Roxanne Modafferi

The Happy Warrior

Jiujitsu stuff! Training for my fight vs Barb!

Posted in fight, training, Uncategorized on April 26th, 2018 by roxyfighter

Can you believe that something dumb like sleeping on the airplane hurt my neck? I got a tight muscle on Sunday and it got progressively worse and worse all week to the point where I could barely turn my head and train on the Saturday one week later. SO STUPID. -_-; Life happens? Remind me to never sleep on an airplane! (I frequently say this lol)
Thanks to my massage therapist Teri Wallace. What would I do without you? She always fixes me!

Anyway, it’s been a great week and a half. Some highlights are my kid students – I’ve been giving a few of the struggling ones private lessons and I can see vast improvements almost immediately! Like, I taught Lucas techniques on how to avoid getting mounted by blocking with the knee, shrimping, and framing, and he’s getting mounted like 75% less.

I have one child who gets really frustrated with herself, which didn’t used to happen. I think it’s because her level is higher now so I think she expects more of herself. I wish I had studied child psychology in school. I didn’t think six year olds got that way, but I guess she did! I told her, “You’re one of my best students, and just because you couldn’t do something, didn’t mean you were doing it wrong. Maybe the person was stronger or bigger or it wasn’t the right time. So don’t get upset, breathe, and try something else. I’ll always be proud of you as long as you do your best.” She didn’t get upset.
YAY so we (Serena and I) figured her out. Then, I saw her get stuck under someone’s powerful grapevine and I saw her face start to get upset. I ran over and calmly coached her out of it.

Like 60 seconds later, she got on top and did the SAME THING to the other kid!!!! I was like, YES!!!

(and I coached the other kid out of it, just to be fair lol)

She’s competing soon. I gave her and another boy a private on Monday and they did so well!
I LOVE THEM SO MUCH!! LOOK AT HER ANGELIC FACE.

Anywho.

My own jiujitsu training has been great.

JoJo, our new Scottish UFC fighter teammate, has been a fantastic training partner. She joined Syndicate recently so she has a different style, strength, etc. She is good at foiling my techniques, which is great, because it means I’m not doing them perfectly and I can perfect them better. Thanks, JoJo! πŸ˜€ She has the most amazing control I’ve ever encountered in training. She hit me with an upkick to the face and it tickled my nose. I was like, “How DARE she upkick me in training….wait…I’m not hurt!? Cool!” I’ve never gotten hurt going with her despite her throwing all sorts of dangerous stuff. It’s remarkable. πŸ˜€ You guys, It’S AMAZING! I cannot stress how valuable that is to have training partners like that!

I’ve started taking grappling lessons with Mike Pyle, recently retired UFC fighter and Team Syndicate member. I was planning to start MMA-grappling lessons after my tourney, but he texted me, asking me if I was ready, and posted on social media that he was bored, so I figured it would be best to start a habit of giving me a lesson so I don’t lose my opportunity. lol I hadn’t intended on doing gi with him, but I’ve learned a TON of my first two lessons! Thanks, Mike!

I’m so excited for my tournament this Sunday! Four of our kids are competing, too. Yay!

My next fight has finally been announced! So finally, July 6th, Barb Honchak, in the TUF 27 finale in the Palms in Vegas! πŸ˜€


I’ve been watching TUF 27, also. The second ep was yesterday. I like it a lot.

Jodie Esquibel stopped by Syndicate and we sparred. It was great!


There were EIGHT fightergirls on the mats! Me, Serena, Jessy Jess, Alexa Connors, Jojo Calderwood, Meeks, Chelsea Rae, and Jodie! And obviously awesome dudes.

I saw the movie Rampage last Sunday.

I liked it a lot! Great, believable plot, action, great acting by Dwayne Johnson! I really like him. I feel like he’s been in a ton of movies lately. I have to say, though, ever since 9/11 and 3/11 (Japan’s disaster), I can’t enjoy a good building falling down anymore, or other destruction in a movie. I get really upset because I’ve seen the real thing and know how horrible reality is. ;_; I think I’m getting MORE sensitive as I get older, rather than desensitized….

On Saturday I taught a kid’s private lesson, then did an hour of gi jiujitsu rolling, then rushed to my physical training session. Lorenzo had me pull and push sleds, and carry heavy bags. Then he said, β€œOkay, *pause* now you’re gonna kick the heavy bag until it stands up on its end, and stack those giant tires over it.” He kicked the bag and smiled at me. I kinda thought he was kidding, but wasn’t sure, so I proceeded to gather three huge tires by flipping them. The first was easy. Then for the second one, I had to use a smaller tire as a step-up or wedge. As I was working on the third one, Lorenzo told me he was actually kidding but he loved my effort and wanted to see if I could do it! It was really hard! I partially pulled it up, partially got under it and pushed, and then I had to get it over the top of the heavy bag. I DID IT!!



GO ME! I was so dirty afterwards. Getting ready for Barb Honchak, July 6th. I’ll never get β€œtired” while fighting her.

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Amanda “The Lady Killer” is visiting this week! and I got food poisoning

Posted in friends, fun, training, Uncategorized on February 24th, 2018 by roxyfighter

It’s been a busy, unusual week!

Amanda Bell has been visiting for the week. I first met her at an Invicta a number of years ago, and became friendly acquaintances. Keep an eye out for her fighting in Bellator!

We had this special moment together after we both lost our fights…. I had just fought Vanessa Porto in Invicta 12, in 2015, one of my toughest losses. My face has never gotten so swollen. I was so angry that my mom (who I was living with that the time) had to look at her daughter like that. I posted this picture and wrote “It’s so important to keep smiling no matter what.”

We followed each other on social media and kept running into each other at events. We talked about training together some day, and we finally made it happen. It’s been great not only training, but hanging out, and getting to know her more.

Last Sunday, actually, after my yoga and massage session, after I came out of the grocery store, my car wouldn’t start! πŸ™ I used AAA to tow Lee to American Auto and Tire, one of the only autobody shops in Vegas open on a Sunday. (Thanks, friendly skateboard tow truck dude for stopping by my apartment first so I could drop off my groceries. >< Instead of seeing Black Panther with Serena, I sat in the repair shop all afternoon and paid $500 to get my starter replaced. :/ Oh well. I stopped to get food on the way home because I was starving. The staff seemed rushed and understaffed, but I was impressed how the cashier kept his cool and was always polite. Unfortunately, I think they rushed cooking the chicken because I got indigestion that evening. We picked up Amanda at the airport that night!
Then we took her to Skinnyfats, one of our favorite restaurants.

Monday, I had my usual mitt session with John and felt kind of crappy. Throughout MMA practice, I felt gradually worse and worse but forced myself to finish, realizing near the end that I had food poisoning. By the time I got home, I was down and out with a fever. πŸ™

I couldn’t get coverage for my kids class, so I dragged myself to the gym and did the best I could with Serena for the 4:00 class. Rick couldn’t teach his 5:00 class, so I actually got Amanda to teach because she has experience teaching kids classes! There were only 4 kids because of the holiday, but that’s even harder! This is me laying down while she was teaching in the other room. ;_; Thank you so much, Amanda.

Tuesday I didn’t have a bad fever but still felt horrible, so I dropped Amanda off to train and then went home and slept. It sucked for me. πŸ™ I’m glad she still got good training! I tried to watch movies but kept falling asleep and got a headache. Oh well, at least it wasn’t an injury. I felt a little better by the afternoon and even better by evening, so I wanted to at least take a walk.

I took Amanda to the Orleans Casino to play DDR, only to find they replaced it with that Korean machine with the dumb diagonal arrows! I don’t like it as much. :/

We played that, Mario Kart, and Transformers Prime!

We eventually got buzz sawed to death by Starscream? x_x

I then showed Amanda around the Luxor because she casually mentioned being interested in it. πŸ˜€ From there, we “found” the Las Vegas Sock Market and she bought me a gift of socks. XD

I ADORE SOCKS!!!!!! But I don’t need anymore, so please don’t send me anymore…. I have over 250 pairs by now, probably! πŸ˜€ I should do another fan guessing game with prizes. haha

So I found these Trump quote socks!

And posted on Instagram, “Haha funny socks.” Oh boy, I got people saying “F*ck Trump!” “Roxy’s being negative, I’m so disappointed in her” “I’m going to unfollow you.” etc

Come on, guys! You CAN’T SAY those socks didn’t make you smile. πŸ™‚

I’m always so sensitive about controversial topics, I tried not to write anything inflammatory. I just posted “FUNNY SOCKS. HAHA.” I didn’t say ANYTHING political. I didn’t vote for Trump, but I certainly don’t wish him ill. I’m not going to make fun of him, but I will certainly laugh at something funny. *shrug* Geez. These socks crack me up every time I look at them. Just smile!

We watched the Fullmetal Alchemist live action movie on Netflix! It was really good! They did a great job stuffing the basic contents of 38 episodes into 3 hours. I thought the casting, acting, and effects were really really fantastic!! Roy was as bad-@$$ as he was in the manga! (okay I just got distracted for 10 minutes looking at pics online XD)

Anyway, Wednsday I was back to normal. Thanks, Amanda, for helping me with my wrestling session. Then I did the grappling class, then I did strength and conditioning with Lorenzo. It was actually a mentally and emotionally exhausting day for various reasons.
Kids classes were good.

Thursday my body was hurting in unusual places from the physical training, but I got through sparring. I didn’t get to do certain techniques I wanted to, but I did some others from previous sessions I had been working. So… πŸ™‚ next time!

We dragged ourselves to the UFC Performance Institute afterwards and I got us in to use the cold plunge and hot tub for recovery.

Do you see how I skillfully used camera angles and overlapping to hide the fact that none of us are on weight and ready for bikini season yet? XD

haha
Then, I went to pick up my lunch box in the cafeteria. When I came back, my friends were GONE. I opened the steam room to check it and WHOOSH.

More blind than usual.

Friday, we kind of took it easy and did yoga and cardio. I taught kids.

Today is our last day together! For now!

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TUF 26 ep 10 blog – Life in the TUF house, Barb vs Rachael, Nicco vs Montana

Posted in Uncategorized on November 20th, 2017 by roxyfighter

8/11 I fought the previous day, but today, it’s fight day for Nicco and Montana. I didn’t know which of them would win. I like them both and they are both skilled, but I suppose I hope Nicco wins since I’m a bit closer to her. Montana was my favorite sparring partner, though. I never really like to try to analyze and make guesses on fights… I’m not good at it, and really, anything can happen in a fight. It’s like a gamble.

I had a really hard time sleeping last night. Not sure if it was the caffeine I took at 1 PM for my fight, or just the exhilaration of the fight. I never sleep more than an hour of dozing off the night of a fight, but this time it was in the afternoon so I thought I might sleep. It could also be the tension of watching and knowing my next opponent. Man, this weight cut is hard on Sarj. How could she make 125 for the title of she has to cut her hair every time to make 126? I worry about her health.

I had ordered sushi for a victory dinner a day in advance, but it hadn’t come. I was really disappointed and was complaining about it to my friends. Then one of the producers came out and apologized, and I felt bad and like a petty brat because I forgot they could hear everything I said on my necklace microphone. ~_~; I ended up eating veggies, eggs, and a bite of chicken for dinner, which is the most pathetic victory dinner I’ve ever eaten. I would have to fight in one week, though…. I ended up figuring out how to fire up the portable firepit table outside and made some smores! Nicco, Gillian, and Karine joined me joined me. That was nice and fun and finally felt like a celebration. I had trouble relaxing, but that helped.

I had been feeling a little queezy, actually. And my body was getting its period on and off for the past two weeks.
I know for a fact that it means my body still feels a little messed up from the weight cut- the stress and low percentage of body fat. I couldn’t eat a lot even if I wanted to.

That was yesterday, the day of my fight. This day I woke up at 2 AM and cooked rice and eggs plus broccoli I swiped from the fight catering that they bring us on fight days. I couldn’t sleep, so at 3:30 AM I sat at the kitchen table and drew two Japanese hanafuda cards with the colored pencils Shana and DeAnna requested from the House Fairies.

They came out not perfect, but pretty enough to make me happy. I posted one of them above, along with the original. Then I cleaned the kitchen and did a few loads of towels. During that time, an air conditioner on one side of the house broke, so one of the producers Mr. C came out and offered everyone fans, since it was really hot in the dead of summer. At 3 AM. I can’t believe he was still up! What a guy…. “I leave when my work is done.” Much respect to that. That’s why the show is such high quality! I went then outside and lay outside on the hammock under the stars. But I still wasn’t sleepy! Karine came out and we talked a bit.

Finally, I lay down around 5 AM and woke up around 6:30 AM. YAY more sleep.

The staff wanted to film me turning over Shana’s picture on the tournament line-up board and putting up Emily’s but I politely refused. I didn’t want to. It just felt sad to me. I mean, she already lost and felt sad about it, so to see footage of her opponent flipping it over is even more sad, right? I didn’t like it. I had to appeal to the upper level bosses, but it got okayed that I didn’t have to do it! πŸ˜€ They had been filming all of us doing that, but I don’t think they put any of that footage in after all. πŸ™‚

Rachael vs Barb was super competitive. I honestly thought Rachael won the first round, and Barb won the second. I was surprised it didn’t go to a third! Their stand-up was back and forth.

Barb actually shot on Rachael, which surprised me since she knew Rachael was a wrestler, but got the take-downs! Rachael defended well and shook her off her back a lot. In the second round, Barb managed to keep top position and GnP more.
Nicco vs Montana was intense. Nicco was just so tough, moving well and cutting angles well. Montana shot in but Nicco defended the single well in the center and against the cage. Then Nicco kneed Montana, opening up a cut, took her down, and GnP. We all went “oooh” and kind of watched while wincing. It was a really hard fight for us to watch. Our team was kind of close. Nicco did what she needed to do, though. Much respect to her for that. Nicco ended up winning the decision. Phew man.

I was really impressed with everyone- what hard-fought battles!

That night, our coaches brought over 30 inch pizzas from Brother’s Italian Bistro (near Syndicate!) It looked normal but it was seriously the best pizza I’ve ever eaten!! I dunno, just the flavor and crust and cheese and omg! I had two small pieces but was sad I couldn’t chow down since I was cutting weight still. Like constantly cutting weight. ;_; We hung out with them, played charades, and went to bed when they left.

It’s crazy to look around the room at our team and realize that everyone but me and Nicco have lost. I used to be one of those fighters, just miserably waiting for the season to end, eating whatever I wanted, not caring about weight, wishing I could be back with my friends and family. I still had work to do, though.

In training the other day, we got one of the staff to cover up logos on Vinny’s gi (because logos are not allowed to be visible) and I rolled with him! It felt so amazing to train in the gi again! I had been going three times a week, and missed it. Jiujitsu makes me happy. He powered out of all my attacks, but it was funny. I couldn’t do anything but I tried, and it was hilarious. I got out of a bow-and-arrow submission, though. That was my achievement of the day. He took the time to now and then point out mistakes I made, or good ways to do some escape or attack. That was the best! It was so interested and really helpful. That’s my favorite way to learn jiujitsu, to point stuff out as it happens because I can understand the situation.

That really helped rejuvenate me mentally. Thanks, Vinny!

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TUF 26 ep 7 blog- Rachael vs Melinda, Female fighters

Posted in Uncategorized on October 19th, 2017 by roxyfighter

8/4/17

Dana stopped by the house last night, just as my massage finished. Poor Nicco got stiffed and only got about ten minutes, but I was safe.

He gave us Conor McGregor T shirts as gifts! πŸ˜€ Thank you!
Then, he wanted to see the backyard, so we all went out there. I turned on the waterfall to show him (there’s a control panel) and then turned it off again after a while, so the noise wouldn’t interfere with the cameras. See what a good reality-show contestant I am? As part of the talk you heard, he told us how much money Ronda made. It was insane. “I wasn’t going to do woman. You are all here thanks to Ronda Rousey. She convinced me to have women. It’s F-ing skyrocketing. In no other sport are women making this much money.” Yeah that’s nice. Well, I have yet to make said money and I doubt everyone on the show will. But it’s great, in theory. LOL It tempts us and motivates some people.

Personally, I don’t fight for money. But love of the sport can’t pay my rent and phone bill. Or help me take care of my ailing relatives. Or save for my retirement.

Please stop using the term “women’s MMA!” Men and women do the same MMA techniques. Sorry, semantics. But I’m an English teacher.

“This is the hardest thing you’ll ever do,” Dana said. “And some people do it TWICE.” And looked at me. hahaha!!

Anyway, Dana asked us what we missed the most, and people were like, “Husband. Kids. My dog.” We had quite a few people say “dogs.” He laughed at us and said, “You all miss your dogs, but the men obviously missed…. “other” things.” He called me a sick puppy for saying I missed Syndicate. What’s wrong with that? ;_; I missed Syndicate SO FREAKING MUCH, and my coaches, and teammates, and friends!

Sarj claimed to have taken Dana White’s car around the block while we were in the back talking! haha. Then Dana offered and Emily accepted to go for a drive, so a few of them piled in there and took a spin. I didn’t go. haha!

I don’t really care about cars. My boy Lee, my 2008 Toyota Corolla LE is enough for me! <3

The unknown is scary and I realize that. That’s a big part of why I was so anxious in the first half of the season. Would I like the coaches? would I get the training I needed to be ready? Would I have acceptable body care? They brought massage therapists for us. Finally, I knew I could handle TUF 26 and I started to relax and enjoy training more. I enjoyed training with Justin. I like him and his spirit. The coaches are so enthusiastic and supportive. It’s hilarious listening to Matt and Luke talk smack to each other constantly. I was hesitant to learn any new steps that don’t fit in with my natural movement, though, that Trevor was teaching. I always felt like I was cheating on Coach John because I swore to myself I would never go to another MMA gym, but obviously I couldn’t help it. John crafted my striking by building steps and combos into my awkward style, and I didn’t want to throw a wrench into it without his approval. (I did get off my groove and it took me and John a month to get my flow back, actually)

In evening practice, we requested and go to spar MMA. We went pretty hard, but one think I love about my teammates is that they have the ability to go hard without knocking me out or hurting me. I didn’t once feel the need to wear headgear, or worry about my brain! Thank you Rachael, Nicco, Gillian, Montana, and Maia! (I never actually sparred MMA with Emily or Karine. Weird how that worked out) It’s SO important to be able to control yourself and trust your partners. There have been many examples of fighters who have been forced to retire because they keep getting concussions that won’t heal. Brieta, Serena’s former opponent, got signed to Invicta but then had to retire.

I digress. But just wanted to stress that.
Yay team Gaethje! (click to enlarge)

The weigh-ins were great. Rachael wore lingerie and looked really hot. lol

As always, I loved hearing both lady’s interviews and seeing footage of their homes. I knew about Ruby Rose, Rachael’s daughter, and saw lots of pics since I follow her on Instagram. πŸ™‚ She’s such a cutie!


I know people on the internet only see how pretty Rachael is, but she’s such a nice, good person, too, and strong and skilled! πŸ˜€ I had a feeling she was going to be able to handle whatever Melinda threw at her.

COME ON, I can’t BELIEVE they blurred out her Wonder Woman costume!! They have all those sponsor companies on the banner but blurred out wonder woman?! Gimmie a break…. she looked so cool in it!

I tried to get to know Melinda a little bit, despite being on the other team. I often saw her alone, walking around, or playing ping pong outside by herself with the table up.

Actually, I saw her leave her group and go out there, and the camera crews followed her, so I followed them. Cameramen hustling usually means something is going down. I played with her once. She seemed really sweet, and had the softest voice I’ve ever heard.

But you have to watch out for the quiet, unassuming one……. and this is coming from an unassuming one. haha

She told me a bit about herself. Once the season really got underway, our training schedules were reversed and I only got to talk to her a little bit. I had no idea she was hurt (obviously she’d hide it). Her English was pretty good. I was impressed how carefully and accurately she spoke. #Englishteacherthings
I felt she was too skinny. I saw her eating berries a lot. It reminded me of watching Peggy Morgan half-starve herself to make weight at 135 on TUF 18. I think Melinda was coming down from 135 and was taller than me. *shrug* You gotta fight where you feel good, not at what weight you can barely make. Rachael had no problem making weight. She’s shorter than me, but has more muscle. She feels really strong when training with her!

Melinda said she was fine, though, and far be it for me to butt into someone else’s weight cut, especially someone on the other team. I just care. I wanted Rachael to win anyway. But let me stress this: We are competitors, not enemies!

Well, some men talking smack would argue otherwise. haha

About the fight! Rachael had good distance judgement, and used her overhand well, eventually taking down Melinda and getting past her knee shield. As Melinda scrambled, Rachael rear mounted, punched, and sunk in the choke. I was happy for her!

Then Melinda started looking at her hands and started talking to people who came in the cage, like the doctor and then Eddie. I thought her hand might be broken. There was a delay in announcing the winner because she kept talking to Eddie. I was so curious to find out what was being said, and finally by watching the ep, I learned.

She wanted to dissect the fight right there and then? I get it, you are devastated and need to make some sense of it, but you gotta get out of the cage and go lay down for a bit first. :/ My heart went out to Melinda seeing that footage. I get it. I remember watching an opponent getting their hand raised, while inside, I was screaming, “WHY?! WHY?! Whyyyyyyyy?!”

Rachael was concerned about Melinda’s health, especially hearing that she was taken to the hospital. Melinda said the next day said something about her eye cut and needed stitches ….in her eye? I think it was lost in translation, though. Medical discussions in a foreign language are hard. I would know. So I was freaking out but then I realized it was probably a corneal abrasion. Slight bruise, not complete tear, on the cornea, because she said it would heal in a week. phew. Stitches on the eyeball. God, I don’t even want to visualize that. Rachael is such a kind person. But like me, she’ll do what she’s gotta do to win.

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Japan blog 2: Mon-Thurs (shrine, owls, BJJ legends, the weight of a weapon)

Posted in Uncategorized on October 10th, 2017 by roxyfighter

So Monday night I met my former training partner friend-turned-pro wrestler Sakura. She had a “surprise” for me, so she had me go to Ikebukuro (and I got lost trying to find the proper station exit. x_x There are dozens!) Then she led me to a building with my eyes closed. Haha Apparently whatever it was was written on signs and all over the walls, so I had to go up like three flights of stairs with my eyes closed. I cheated and opened them a crack to see the floor, but dutifully didn’t look up.

“Okay open!” she said. We were at an owl cafe! Or “Owl Park!”

I had told her I wanted to go to a Neko (cat) cafe last year when I visited because it was such a novel concept to me. We did and it was fun. I had since read lots of negative things about other animal cafes, such as owls, because they’re nocturnal and humans are bothering them all day when they’re supposed to be sleeping. :/ So I had mixed feelings about that at first. The staff members were very kind, though, and were educated about how to handle them, how to touch them, etc. I’ve never touched an owl before!! It was great!

…..it was cool. I enjoyed the experience a lot! Thanks, Sakura-chan!

Tuesday morning, I think I just went shopping by myself. I met my former host mother, and co-star of my autobiography Sadako-san for sushi lunch! I offered to go closer to her, but she said she liked to get out and came to Hirama, near Kawasaki. She’s basically my Japanese grandmother. I love her! She’s so sweet and awesome! She gave me bowls and chopsticks for presents!!

Everybody asks me the difference between sushi in America and Japan. See this roll? This is about as complicated as it gets in Japan.

Something in the middle and a dab of something on the top. Not like the “sexy girlfriend rolls” or “dragon rolls” or whatever Americans made up slathered with everything, WHICH ARE FREAKING DELICIOUS. haha! Good job, America! You improved sushi rolls. πŸ˜€ BUT, single pieces of fish on rice are the BEST tasting in Japan.

I got back to Kawasaki and met one of my best friends Goto-san, and we went to Kawasaki Daishi temple together, which has become a tradition! My favorite sembei rice cracker shop WAS there but the owners weren’t. ;_; It wasn’t as fun without taking to the owners! I missed my yearly chat.

Here are the real life statues that are what the replicas he gave me are modeled after! <-- You know when you are listening to music and trying to write something and some weird grammar comes out? Goto-san gave me figurines that are modeled after these statues. lol

Then we met Goto-san’s wife and went to Tsuru-chan’s restaurant, Fukuzushi! I’m SO happy I got to go again and taste his awesome cooking, and also introduce my three friends to each other. πŸ˜€

You don’t want to know what this is.

okay I’ll tell you. ;D Beef intestines! I hate them normally, but for some reason, anything Tsuru-chan cooks, I like. u_U I ate it. omg.

Wedneday morning I decided last minute to try and find a place to train, and went to Hearts! Unfortunately, my former training partner Kenji Osawa was not there. :/ But I enjoyed rolling with everyone!

Thanks for letting me go to your gym, Osawa-san!

After that, I met my former co-worker friend Grace and we went to this “Samurai Museum” that I had never heard about, despite living in Japan for eight years. IT WAS SO COOL!! I consider myself very knowledgeable about Japanese culture but I didn’t know a lot! For example, the number of lines on a helmet means how sturdy they are. The amount of color and decoration on armor signifies rank. Family crests are always displayed on them.

I got to try on a helmet and dress up. She said that she wanted to be the male, and I was like, “Alright then. Give me that kimono. And umbrella! And plastic hair! LOL” I went all out.


We also watched a man of samurai linage demonstrate some kenjitsu stances and strikes. IT WAS SO COOL. He was cool. I think I got an instant crush on him. He called for volunteers to try it, and Grace was saying, “Do it, Roxy, do it!” I wanted to, but I didn’t want to be greedy and take all the opportunities every time, since I also tried on the helmet. I waited like five seconds and only one other guy stood up, so I stood up! IT WAS SO COOL.

I tried so hard to imitate his stance correctly. Someone asked how long he’d been training and he said since he was a child. “But!” he added adamantly, “the most important thing is reading philosophy!”

When they gave me the sword, I knew it probably wasn’t really sharp, or they wouldn’t hand it to a stranger. I was very conscious, though, that this was a weapon used to take people’s lives and I took it very seriously. I really respect all warriors who never fight because they like killing, but because they have someone to protect, or something to serve. When I held the sword in my hands, I was so aware of the weight of this. This was a sword. It was not a toy. It made a bloody mess of other human beings who are somebody’s sons and husbands. Philosophy indeed.

The weight of a weapon is heavy indeed.

In the evening, I met my former English student friend Meiko for dinner! It was great to see her again!! I gotta keep in touch better from the US! X_X I love you, Meiko!


On Thursday morning, I trekked to Paraestra Tokyo! And I mean TREKKED. Battled. Through Kawasaki/shinagawa rush hour traffic of being squished on trains, and train delays because of a little rain.

It was a huge hassle, but Goto-san had been telling me for YEARS about that place, and how amazing Yuki Nakai was. Dude, Yuki Nakai is a legend.

Click here to glance at his wikipedia entry. Yuki Nakai (δΈ­δΊ•η₯ζ¨Ή Nakai YΕ«ki) is a retired Japanese mixed martial artist and Shooter. He currently teaches shoot wrestling and jiu-jitsu, and is the president of the Japanese Confederation of Jiu-Jitsu. He competed in Shooto, a proto-MMA promotion; as well as Vale Tudo Japan 1995, where he was outweighed by every opponent in the tournament. Despite this, and despite suffering a severe eye injury in the first bout, Nakai managed to make it to the finals where he lost to Rickson Gracie. Nakai is a legend of Shooto by many fighters and fans.

It was an amazing class!! We drilled stuff for like an hour and a half, during which I asked him a bunch of questions and he answered them. He had the aura of knowing everything about all things!

I was like…



omg so many high level people there. I rolled for like 45 minutes with people, including three two brown belts and two purple belts. Then this black belt guy (on the right) tried to give me advice but my brain was overflowing with techniques I was trying to remember and had already shut off…. and I had to use the bathroom so that I ended up excusing myself, which made me want to cry… but he said his name was Kimura and he had 4 ragged stripes on his black belt. My eyes nearly popped out of my skull. omg omg

I flew home on Friday! I felt really happy and satisfied with my visit except I didn’t get to see all my friends. πŸ™ I wish I had more time! I wish I could go twice a year! But months leading up to my visit, I was dreaming about Japan. Then, I had a nap dream on the airplane that I was trying to get back to Vegas. Yeah, my subconscious is pleased.