Post Mundials

Before I write anything else, I need to write some thank-yous.

To my husband-  Thank you for being my cheerleader, mentor, support system, motivator, and all around great person.  You are a loud, giant, inspiration...;>

Mom and Dad- Thank you for going to my competitions.  You don't have to go.  You are busy and stressed, but you go.  You make the drive.  You sit in the stands and beam with parental pride even when I get folded into a pretzel by someone else's daughter.

Sister, Brother-In-Law, and Nephew- Thank you, also, for going to my competitions.  Both of you are busy with crazy jobs, raising that amazing kid, but you still find time to drive to Long Beach to watch me get folded into a pretzel by someone else's sister.  My darling nephew- I will win one day, I promise, when you are in the stands.

To Fabio-  Thank you for seeing the gaping holes in my game and telling me in no uncertain terms to fix it.

To the men and women I train with- in particular, Rachel, Jeanette, Symphony, and Marissa- thank you for being such great training partners!  My offensive game grew by leaps and bounds the last couple months thanks to your presence.

To my opponents- Thank you also for pointing out the gaping holes in my game, and showing me how easy it was to exploit them.

So there I was at the Mundials...

I have never been so relaxed before and during a competition ever.  I was so calm, I mean, calm like an undiscovered glassy clear blue lake in the early morning hours.  I attribute this calm to a combination of experience, music, solid training, and some tips I learned from a book called "Winning State," (more on that in another post), which Felicia Oh told me to read.  I sauntered around the Walter Pyramid.  I strolled.  I was not nervous or excited or shaking or terrified.  I knew my combinations, I had rehearsed them on the mat and in my head over and over, and I felt ready for action.

My first fight was against Mitsuyo Sata, from Japan.  This fight was a blast!  When the referee gave the start signal, she immediately gave a loud "HAAA!!" which I had never seen or experienced on the mat.  I smiled inside at her boisterous display of game and spirit.  But then I got down to brass tacks and pulled guard and had the most wonderful feeling that I had not experienced at this level of competition, the sensation that I had taken control, no, yanked, grabbed, SEIZED control of the fight.  Ohhhh how glorious!  Unfortunately my glamour was momentary, and she edged into my half.  There was a flurry of  her passing, me getting to my knees, her trying to take my back, then...YES! I re-established guard.

I breathed more life into my game by grabbing her sleeves and working my favorite open guard: right foot in the shoulder, left foot in the elbow.  I went for a triangle over and over and over, which was an absolute first in competition.  I remember being so ecstatic as I lifted my hips and thrust my right leg over her shoulder,  then frustrated as she backed her head away.   I tried to sweep that gal and I swear she super-glued her knees to the mat into some kind of unbreakable base.

I lost on points, but I was so excited that I finally took what I know is MY game out of the corner and laid it down.  One of my teammates, Marissa, took photos of this match and I was able to see that I merely needed to scoot myself underneath her a little more to keep her from slipping out of my triangle.

My other fight, in the Open, was against Rachel Demara, who is rippingly talented (and who beat me at the Pans in the space of a nano-second).  I was supposed to fight someone else, but she did not show, so I   "won" what would have been my first fight, and automatically advanced to fight Rachel.  I stood there, looking at the ring coordinator's chart, looked around for my opponent, didn't see her, looked at his chart again, saw Rachel's name, saw my name, and I thought, okay, well, let's go.  And I did.

I pulled guard and so did she!  There was the tiniest split second of laughter.  We both landed and she pulled me into her guard.  Greeeeaaaaat, I thought, this is where I got into trouble last time, but I learned my lesson.  Hell no, Rachel, you are NOT getting my back or arm or anything this time.  Since the Pans I have paid special attention to my posture.  She tried to break it, tried to take my back, but each time I re-established position.  I tried to break her guard, oh my, over and over, and then she would counter by trying to break my posture again.  I lost this match on points, but I made her work.  Later, I thanked her for a good match and told her I started pulling guard because she did it so well.

So, like my previous experience in high-level competition, I lost.  Again.  Some sadness.  But, unlike my previous experience in high-level competition,  I brought MY game to the mat and played it, worked it, used it, showed it, and I felt kind of liberated.  Actually, I still feel liberated, like I broke a mold laid down some new rules of engagement.

I have taken the last week off, as husband and I took a much-needed road trip.  Back to the mat on Monday night.

Train well,



  1. Congratulations. You are one gutsy broad! : )

  2. You are a sweetheart. One day I will see you at a tournament, right?....;))


  3. Glad to see that the registration problem resolved itself. I'm sorry I missed see you compete in your regular bracket, but did catch glimpses of your open match. Budovideo was webcasting on Saturday, and your match was in the background. Saw you working hard on your posture and it appeared that you were holding your own.

    Regardless of the outcome, congrats on going and competing. You were only one of a small handful that went from the academy. Each of you showed true warrior spirt just for signing up.

    See you in class.

  4. You have a great attitude. Thanks for the recap.

  5. Wanna start a bookswap? I want to read "Winning State" and I've got tons of Paleo, gluten free, and SST books.
    Paleo Diet, Paleo Solution, Healthier without wheat, Starting Strength (actually I can email you that one if you want).


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