Roxanne Modafferi

The Happy Warrior

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!

… 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.

TUF 26 blog ep 6 – Barb vs Gillian, Contender Series viewing

Posted in Ultimate Fighter/UFC, Uncategorized on October 6th, 2017 by roxyfighter

Aug 1st

I was always the first one awake at 4 AM. The next person up was Karine, who always came in without her microphone (lol always got scolded), and then Barb, around 5 or 6ish. I’m SO sorry, Team Alvarez guys in the first bedroom, I didn’t know you could hear all my kitchen noises. I think Barb or Lauren said, “Yeah it’s easy to hear things” and it didn’t quite register that I should stop washing the dishes because they were clunking, and then one of them repeated a week later, “Yeah we can hear EVERYTHING.” Then I was like, oh dang, sorry. I hope I was better after that.

There are no doors in the house.

I had a nice long chat with Barb this morning. I didn’t really know her that well, and every time I looked at her, I just wanted a rematch of our fight six years ago when she choked me out in Black Eye Fight Promotions. Haha!

The RNC is my favorite move, too! Shucks. I really just wanna see how much I’ve grown and if I can take her. But I really was interested in getting to know her as a person. She’s not active on social media so I knew next to nothing about her. I enjoyed hanging out with her a bit in the house. She was usually starting breakfast just as I was cleaning up, and she swam around the same time I did my warm ups and yoga outside. I respect her so much, and appreciate her seriousness and dedication.

Aug 2nd, Wed

Tuesday, unexepcted things happened. The schedule said we’d get massage therapy, then a meeting with a UFC staff member, then training at the Performance Institute. (noo! Not after my massage! I didn’t want to go….) Well, suddenly the meeting got canceled but a nutritionist came and talked to us about weight cutting. Then Dana White invited us to the Contender series fights!

I decided to do conditioning in the morning at home before my massage. I got in a good, hard leg day. I did my trainer Lorenzo’s jump squat series outside on the sidewalk. Then squatted down and lifted up a 30-ish pound rock I found in the back yard up over my head, and replaced it gently. I usually throw a heavy weighed ball over my shoulder, but couldn’t exactly roll a hard, jagged rock over my shoulder. I also took my rubber band, wrapped it around a tree branch, and did punches with resistance. Maia rode an exercise bike in my vicinity so we could “work out together.” Later, I did mountain climbers by sliding my stocking-ed feet across the tile floor in the den.

It was hard to know how much to do because we never knew what kind of training we’d do that day. I didn’t wanna kill my legs and then have to do hard sparring a few hours later, or do some in-class conditioning. :/ Well, I’m really glad that I have a great trainer like Lorenzo who taught me good techniques I could take into the house and do on my own, and know they would help keep me prepared for a fight.

I was so tired and hungry for the rest of the day! It was also hard to know how much to eat. I took a solid nap for an hour. Then we got to be out in public! We couldn’t wear any UFC clothes.

Our names hadn’t been announced so nobody knew we were the cast. We weren’t allowed to tell anybody, obviously, with a very expensive lawsuit hanging over our heads if we did. So the TUF staff led us out in groups of three to sit in the bleachers with other family and friends also invited. On the way to my seat…I think I sat with Maia and….someone? Shana or Sarj or Christina? One guy game up to me and said, “OH! Ultimate fighter!” I thought, “Does he suspect this season or recognize me from the last season?!” He came over. Other people started looking. Crap. “Hi,” I said. “You are a fighter, aren’t you?” “Uh,” I said. “What’s it like to live in the House?” (he still hadn’t used the past tense to let me know if it was season 18 or not). “Well,” I said, seriously, “I live in an apartment.” My housemates in earshot started snickering. “Uh, oh?” he said, confused. “So who are you rooting for tonight?” I said, and steered the conversation away. LOL

I also successfully deflected another guy who recognized me. Then, over the next hour, the man sitting next to me said a few comments about the fights, like nice move, or whatever. He finally said, “I’m with the UFC. I watch all these fights.” I forget what else he said. “So you’re part of the next season’s cast, right?” he said, not exactly softly.

It caught me off guard because I didn’t know who in the UFC knew or not.

Then suddenly, I saw my jiujitsu instructor Captain come out and corner one of the fighters! My heart leapt into my mouth. I knew John was cornering Julian in the main event! Captain’s guy lost, unfortunately. But I timed my bathroom run with when the guys were doing the doctor check. Then as we were both heading back, me to my seat, and them to the locker room, I “accidentally” bumped into them and “accidentally” embraced Captain as hard as I could. I missed him sooooooooooooooo much. ;__; It had been almost a month but felt like years since I’d gone away!

Then I got scolded by a producer. ^^;;

Sorry not sorry. It felt so great. Then they made us leave before the last match because we had a time schedule, so I didn’t get to accidentally hug Coach John. But later we found out Julian KO-ed his opponent and got the UFC contract. YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GO #TeamSyndicate!!! whoop whoop! I was elated! Oh, I accidentally hugged my training partners Shawn and ran into Eric. That was nice. Man, seeing them was like water in a dry desert!

I was really impressed with the fight between Gillian and Barb. Gillian is really physically strong and good at taking the back. I was always trying to fend off her attacks from the back when we rolled. lol And you never know in TUF how a fight is gonna go. Everybody is out of their element without their normal coaches. Gillian really took it to Barb. She was really threatening with the armbar, but Barb stayed calm and defended it correctly. Barb then got the better of Gillian in round two and finished with TKO stoppage. It was an exciting fight.

TUF 26 blog episode 5: Maia vs Sarj

Posted in Uncategorized on October 1st, 2017 by roxyfighter

Saturday, July 29th

I was told that the teams would switch times half way through the season. I’ve been counting down the days! Training during mealtimes sucks… 12:00-2, and then 6:00-8. The other team got 10 AM -12, and 4 PM-6. When am I supposed to eat? And we sat around all morning, when I was most energetic, and then got home late, when my body shut down so I had crappy evening sessions. My other teammates appeared to be of the same mindset, but then when the staff said that we hade a choice and do we want to switch? Nobody seemed to jump at it. Huh? I was so confused and upset. Maybe nobody wanted to rock the boat? I was DYING to switch, but the team was like, “Whatever you guys want.”

Yesterday at our morning first practice a guy came to balloon our noses. It’s some treatment that’s supposed to help clear out blockages and help fighters breath. I do have a deviated septum so I can’t breathe out of my right nostril, actually. It happened during my fight in the last Ultimate Fighter season 18. However, I heard that the procedure can cause bleeding and you have to get it done again in the future, so I skipped it. They had come to Syndicate once. I didn’t want a ruptured nose in the middle of my fight camp.

I was the only one who seemed to feel this way, though. They were doing it in our training time, so I thought somebody would also opt out and join me to train, but no. ~_~;; I wanted to train! People kept bringing in guests during our training time. I was really annoyed, actually, but the procedure helped some people, so that’s good. It was very nice of whoever arranged it to want to help us fighters. Everything done was for our benefit. I just wished they did it in the morning at the house when we had nothing else to do but clean the kitchen.

I started doing physical training stuff like jumps onto the cage platform, an ab routine, squats, etc. :/ We finally started half an hour later. Muay Thai specialist Phil Nurse was visiting. I really liked his combos! We did jumping lows, and a pendulum-style kick with a check jab. I got to work with Karine. I didn’t really like the “batting the hand away” thing he taught, but my striking style is avoidance and blocking, rather than parrying, so it makes sense I didn’t take to it. Justin came over and said he thinks the combos will fit into my game.

Once drilling was over, the coaches started doing game-planning practice with Maia and Gillian who were fighting soon. I sparred with Rachael a bit. She wanted to kickbox with small gloves, while I wanted to either grapple with small gloves or kickbox with big gloves, so we only just did a little bit.

I was really anxious that I didn’t work hard enough that class, so I asked Karine to help shark-tank me. I would flurry on the bag really hard for 30 seconds, and then she would take me down and hold me for 1 minute and I’d have to get away. Then 30 seconds striking, repeat etc.

We did one round, and just as we were starting the second, one of the staff came over and said, “NO CONTACT FOR TWO WEEKS!” and literally pulled her off me. GRRRR I was so pissed off. I don’t get pissed off easily. Unfairness, children being harmed, my name being spelled wrong, and not being able to train how I want are pretty much the only things.

Later on, the coaches had a meeting and said that they preferred to switch training times. Their living schedules were messed up, too, and they were tired as well. I was SO relieved.

Sunday July 30th

I met Maia for the first time on the show and we made friends. From the very beginning, we enjoyed doing jiujitsu together. Actually on the first day we couldn’t go to the gym, we did jiujitsu in the den on the carpet! I knew I was fighting so she said she’d help me prepare. I love Maia! She’s so sweet and thoughtful. I hadn’t even realized her background was boxing since she was so slick on the ground.

Sarj just barely made weight. Maia made it no problem. Maia was worrying about Sarj, but I tried to tell her not to worry about it, and just focus on herself. It’s hard, though, because if Sarj couldn’t make it, she would be sent home and there would be no fight. I like Sarj and wanted to see if there was anything I could do to help or advise, but obviously I couldn’t do that for someone on the other team. Plus I wanted Maia to win.

As the time got closer to go to the weighins, I heard someone praying.

“Dang,” I thought. “Are they asking God to help them now? I bet she stopped sweating.” I felt sympathetic because I know how much weight cutting sucks, but I’ve never gotten to the point where my body stopped being able to lose fluids. That’s super extreme. But hey, at the end of the day, if you can’t make the weight, you don’t belong in that weight division.

In the fight, the weight-cut didn’t seem to affect Sarj. She still seemed sharp. Maia’s striking looked sharp and on point, too! In the end, Sarj managed to get the take down and get a submission. Maia used to fight at 115, and Sarj, at 135. That’s a three weight-class difference! And Sarj is really skilled on top of that, being a decorated black belt. Maia’s loss effected me deeply. I really made friends with Maia and I was so bummed out for a days. Even one of the camera guys, who’s not supposed to talk to us anymore than we can talk to them, whispered, “Are you okay?” to me. I know there’s nothing we can do or say to make the pain of a loss any better, only refocus the mind and cover that negative experience with positive experiences in the present. Maia has been such a great support and friend to me. I hoped I could do the same for her. She didn’t really get to show all that she could do and all her potential in this fight. I can’t wait to see her next match, whenever that may be!

This episode showed how Lauren felt like Eddie was giving her a hard time for not coming to practice. Is that an old school mentality? Even when I won my fight with zero injuries, my coaches were telling me to take a day off. Fighters need to! We put our bodies through so much stress and trauma with not only cutting weight (starving and dehydrating yourself unnaturally), and then the emotional stress taxes you FOR DAYS, and then physically beating on and getting beat on somebody using 100% of effort and physical ability? And then if you lose, you are devastated and thrown, a flaming ball of misery, into the emotional pits of Hell?

It’s not just “oh you lost the game, don’t worry, you’ll live and learn and try against next time!” No. People who say that make me upset. Please try to understand- fighting is our career and livelihood. Winning or losing means our next job is on the line. What if you worked for 6 months and didn’t know what day you would actually get paid, or if you’d make your full salary or half? If the boss likes you maybe he’ll let you work another six months but then still might not pay you? That’s the uncertainty of a fighter.

ooookay sorry that turned into a rant about my pet peeve. lol

Anyway, fighters need to rest and are notorious for not resting enough, especially after getting hit in the head. Rest that brain! I usually try and take more time off if I’m at home (meaning 5 days haha), but in the Ultimate Fighter house, there are only eight girls on the team, so if somebody is out, somebody doesn’t have a partner.

But you know what? Too bad! I remember on the last season of the Ultimate Fighter, I got slammed on my head, right? I got a concussion. I was feeling dizzy and unwell, but I was pressured by the coaches to ‘get back in the gym and help everyone train.’ In their defense, they didn’t know I had a concussion. A few weeks after that, I got an MRI and found out the news. My back, shoulders, and neck were effed up, but I still let Julianna practice guillotining me a billion times. SO when she beat Sarah Moras in the finals by THAT guillotine, you guys have no idea what ecstatic joy I felt! I was like, ‘YEAH! YEEEEEEAH! F YEAAAAAHHHHHHH!”

So I really like Eddie a lot and respect his thought process, but I totally sympathized with Lauren on this one. Sometimes you have to suck up your feelings and do stuff, but happy fighters fight well, so emotions do play a part. Being made to feel confident, cared about, etc, play a role in performance.

Shout out and many thanks to my sponsor Remove it Restoration for always supporting me. πŸ™‚ graffitti removal, glass repair, restoration company operating out of southern Cali!

TUF 25 blog week 4 – Nicco vs Lauren

Posted in Uncategorized on September 30th, 2017 by roxyfighter

TUF 26 blog, episode 4

Wednesday July 26th,

I enjoyed working with Vinny today. He reviewed rubber guard with me. I forgot to write in my journal if it was a class or just private training, because we sometimes broke the class and everyone did whatever they wanted, so I often pounced on Vinny and asked him to teach me jiujitsu-y stuff. So yeah, I’m trying to use rubber guard better in MMA situations, or use it to transition, and he taught me some details. Then Luke held mitts for me. I really hate training at night. My body shuts down. When we got home from evening practice, I ate a Quest bar and was about to fall asleep, but listening to Rachael sing in the shower was nice. We aren’t allowed to listen to music, and we’re not allowed to sing either, because of copyrights or whatever. I hope this doesn’t embarrass her by saying this, but she has a really pretty voice and I took my sleeping ear plugs out to listen. haha I think the staff eventually came out and asked her to stop. :/
I woke up at 3 AM and couldn’t get back to sleep.

Thursday July 27th,

Today’s practice was great. We did hard- take-down/ get up scrambles. Team Gaethje coaches emphasise getting back up, rather than allowing yourself to get pushed back and just accepting guard. They have excellent points. “No fight is won from your back!” I actually partially disagree. If you can submit them or sweep them from the bottom, you can absolutely win. That’s definitely a wrestler’s mentality. However, they have a point. These days people are really good at defending submission attempts, and even black belts get pounded out from being on bottom guard. We got a very passionate speech by the coaches during practice. Half of us are jiujitsu girls, the other half, wrestlers. I’ve had times in training or fights where I had to make a split second decision: I’m loosing my balance and going down. Should I try and bounce back up but have to give up my back or allowed myself to get gripped in the process, and have a 50% chance of failing and getting my back taken or mounted? Or should I cut my losses, get my defensive guard position, and work for submission or sweep? It’s a split-second decision, which is made by calculating how tightly are they holding on to me as I’m going down, and can I wriggle out enough to have a high enough percentage of bouncing up before they pin me?

The stuff we were working today was specific situations that it’d be better to scramble to get back up, though, so that was fine. The faster someone can get up, the better, in general.

Today after practice, we showered, ate, hung around, and watched Nicco and Lauren fight! I had never trained with Lauren, but I knew she was coming down a weight-class, was former Invicta champion, and was in the UFC. I had grappled against her in the TUF tryouts and I like her energy. She seems like a good person.

I had no idea about her past, actually, so it was great to get to watch the episode and hear her talk about how she persevered despite hardships earlier on in life. That’s amazing.

I didn’t know Nicco that well, and hadn’t had a lot of opportunities to spar with her much yet. I enjoyed drilling technique with her. I was impressed with her ability, not only technique-wise, but the fact that she could control her power and intensity down to the percentage. If I said, “Hey, let’s go 50% power,” she could. If I said, “Hey, let’s go 33.5485%,” I’m sure she could do that, too. Hahaha It takes skill to do that. I haven’t really seen her fight so I feel like she came out of no-where, so to speak, but she is very skilled. And super nice. And slept in the bunk above me. πŸ˜€ She is Navajo, and chatted with us roommies about her home. She taught us a few words in Navajo. I walked in in the middle of the conversation, part of which got shown on TV.

They have sounds that aren’t in the English language and sound funny to our ears. I’m a linguist so I was really digging it, but everyone else cracking up was making me laugh, too. XD

So I was really impressed with their fight, especially Nicco’s kicks, cage reversals, and defense, and offence. Lauren is super aggressive and strong.

Actually, there were two fights in one day, but they split it into two episodes so they could highlight each fighter. Ariel and Montana also fought on this day. Being the Ultimate Fighter, I was going home and taking notes on everybody’s fighting style, after fights and even after practice. This is not devious – this is because I have a sucky memory. haha! Who knows if or when I’d have to fight a teammate, right? All’s fair in love, war, and the Ultimate Fighter.

Friday July 28th,

It feels like I’ve been here forever. Each day holds something new and unusual, so time perception slows down. Yesterday, I got Matt to spar MMA with me. It was fun! Thank you! He’s super skilled, the closest in size to us out of our coaches, and knows how to go hard without smashing us with power. Our coaches are such good sports.

I was pretty sore and got a good workout, but I still worried about being off my normal strength and conditioning routine. I rode the assault bike for a few rounds. I was thinking about throwing a heavy ball, but couldn’t find one the weight I wanted. And after training in class, I didn’t really have motivation because I was sore and sleepy.

TUF 26 – episode 2 blog

Posted in Ultimate Fighter/UFC, Uncategorized on September 7th, 2017 by roxyfighter

I love my intro clip!!!!!!!!!!!!

shooting energy blasts is awesome!

Anyway. Welcome to my blog/ journal surrounding Ep 2, which was the first and second week we were in the house.

I hated our training schedule. It screwed up my eating schedule. We trained from 12-2, and then 6 PM-8. I have to try and have a smaller breakfast because I don’t need it to hold me from 4 AM to 1 PM like I do back home. I usually eat so much for breakfast that it was weird not, and I felt emptier. Then, I ate half a lunch before practice and half afterwards. I hated the feeling but we had no choice. The other team got the 10 AM – 12, 4:00 PM-6 time slot.

So I feel like Justin’s style is kickboxing, but his roots are wrestling. I think in his fights, he uses his wrestling to avoid getting taken down, and in turn KOs his opponents. He and his coaches told us from the beginning that we’d be doing a lot of wrestling. I ended up learning some nice things. I liked going with my new teammates and experiencing their skill and style. We also went with the coaches a lot. I ended up getting confused and struggled with certain things because their way of explaining things is different than Coach John’s.

“I’m confusing the sh*t out of you,” Justin said at one point. The cameras were all over us.
It wasn’t his fault at all. “It’s me! Not you!” I said, chagrined.

My brain just absorbs stuff a certain way. Great, now my dumb confused look will be all over TV I thought. What would John say? ‘Stop overthinking it, you do this all the time.’ Alright, fine! ~_~; So I just did some move (the shuffle step) that I might do in a similar situation, and Justin said, “That was it! That was it exactly!” Then I realized the step he was describing WAS what I do all the time, just with a different name. And then everybody says “You’re overthinking it” and I get irritated because it’s not like that. πŸ™ I’m “detail-oriented.” Once I told them that, they made a special effort to come over and explain a little more about the situation I would do the move in, distancing, etc, which is EXACTLY what I needed.

Team Gaethje coaches had so much knowledge to give us and were so friendly and supportive in doing it. At the same time I missed Syndicate like crazy, I loved them. I really liked Luke Caudillo’s way of holding mitts. It reminded me a little bit of John’s. I usually asked him to hold for me, and also help corner me in my fight.

We got to go to the UFC Performance Institute every Tuesday. I got to try the Cryotherapy chamber and had it set to moderate. All I felt was cold gas on my skin, but it didn’t feel like it penetrated my body and I noticed zero effectiveness afterwards. Maybe I should have tried the highest setting but I was scared. lol I think I’ll stick with ice baths from now on.

After my fight, the brought over sushi and games. We played a bag tossing game and I was doing quite well. Then charades. We all wrote words on scraps of paper and put them in the pot to draw. The FIRST card I drew was “sex.”


Soooooooooo I made the motions of embracing someone and kissing them……and people were guessing, “Dancing,” “romance,” “love,” “Making out.”


Because I refused to hump the air on national TV. I have an image to uphold. LOL

Anyway. So Karine vs DeAnna. I’ve been making friends with Karine. I could tell from talking to her immediately that she had basic grammar knowledge for simple present for level 1 verbs, a few simple pasts, and the ability to make future using “will.” From my experienced teaching English as a second language at Berlitz Japan, I know how to speak slowly and simply, making sure my words don’t run into each other changing the sound, also avoiding slang. Beginners don’t know slang. “I luveedingcheesenbred.” That looks weird, right? It sounds weird to beginners cuz the “t” often becomes voiced and takes on the “d” sound when spoken quickly. (like water) Also “and” often becomes “n,” right?

/end teacher tangent

I tried to teach her more vocab, and have her repeat incorrect sentences correctly. πŸ™‚ Practicing a language is just like practicing sports: you can’t just think it, you have to do it! Let your tongue practice! I only had a few real “grammar lessons” with her. It was mostly words here and there.
(screen shots are copyright TUF or UFC)

So I met DeAnna here and there at Invictas, and I liked her. Then we got set to fight and fought. I won by decision. I think she lost her last fight. I can’t deny I had mixed feelings leading up to this fight. I wanted DeAnna to get back on the winning streak, but I didn’t want my teammate to lose, either. Gah. Such is the nature of the Jungle.

The UFC brings in someone to cornrow our hair the night before the fights. (THANK YOU, TUF!) I made sure Karine knew the hair braider lady was coming (she had gone to bed, expecting it to be done the next day). Phew, glad I stuck my nose into her business. Then again, having lived in Japan for 8 years, I’ve struggled and been helped numerous times by native Japanese friends who know how things work.

It was really cool to see Karine’s home video now as I’m home watching TUF on TV! She talked about her boyfriend a lot, so I know she missed him! She also drew pictures of the Ararat mountains, and gave me a mini-history lesson of Armenia. I wondered what her gym was like as she described it, and it was cool to see her teaching kids, just like me!

I hadn’t known the story of DeAnna’s dad until she told me one day when we were hanging out or taking a walk, I forget. I liked getting to see her gym and home and pictures, too. And it’s nice not to be the weirdest person in a group anymore! HAHA. Excuse me, not weird, ‘unique.’ πŸ™‚ (I totally would have joined in the monkey business outside if I had known!)

Man, I had heard Emily got hurt but I happened to not be at practice that day. I think it was the day after my fight, so I stayed home. It sucked so much for her. I felt so sad watching the footage. :/

So DeAnna went out there and performed well. Karine got stuck against the cage and couldn’t get out. Holy top pressure. DeAnna is dangerous!

She tried her hardest but it wasn’t enough. When she got back into the lockerroom, she was in tears. Everyone hugged her and tried to comfort her, despite knowing that nothing would make the pain feel any better. We’ve all experienced loss, and it’s the depths of hell. It’s not just that you don’t succeed….. but you’ve sweat, toiled, pushed, struggled, and of course enjoyed many days, weeks, months, years of training to get ready for THIS ONE BIG OPPORTUNITY….and you couldn’t achieve your goal. In front of the entire country, or world. Half naked. Getting physically beaten down, and your entire strength of your body, heart, soul, willpower, ki energy, wasn’t enough. Then when you win, it’s the highest joy and happiness, like it was all worth something.

I’ve said this before, but that’s why I NEVER boo fighters, and I ALWAYS respect all fighters.

After a few minutes, I tried to encourage everyone to just let her be. Let her cry. Let her get it out. Everyone was trying to make her stop crying. If it were me, I’d want just my coach to say a few words and that’s it. (But that’s how I figured out how to hide in the bathroom. lol) I have actually cried a bunch of times on TUF but you’re not gonna see any footage. πŸ˜› I learned my lesson.
Anyway, everybody’s different in how they react. Maybe she needed it. Who I am I to say? Miesha was really sweet with what she said and did.

I was sad and happy at the same time. It was a very bizarre state to be in.

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