Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Our female blue belt count is now FIVE at Fifty/50...bringing the total women in colored belts count to SEVEN!

Congrats to Mary Anne Hutchison and Leah Buckley for joining their peers Megan Lomonof, Kenna Benesh and Tammy Dominick at the next rank!!

Leah has been training with us for almost a year coming from an MMA background then by way of Dan Simmler's in Boston. At her last tournament she bumped up to Intermediate and performed exceptionally well against blue belts from other area academies.

Mary Anne was the very first woman to walk in to join our women only class in January 2009. This 115lb woman stuck it out when there was no one good for her to train with for almost the whole first year. So many times in that woman only class she received a private lesson because no one else showed up.

At last night's women's class before the promotion ceremony we had 9 women in class (plus me teaching) and then 2 others showed up for the promotion! We've come a long way since the beginning and couldn't have done it without our first female student!

A special congrats also goes to Mike Donaghy and Ben Bullock who solidified their spots at the next rank through their performances this past weekend at the Copa Nova!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Anniversary...kind of

5 years ago today I competed in my first Advanced Division at Grapplers Quest. This was back when 12 months of BJJ meant you were considered an advanced female competitor. A terrifying thought, lol!

I had about 14 months of Jiu-Jitsu under my belt. My first fight was against a woman who had been training for 3 years. I lost by a triangle. Then I got to fight again against a Purple Belt who had been training 8-10 years and had just placed at the World Championships (the last year they were held in Brazil) a few months prior as a blue belt. I had never even seen or heard of a female purple belt before then! It was probably a good thing that it was nogi and my clueless self didn't know who she was at the time. Haha! Somehow, I managed to lose on points. Probably, I was so spazzy and technique-less that it was difficult to control me, although I can guarantee I wasn't putting her in any danger.

In my first match the woman put me in a body triangle and afterwards I remember saying that I didn't know why I was having so much trouble opening the guard. I'd never been put in a body triangle before that day, I didn't even know it existed! It's crazy to see how much the students know about BJJ today, when I think back to how little we were being taught back then compared to today's standards.

My opponent's coach in the second match was none other than Ryan Hall, himself a newly minted purple belt, about to go on to win the Advanced Absolute that day. Maybe his first Advanced Absolute title? (I should really know whether that's 100% accurate, I guess, haha). This was Ryan before he had won a single superfight match/division. (Although, he went on to win his first superfight a few weeks later.)

Celebrating 5 years since the day I met my awesome boyfriend! :) ...unfortunately though I'm celebrating without him, since he's in England until Monday. :( BUT, I am heading over to my brother's house tonight for some of the most amazing chicken fajitas ever! My favorite meal. So excited!! :)

Monday, October 10, 2011


Ryan is away on his longest consecutive absence since we started dating 5 years ago. I can't take this any longer! I am never scheduling him a trip this long again (unless I get to go with him, lol!)

I trained twice today but didn't get in the run I had planned. So I am getting up early tomorrow to start my new lifting workout, then I hit up yoga at 12pm. Then I'll grab lunch and head to the gym to work on some admin stuff. The kids class starts at 5pm (We are up to 15 kids now and one of our new little girls surprised us with her improvement today and renewed aggression. I was worried she wasn't going to really like BJJ but today she sure showed me!) I don't know why, but I just think it's so cool to watch little children execute proper technique. It's amazing what they are capable of learning if you have the patience to teach it. Then after the kids class, we have the women's class (we are up to 23 ladies!), then Basics (I'll probably rest or grab a snack during that class) then finally I train at 8:30pm.

I'm trying to figure out how to manage lifting, yoga, running, and BJJ on top of the actual work I have to do each week and balancing it out. I thought when I quit my job last year that I would have plenty of time for all the training I need to do, but really I probably do as much work with the gym that I did before at my government job, lol! And I feel a lot of pressure to be ready for the NoGi Worlds, especially after so much time off. I'm not worried about my technique too much because I know my Jiu-Jitsu is actually way better this year than last year. I am trying to get back in shape! Four weeks to go!

But only one more week until Ryan comes home!

Broken Shmoken

I did indeed break my thumb. This knowledge is courtesy of a new student of ours who happens to be a doctor and was more than happy to pronounce my metacarpal (or something) very broken. I took a week off training (prior to the thumb actually being pronounced broken) and then returned slowly, taping my hand such that I can wave like a real princess. Makes me feel pretty...except for the whole can't bend my fingers, perma-stick tape and throbbing pain at the end of class problem.

Luckily though! I took one day off during the week last week then two days this past weekend and it appears to finally be healing! 4 more weeks to NoGi Worlds. Is it possible to prepare in 4 weeks after spending over 1 year unable to train hard? I'm not sure. But Val did say that I was rolling very confidently today...meaning that I didn't appear to be worried that my body would give out somewhere unexpectedly. I think today is officially the first day that's happened since February 2010.

Hot damn!