my announcement: I joined the “Ground Slam” team!

I’ve been fighting freelance for the past three years, ever since I left Keishukai. I’ve trained at many different places, like ZST Fight club, K-taro Dojo, Osawa-juku/Hearts, but spent most of my time at the AACC, run by Hiroyuki Abe and Megumi Fuji.

I love the AACC. I owe Abe-san more than words can express. Even before I went freelance, he gave me his counsel, gave me a place to train and learn, offered me a home and advice. I respect him so much. His wisdom reminds me a lot of Moriyama-san, my former instructor who passed away, but never out of our hearts.

I just couldn’t seem to find myself flourishing with the training schedule. I enjoy the technique classes so much, but sparring runs late into the night, and I wake up at 4:30 AM or earlier every morning. I get so down on myself and depressed when I’m on my way out when some of the other female fighters are on their way in! The AACC members are very strong, so talented, and so kind to me. I have nothing but gratitude towards them.

Last year, I was introduced to Reversal-sponsored gym in Yokohama called “Ground Slam,” run by Shinichiro Katsumura. I’ve been attending their pro sparring sessions in the morning, and I’ve been getting excellent training there, and excellent coaching. It fits me, and Katsumura-san and BJ-san are most excellent teachers.

I struggled and debated and finally made the decision to officially join the gym. It’s a huge deal in Japan, maybe even more so in the US. It’s called “shozoku.” In this country, you want to bring honor and fame to your home dojo, and you also have a responsibility to your training partners- nakama- just as they do to you. It’s like joining a family- dare I compare it to getting married? For three years I couldn’t commit. It was like my heart broke when I left Keishukai. But now I’ve joined the Ground Slam team.

I’m happy that everything is cool with my friends at the AACC, and I know I’ll see everybody frequently. I value my friendship with Megumi and many others!

I’ll do my best to bring honor to my new gym. m._.m …