Roxanne Modafferi

The Happy Warrior

what “champion” means

Posted in fight, friends on June 21st, 2017 by roxyfighter

Work ethic.
My friend Serena and I have many things in common: a love of anime, nachos, ice cream, food in general, MMA, fighting, movies, we’re apartment mates, etc., but one of the most unusual things we have in common is work ethic.

We both train every day. Until we drop. There’s a burning force that drives us to the gym, whether we are energetic, exhausted, injured, or sick (if we’re sick, we don’t wanna spread it so that’s the only time we won’t go.) If we don’t train what we think of as ‘enough,’ some little voice inside says something along the lines of, “You lazy weakling, you suck! You could be doing more!”

Coach John likes to say that “The sh*t you’d rather not be doing, is probably what you need to be doing the most of!” Whether that be striking for the grapplers, or grappling for the strikers, or strength training, etc.

Serena and I do it. And we’ve been improving our skills, thanks to our amazing and supportive coaches, and wonderful training partners.

As you all know, I’ve been on a winning streak. And Serena? She’s been improving SO much, and it killed me that she lost her previous fight because despite showing that improvement, she didn’t get the W. In addition to normal training challenges, she has to deal with being autistic. I can’t possibly understand how it feels because she puts it as “the brain being wired differently.” She’s sensitive to senses, like light, noise, stimulation, etc. Maybe similarly to how a non-depressed person can’t understand a clinically depressed person because we don’t have their chemical imbalance. It’s not a matter of “just cheer up.” Everybody has their own hurdles they have to jump over, and the mountain they have to climb to reach the top has it’s own rocky or jungle terrain to fight through.

This weekend at Tuff-N-Uff Serena showed me such heart as I have never seen before. She cut weight – that was the first battle, and showed me the heart of a champion and got through hell to get to heaven on the other side. Yes, it was hell. Hot tub sauna hell. x_x And I went in there with her. Because that’s what friends do.

Haha Serena this pic I found on google is appropriate, especially since I’m a vampire…

Anyway she went out and fought a tough girl and dominated. Not only did she won, but she won well, and she showcased lots of the technique she’s been fine-tuning and polishing. Her striking, her sense of distance, her counters, her take-down defense, cage control, it was all so beautiful. When they announced her unanimous decision victory, I cried a little.


She has a champion’s attitude. People can win or lose fights, but you don’t just become a champion for nothing. She really earned this. She works SO hard. She tries to be a good role model (except when she’s being a bad influence on me and trying to turn me to the Dark Side).

It was nice to see her mother and little huge brother this weekend. They flew in from Philadelphia for her fight and were a big support.

I’m so so SO proud of you, Serena! SO HAPPY for you!! You helped me win my fights, and I’m thrilled to help you win yours. Let’s keep working towards our next goals!

update: BJJ stuff, prodigy kids, fantastic training, translation, Leslie, Transformers

Posted in every day, fight on June 16th, 2017 by roxyfighter

Training has been amazing.

I feel like I’m getting burnt out again, actually. But if there’s some amazing training scheduled, I want to do it. If I can do physical training to get stronger, I want to do it. If there are kids who want private lessons to get better, I want to do it.

I also want to lay down but that’s not a priority….

I’ve been having all kinds of breakthroughs in my jiujitsu game lately, thanks to Capitão. I’m preventing people from passing more. I’ve been improving my De La Riva guard a bit, and I improved my armbars. THAT’S what I’ve been trying to focus on lately. In my last three fights, I actually finished one but the other two people defended them. Whyyyyyyyyy?!

So I went over scenarios with Capitão and figured out what I could do better and I’ve been armbarring people more in practice. Yeah!!! Rick also gave me some great tips. I’ve been using his stuff, as well.

So Capitão’s friend Diego has a brother who is friends with this black belt (are you following?) who brought a team of youths to America to compete in some tournament, and they decided to stay for a few months to train. I LOVE THEM. Two boys and three girls.

They are supposedly prodigies, and I was like “alright whatever” and then the 12 year old ended up choking me out. And I didn’t even care. Actually no, I’m a little bothered, but that’s because I haven’t figured out how he did it and I’m jealous and I wanna do it, too. So he got my back and that was fine. He got some grip and it wasn’t tight. I was defending. He made an adjustment. Another adjustment. Another adjustment. Suddenly I realized that I was in danger but he was so physically strong. At that point I knew I was screwed so I tried to notice how he was doing it so I could try and remember….. and then he shifted my body to the side and got the power of leverage, finishing the gi cross choke and I tapped before I went unconscious. THAT SHIFT. I need to be taught that better. I’m missing a detail. Gah! I must knowwww. He seeks me out to roll in practice, which is flattering.

So Capitão told me that I need to put more pressure down and move less. That’s Prodigy child’s game, too, and when we go, I’m doing well until I get tired and then he passes and everything goes downhill. haha
So the other day I decided to try and squash his game. I tried to move slower and keep pressure and not get swept, and I did WAY better. Yay learning. And he didn’t choke me again. But I was tempted to give him my back to see his work again.

Why is he so strong? THIS IS WHY HE IS SO STRONG. HOLY O@U#I$*#@$. I just saw this on instagram!!

There should be no ego at the gym, but we are only human. If you love something and love learning something, it becomes easier if you remind yourself that we are all students.

Coach John taught me two really sweet wall techniques that I’ve been using successfully! YAY Thanks, John. Best coach ever.

Leslie Smith visited Syndicate this week! I had sparred her kickboxing two years ago and she annihilated me. I noticed big improvements this time so I was happy. I would love for her to come around more, like on MMA day! We’re not in the same weight class so I don’t mind training together! 🙂 And I really like her. Yay Leslie!

We gave out stripes in the big kids jiujitsu class. Here’s a picture of Coach Rick and our students Bailee and Chris. I love them!

I also gave Griffin another stripe! He earned it. The little imp. <3

My friend Serena is fighting this weekend, so I’ve been helping her train, stay ready, and cut weight. Her mom is here, who I lovely assigned the nickname “Mamarena,” and her little, huge, brother Brandon. 🙂

I’m so excited for her fight. She’s going to win and fight well!! She has done nothing but improved and gotten stronger.

I have a translation gig translating fighter’s post fight interviews! It’s fun, good practice for me, and I get to use my Japanese skills that I learned in college! Yay using your college degree for something. Thanks, Jonathan, for helping me fulfill my dream of doing translation.

I took some pictures of myself with my four belts! Because why not. I have them so I should pose with them. I think there’s some kind of law. I was even thinking I have enough to wear only them, like hang them over my shoulder so one covers each boob, and then the one around my waist is like a miniskirt. I thought about this for about two seconds, shared the idea with Serena and Mamarena, had a mighty guffaw with them, and then went to take proper ones. ^_^

In the iota of free time I have I’ve been watching the Transformers Prime on Netflix!

I’m really really impressed with it! I mostly watch Japanese anime, not American cartoons, but I loved American Beast Wars when I was a teenager. The p;lot is decent, the music is good, the voice acting is good. I admire Optimus for always trying to do the right thing, and being a bad-a$$.

Do you know the greatest riches in the world?

Posted in every day on June 3rd, 2017 by roxyfighter

Each human being is born in the middle of a path. They travel down that path in their lives. The path splits off each time there is a decision to be made. Sometimes the “correct” path is clear (don’t steal that toy), sometimes it’s not clear. (study to become a teacher or a musician?). As I got older, I realized that there is no correct or incorrect path…..only how we feel about the outcome the path leads us to. In relationships, in job choices, choosing where to move or what house to buy, etc.

When I realized this, it took some of the pressure off some choices for me, knowing that whatever I chose, I would make it work. Because I was alive. For an actual warrior, defeat is death. Life is great. Life is amazing.

I recently found out that two of my family members on both sides of my family have serious cancer. Actually, I found out the same day.

Actually, there is a lot of cancer on both sides of my family, with almost every female on both sides of my family getting some form. So much in fact that I’m pretty convinced I’m gonna get it eventually. That sounds uncharacteristically pessimistic of me, but it brings a determined resolution: I have to live as much and as hard as I can with the time I have, because so many people don’t have time. Heck, I could be totally healthy and get hit by a car and die. We all die and don’t know when. I don’t want to know. So therefore, every day I wake up, every time I eat something delicious, every time I go out with friends, I am glad. Every time somebody cuts me of fin traffic, I’m not mad. I think, “Whoops that was dangerous. I’m glad I’m alive. I hope that guy doesn’t have an accident down the line because he’s kind of reckless.”

Every time I start my car, I’m grateful I have a car. I feel the weight of responsibility that I now control this huge piece of metal machinery. In life, safety and life are the most important things. Everything else, EVERYTHING, is secondary or trivial. Clothes, possessions, what wouldn’t you trade for health?

I don’t mind leaving the nest, but I often wish I could be closer to my family and see them more than once or twice a year.

When I imagined winning the lottery or getting rich, in the past I thought of traveling to Brazil, or Japan a FEW times a year, and maybe going to Texas De Brazil once a month. Now all I can think about is helping my family and the people I love. That’s why I want to be rich. I remember watching TUF Brazil and like half the fighters were like, “I want big UFC money so I can take care of my Mama and buy her a house.” I thought, “Aww that’s cute and kinda sappy.” Now I totally get it. I would want to keep my old Toyota, shop at Walmart, eat at Taco Bell, and help my family.

I keep thinking about my beloved family members. I’m glad I just saw them earlier this year. I wish I could do more to support them. But I have to stay focused and keep chasing my dreams. We are all on our own individual paths. Other people’s paths sometimes join with our own sometimes, or run parallel.

We can’t always save other people. They don’t always do what we advise. Other people make their own choices and have to live with the results of THEIR decisions. They chose the path to walk down, and we can’t pull them backwards, or have them skip to another path. Have you ever watched in frustration someone you cared about making a decision you thought was “wrong?”

I’m kind of feeling down at the moment. When my mind starts thinking about all that, I try and make my emotions swing upward. I’m worried about my family, but I have to be strong, be positive, be grateful, be a good role-model to my kids (kids BJJ class), and do things that will positively effect this world that we live in. I’m grateful for the body and the life I have and I will never never take it for granted.