Roxanne Modafferi

The Happy Warrior

Title fight psychology

Posted in fight, friends on August 25th, 2016 by roxyfighter

I’ve been having trouble sleeping. I think it’s daylight savings time nearing it’s end (that always happens to me). It doesn’t help that I have been feeling more anxious over the past two weeks about my fight. Psychology is so interesting. You can know things in your brain but your body reacts a different way despite that.

I wake up at 2 AM, thinking about my fight. Wake up at 2:30 thinking about my fight. Then 3:45.
I have been telling myself that this “title” really is just a title, and a fight is a fight, so I only really care more about the fight than the title. I’ve had a few traumatic experiences where I hadn’t done enough stamina training and my arms and legs felt like heavy lead, so I know that this absolutely can’t happen this time. Since I’ve been at Syndicate, this has never happened, though. Only in Japan and on the Ultimate Fighter.

I’ve been doing my homework, i.e. running stairs and doing burpie sets throughout the week. So before I started my circuit sessions these past two weeks, I was thinking, “I BETTER be able to get through this no problem!” And that thought lead to, “If not, that means my favorite method of cardio isn’t good enough!” And that thought lead to, “I’ll be behind and not able to get in good enough shape.” So there were three worries right there.

But the sessions went very well and proved that everything is fine. Same thing on Wednesday when John and Jess shark-tanked me. I felt anxious before that and awesome and confident afterwards.
john jess roxy shark tank
I realized that I’ve been imagining training days as how it’s going to come out in the fight, which is not necessarily good. “I better be able to land this punch or else…” “It’ll suck if I can’t last the whole class because blah blah hurts….” If I got taken down by a teammate and try a technique and it failed, I got stressed out. Tuesday, one of my nagging injuries that comes and goes was really bugging me, and I was feeling nervous about being able to perform the techniques I’d been practicing in my private lessons. Usually I just “want” to land the techniques. I don’t worry about “oh what if I can’t.” Two worries. But I did it and it was all fine. I powered through it practice without gassing out and it was alright.

Yep, negative thoughts. I hadn’t even realized I was thinking negative thoughts. I’m usually pretty good about siphoning them out. That’s why they call me The Happy Warrior. With the help of my coach and Mom and friends, sometimes.

Testing myself with the hard rounds this week pretty much confronted and eliminated those anxieties.

I used to drive to training thinking merry thoughts like, “Oh boy, I wonder how many combinations I’ll be able to land today. I can’t wait to try and foil Shawn’s takedowns. I can’t wait to try and escape from Hannah’s guard. I can’t wait to try and take down Jessica off the cage. I’ll see if I can avoid Adam’s lightning combos.”

My mom texted me the following:

“Well, being anxious/stressing out/worrying seems to be fear in disguise. You are not a fearful person. You are not driven by fear. Somehow you have to internalize your confidence in yourself to combat the fear. Know in your heart and soul that you are performing to the best of your ability. You need to search out that thought that is making you anxious and confront that fear.”

That reminds me of what Coach John tells me before fights – you know in your heart that you did your best to prepare to the best of your ability. Have confidence in the techniques.

I am genuinely excited to go to Syndicate every single day. Every day holds new challenges and potential for growth. Potential for pain, too, but I don’t think about that. So yesterday I just let the whole fight thing go and went to the gym to train and get better and try my techniques. I love doing MMA – that’s the bottom line. When the fight day arrives, I will apply those techniques to my opponent. No use stressing out over landing or not landing a take-down at the moment. Just try it, learn from it, get better from it. I’m in great shape already. I already proved that I have the stamina and skills and now I just have to wait for fight day! I have great tools in my tool box. And there will be more by the time the fight rolls around. I have a great, strong, skilled opponent waiting for me. And a strong, caring, supportive team behind me.
team syndicate august 2016- smaller

shawn and adam and roxy
I have loving friends and fans around me. Dude, you’ve gotta be a die-hard fan or best friend to dress up like this, right?!
invicta 16 weigh in mortal kombat group
john wrapping hands smaller

I’m tempted to say, “I can’t possibly lose!” but of course I can lose. That’s why it’s a fight, and I’m so ready.

I walked into the gym excited to try my techniques and it was a really amazing practice with no stress or fear. Chapter 7, “Be Excited about Everything.” Bam!!! Read my book, sold here:

Haha Coach John had once told me, “Go read your own book” one day when I looked down. He’s right. He’s always usually right. 😉
I just did a radio interview and one of the guys said, “You never have a bad day!” Hah not true. But I know how I think and I can manipulate my own emotions with my thoughts. Lol read my book…..

Big goals or tasks are always overwhelming. You always have to break them down into little small short-term, easily achievable goals. Finish this scramble. Then finish this round. Then get a new partner and finish the first minute. Then finish the round. Before you know it, you got through a tough training sessions. Don’t think ahead. Things never happen as you imagine they will.
Same for other things in life.

My title fight! My kids class! Comedy show!

Posted in every day, fight, friends, fun, training on August 19th, 2016 by roxyfighter

Hi guys, nothing’s really new here except, oh, I HAVE AN INVICTA TITLE SHOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YAY.

title shot pic

I’ve had title shots before in my career, but they’ve never been like this before, where you actually have to fight your way through the ranks and earn it. This is so exciting. Maybe my Strikeforce fight against Sarah Kaufman is comparable…. but I’m trying to think of this just as another fight to take off the pressure, because once I get in there, it’s all the same. I just want to fight skilled people, and Jennifer Maia is awesome. She seems pretty nice, too. (I follow her on social media) so I think I can’t fake-trash talk her. She can’t speak English anyway. Hmmm what should I do to build up the fight?

So excited! Actually, I had thought I might be fighting on the July card, so I lost some weight and upped my cardio. Then in the beginning of July, I suddenly found out it would be the next card three months later. ;_; I decided to move up my trip to Japan to cover my disappointment, so that’s why I went in July rather than September. I gained few pounds and managed to stay in decent cardio shape.

I came back and got food poisoning and lost those few pounds in like 3 days. -_-;;; So now I’m at a relatively low weight where I can finish my diet in two weeks. That means I can have RECOVERY TOSTADAS from Taco Bell, and more ice cream in my diet than I normally would dieting for my fight. Whenever I have ice cream I feel more energetic the next day. Obviously. Calories give you energy. And by “ice cream,” I mean like a mini blizzard, or one of those 150 calorie cups you get at the supermarket, or $2 worth of frozen yogurt at the self-serve place. I never eat too much anyway because I’d get a sugar crash or upset stomach.

Coach John Wood has been teaching me all sorts of new movements and combos.
roxy and john and jamie
He’s so good at analyzing fights, and teaching me stuff that works for my natural tendencies and the way I move. I’m so glad I have him. He deserves a medal for teaching the striking dummy how to strike. lol

Speaking of good teachers, my teammate Adam Acquaviva is also super good at explaining techniques- the second best I’ve ever met. (right)

shawn and adam and roxy

I just have a really hard time understanding moves if every little detail isn’t outlined in a way my brain comprehends. John and Adam are super good at it. Yesterday, I was so frustrated and upset over not being able to get this one move. I asked Adam for his input and he made a suggestion that I think will really work for me. I’m so excited to try it out!

I don’t get upset if I can’t do something but I know what to do. I get upset if I’m forgetting something, missing something, confused, or I think I’m doing it right and it’s not working and I don’t know why. That’s the difference.

Soooo everybody’s next question is “What will your weigh-in costume be?” WELL, can you guess it?
he man and she ra roxy 2

For the Honor of Syndicate, I will be victorious!
he man and she ra roxy

So I’ve never actually watched the TV show, I just had the action figures. When I did watch the show two weeks ago on youtube, I laughed so hard at how old and corny it was, but whatever. 🙂 John loves it, so it’ll be fun. Last time when I brought my metal Mileena Sai on stage, I kind of got scolded because they were actual weapons. Jin Yuu Frey had fake guns that looked real, so that wasn’t good. But these swords are foam. And they look like foam. lol Oh well, we’ll see…

So my kids class is getting bigger and bigger! I’m teaching them all sorts of life lessons, like how to not push each other out of the way to form a circle – say “Excuse me!” instead, and no fighting out of anger, and how to not call your classmates names. And I finally figured out a way to threaten them to get them to stop being mean to each other. After two were complaining that they were calling each other names, I said, “If you are mean to your classmates, I’ll put you up against someone really big and hard when you spar.” They were like….

panick anime girl

Exactly the reaction I wanted! And then they all looked over at Michael, the biggest strongest kid in class (besides Kailin) who throws everybody around. HAHAHA I started laughing! That was hilarious.
laughing luffy
Michael was like, “What? Me?” LMAO (He’s the one with the red shirt on the far right)

kids class august 2016

Commedian Adam Hunter occasionally does shows in Vegas and invited me and some of my team! I went on Wednesday. I always want to go, but I’m usually too tired or it’s too late, so I’m glad I could go this time! 😀
adam hunter's show
(click to enlarge)

Fewer sexual jokes flew over my head! I think I learned some vocabulary since his last show. Probably from his last show. LOL He’s so funny. I love when he teases audience members. LOL I highly recommend anyone to go see his show! Often in the LA comedy club in the Stratosphere.

I started to watch the anime Fairy Tail. It’s cute so far. On ep 4 now. And I’m revisiting Once Upon a Time Season 5 because I stopped in the middle.

Anecdotes of a Happy Warrior – the pen is mightier

Posted in amusing, story or poem on August 14th, 2016 by roxyfighter

Intro: The Pen is mightier….

6th grade. 1994-ish

Social Studies – a relatively interesting class. I think we were talking about something health related, like “don’t-do-drugs.” I was listening to the consequences of smoking with rapt interest: lung disease and nicotine addiction. Who would want horrible things like that?!

A girl named Jackie sat behind me. She was always mean to me for no reason. Well, when I asked her why she was mean, she said, “Because you’re SO annoying!” which baffled me because she couldn’t elaborate. Later I heard that I had ADD tendencies and tended to butt into other people’s conversations around me, so upon learning that, okay, I suppose that counts as annoying. I didn’t mean anything bad by it, though. It’s what you do when you’re lonely and you want to fit in. I didn’t want to wear jeans and cute short tops like the rest of the girls. Maybe it was because I was a goodie-goodie, and I got good grades. Maybe Jackie was annoyed that teachers liked me. She kept putting her feet on the back of my chair. Her feet stuck through the hole in the plastic in the seat of the chair, poking my butt.

So I politely turned around and whispered, “Jackie, your shoes are touching my butt. Could you please stop?” She just stuck her tongue out at me. I turned back around. A few seconds later, she nudged me again. I turned around again. “Could you please stop kicking my butt?” I tried again, nicely. My mom’s advice echoed in my head: “Tell the other kid that he or she is hurting your inside feelings.”

That might have worked in first grade, but not against Jackie. I could never defend myself verbally. If someone called me something mean, or said I looked dumb or my name was dumb or whatever, I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t possibly say something mean back. People aren’t supposed to say mean things – it’s very hurtful and continues the cycle of pain, right? So I always ran to the teacher.

Maybe Jackie didn’t like me because I was a tattle-tale. I lost all my battles, but I won most wars, because the teachers punished the offending kids. Haha.

“I’m not TOUCHING your BUTT!” Jackie whispered back, with a smirk.
“Yes, you are!”
“No, I’m not!”
“Is there a problem?” the teacher asked finally, pausing in his efforts to separate the class into mini-groups to do a team activity.

Jackie and I exchanged glances. “No,” we both said.

“Then please be quiet,” the teacher said.
She put her feet down. Peace. A few minutes later, she gave me a very hard nudge on my butt. On purpose.

I turned around. “If you don’t stop, you’ll be sorry!” I threatened. She smirked. I fingered my pen, wondering how I was going to back that up. What could I do? What? Then I thought of something….

I spun around and stuck my pen through the hole in the seat, drawing juicy black lines all over the top of her beautiful, white sneaker.

“HEY!” she shouted, leaping up. I laughed about three good “Hahaha”s before swallowing nervously. The teacher’s voice suddenly boomed, “Roxanne, Jackie, come up here now.”

My classmate’s eyes shot fireballs at me as we both stood in front of the black board.

“Okay, class, continue working quietly in groups,” the teacher instructed. “Okay, girls, what happened?”
“She drew on my shoe!” Jackie screamed.
“She was kicking me in the butt over and over again,” I said, “Even though I asked her very nicely to please stop.”
“Did not!” Jackie retorted.
“Yes, you did!” I retorted back.
“Well, she called me a bitch!” Jackie accused, looking at our teacher.
“What?! I did not! That would be mean!” I protested, also looking at him, with my innocent eyes aghast. I didn’t know exactly what a ‘bitch’ meant, but my mom had told me it was a mean insult and I should never say it. She sometimes taught me things on a need-to-know basis.
“She also called me a whore!” Jackie cried.

I blinked. “What? What’s that?” I said.

Jackie’s jaw dropped straight open.
“I couldn’t have called you that. I don’t even know what it means! What’s a whore?” I asked our teacher, who was shaking his head.
“Go sit down, both of you.” Mr. Smith ran a hand through his hair. “Roxanne, you sit over there. Jackie, you sit over there. No more putting your feet up on the chairs.”
“But! It wasn’t me!” she protested, angrily.

I smiled triumphantly. Yes, I often won the battles. The teachers tended to believe me because I never lied.

“Mr. Smith, what’s a whore?” I asked him after class.
“Go home and ask your mother,” he said firmly.

I shuffled away, discontent. Why wouldn’t he just tell me? It must be something SO bad.

Fast forward a few hours. I burst through my front door.
“Hi, honey!” came my mom’s voice from the kitchen. She was preparing me an after-school snack.
“Hi, Mom! I called back, dumping my backpack off to the side. “What’s a whore?”

Throw Back Thursday blog entry

Posted in Uncategorized on August 11th, 2016 by roxyfighter

The year was 2008. I headed to to training at Keishukai Tokyo Headquarters, located in the basement of an office building in Mizo no Kuchi. I’d just taught back to back English lessons from 8:30AM to 5:30PM, scarfed down a rice ball and fish sticks while walking to the train station. They digested as I stood for an hour and 15 minutes, holding onto the hooks hanging from the train ceiling, while reading a Wheel of Time book.

The evening breeze on my walk downhill was nice and I finally entered the dojo around 7. Our sensei, Moriyama-san and my teammate Takayo Hashi, were sitting on the mats looking through papers. I greeted them cheerfully.

“What’s that?” I asked in Japanese.
“Oh, Hashi’s Strikeforce contract arrived,” Moriyama-san said, going back to his shuffling of papers. I froze. My stomach tightened and my heart felt like it was going to burst out of my chest. I swallowed it back down. “Oh, I see,” I managed. My manager had told me that he was working on getting me a Strikeforce contract – fights with the top organization in the USA, right below the UFC. Only the UFC didn’t have women so it would be impossible to fight there. Every female was aiming for Strikeforce.

“So…nothing came for me?” I said. Moriyama-san looked at me apologetically. “I’m afraid not, I’m sorry,” he said, and said something to Hashi about some contract detail. I turned away and went into the locker room.

“Don’t feel jealous,” I ordered myself. “It’s great for her. Good for her! It’s not common for Japanese female fighters to have great opportunities outside Japan. I’m happy for her. But….we have the same manager.”

I changed, and stretched until class. I loved Keishukai. I’d been there for three years. Their grappling was such high-level and the biggest Japanese stars trained there. Their “MMA” class was really just grappling class. The teacher, maybe K-Taro, showed some technique, we drilled, and then everyone grapple-sparred. I never stayed until they end because sometimes they finished after 11 PM, which would mean me getting home around 1 AM. About 30 minutes into sparring, the teacher said that anybody who wanted to spar MMA with small gloves (starting from stand-up) could. I called out that I wanted to, and Hashi took me up on my offer. She was one of my favorite sparring partners because we were about the same size. She was a little physically stronger than me, though. We usually sparred to a draw, each occasionally getting something on the other. On a bad day for me, she beat me up. On a good day, I beat her up.

(picture unrelated to this story, but with my friend Dio, myself, and Hashi in Keishukai HQ. I usd to always train in gi pants so my knee pads wouldn’t slip off lol)
Dio Roxy Hashi

“Scramble scramble here! Use your right hand…” her mentor and my teammate Koizimu-san screamed at Hashi. He always coached her from the side. Another guy said, “Nice one!” when she landed something on me. “It’s nice to have a trainer,” I thought to myself wistfully, “somebody who takes the time to pay attention, coach you, give you advice.” Usually no one said anything to me during live sparring. “I wish someone would give me advice during live training. Anyone. Just a word. Or even ‘go Roxanne!'” If somebody had coached BOTH of us, I would have been fine with that. Was it because I was not Japanese? I’m not sure if other people got live coaching either because I wasn’t really paying attention to others, but Hashi always got coached against me. I think it’s nothing against me personally and just not Japanese style, and Hashi was special because she was friends with Koizumi-san.

I always spent a lot of mental energy trying not to be envious, and was depressed for the rest of the week about the contract. Good thing we were all friends. We were in the same weight-class, though. That’s never easy. Just equal coaching- that’s all I wanted, like what I get at syndicate now is perfect..

That’s when I decided to try and find a separate coach. Nobody really gave me guidance, I just kind of thought a pro fighter should have somebody looking after them. lol I’m not sure I have my dates right, but sometime around this time. I shared my feelings with my American friend living in Japan, Ryan Bow, who recommended his friend former Pancrase champ Kiuma Kunioku. He started holding mitts for me on a regular basis, twice a week. He was first person in my life who could motivate me to WANT to do striking, because he was cool and I wanted to impress him. hahaha
roxy kunioku hitting mitts
I hated striking so much.

So there’s a little excerpt from my life in Japan.

oh yeah sidenote: I ended up getting a Strikeforce offer with a week’s notice to face Marloes Coenen (rematch, I won the first time!) at 145 lbs (a weight class above me) and the winner would fight Cyborg. HAH. I ended up losing by armbar in the first round, but maybe that worked out for the best….?

Food poisoning, One Piece anime, training, fights, kids

Posted in every day, fight, training on August 4th, 2016 by roxyfighter

This past week was rough. Last Tuesday night I got food poisoning, so I was up most of the night with diarrhea, and I finally forced myself to throw up, hoping I’d feel better, and I did. After like 6 + times throughout the night. I thought by then everything bad would be digested by then, but oh well…..

It sucked so much. I had a temperature. Wednesday I had to cancel an adult private lesson, my kids lesson thankfully canceled on me, and then I managed to make it through my BJJ kids group class. I hope I looked alright since we had two trial students. I was sweating like crazy and water upset my stomach, so I was super dehydrated and dizzy. x_x Obviously I didn’t train on Wednesday or Thursday. Friday…did I train? I think I did no-gi and almost passed out going too hard. I did technique and a few light rounds and lifted weights.
roxy casey brandon
Didn’t have an appetite at all, which is weird – even when I catch a cold, I always want to eat. LOL Saturday I did jiu-jitsu. Sunday I did Yoga and lifted weights. Still no appetite. I saw Star Trek in the theaters by myself. I’ve been wanting to spend more time by myself lately.

Since I was sick, I spent all of my time watching the anime One Piece. This anime is one of my top 3 favorites (along with Dragon Ball Z and Naruto) and I’ve seen A LOT of anime. It’s one of those anime that really resonates with me and inspires me. The character Luffy is an idiot but he’s always true to his heart and does the right thing, no matter how hard or difficult or impossible it seems. It’s all so simple for him – “I just have to beat up XYZ, right?” It’s like, dude, life isn’t that simple.

But it often is. But that simple thing is hard. It’s like, “Oh, you have a drinking problem? Just stop drinking.” We all know it’s hard. But watching that show really makes you want to become stronger, believe in yourself, and just DO IT. You want something? GO GET IT. Is it easy? No. Is it simple? Yes. Often the simpler it seems, the harder it is. That’s why we have to realistically break our goals down into little, achievable steps. But we have to have the will to do it.

I’ve been watching this series for 14 years.

So I marathon-watched like 50 episodes and finished the Dressrosa saga. Doflamingo is tied with Freeza for my number 1 most hated evil villain in all anime. I had been dying to know Trafalgar Law’s back story, so it was so cool I found out. There are very few cases where I’m cheering on the character to kill the bad guy. I wanted him dead. x_x Is that bad? lol He was so evil….

Then in a flashback, Rayleigh said to Luffy, “Your techniques are really coming along!” and Luffy, eating meat over a camp fire said, “Yeah but I couldn’t beat the Kong (huge gorrilla).” and Rayleigh said, “So you’ll have to develop a technique with even more POWER. You need more power to defeat a stronger enemy!” and Luffy improved his punch.

So I went into my private lesson on Monday and Coach John was like, “So your movement is great, and now we’re going to work on improving your power.”

one piece luffy cheering

It’s really crazy how these three anime relate to my life. I remember just before I had a fight in Japan I was watching the ep where Rock Lee fought Gara in Naruto in the Chuunin exams, and I was SO fired up for my fight. lol I was watching it right before I left for the venue.

I took pics cosplaying Luffy. ;D

one piece cosplaying luffy

Anyway, so I really did learn how to make my punches more powerful and I even skinned my knuckle to prove it. I’m so excited. Not sure how I can practice that in sparring, though, since we’re not supposed to hit our partners as hard as we can. ^^; oh well, I’ll figure it out. I’m think I’m good at controlling my power. Maybe that’s a problem. We’ll see.

Monday I felt good enough to go to MMA practice, but it was still hard and I felt dizzy at the end. Tuesday was also a struggle, but I got through it. The our magical masseuse Teri is sick so I couldn’t get treatment yesterday. My body is ALL jacked up, but I’m gonna try and do well today.

So yeah, I keep hearing rumors that One Piece manga is ending soon, but I checked and there are like 820 something manga volumes, so I’m guessing maybe another 100 eps will come out? I guess I gotta take another year break from watching One Piece because I covered like two years in those 50 eps, since it’s a weekly anime.

Both my good friend Hannah and our jiujitsu coach Capitao lost their fights by decision last week, and I’m sad for them. They both didn’t fight to their full ability! They both have so much amazing skill, it kills me not to see it come out. I guess “next time” as they say. Jessica in Invicta, as well. I want to support them and look forward to training together again soon.

I’m hoping to be able to announce fight news soon. (the story of my life).

I met a Facebook friend Bonny from Montana, and she took me to “Rollercon,” and taught me about Roller derby! That was awesome, to learn about the sport, and to spend time with Bonny! What an awesome person, and we became even better friends! 😀
rollerderby grannie panties

My kids class is growing and growing! I’ve been having some struggles with kids too young joining, so we changed the age limit from 4 to 5. I had a really sad incident where I had to tell the parent the kid was too young and they were upset…. I had trouble sleeping for a few days and had a nightmare yesterday I’ve been so stressed about it. I want everyone to enjoy jiu-jitsu but be SAFE and happy. I care so much. I have to be able to keep my eyes on everyone and now there are regularly 10+ kids in my class. I love it.

Here is an amazing music video of One Piece. wow. It really moved me.