Rise from the ashes

Rise from the ashes

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Submit, submit, submit

The goal of jiu jitsu is not to survive (although, you don't want to get submitted, and so you want to do that).

The goal is to submit your opponent.

When we approach a match we should be trying to submit our opponent, not just establish positions/get points etc.

Jorge gave us a speech about this yesterday after making all of us who are competing at worlds train for 18 minutes straight with a new opponent every two minutes, so they are fresh and you are exhausted. (sigh, tiring, but it also awesome).

I need to think more about submissions when I am rolling.

At worlds I need to approach my matches with SUBMIT as my mentality. As Jorge would say, "you need to mentalize the submission."

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Worlds in T-13 days

Flights are booked. Hotels and car rentals. Check!

Still need to register. Stuck on what weight class to enter.
under 118 with a gi
or under 129 with a gi

i'm sitting around 119 (naked).

we'll see where things are at after a week of hard training.

I should be resting. Reading jiu jitsu. Watching videos. Mental training. Just reading some blogs.

Laughing my butt off.

(I love laughter, it's so refreshing).

Check out: http://sleeptalkinman.blogspot.com/ (for a wife who records her husbands rambles in his sleep... (a little crude).

And for some more hilarity: http://shitmykidsruined.com/

And something a little more highbrow: http://unhappyhipsters.com/

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

So, after about a 4 or 5 week hiatus from training. I've been slowly getting back to it over the last two weeks. At first it was really hard and I got really tired, really fast.

I remember at the end of class having a 5 minute roll with a white belt and dominating and submitting the crap out of him... And getting more gassed and slower, and sloppier as time wore down. I heard Jorge shout: 2 more minutes and I laughed to myself and told the guy I was done. I didn't have two more minutes in me. That was my first class back with Jorge. Things are much better now. Yesterday's class was much better. I felt strong and not tired. My technique felt good. I feel strong again.

Jorge gave a speech at the beginning of class and it was really inspiring. He always draws parallels between jui jitsu and life. He was saying that every day we need to try to be a little bit better than the day before. And how that mentality adds up after a week, a month, a year, and beyond. He said a lot of people loose in their minds before they even get on the mat. He said we have to be the first ones to tell ourselves we are going to win, that we are going to make it. So instead of stepping on the mat and saying, I'm going to lose, I should have trained more, I have no chance against this guy, he's big, he's strong. We have to say, I am going to win, this is going to be my day, people say he's really tough-unbeatable, but I am going to surprise him and submit him and win. He said we have to be the first people who proclaim our own victory, not our own defeat. If you think you are going to lose in your mind, you almost surely will. If you think you are going to win, you may not always, but at least you aren't conceding defeat before the fights even happened.

And he said this is like life too, if you lose your job, you don't think I'm never going to find anything, you think I'm going to find something better. He said, if you are sick, you say every day I am going to get a little bit better, more well. For obvious reasons that really struck me. Lately I have been wondering if I am really getting better, if this new chemo protocol is working for me, doubting... This inspired me. Screw what the doctors say. In my mind I am going to be determined. I am not going to assume the worst before the results are in-so to speak. Every day I am going to have the mind set that I am getting a little bit better than I was yesterday, that I am moving towards wellness.

I want to be a champion in jiu jitsu. But even more I want to be a champion in life and overcome all the obstacles set before me. And cancer, I am going to win, today is going to be my day, people say you are really tough-unbeatable, but I am going to surprise you and submit you and win.

Friday, February 19, 2010

February 17, 2010

Mental Game Training Technique #1 Imagery (visualization)

Visualize yourself achieving a goal you have set for yourself: World Champion, Blue Belt, June 2010

I am standing on the mat after the gold medal match. All of my team mates are going crazy shouting I won, and that I am the champion. I am walking around the mat, re-tying my belt, catching my breath. My hand hasn’t been raised by the ref yet, so it’s not official, but it’s starting to sink in and tears start to well in my eyes. I can hear my family too (my dad is so loud, cheering for me). The referee calls us both to the middle of the mat, grabs my hand and the hand of my nameless and faceless competitor and he raises my hand. I am the champion. I drop to my knees as sobs of joy erupt from my body. I run to my team mates and hug and thank Jorge first, my sensi who is crying too, with tears of joy and pride in his eyes. Melissa, Josh, my sweet Vincent, my family... And it’s all surreal. But it isn’t a surprise. I planned this, I worked for it. I deserve it. And that sense, of having earned this and not simply “won” pervades my entire being as well.


The most powerful use of imagery is to help prepare you to perform at your maximum ability, particularly in the heat of competition. **this is what i need

February 16, 2010

My action plan is for the remainder of February:
-figure out what the attitude of a champion is and how to get it
-work on my mental game daily. EVERY DAY.
-ask naturopath about sports nutrition+cancer nutrition and figure out an overlapping plan where ever possible.
-watch jiu jitsu video clip, read jiu jitsu book, talk to jiu jitsu people about jiu jitsu daily. EVERY DAY. (at least on of these things each day).
-look into how to maximize training
-come up with a training plan/schedule that is reasonable considering the treatments I am undergoing and stick to it (get Daniel to look it over and make sure it's not "too much")
-see about going to wrestling club with Melissa (just to try, see, experience)

When working on mind-setting/goal-setting use SMART
Time (frame)

February 15, 2010

Mental Edge: Questions to ask yourself:

1- Do I have the attitude of a champion?
No. Not yet. I believe in my potential. But not in myself as is, I know I need to work on that.

2- Do I believe in myself in the midst of adversity?
No. Again, I believe I am capable, but not that I will achieve/overcome regardless. That is part of why I am reading this book so I can figure out how to have a strong mind game.

3- Am I letting other people affect my thinking?
Not in negative ways. But in positive ways yes.

4- Am I eating to maximize my performance?
No. I am eating to maximize getting well from cancer. I wonder if there is a way to do both. I will ask my naturopath about it

5- Do I use the latest training techniques?
I don’t really know. I read books, forums, talk to jiu jitsu communities on line, DVDs, and train with one of the best jiu jitsu lineages out there.... Helio Gracie->Royler Gracie->Saulo Ribeiro->Jorge Britto... I have to trust these masters are training us in the best ways. And on my own keep reading and watching and learning from other sources.

6- Do I consume too much junk food?

7- Am I maximizing my training?
Probably not. I should figure out how to do that.

February 14, 2010

The Mental Edge
-maximizing your sports potential with the mind body connection-
Kenneth Baum

Great achievements don’t start with reality they start with desire.

My desire statement:
I want to get my black belt in jiu jitsu and judo. I want to be a world champion at every belt level in jiu jitsu (blue belt and up anyway). I want to be known as one of the best and most technical female jiu jitsu players, or jiu jitsu player in general. I want to teach jiu jitsu and share my knowledge/expertise (once I have it that is!!)

My reward statement:
This will help me stay in shape, be disciplined in all areas of my life, live the jiu jitsu lifestyle, and give back to the community by teaching. I will have shown everyone, but mostly me, that I believe in myself and I am never going to quit.

Monday, February 15, 2010

5 positive things I believe about myself

(working through the mental edge)

-I am intelligent and can learn new moves and concepts with ease
-I have a natural ability to learn and perform jiu jitsu
-I am more willing now than every before to admit ignorance and get help, clarification
-I have what it takes to be world champion
-I am disciplined and can train harder than just about anyone I know

The Mental Edge-Kenneth Baum

Since I'm not training physically, I might as well work on my mental game.

The Mental Edge
-maximizing your sports potential with the mind body connection-
Kenneth Baum

Perception Stretchers

1. a loss becomes a gain
-carefully evaluate “failures” by asking do I need to train differently, think differently, eat differently.... and what happened in that particular match and how can I make the outcome different next time?

2. if you do what you have always don you will get what you’ve always gotten
-be an experimenter, change things up, be willing to learn, let go of the ego and realize that you don’t have the market cornered on how to train the most effectively

3. the imagination is more powerful than the will
-use visualization

4. bodies work perfectly, minds get in the way
-learn how to relax, focus, quiet the mind so that the body can do what it’s been trained to do

5. limitations are temporary
-don’t get frustrated by plateau’s and remember limitations are usually temporary and come more from the mind than the body

6. anyone can play any sport better
-pattern the excellence of others

7. events have no meaning except what you give them
-remember a jiu jitsu match is a jiu jitsu match whether at the dojo, a local competition, or worlds... so, learn to set aside tension/anxiety

8. getting better is more important than winning
-the goal should be performing at peak levels

9. practice like you play
-if I am competing in 7 minute matches, I should train that way, etc.

10. the more you expect from a situation the more you will achieve
-modest expectations produce modest results, focus on the possibility of success

Monday, February 8, 2010


So, I haven't trained at all for 2 weeks. I am taking this week off too. And we are snowboarding from the 12-18... So there won't be any training until after that. And that leaves about 2 weeks until abu dahbi (in Montreal)... which I really want to win so they'll pay for my trip to compete there.

If I do in fact want to win, why aren't I training? Why is now the time I am taking a break? It was time. My body needed it. My body needs it. I've been hovering around 110 pounds which is too light for my height and I can feel it when I train. Today I was 115, which is good, but recent stress and illness hasn't allowed me to make much more progress on gaining weight. A short 2 days ago I was 110 again... But I have been eating loads the last few days and it's helping slowly. Trying to train when I'm around 110 is brutally tiring and exhausting. My body just has no energy.

Still, all of that wasn't really a good enough reason for me to take a break. It was seeing this osteopath that Daniel recommended named Todd. I have seen him 3 times and I see him again this Friday. He has been adjusting my body and organs and trying to get everything working better... So my body can focus on kicking cancer out. To make a long story short, he basically said I need rest. He had to word it like this to make it sink in for me: "what's more important, jiu jitsu or getting better from cancer?"

Talk about reality check. So I am trying to listen to my body and give it what it needs. It's hard because I am such a strong willed person I can push my body (with my mind) beyond the limits of most normal humans. But, that hasn't served me well really. Being disconnected from my body, having my mind over run my body. It's not to say I can't exercise or train... I just may have to go about it differently.

Anyway, who would have ever thought I'd willingly take almost a month off training (it will be about that by the time I go back)..... But this is for the big picture. I don't just want to do jiu jitsu for a year or two, even if I accomplish a lot. I want to do it for the next 30 years. In order to do that I have to heal. I have to get well. I am willing to take a break if it'll get me closer to that.

I miss training. But my body is feeling different and well and I know that I need this.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Some friendly advice

RLJ posted some awesome training advice on his blog: http://www.lovatojr.com/2010/01/there-is-no-winning-in-training.html

It involves, in training, not always playing your strengths... because you'll never improve the areas your weak at. It involves taking risks and opening up your game, even though you might get submitted. After all, it's training. And wouldn't you rather try something or make a mistake and get caught in training then competition??!!? I mean, if you screw up in training that's how you learn.

I default to what I am good at so easily. Even on the days that I try to intentionally train something I am weak at. Because it's so automatic to just transition to what you are good at or what comes naturally.

I don't want to have an ego.

I want to be a good training partner.

I want to make the most of training.

I want to force myself to face my weaknesses and work on them.

Not just in jiu jitsu, but as always, it parallels with life.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wrestling Class

Today wrestling was great. We worked the two-on-one grip on the arm.
Key points
-use both your head/shoulder when stripping their arm off your neck
-keep the momentum going forward to make the moves work

3 variations:
-scoop and stuff the head so you are controlling the head and arm, then ankle pick them
-kick up on their leg, then block and trip them *momentum must stay forward
-scoop them into a fire-man carry and dump them over top of you (work on it being more of a throw rather than a dump)

Jui Jistu I was tired. And did the class up until the rolling. I rolled with Tim and cut my foot, which ended my night a few minutes early. But I didn't mind, I feel like I got lots of good training in.

We worked on a pass that translates into a choke, using the gi and the back of the leg... It comes so naturally to me. Leo Santos is teaching this week and he saw me do the technique an he said: "wow, that's perfect!"

Now if only my body would co-operate and heal completely from cancer, I know I could be world champ. I hope to be one anyway, either way.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

More regular updates from now on... I swear

Trained Judo today. I really suck at it. It's so humbling being back at the beginning as a white belt. I have so much work to do on my judo.

The main principles that stuck out today were:
-always keep the person in front of you (Bobby learned this from his father)
-when doing throws where you are using your legs, it's often that your legs exchange places, not that you have both feet planted... one hops where the other was, while the other kicks or blocks the leg to complete the throw

I can't even remember the names of the things we did in judo (my brain sucks on chemo)... I'm going to have to write them down in/during class so I can start learning them... It's getting under my skin and I really want to get excellent. I want to compete in judo too... Not as much as jiu jitsu... but, a little bit at least... just to feel it/see it.

-IV treatment, which will help with the energy (YAY!!)
-helping teach women's self defense (for prostitutes/sex workers/street girls) 4-5
-maybe helping Deb drill 5-6 (need to call to confirm)
-break from 6-7 during white belt class
-wrestling 7-8
-advanced jiu jitsu 8-9

It's ambitious. I might end up only being able to watch the jiu jitsu class from 8-9... I had a hard time with one hour of judo today. I will push myself tomorrow since I will be off Thursday for chemo.

Count Down AbduDabi and PANs

Training Plans This Week
**I really want to focus on judo!! i hope to get a few training sessions in this week.

In jiu jitsu:
let people pass guard and work on escapes
don't close guard this week
ask a lower belt for perspective on something
replay rounds of sparring as you fall asleep

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Thing s to Try

Pick just one submission to focus on for a week.

Concentrate on how your hips are moving while sparring.

Find a way to make your hips as heavy as possible while passing.

Drill a sweep you didn’t like the first time you learned it.

Take two different posit ions and figure out how to transition between them.

Pick one posit ion and work on it for a month .

Try a new move today .

Pick a move you don’t use enough and drill it before class for a week.

Draw a diagram of a move that explains its mechanics.

Write down how to do the last move you learned with as much detail as possible.

Draw a flow chart of the posit ions you use and how you transitions between them.

Try a new move just because it looks fun.

Almost let a white belt tap you today .

See how long you can hold a “strange” posit ion while sparring.

Let people pass your guard so you can work on your escapes.

Pick your least favorite posit ion and work on it.

Teach your favorite move to someone who doesn’t know it.

Put together a three move combination and drill it.

Fight from top as much as possible for a week.

Don’t close your guard in sparring today .

Find a “fancy” move and see if it really is that fancy .

Drill the escapes to the last submission you got caught in.

Make a combination of three guard passe s that have you go over, under and around the legs.

Ask a lower belt for his perspective on something.

Try to stand up from guard more often .

Try to take the back from every where .

Watch and study higher belts sparring.

Figure out how much your game changes with and without the gi.

Stretch before and after train ing.

Play guard as much as possible for a week.

Replay a round of sparring in your head as you’re going to sleep .

“Steal” a good move from someone else.

Coach two white belts against each other .

Make your intentions obvious and see if you can still get the move.

Focus on controlling your breathing.

Set a faster pace than norma l.

Set a slower pace than norma l.

Move slowly and deliberately while sparring today .

Move fast and light with sparring today .

See how long you can hold mount .

See how many transition s you can do in one round .

Find a high level competitor with your body type and try to emulate him.

Stop halfway through a move and see how long you can maintain control.

Try a dumb move today .

Spar with your eyes closed.

Try sparring two people at once.

Hold knee- on- belly for as long as you can in sparring today .

Stand to pass guard this week.

Don’t use one of your arms today .

Work on your rear mount escapes.

Try holding side control on a balance ball to develop pressure.

Compare where you are now to where you were 6 month s ago.

Try not using your arms at all while sparring today .

Drill level changes and penetration steps today .

Take a minute to do as many repetition s of the armbar from mount as possible.

Do a full round of sparring from under side control.

Train transitions instead of posit ions.

Figure out a way to improve your scramble.

Draw a picture of how you think of a certain movement.

Pick the toughest person at your gym and spar with them.

Only use moves you learned as a white belt today .

Put in extra repetition s on your bad side.

Be single-minded in going for what you learned and drilled in class today .

Fine tune your choke s with feedback from your train ing partner.

See how long you can hold the triangle posit ion without finishing the submission .

Put yours elf in submission s and see if you can get out.

Approach old moves like they’ re completely new to you.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

jiu jitsu check point

Quest ions to Ask Yourself:

How good is your hip movement on the bottom?
decent. of course it could always be improved.

What part of your game needs the most work?

What posit ion gives you the most trouble?

What do you need to improve next?
bottom game, judo, and wrestling

How good is your posture in guard ?
getting better. getting swept less.

How can you improve your diet?
more fruits and veggies.

Are you getting enough sleep ?
not even close. insomniac these days. didn't sleep at all last night. trained twice today.

Is there a move you “should know” that still gives you trouble?
not that i'm aware of

How well can you open the close d guard ?
i need to work on it.

What is your favorite position?

What submission do you have the most trouble escaping?
side control

Do you keep fighting from your back when you could get to your knees ?
depends on the situation

Are you confident with your closed guard ?
not as much as I'd like to be. I feel comfortable with guard. I have loads of attacks... I just need to drill them more so that they get more automatic

Could you keep playing the same game if you were less athletic?
absolutely not

How much of your current game will stay the same as you age?
interesting. i can only imagine. I am a one strip blue belt... I'm 29... hope it doesn't change too much

Are you confident with your open guard ?
YES!! love it

What posit ions do you avoid that you shouldn’t?

What moves can you do on one side but not the other ?
i do everything on both sides

How many round s can you go before you’r e gassed?
depends. right now, with treatment and holidays, training has been more sporadic and my cardio is ass

If your armbar fails , where do you go from there?
sweep. triangle. omoplata. kimura. choke. depends

Are your legs really too short for the triangle or are your mechanics off?
no. long legs=awesome triangles

Do you do somet hing that goes “against the rules ” ( e. g. submission s from bad posit ions) ?
occasionally... armbar from bottom of side, or americana from side....

What was the last submission you got caught with?

What causes you the most frustration?
feeling stagnant. if there is too much talking in class and not enough training. when jorge is in mean sensei mode.

Are you ashamed to pull guard ?
absolutely not, that's rediculous

Do you train take owns enough?
sadly no. started taking judo last week. starting wrestling next week. i know i need to work on it!

Can you do your favorite throw while moving in different directions ?
i don't do too many throws. not yet. so sadly the answer is no

Do you prefer to pass from knees or standing?
standing usually. but depends

How good are your standing guard passes?
drilled a lot as a white belt. probably should revisit it.

If you had to start over, what would you do differentl y?
nothing really

Are you making the best use of your training time?
probably could pay better attention in class. talk less. focus more.

Are there “basic” moves you wish you were better at?
yes. everything

Are there moves you never tried becau e you worried they were “too advanced”?
no, i will try anything Jorge teaches.

How can you use less strength?
i'm a girl. not really a problem.

How can you use less flexibilit y?
I don't want to use less

How confident are you with the gi?
more than no gi

How confi dent are you witho ut the gi?
less than gi

How different are your gi and no- gi games ?
not that different. love nogi. so fast. just trained far less of it and competed less too.

Are you aggressive enough?
more aggressive lately. I still really need to work on being a monster like hillary.

Are you relaxed enough?
lately much moreso

Are you too passive?
sometimes i kind of give up or settle for defending instead or tryin to reverse or whatever... i hate when i do that. I don't want to do that.

Are you too defensive?
sadly yes. working on it

What parts of your game could you simplify?
not sure really

What submissions do you never try?

Have you surprised yourself lately?
yes! way more creative and offensive, much moreso on attack

If your triangle fails , what’ s your backup plan?
kimura or sweep or both?

Why didn’ t you do karat e instead?
wanted to learn jiu jitsu

Do you hold your breath when you shouldn’t?
much less so now, working on it!

Do you know of a black belt with your body type to watch ?
only online. not too many black belts in canada yet

Do you use the omoplata much?
here and there

Do you have a favorite finish from each position?
no. should i?

Whose guard do you really admire?
vincent, jorge, kate, pasqualie

What does your belt mean to you?
holds up my pants.

Why are you afraid of competing?
no. love it!

Are you still worried about self defense?
worried? no

How good are your headlock escapes?
dont think i've ever been caught in one, so probably bad

Is your guard “too open” and loose ?

Do you have a “go to” move for each guard you use?

What’ s your main attack from mount ?
arm bar, choke

What is your worst skill ?
everything need improvement

How do you measure your performance?
weight, strength, vitality, etc.

How much have you improved in the last six months?

Where would you like to be in 6 months?
world champ blue belt. promoted to purple belt on podium

Do you really want to compete?
i have competed more times than i can count... there are a dozen medals hanging around my place...

Can you visualize moves and posit ions as simple geometry?

Do you use the americana much?
here and there

How often do you get the cross collar choke from guard ?

How good are your side control escapes?
i always want to work on them. people say my knee to elbow is awesome in side control escapes

How far can you push your endurance?
my mind is tough and I can push myself far. Plus I'm stubborn and determine and feisty.

What is your proudest moment?
In jiu jitsu getting a silver star patch from Saulo. Getting my blue belt from Xande after having my arm broken in my 3 or 4 comp (white belt then).

What do you regret?
All the times I didn't train when I could have.

How many of the people that started with you are still training?

Do you remember what it was like to be a white belt?

What would be the simplest and quick est move from each posit ion?
depends on so many things

Are you overlooking simpler solutions?
i hope not

Do you do moves​ just becau​se they look cool?​

What is a “basi​c” techn​ique?​
everything is

How do you defin​e the funda​menta​ls?​
i dont

Would​ doing​ thing​s diffe​rentl​y be wrong​ or just diffe​rent?​
just different

Is there​ a move you alway​s wishe​d you could​ do bette​r?​

Are there​ moves​ you just never​ seem to remem​ber when you need them?
probably kicking around in the deep recesses of my mind.​

How do you keep yours​elf motiv​ated?​
worlds. health. fitness. fun. addicted. inspired. passionate.

Are the healt​h risks​ worth​ it?

Do you drill​ moves​ on both sides​?​

Do you reall​y need that many instr​uctio​nals?​
can't hurt

Do you try a move in sparr​ing the same day you drill​ed it?
if possible

Do you find drill​ing borin​g?​
occasionally, but I need to do it, and for the most part it's fun

Do you put in enoug​h repet​ition​s?​
could always do more

How is your half guard​?​
bottom and top decent...

Do you just stall​ in certa​in posit​ions?​
occasionally, depends on the score (at least in comps)

Are you alway​s looki​ng for the finis​h?​
moreso these days, still really need to work on it

Do you worry​ that lower​ belts​ are catch​ing up to you?
no, i'm passing people not the other way around

Is there​ somet​hing you alway​s wishe​d you were bette​r at?
take downs, wrestling, judo. working on it

What part of compe​ting makes​ you most nervo​us?​
just first match, at the beginning

How can the last techn​ique you learn​ed fit into your game?​
guard pass. awesome. already in game

Do you have one reall​y good train​ing partn​er to work one-​on-​one with?
melissa. :)​

Do you need priva​te lesso​ns?
i take them whenever the opportunity and funds are present.​ i think if you are serious about your jiu jitsu then you invest in it.

What part of the menta​l game do you need to impro​ve?​

How do you deal with anxie​ty?​
not very well, sadly.

Are you afrai​d of losin​g?​
no. but i want to win.