Tag 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.

The Snow is melting so I am cooking

Even here in the south we get hit by snow so sometimes. The weather people got it right this time and at my house we received about 7 inches of snow in about a day. We are not prepared for this ever. And I did not go to the store the night before, but I was prepared with plenty of food in my deep freezer so we have plenty to eat. But now I am getting back to grind this week so here is my meal plan for this week.

Breakfast: Oatmeal with Granola, Chicken Sausage, Green Powder w/ Almond Milk

Snack: Ostrim Jerky and Nuts

Lunch: Shredded Beef Burrito Bowl w/ Brown Rice

Link for the the recipe for the meat: http://www.thecookingjar.com/slow-cooker-shredded-beef-tacos/

Snack: Mighty Muffins or Protein Cookies

Dinner:  Sesame Honey Chicken with Vegetables

Here is the link for the chicken: http://www.skinnytaste.com/2013/02/crock-pot-sesame-honey-chicken.html

I have started meal prepping on Monday, since I am at home already I can make sure that my food doesn’t burn. It is working at much better for me since I use that day to recover anyway and I’m stressing about how I will get it done on the weekend. Since most of my food goes in the crockpot, it only takes a few minutes while I’m working from home to get it set up and cooking.

I have been training hard for the last few weeks getting ready for the first competition of the year at the Atlanta Open next weekend. This is going to be a good year I can feel it. Got out in the snow for the first time to go open mat at Jiu-Jitsu Nation and got a lot of good work in. Felt good to get out and train hard.

Leprechaun out

 

 

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

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

Frustration at Local Competitions

So I am a bit frustrated I realize that I am not a small girl, I have never really been one. I also understand that I am not tall and at times can be quite intimidating. Something that I have noticed at these smaller competitions is that I only seem to get one match and that is all.  Usually this match is in the gi as well. Girls in the lighter divisions may be able to get multiple matches because they are closer in size. It appears that once you are in the big girl division, it seems like you only get one match as there is not willingness to match up big girls with others as there are not as many at tournaments. I have been to tournaments where I have only received one division for the same price I have seen other do three because they need someone a fight.

So my frustration is at where a division is let’s say 150 and up, but then they give the girls the option to fight someone if they may outweigh them by 50 to 100 pounds.  You knew coming into this competition that that many be a possibility you could fight a 250 pound girl. I have been to competitions where they have split the division at 200 so I am left with one while the 150 to 200 has like four girls competing in it.

There has been this movement to equalize women’s pay compared to the men which is true in jiu jitsu. But we also need to talk about the issue of women only wanting to fight women who are there size. Now maybe this more of a local thing around here, but at the last competition I was, I was not able to do my no-gi division because the girl that I was supposed to fight had her coach decide not to fight me but fight someone else. The only way I was able to get a gi match was having a blue belt fight me as the other two white belts were scared and/or the organizers decided to cut the divisions due to my weight.

Now I realize my weight is my issue and its something that I struggle with everyday. Trust me, if I could weigh less I would, but it just isn’t something that is going to happen overnight.  But it also doesn’t make sense why people are allowed to turn down fights because they don’t want to fight with someone who weighs more than them. What are they going to do when they compete in an absolute, say I can’t fight that person cause they outweigh me by X amount.  That is just like me saying, I don’t want to fight someone just because they are taller than me, which is basically everyone who I come across in competition. I train and pay my money  to compete just like everyone else, so I don’t see why they are allowed to choose who they fight and I get stuck getting a refund because they don’t want to fight.  I want to fight, I train to fight and for these girls to just get a pass is just frustrating and annoying.  I will fight whoever they put in front of me, I don’t look at size or height, just the challenge that lays ahead.

I don’t just bulldoze through people either, in 9 competitions I have only won one match and that was just a few weeks ago. I guess I am intimidating for my size. I realize everyday that I am 5 ft and about 240 pounds and built more like a line backer than figure skater. I can’t grow any taller and my goal weight one day won’t even been that low, like these girls are at now. One day I would like to fight MMA, but if I can’t even get a no-gi match right now at these competitions, I will probably be hard pressed to find a mma fight at over 200. I’m just going to continue to do me, and if girls are going to be scared, then be scared, your missing an opportunity to better yourself by not competing with me.

Leprechaun out

 

Fuji Bjj Nashville Jiu-Jitsu Championship

This past weekend, I competed in the Fuji Bjj Nashville Jiu- Jitsu Championship in Clarksville. I will say that the last two tournaments that I have competed in have been  very well ran and I have been done competing before two in the afternoon. Yes, these tournaments have been been smaller but I have enjoyed how they run the adults and the kids at the same time. It means that i don’t have to wait around all day for the kids to go before I can compete.

I was at the venue pretty early for a tournament to get weighed in and situated that morning. I was just hoping that i would have someone to compete against. The only thing about smaller events is that divisions are usually broken out a lot more and I usually end up with just one match, while the lighter girls have more. So I waited through the rules meeting to find my mat assignment. I was assigned to mat 6 for all of the adult females.

My first and only match in the gi was with a blue belt as that was the only person that was similar enough to me for them to match me up with. I am willing to fight who ever they put in front of me. So we fought, she ended up winning by points and the link to the fight is here:

I thought I held my own with her, my own real big issue is with my gi. When I received it over a year ago, it fit much better than it does now. My legs and body have shrank in inches so it is much to big for me to continue to compete in. I had so many issue with both the top and the bottom that I am now going to be looking for a new competition gi, that doesn’t as easily get pulled over and is a bit more fitted than the one I have now. It has held up well for me over the last year, but its time to retire it as it gives up to much of an advantage to others.

It was a good match, and I was trying to beat a 50 year old woman, while she is trying to be a white belt. So it was a great match up. She also competed against my teammate in the blue belt divisions as well.

Here is my podium picture from my gi match: IMG_2701

So then I watch my other teammates compete as I wait for No-Gi competition to start later that afternoon. They start doing adult females and I find out that I have no opponent for no-gi.  They asked some others if they had wanted to compete against me, but them or their coaches had said no. I will write more about this later as this is something that frequently happens to me. So I got an refund for that division and then watched a few matches before I left because i was getting hungry.

All in all, it was a good day of competing, even though I didn’t win I learned something. I also now am in search for a better fitting gi, so if anyone has any recommendations I would definitely appreciate it.