Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Comeback Kid

The feeling you get when your kid goes to train without you.  You are under the weather and can't train. She packs up, gets ready and drives herself to class without you bugging or begging.  I can't tell you how good that makes me feel.  She's transitioning to a new phase in her life.  She's in college and in charge of her own time.  I'm starting to see that spark again.  As much as we want them to love jiu jitsu as much as we do, it has to be their own journey.  For a while now she has supported me and encouraged me and pushed when needed.  I'm glad for that.  I will be content to fan the embers of her tiny little spark.  Help that flame grow.  I hope one day she sees what I see when I look at her.  She's a fighter.  A survivor.  Beautiful.  Strong.  She's my Tasmanian Devil Girl.  And for you guys at Combat Nation who haven't been introduced to her, you will soon know why I call her that.  ;)

Thursday, October 1, 2015


It's October folks. Time to get out your pink and honor those breast cancer survivors. To pay homage to those who fought a valiant battle and lost. To comfort those left behind.  Do a self breast exam. Get that mammogram you've been putting off. Wear pink and wear it with pride. I know some amazing survivors. They inspire me. They gave meaning to the words "fight like a girl".  I have that inked on my left shoulder. Whenever I get down or think I can't go on in my training, I remember them. Real warriors. In their darkest hour, all they could do was "Fight like a Girl". This post is for you. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


I have been feeling horrible lately. Feels like my body is betraying me.  Chronic joint pain. Pinched nerves in my neck giving me grief. Shoulder, well we won't speak of it.  What's an old gal to do?  Go train. Stay home and rest. Go and watch. Hmmmm.  It's a tough one for me. Last week I opted out. Now I'm thinking that was a mistake because I feel worse. So tonight I will dust off my pride and suck it up and go train. I know there is not a magic pill that will make all my aches and pains go away. Jiu jitsu has helped me survive the last 5 plus years. I fear that had I not started training I would have just given in to the pain. Jiu jitsu saved me. That's the thing I have to cling to. It's grace keeps me from ever going back to that girl I was before. Peace. Love. Beautiful Jiu Jitsu. 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Passive Aggressive Bears

I had the honor to learn and train with three of the Machado brothers last weekend at RCJ Machado Farmers Branch. Affiliate instructors and students from all over were there along with my coach and I. I don't think I've ever seen so many black belts in one place. It was just a tiny bit intimidating. But these guys were here to learn just like me. If I could sum up the message I got from training with Carlos Machado and his two brothers, John and Roger, it would be to work smarter, not harder. Simple, low impact takedowns. Disengaging from guard. I'm going to nickname this the passive aggressive bear guard pass. These were the two key elements I walked away with. Not to mention opening my eyes to deep half guard and hook flips. The longer I train the more I realize that I can conserve my energy, use less effort, make gravity work for me. So, basically, work smarter, not harder. Peace. Love. Beautiful Jiu Jitsu. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Purple Passion

It's just a color. Purple. That belt that I never thought I'd get. Never thought I'd get there. After the euphoria wore off and reality set in...I'm still trying to wrap my head around what it really means. For me. For my coach. For my team. I hope that I can live up to it. I want to be the best I can be at jiu jitsu. I remind myself when I pull out that belt and tie it around my waist, it's just a color. Purple. There's no magic. Just hard work.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Pass the Broccoli

Started food prepping five weeks ago. Tracking what I eat using the MyFitnessPal app. Doing jiu jitsu and kickboxing trying to get the weight off and in some semblance of shape. It's hard folks. My entire body hurts. Muscles are spasming. Joints are swollen and aching. Some days I just want to give in and eat a king size Kit Kat. Oh, and wash it down with a super size Dr. Pepper.  Instead, pass the broccoli and water. Girl on a mission here. I've got to push through. I'm finally starting to feel comfortable in my gis again. I am rediscovering that endorphin high I get from kickboxing. I didn't realize how much I'd missed the teamwork and that feeling of community. I love the fact that I'm doing moves I didn't think I could before. Coach Anthony pushes me to find the right angles and movement and placement of my body to make it work. He pushes me to try even when I think I might not be able to do something. And, I'm always amazed that there usually is a way to make it work for the body I'm in today. But in 6 months or a year from now, this body will be different and we will change and refine these same moves. That my friends is the beauty of jiu jitsu. Ever changing. Graceful. Flowing. Beautiful.

Wishing you all peace, love and beautiful jiu jitsu. 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Short Legs and Triangles do Mix

The dreaded triangle choke. For the person with short legs it's not been a go to move ever. In the past, when the coach says we are going to work triangles, I would cringe inside. You see, I believed that my short legs were not made for triangles. Well, I could not have been more wrong. This week I learned several different kinds of triangles. Not going to say it was easy. Not going to say I mastered them all. But I definitely had some "aha" moments and now I have some new tools in my bag of tricks. As a self proclaimed slow learner in jiu jitsu, it is no wonder it took me five years to see and understand the many nuances of the triangle choke.  My eyes are opened to the infinite possibilities that are just waiting for me to reach out and grab. I'm excited!  What will another five years bring?  I can't wait to find out.  Wishing you all peace, love and great Jiu Jitsu. 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Reclaiming the Mats

In case you were wondering, I'm still alive and well.  Took an unexpected break from jiu jitsu with very, very little training over the past year.  For me, always, the mats were calling me, screaming at even, to come back and train.  I won't lie, it took every ounce of courage I had to walk back on those mats after such a long break.  This self-proclaimed scaredy-cat was shaking in her gi.  To add insult to injury, my gym closed its doors while I was on my break.  So, not only did I have to suck it up and squeeze back into my gi, I had to do it at a new gym.  Thankfully we were a part of the Solis Martial Arts family and there are lots of amazing gyms to choose from.  I've found my new jiu jitsu home at Combat Nation.  Found a great new coach in Anthony Bernabeo.  It's a small place with a big heart.  I have discovered old friends, and I'm making new friends and it's already starting to feel like home.  Anthony has a great teaching style and I'm excited about learning lots of beautiful jiu jitsu from him.  It's interesting, we think we know how our journey is going to go, then life happens and things change and we end up somewhere completly different.  I believe that everything happens for a reason, so I know that this is where I am supposed to be.  I'm slowly, very slowly, getting back in the swing of things.  I don't feel like a complete alien in my body.  And, if you were wondering about Tasmanian Devil Girl, she's doing well too.  Haven't got her back on the mats just yet, but she did go to an open mat and train a little bit with me.  It's a start.  She's anxious to get back to training, but hey, she's a teenager, a senior in high school, with prom and graduation and college on the brain, so training doesn't always take top billing.  But I know she has jiu jitsu in her soul, and the mats are calling to her.

So if any of you have taken an extended break from training, I'd love to hear your experiences about getting back on the mats and back in shape.

Wishing you all peace, love and great Jiu Jitsu!!