portion of class, I ramped it up and decided to try hard training - but only for two 8 minute rolls before the inflammation in my shoulder increased too much (we were on brown belt time since Ryan was training too).

On Friday, I got off work early to go to PT, the therapist was extremely happy with my progress since the last visit. Woohoo! I followed therapy with my first good hard rolling session with Ryan, Seph, Quang, and Luis (a black belt from Yamasaki who came in to train for Pan Ams). My shoulder hurt a lot after training but at least it was able to make it through the whole session! I did 4x 8 minute rounds with a one round break after the third round. Then later in the evening I went for a 3 mile run followed by a light lifting session all by myself at the gym in our apartment complex. Have to keep my cardio and strength up somehow since I haven't been training hard the last few weeks. =)

Saturday, my body was pretty sore so I didn't train and neither did Ryan but we did go get a 25 minute massage...ahhhh, so nice and relaxing. =) I was a little bummed though that I took the day off because we had two more visitors from Yamasaki, purple belt Mike Byrd and blue belt Rosie Storey--and they are always fun to roll with--but the guys (and girls) got in some good rounds with them. Fortunately they visit semi-frequently, so I'm sure I'll get to roll with them another time. Today, Dave Jacobs, another Yamasaki Black belt, dropped in for some Pan Ams training with Ryan. Unfortunately, Ryan has been feeling under the weather the last few days and even though he got as far as putting his gi on, he ended up crashing on the bed in the back for almost 4 hours. Bummer for Ryan, but lucky for me because that meant I was able to roll with Dave for a lot longer than I probably would've otherwise =). After resting all day, drinking lots of fluids and taking some much needed Vitamin C, Ryan is starting to feel better, so hopefully he'll be up to training hard by tomorrow or Tuesday at the latest.

I may not have had weeks and weeks of hard training going into Pan Ams, but I at least I won't be overtrained and will be peaking for Worlds. ;)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Need. To. Train. For. Pan. Ams.

I went to PT for a diagnosis last Monday, they thought I just messed up the ligaments and tendons but would be fine after the inflammation went down and some strengthening. I only drilled 3 days this week, trying to take it pretty easy, but by Thursday night my shoulder was throbbing. Maybe it's because we were doing upside down guard into deep half and my shoulder was taking a lot of pressure. Or my shoulder has decided it's had enough.

I went back to therapy on Friday and my therapist commented on how I managed to strain not only all the ligaments and tendons in the shoulder but seemingly all the muscles going into it as well, which apparently is what is causing the discomfort/pain across the front of my chest and down my back. I was working on convincing my therapist (a former collegiate athlete) to try BJJ, but for some reason my shoulder was getting in the way of selling it. Lol!

After the appointment, my shoulder hurt so freaking bad that by this morning I convinced myself I should go get an MRI just in case. I'll be calling the orthopedic office on Monday. Why is this happening right before Michelle and Felipe get here and before Pan Ams and before Ana is coming to train for a whole month?? Mother-F'ing Big People Divisions. I'm not doing them anymore...I swear.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Now I Am a Real Girl

One of our Black Belt friends, Paul Schreiner, teaches at a gym out in Santa Cruz called Kaijin MMA. He is a long time friend of Ryan's and they go back and forth and do seminars at each other's academies when they travel to train together. Paul has been invited to move to NYC to help teach at Marcelo Garcia's academy...hot damn! And in conjunction with his going away party at Kaijin MMA, he asked Ryan and me to come out and put on a whole seminar weekend. So I will be teaching a women only seminar at Kaijin on April 24 and Ryan will teach an open seminar on April 25. Our first joint seminar, lol!

My first reaction when Ryan called to ask me if I wanted to do a seminar at Paul's was "Really? He wants ME to teach a whole seminar? Are you serious?" Haha! It's just still such a shock when someone asks me to teach outside my own academy. =)

I'm so excited about so many great things happening in the BJJ world for women right now. Michelle Nicolini did a great interview on Gracie Mag and she's coming here soon! Then Gracie Mag posted an article on the women's camp. And another women's camp is being offered condensed in Richmond in June. Leticia Ribeiro is doing a seminar in Dallas in June (I so wish I could go). There is just SOOO much greatness all over!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Black Belts, Black Belts, Black Belts!

Black Belt week at Fifty/50 is coming up.

Everyone is invited to the Felipe Costa Seminar at Fifty/50 on Thursday, April 1 at 7pm. It's only $50!!!! It's a steal!

And Ladies don't miss the Michelle Nicolini Seminar on April 3!!!
Also, only $50 if you pre-register by March 31. Facebook event here: Michelle Nicolini Seminar - Event

Thursday, March 11, 2010

God cursed my shoulders

And I mean this completely literally. In fall of '07 I separated my left AC. In Spring '08 I tore my right labrum in two places and had surgery just before the summer started. This past weekend it appears I may have hurt my shoulder more than I thought when I recounted the tournament earlier this week.

I swear I tapped as fast as I could, I knew I was done and didn't play any stubborness at all. But it happens I guess - I both heard and felt something in my shoulder crack...well more like a crunch actually. As I stood up, I was pretty sure I had completed f'd my shoulder. But then it didn't hurt quite as bad as I expected so I wasn't so sure. Until the next day. I took Sunday and Monday completely off and it felt a little better but still only trained lightly at the beginner basics class on Tuesday. Then Wednesday it was hurting a little more again but we had our first class with Fifty/50's new wrestling coach, James Torres - who happens to be the assistant wrestling coach at George Mason University (yeah the same guy who's been giving Ryan and me private lessons over the last few months). I was trying to be careful last night, took advil and ice and everything after practice. But this morning my shoulder felt significantly worse. I scheduled a physical therapy appointment for Monday morning and I'm a little worried about what they are going to tell me.

Today I had a private lesson with James and Quang for an hour (because I didn't want to cancel it) then taught the women's class. Thursdays are picking up! We had five female white belts in the class today! So even though my shoulder hurts more than ever, I am excited about the growth of the women's program! We had another little lady sign up just a week ago! (Haha, I say little even though she's the exact same size as me, but she feels so tiny! LOL!) It's exciting because we have someone at all weights at the white belt level in the women's classes now. Just wait til some of these gals start competing!!!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Moderate Success at Abu Dhabi Pro Trials in Canada

Montreal is like a sub par NYC combined with a sub par Paris where the subparredness is squared. I am not so much a fan. Except for the noodle place. You can pick your own type of Asian noodles, any Asian sauce, any meat, and choose all your favorite vegetables for some amazing stir-fry. We went twice in as many days. Lol!

It was actually the first time Ryan and I have traveled together for a tournament believe it or not. It used to be that we were never able to leave at the same time but my new job is more flexible which is nice.

Anyhow, the tournament went pretty well for the most part. Not surprisingly, Jake walked through most of the competition in the Men's Purple-Black division to earn the gold and a free trip to compete in Abu Dhabi. Congrats, Jake! His buddy Josh who is a blue belt manhandled people all day placing first in his division then second in the absolute (just narrowly missing a free trip to Abu Dhabi but he showed a lot of heart, determination, and skill all the way through tons of matches).

As for me, I was lucky I guess to have a bye first round, but that sometimes makes me nervous because I haven't had a match to warm up in yet. Luckily Ryan spent a lot of time warming up with me though and things went well. The weight class was 138.5 (and I weighed in at 113 with all my clothes on - jeans, belt, and all, lol) so I was definitely the smallest but happy that the first girl wasn't outrageously bigger - maybe only 10 or 15 lbs. I was able to secure the take down and after a long fought match able to get the choke in the last second of the match. Then I had a very long wait for the next match (2 hours maybe) so I had time to rest but almost too much time because I had to warm-up again before the second match.

The second match (semi-finals) was against a girl who had to cut some weight to make it, so I knew I had to push the pace in order to ensure that I wouldn't be too tired if I made it to the last round. I jumped for an armlock early on, but I wasn't able to secure it. Then while going for a gi brabo, I was able to snatch a triangle then armbar from the bottom to finish. In the finals I was up against Sheila Bird, a long time black belt in Canada. I was ready to fight but knew she was a good wrestler. Stupidly I let up on a single leg attempt in the beginning due to a hesitation (my wrestling coach will be unhappy with me) and I would have had it had I gone in hard expecting to be successful. I won't make that mistake again. That turned out to be my only chance as she took me down, she landed in top of North-South with her grip already on for a shoulder lock. I tried to recover an upside-down guard but really with someone that much bigger and stronger and more experienced, if she doesn't make a mistake, it's tough to recover. Not ready to give up, I decided to try to turn out and was immediately wrenched into a kimura to which I tapped as quickly as possible - but not before something in my shoulder cracked. (I was worried yesterday but thank God, today it feels better and doesn't appear to be significantly injured.)

It's super frustrating to lose that way. Mostly because I feel like I was having a pretty good day overall and due to a hesitation on my part, missed out on the only opportunity that was presented to me during that specific match. Next time, I definitely need to be more insistent to play my own game and dictate the pace of the match.

Well, it was a learning experience for me and while second place doesn't earn a free trip to Abu Dhabi, it isn't half bad considering I was the smallest there. I am happy about one thing though, because I didn't have any issue with my lungs holding up and since that is a major concern for me, it's a big victory each time I have manage to keep my asthma under control. Three tournaments in a row now that I haven't had an issue! (Knock on wood!)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Black Belt Mundial Champions Descend on 50/50 BJJ ahead of Pan Ams

It is confirmed!

2x Mundial Black Belt Champion Felipe Costa will be at Fifty/50 BJJ from 31 March - 2 April and will offer a seminar on 1 April!

AND 3x Munidal Black Belt Champion Michelle Nicolini will be at Fifty/50 BJJ from 30 March - 7 April and will offer a women only seminar on 3 April!

Open your brain for high level instruction and get ready for some serious training!

The Pan Ams are coming!!!!!!!!!!!