Roxanne Modafferi

The Happy Warrior

Teaching kids jiu-jitsu!

Posted in every day, fun, training, work on October 23rd, 2015 by roxyfighter

I’m really enjoying teaching kids jiu-jitsu classes lately since I got back from Japan! I used to teach regularly with Chris Robbins, but then our teaching staff got shuffled and I no longer had a position. Things got shuffled again and I’m back. 😀
roxy teaching big kids
Teaching kids isn’t just about jiu-jitsu, but I knew that because I was thrown into teaching little kids English in Japan with only two weeks of training. I knew I was ill equiped at that time because school teachers in America have to go through 4 years of education and observations and child psychology and all that jazz to even be allowed in the same room with a kid. I didn’t have that. I learned by observation, trial and error and it was REALLY REALLY hard. Lots of tears (on my part), sweat, nightmares, stress, etc. And I still don’t have all the answers, but I’d like to think I understand kids better and how to manage different age groups. I still want to learn more and more!
roxy kids group 1
2011 Berlitz English Beat 1 class

I actually became Kids Coordinator at my English school in 2011. HAH and I had previously hated teaching kids! Then I started leading and teaching other teachers.
So I’ve been teaching kids for a total of 10 years! wow

I enjoy team teaching with other teachers to see how they do things. Wendy, Nigel, Karen at Berlitz, Alberto, Chris, Rick, Damien at Syndicate.
roxy teaching big kids 2
I love the activities/games Alberto sets up. I love how Chris can sternly tell kids to shut up and they love him anyway. I love Damien’s method of discipline for misbehaving kids. Yesterday I visited Evan Dunham’s jiu-jitsu gym to see how he runs class. He didn’t have any really young ones, which are the hardest ones to handle, so he had easy little angels. lol but I still got some great ideas on activities. Through chatting about some issues I’ve encountered, I learned how he handles them.
dunham jiujitsu

Like when a kid cries. Evan asks them, “Are you hurt? Or scared? Or injured? If you’re hurt, it’ll stop hurting in a minute. If you’re scared, why are you scared? (he said something else I forget), If you’re injured, we gotta go to the hospital RIGHT NOWWWWWWWWWWW!!!” And most of the time they say “Oh, I’m just hurt!” and smile.

Haha brilliant.

On Wednesday I had the big kids play sumo in the last five minutes of class. That was really entertaining to watch! 😀
sumo big kids

The bottom line is, if you’re under 10 years old, everything in life is a game and if it’s not, it’s not cool. If you’re over 10 and something is fun or funny, you try harder and get better faster. The teacher not only has to be good at teaching the technique, they have to be an entertainer. I want to be entertained, and I entertain myself, so maybe that’s why I get along with kids so well. lol Maybe I’m just a big kid…

exciting weeks! Demo for MONSTER at Con, training fun, BJJ, fighter friends

Posted in amusing, every day, friends, fun, training, work on October 14th, 2015 by roxyfighter

I had a great last two weeks. All my blog have been about Japan, so it’s time to move on.
When I got back, the very next day I came into the gym, tired, jet-lagged, and my body hurt so much from not having my chiropractor in Japan. It was Friday, so I hoped to do a nice technique day. No. Coach John had us do a cardio day. @_@ But it’s not as bad at Guns’s cardio Fridays! It was good. I got to train with Jessica Hoy a bit, who had joined the gym the day before I left for Invicta so I never really got to train with her before. Yay! She’s bigger than me…I want to call her “She-Ra!” Or Xena Warrior Princess or something because she’s big, beautiful, and her bicep is twice the size of mine. XD She’s awesome. (far right)

jessica valeria roxy johnShe’s 1-0 as a pro. I can’t wait to see her fight somebody and smash them. ^_^ tee hee *evil cackle* Her husband is a fighter, too. (pictured further down) I can’t wait to see him smash somebody, too.
Also, my Facebook friend Valeria “Chika Galactika” Mejia from Peru visited Syndicate to train with me. Valeria has been here for two weeks now. We’re working on stuff for her fight vs Lindsay Garbatt in Canada October 23th in Hard Knocks 46. She’s scrappy!
Hard knocks poster

I really want to fight before the end of the year. I went to fight in Invicta! I know I fought in the last one. :/ I hate to seem selfish, but I’ve only fought twice this year. My goal is 4… which won’t happen, but one more fight would be great! I think I’ve improved myself even more since my last one, fixing my past mistakes. I feel good and ready to go!

This past Monday and Tuesday, there was a convention for the “National Association for Convenience Stores.” Booths and free samples were set up by snack foods like Hostess, Jiff, Cliffbars, energy drinks, chips, cookies, candies, etc.
jamie at con smiling
Monster Energy is into MMA so set up a cage and hired Coybow Cerrone and Rampage Jackson to sign autographs and pose for pictures for two sessions out of the afternoon.
(We got a pic!)
team syndicate with cowboy and rampage

Also, they hired John to bring a team of 4 from Syndicate to show our stuff in the cage.
john and adam in cage
(John and Adam. John is tired from training us all all day and Adam is pumped and ready to go 10,000 more rounds LOL)
adam and john training
On the first day it was myself, Jamie, Adam Acquaviva, and Cory Hendricks. The second day Donny came instead of Cory. John held mitts, we grapple-sparred, Jamie and I did take-downs with her slamming me and me Judo-throwing her. (the big bangs attracted a crowd) and Jamie and I did some light kickboxing/MMA sparring.
jamie kicking roxy
roxy  kicking jamie
We did two sessions, 12:30-1:30. And 2:30-3:30. It was tiring but fun, and I’m honored to represent Team Syndicate.
group pic at monster
I love them!

I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel afterwards, but I was tired and have bruises everywhere, so I think I got good training. lol

I got my teaching job back instructing little kid’s jiu-jitsu at Syndicate with Damien Nitkin. He’s a great teacher and I’m learning a lot about good ways to discipline a class.  I missed half of yesterday’s class because I couldn’t make it back in time for 4:00 and all of yesterday. :/ Sorry, Damien!

I ended up signing the “Free Nick Diaz” Whitehouse Petition. If 100,000 people sign it, the Whitehouse looks at the issue. It’s about Nick getting a 5 year suspension from fighting for smoking pot. Now Pot is illegal in regards to fighting. I am not going to get into an argument with people about that. Everyone has their own opinion about whether it “should” be illegal, whether it’s a performance enhancing drug or not, whether it dulls the pain or whatever. I don’t care. There is a rule and in sports, we have to follow rules. However, when someone did steroids (which is worse, nobody can argue that) and gets a year or less suspension, and then Nick does weed and gets 5 years…that’s just ridiculous. That needs to be reversed or lessened somehow. If he broke the rules, punish him, but more fairly.

AND IT REACHED 100,000 signatures! I’m glad I decided to do it last night so I can say I helped.
https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/lift-nsac-ban-mma-fighter-nick-diaz

On Saturday, I hung out with my new (new-ish) training partner family, Jessica, Clayton and their three kids, all of which train at Syndicate. We watched the movie Pan. 😀 It was great!
hoy family at movies
I am totally going to see the Goosebumps movie (poster in the back) once it comes out.

On Friday, I went to watch RFA with Heather Clark! <3 Thanks for getting me tickets! heather and roxy at RFA
Damien let me leave the kids class early, but I got caught in traffic and it took me an HOUR to get from Syndicate to Fremont street. Omggggg *stabs something* I ended up pulling into The D Casino’s parking garage tower just as they were announcing Corey Turner. I saw a guy running over to the side of the garage to look over the edge, and I realized that the fights were outside. On the 11th floor, which was the final floor, I was praying hard and I FOUND ONE LAST SPOT. I squeezed my Toyota in there a little crooked, sprinted over to that guy figuring he had found the best vantage point, and found that it was actually my teammate Marc! lol
marc and roxy on roof

I looked down and saw……two little ants moving in a coffee-mug sized cage. “Which one’s Corey?!” I exclaimed, pulling out my phone and trying to use the zoom feature. The ants came together and one stopped moving.

“Oh!” Marc cried out. “He knocked him out!”
“What?” I almost shouted. “Who knocked who out?”
“Corey knocked the other guy out!” Marc said.
My zoom did not work. I wanted a replay! “How do you know!”
“Yeah!” Marc said, fist-pumping the air.
I wasn’t convinced but he seemed certain of what he had seen. I high-fived him and then we walked together down to the ticket window. There I met Heather and our beautiful friendship date began. Haha I didn’t really care about anybody’s fight but Cory’s and also David Archangel. (What a cool last name). He used to train at Syndicate but then moved out of State. He won! 😀 He looked great doing it! So proud of him!
corey won picture
(Corey is the tall one in the red shirt. SMILE MORE! You got a 18 second KO, dude!)

I’ve been trying to do more Gi in jiu-jitsu lately. I’ve been back to teaching in a gi. So I had gotten my purple belt in 2005 and the moved to Japan for 8 years. I think I only put my gi on like five times in that entire 8 years, so I forgot my grips, how different balance was, and different techniques that require the gi. It’s really embarrassing. :/ I mean, I’ve gotten so much better at grappling for MMA so that’s what’s most important anyway. See, there’s only so much time in the day. I’m too tired if I do double classes every day (meaning an hour and a half of gi class and then an hour and a half of hard MMA training.) So I started doing gi technique, not sparring gi, and then doing MMA. That way at least I can slowly refresh my memory. On Saturday I spar gi because there’s no MMA afterwards.
gi class in syndicate
So far I’ve been doing this for two weeks and it’s working! I’m starting to feel more comfortable. 😀 And my belt is totally broken in. lol yes, it was still stiff from being unworn. ^^; And thanks for being so patient with me the other day, Casey. I got frustrated a bit. You’re such a good teacher in many different ways. *_*

I’ve been watching Once Upon A Time season 4. I love the actresses they got for the Frozen characters. They’re perfect, in both looks and mannerisms! 😀 😀 Oaken is so perfect! I had forgotten about him. I’m also watching Ushio and Tora. Love it!

On Last Sunday we had a belt test for the kids. Small test…I think it was post poned like 3 times and then settled on a Sunday, but it’s good to see kids get promoted! Since we are affiliated with Zenith, Mr. Robert Drysdale and Marcello came to help administer the test.
kids group ic
So guys, when the photographer says “one two three!” at that moment, you’re supposed to all open your eyes wide, smile, and hold it for a few seconds. LOL How many people in this pic have their eyes closed?!?

I hung out with Jamie last Thursday! We went to the Orleans Buffet thanks to two of my fans Jack and Jan who gave me free tickets! Thank you so much!!
jamie and roxy at orleans buffet

Japan trip 4: Final day in Japan – training, thoughts and reflections.

Posted in cultural, friends, fun, training on October 8th, 2015 by roxyfighter

This is my last Japan blog!
Wednesday September 30th I woke up around 4 AM….normal for me! That means my jet-lag was almost fixed. lol The day before I had to go back to Vegas. I ate, read my book “The Wayfarer Redemption.”

My friends read this book in high school and I liked the cover. I thought the woman was a strong warrior woman, so I made her face my blog user icon for a while. Turns out Faraday is NOT a warrior. LOL Little did I know! HAHA

wayfarer redemption cover

I had been into DragonLance so I never started this series, and then started The Wheel of Time which took me EIGHT YEARS TO READ ALL THE BOOKS. Then I read Robert J. Sawyer books here and there, but this book has been on my list of things to read for years. It’s pretty good….I dunno. I might keep going with Dragon Lance, though, after this one. I like Axis.

I went for a walk/sprints, stretched/did yoga in my hotel room, and then went to 10:30 sparring at Lion Takeshi’s “Rising Sun” gym. Only Lion and Sarumaru and Kone-san went. I got a good work-out, though. Whenever I spar with a man for the first time, they never want to hit me. I get it. They don’t know how strong or good I am. The first time I sparred with Sarumaru-san, he barely touched me until I tried to clinch up, and then he nearly threw me on my butt with Judo moves. The second time we sparred he punched me REALLY hard in the nose and and kneed me in the face.

LOL ^^;;; Oh well, that’s why I wear headgear and a mouth guard! I think he’s fighting soon, and he’s a super cool guy so I wish him the best of luck.

Afterwards, I ate ODEN at a convenience store. YAY. Somehow I managed to eat ALL the food I’d been missing and wanting to eat without really planning how.

I think I pretty much relaxed… I think I got a shoulder massage, one of the two times I got it in this trip. It’s like $15 for 15 minutes. My body had been killing me since I didn’t have my usual recovery supplements, ice baths, hot yoga, and Chiropractor Jake, so my back, shoulders, neck, and knee were acting up. I was a mess. “No wonder I was toying with the idea of retirement before I moved away from Japan,” I thought. Not seriously, but I was wondering, because I could barely move after training for a day!!!!!

Yay America. ;_;

And I had jammed my middle finger on the first day I trained last week, so every day it was swelling and I couldn’t make a total first. Annoying! Good thing I brought my refillable ice pack.

but I still played Taiko no Tatsujin!!! They had the Attack on Titan theme song! That cracked me up. XD I beat it.
taiko drums roxy

taiyaki roxy
So the afternoon was free-ish…I think I ate a lot of random stuff, and then I met my former English-student-turned-good friend Mami in Shinyurigaoka, another place I had wanted to visit! I think the only thing I didn’t get to do that I wanted to was visit Atsugi. But it would have been just to walk past my old apartment and visit a sembei shop and bakery. I skipped it because it takes an hour to get there.

I had fun with Mami! 🙂 We promised to chat everyday in English and Japanese to keep our language skills up. We ate at this delicious Kyoto? style restaurant. Thanks for treating me!
mami and roxy 1
mami roxy bania cauder
Thursday, I hadn’t planned to do much, but then Kunioku-san was like, “So your flight is in the evening so you’re training in the morning, right?”

Oh yeah. So I went to Groundslam morning sparring and didn’t overtrain since my body wanted to die. Kunioku-san ended up not being able to make it. :/ Thank goodness there were lockers at the Yokohama station so I didn’t have to drag my super heavy suitcase all the way to Groundslam.

Katsumura-san showed me, rather ‘retaught me’ the ninja choke from two positions. I better practice that and the Bri choke now so I don’t forget like I did last year. ~_~;

So after showering, I walked back to Yokohama, which is conveniently a bus stop, and took a highway express bus to Narita Airport. I caught my 5 PM flight to Las Angeles and then connected to my Vegas flight. I managed to sleep a bit here and there.

My teammate said, “Roxanne, Japan is also your home.” I feel that way, too. I feel that I will always be connected to Japan and it will always be here. The time I moved and last year when I visited, I felt an overwhelming sadness when leaving. I think it was the “finality” of it that upset me. But now, I feel like it’s not so final. As long as I have the money, I can just come back. My friends will be there (baring some horrible tragedy, of course). I looked forward to getting back to Vegas and my beloved team Syndicate. I was a little sad but not too much. 🙂

Even when living in American, I feel a bit of my heart is still Japanese. And that’s okay. It’s not a “lost piece,” which is how I used to feel. It’s something that makes up who I am and influences how I live my life wherever I am. I felt comfortable in certain ways in Japan MORE than American, but vice versa.

At the end of the day, I don’t regret any of my decisions in life and I’m on a big adventure in life! As they said in “Once Upon a Time,” “Home is a place that, when you leave it, you miss it.”

Japan trip 3: UFC Japan2, Berlitz party, Groundslam training, Ice cream, Kawasaki Daishi, Sweets Paradise

Posted in cultural, family and holidays, friends, fun, training on October 5th, 2015 by roxyfighter

Sunday the 27th was the UFC! I had no trouble waking up early. I met Tsuru-chan at 7 AM and we rode the train to Saitama shintoshin station. This is the second time we went to the UFC together. The first year they had it they also had it in the early morning to time it with the Fox sports broadcast Saturday night in America. The second year they had it, I worked it, and they had it in the evening. Tsuru can only go in the morning because he works at night, so when I got two tickets to UFC, I invited him!

roxy and tsuru ufc 2

We got seats SO close to the cage! The first up from the floor!
roxy and tsuru close to ring
As we were sitting down, some people called out to me. I thought, “oh, fans.” Oh no, so much more! They were the production crew of The Ultimate Fighter in Japan! The director, then the voice actor for Dana White (middle tall guy) and then MY VOICE ACTRESS! SO cool to meet her! Omg. So I hadn’t been able to watch the whole series dubbed into Japanese, but somebody sent me a five minute clip so I could hear my voice dubbed. I thought, “Cool, they didn’t get some high-pitched squeaky voice, but actually someone with a similar voice.” I got to meet her and tell her I think she did a good job. 😀 I think I was as excited to meet them as they were me!

roxy and voice actors

The fights were great!
ufc japan 2 card
I’m so excited that K-Taro got offered a last minute fight. He had fought for the UFC before, years ago when we both trained together at Wajitsu Keishukai and he taught on Sundays. But he lost three in a row and got cut, so we were all cheering for him now. Man, that Korean guy was laying a beating on him! He was hanging in there, but definitely would have lost by decision. Then suddenly with 30 seconds left to go in the third and final round, there was a scramble and K-Taro took his back!

The whole audience erupted with insane cheering and screaming! K-Taro is super famous for his rear naked choke. He wrote a book on a billions ways to take the back and finish the choke (which I own, actually!) and he DID CHOKE HIM OUT! OMGGGGGGGGG I was jumping up and down screaming like a crazy person. XD

Mizugaki fought George Roop, both of who I know and like personally, but I had to cheer for Mizugaki. He won! 😀

Uriah Hall beat veteran Musasi with a spinning-back-kick-from-Hell followed by jumping knee!
KO
After the UFC, I crashed my former co-worker’s going away party for Karen and Matt! Karla invited me. It was such a different vibe from when I used to work there. I didn’t get to see certain people but the new people were lovely!

work place pic
Man the food was so unhealthy but tasty! Haha
karla and roxy at restaurant
Monday the 28th Brittany had off from work so she joined me at GroundSlam! More people came than on Thursday, but I did only grappling. My body was pretty sore from the previous week since I didn’t have my normal recovery methods (hot yoga, ice bath, Dr. Steckel my chiropractor). Fun grappling with Brittany! She is so much stronger than before! 🙂
roxy and buri at groundslam
I grappled with Caol Uno! Man, the whole time we were rolling, I was thinking about how when I was 19 years old and just starting Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, I watched my first UFC at Rich’s house. He fought on the card! And here I was casually talking with him and training with him! How cool! And he praised me! Omg! He said I got so much better over the last year. Eeeee! That made my week, which was already awesome. I got praised by Caol Uno.
ground slam day 2 group

Then Brittany and I tried to go to the Honey Honey maid café for lunch and a huge ice cream, but they didn’t have omu rice and couldn’t make the meat dumplings before 5 PM. Why not? No reason. Dumb Japanese reasons. They probably had them but had this rule. So we left and got yaki niku at gyukaku. 😀 Where I burned chicken nuggets on the grill. Hah! I had been wanting to have Yaki niku at least once on my trip, so got that out of the way.
yakiniku with buri
THEN we went BACK for the ice cream. Haha! The lady had to be nice and smile at us, it’s her job. I wonder what she was thinking. Lol
honey honey parfait
I took Bri to Kawasaki Daishi because I wanted to pray for health for my teammate and buy omamori.
Then….I think I just ate salad for dinner and Buri went home. :/

Tuesday I had lunch at the Sweets Buffet with Karla! 😀 All you can eat cake and ice cream. I had two sticks of yaki tori chicken before I went to get at least a little protein in my system. Lol I loved talking to her, and loved going to the sweets buffet again.

I met my friend and former Keishukai training partner Mizuho at 7 PM. I had missed seeing her on my last visit, same with Karla, so I wanted to make sure I saw them this time! She treated me to Japanese food at Lazona! And gave me socks and One Piece figures as present! And lost her wallet! Sad! ;_; But I loved talking with her again! Next time I’ll go to her new gym!
roxy and mizuho at restaurant

Japan trip 2: Slappycakes w/ Bri, Groundslam and Rising Sun training, restaurant meetings w/ Friends

Posted in cultural, friends, training on October 3rd, 2015 by roxyfighter

On Thursday I woke up at 2:00 AM, ate breakfast, took a walk, jogged, and did hotel-room yoga. 🙂 Used Social media. Took a nap from 5:30-6:30. Went to my old gym Groundslam at 9:30 and Katsumura-san opened up the gym, wearing my T-shirt I had given him! 🙂 He gave me his new one, a bright green one with his likeness as Charlie Brown. XD Seichiro Ito was there alone for a while, and then Tokoro and then Kunioku showed up! 😀
Katsumura-san put on gloves and sparred! It was so great training with him again.

It was awesome to get to train with Kunioku-san! He was my “trainer” for like 3 or 4 years, although I remember him not wanting to call himself that bu I still did because he always helped me and traveled to the US and London to corner me.

I think he only came in because I was there, because he had just fought. (I say “Just” but he actually fought a week before me, so he’s due to get back to training anyway. He won! Yay!) It was the first time I really trained “with him” as opposed to “be trained by him” in MMA. We had grappled with Rodney last year, but this was interesting. His takedowns were really top notch and cage work and I could not get away.

ground slam day 1
(left to right, Tokoro Hideo, Seichiro Ito, Me, Katsumura Shunichi, Kunioku Kiuma)
I showered and then rushed over to Hirama where I met my host mother 😀 It was so nice to see her again! She gave me tenugui and chopsticks as a present! 😀 😀 I love the chopsticks, but I never know what to do with the tenugui. :/ I don’t wrap anything (lunch boxes, my head, etc) with it like is suggested. I had just trained so I didn’t feel guilty about eating a lot of sushi. XD And chocolate cake!
roxy sushi

I went back to my hotel after that to rest, first getting an OUTSTANDING FOOT MASSAGE at “Relax hands.” Man, I can’t find a place in Vegas as good as the places in Japan. whyyyyy not? I also went shopping at Daiso in Lazona.

Then I met Meiko in shimokitazawa at 7 PM. Before that, I ate Red Mango’s new flavor of Mon Blanc frozen yogurt. omg.
red mango froen

so frozen yogurt is not popular in Japan but the company Red Mango just came over in November of last year. 😀 Meiko gave me a towel as a gift. It was so nice to catch up with her! 😀 Last time I met her in a group of 3, so it was nice to get one-on-one time with her.

meiko at restaurant
Friday morning I woke up at the crack of dawn as usual, and decided that I had enough time to see another movie. I forget which friend but somebody who I didn’t expect to recommended “Bakemono no Ko.” I saw it and it was really good!
bakemono no ko
It had a really Japanese-style sad ending but it wasn’t supposed to be sad. For Americans, it was sad. For Japanese, it’s supposed to be uplifting and teach a lesson. I know this, so I kind of forced myself to think of it in the Japanese style way.

I had some lunch and met Tsuru at Dotour where I ate two pieces of milk crepe cake. XD
tsuru cake

It was so cool just sitting and chatting! Last year when I visited, I only went to his restaurant but we didn’t get alone time because he was working and cooking.

Then I met Brittany in Shinjuku and we went to this pancake restaurant where we cook our own pancakes on a grill. “Slappy cakes.” I enjoyed that a lot.

pancakes brittany
very unique experience! and so nice to see Brittany again. We then went to Suidobashi to the Fitness shop and a pro wrestling shop to find a souvenir for Tom. Found some nice stuff and then the staff threw in a poster for free! 😀 😀

I went home, rested, and met Goto and we went to Rising Sun – Lion Takeshi’s dojo. I taught class, doing wall escapes and stuff. It was fun! It was cool to spar with Goto-san again! (far right, red and black)
rising sun lion gym selfie stick

On Saturday, I met Brittany at ten AM in Harajuku and spent most of the day with her.
bri and roxy in asakusa
We went to Kiddyland, and then Shibuya for shabushabu. YUMMY MEAT!
bri shabu shabu
Then Disney store. And Asakusa! My favorite places and favorite food in Japan!

Then in the evening I met Goto-san for sushi. so happy!