Roxanne Modafferi

The Happy Warrior

Training, retirement, The Arrow, fighters Laura&Molly

Posted in every day, fight, friends, fun, training on June 25th, 2015 by roxyfighter

Last week my friends Laura Howarth and Molly McCann visited from the UK via Michigan! I only knew Laura a little bit from the Ultimate Fighter season 18, and she didn’t make it into the house.
laura molly jamie and roxy

This time, we made better friends and I love Molly! They’re both awesome, fun people and their styles and movements in striking is very similar to what we do at Syndicate.
laura and molly and roxy last day

We went for lunch at Skinnyfats literally every day. LOL They just have delicious, healthy stuff. 😀
skinnyfats with english girls

I’ve been lifting weights a lot lately. I want to increase my strength and muscle mass. I never have a good “day” to focus on it, because I’ll be too hurt or sore for MMA training, so I’m trying something different. I’m just lifting what doesn’t hurt. So if my shoulders hurt, I do squats, lunges, stairs, and rows for my back that night. If my shoulders are fine, I do a crap ton of shoulder exercises.

I’m eating more too, so I’m between 142-145 now. I feel heavy and don’t really like it. :/ It’s definitely not all muscle, but I do feel a little stronger. I had started at 140 three weeks ago. Changing one’s body composition is SO hard! There’s so much science behind it. What you eat and how much at what times how often.

But my shoulders are really feeling great. A lot of that is thanks to Luke Rooney, a former Circ du soleil acrobat – sounds unlikely he can be a trainer, but he’s freaking good.
luke and roxy

His shoulders are amazingly buff. I want shoulders like that. Well, I don’t because then I would look scary. *_* #TheStruggleIsReal


My back is freaking killing me. It’s funny, for my Raquel UFC fight camp, my back was so painful I thought it’d be my last fight. My chiropractor Jake Steckel’s treatment was the only reason I could train. I cried a lot and toughed it out and tried not to talk about it on social media. Then I started yoga and my back got SO GOOD, I almost forgot it was ever hurt! Then my shoulders started acting up and tortured me for my next two camps. A year later, which is now, it’s reversing again. I strained my back ONCE in wrestling practice that triggered it, and that was two months ago.

The other day a guy in the gym asked me how my back was (which was sweet!) and then asked me if it was ready to retire me.

Outside Roxy:”Not yet.”
smilie face

Inside Roxy: “F off!”
smile middle finger\

I know he didn’t mean anything bad by it….

But it seems like recently, EVERYBODY Is asking me “so when are you going to retire?” or “what are you going to do after retiring from MMA?” I feel like it’s kind of rude. Like I’m old and should just quit. Dude, I am having a big come back and won two in a row, and dropped a super close decision for a title contention spot. I’m NOT RETIRING YET.

angry anime girl gif
So stop asking, please. I don’t want to think about anything but my MMA goals. I’m not interested in retirement talk, and in fact, I’m getting really pissed off. I know everyone is DYING for me to retire, right? (wth?) I have big goals. My back and shoulders will get better, because they did before, and John said I can do it, and he’s always often right. Wait and see. -_-;

ANYWAY I’ve been training SUPER HARD for three weeks, not really getting a day off. I think it’s effecting my sleep. I woke up at 1 AM and woke up EVERY HOUR until 4 Am when I gave up and got up. 🙁 I feel broken and I’m catching a cold. I usually takes nights off, but I’ve been doing Yoga and adding in weight lifting and lots of stairs just in case I get a sudden fight offer, which I won’t, because there are no flyweights fighting on this next Invicta card.

*takes a breath*

I’ve been working some new stuff with coach John! It still blows my mind how I’ve been doing MMA for so long and have 31 pro fights and I’m learning something new literally every week. 😀 😀 😀 #TeamSyndicate4Life

Speaking of coach John, it was his BIRTHDAY last Wednesday! 😀

We all gave him body shots at the gym (i.e. hit him in the stomach as hard as we could) and threw him a surprise party! Well, his wife Janna was the mastermind. 😀 I just attended and ate Mexican food.
john's birthday at mexican

john being surprised
We are so happy he is happy! 😀

I’ve been watching The Arrow obsessively in all my free time.
the arrow cast
Stephen Amell is hot. *_* I mean, uh he does a good job as Oliver Queen. All the actors and actresses are really talented, I think! I really like the father’s character, Detective Lance, even though he’s kind of meddling. Maybe he reminds me of my father a bit.

I just finished season 1! *_*

I wrote an interview for my new friend Catherine Costigan!
check it out here: Link to’s interview!

I also interviewed her opponent Amber Brown, but it’s not ready yet.

I got some Herbally Grounded stuff!
laura roxy molly herbally
roxy and pine pollen

Pine Pollen is supposed to restore and rejuvenate! I’ll write more about what I got in detail later.

The evolution of my MMA game; fighter friends, Irish Catherine Costigan &Hannah

Posted in friends, training on June 13th, 2015 by roxyfighter

This week was an excellent week of training. I’ve started applying some techniques that John and Tom taught us in live sparring, and I’m successful with them. Man, I can’t wait to test them out in a fight!

The Invicta 13 card got released. Thanks to the fans who expressed their displeasure I’m not on the card. I knew it, though. I was told other females needed the chance to fight since I fought on the last one, and that is fair. Life is rarely fair, so it’s refreshing to encounter some fairness in the world. lol Even though it’s not in my favor this time.

The more I train, the more I realize how much MMA has evolved. A lot of ‘jiu-jitsu’ mind-frames or straight kickboxing techniques don’t work. But then again, suddenly, you need that jiu-jitsu to win. For example, being on the back in guard. Royce Gracie brought jiu-jitsu to the UFC and suddenly being in somebody’s guard is super dangerous and slick jiu-jitsu fighters can triangle/armbar/submit people on the top.

Nowadays, the top guy is pounding out the bottom guy with GNP and elbows, or even doing NOTHING, but because he’s on top, it’s an advantageous position and the top guy wins. The guard has become only that – a guard. A place you want to get out from.

I have jumped guard a few times in MMA fights.
Then I’ve gotten picked up and slammed. I’ve also lost fights from being in bottom guard, despite no damage being done.

My Japanese friend Goto-san is trying to tell me “Judo is better than wrestling. Look at Ronda Rousey!” ummmmm no. But SOME Judo moves are good. SOME wrestling moves are good. SOME jiu-jitsu moves are good. The key is knowing what times to use them!!

I’m so lucky to be at Syndicate and have the awesome coaches I have, who know all aspects of the MMA game and how to put it together.
I notice such a big difference in training from what I used to do in Japan. They are good at certain things, though, and I’m NOT saying Japan sucks. Just, where I am now seems to have evolved in different ways.

Tuesday and Wednesday, I got to train with Irish Invicta Atomweight Catherine Costigan.

catherine with dog

I love her! Come on, look at this picture. *_* She’s way lighter than me, but strong and tough. We did Syndicate team kickboxing sparring together, and then on Wednesday, some rolling and I showed her my favorite moves. We also had lunch and chatted and I got an interview, which I’ll post shortly. Man, I loved that interview. Some things she said inspired me. Stay tuned. 😀
girls and catherine photobomb
(we have THREE photobombers in this picture XD LOL)

Speaking of female fighters, Kentucky native Hannah Fitzpatrick is inspiring me also. She had originally come earlier this year to participate in the Real Water Reality show and fought on the Amateur card in April. Since then, she moved HER LIFE to Las Vegas, got two part-time jobs at UFC gym and the restaurant Skinnyfats to pay the bills. I’m worried she’s overworking herself. <3 But she's in the right place to make her fighting dreams come true. She's such a great training partner for me and a great friend. roxy catherine hannah skinnyfats
Lunch after training with Catherine and Hannah at everyone’s favorite restaurant! XD

I helped Bryson teach kid’s wrestling on Thursday! 😀 😀

Last weekend, I got to go to an open air concert! It was so much fun!! I was exhausted and my back hurt after training, so I stayed for a little while and then left early. :/ I got to hear the Romantics and Joan Jett! Miesha and Bryan came and we hung out! I met Duda for the second time, a Brazilian friend of Miesha’s!

star of fightergirls
miesha tachi and me group

I’ve been doing a new strength and conditioning program with Luke, and so far so good. I’m super tired, but my body is still functioning! Except this Thursday. I felt like I was walking around in a zombie-esque exhausted stupor all day. I kind of bounced back on Friday.

Biggest shock of my life, and my teacher, Moriyama Ryusuke,

Posted in Uncategorized on June 7th, 2015 by roxyfighter

“Am I doing this right?” I wondered out loud, trying a guard pass on Sakura, my training partner. “I think so…oof,” she said, as I passed. We sat up and looked around the dojo. I squinted at the bodies around me, trying to make out their body positions with my poor vision in the underground basement that we called “Wajitsu Keishukai Tokyo Head quarters.”

I loved that place with all my heart, humble as it was. Located in downtown Tokyo, we occupied the basement of a normal-looking office building. The cold concrete walls were sprayed with a kind of hard/soft yellow foam that didn’t provide cushioning but prevented injury if we crashed into it. It was always flaking off and we had to sweep it up after every class. The ceiling was lined with pipes and wires. There were no heavy bags, no cages, no rings, no weight equipment. But it produced some of the toughest, most successful professional fighters in all of Japan.
wk group moriyama2

Caol Uno, Yushin Okami, K-Taro Nakamura, Kenji Osawa all made their way to the UFC.
Roxy in magazine
I sighed.

A large man rose from his cross-legged position on the floor near the desk and door, and hobbled over to the center of the mats. “It’s best if you put your foot here,” he said, grabbing someone and proceeding to add detail to the technique the instructor was teaching. The guy being demonstrated on grunted as Moriyama-san’s weight came down on him. Everyone snickered a little, but watched with interest.
Roxy Moriyama 2007
Moriyama-san was a master at Judo, and started became joint owner of Wajitsu Keishukai HQ with his classmate Kubo-san, a GYM for MMA which grew and grew until four other branches split off and formed in different locations around Tokyo. He was gentle and kind, but a strict task master when needbe.

We all continued practicing the technique until we got it right. Then he made us do 300 push ups. I could only do 50 with breaks in between. The men dutifully pushed out 300.

After training, we all cleaned the mats together. I sat next to Moriyama-san and shared with him some of my uncertainties about my physical strength, striking ability, and career goals.
moriyama and uno for boutreview
“Don’t worry,” he said with a smile. “Nan to ka naru. It’ll all work out if you just keep training hard.”
moriyama roxy for boutreview
I wondered what he was like years ago when he was thinner and could do martial arts. He hurt his knees doing Judo and so he only observed classes, teaching technique once in a while. Everyone came to him to consult him and ask for advice.

I often didn’t stay until the end on Thursday because after cleaning the gym, they locked up around 11:15 PM and I had an hour and a half train ride to get home.

Saturday rolled around and I ate a big breakfast. I had to work at my English school from 8 AM to 5:30 with barely a break, and then catch the train an hour and a half to the gym. Then I’d do K-taro’s class and train until 10 PM. It would be a long, exhausting, but glorious day.

4:10 PM, my high-level student was explaining about some chemical reactions in his work. The bell rang. YES! Five minute break. I hurried back to the teacher’s room to get a drink of water and check my cell phone.

Oh, there was a message from Naoko Omura, one of my Keishukai teammates. Should I open it? Sure, I had three minutes left. It was in Japanese and I struggled to make it out. It said:

“Dear everyone, (something) I’m so sad to (something) but you might have heard that Moriyama-sensei has passed away (something) so we’re all meeting tonight at (blah blah blah.) Please (something).”

…………….uum…….WHAT?!?! What? No, I misunderstood that. Definitely misunderstood. I definitively can’t read Japanese so well. I should study more. But this kanji “nakunaru” is used for “die.” She couldn’t have meant that…no way.

“Roxy, what’s wrong?” my co-worker Trisha put her arm around my shoulder. I realized that tears were flowing down my cheeks.

“I…I…my sensei….Somebody…somebody tell me what this means! This kanji isn’t ‘die!'” But it was “die.”

The bell rang. That means we all had to get back to the classroom within ten seconds or we’d be in big trouble. Our customers were paying big money by the minute.

“Roxy you have to work,” Trisha hugged me, as teachers filed out left and right.
I was crying.
“Roxy, don’t think about it. Just don’t think about it. You have to work!”

There was nobody else to cover for me and teach. I wiped my tears, waited another 30 seconds, hoping my eyes stopped looking red, and went back in to my student. It was the longest 40 minutes of my entire life. I barely heard a word he said.

After the lesson, I read the email and went straight to the address written. It was a hall for a Japanese wake. So many people were there. Team mates from every branch around Tokyo came, some wearing suits and dresses, some street clothes, someone in an apron, one guy in shorts and tank top and sandy sandals, obviously having come straight from the beach as soon as he had heard. At least a hundred people dropped what they were doing in their lives and came to see Moriyama-san. I met Sakura, who couldn’t stop crying, and told me that he was hit by a truck rolling backwards near an apartment complex the previous night, was taken to a hospital, and passed away this morning. I also heard some rumors that this might not be the case. I timidly glanced in the open coffin and almost threw up.

Scary and confusing.

I learned the Japanese custom of what to do at a wake by observing the people in line in front of me, but I think I screwed it up. Something about lighting candles and bowing a certain number of times. I paid my respects to his wife and family, and they actually said he spoke about me and loved me.

I was the only foreigner there.

I wish I had known him better as a person, but he was always there, always that strong presence in the corner who looked out for us. Keishukai was my first gym that I joined after moving to Japan, and they became my family.

May you Rest in Peace, Moriyama-san.

keishukai dojo isshuki

training, choking, sock contest, hard work week, TV

Posted in every day on June 5th, 2015 by roxyfighter

I’m having a contest! guess how many pairs of socks I own and win stuff! Tell me your guess until Monday the 8th. Either comment or email.(click to enlarge pic)
contest for roxys socks3

Awesome week of training! Monday we did some technique that I really want to use in my next fight, but I need to work it more. Haven’t mastered it yet. Mitts with John was great, as usual. Tuesday’s sparring was great but hard due to some nagging injuries that…nagged.

Here’s Monday’s group pic!
monday group pic 6.1.15
I think also, was it Monday? I think it was last week’s Monday. I got choked unconscious by Jamie. lol
roxy and jamie choke out day
I always tap in practice, but for some reason, I didn’t realize I was going out. One second I was trying to escape the mounted guillotine, the next minute I was wondering how Brittany was doing in Japan, and before I knew it, I was walking around Shinjuku with Brittany sight-seeing. lol Woke up on my back flailing my arms. XD
roxy and jamie choke out day2
Tuesday was kickboxing sparring and I sparred Captain for the first time. (Alexandre Capitao from Brazil). He picked me apart! 😀 But not as much as he could have had I been more tired, so I went for him right away as soon as sparring started. LOL I hit him once or twice in 5 minutes and “almost” took him down. Such a cool guy. XD Jungle Fight champion..let’s see….HOLY MACKEREL look at this guy’s record!

I wish he could speak English…or I could remember my Portuguese.

Wednesday I worked some stretching and strength and conditioning with Luke. It hurt. Could have been worse, though! Shouganai. Can’t be helped. I’ve got goals to reach.

Thursday I felt so off and my timing sucked and I was getting hit in the face every 5 seconds. grr! BUT I was able to do a few good techniques I was working on successfully! So there was some worth in my practice! Yay!

Then I went home, collapsed for a bit, lifted weights and did yoga. ug x_x Tripple session. I thought I was going to pass out until I drank my cocktail of supps….haha I put literally every supplement I had in soy milk. XD glutatmine, BCAA, Protein, and RECON recovery stuff. hah Felt better after that.

Today…..I really wanna stay home but I really wanna work on the stuff we did on Monday. I hope John (or Tom) has us do that.

I finished watching “History’s Greatest Disciple Kenichi!” I really loved it! Not just the plot, but the quotes that the masters say!

I decided to stop watching Soul Eater. It’s entertaining, but over half of the characters annoy me, and I’m not super into it.

I started watching TUF season 16 on Fightpass! 🙂 Roy Nelson vs Shane Carwin!

Fantastic trip to Washington! Seminar, sight-seeing

Posted in family and holidays, friends, fun, training on June 1st, 2015 by roxyfighter

I had a fantastic visit to Washington!

I arrived Friday morning and my friend I met at Cagequest last year, Allen, picked me up and treated me to sushi! XD I ate a lot. *_* Thank you!
allen sushi collage
(click to enlarge)

We then met up with Rob and Gloria. Rob went from a fan to sponsor to good friend! He tries to act all ‘stalker-ish’ on Facebook on purpose, but he’s not creepy. I’m so lucky to have met good people like Rob and Gloria. Rob owns a painting company called “Aardvark Painting,” so I nicknamed him “Robvark.” XD

We all went to Pike’s Place market and, ate ice cream (betsu bara) and saw cool stuff, like people throwing raw fish and the very first Starbucks ever. 😀
roxy at pike's market place

I wore my MVRK clothing brand shirt…check them out. XD

Then we went on the Duck Tour around Seattle! collage of duck tour
(click to enlarge)

It took us by places like the first automatic car wash (someone from the circus walked an elephant through there for publicity, so that’s why the sign is an elephant!). We then drove into the lake. XD We saw floating houses, which Allen told me like 10 times that he wanted to live on. Haha! I’ll pass. 😉

Had a blast!

I woke up too early…3:30. :/ Had a dream I was walking around a Harajuku-esque confusing city in Japan with Brittany, looking for a Denny’s, but couldn’t find it.

Then I got dressed…. and I went to Denny’s. LOL It was next to my hotel. Allen picked me up and took me to Victory Athletics which was started by Dennis Hallman. He wasn’t able to attend, but a head instructor Pete “Pistol” Grey and also Sarah were very hospitable.
seminar pete stelle searah

Man, I was so impressed with their facilities! Nice mat space, boxing ring, strength and conditioning area.

I had a nice turn out!
seminar 2

I got to meet a nice Japanese lady I’ve known on Facebook for about a year, Chie!
seminar chie 1
She and her family gave me presents! Thank you ! I LOVE FURIKAKE!! XD And Sarah and Dennis did, too! thanks!
A beginner fellow who only expected to watch ended up borrowing gloves and jumping right in. I was so impressed with how he picked stuff up. 😀
Proud of you, Colin! and protege Nico! and the ladies! Man, I wanted to stay longer. Great time!
seminar group 1
(click to enlarge)

I wore my Mei-Li fighting shorts! I love the fit and design! Check them out!

Then Robvark and Gloria picked me up and drove me 2 hours to Portland, OR and I was reunited with my little sister/bestie/fighterfriend from Philly, Serena DeJesus!! 😀 (or “the Jesus” as the Glamour announcer pronounced, lol)

Notice the little Aardvark on her shorts. XD
roxy and serena at julies

We went to Glamour MMA, which only had grappling matches this time, but in a cage! Dude, I wanna do a grappling match in a cage. I had originally not planned to compete because I thought there was only a 150 lb division, and then I wasn’t sure I could do the seminar in Washington and make the competition in Portland on time. Then they made 130 lbs. Oh well, maybe next time.
amanda bell roxy julie

I sold my T-shirts and book at a table with Julie, who sold her Mei-li Fighting shorts and shirts! Fellow Invicta fighter and friend Amanda Bell stopped by! 😀
In case you missed the link to her awesome products, here it is: 😀
meili fighting catalogue

Serena competed against Invicta fighter Roma Pawelek and did so freaking awesome! Pawelek won the 130 lb division, but had her hands full with Serena, who dominated for 15 mins on top until Roma got a sudden submission. ~_~ I coached Serena. I didn’t want to be one of those cornermen not paying attention and snapping pictures, but I got one or two.
serena competing in glamour
Good job both ladies.

Crashed at Julie’s and the Sunday morning woke up and went to Robvark’s fitness gym, West Coast Fitness Center. That had super nice facilities! Thanks for letting us have a table! I got to meet a lot of nice fans and Rob’s friends. 😀

west coast fitness cololage
(click to enlarge)
Thanks for making that possible, Rob.

Then they drove me to the airport and I got an evening flight.

I’m sad to leave, but I’ll be back! And it’s good to be back in Vegas. Getting ready for training now. I’m so motivated!