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2014 Pan Pacific Championships, Melbourne

Uncategorized • Oct 15, 2014

I had a rather successful weekend. So did Lachie. Between the 2 of us we won 8 golds… (aka. silver bottle openers, butter knives, numchucks, stanley knives or whatever). To top it off Maromba Female Team won the whole thing, which is very exciting seeing we have so many new girls on the scene.

It was a real pity that the entries were so low this year in the purple belt ladies division. There were 3 of us who actually fought, but in the end you fight whoever turns up and that’s what I did.

I had some firm goals for this competition and knew exactly what I wanted to execute each fight. Most of the time I achieved my objectives, however it did leave my jiu jitsu feeling a little scrappy, loose and scrambly. I was still stoked to land a few new things in a competition that I have been working hard in training – a berimbolo, an Otavio Souza sweep from DLR, a 50/50 sweep, a smash pass and taking the back. I also came away with 3 subs.  My whole philosophy was that it didn’t really matter if I lost, as long as I tried new skills and really opened up my game. I saw this comp as a perfect time to test out my game and make mistakes, and go into the 2015 season more confident from every position.

Bitch Face on. Photo by Luke Burnham

Bitch Face on. Photo by Luke Burnham

Mid berimbolo. Photo by Luke Burnham

Mid berimbolo. Photo by Luke Burnham

Setting up a triangle. Photo by Luke Burnham

Setting up a triangle. Photo by Luke Burnham

Fighting a team mate is not easy. I had a ball :) Photo by Apryl eppinger

Fighting a team mate is not easy. I had a ball 🙂 Photo by Apryl eppinger

No gi love. Photo by Luke Burnham

No gi love. Photo by Luke Burnham

no gi

Photo by Luke Burnham

gi podium

Lachie fought amazingly. He cleaned up the black belt division and also ended up with 4 gold medals. I love that he practices what he preaches – and not only was he great at his ‘A’ game, but also tried out a few new things he has been working hard on. I am super proud as always, and want to be a little bit like him when I grow up.

numbchucks

Volverine/Shredder

medals lach and liv

Thiago was an amazing support all weekend and I am at wit’s end to how he still has some voice left. Fighting is a lot easier when you have a person like him behind you.

I am very proud of the white belt ladies from Maromba – especially Tina, Maria and Odette.These girls have worked very hard – from extra drilling sessions to rolling hard and trying to apply new skills in training… I couldn’t be happier for them.

MAromba team

Sharing many moments together with a fellow BOA competitor Kate Wilson.

Sharing many moments together with a fellow BOA competitor Kate Wilson. Photo by Deb Cameron

A 3-day BJJ competition weekend is truly exhausting – both emotionally and physically, but no rest for the wicked. Asian Open is only a month away and mistakes must be fixed before then.

Thanks you to my sponsors MA1 Apparel and Absolute MMA & Conditioning for making these Pan Pacs possible for me.

On Turning 30

Uncategorized • Sep 28, 2014

I write this as I sit, sipping my coffee in between my training sessions and before work. So yeah. Life is pretty damn good.

If you asked me 10 years ago what I would be doing at 30, in my idealistic (and unrealistic) view of the world, I would have said this:

  • I would be in Antarctica celebrating my birthday. Because why not.
  • I would have a big house, a new shiny car and a bigger mortgage.
  • I would have my masters or a Phd.
  • I would probably have a husband and maybe thinking about kids.
  • I would have run a marathon by now.
  • I would maybe consider participating in or even competing in another sport besides gymnastics or cycling…just to add to my ‘Jack of all trades, Master on none’ motto.
  • I would look and act like an adult.

So far, none of these things have happened. I have failed at my apparent life goals (apart from the maybe trying another sport part). BUT I am loving life more than ever and couldn’t be happier.

It helps that I physically feel like I’m 20. Apart from my fingers, which feel like they are 80. I often show my patients my fingers if they complain about theirs. Truly disgusting. I also cannot handle more than 2 drinks anymore… is that a sign of ageing? But then again, I still get acne, so that brings me back to feeling like I’m just past my teenage years.

Anyhoo. What I wanted to say is that life will often take you to unexpected places. Sometimes things and events that happen are out of anyone’s control, but I consciously choose every choice that I do have. I may not own a house (yet), but I have incredible and life-changing memories from travelling, taking up jiu jitsu and studying. I am in love with every part of my life and it’s because I created each little bit of it.

Exciting things are happening now, such us Lachie opening up a school in the near future, me starting up my own business, and at the moment I am seriously considering doing my Masters by research or a Phd in physiotherapy next year. It so happens that I have a boyfriend who is an over-achiever (but would never admit to it), and who inspires me to never get stale and to always improve… in jiu jitsu and all parts of life. So I think with the amazing support that I already have and a healthy dose of self-belief, I can do all that whilst maintaining my highest level of training and to continue being competitive at a World stage.

I got to celebrate my 30th surrounded by my family and friends. If this is what being 30 is meant to be like, then I say, HELL YES to it all. What a wonderful place to be in.

Enjoy some photos from the last week. Warning. I am out of a gi. I washed my hair. I put my face on. I even did my nails. I even drank somme bubbly.

30 amy 30 dad eva 30 dom

 

30 lach liv 30 lach nice 30 lach weird 30 liv jul 30 mum 30 the girls30 jess

30 dad liv 30 lucy30 brekkie 30 lach lunch 30 rolls

A Night of Amazingness at BOA SUPER 8

Uncategorized • Sep 14, 2014

Last weekend I competed at the highly anticipated Boa Super 8 event in Melbourne, Australia. It was the first event of it’s kind Down Under and in my opinion, the night went even better than I expected.

I was given a task of fighting Kate Wilson, who is a very decorated competitor and a brown belt. We had a 6 minute match at brown/black rules, which was something new to me. Training for last last 10 weeks has focused on not only improving all parts of my jiu jitsu, but also adding toe holds and knee bars into my game. Even though neither Kate or I went for them during the actual fight, I learnt so much just from the preparation.

Kate and I at the weigh in

Kate and I at the weigh in

WL fight warm up

Warm up W.L Fight Photography

I have set some themes for myself for the night, which helped me prepare mentally. They included ‘exploring my limits’, ‘strategy’ and ‘focus on me’. Whilst I always prepare for my opponents and I was super aware of Kate’s game, this time I knew what I wanted to do and where my strengths lay.

On the night, I was super worried about being too nervous – it was the first time I would fight on an elevated platform, with all eyes just on my fight, cameras and live streaming, whilst also being conscious of putting on a good show for the audience.

However, as soon as I heard my walk out song and it was time to go, my nerves were replaced by excitement and happiness. I was so pumped and completely in my element. It was a pleasure to fight with such a good mind set.

W.L Fight Photography

W.L Fight Photography

Luke Burnham

Luke Burnham

Kate scored 2 points early on for a takedown as I pulled guard. From then on I played x-guard but failed to capitalise on the sweep when I stoop up with the leg,  I attempted a triangle, an omaplata, nearly passed, nearly took the back, and then nearly passed again and nearly took the back one more time before the timer went. I received 4 advantages for my efforts, and ended up losing the fight.

Elvis Sinosic Photography

Elvis Sinosic Photography

Luke Burnham

Luke Burnham

W.L Fight Photography

W.L Fight Photography

Luke Burnham

Luke Burnham

W.L Fight Photography

W.L Fight Photography

Luke Burnham

Luke Burnham

W.L Fight Photography

W.L Fight Photography

Luke Burnham

Luke Burnham

Luke Burnham

Luke Burnham

W.L Fight Photography

W.L Fight Photography

Of course, it is never, ever fun to lose, but this time I am not extremely disappointed. I am happy that I felt very comfortable from top, bottom and every position I was put in. I know exactly what I need to fix and improve on and have gained a lot of confidence from the night, knowing that I can trust both my guard and my passing. I actually achieved a lot of my small goals I set for myself, which I was happy about. As I said, I always play to win, but sometimes blessings come in disguise.

A great fight W.L Fight Photography

A great fight W.L Fight Photography

I hope we showed a high level of technical BJJ as a representation of women of Australia and put on an entertaining match for everyone. Thank you to Kate for fighting me, I feel privileged to have an Aussie of such high calibre and class to compete with and go through this amazing experience together.

Watch the fight here:

The support I received from my team mates, my coaches, and Melbourne BJJ community both after, but more importantly, before the show and during my prep was unbelievable.

All matches at BOA Super 8 were entertaining and showed some great jits. Even though Lachie performed very well he didn’t win the belt, but sharing the experience and the moment with him was unforgettable.

I hope there will be many more to come!  Thank you to Sy and Thiago for such a successful event and for looking after your athletes so well.

Kate Wilson - a friend and my competitor

Kate Wilson – a friend and my competitor

OzBjj Interview and YouTube Fun

Uncategorized • Aug 20, 2014

Check out an interview I did for OzBjj – Competitors of Oz, Issue #7. A great website to bookmark.

http://www.ozbjj.com/-competitors-of-oz

Some snippets:

Screen shot 2014-08-20 at 9.19.57 PM

Screen shot 2014-08-20 at 9.20.10 PM

Screen shot 2014-08-20 at 9.20.22 PMScreen shot 2014-08-20 at 9.20.32 PM

Also, here is my poster for Boa Super8 with my bitch face ON.

BOA

PS. No, I didn’t get my brown belt. Yes, my brown belt is many years away. I am fighting Kate, who is a brown belt, hence the title of the fight.

Also, here is my semi-final from the 2014 Brasileiros:

And here is a documentary on Paul Schreiner from MGInAction. He is truly one of the best teachers I have ever met, an extremely kind human being, and a very good black belt, who put a smile on my face every day in NYC.

Melbourne Regional Championships and other things

Uncategorized • Aug 17, 2014

A few weeks have passed since I last competed at the Melbourne Regional Championships run by SKAMMA. This competition offered equal prize money for men and women – $1000 for black belts, $600 for browns and $400 for purple belt absolute winners. I thought I would be crazy not to jump in and support such a fantastic initiative. Unfortunately only one other purple belt lady entered – my good friend Kim, whom I have competed against often since our white belt days.

It was a pleasure fighting Kim in such a technical battle. As I came away the winner, I had the opportunity to step it up and fight Maryanne in the brown belt open final. Maryanne is a class act and the most decorated Aussie and it wasn’t long before she arm-barred the crap out of me.

kim livmaryanne liv matchymaryanne liv prize

True to their word, SKAMMA not only paid the purple belt prize money, but also the brown belt. Hopefully next year, the ladies will show more support for people who are willing to support us.

I was incredibly proud of Lachie for winning the black belt open weight in style. He faced competitors much bigger than him and showed maturity, amazing technique and strategy. What a legend.
lachy open weightliv lach prize money

In all, it was a super friendly comp with a really nice vibe. Everyone was out there to support each other and just show some good jits.

Apart from that, I am still really enjoying training. I find myself consolidating all the skills I learnt in Brazil, which I wasn’t able to try out on any lower belts while over there. I am drilling a lot and specific training all my worst positions. This makes me feel as though my BJJ is not so good, but it’s so rewarding to train and slowly seeing that my weaknesses are becoming my strengths. The guys who make effort to come in outside of class times at Absolute and work hard with me are the best – Richard, Murat, Serhat, Chetan, Stanley, Pat, Alex, Trung, Odette and Shantelle are all killing it at the moment and I couldn’t ask for a better group of training partners.

Having such a great bunch of team mates makes prepping for BOA Super 8 really fun. It’s coming up pretty quickly – if you would like to buy tickets contact me via the blog or e-mail livia.gluchowska@gmail.com. As if the undercard is not strong enough, the main draw is made of dreams! I am so pumped to compete at this event.

Life back home in the land of Downunder.

Uncategorized • Jul 27, 2014

I have been a little quiet on my blog since returning to Australia. But, I can assure you that many exciting things are happening in my life. Here is quick summary:

  • Firstly I started my new job at Melbourne Physiotherapy, Fitness and Pilates Group in St Kilda, Melbourne. I work as a physiotherapist and a clinical pilates instructor and absolutely love my new work place. I have a great space and a lovely team and it’s a really good feeling when you love what you do each day.

mpg photo

  • I am also the Head Physiotherapist for Caulfield Grammarians Football Club  – I manage the player’s injuries, rehab and return to play, as well as work during their game days on Saturdays. This eats into my own training (competition class), but my career is very important to me and I am committed to having more balance in my life.

caulfield grammar

  • I have settled into a nice routine of training and have some excellent, small and skilled training partners at Maromba. I’m really enjoying consolidating a few (by a few, I mean A LOT) things I’ve learnt in Brazil and trying them out on lower belts. I am lucky to have a nice team to specific train, drill and trouble shoot with outside of class times. It is also very cool to have some higher belt females to train with that are a little closer to my size than the boys. Jess, Jo, Esther… you rock.
  • I am very excited to announce that I have an upcoming fight at the BOA Super 8 in Melbourne in September against a great competitor Kate Wilson. Kate had a great performance at Worlds and was promoted to brown belt, so we will fight at brown belt rules, which is very exciting! Lachie is in the main draw of 8 black belts all vying to win $5,000. Can’t wait for this event. Come along and support us, I will try and put on a great show.

boa super 8

  •  Recently, I had a meeting with my sponsors MA1 Apparel about creating a new women’s range of gis. The designs and colours will be beautiful and it’s a lot of fun being involved in the development phase.
  • Having my friends and family around has been amazing. Being able to communicate freely is something I took for granted before. Catching up with my little niece Lucy has been too much fun, going out for endless coffees with my girlfriends and tasting Melbourne’s awesome brekkies/brunches on Sundays is the best. My little sister Julia is back from an exchange in Mexico and we spend our nights at home signing way too loud to atrocious choice of music.

liv x c 6liv x c 4liv x c 3I am loving my life here at the moment and every day I wonder when something will go wrong. I do really miss our friends in Brazil and training full time without work, alas, one can only dream to do that forever – both my wallet and body would break.

The next phase is preparing for Australian Champions Cup, BOA Super 8, Pan Pacs, GTA and possibly the Asian Cup. In the mean time I love every minute on the mats more each day.

 

2014 IBJJF World Gi Chamionships

Uncategorized • Jul 2, 2014

My confidence was high and I felt great coming into this year’s Worlds. I was as prepared as humanly possible. My division was tough – I think there was no clear favourite, but there were about 5-6 girls that stood a chance of winning on any given day.

I won my first fight 17-0. It took me a while to get going, but once I got on top, I unleashed my pressure passing and felt good.

Photo by Erin Herle

Photo by Erin Herle

Photo by Kenny Jewel

Photo by Kenny Jewel

2014 worlds LE mount

Photo by Lance Emery

2014 worlds mount GT

Photo by Kenny Jewel

Photo by Kenny Jewel

Photo by Kenny Jewel

I lost my quarter-final by an arm-bar from a scramble. I pulled guard, but I was unable to finish a sweep and we stood up again. I pulled again, but this time without the grips I wanted. I defended passing for a while and as I was coming on top in a scramble, I got arm-barred hard. I tapped about 6 times and also yelled pretty loudly, but my opponent didn’t let go for an extra 3 seconds. As a result, I still carry an injury, most likely with permanent cartilage damage. Understandably, I was pretty annoyed at that.

Photo by Kristensphoto

Photo by Kristensphoto

2014 worlds KP single x 2

Photo by Kristensphoto

Photo by Kristensphoto

Photo by Kristensphoto

2014 worlds KP armbar

Caught in an armbar. Photo by Kristensphoto

So my 2014 campaign ended without a medal and an injury, which was pretty upsetting at the time. Admittedly, I had a little cry straight after my fight, but as pointed out to me by my friend, that’s ok, because I’m ‘allowed to give a shit’. I was definitely expecting more of myself, but I also know that I will come back better and stronger.

My favourite moments from 2014 Worlds included watching Lachie fight JT Torres, watching Michael Langhi give it his all with a torn ACL (which no one knew about), watching my Alliance team mate Andresa Correa win her second black belt World Title, the Michelle vs Tammi match, Lepri’s passing, Monique Elias winning double gold and receiving her black belt on the podium, Bernardo Faria’s war cries, Demi winning a bronze in blue belt, Malfacine’s speed, Sophia Drysdale becoming the 1st Aussie to medal at black belt Worlds, Alliance winning male and female team trophies and of course catching up with my Aussie and Brazilian mates. Once again, the Worlds was a reminder that it is much, much bigger than myself.

2014 Worlds Alliance WVSN

Photo by WVSN

2014 worlds demi 2014 worlds eleni 2014 worlds lach 2014 worlds sophia

After the competition was over, Jess, Demi and I jumped in a car and drove to San Diego for a couple of days. I absolutely loved the city and cannot wait to go back there. Of course, the plan was to not train, but when Monique Elias messages you that she wants to roll, it’s pretty hard to refuse. We were welcomed at Barum Jiu Jitsu, and had a ball training with Monique, Mario and all the girls.

2014 worlds monique

2014 worlds brekkie

2014 worlds UA socks

Travelling in style!

So my amazing 8 month trip ended with a drive back to LA. I was excited, happy and sad all at the same time to come home, but Lachie kept reminding me of Melbourne’s coffee waiting for me, which lifted my spirits!

As always I would like to thank my amazing sponsors MA1 Apparel who made this years Worlds possible, Absolute MMA & Conditioning and Kristensphoto.

Also please check out the incredible and talented photographers who gave me permission to use their photos in this blog:

Kristen at Kristensphoto

Erin Herle at Graciemag

Lance Emery at Lance Emery Photography

Kenny Jewel at GrappleTv

2014 Worlds Training Camp at Marcelo Garcia’s in NYC

Uncategorized • Jun 17, 2014

This year Lachie and I decided to do something different for our Worlds camp and go to NYC to train with Marcelo Garcia. Obviously, apart from Marcelo being God and all, I was also excited to not hang out in Vegas or LA for once. MG We flew from Sao Paulo to NYC and settled into our rented room in a hipster house in Brooklyn. I loved Brooklyn with it’s more relaxed feel compared with Manhattan, great cheap food, and cute (and extremely hipster) coffee shops. One of the things I’ve missed the most whilst travelling Central and South America was Australian made coffee. It also helped that Australian large cup of coffee is the USA equivalent of a small. Where I used to sneer at Melbourne’s coffee snobbery (which sometimes borders on being wanky), I am now totally and completely one of them. Melbourne has the best damn coffee in the world. coffee hipsetrs Anyway… Back to BJJ. Coming from SP where training was rather intense each day, we decided to do 3-4 classes at Marcelo’s each day. Most classes only lasted one hour, which included 20-30 minutes of rolling. It was nice to feel fit and aggressive, however I am hoping I didn’t come across as a psycho fighting to the death for grips. Marcelo’s students were lovely to roll with. There were usually between 2-10 coloured belt ladies at the gym each day, which was a treat. There was also plenty of feather weight blue/purple men which were gentle enough on me, so that I didn’t break. marcelo group womenMG girls

Stealing Dominyka's hair.

Stealing Dominyka’s hair.

I look much better with her golden locks.

I look much better with her golden locks.

One of the highlights for me was rolling with Marcelo, which is now on MGInAction and you can watch it here. Of course when I say roll, I mean I was rolling and Marcelo was sitting there giving me positions (which I still failed to take). Another great thing was the calibre of instructors. When Marcelo wasn’t taking the classes, it was either the ever-smiley Bernardo Faria or Paul – whose attention to detail was out of this world. marcelo liv One of my happiest moments was seeing Jess Fraser for the 1st time in 8 months. She changed her plans and decided to come to NYC to join us. It was so fun to hang out again and to have someone as tough as Jess to train with and then to laugh about it after. jess back 2 liv jess mg Another happy reunion was seeing Stanley from Melbourne and Magical Anna from the UK. I have the pleasure of catching up with Anna about once a year somewhere in the world and am always amazed by her ever-improving jiu jitsu.

stan

Training at MG’s was a perfect prep for this year’s Worlds. I got to get out of my comfort zone and roll different people and a variety of different games. Most importantly though, I had fun with people I really like, my confidence grew and I got to see more of New York.

Apart from getting on a top-decker tourist bus and seeing the main attractions, getting epileptic fits in Times Square, napping in Central Park, walking around Chelsea, seeing a baseball game at the Yankee Stadium and exploring Brooklyn, one of the highlights for me was going to the Comedy Cellar. Jess’ cousin arranged tickets for us and we saw a great line up of some very funny people. The next day one of the comedians invited us to record an MMA comedy podcast called Hammerfisting – Brutally Funny MMA Podcast. Jess, Lachie and I laughed our way through the recording, which you can listen to here. podcast comedy cellar brooklyn bridge Central park empire state jess bus manhattan times square 2 yankee stadium

statuepiano I was lucky enough to meet some of the Underarmour team in Soho and be let loose in their brand shop. I was literally treated like a celebrity and can’t wait to wear all the stuff to training! UA bag UA UA Captain America Tapered, rested, fit and ready we flew to LA to yet another Mundials. I have so many memories from NYC, not only of new BJJ skills, but also of many wonderful people we’ve met who made us laugh till we dropped.

Of course, none of this would have been possible without my wonderful sponsors MA1 Apparel, who are the best support a girl could ask for.

Brasileiros 2014 and last days in Brazil

Uncategorized • May 23, 2014

During my 1.5 day taper, I got to sit and watch some sessions at Alliance. It was such eye candy to actually observe instead of training. Having Lepri, Langhi, Tarsis, Gabriel Goulart, Juan, Mario Reis, Fabio Caloi, Monique, Gabi, Andresa, Dimi Souza and heaps of others all under one roof was nothing short of inspiration.

I woke up feeling great on the day of Brasileiros. I was focused, ready, relaxed and confident. I knew I have literally trained as hard as I could have in the last 6 months. I was pretty excited to test myself out with girls my own weight in Brazil.

I had 3 fights to gold. The big thing I’ve noticed about myself is the relative lack of negative self-talk whilst in the bull-pen, which has been replaced with clear and confident statements in my head. Always a good start to any comp.

I felt good in my first fight – I pulled guard and failed to finish a triangle, but ended up winning on points after passing twice and mounting.

R1R1 winR1 win front

Second fight was also pretty smooth – another win on points after a sweep and a pass.

R 2 win

My final started well. I received 2 advantages for foot lock attempts from a double guard pull, another advantage for coming up, then another for getting half guard. I felt so composed and was really enjoying playing the pressure game, when I got a little too confident and got swept from half guard with a minute to go. The girl was stalling it out, as anyone would do in that situation. Desperate for a sweep, I landed one from half guard, but it finished outside of the mats and I received yet another advantage. We started standing with 10 seconds to go and I was unable to score any points and ended up losing the final.

hug liv lach podium 2

I made a pretty stupid mistake and paid for it by losing a title. It’s fair to say I was very annoyed at myself, but really, there is no better way to learn. A good night’s sleep and a healthy dose of perspective made me re-focus for the Worlds pretty quickly.

I really enjoyed playing on top this competition and using my pressure game. I have worked hard on my passing and am having as much fun with it as playing guard. I just don’t know which I like better… a pretty good problem to have I guess!

As always massive thanks to my sponsors MA1 Apparel for making competing and training possible, Kristensphoto, Absolute MMA & Conditioning and Z-strings.

liv gym

After the Brasileiros were over, we only had 1 week left in Brazil, which of course went very quickly.  In that one week, I fit in about 10 training sessions and got to visit my coach Thiago in his club in Hortolandia, which was quite special. I also squeezed in some sessions at Casquinha’s academy and got to train with his many tough and extremely technical and super nice girls.

thiago 1 thiago 2

I haven’t been shy about saying that I don’t love Sao Paulo as a city and at times it has been really tough to be away for so long, to not speak the language, to not have family and friends around and to realise I really suck at jiu jitsu. But on our last day, listening to Fabio Gurgel talk, I had tears in my eyes and felt really sad to leave the city and the Alliance family behind. I have never met such hard working group with so much mutual respect for each other. I have never imagined, just how much I would learn, not only from Fabio, Michael Langhi and everyone who shared their knowledge, but also from every single roll I’ve had.

Our hosts Camila and Ricardo, as well as Fabio and Isa became our little family and we are looking forward to meeting them in Australia to continue our surfing lessons and making lots of cakes.

fabio

all 3 all 4 all 7 all 8 Langhi

We are lucky that we will get to see everyone at the Worlds again before we head back to Australia. I have no doubt I will return and train at my favourite place with my favourite people in the near future.

Competing and Training in Sao Paulo before the Brasileiros

Uncategorized • May 16, 2014

Yet again I have lagged behind in updating this blog. My training induced brain-fog and tiredness is the main culprit. That coupled with a very intense training block, the stress of 3 competitions in the space of 7 days (including Brasileiros), saying good-bye to our friends in Sao Paulo and leaving Brazil with great sadness, and training with Marcelo Garcia in New York.

So let’s re-wind to 2.5 weeks ago, which now feels more like 2.5 months ago.

I entered a competition in Santos and of course there was no one in under 55kgs, no one in under 65kgs, so I put myself up to a 70 kg division to get a fight. I really wanted to try a few new things before the Brasileiros and shake off the competition nerves again.

The boys were on the following day, so I had to drag Lachie out of bed at 7am to get the 2 hr bus to Santos just to watch me compete once. What a legend.

The fight itself wasn’t my prettiest or best jiu jitsu, but I was happy enough with opening my guard up, trying new things and feeling strong with my guard recovery, which is always a bit of an effort with a bigger opponent. I think I won by 2 points in the end, and as always learnt a lot.

Santos winlach liv win The next day I entered another competition in Sao Paulo, which was a blue/purple combined absolute with a R$600 prize money. Since the boys were competing in Santos on the same day, I made the 2 hr trek on my own. It was my first time venturing out in SP by myself and using the metro system, so I was more nervous about getting lost then actually competing. Alas, I made it and survived.

When I looked at the entries the day before, I was the only purple entered, so I went it ready to win. However, on arrival I saw all the late entries and the bracket was filled with Sao Paulo’s (and World’s) best purple belt ladies. What a treat to get to compete against them. It was a fun, friendly comp, and the girls made me feel super welcome.

I fought Bianca – a purple belt who beat me at the Abu Dhabi Trials in January and was pretty excited to test myself against her again. I felt confident and calm. I planned to pull guard, but she beat me to it, quickly establishing single x. I was happy with that, as I actually love passing single x and x guard, but just as I was getting comfortable, she threw on the tightest footlock I have ever felt. It was probably my fastest competition tap. All I could do was laugh about it (while kicking myself inside my head of course), make sure I don’t make the same mistake again, thank my lucky stars it wasn’t the Brasileiros and that I managed to tap in time. Losing sucks, but it’s all a part of the game.

bronze

The next few days at training were some of the toughest yet. Training at Alliance at lunch time is hard. There were no easy rolls. For 3 months there were no women on the mats. I had about 4 blue belt light weight men to roll with, the rest were purple – black, of which at least 10 were World Champions. Many times I was nothing more than a mop on the floor. Many times I was close to tears, only because I was so tired I didn’t know what else to do (you don’t rest, of course). Most of the time absolutely nothing worked. But my fitness, aggression and intensity all improved. Even though it often didn’t feel like it at training, I know my technique improved also. I know this because my first week at Alliance, I couldn’t even get a grip. NOT ONE GRIP. I was actually tapping before I established guard.  Now, I managed to sometimes sweep or pass on a good day. I knew that no match at Brasileiros would feel as horrible and tough as training has been.

489all 1all 2training

With 1.5 days rest before fight day, I got to watch a lot of Lepri, Langhi, Juan, Tarsis, Fabio, Dimi, Mesquita, Mario Reis, Andresa, Gabi, Monique etc, etc roll. An inspiring bunch with beautiful jiu jitsu. Really, it was all just eye candy.

Rested and inspired, with an amazing team behind me, I was totally ready to fight.