Tag Archives: martialarts

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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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.

 

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

 

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

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.

 

 

Hey Everyone….

So guess I should introduce myself. My name is Rachelle a.k.a  leprechaun and I started doing jiu jitsu back in September 2013 after finishing my masters degree . I knew that I need to start working out and I needed something that I would stick too. I had done Tae Kwon Do when I was younger for like 4 years and really enjoyed it and wanted to get back in some kind of Martial Arts, but didn’t want to go back down that road. I wanted some thing that was a little bit more physical so a friend told me about BJJ and so I was interested. I looked around and found a school near me and started in the trial period for 30 days. I was hooked from the first one one one session that I had and just wanted to keep going back day after day. I finally had found something that I wanted to do and was willing to do on a daily basis. I am now getting to a point where things are started to make sense and I am learning how to flow and move my body.

So I am starting a blog to track my progress on the mats and in my journey as well. So this blog will have a mix of things on it from competition results, to new moves that I have learned, to tips that I learned, to anything else I feel is relevant.  So stick around this should be a run ride and comment with who you are and how you found me.

NAGA Memphis – My First Trip for BJJ

So I went to Memphis back in November in it was the first time I had ever went on the road for BJJ. So I had to be a my friends Tricia and Kenny house at like 5 am soon we could get on the road and get down there in time.  We get on the road about 6 and they drive down there and we go and weigh in and then go to IHOP cause we were all starving and some of them were cutting weight for the competition. (I wasn’t cause I compete in the heavy division and has no weight limit)  So we ate and got back to the site and then there was a lot of hurry up and wait through all of the Kids and Teens divisions. Then they finally get to my women’s division.  I had no-gi first and there was only one other person in my bracket.

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I got second place in no-gi. Then they were calling for gi, so I had to change real quick in front on everyone for gi.

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I got 3rd place in gi. But hey I had only been training for like 2 months at this time and they put me in the beginner division instead of the novice because they didn’t have any heavy novice females. But I have been training hard since then and will be coming hard this year.