Roxanne Modafferi

The Happy Warrior

Japan trip 2016 part 4: Mon & Tues (sparring, cat cafe, sakura)

Posted in cultural, friends, training on July 25th, 2016 by roxyfighter

Monday I woke up, ate, finished Memoirs of a Geisha, which was amazing btw, and went to pro practice at Groundslam. I had been really looking forward to it, and hoped my former coach Kunioku-san would go. He didn’t, and I was reminded of my disillusionment with Japanese MMA. No warmups together except shadow boxing. I grappled with Kaki. Did MMA with Gaku. He’s a fun partner. Landed a few new moves. Sparred with Tokoro-san. Then somebody else. Then chatted with one of the guys and Uno-san. I tried not to butt into their conversation but I was very interested in their talk about holding their hands up. I hate Japanese people’s no-guard and one guy was explaining how he tries to make himself look bigger by opening his hands. Uno-san was saying that Americans all hold their hands up and tight. I told them how my hands hover and guard different areas of my face. I wonder if they were actually interested or pretending, but Uno-san said that my guard has changed since I was last here and I’m a lot less stiff. That’s good, I’ve been working hard enough at my striking! I love Uno-san. *_* He’s one of my top favorite fighters, along with Matt Serra, Joe Lauzon, and Randy Couture.

I then sparred someone who front-kicked me in the gut like 20 times as hard as he possibly could and I couldn’t defend it because he was so fast and accurate. I thought my intestines were gonna rupture! I felt like I was really fighting in the cage…

I watched another match where this one guy was doing jumping knees to the head, elbows, etc. damn, they play rough in Japan. It’s normal. I shouldn’t say more.

After I showered, I went to Ikebukuro and met sakura and we went to a cat cafe! She’s a close friend of mine and former training partner at Keishukai. It was my first time to go to a cat cafe.
cat cafe 1
The cats TOTALLY ignored us and wouldn’t play with us.
cat cafe ignored
But cats sleep most of the day but in the cafe, people bug them so they can’t, and were probably just wanting to sleep. lol But the atmosphere was quiet and relaxing, and honestly, I was mentally shaken up after that training session, so it was super nice.
cat cafe lion cut
This cat had a “Lion hair cut.” lol

Then searched for and found Animate and she bought me an Owari no Seraph folder. lol Then I said, “I want Tako Yaki!” so she found a gindako and we sat and ate some.
sakura roxy tako yaki
The afternoon had passed by then, so I went home and rested and started reading my new Dragonlance book.

Tuesday I went for a walk and got lost LOL so my 15 minute walk turned into an hour. I had to ask three people the way three different times.

Then I met Goto-san for tea from 10:00 AM to 11:30 and he inspired me to write a new book. Then I caught the Narita express at 1 PM from Musashi kosugi and was on my way back to America! Evening flight at 5 PM. 🙂

Japan trip 2016 pt 3: Sat & Sun (Goto & Daishi, training, Lauren, Skytree)

Posted in cultural, friends, fun, training on July 23rd, 2016 by roxyfighter

On Saturday I woke up and didn’t go to training. I was pretty sore and tired. Goto-san had suggested we train, but suggested taking a bus like 20 minutes to some city sports center. Um, no. I hate Japanese busses and I was exhausted.

I met Goto-san and his wife met at the clock tower in Kawasaki station and went for Soba! It’s been ages since I’ve eaten it. It was so nice to hang out with both him and Sachiko. So after soba, we and I went to Kawasaki Daishi. I took a periscope. I also made a wish, got souvenirs, and talked to my favorite people at the sembei shop and bought sembei!

daishi 2016

I met Kunioku-san in Yokohama for yaki niku dinner! 😀 It was so nice hanging out again. It felt just like old times when we used to meet for training.

Sunday morning I woke up, ate breakfast, and went to morning intermediate MMA class, taught by Kimura-san at 9 AM. 😀 Wow, 9 AM Sunday morning. I didn’t even know that class existed. They swore it’s been going on for a few years, but I was in Japan last year looking to train and scrutinizing the schedule, I definitely would have noticed. Anyway, a good group of people showed up! Including one guy who was a fan of mine who saw me on TUF. I’m so excited about that because I know TUF 18 didn’t get a wide viewership in Japan on account of having to watch it online on Fightpass, and Kimura-san said that the guy came all the way from some southern county because Kimura tweeted that I was coming. XD
kimura class
Kimura asked me to teach the switch step kick and then shuffle hook. I did, and everyone learned it well, I think. Something else to practice and add to their arsenal. I made sure to boast about Syndicate and John. That was fun.

I was conveniently in Yokohama and met Lauren and Ryuji at the Sogo building, and we went to eat okonomiyaki! 😀 It was so nice to see them again!
roxy lauren ryuji 2016

We met online, actually! We caught up and ate great food and periscoped. 😀 😀 Yaaaaaay

Then I went to Oshiage and met my friend Mami (former student in Machida) and we went up to Skytree together!
mami skytree view
skytree view 2016
I have been there before but it’s always cool to go again, and fun to spend time with her in an environment other than just sitting and eating dinner at a restaurant. I forced her to speak English a lot. ^_~
After we came down from SkyTree, Mami told me about this tiny hole-in-the-wall cafe that serves the Sky Tree Ice cream parfait. oh yeah, baby. We totally ate that.

mami skytree parfait

I went home that evening, exhausted.

Japan trip pt 2: Thurs and Fri (Groundslam MMA, friends)

Posted in friends, fun, training on July 22nd, 2016 by roxyfighter

On Thursday morning, I woke up almost normal time, like at 5 AM, because I’d gone to bed so late. THANK GOODNESS. I often can’t sleep in even after having stayed up late. I ate breakfast and went to Ground Slam’s morning pro practice, which is supposed to start at 9:30 but always starts after 10 AM. Not a huge crowd, but Seiichiro, Uno, Tokoro, and a few others were there. I enjoyed going with those three. I sparred another guy who I tapped out twice and I started to feel bad…I think he probably didn’t go so hard on me. I don’t mind not winning, or taking turns tapping out, if he’s really that much better than me. :/ It’s hard for people in general to adjust their power. And I don’t want special treatment based on gender, but based on size. I would hope if a person, guy or girl, outweighs me by 30 pounds, he or she is not going to hit me as hard as they can.
It’s not easy. Anyway, awesome sparring. I was tired. My back hurt so badly. lol So nice to see Katsumura-san again. He was just getting over a broken ankle but was doing pro wrestling anyway.
groundslam thursday pro class
After training, I went to Kawasaki to meet Karla! Our tradition two years running is Sweets Paradise, a dessert buffet! We used to both be the same position English Teacher at Berlitz, but she has since become a manager. She told me that I always have a place if I ever want to come back. That’s nice to know, but with my back pain, I think I could never live away from my masseuse Teri in Las Vegas. LOL
roxy and karla 2016
I had left my evening schedule open just in case one of my Japanese friends suddenly invited me out (that happened before but I had no free time and I got scolded LOL) but that ended up not happening. I went shopping in Lazona for stuff I wanted to take back, like tea, furikake, T shirts, etc. I also got a FOOT MASSAGE at Queensway, the best place in the world!! Then I rested and went to bed early. I read “Memoirs of a Geisha.”

Woke up super early. at like 2 AM, ate, took a walk, took a nap, and then went to beginner’s MMA class, run by Seiichiro. Only one other boxer guy showed up, and we did a lot of shadow boxing and bag work, which annoyed me, because I can do that alone. I always warm up and stretch out before practice starts, so I did not need 40 minutes of warm up. Oh well, it was a beginner’s class, and I did not go to Japan to do MMA. I was training to keep in shape, meet people, and so I could eat more. LOL so it was fine. It was SO HUMID. I don’t think I’ve ever sweat so much in training in my entire life. I could barely breathe. Like 99% humidity.

Then we did light sparring, which was fun. Seiichiro was impressed with my switch stance and shuffle step that John has been teaching me, and asked me to show him, so I did. 😀 That was cool. It was also cool how, despite being young (like 20?) he’s one of the ones that can control his power.

After class, I rushed to Hirama to meet my host mother for sushi at Kappa zushi. It was raining SO HARD that the streets became rivers a few inches deep and there was nowhere I could step without completely submersing my sneaker. ;_; That sucked. But it was so nice to see my host mother. I dunno, she seemed distracted a bit? I guess everybody has their moods. But I love seeing her. 😀 She gave me gifts of spoons. I forgot her present. x_x I forgot like two more people’s omiyage. gah!

I went back to Kawasaki and relaxed for a while. Then it took me 45 minutes to get to Shimokitazawa and I enjoyed chatting with my former student friend Meiko. 😀
meiko and roxy 2016

Japan Trip 2016: Tues and Wed (arrival adventure, BJJ)

Posted in cultural, friends, fun, training on July 21st, 2016 by roxyfighter

I left for Japan on Monday and arrived Tuesday evening. The directions on the hotel website when I signed up said to call if you can’t make it by 6PM.

Really? By 6 PM? Why call? But hey, it’s Japan, and you’re supposed to follow the rules to a T. However, I would have an American phone and wouldn’t be able to call, so I asked my friend Goto if I could let him know when leaving Narita airport (since I’d have wireless to text) and he call the hotel for me.

That’s what happened. So funny enough, I asked Goto to call and he called, and then tried to call me on Line phone, which is an app. It was ringing just as it was my turn to see the Japanese immigration officer, and then elderly security guard yelled at me in English, “WHY!?!? WHY!?!” and pointed at the “no phone” sign. I KNOW THAT, this is an emergency lol. But I had to hang up on Goto and did my thing with the immigration officer, and then called him back. It turns out my hotel closes it’s front desk at 6!! WHAT?! “But,” Goto-san explained, “You have to enter a code into the autolock door to get in and then call the night staff on the phone to check in.”

Wait, how is that going to work with me getting a key?! GAH. So my Narita express was supposed to pull into Muzashi Kosugi at 5:45PM, and it takes like 12 minutes to get to Kawasaki, so if I really hurried, I might make it a few minutes after 6. In America, people would probably still be there, but I had no doubt that the second the clock struck 6, those metal doors would come down and the staff would be gonzo. ;_;

Still, I hustled my bustle, dragging my suitcase and heavy bookbag, made it to Kawaski, and thankfully found the hotel with no problem since I had printed out a map ahead of time because my planning skillz are top notch. 😀 6:10 I found the hotel. I was just starting to examine the key panel when A STAFF MEMBER OPENED THE DOOR FOR ME! What?!? Weee! And checked me in. OH THANK GOODNESS I called. I had asked Goto to tell them that I’d probably arrive like ten minutes after 6, so he decided to wait. yaaaay following the rules.

It was so small…the walking space was the size of a normal American bathroom. Bed, mini fridge, bathroom so small I could barely turn around in it without bumping my elbows. Sink so small I splashed water on the floor trying to wash my face. It suited my needs for $60 a night. 🙂

I decided to meet Goto-san and hang out over a light dinner. Super jet-lagged but I didn’t want to waste any time! I knew I’d wake up at a weird time when nobody would be awake, so yeah. We went to Jonathans and I ate kaiso seaweed salad, a mini pizza with a weener hot dog on top (LOL), and pumpkin soup. 😀 It was so nice to chat with him face to face rather than Skype!

Went to bed around 8:30 zombie-like and woke up around 3. I took a walk around the deserted Kawasaki and went into JeansMate, a 24 hour clothing store, looking for anime clothes, just like last year. And just like last year I found something! Last year I got a Goku T-shirt. This year I found a Luffy T-shirt from One Piece! Now I have jeans and the hat, so I can successfully cosplay him someday. ;D

I love onigiri rice balls.

Wednesday morning I enjoyed meeting Tsuru-chan and playing scratch tickets.
one piece scratch tix

tsuru chan 2016
I won $2! The cost of a ticket. Hah they were One Piece designs, which amuses me greatly. Then I went shopping for various things, then met another friend Shu Inagaki from my college days at a cafe in Nippori. We chatted, ate Oyakodon, and bought socks. Hah. Then I went to Itadaki jiu-jitsu with Mizuho, my training partner from Keishukai!

mizuho collage
It started late and ended late and I was so jetlagged that I was literally losing consciousness when Isono-san was explaining a move. LOL but I had fun and it was nice to train. My back was so sore after that class, though. It never got unsore so I suffered for the rest of my trip. ;_;

UFC Fan Expo and lots of UFCs

Posted in friends on July 20th, 2016 by roxyfighter

Friday started the insanity here in Vegas. I woke up and instead of doing yoga as I usually do, I went to no-gi class. Sarah Kaufman happened to be in town for the Expo and dropped by! I’ve always been friendly acquaintances with her before and after we fought in 2010 in Strikeforce. It was fun rolling with her in training. I’m glad it was a friendly, training, not super competitive roll because I was working to suppress competitive feelings. We’re not in the same weight divisions anymore, and despite me losing that fight, I really don’t have a burning desire to fight her again. I would love it if she came down and trained more often, actually! 😀 😀 We also chatted about teaching kids classes. I’ve been teaching BJJ for about 3 years but she has for even longer than that.
sarah  kaufman and roxy
I had to take off right after that and go get an MRI done for licencing purposes. I was a few minutes late! ;_;

Then I sped to the UFC Fan Expo where I got a VIP pass from my manager, and joined Brittany in getting posters signed. I met a bunch of cool fighters! We got to go in a back room. It was so cool when Matt Serra and I spotted each other and he came right over and started talking about Star Wars! 😀 “I know you will geek out with me,” he said. I was so excited and fangirling because he’s one of my favorite fighters of all time! And he fought in the first UFC I ever watched when I was 19 years old. 😀 😀 😀
matt serra and roxy bri
Later on, Bri and I went to the UFC that night and unfortunately, my teammates Cory and Khalil didn’t win their fights. 🙁

I had started feeling not healthy Friday and Saturday I definitely knew I had a cold. We thought Bri had allergies but it turns out she had a cold. I’d been pretty stressed out all week and not able to relax and rest so I’m not surprised I caught her cold. It infuriated me. I had wanted to train on Saturday SO badly. But I didn’t want to infect anyone. Sore throat and sneezing. Instead, we both went together to the Expo and got more signatures. And I tried not to breath on anyone. I just didn’t want to grapple or snot on anyone in the gym.

dominic cruz roxy
champ Dominic Cruz
cody garbrandt roxy

no 1 contender Cody Garbrandt

UFC 200 was amazing. Silva taking on Cormier stuck out in my mind as very Budo and old school. The other fights were amazing. I felt bad for Mark Hunt. Brock Lesner is just so huge, and just got popped for drugs. :/ I was sad for Miesha for losing the belt to Amanda Nunes. She didn’t seem quite herself in that fight. Well, MMA is a hard world.

Sunday Bri went to Florida, and I tried to recover before my trip to Japan on Monday…!!