Roxanne Modafferi

The Happy Warrior

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.
roxy-and-john-invicta-19-she-ra
roxy-and-john-invicta-19-she-ra-2

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.
weigh-in-invicta-19-real
I always take some sportsfood strips after weigh-ins. They have sodium and electrolytes.
sportsfood-pic
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!
roxy-and-candy-invicta-19

roxy-and-serena-invicta-19
I didn’t take as many pictures as I usually do, I think.
Then the public weigh-in and Faceoff!
roxy-and-maia-faceoff

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.
weigh-in-as-she-ra
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.
roxy-and-tom-and-ojhn-in-the-cage

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.
john-wrapping-my-hands-inbicta-19

I didn’t really feel any emotions. I just walked out there ready to fight.
It was a great fight. (Images owned by Invicta)
jen-rox-punch-3
jen-roxy-kick-1

jen-roxy-punch-1

jen-roxy-punch-2

jen-roxy-punch-4

jen-roxy-punch-5
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.
roxy-gnp
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
cheesecake-invicta-19

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.
group-at-the-hotel

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!
roxy-candy-jessy-eye

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!!
surprise-birthday-party
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….?

Quick food blog and Herbal Papaya

Posted in Uncategorized on April 18th, 2016 by roxyfighter

I thought I’d do a little blog on food.

I tend to eat the same kinds of things. Breakfast is the biggest meal around 5 AM because I have to have that last me through training which ends at 1:00 PM, lunch is medium sized, I have a high-protein snack around 3 PM, and then dinner at 5:30. If anything messes up my eating schedule, I get exceedingly cranky. lol I love yogurt and cottage cheese and dairy (not milk, though) for breakfast, along with seed/nut-ridden bread with peanut butter, veggie omelettes, and a big salad with broccoli, lettuce, radishes, and asparagus. Lunch is always some kind of grilled or boiled chicken or sometimes lean beef with various steamed vegetables and BBQ or teriyaki sauce and a Fiber One bar or many different things. Dinner is usually boiled or grilled fish with some kind of Asian sauce, snap peas, carrots, and celery. That’s why I like having Mexican food at lunch time (like El Pollo Loco, because they have grilled chicken and rice meals)

Now on to my sponsor, Herbal Papaya. I really like the powder made by my sponsor Herbal Papaya.
herbal papaya powder pic
The dark colored one is made from ground up seed and has a very light, nutty-peppery taste. It would go well in smoothies, but I don’t drink them, so I just sprinkle it on my salad and put in omelettes. Their new product is green papaya powder. It doesn’t really add a lot of flavor to my foods but I can taste it very lightly. It’s supposed to have potassium, magnesium and vitamins A, C, E and B, and has the digestive enzymes papain and chymopapain. Herbal Papaya says that it may help in raising enzyme levels and improving assimilation within the body, which also helps fortify the body’s natural immune response.

roxy selfie with powder herbal papaya
That is good enough for me.

Then the tea! I always drink so much tea. It calms my stomach. Tea with caffeine for breakfast, and with no caffeine in the afternoon and evening.
herbal papaya tea pic 2

herbal papaya with mint tea 2

I’m really happy to be sponsored by a health food company! And if any of my fans and friends (i.e. YOU reading this) decide to order and use the code “ROXY” at check out, you get 10% off and I get 10% credit. 🙂

My Invicta 14 blog! Mortal Kombat, fight! pics!!

Posted in Uncategorized on September 14th, 2015 by roxyfighter

I had a fantastic time for many reasons.

I flew to Kansas City on the same flight as teammates “Lightning” Liz McCarthy and John Heath, and later Jamie Moyle came. On Thursday, coach John arrived and we had media day. I dressed up like Kitana from Mortal Kombat, and got John to dress up as SubZero. We both rocked our costumes and it was just as cool as I had hoped.
kitana and sub zero characters
Images taken by Scott Hirano and the other photo team members Cynthia Vance and Casey Leydon.
roxy and john as kitana and sub zero profile

I went in for my video interview, and then interviewer said to me, “So you’re fighting a Judo specialist. What do you think?” I was like, “huh?”

So when I was researching her, I could barely find ANYTHING at all on my opponent Mariana Morais. I know she’s from Brazil and doesn’t speak English, but I even shouted out to my Brazilian friends and tried to google in Portuguese but couldn’t find much. I found vidoes of her latest fights and watches those and I think we got a pretty good idea of her fighting style. There was nothing there that indicated Judo. Soo…..okay.

My friend Serena flew in from Philly and Rob, from Washington State!
rob serena jamie and roxy
In the evening, I hit mitts and felt amazing. Nothing hurt. I think it’s the first time in YEARS no body part hurt! Thank you so much to my chiropractor Dr. Jake Steckel and new trainer Luke Rooney for teaching me rehabilitation and strengthening exercises, and treating me. I’ve never felt so good!
last practice with team

The weight cut went alright. I feel like I suffered a little more than usual. I thought it was because I ate a little more for lunch and breakfast the day before, but now I think it’s because I put on more muscle since my last fight. That’s good! I had been trying to bulk up a little more.

Waiting around to do medical checks, Andrea gave me a gift! A Yoda box! I LOVE IT! 😀 😀 So touched she gave it to me and I love Yoda so yeah. I carried it with me on my lap for like an hour. lol
kgb yoda box

The weigh-ins themselves were amazing! 😀 😀 😀

Roxy-Kitana vs JinYuFrey-Chun Li in the back!
chun li vs kitana

I kept dropping my fans in practice because I felt weak from the weight cut, so I was a little worried, but I didn’t! 😀 When they called me, SubZero-John walked out first to set the stage, and then I did.
walk out 1
walk out 2
walk out 3
walk out 4
walk out 5
walk out 6

After weigh-ins I had to run to my room to get something, but I had to be back for the rules meeting, so I blew by everybody trying to talk to me…and promptly collided with someone in a Scorpion costume?!? With big bushy hair that looked suspiciously like Serena’s?! And then somebody in a blue Mortal-Kombat-esque costume I didn’t recognize, and then shirtless Rob with “Johnny” written in marker across his chest…..and then I realized ALL MY FRIENDS ARRIVED AND DRESSED UP LIKE MORTAL COMBAT CHARACTERS.

omg. Love and warmth exploded and flowed over me and through my heart like sweet lava. They not only spent money to fly in just to see me fight from all over the country, but they spend weeks in preparation to MAKE costumes to support me??! WOW!!

When I got back, we all got pictures.friends as mortal kombat 1
(click to enlarge!)

Candy couldn’t make weigh-ins but she prepared a Raiden costume!
candy as raiden
What amazing friends I have.

We hung out at dinner together.
Fight day was fight day. I hung out by myself a bit, with Jamie a bit, met Candy and Luz who flew in that day, went out for food with our cornermen John and Tom. Tried not to get a nervous stomach.

The fight did not go as I had expected. In previous videos, Mariana rushed at her opponent and was very aggressive forward and threw a lot of strikes. And a lot of kicks in a row. So I was planning to stay just out of range of kicks, or step in and then pull back to draw out her kicks. That worked, actually, and 90% of her kicks missed me. One caught me in the head but my hand was there so it didn’t feel too bad, and I ate a couple of leg kicks.
mariana kick roxy
I was waiting for her to rush me but she never did, so I ended up pushing it. When she got me in an upperbody lock, I thought she was doing to do some Judo throw, but I defended it and went for a throw of my own, thinking, there’s no way she’ll let me Judo throw her….oops I did.

Well…..if you think about it, I started Tae Kwon Do when I was 13 and I’m almost 33 now. That means I’ve been doing martial arts for 20 years. My opponent is 20. So that means I’ve been doing martial arts for as long as she’s been ALIVE. But you never know! I beat Jennifer Howe when I was 3-0 and 21 years old, and she was I think early thirties and 11-0. This girl coulda clobbered me.

Julie said as she commentated, “It looks like Roxanne is muscling Mariana around! We’re not used to seeing her be stronger than an opponent!” HAHAHAHA That could almost be a diss except it’s totally true. That cracked me and John up.

Two of Mariana’s hooks made me see stars, but I circled and recovered.
I got mount and all sorts of top positions and tried to finish the fight with punches and elbows, but it seemed like every time I was getting a good flurry going, she’d tie up a hand and pause the action and Big John McCarthy wouldn’t stop it. I was punching as hard as I could, but I couldn’t finish the fight! ~_~

My right elbow is swollen from smashing it into her skull. I was thinking, “How much do I have to hit this poor girl before the fight is stopped?” I was hitting her just not “hard” enough to make it seem dangerous? wtf *sigh* I tried to cut her with a slicing elbow. She was deflecting a lot.

(edit: I think now it’s because she kept fighting back and never for a second gave up. She never turned away and stopped defending, so that’s why the ref let it go. She’s so tough! I respect that.)

So I hate that….I’ve always disliked elbows. I’d rather get a submission. I don’t want to do things that cause pain to my opponent if I don’t have to . I want to make them give up. That’s just my belief, personality, and style as a martial artist. But in my last fight against Porto, her punches made my face swell up SO much that I didn’t want my mom to see my busted up face. I live with my mom and I knew she would feel pain looking at me. It made me angry to look in the mirror. Angry that my mom had to be hurt because she loves me and I couldn’t do enough in the fight. So I made a decision….something hardened inside my chest that I was going to elbow the sh*t out of my next opponent.

Well, I had that opportunity. When she turned over and gave me her back, old Roxy might have worked for a submission, but I just kept hitting her.
And I thought maybe if *i* started yelling, the ref would stop the fight. Yelling makes you stronger, though! In most anime, anyway…
gnp roxy on mariana

Finally in round 3 he stopped it and gave me the TKO victory.
roxy hand raised mariana
I’ve never won that was before and it was nice, but I wished I didn’t have to do that for so long. 🙁 I want a clean KO! or sub. But I’m glad that I was able to show that I can be a dominant fighter. I worked elbows A LOT in practice, also from guard. So I’m really happy that I got to try what I practiced. Also in moving to avoid kicks, and guard work…..I did a lot of what I practiced. That’s why I fight! I’m very pleased with my victory. No mercy. In the fight business, we step on other people’s dreams to reach our own.

wood hug

Thanks to Coach John Wood and team Syndicate supporting me and nurturing me, I’ve turned my career around.
two coaches and roxy

My after party was FIFTEEN people! Friends came from all over the US to support me! I love you guys so much!!
dinner 1

dinner 2

dinner 3

dinner 4

dinner 5
I’m sad my teammates Jamie and Liz lost decisions, but they fought wars and will only get stronger! I can’t wait to train together again soon!
Jamie got fight of the night!
jamie and sharon smaller