Lachie and I planned our Japan trip a few months ago. The aim was to compete as Asian Open and have a little 3.5 day holiday after, which I was most excited about. Even though I travel a lot, I can’t remember last time I had an actual break and alone time with Lachie.
After we booked our flights, the first ADCC Trials were announced for the same weekend in Kazakstan. Of course these trials were only for men, as women get half the trials and even less weight divisions to compete in, which is unbelievably frustrating. We decided that Lachie would go to Kazakstan whilst I would compete at Asian Open, and then we would meet in Japan for our holiday as planned.
I met up with my international travel companion Margot, otherwise known as Goat, and Chi, otherwise known as Porcini or Pelican or Horse in Tokyo. We checked in to our cute apartment in Shibuya near Koreatown, explored our surroundings and bought all the possible snacks from the local shops.
The next day Margot was up first. She showed beautiful, mature BJJ and smashed her division. Demi also won easily and became an Asian Champion. I was absolutely stoked for the girls.
As Chi was cutting weight and I really needed to move after sitting on my butt for 11 hours during the flight, we went to drill and flow roll at MeWe Jiu Jitsu at night. Everyone was so welcoming, accommodating and just lovely.
Whilst drilling, I found out that both Lachie and Craig won the ADCC Trials, which nearly made me cry from happiness. These two put in so much hard work day in, day out and adding in ADCC specific sessions to our training schedule is clearly paying off.
Inspired, I went to sleep and woke up fresh and ready to go the next day. I wasn’t on until later in the afternoon, so I coached Absolute girls for the 1st half of the day. It was a pleasure watching Chi and Lauren compete at their first big international competition and do so well. Loz earned herself a bronze medal in the process too!
Unfortunately, I only had 1 fight in my weight division, which I won 18-0 after a couple of near subs from top and bottom positions. I decided to enter open weight, but my journey stopped in the semi-final. I won my first fight by submission and lost the semi in the final minute after being up on points from a choke I didn’t see coming from 50/50. I was very annoyed at that mistake, but I can be fairly certain I won’t let it happen ever again.
Absolute MMA female team won 2nd overall female team, which is quite an achievement from such a small team. Sharing the happiness with my teammates was my favourite part of the day.
After a good feed at night, we said our goodbyes and I met Lachie at Tokyo station the next afternoon.
We then caught a bullet train to Kyoto. I absolutely loved exploring the old, pretty town, the temples and shrines and the many different restaurants. Some highlights include catching the ‘Romantic Train’ and a 2 hr boat down a river in Arashiyama, hiking up to see the Kiyomizu Temple, visiting the iconic Red Gates at Fushimi Inari and walking around old Gion and visiting the famous Ichikiri Tea House.
Our time in Kyoto was short and we had to make our way back to Tokyo. Lachie treated me to Robot Restaurant for my birthday, which was completely whacky and weird and exactly what I wanted it to be. We explored so many areas of Tokyo and ate at so many mouth watering places that my little heart was bursting with happiness.
Lachie also got me a wrestling singlet for my birthday, which means I will just have to do a wrestling competition, which I am weirdly happy about!
I wanted to have 4 days off exercise, but of course I couldn’t help myself when the offer came up to train with 2 x black belt World Champion Rikako Yuasa at Paraestra. It was such a great experience to not only roll with Rikako but also with her many coloured belts, including an amazing brown belt Yuki. Everyone was small, technical and super friendly. I was also one of the biggest girls at the gym, which does not happen too often!
This trip was everything and more I wished for. Losing the open weight was the kick in the arse I needed, rolling with the girls at Paraestra has given me so many new ideas to work on and I am completely inspired to bring my game to next level. It was wonderful to spend some time with Lachie, celebrate his win and spend some time together for my birthday.
I am in love with Japan, its people, the culture, food, their whiskey and their BJJ. Can’t wait to go back!