Category Archives: life

American National Championship -2016

 

So this past weekend, I competed in the American National Tournament in Las Vegas. It was my first time out to Vegas and out to this tournament. I had a blast out there and did some good work out there as well. This tournament is part of the UFC International Fight Week, so I got to go to the Fan Expo for free for participating.

This was my first time doing no-gi at an IBJJF tournaments so it was really interesting compared to the gi. I hardly every train no-gi so I don’t know as many takedowns as I would know how to do in the gi. Because I scared all of the people in my weight class from trying to challenge me, I got a gold medal in my weight class for no-gi, which allowed for me to participate in the open.

I had two matches in the no-gi open class. My first match was against my first runner. This girl ran away from me for 6 minutes. She got a penalty against her because she kept backing away and running away from me the entire match. So I had my first runner, guess I really am an imposing figure on the mat with only being 5 feet flat.

My next match the girl immediately jumped guard, so then I was just standing there shaking her off. I eventually take her down to the ground without slamming. I then try to go break her guard, but I don’t have my grips so I then do something and she is super flexible and rolls overs and gets my arm and cranks it. So I tap to the armbar. But I still ended up with 3rd for the open class for No-Gi.

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Then I had a break between No-Gi and Gi. Then my Gi matches started.

My first gi match, I went out there and threw them to ground. Then I just worked my game to get her down and worn out. She was getting tired and I will still all guns blazing so we went around and then finally got her in a choke as time was running out. So I won that match up on points.

Then I had my next match, she attempted to throw me for six minutes to the ground. I was trying to break her grip off my one arm, and every time she would come down low, I would attack the back of her head trying to snap her down. She was about 7 inches taller and much longer than me. But I kept moving forward and trying to attack. It ended up going to a ref decision and with her being an Gracie Barra student we know how that went. But I already had 3 medals on the day and was waiting on the open.

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While I waited for the gi open class, I got too chill out for a while and use FaceTime to show Geri match from TNBJJ to Rachel so she could coach her. Shout out to Geri for taking Sliver in her first tournament.

Then I had my gi open class division. I had to win my first match to even take home a medal. So I went out there and just worked my game. I was able to get the girl to the ground three times during the match. I was never able to get her into side control but was able to get to her back and choke her for the last few minutes of the fight. She kept trying to fight it off, but you could hear her gasping for her as I kept pulling it tighter and tighter across her neck.  She was super upset when she walked of the mat.

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Then I had my next match in the gi, I had used all my energy and strength in the last match so I went out tried to grab my grips, but she reached me first. We went to the ground and we rolled for a while, but she bested me and got the win. But I was going to get bronze in that open too.

So for that day’s work of work, I was coming home with 1 Gold, 1 Silver, and 2 Bronze medals. It was a lot of work and the most matches I have ever had in one day. But I know what I need to work on and on to start training for the next tournament.

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Atlanta BJJ Pro -2016

So  this past weekend, I competed at the IBJJF Atlanta BJJ Pro. It was  a smaller tournament than what the Atlanta Open, but there also so many more tournament options for this weekend to. But I got up about 4:30 in the morning and set sail for Atlanta. I was supposed to compete around 11:45, but was thinking because it was smaller they may run early. My division started at 11:20 and we were done by noon. I was in a division of 3, which is ran more like a double elimination than any other size bracket with IBJJF.

First match, was against the woman who beat me in February. The thing that I learned from this fight is that I have to work on my throwing power. She is a taller and heavier opponent so for me it is much harder to throw her, but we had a lot of scrambles. Also saw that my cardio was so much better than in my past competitions. She was breathing hard on top of me while I’m waiting on my chance, at the end, I was finally able to get from underneath her and dump her. It was a good battle, but she came out on top.

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Second match, I had against another tall woman. Every tournament, someone always grabs the back of my gi and tries to pull it straight over my head. Every. Single. Time. So there is that and then we just battled back and forth. This was her first match and she was tired from the start. I didn’t get my point for a few things, so that was frustrating. At the end, I was on top, trying to choke her as time expired. I felt really good during both of these matches which only speaks to everything that I have been doing by cutting out gluten and dairy. Now it is time to refine and execute for my next competition.

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So I took 3rd out of 3 with 2 hard fought matches. Didn’t get submitted in either one, and could have kept going with more matches. I didn’t stay for the open because since it was supposed to storm on my way home, I didn’t want to be driving in the storm at dark. So I swing by Ikea and got a few things before I headed home. So back to the grind to prepare for what is next.

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Just an update 

Over the last month, I have been working towards figuring out what is going on with my body and why I can’t get the weight off. So at the beginning of March, I saw a new provider and they ran all of the normal blood test with the addition of a genetic test for mthfr. Mthfr is a genetic mutation that a lot of people have. But what it could mean for me really is that i do not process gluten and dairy as I should , so my body just retains gluten and dairy instead of getting rid of it. It also makes a person sluggish, cloudy headed and a lot of other things. So what that means for me, is to lose weight, I have to stopped eating gluten and dairy to see if start feeling better. so for the past 6 weeks I have stopped eating or drinking anything with Gluten and Dairy in it and I do have to say I feel sooooooooooooooooo much better. It is very hard to find foods that do not have both of those ingredients, but i get to eat a lot of meat and vegetables so I am okay with that.

In the gym, i have seen so many differences. I am not dead after class, i have the enegrdy to keep going which i have never really had before.  I sweat differently, it just pours off of me. So now, it make me more motivated because I am seeing changes. Not sure what the scale says at this point, but i am feeling better. So it makes me want to work out more. I have started swing kettle bells and lifting some weights to supplement my training.

I do have to say this is the best that I have felt in years, and i can finally see changes in my body. I still have some more test that they want to run so hopefully I will get a chance to get in there soon and have them done. But I’m just happy to start getting some answers to the results.

Coming up next for me, on Saturday April 30th, I will be competing in the Atlanta  BJJ Pro. So look forward to a recap on that coming soon.

 

2016 Team Training

So on Saturday we had our annual Team Shawn Hammonds team training and it was awesome. Last year team training was during the middle of a ice storm so a lot of people couldn’t make it in. This year, it was a cloudy but other wise great day. We had our an pancake breakfast before to raise money for our grappling for gold fund to help competitors go compete at the big stages.

So team training started about 11 and it was already hot in the gym and I am a person who doesn’t tolerate the heat well. We had a lot of promotions across the association, but shout out to Chandler who received his black belt and Nathan who received his purple. They were both well deserved promotions of these two great guys.

Then we had the seminar portion of team training where we rotated to 4 different black belt to hopefully learn something that we could add to our games. I will say that I learned bit and pieces that I can add to my game, there was a move that my legs are just no long enough to do well. Thank you Rachel, Javier, Brian and Chewy for the great techniques that were shown. Going to try and drill those this week.

Then we had time to roll, i got a lot to good rolls in felt good against a lot of people. Means all of the work that I am putting in is paying off. After we got done rolling, there was a shrimp boil. The food was amazing. I’m still thinking about that food it was so good. So a good team training day had by me.

Can you find me in the photos?

My team runs deep.

 

Reflection from the Big Girl on the mat

The gym is usually my happy place. A place where I am not judged for my size and weight but only my skill. I am used to in tournaments people not rolling with me due to my size and weight but not in the gym. I don’t understand why people do this in tournaments either. I don’t try to destroy my toys, even if I don’t like the person personally I won’t try to hurt them. I am very considerate when I am rolling with people smaller than me because I don’t want to hurt them to the point it disadvantages me at times.  So when someone dodges me and then says they only want to roll with with people their size it is a bit frustrating again.

I am 5 feet and about 250 pounds, there is no one at my gym that is my size. I don’t pick and choose who I roll with. There may be a person I avoid due to a past experience for them being too spastic, but after some time has passed I will try to roll with them again because people do change and get less spastic. But to flat out say I’m not going to roll with someone because of their size I find a bit disrespectful. Just because you are an average size and weight doesn’t mean you get to write off someone bigger than you. You can learn something from everyone,  just because your are getting smashed right now doesn’t mean that will be forever.

I will roll with whoever, I don’t care, I can learn something from everyone at the gym. From the newest white belt through black belt. I always learn something from whoever I roll with, it doesn’t matter if they are bigger and taller than me. It helps me get better.

Last night, the gym was not my happy place.  When people dodge me due to my size, for a moment it makes me want to quit. Why do I come back day after day to be the biggest female at the gym. To be avoided due to my size. But then i realize, im the one that will continue to get better and be willing to take any smashing given. I can stand tall  and say that I don’t avoid anyone on the mats.

The gym will continue to be my happy place. It one of the reason I still survive. And for those who wish not to roll with me, thats fine, there will always be a smaller person to smash you as well. 🙂

 

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Shout out to all of the people who have haven’t been afraid to roll with me.

Atlanta Winter Open 2016

So this past weekend, I competed for the first time as a blue belt at the IBJJF Atlanta Winter Open and it was a great experience. I received my blue belt back in September right after there Atlanta Summer Open. There were some differences from competing as a white belt to a blue belt and most of them are good.

  1. I now compete earlier in the day vs. later in the afternoon. I prefer earlier so I can get back to eating.
  2. Now I can do the open class vs. as a white belt there is no open class.
  3. It didn’t apply to this tournament, but I can now do no-gi tournament since I have received my blue belt since white belts are not allowed to.
  4. Just have a different mindset now being a blue belt vs a white belt.

This time my division had 6 people in it, it always interesting that registration will close and have only 4 but then some how 2 more people appear 2 days after it has closed. So I got the bye in the first round so in the second round I went up against a woman who was taller and probably heavier than me. She basically laied on top of me for the entire round at the end I started trying to come up but she won on point. I was very proud of my performance for some reason people may think is crazy but here they are:

  1. My gi top did not come over my head.
  2. She did not yank my gi top over my head.
  3. My pants did not come down
  4. My rash guard did not come up .
  5. My belt stayed tied the entire match

Most people who roll with me know what kind of feat that was not have that happen.

If you would like to watch my match here is the link to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOY-CBgi6wY

Because I had the bye in the first round, I ended up with 3rd place for this tournament.

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I then waited around until the open which was supposed to go on at 5:40 but we probably didn’t start the Blue Belt Adult female divisions until 6:30. My first match in this division was against another Super Heavy girl who had taken 2nd in our division. I don’t have a video of that match, but she won on points by getting me into the guard and i would try to break it and she would get me right back into her guard. I could tell she was very frustrated with me. She busted both my top and bottom lip so I bled all over her nice white gi. She may have won the match, but she will always have my blood on her gi. So now I have that tournament out of the way and have stuff to start working on.

I do have a question though: does anyone else get super hungry after tournaments? I do by what I ate after the tournament. I ate all of it.

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Today will be a two post day as I will also being doing my meal planning for this week later today.

Til later,

Leprechaun

 

It’s 2016 and I’m just getting started

So 2015 is in the rear view mirror and I am looking ahead to 2016. I have a lot planned thie year, I definitely want to compote more than I did last year and train more than I did last year. And with the added fact of knowing what my metabolism is now thanks to the Transform10on Lab here in Nashville. I am set to make the biggest weight changes this year of my life. In the last year, I have really taught myself how to cook so I am happy with what I can do now. I don’t  smoke up the house much anymore so I am pretty excited about that. So many people have asked me what I cook and what I am eating or that they like my picture so I though I would start posting on here what I am cooking for my meal preps on Sunday.

For the week of January 10th here is what I am eating:

Breakfast – 1/2 cup Oatmeal with  1/4 cup of Granola, 3 Turkey Sausage links, Greens Powder with  1 cup Almond Milk, sometime a piece of fruit

Snack 1 – Ostrim Jerky and Nuts

Lunch – Burrito Bowl – Ground Turkey, brown rice, guacamole salsa, and a carrots or apples snack pack

Snack – Might Muffins or Buff Bake Cookies

Dinner- Crock Pot Chicken Thighs with a bag of frozen veggies

If I still have calories left, I may eat some almond butter.

But this is what I am eating this week, the pictures will be on Instagram this week so check them out of my meals.

Let me know if there is anything else you want to see in these post.

🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking back on this year

So as we come to the end of the year, it is time to reflect back over what has been done. This year, I tried new things by completing a half marathon as well as leveled up in Jiu-Jitsu back in September.

All year I have been working to lose weight and it really didn’t go that well. I tried Paleo through about May and I did see about a 6 pound drop during all of that time.  It was really difficult to not see any weight loss on that diet after all of the research saying that I should see some more than that. I have been working hard to see weight differences, but I am not seeing drastic  change on the scale. What I have seen though is a differences is in inches and body composition. Around September I stared going to the Transformat10n Lab here in Nashville. By going to the Lab, I realized that I was not eating enough calories in the day so my body was retaining the fat vs burning it to make me lose weight. Now I have an accurate account of how many calories that I need to intake to lose weight. So now this going to be a game changer for me next year with my diet and eating habits. I have really started meal prepping, now a day so I know how many calories I am eating at any time. That has been a great help to me, so I can know how many calories I am eating to make sure that I get enough.

Long Distance Running I have learned is not for me. I can appreciate the people who enjoy it, but I think i rather do some other type of activity. Going into the new year I will probably try to do some 5k, but not much more than that. It takes away too much training time from what I really enjoy most and that is being on the mats.

This year, I have learned so much about myself through doing jiu-jitsu. I really do get antsy if I go too many days without being being on the mats. There is really something peaceful about it for me and I am so happy that i took that leap over 2 years ago to get started. I feel like there is nothing that make a person feel more alive then getting their ass handed to them on a regular basis. I can’t wait to see what next year will have in store for me. I know that I am going to keep moving forward and keep the monument that I gained this year. 2015 was truly a great year but I know going into 2016 it will be even better. There is going to a leprechaun domination. I plan on doing more next year and getting better.  In the new year I will also be posting my meal prep menus as I have had a lot of comments of what I am eating though my pictures.

Leprechaun out

What took almost 2 years, a lot of work, dragging my butt to gym when I didn’t want to..

is me getting my Blue Belt. Yeah, that’s right, on September 1, 2015, I obtained my blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I had no clue, that was going to be the day that I got my blue belt and quite a lot has changed for me since I got it. I am in the best shape that I have ever been in my life and still getting better every day. When I first started, I was a month out from having finishing my masters so I wanted to find something to do with my newly found free time.  I had remembered Nashville MMA from when I was younger and they used to be in 100 Oaks mall. I didn’t have the time or money then, but always said one day I will go do it. I started on September 10, 2013 with the intro to MMA class, because I didn’t have a gi at the time and I felt like death after that first class was over.

Now after 10 competitions and almost 2 full years of training, I have obtained the rank of blue belt, which is a huge step, most people who start never get here, but I have stayed with it for 2 years and it something that I plan on continuing to do as long as I can. The end goal for me is always black belt.  I have learned so much about myself over these last 2 years. I am able to do so many things that I thought I wouldn’t be able to do. I have learned that my weight and height can be advantage where in a lot of other places they are not.  I have learned how to be more social and have made a lot of friends that I trust to release when I tap. I have learned so much about they call the gentle art.

I survived my belt test with probably close to 30 people including 7 black belts on the mat the night I got my blue belt. This isn’t something that I plan on stopping anytime soon. I may take a week of to let my body recover so I can come back stronger, but I am fully committed to continuing to do jiu-jitsu.

I do want to say thank you to my professors and teammates, who have all taught me something a long the way. That you understand that I can’t see without my glasses on so you come grab when we are rolling. It has been a great two years and this is something I will continue doing. I have learned to fight to the death and to never give up.

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This is a picture of me after my belt test with all of the black belts. I survived and they are holding me up after the aftermath with my shinny new blue belt.

 

Leprechaun Out,

white to blue

#YouCantTeachHeart

IBJJF Summer Atlanta Open 2015

Another day another competition down,  I competed again this summer in the IBJJF Atlanta Summer Open.  This is the first time it was a two day tournament in Atlanta so I competed in Sunday morning, instead of late in the afternoon. So I got to venue around 9:30 as my division was scheduled  to go at 10:50. So got there got changed and then started to listen to my music before going into the bullpen. I had a division of 5 this time and I didn’t get the bye so I had 3 matches to get to gold, while everyone else would only have 2. So I was like bring it on.  I got ready and the ring coordinator for ring 3 called us over and got us all together. I was going to have the first match because I didn’t get the bye.

Match 1- Before the match, Rachel is like get your throw and so I go on the mats, get my grips and throw her. She catches me with a lasso grip, while I’m on top and she holds it. She asks her coach and then she finally lets it go, I stay on top and up by points to with the match. The Link to the match is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gx_5zvFzGOg

Match 2 – Going up against a taller female this time, we go back and forth, she is up by points, but I get my second wind and come back throw her twice, then go to back mount then to full mount to come back from behind to beat her. I am still trying to figure out what she was trying to do when she was jumping. The link to the second mach is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cybFdzszPiw

Match 3 – Had another good opponent, we stood up, battled for a while, tried to throw her, got her in half guard and then just battled for the entire round. This was my finals match, she came out victious, but i still felt like a winner. Has gone what I had set my mind to and won 2 out of 3. The link to the finals match is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJUrRVd7-lE

It was a good day, had some good battles and already planning my next competitions out. Here is the my podium picture.

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You can’t teach heart and fight until the death,

Leprechaun a.k.a ninja