Wednesday, July 27, 2011

To cut or not to cut?

Right now I weigh 143.

Light weight in gi is only 141, but in my gear I need to be 136 to make weight.

The next weight class up is 152 in gi, which is where I am now.

Its only 7 pounds, but 7 pounds is really hard for me to lose... Not to mention the fact that my doctor lectures me when I get below 148.

I know getting to 136 isn't going to kill me if I do it temporarily... I am just remembering how very hard it was for me to get to light weight last time.

I have plenty of time to make the cut and maintain for a week or so before the Miami open.. I just don't know if it is worth it.

So, it is basically... Do I suffer and punish by body for the next few months to be a 5'9 light weight... Or just eat and behave normally, and fight middle weight.

I vowed to never again cut to light weight again, and Ben always said to fight where you are.... but here I am considering it again.

Decisions, decisions.

Any input you might have would be greatly appreciated.

Monday, July 25, 2011

I'm sure this only amuses me...

When I hear the name Fabio I don't think 'I can't believe it's not butter', I think of this guy:

So, I can not help but laugh hysterically when I see this:

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Women's Class!

We are in the middle of the third week of the women's class at Fabio's.

Allie is doing a fantastic job, and all of the women who have come, have really seemed to enjoy it.  

One in particular.... I could tell she was really into it when she was drilling, and when I grappled her I explained I was going to show her the general idea of Jiu-jitsu, and she should defend herself as best she could, and if she had an opportunity to use any of the moves she had learned during our grapple she should go for it.  .... and did she ever.  lol  She came at me very aggressively, and after I had choked her a few times, she sat up with a humongous smile on her face and said, "This is SO fun!"..then lunged at me again.  It made me so happy!  I know for sure, if she was that happy about being choked she was truly enjoying it.  lol

I believe so far, six women have signed up and I am pretty certain two others are planning on it as well.  We also had two women come and watch.  They said they wanted to try it out, but have yet to return.  Hopefully we see them again soon.  Plus almost all of Fabio's regular girls are coming to the women's class as well.

Friday, July 15, 2011

100 days and counting.

It is exactly 100 days until the Miami Open.

I am going to compete in light weight.  ... I know, I know, I said I would never cut weight again, but I have plenty of time to drop the 6 or 7 pounds to make light weight in my gi.  It would be silly not to do it.

**WARNING**  Reading beyond this point is not recommended.  Rambling happens.

For the first time I am super nervous about competing.  Sure I was nervous about my first competition, because it was the first time I had competed in ANYTHING.  Plus, I had been training all of 2 months.

My subsequent competitions I was relaxed almost to a fault.

I am really very nervous for this competition.  This is the first time I have felt pressure (from myself only) to do well.  I know it is stupid.  What happens if I lose?  Nothing.  Do I get demoted?  No.  Do my teammates think less of me?  No.  Will Fabio think less of me?  No.  I have zero to worry about... but *I* feel like at this point I SHOULD do well.

Logically I know that I am being ridiculous.  There is no need to feel pressure to perform.  This is going to sound like a huge cop-out, because it probably is... but in the past I always felt like I had an reason it was okay to lose.  This is my first competition... This is my first time in this division... If I lost, it was okay.  I would have had a reason I lost.

This time I won't have that safety net.  If I lose it will be because my competitor is just flat better than me.  Granted, every time I have lost a match in the past, that was the case.... but I always went into it thinking it was okay if I lost... generally I didn't.... which is nice.  But honestly, I have never gone to a competition for the medals.   I go for the experience.  I go for the challenge.  I go because I learn.  I go because it is fun!

I don't have to win... but this time, I just have an incredible dread and general fear of losing.  .... AND IT DOESN'T EVEN MATTER!! I don't know why it is weighing on me so heavily this time.

I am going to do it in spite of my fears because I do think I will enjoy it, and I will learn regardless of the outcome... and generally I learn more about my game when I lose then when I win.  It is okay to lose!  Of all of my competitions, all of my matches win or lose my favorite match is one that I lost... by submission even.   I know all of this, yet, I am still afraid.

I want to punch myself in the face.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Miracle Ringworm Cure

About six months ago there was a pretty bad ringworm extravaganza at my school.  Everyone had it, and everyone wanted to share.

Fabio had to take some pretty drastic measures to get it under control.

.... and I have ringworm again.

I think I got it at NAGA.  It is on the part of my arm that had a lot of contact with the mat while I was screaming from the sidelines.

I discovered it Friday morning at a very early stage.. I wasn't even sure it was ringworm, but I busted out my ringworm kit and started treating just to be sure.  Saturday morning my spot was smaller than a dime, but very clearly ringworm.  *angry face*

Annoyed, I decided to tape a tea tree oil soaked cotton ball to my arm all night.

This morning there was zero trace of the ringworm remaining.  Zero!  The spot is slightly discolored, but not a single bump, lump or other ringworm-esque symptoms.

HUZZAH!!  Granted, it could just be gone because I found it early and have been taking proper care of it.  Which is likely the case... but HUZZAH! anyway.

I am still going to continue treating the area to be safe.  (If you have ringworm you should read this for proper instruction to care for and cure your ringworm.)

I am a little concerned because I have grappled a few times between NAGA and when I noticed I had ringworm, but as far as I know it is only contagious when you have the rash or lesions present.  Hopefully that is the case and I have not put my teammates at risk, because when I first noticed it it wasn't even the size of a pencil eraser and was still smooth.  It couldn't have been more than a day old.

And by the way, if you don't know what tea tree oil is, it is an essential oil with anti-fungal properties.  You can find it at your local drugstore for less than 10 bucks. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

"Martial arts competitor foils attempted carjacking"

Earlier I posted a link to an article about my friend Josh stopping a car jacker in his tracks.  The story made it to the 5 o'clock news tonight.

Check it out!

Martial arts competitor foils attempted carjacking

Monday, July 4, 2011

Do you compete against your teammates?

What happens when you are at a competition and you are bracketed with one of your teammates, and it comes down to you and your teammate(s)?

At Fabio’s he has a strict non inner-team competition.  He likes to foster a tight knit group of people who are friends on and off the mat.  Our team is very much like extended family.  If we had to fight each other in competitions it might get more heated while training, we might be less apt to help each other in class, and people might harbor hurt feelings or vendettas after competitions.

Personally, I completely agree with that point of view.  Especially considering my best friend and sister has in the past been in my division in competition.  I just cannot fight her in any kind of intense fashion.  (The fact that she would super tool me if I tried doesn’t even play into that mind set.  I just love her, so I can’t.)
However, I also can see the point where you don’t train BJJ to make friends or have a huge extended family.  You train BJJ to learn BJJ.  Fostering a super friendly gym environment is not required to do that.   Some people may even feel it might hinder their progress for the reason I mentioned above.  If you can’t go hard with some people, you might think you can’t get the most out of a training session.  (Personally, I disagree, but I can see why or how someone would feel that way.)

So, back to my point.

What does your gym do if it comes down to you and your teammate in a competition?

Do you fight?  Do you flip a coin?  Do you defer to the higher belt? 

Fabio lets us work it out among ourselves. 

At my first competition Allie and I were in the same group.  It came down to the two of us, and she deferred to me.  She said she felt like I deserved it because I had two overtimes with a 200+ pound beast woman.  (Allie later had to fight too!  Doh!) 

At the NAGA I went to watch this weekend, it came down to one of my Lakeland teammates and a teammate from Fabio's other branch in Brandon.  (No competing against teammates still applies.)  Fabio told the ref they would not be fighting each other, and the ref asked who was higher ranked, and based on that, he was going to award gold to the higher ranked of the two.  However, they ended up flipping a coin.

Before the Pan Ams Fabio and I were talking about something like this happening to him because there was another Carlson Gracie black belt in his division.  Fabio said he would just defer to that guy if it came down to the two of them because Fabio had already taken home gold from the Pan Ams and to him that would be the only fair thing to do.  He said if it is going to the team, he doesn’t really care who takes it home.

Some of the guys on my team make arrangements before hand with the other guys in their division.  For example, they decide that one person will take gi if it came down to the two of them, and the other would take no-gi no matter how things played out during the competition.

So, what does your team do?  Do you like that?  Would you prefer something different?  What seems the most fair to you?

Inquiring minds want to know!

I love these ladies!

Team Fabio Novaes!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Do Jiu-Jitsu. Become a super hero.

True Story.

One of the guys I train with went from average guy to real life super hero this weekend.  Though, really the super hero was there all along, he just had a situation arise that required the super hero to make an appearance.

His name is Josh, but we call him Delilah.  Long story short... He made his son cut off all of his hair, leading up to a loss at a competition.

Anyhow, this weekend he stumbled across a car jacking in action.... and took action.  He rushed the would be car jacker, choked him out, and held him there until the police arrived.

It made the local paper.  You can check out the full story here:

Lakeland Man Witnesses Carjacking, Nabs Suspect

Friday, July 1, 2011

Jiu-Jitsu Hair for Women.

Let me first say that I have naturally wavy thick highly unmanageable hair.  It is nether straight nor curly, and it takes a great deal of effort to make it look half decent.  So I have always been a pony tail kind of girl.

And now, the evolution of my hair though BJJ.

When I started BJJ my hair looked like this:
Pardon the horrificness of my hair, and general failure of this picture.   I had a hard time finding a picture of my hair down from way back then.

The long hair lasted a month tops.  It got trapped under knees and elbows.  It got pulled out while people were choking me.  It even got caught under my own back, trapping my head up ward and neck exposed.  I have no idea how Allie manages her epic amounts of long blonde beautiful hair while she grapples.
Note how her long hair is actually nice to look at versus my former rats nest.

Out of frustration, I chopped off about 18 inches of hair and wore it like this for a while.
Shorter pony tail... much more easily managed.

This length was more manageable, but still tended to get trapped under knees and elbows.  It still gave me the weird comfort of long hair, so I wanted to keep it.  I had a fat face paranoia.  Until I started BJJ I carried some of my pregnancy weight, and I felt like my face was huge and if my hair was long, I could wear it down when I was having an extra fat face day.  ..Yes, fat face day.. It's a thing, I swear.

Then when I cut down to light weight, in a last ditch effort to drop any extra weight I could shed I cut about 6 more inches off... to this:  (Ps. six inches of hair doesn't even register on the scale.)

At this length it was still long enough to put into a pony tail, and my pony tail was so short it didn't get trapped or pulled out nearly as much.  Huzzah!

I was finally over my fat face paranoia, but scared of cutting my hair shorter.   On top of that, it didn't seem necessary.  It didn't get in my way anymore, and since I had two feet less hair than I did a year before the manageability seemed through the roof.

Then came the list, and on the list, I added, "Cut my hair really short."

So I did.

To this:

This length was too short for a pony tail, but short enough to not actually get in my way while I grappled when I wore it down.  Plus, I REALLY loved it this length.

That last picture is my ideal hair length.  For life, and for grappling.  

And finally having gotten over using my hair for comfort, I did this:

Yesterday, I got my hair cut again, as I mentioned, and it went horribly.  The first attempt at cutting it went all wrong, and I had to have a second cut.  Resulting in much shorter hair than I planned. 
I like the bangs.

The back is where I was less pleased... 
I will say it is totally growing on me though.  =D

Yesterday afternoon I grappled with my new short hair, and it was UHH-MAZING!  It didn't get in my face, didn't get trapped under things... and best of all it is sooo cool!  As in, temperature.  I am half tempted to cut it even shorter now for even more ease and coolness while grappling! 
So in my own opinion, the shorter the hair, the easier it is to manage while grappling.  Obviously though, long haired grapplers exist, and their long locks seem not to hinder them.  But having hand both really long, and really short hair, I will say as far as grappling goes... the shorter the better, at least for me.

So ladies with the long flowing locks.... How do you manage to keep it out of your way when you grapple?  I was never able to discover the secret. 

Other girls who have hair and grapple and have combined those two things in to their blogs from time to time are, Georgette and Megan.

Editing in my most current hair cut:

It is actually a bit of a Mohawk with bangs, cut to wear down instead of up.

 I LOVE it for grappling!  It keeps my head cool, doesn't get in my way at all, and I can still dress it up.

I totally and completely love it.  Keather Bennet of the Mellennia Spa cut it for me.  She is extraordinarily talented and her spa is beautiful.  If you live in the central Florida area I would highly recommend checking her out. 

The Millennia Spa
3046 Cypress Gardens Road
Winter Haven, Florida
(863) 268-8282
The Mellennia Spa

Tell her Stephanie sent you.  =)