Roxanne Modafferi

The Happy Warrior

TUF 26 blog ep 8 – Emily vs Christina, coaches’ challenge

Posted in Ultimate Fighter/UFC on November 4th, 2017 by roxyfighter

8/5/17

Today is Saturday. Yesterday in the morning, I was still sore, and was so happy when Justin said it was a day for privates. I hit mitts with Luke for about 15 or 20 minutes in the ring, out of view from Emily, who was on the bike which is pointed towards the cage. Luke held foam bats to warm up. It was my first time hitting those. I liked the combos he had me throw.

Then, I did jiujitsu with Justin. Haha He let me get him in a full rear naked choke but his neck was so thick that I couldn’t choke him. He just flexed his neck muscles. I used all of the strength in my entire body and I couldn’t tap him! Captain does that to me! LOL It was funny.

This episode shows a lot of the history of Christina and Emily. I remember Emily said that she will be champion because she doesn’t have other things to distract her, like a family or kids etc. I agree in part with that, that if you are single and focused only on training, you aren’t distracted by other things or responsibilities.

Ask me how I know this. πŸ™‚

It really sounds like she overcame a lot to make it this far in her MMA career! She’s 2-1 as a pro, but Dana said she had 10 amateur fights, which don’t seem to be all on Sherdog. Ask me how I know this. (I researched her and Christina and a few others just before the staff took my phone before I went into the house. I saw how scrappy, quick, and dangerous on the ground she was!)
I actually watched this fight online in the hotel room…

Emily’s like, “Hi, I’m gonna smash your face now.”

I also saw Christina, who seemed to have a lot of power, but lead with her kicks a lot. I was watching this fight with great interest since I would have to fight the winner. I thought that if the fight was drawn out and Emily was hit in the rib, Christina might win, but if Emily got her down, she might win. I didn’t want to fight Emily because 1) she was on my team, and 2) I would feel bad and conflicted knowing she was injured. But I also didn’t want her to LOSE, which would have to happen if I were to fight Christina.

Soooo I just tried to not care about anything except my own condition.

Emily did the smart thing and used the techniques she does best to take Christine down and submit her. I was super impressed! I was so happy for her that she overcame her injury and won. I immediately felt better about fighting her, but thought, “Crap,” at the same time. Mentally I could see how dangerous she was, so I knew I wouldn’t hold back when we had to fight. I always feel bad for someone in a short fight, because they didn’t get to show all they were capable of doing, like Christina this time.

Oh well, such is the fight game.

The coaches challenge wasn’t that interesting. I hate to offend anyone in charge of putting it together, but I was hoping for something unusual or weird, like dropping watermelons out of a helicopter onto a target, or jousting above pools of water…..

My shoulders and neck get sore after swimming for a while, and Justin wasn’t a swimmer. I thought Eddie might swim a bit. So we pretty much watched our coaches suffer for a while, and I was cutting weight so everyone around me was eating. I just felt bad for them both.

About Lauren changing teams….I’m glad she did. I can see both sides, how Eddie would be offended, but how Lauren is trying to do what’s best for her. She really made a big effort to talk to the girls on both teams and make sure it was ‘okay’ with them. She tried hard to be polite to Eddie, too. I mean, it’s natural that he gets upset, so I think that was unavoidable, and took guts on Lauren’s part.

Well, you gotta have guts if you’re a fighter. We were happy to have Lauren train with us. I like her. I know she was trying to keep her weight low just in case she had to step in due to an injury or weight-miss. Hey, every woman for herself in The House.

Read Lauren’s blog for her recounting of the situation: http://laurenmurphymma.com/tuf-26-episode-8/

I’m so excited that my second fight will finally be shown next Wednesday. Tune in!

Charity Go-kart, my strong BJJ kids, TV / anime shows, movies, training, Meerkatsu

Posted in every day, family and holidays, friends, fun, training on October 30th, 2017 by roxyfighter

These past few weeks have been packed with activity, accomplishments, new things, successes, and stress.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.
On Friday October 20th, I rushed home from teaching kids classes to PPV Fusion Fight League in Montana and watch my friend Jessica Borga fight in the main event. It was a tough, back and forth fight that I thought she might win if it went to decision, but she got overwhelmed in the last few seconds and the ref stopped the fight. I’m sad, and my heart goes out to her, but it was a good fight and I’m proud of how hard she trained and prepared for the fight. She even came out to Vegas to train with us at Syndicate! <3

On Sunday the 22nd, I participated in Comedian Mike Hammer’s Celebrity Go-Kart racing event. Various Celebrities would compete against the public (who would donate). Donations went to Wounded Warriors and other Veteran charities.

click here for article and more pics

I had to reschedule my day for it and it turned out to be detrimental to my only weekly recovery day, but I’m really glad I had this experience. I’ve always wanted to do charity work, but figured it would have to be when I got rich and could AFFORD to do it. I’m so honored to have been invited! I’m not sure how much of me actually being there contributed to dollars earned but oh well. I think the event made $5,600. It was a new experience for me! I’d never ridden a go-kart before and I was super nervous. I met a new friend! The lady who helped me sign up, Kenzy, was really nice. I signed up, went and got pictures taken on the red carpet, and then had nothing else to do, so I loitered by the table and chatted with Kenzy for like 3 hours. LOL

She is amazing. Working as a school teacher now, she and her husband both used to serve in the military. She has a large family, and I can’t imagine the time and energy it takes to do all that she does! I met a few of her kids and they were super nice.

Nobody else told me anything, so she helped me find out where to go, how to put on the helmet, etc. πŸ˜€ Thank you, Kenzy!
So finally it was my turn.
Everybody told me it was just like Mario Kart.
Alrighty then.
When I stepped on the gas to go to the starting line, it was a little scary. Was it like car where I could crash and burn? Probably not since kids were playing. But I witnessed people crash, get whiplash, get spun around, start going backwards and have to wait for staff to turn their car around. I didn’t want to be one of those guys.

Usually, when I’m playing a racing video game, I do practice rounds so I can get a feel for the car, course, and handling. No such luck then. But I have played a lot of car games…they’re my favorite, actually. Twisted Metal (all of them), Top Gear, Mario Kart, Chocobo Racing, etc….
The staff guy with the flags lined us up and said, “Ready?”
A little voice in my brain said, “I am SO NOT READY.”
“GO!”


(Pic from Kenzy)

Vrooooooooom! Everybody floored it. My car shot forward. Suddenly there was a really sharp turn. I stepped on the break. Everybody passed me as I took the turn slowly.
“Alright, Roxy, you have 5 laps. The goal of lap 1 is to not crash into any walls.”
Achieved it.
“Okay, goal of lap 2 is to figure out how fast you can take these turns.”
Achieved. I was still 10th place out of 10 cars, but I started getting closer to the #9 guy.
“Okay, Rox, now start passing people!”
I did! It was scary! LOL I realized I was holding my breath as I was going around curves, clutching the wheel and turning as hard as I could, so I had to force myself to breath. It was crazy. My arms were getting a workout from holding onto the wheel so hard. By the 5th lap, I had passed 4 people, and took 6th out of 10. Not too horrible for my first race ever! πŸ˜€ I was very pleased, since my initial goal was to not be last.

Then I went home, exhausted from my week. lol

The previous day I had done a private, the whole BJJ class, and kickboxing sparring. That morning I had run stairs and did yoga. I pretty much watched TV on my computer for the rest of the day.

These past few weeks, I watched ID-0 on NETFLIX, a twelve-episode anime about how humans can transfer their consciousnesses into robots to do work and space exploration. I give it a 7 out of 10 rating.

I also finished season 2 of Transformers Prime. OMG It’s looking bleek for the autobots! 9/10 rating

I watched a bit of Dragon Ball Super. 6/10 rating It’s good but hasn’t gripped me yet.

I watched the first Kingsman to prepare for the second movie. I LOVED IT! 10/10

I watched the Tinkerbell movie “The Great Fairy Rescue.” It was sweet! I felt all warm and fuzzy inside. 9/10

Last weekend, I saw the Lego Ninjago movie in the theater with Serena. It was pretty good! I still liked the first movie and the Batman movie better. 7/10

The week before that, I saw The Foreigner with Jackie Chan with Serena and her family. It was alright…not what I expected. I thought he was going to try and get a kidnapped daughter back, not avenge her death. That’s depressing. 6/10

This past weekend, Serena and I saw Kingsman: Golden Circle. IT WAS SO FANTASTIC! 10/10 Dude! The plot! The way action was interspersed with slower plot development scenes, the camera-work, the acting, the hummor! omg I loved it! I could go see it again! The music! The fight scenes were so bad-ass! I want to learn how to use a lasso now. LOL And I haven’t seen a whip used in a fight like that since Indiana Jones. hmm there’s gotta have been another hero movie… I’m not sure. Elton John was hilarious! I didn’t know he could act. And that President of the United States………………………….

I fell asleep to One Punch Man last night. I’m on ep 7.

Moving on. The general level of my kids class has gone up, and I’m very pleased.

My little girl Aleena is able to hold her own against the toughest kids in my class – the Russian boys Eli and Artem. After drilling arm-bar escapes, I put Aleena against Eli (he’s like 5 inches taller and 2 years older) and watched closely….he always goes for it, and she successfully escaped it!! πŸ˜€ I WAS SO PROUD OMG.
(Eli vs Zachary)

I’ve been giving private lessons to Scarlett, Kyani, Griffin, and Grady. They’ve all been growing quickly thanks to that! It’s so satisfying.

Ky and Wesley! He just got promoted lately!

This past weekend I coached my students Kaiden and Preston at the FUJI BJJ tournament!
Preston:

Also Evan, who I goes to the big kids class Rick leads and I only assist, so it’s not like I can take credit for his technique like I can the other two. LOL

Evan did a mean bow-and-arrow….like, spine twister style.

But they all got first place in one division, and Kaiden and Preston got second in another division.

Kaiden!

My training has been phenomenal. I’m getting in physically better and better shape. I lost a pound or two of fat. I think I’ve gained some muscle. I’m learning a ton of jiujitsu from Captain in our private lessons.

Captain hasn’t been in the MMA class lately … he’s been focusing on his jiujitsu, which is good, but I miss him. ;_; Every dayyyyyy

Also Casey’s classes were fun. We’re focusing on X-guard, ashigarai positions, de la riva, and sweeps, in the gi.

I got a shipment of Meerkatsu stuff in! I have loved Seymour Yang’s artwork for years.
check this out! Little mini posters and stuff here:
https://www.redbubble.com/people/meerkatsu


I’ve bought posters and rash guards. This time, I got new tights, two new rashguards, T-shirts, and a gi. I’m so stoked! πŸ˜€
Here’s a pic of me with Mike Pyle, who rolled with me for like 20 minutes and gave me grappling advice. I learn very well from him and have learned a ton over the years when he made appearances in MMA class and taught us! Also in private lessons! Thanks, Mike!

And this is the Twilight Omoplata rash guard!
https://www.meerkatsu.com/product/meerkatsu-twilight-omoplata-rashguard/

John looks more tired than me. lol I just hit pads with him. John works as hard as us fighters!

This rash guard is “Red’s Revenge”
https://www.meerkatsu.com/product/meerkatsu-reds-revenge-rashguard/

I carved a pumpkin with Serena on Friday and made it Arucardo from Hellsing!

and this guy Eryk who is a UFC fighter came into the gym on the same day I did wearing a DBZ rash guard! HOW COOL!!! We did not plan this.

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.

Shout out to one of my sponsors, Rob and Aardvark Painting up in Western Washington State! You have a building or deck, he has paint!
https://porch.com/lakebay-wa/painters/aardvark-painting/pp

big update: visiting fighter friends, belt promotion, wetland outing, birthday party wheel of doom, etc

Posted in every day, friends, fun, training on October 12th, 2017 by roxyfighter

So I left Japan at 4 PM on Friday, and arrived at 9 AM ….on Friday. Cool, you get to relive Friday, right? Wrong. I didn’t sleep at all so I got to do Friday again completely sleep deprived. u_U

I was starting to develop a skin infection, so the second I got home, I dumped my suitcase, hugged The Reen, and went straight to the Urgent Care center. Thankfully, I got strong stuff and it took care of it in a few days. But my money…!!!

Then I hightailed it to the gym, taught a private kids lesson, then my two classes. I could cover the suspicious spot thoroughly or I wouldn’t have taught.

Then collapsed in my bed.

Woke up at some ungodly hour, ate half of my normal breakfast, went back to bed, which was a huge mistake because it messed up my digestion for an entire freaking week. ;_; On Saturday I trained a little bit. I still felt wrecked from being out of my normal routine and no body care…. Then Sunday I ran stairs to get back into cardio shape, did yoga, and saw Teri and got her magical massage! πŸ˜€ Then went on a nature walk (kind of) with Serena’s family WHO JUST MOVED from Philadelphia to Las Vegas! Holy last minute change of plans! And Captain, his wife/my friend super-pregnant Thais, and their daughter Manuella!


It was really cool to see the Bakhshi family again!

Still horribly jet-lagged, I went to practice on Monday, had a normal-ish day other than sleep deprivation, and picked up Amanda Bobby Cooper (called Bobby) at the airport at 10 pm!

She was to stay for two weeks, and I was super excited. We first met when we fought on the same Invicta card a few years ago. Actually, wait, first she called me out on twitter once, very respectfully. Haha! I remember thinking, “Wow, that was a very respectful call out, but she probably wants to fight me for the publicity of it. That’s fine. She’s smart.” Then we met and got friendly, then she dropped a weight class and got on TUF 23, same season as my teammates Jamie Moyle, Khalil Rountree, and Cory Hendricks. Fast forward a few years and she Facebook messaged me about coming to train. I met Serena, my current best friend, when she messaged me about coming to train. I like this pattern. haha

Two days passed and on Wednesday my other friend Jessica Borga came, set to stay for 6 days! I met her when Serena and I fought on the Fusion Fight League card in Montana! She had rented a car and we hadn’t, and were totally screwed because we needed to get places. She drove us! Thank you! We went shopping together at Walmart, and bam, friends. πŸ™‚

She’s fighting on Fusion Fight League Oct 20th, so tune in if you can, or go watch!

This girl Danielle from Australia has started training with us, too, so here’s a group pic of us! It’s been great!

From left to right, on top, Me, Jessica, Serena, Bobby. Under me, Danielle, then Jessy Jess.

This week was SO BUSY I’ve barely been able to lay down or keep up with my friends by text. ;_; Sorry, guys! I’ve been teaching a lot of kids and I gave a bunch stripes. I want a bunch of them to do tournaments as white belts, and then I want to promote them. They’re pretty much ready, I think?

This past Sunday, Serena and family took Jessica to Red Rock, so I went to see Blade Runner with Bobby. Great movie! I wish I had rewatched the first one before going, but whatever. It was a little confusing. lol Then later, I showed her her first anime! Ghost in the shell movie, and now Seraph of the End!

oh crap, I didn’t blog about other important stuff cuz I was so busy with TUF blogs.
My sempai, my mentor Casey, was given his black belt by Captain!

YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is SO significant for so many reasons. He’s been working so hard for so long! Especially lately he’s been improving and killing it! I’ve always loved his teaching style, his classes, and sometimes take private lessons from him. Casey-sempai has really helped me get better, and I was SO SO SO excited to see him achieve one of his long-term goals. Also, Captain no longer officially teaches classes here, so it was really good of him to come in and do a promotion for him, and also my friend Gennady got his purple belt, and Chris got his brown.

Good job, Casey!!

Then he called me up, and I was like, what, does he want to tell me something? I was trying to choke down my tears from just seeing Casey get promoted, and I had a roll of tape in one hand and a my camera phone in the other. I was confused, like, what’s going on? LOL Then he gave me two stripes and whispered in my ear, “Almost black!”

AAAAAH nooo absolutely not almost black. lol I tried to be happy but thought of at least five things I stink at that I have to improve. hahaha I was happy, though. I have to train harder! I have to learn ALL THE JIUJITSU!

Everybody probably thought I was crying with happiness. lol I thought my heart and brain were gonna collide and explode after that. haha

I think my brown belt is one of my most favorite possessions. If my apartment was on fire, I’d probably grab my laptop, my phone, my wallet, my three childhood stuffed animals, and my brown belt. lol

oh, BEFORE I went to Japan, I threw a last minute, like SUPER last minute “let’s go tonight!” birthday party at Fuzzy’s. hahaha

Then Thais said, “Let’s take a walk in the park near my house!” Sure, great idea. So we went and there was a CARNIVAL going on. She hadn’t known? ALRIGHTY THEN. So we went and ate ice cream and had lots of fun!! I love my friends. And we went on a Ferris Wheel ride with an EXTREMELY sketchy portable wheel that they made us get off and change cars because it was unbalanced. And it creaked and bolts fell off. omggggg

Survivors!

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.