Roxanne Modafferi

The Happy Warrior

How I literally beat my fear to death

Posted in Uncategorized on April 29th, 2017 by roxyfighter

Imagine this…. cute little kid-Roxy, four or five years old, playing merrily on the playground. Here she is:

It was a nice sunny day. Kid-Roxy was giggling, climbing on the jungle-gym, running across the log bridge on the playground contraptions, running up to the fence and trees and back. Then suddenly, she heard a Bzzzzzzzzzzzz! and THEN PAIN! STINGING HORRIBLE DEATHLY PAIN, on the tender, sensitive skin under her nose right above her lip.

She screamed. She cried. It hurt so badly. A bee had stung her. She knew she was going to die. It was the end. The planets were exploding. She had to find her mother to fix things. Tears. Fear. Mother took the stinger out but couldn’t make it stop hurting. Yes, she was wimpy, but most five-year-olds are wimpy and cry if stuff hurts, but this sting hurt all the way home and the next day! She wasn’t even allergic.

Thus, she became afraid of bees.

Even the sound of the word made her shutter. If she was near flowers and she heard or saw a bee, she ran. To the other side of the lawn. Sometimes inside. Flowers were a thing of beauty….only to be enjoyed at a distance if there were bees, and to find out, she would inch her way close, step by step, looking around carefully, checking the petals….

For years. And Wasps? pppfffffftttt those things looked ten times scarier!

Just look at that black Angel of Death on wings! With it’s pointy stinger of DOOM.

You could call it a phobia.

She kept the heck away from bees and wasps passionately so she never got stung by a wasp…or another bee…but she knew they were evil.

Life happened and she found herself, a 13-year-old, exercising in her living room with her new five pound dumbbells she just got. A few years older than this picture. You get the idea.

She had just started Tae Kwon Do, and was a huge fan of Dragon ball Z. She wanted to be as strong as Goku and Piccolo and decided to start lifting weights to get muscles. She was listening to Mortal Kombat movie music.

Then, she saw it… a wasp. No, a monster. The Alien Mother of ALL wasps was stuck between the silky see-through curtain and the window. This thing was as big as an adult thumb.

Of course, she ran away and closed all the doors to the room. She knew her mom wasn’t home and dad was mowing the lawn. She’d get him to kill it later….. wait.

She wanted to get stronger and become a fighter. She had a bookmark in her favorite book that was a Halmark quote card with a face of a lion that said, “Do things you are afraid to do.” There was literally nothing more scary to her than a bee or wasp.

How could she be JUST training to get stronger, want to learn fighting to fight the bad guys, but ran away from a dumb bug? Dumb, yet evil and painful and scary and evil and……

I have to kill that bug, she told herself. Say it. Say it outloud. You’re going to kill that bug. “I have to kill that bug,” she told herself. “Kill the bug. Kill my fear. Get stronger.” That’s what they teach us. Face your fear and overcome it. But….

She took a few deep breaths. “Roxanne.” She swallowed. “You’re going to go inside there and kill that …wasp.”

She went into the kitchen, got some newspaper, and rolled it up. She went back into the living room, hoping it hadn’t escaped from the curtain. Praying it hadn’t. It hadn’t!

Her breathing rate increased. Her heartrate increased. She thought of Piccolo. She was so terrified that she thought of anything that could give her courage. She slowly approached the curtain. Man, it was so big!

“Just do it!” she said, raising the newspaper and whacking at it as hard as she could. She missed! The insect panicked! She panicked and screamed! The giant wasp’s wings and body making a loud buzzing clicking commotion as it banged against the glass window pane. She knew it was just dying to sink it’s dark singer of death into her body. She hit it again and again, the curtain cushioning the impact of the blows. It fell! It fell to the carpet. She fell to her knees next to it, hoping to see a decapitated body…but no, it was very much intact started running around! With a cry, she slammed her weapon down as hard as she could, but the bug bounced back and forth between the soft carpet and newspaper. Have you ever tried to squish something soft against something soft? It’s very ineffective. She realized this after the 15th time she whacked at it, but knew there was no time to get a different weapon. And she had no shoes on to take off. She resolved to hit it until it dropped dead.

She whacked it again. And again. and again. and again. and again. She felt slightly crazed. It wasn’t dying. But she would kill it.

She lost count of how many times she hit that thing, but it was probably over thirty. It finally oozed guts out of it’s broken body into the light blue carpet, and stopped moving.

There were a few tears in her eyes. She was not only scared, but she hated what she did. She hated killing things. She always saved the bugs (not stinging ones-she called Mom for them) that crept into her house. She avoided stepping on ants on the sidewalk. After watching Fern Gully, she decided to stop pulling up weeds and flowers, because every life has a spark of energy and is beautiful. She felt bad she just ended the life of another animal, and there it was. Dead. It’s life could never come back. But it terrified her. She knew it had to die.

She hoped that she had killed the fear inside her along with that bug. And she was right.

She forced herself to clean it up with a paper towel, rather than waiting for her parents. After all, it was respectful. She had ended it’s life, so she should take the responsibility of finishing the deed.

Just as she has suspected, her fear dissipated. She went outside and went over to her garden and gazed upon the bees…. while she had no desire to go touch one, she no longer felt that icy knife of terror slice into her heart.

post fight: some training, kids, anime, Herbal Papaya

Posted in every day, fight, Uncategorized on April 7th, 2017 by roxyfighter

I always take one week off after a fight. I usually have to. Something is swollen or hurt, I feel the intense full-body soreness the day after the fight, and I want to avoid contact with my head just because I get hit hard and want to avoid any possible concussions.

Thank GOODNESS nothing happened to my legs. I only kicked a few times. My upperbody was sore, but not injured. Two of my fingers were swollen from making contact with my opponent’s skull with a strike. My left elbow was swollen, but I had a swollen bursa sack before the fight started, so it just got worse. From me elbowing her in the head…. so yeah I definitely got the better of the fight. Oh and my zombie eye….broken blood vessel that looks scary but doesn’t hurt and will heal in a week. I’m so lucky.

Before I fight, I always call both my parents. I always take a moment to be grateful for my body that functions in the way it’s supposed to. Because you never know.

Monday, I did chores all morning and didn’t train. Then I taught kids in the evening. They missed me! 😀
Tuesday I did light technique in the morning but didn’t roll. Captain was like, “Hi Roxy…WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?! GO HOME.”

I did my physical trainer Lorenzo’s jump squat sets….only three sets! which includes several activities. I usually do 5 when I’m feeling good. Man! Three sets made me sore for days. Crazy how I’m in such good shape stamina-wise for a fight, but had stopped doing squats so those muscles went back to being sore again.

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Man, I love Lorenzo’s training. I can feel my speed and power went up! How exciting! SO exciting I finally found there people I need. John for striking and MMA, Capitao for jiujitsu, and Lorenzo for strength and conditioning. Finally finally finally, after so many years of trying to figure stuff out myself. Under the same Syndicate roof. Syndicate is truly the best.

On Wednesday, I had a record-breaking number of kids in my jiujitsu class : 20! HOW AMAZING! 😀 And figures it was a day Serena wasn’t there to help me. ;_; Two kids from the big kids class like to be helpful and kind of assisted me, kind of fooled around near the end so I had to scold them…. but in the middle of class Forrest Griffin and Gray Maynard came onto the mat and helped!! HOW COOL! 😀

Man, Jamie visited Syndicate wearing her Goku outfit on the SAME DAY my Vegeta rash guard came in, and I wasn’t even doing MMA! GAH SO SAD. It would have been SO COOL if we had sparred!!! omg we MUSt coordinate next time!
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Special thanks to Herbal Papaya for the awesome products that help keep my healthy. I have not once caught a cold while taking the leaf extract capsules.

Check out my balancing skills.
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I have seed extract, too. Good for the digestion and intestinal health because it has enzymes. The blood formula is supposed to help increase your blood platelet count. Please, browse their website…they have graviola products and tea, too. https://www.herbalpapaya.com/
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So Attack on Titan season 2 is out!! Man I wish I didn’t have to wait one week for thirty minutes. x_x I dunno if I can. I might wait a month and then watch in a cluster of 4. Hmm tempted. I kind of know what happens since I read the manga but I already notice small differences, and I forget a lot.
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omg!!!

Also, My Hero Academia season 2! Man, I forgot how much I love that series. Really inspiring.
In the episode, Deku said, “I wish I could tell my 4-year old self that everything would be okay. Wonderful changes were gonna happen.”

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I totally relate to that! I wish I could tell my elementary/middle school self, “Don’t worry, Roxanne! You are lonely and picked on a lot now, but when you get older and start cage fighting, lots of people will want to meet you and you will have friends.” LOL I always wished upon a star to have friends. Always. Well, every kid wants more friends and gets picked on, I suppose. Plus, I was a more of an oddball than average. But seriously, mother, thank you for instilling in me the firm belief that I didn’t HAVE to conform to everybody else and I was fine the way I was. Because of your constant affirmation of the way I was, I never tried to be something I wasn’t. 😀
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Mommy! 😀 I miss you!

Another thing about that anime…that girl said she wanted to be a hero for money, and everyone was surprised until she said it was to help her family. That’s exactly what happened when I told Lorenzo that I wanted to get a job where I’d be rich. He said he didn’t think I was that kind of person. Well, I want to be rich so I can buy plane tickets to visit my family and take care of my ailing relatives.

I ran stairs this morning and it seems my cardio hasn’t really gone down. That’s good… I got it good enough to go five rounds, but I don’t think my next fight will be five rounds. I hope to fight again soon…. already bought our costumes! 😀

I’m glad I did physical training with Lorenzo today. My ear is swollen and I shouldn’t be grappling…. tomorrow instead of jiujitsu, I coach some of my students at a local tournament. Then watch the UFC!

The Great Tohoku Earthquake

Posted in Uncategorized on March 11th, 2017 by roxyfighter

Today is March 11th, the 6 year anniversary of the Great Tohoku Earthquake. I’m not Japanese, but this disaster tore my heart apart as much as 9/11 did.

I was in Tokyo, about far away from the earthquake as Maryland is from Boston, when I felt the ground shake and stuff started falling off shelves in the supermarket. I dropped my groceries and rushed to the door with everyone else and watched the buildings sway. I met my co-workers and a few students in front of the Shinyurigaoka Berlitz school and we waited to see what would happen, all checking social media. Trains everywhere had stopped. Classes got cancelled. My teenage student said solumnly, “If we felt it this much here, it must be SO big there. I worry about a tsunami.” I thought a tsumani was just a tall wave, like the kind you surfed on. I thought I saw a disaster movie once where people run from a wave.

The truth is worse. A real tsunami is when the sea rises up, black and ominous, and swallows the coastal cities. It boils through the streets, picking up and carrying along cars and trees and ships and smashing them into buildings.

I spent the night at my office and watched footage on my co-worker’s laptop. I cried my eyes out. How many people had died? Certainly not everybody could have managed to evacuate!!

The next day I made it home and then heard about the powerplant damaged possibly exploding, sending radioactive clouds over Tokyo!?! My boss told me to come into work but screw that, I called her boss because I knew him, and he told me I didn’t have to go. LOL I traveled west to Nagoya and Osaka to get away and slept at a friend’s friend’s house.

I write a blog like this every year, but I will never ever forget. I’m crying just remembering the videos of destruction.

The gov claimed they had things under control a week later, (they were lying but at least it didn’t explode more) and I went back to Tokyo and tried to continue with life. Things weren’t the same. I had to stop eating peaches, and check the labels on the produce to make sure it wasn’t grown up there in Tohoku. Farmers and officials claimed that everything was safe, but they were obviously lying to save their businesses. There was NO WAY the food was okay up there. And it later came out I was right. And the economy up there went to hell because nobody was buying the food from up there, but sorry, I don’t want to die? People lost their homes and had to move into temporary houses. People are STILL living in temporary houses to this day. The world forgets these things because it’s not top news anymore. But the power plant is still not okay. They Japanese are still pumping water in there to cool the reactors, and have developed a system to clean the water. It was and probably still is leaking out into the ocean, contaminating the fish, etc. It’s a mess.

I remember taking a volunteer trip one year after the disaster with my gym, because my teacher’s friend lives up there, and handed out supplies. We also built a park with nothing but our hands and a shovel and hammer.

Some news just came out that the radiation was worse than they had estimated…but it’s better now! 😀

hah of course, duh, we all know the gov is lying to us to prevent panic.

I may live in America now, but half of my heart is still in Japan. I have so much respect for the people who’ve lost so much but still work hard and do their best to get on with their daily lives! ganbare Nihon!

My Invicta 19 blog

Posted in Uncategorized on September 25th, 2016 by roxyfighter

Well, I had an exciting week at Invicta FC 19. I arrived on Tuesday, coach John on Wednesday, and we successfully dressed up as She-ra and He-man for the photo shoot. I made a big effort to find the costumes, and swords. Then found I didn’t have adequate support for “the girls,” and the front fell. Jessy found lingerie tape for me, which I didn’t know existed, so I could tape the top to my chest so anyone taller than me wouldn’t have a view. I’m just mentioning it cuz it took effort! lol And the wig…I tried on like 6 wigs at the costume store, texting pics to Jessy and John. There was a golden one I liked, too, but those two thought the blond one was best.
And I had wanted to find just a He-man rashguard or something for John since he is built like He-man anyway and doesn’t need fake muscles, but then I wouldn’t know how to make a furry loincloth. lol
Money was spent but well worth it.
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Cutting weight was not fun but as easy as I could have made it because I dieted well, salt-cut well, and waterloaded well. Thursday morning I climbed out of the tub, craweled downstairs at 10:30 AM, weigh-ed in in front of the commission, and then got to rehydrate and eat. It’s “early weigh-ins,” a new thing the commissions are doing. Then later that day at 7 PM, we did the staged one.
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I always take some sportsfood strips after weigh-ins. They have sodium and electrolytes.
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Sportsfood sponsored me a bunch of fights ago and I tried them because of that, but found that I REALLY like and support the product more than I expected. So shoutout to sportsfood! Thank you!
http://www.sportsfood.com/
My friends from out of town started showing up!
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I didn’t take as many pictures as I usually do, I think.
Then the public weigh-in and Faceoff!
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I like Jennifer a lot. I sense she’s a good martial artist. When I looked into her eyes, I sensed only excitement and readiness to fight me.
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I hung out with Jessy Jess and John and Tom on fight day. Got my hair done. Went to Cheesecake factory. lol a lot. Walked around the Plaza shopping area.
Then it was fight-time.
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I’d never felt so good physically with zero injuries. I’d never been in such good cardio condition. I’ve never had so many tools in my toolbox. I was so ready.
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I didn’t really feel any emotions. I just walked out there ready to fight.
It was a great fight. (Images owned by Invicta)
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I wasn’t able to corner her against the cage as much I had hoped. I wanted to get a take-down that way. She actually tried to do that to me, and I had to hustle to regain the center of the cage. Once I was half turned from ducking out and kind of jogged away and thought, “Crap, I wonder if ppl will see this like Conor turned his back to Nate Diaz and got flack for it online” LOL BUT I DIDN’T MEAN TO, honest.
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I am very proud of myself for being able to land a lot of combos that I’d been practicing. However, it was as if she ate them and was like, *Terminator voice* “Your attacks are stupid,” and pushed forward. Then when she hit me, I was jolted backwards. x_x That was pretty discouraging. Her face wasn’t bruised or anything and my face is all f*cked up. John said he thinks I won the fight, but if you look at my face, you wouldn’t think so. :/ I just wasn’t strong enough.

I feel proud I was able to do the techniques, like the Roxycoper! but also really sad they didn’t fell my opponent. Before the fight I was constantly stressing to interviewers that the belt really didn’t mean as much as the win, and while that’s true….I had really wanted to bring the belt home to Syndicate. I was rehearsing in my head, that when Shannon wrapped the belt around my waist, I would hold it up with John and Tom on either side and say, “This is Syndicate’s belt!” I had wanted to show my kids and let them touch it. I wanted to be John’s champion…

That didn’t happen. It feels good to know that I can hang with and almost win against the fighter ranked number 1 in my division. But still. Half the money, half the glory. Well at least nobody asked me if I’m going to retire anytime soon! YAY!! That question is so annoying. People just quit asking me and just wished me a happy birthday. Good.

I’m so grateful to Invicta for giving me this opportunity to fight in their awesome organization, and fight Jennifer! They always treat me well! Thank you Shannon, Julie, Angie, Kaitlin, and the crew!
My friends didn’t give me a chance to get sad and took me out to dinner and I ate cheesecake for an appetizer at…the CHEESECAKE FACTORY. We went there so often . lol
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So many friends came out from all over the States. Even Eric holden, my favorite stalker (he’s not really a stalker, though) joined us! I didn’t want any pictures after my fight because of my face, and then Steve said, “Own that shit!” and I cried on his shoulder because he was right, I should be proud to be a fighter, but actaually I failed to hurt my opponent. I rarely hurt my opponent. I’m not a fsking striker and it’s so frustrating. Jiu-jitsu is the art that allows you to use leverage and not strength to defeat your opponent, and I couldn’t quite “jiu-jitsu her.” I’m also not vain like “oh my beautiful face.” It’s like, “You didn’t block that. You suck.” every time I look in the mirror.

I’m glad my mom isn’t here to see this.

I love you all.
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I turned 34 on September 24th, the day after the fight. Despite going to bed at 3 AM, Candy woke up and drove me and Jessy to the Urgent care at 8:30 AM because I have a bruised cornea. Thank you!
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That’s like partial tear on the surface of the eye…it heals within a week, but the pain is excruciating. Every time you blink it’s like needles, and if you cry, the salt gets in… Because of that, I only iced my left eye so my right eye ended up swelling shut. Which was almost a blessing in disguise because I didn’t have to use facial muscles to hold it closed or get an eyepatch. I just looked super f*cked up so Jessy lent me her sunglasses. I don’t want people to look at me and be sad…

I kept bumping into people on my right side while walking, only looking through my very nearsighted left eye…and I thought to myself…dang, I’m glad I have an eye! Imagine trying to function in this world completely blind?! I have friends who got their orbitals broken, who see lines permanently in their vision, and that poor guy who went blind cuz Faber poked him in the eye? I’m so lucky I got off with a messed up face, bruised cornea, and swollen ankle.

Then when we finally got home, Jessica, Cindy, and Hannah burst into song!! A surprise party! 😀 aaaah Taco bell and ice cream cake! I’m so touched!!
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I felt really loved.

Today, Sunday, through freezing my face, I managed to bring down the swelling a bit so I could open my right eye. I rewatched my fight…. :/
Then went over Cindy’s and had Hannah’s and her joint birthday party. It was nice. Now I’m back and looking at pictures of my fight.

My skull hurts a lot from bruises. x-x I can’t wait to heal up so I can get back to training. I want to do more gi BJJ and find out what physical training coach John has in store for me.

You never know in the MMA world. Things are crazy. Things never happen fairly or the way you’d guess. Things can change in fighters’ lives overnight with fight offers and opportunities. We all have to be ready mentally and physically at all time.

I did a pretty good job of being positive and uplifting in post fight interviews. Now I feel like sh*t and just want my cornea to heal so my vision stops being blurry so I can watch anime instead of laying on the sofa like a loser with ice packs covering my head…. I hope I can drive tomorrow.

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….?