Browsing Category

Uncategorized

Recent Competition Fun

black belt , competition , friends , gi , Jiu Jitsu , Lachie , no gi , Uncategorized , World Championships , wrestling • Oct 16, 2017
Aus Sub heel hook

 

This year has been non-stop and slightly exhausting competition wise… and it’s not over yet! So far I’ve had 7 International trips and a few domestic ones for either comps or seminars. Anyone who lives in Australia knows how tiring flying 17 hrs to get anywhere is. My lack of annual leave and a tight work schedule means, I usually land, drive home, have a shower and go to work. It generally doesn’t hit me until a week later, but I guess I’m used to it now and I just keep on going.

A few weeks ago I flew to Sydney to compete at the Aus Sub Only Championships. It was a no gi, sub only format with no time limit in the finals. Since I’ve had a pretty poor showing at my no gi fights this year, I really wanted more experience. I was a little worried about open weight since I’ve hurt my back, but I felt like I could keep myself safe in a ruleset with heel hooks.

It was lovely to catch up with Katie from Sydney who picked me up from the airport and looked after me for the day, and even coached me during my fights. My aim for this competition was to try leg entanglements as much as possible and tighten up my heel hooks. Of course I always fight to win, but I focus on my problem areas in the domestic comps and peak 1-2 times a year for Worlds. I had three fights – first one I spent trying to sub from from an inside heel hook in 50/50 and let go quickly when I felt the tap, but for some reason we continued to fight. I won my second fight by arm-bar from mount after many unsuccessful heel hook and straight ankle attempts and I won the final by an inside heel hook. I took away a few things to work on and won myself flights to USA and a spot to fight at Fight To Win Pro. I really wanted to make it back to USA for FTW before the end of the year, but since I have Worlds No Gi in December, I will compete early next year instead to give my body a little rest.

@ Agata Pawlak

@ Agata Pawlak

@ Agata Pawlak

@ Agata Pawlak

@ Agata Pawlak

@ Agata Pawlak

@ Agata Pawlak

@ Agata Pawlak

@ Agata Pawlak

@ Agata Pawlak

@ Agata Pawlak

@ Agata Pawlak

The next adventure was a somewhat spontaneous trip to Los Angeles for the UAE Grand Slam. UEAJJF offers good prize money and top level competitors, so I was super keen to test myself out against the best back belts. I was accompanied by Katie  – a Sydney blue belt whom I have become really good friends with. It was special to see Katie prepare and tackle her first International comp, which is a nerve wrecking task!

LA cops

We had a few obstacles like having our AirBnB fall through when we landed and having to have to look for a hotel last minute, which also meant me dealing with Katie’s soothing snoring sounds all night.

After weigh-ins I got to catch up with a few people including Erin, whom I see more of than some of my friends in Melbourne.

LA pizzaLA group LA weigh in

I wasn’t willing to cut to 49kg, so I fought in the 55kg division and felt super strong at that weight. I lost first round to Ana Carolina Schmitt by 2 points, but felt very comfortable in my guard. I went through to repacharge and won 11-2 in a technical battle with Tassia Pimenta. The next win was against a tough brown belt, which meant I was through to a bronze medal match against Ana again. I really wanted to pass her guard, so I decided to play on top, but got swept toward the end of the match and couldn’t make up the points. I was definitely sad coming home empty handed and losing the bronze medal, because I think it was in me to win it. However, I had 4 fights against top level black belts and plenty to improve on – both strategy and skill wise. Although I’m not winning everything (yet), I’m also not getting smashed by the best and I’m more determined than ever to be on the top of the podium.

LA pressure LA invert LA lassoLA Katie

The next day was Katie’s turn to leave it all on the mats and she did just that. I was very proud watching her handle the stresses of international comps like a pro. Before our flight home we got to go on a fun hike around Runyon Canyon, soak up some much needed Vitamin D and explore Hollywood.
LA hike LA hike 2 La hollywood

ADCC was on at the same time as the Grand Slam, so I set my alarm to 3am to watch Lachie, Craig and Kit… and holly shit, did they bring it! I am so proud and happy for them and although Craig’s performance surprised many, we expected it. For the last 2 years, we have consistently trained specifically for ADCC and our sessions include wrestling, leg entanglements and specific training the positions that are often seen in ADCC. We left no stone unturned in our prep and watching everyone mix it with the best has inspired the crap out of me. I will do everything in my power to be in ADCC finals in 2 years.

ADCC 3 ADCC 1ADCC 2

I’m very grateful for the opportunities to compete overseas, which help me improve tremendously. My next steps will be the Pan Pacific Championships in Melbourne and then No Gi Worlds in December. Hopefully I can make it to European Championships in 2018 too!

LA katie 2

EBI 12 – The First Female Only Card

competition , ebi , injury , Jiu Jitsu , no gi , Uncategorized • Aug 17, 2017
@JiuJitsuMag

Competing at EBI was an incredible experience despite my loss. It was an absolute honour to be invited to the first female only card and compete amongst 15 other badass women.

The EBI prep was quite brutal on the body. As soon as I got back from Worlds, I trained no gi every day, twice a day. The leg entanglements hurt my shoulders when I bridged off them, and the overtime rounds specific training pretty much killed my arms, neck and back. A lot of the training took place with our ADCC team of purple-black belt guys who certainly didn’t go easy on me. It’s fair to say my body was thankful when it was time to taper and get ready to compete.

Absolute EBI

I flew in to LA on Friday and met good friend Erin Herle at my hotel. Erin was kind enough to drive me around for the day and keep me company. Originally she was one of the first fighters to be invited, but a persistent knee infection meant she had to withdraw from the competition.20864147_10154666171582461_744108399_n

We spent the day playing basketball (as you do) and generally being loud and obnoxious. It was a perfect way for me to move around a little, but not waste my energy on being too nervous.

20815029_10154666172017461_439219249_n 20814984_10154666178017461_184337233_n 20864548_10154666173367461_69499584_n

The next day, all the other fighters started arriving at the hotel so Erin and I met up with Kristina Barlaan and continued on with our crazy. There was plenty of laughter, sun-baking and terrible dancing to go with Kristina’s lovely signing.

20863884_10154666175967461_492270191_n 20814844_10154666176092461_1601281379_n

The brackets came out that night. I felt so well prepared that I did not really care who I would fight first. I was happy with my bracket and went to sleep calm and relaxed that night.20839472_10154666176457461_1501234704_n 20815147_10154666173147461_1289301815_n 20840127_10154666181642461_1062717074_n

I worked extremely hard at bulking up in the last 2 months by being disciplined with eating more and often, lifting and taking creatine. It was pleasing to see that I was nearly on weight after a full dinner and breakfast and that I wouldn’t be too teeny on the night.20863994_10154666177047461_799763628_n 20814889_10154666177207461_64860686_n

We got driven to the venue and went through the rules meeting before it was time to warm up. Seeing the Orpheum Theatre and the whole production team setting up made it all feel very real. Although my nerves were at check, I won’t lie and say I felt no pressure. I am aware that the pressure I feel is what I put on myself, and I know it is actually a privilege of an emotion. However it doesn’t make it any easier.  I wanted to perform well. I wasn’t there to make up the numbers nor did I considered myself an underdog. I have trained EBI/ADCC rules for a while and have good knowledge of leg locks. I also wanted to represent my club Absolute well and follow in the footsteps of Lachie and Craig who both made it to the semis at EBI. I wanted to make my club and the Aussie community proud. So many people gave up their time to help me prepare and I wanted to fight well as though to say thank you. I knew my family, friends, teammates and my competitors would be watching and I wanted to put on a show. These are all the things I had to block out when I put the headphones on to warm up. I needed to do all of it for me.

20863866_10154666177342461_255620204_n 20839568_10154666171927461_2105751308_n

I was so grateful to have some top people in my corner – Al, Erin and Jason. Since no Aussies were able to come with me to LA, it made it all a little bit easier to know that someone had my back.

I stood on the platform listening to Bruce Buffer announce my name and I knew there was nowhere else I would rather be. Eddie asked if we were ready and we tapped hands. I pulled quickly and ended up in closed guard. After trying hard to work my Williams guard, but failing to set up a triangle, I opened to try to enter to a leg entanglement and aim to finish the fight quickly. Erin was doing a great job keeping her hips low and making it difficult for me to attack her legs, but I found an opening for a kimura. In fact, during the fight I did have a few kimura attempts of which none I finished. I will be working hard on this in training to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Probably 3 minutes into the fight, something happened to my breathing. I’m unsure if it was a massive adrenaline dump, but I could not control my heart rate or my breathing rate for the life of me. This made me panic and as a result I made some terrible choices like going to turtle to catch my breath… I somehow managed to recover and get on top and pass Erin’s guard, but again couldn’t find a sub or in fact, I couldn’t even think very clearly. I eventually saw an opening for a heel hook, but when we rolled off the mats it was way too loose and I lost the position. The last minute of the match was a blur as I tried attacking the kimura again and then nearly got arm barred in the last 10 second of the fight.

I re-focused quickly and chose the arm bar for the overtime rounds. Erin escaped my attempt and I escaped hers. Next overtime round saw Erin start from the back where she eventually subbed me. I tried to hold off as much as I could to buy some time and had 1 minute 30 sec to sub her. I started from the arm bar and as I tried to wind up my hand, I didn’t control Erin’s posture and I got stacked. In a split second, my hand slipped from my hip and I lost the arm completely. And that was it.

20863917_10154666181827461_1684488009_n

@ GrappleTv

@ GrappleTv

@ GrappleTv

@ GrappleTv

@ GrappleTv

@ GrappleTv

@ GrappleTv

@ GrappleTv

@ GrappleTv

@ GrappleTv

@ GrappleTv

@ GrappleTv

@ GrappleTv

@ GrappleTv

@ GrappleTv

@ GrappleTv

@ GrappleTv

@ GrappleTv

@JiuJitsuMag

@JiuJitsuMag

@ GrappleTv

@ GrappleTv

@ GrappleTv

@ GrappleTv

Erin went on to win the whole thing in a very impressive manner. She showed a lot of good jiu jitsu and amazing control and maturity.

The girls and I watched majority of the fights backstage. Most of us were supporting each other and really enjoyed the night together. I heard Talita coach me during my fight and we managed to turn our losses into smiles by the end of the show.

20863854_10154666177602461_668371798_n

Unfortunately I hurt my back badly during the fight, but I didn’t it realise until I walked off the stage. In the end I don’t think it contributed to my loss as I’m not even sure at what stage of the fight I got injured. The pain only hit me as soon as the adrenaline wore off and it was excruciating. I haven’t experienced anything like it before and even though I treat patients with acute disc bulges every day, it was super scary. Thank you to Erin, Kristina, Al and Dawna who looked after me, got me off the floor and even dressed me. Flying home was absolute hell, but I’m happy to say that after 2.5 weeks of rest and a whole lot of back rehab I am back to rolling this week relatively pain free. It is so good to train again and I have been focusing on fixing the many mistakes I made at EBI.

Understandably I was sad to lose first round and not show my best form. I was well prepared and ready and I know I have a lot more to give. At least I know I left it all on the mats that night, but the only way forward is to improve more and do much better next time.

I’m very grateful to have been invited by Eddie – the whole experience was incredible. I can’t wait to be back on the show in the near future in a more comfortable weight at 115lbs. EBI is such an amazing production and I am stoked they are now supporting female fighters and offering the same prize money as they do for men. Make sure you tune in to UFC Fight Pass and support the next show.

20815256_10154666178172461_1017986353_n 20864634_10154666178392461_1563042384_n 20815181_10154666181502461_318829450_n20815009_10154666176772461_817133887_n

Road to EBI 12 – The Female Flyweights

black belt , competition , ebi , friends , Jiu Jitsu , Uncategorized • Jul 16, 2017
EBI promo

EBI promo

As I was on my way to Worlds, I recieved a message from Eddie Bravo asking if I wanted to be on the EBI 12 – The Female Flyweights card. I answered without a second of hesitation – I have been getting ready for this style of submission only event with my team at Absolute MMA for a long time!

ENI 10

I will be following in footsteps of Lachie Giles and Craig Jones who were the first Australians to be on the card and both made it through to semi finals. I will be the third person from Absolute MMA on the show, and the first Australian female. I can’t highlight enough what an absolute honour and privilege it is to be a part of the stacked 16-woman bracket. It is the first female only card, with the same prize money as the men and I am proud to make history along with my competitors.

Ever since EBI first started we have been training the overtime rules at our advanced no gi classes at Absolute St Kilda. It’s hard not to feel confident when you have the likes of Kit Dale, Lachie and Craig trying to rip your legs off and heel hook you every day and well as specific training not only the back and arm bar, but many positions which may come up during the fight. Since Worlds, my focus shifted to no gi and bulking up. The 125lbs division is way above my normal walking weight and I am adamant not to repeat my mistake from the European ADCC Trials where I was 7 kgs under-weight. I have been lifting and eating a lot more and I feel much stronger and sturdier now.

I feel ready and prepared, my fitness is good, I am strong and I will put on a show in 2 weeks in Los Angeles. You can watch the even live on UFC Fight Pass.

Thank you to my team and all the wonderful people who have volunteered to roll with me no gi and agreed for me to attempt to take their legs, arms and heads home. I couldn’t ask for better teammates!

Thank you to the ongoing support from my sponsors:

MA1 Apparel

Musashi Nutrition

Pony Grappling Club

W vs N (Al has volunteered to corner me and I couldn’t be more grateful)

EBI 1 EBI 2 EBI 3 EBI 5EBI 4EBI 7EBI 6

European ADCC Trials 2017

black belt , competition , Jiu Jitsu , Uncategorized , wrestling • Jun 9, 2017

2017 has been a busy year for me so far. One of my major goals/dreams of my BJJ career is to win ADCC trials and compete at the world finals. 2 years ago I came second at Asia-Oceania Trials and I repeated the same, extremely frustrating result this year in Japan.

With the help of Pony Grappling Club I was able to have another shot at the European trials. I am Polish and moved to Australia at the age of 12, which means I have a dual citizenship, which in turns allows me to compete in Europe.

My trip to Poland was rough… I have no more leave left at work (or money), so I had to make this a quick one. I pretty much spent more time in the air than in my homeland, but I guess beggars can’t be choosers.

IMG_4268

When I landed in Poznan, I was picked by a Drysdale black belt Filip Sadowski. I met Filip 4 years ago, when we both did a training camp in Las Vegas before Worlds. Jiu Jitsu community is amazing like that. Filip picked me up, fed me, took me around his wonderful town, gave me a room to stay in in his beautiful family home, made sure I trained no gi, took care of my recovery by taking me to spas, introduced me to all his friends and entertained me for 3 days by signing ridiculous amounts of car karaoke. I managed to have a super fun time, whilst alone on a different continent competing at one of the most important comps of the year.

IMG_4356 IMG_4375 IMG_4366 IMG_4355 IMG_4282

If you are ever in Poznan, check out Filip’s club Gameness Team. Filip is extremely technical and a fabulous teacher. His students of all sizes and belt colours were a pleasure to roll with.

IMG_4286 IMG_4291

The weigh ins started early, and despite my best efforts to pork up, I still weighed in close to 7 kg under weight. I needed to rely on my footlocks, wrestling, speed and superior technique. I felt well prepared and ready. I drew Ffion Davies first round and I knew it would be a tough fight but I was determined to force my game. Unfortunately for me, things went pear shaped from the get go. I wanted to pull straight into a leg entanglement, but instead Ffion forced me into my half guard. Inch by inch she closed the distance to a tight crossface. With 20 seconds left of ‘no points’ time, I took a risk to try to reverse Ffion and aim to be in her guard when the points started. Alas, I bridged like a noob, which allowed my opponent to go to 1/4 guard and work her way to my back. She eventually separated my arms and choked me. Words can’t describe how disappointed I was in myself and at the mistakes I made. I truly believe I never got to show what I’m capable of. But that’s the way it goes. Fiion dominated me in that fight and she did everything right, all credit to her.

IMG_4299

IMG_4326 IMG_4343

After taking 10 minutes to compose myself, I decided to take a deep breath, hold my head high and move on. I joined Filip in commentating on the live stream and tried to get as many female fights on the main camera as possible. I cheered the ladies on in the finals and was very happy for Ffion to take out the under 60kg and the lovely Sam Cook to win the over 60kg division. Both these ladies deserve their spots at the ADCC Finals later this year.

IMG_4337 IMG_4350

It hurt to not achieve my goal, but I will not stop until I will. It’s easy to give up and to think that flying all this way for a 5 minute fight is pointless, but I have gained so much out of those 5 minutes that I have no doubt it will be crucial to my development as an athlete.

When I returned home, I specific trained half guard till the cows came home to make sure I don’t make the same mistake twice. I feel so much more confident from that position now and can’t wait to make it my own. Since the World Championships were only 3 weeks away, I quickly switched my focus to gi where I would be debuting my black belt.

Thank you to all who stand beside me and support me even though I don’t always win. I couldn’t have done this trip without my Absolute teammates who smash me day in day out and my sponsors Pony Grappling Gear and MA1 Apparel.

IMG_4315

2017 Australian Girls In Gi Camp

Uncategorized • Feb 18, 2017
@ Fiona Gumboots

@ Fiona Gumboots

This year marked my 5th AGIG Camp and what a pleasure has it been involved yet again. I returned as a coach, joined by Jess Fraser, Esther Tavares-Tutida, Hope Douglass and Demi Butler as well as amazing assistant coaches in Van Do, Kirsty Mather, Jessica Dobbs, Patricia VanderMeer and Robyn Jordan. The AGIG community keeps on growing – this year there were 130 participants ranging from beginner white belts to very experienced black belts.

awkard

@ Fiona Gumboots

@ Fiona Gumboots

@ Fiona Gumboots

@ Fiona Gumboots

@ Fiona Gumboots

Since the theme of the camp was ‘playfulness’, I decided to teach a small part of my spider guard system. Spider guard is something I started to experiment with as a white belt, but never really used it in competition until the end of my purple belt days. It has taken me years to develop the skill and confidence to use it effectively and now it’s a big part of my game. I use it to sweep, submit, recover guard and transition to other guards.

@ Fiona Gumboots

@ Fiona Gumboots

@ Fiona Gumboots

@ Fiona Gumboots

@ Fiona Gumboots

@ Fiona Gumboots

My teaching style is always quite reliant on details and technique. Being a small female, I can never really rely on strength to power through moves, so I pay attention to the tinniest details that make a difference between the technique working and failing. I always teach things that work for me at competitions at the highest level.

The best part of my day? Photo with 130 women pelvic thrusting. Why, you ask? Because why the hell not!

@ Fiona Gumboots

@ Fiona Gumboots

I was so thrilled to teach 13 private lessons at camp as well. It was a pleasure to see so many ladies interested in my style and technique and most importantly thinking about the direction and progression of their own BJJ. I am not a particularly fast learner, so if I can master a skill and perform it at a world class event, then anyone can. With enough smart training and repetition anything is learnable.

I was so lucky to have my friend and training partner Chi with me all weekend. She was not only my ‘dummy’ for the seminar and privates, but also brought me food, coffee and lollies for the entire 4 days!

I absolutely loved learning from the other coaches this year. We all have our individual touches to similar techniques and we are all successful in our own rights. It was great to see individual spins, creativity and different personalities come through. I also had many fun rolls. The lower belts picked up the techniques learnt quickly and tried to execute them during sparring. I also loved rolling with black belt Van and brown belt Jessica – I literally could not wipe the smile off my face, as it’s not often I get to have such high level,  beautiful technical exchanges with people similar to my weight.

coaches 2

The vibe this year was very positive and encouraging and I am damn proud to be a part of such wonderful community. Jess Fraser has yet again outdone herself and is an example of what can be achieved with a little bit of imagination and will-power.

During the 4 week camp, I took the Saturday off to compete at the Melbourne Open Abu Dhabi Pro Trials. Unfortunately there was only one open weight ticket on offer, but it was a good hit out and a nice start to the year. In my weight division I hit a nice spider lasso sweep taught by Abmar Barbosa and a deep half pass to S mount to a cutting arm bar (which I didn’t finish). In my open weight I lost by a take down, but played a very offensive guard with a few sweep and sub attempts. Congrats to Lachie, Ben and Demi to winning their well reserved tickets to the World Pro.

@ Joshua Stebbings

@ Joshua Stebbings

@ Macofoto

@ Macofoto

abu dhabi pro

I am skipping the Sydney Open and Australian Pro Trials this year, because I will be going directly to Abu Dhabi with the help of Pony Grappling Gear. I am beyond grateful and excited for such an awesome opportunity and will be joined by some of my favourite people from around the world.

Don’t forget to check out AGIG Camp photo gallery at Gumboots Photography.

2016 was fabulous, but 2017 is looking even better already!

competition , friends , Jiu Jitsu , review , team , Uncategorized • Jan 6, 2017
image

Time is going so fast and I still can’t believe it was 17 years ago I was worried about the Y2K bug!

I have such an exciting year ahead with loads of fun opportunities just around the corner. I will be teaching at the 2017 AGIG camp in 3 weeks, to which you can still buy a ticket here. There will be over 100 women from Australia and all around the world, so you’d be crazy to miss it.

IMG_1653

Many comps are planned for the first half of the year including some fun international assignments. I am also organising a seminar tour in Korea and I literally can’t wait to get over there.

My knee rehab is going great, training is in full force, I’m getting strong from lifting and I am feeling more and more confident in my BJJ.

Over the very short Xmas break I’ve had time to sit down and reflect on 2016 and make some goals for 2017. In short, I am proud of myself in how far I’ve come in the last year on a personal and professional level. I pushed my limits this year so much that I thought I would fail many times. But instead I got stronger.

Most memorable experiences of  2016 include:

  • Competing at Abu Dhabi World Pro in a mixed brown/black division for the first time.
  • Fighting my idols in Abu Dhabi and Macao.
  • Having enormous amount of discipline and drive to cut to rooster weight for Worlds.
  • Winning brown belt Worlds a week after tearing my LCL of the knee.
  • Winning Asian Open and learning from my open weight loss.
  • Overcoming many panic attacks due to a torn ACL.
  • Becoming the first Australian to win at Copa Podio, 3 weeks after tearing my ACL.
  • Growing my women’s class at Absolute MMA, coaching and teaching privates.
  • Watching 3 of my teammates become World Champions this year.
  • Being there for Lachie as he graduated from his PhD and became a doctor.
  • Seeing the blue belt female team spam the podium at No Gi Worlds – 3 light weight ladies from Absolute won gold, silver and bronze in the same division.
  • Getting more confident at leg locks, heel hooks and leg entanglements, and as a result developing my no gi game far beyond what I thought would be possible for me.
  • Learning and loving wrestling.
  • Having the closest group of friends I have ever had at Absolute South Yarra – I just could not ask for a better team.

Jude Abadi 1IMG_9299gi winliv michelle 116-medalsimageimage image image image image image image image

As nice and important as it is to reflect on the past, I am way more excited about the future. I have loads of projects on the go and am diving straight into 2017 full of plans, hope and happiness.

I am also looking for sponsorship opportunities for 2017 – if you would like to be part of my team and be on this journey together, shoot me a message.

If you would like to host me for a seminar, I am also available throughout the year.

Happy New Year everyone… hope 2017 will be your best yet.

image

ACL rupture & 3 week rehab journey to Copa Podio

competition , injury , Jiu Jitsu , Uncategorized • Nov 1, 2016

3.5 weeks ago I completely tore my anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) of the knee during training. Last weekend (3 weeks after the injury) I competed at Copa Podio in Brazil without an ACL and won the fight (more on that later).

Initially we thought it was a partial ACL tear, but later a sports physician confirmed it was a complete rupture, which broke my heart.

I have documented the emotional roller-coaster that was the last couple of weeks by mumbling quite a bit on video and also recorded a small portion of my ACL rehab program, strengthening and sports specific drills, which helped me be as physically ready as I could have been given the circumstances.

Enjoy!

Asian Open 2016 and Japan fun.

Uncategorized • Oct 2, 2016

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.

16-margot 16-smol 16-sashimi

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.

16-mewe

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.

adcc-lach

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!

16-w-up

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.

@Ken Sawada

@Ken Sawada

@ Eternal Photo Art

@ Eternal Photo Art

@AFG

@AFG

@ AFG

@ AFG

16-podium16-medals

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.

16-team-trophykate16-girls

After a good feed at night, we said our goodbyes and I met Lachie at Tokyo station the next afternoon. 16-post-comp16-bullet

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.

romantic-trainara-boat araorigami16-dera-panoichiriki gion-4 gion-3 gion-116-templered-gates-2kyored-gates

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.

16-robot16-food-1 16-naboke mochi-2 mince16-food-2mochimatcha-desert 16-naboke-216-fish

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!

16-singlet

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!rikako-2 rikako-1

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.

16-lach-liv

I am in love with Japan, its people, the culture, food, their whiskey and their BJJ. Can’t wait to go back!

16-end

Nourissh – more than just meals

Uncategorized • Sep 5, 2016

Nourissh logoI am thrilled to announced that I have recently teamed up with and became an ambassador for Nourissh.

Nourissh was founded in 2015 by Amanda Campbell, who discovered that eating wholesome and healthy food helped her not only recover from serious health issues, but to feel better than ever before. The aim of Nourissh is to create an easy (and tasty) way for everybody to get the benefits of carefully planned, nutrient dense meals. The team now spend their time sourcing quality ingredients, hosting workshops and refining their mouthwatering menus.

Nourissh meals are preservative and gluten free and made only from ethically sourced ingredients from local, or organic farms. The lunches and dinners are nutritionally balanced, fresh, healthy, and most importantly they are absolutely delicious.

nourrsih boxes

How does it work, you ask?

Every Sunday, I receive a delivery of 5 dinners, which are all vacuum sealed to make sure they stay fresh as long as possible. You can choose your menu to be either paleo or wholefoods and you can even mix and match. Both menus are always gluten and preservative free (the paleo menu is also grain and dairy free.) Vegetarian and Vegan options are launching in a few months. The menu changes each week, and after 6 weeks I have not had a repeat of a meal yet.

nourissh menu 2 nourissh menu

But is it tasty?

When I first tried my Nourissh meal, it blew all my expectations. Delicious is an understatement. The meals are restaurant grade and they make me feel energised, nourished (see what I did there?) and full. I actually can’t wait to get home from training, because I love my dinners so much, I just want to eat them all.

nourissh duck

Are the serving sizes enough?

For those who don’t know me, you mightn’t be aware of how much I love food and how much I’m capable of eating. Well, I have been sharing my meals with Lachie, and we just cook additional veggies or brown rice, and it’s easily enough to make us both full. The dinners are between 400-600 calories, which is perfect to replenish what our bodies need after a hard day’s training and work.

Shared meal

Shared meal

1/2 a serve of almond crusted lamb cutlet

1/2 a serve of almond crusted lamb cutlet

Convenience:

Apart from the incredible taste, my favourite thing about Nourissh is how easy it is. I usually don’t come home until 10 pm and last thing I want to do is shop, cook and clean. Having Nourissh meals in my fridge means I don’t go to the supermarket after training when I’m starving and buy unnecessary snacks. We simply put our dinner in the oven for 15 minutes or in a microwave for 3-5 minutes. The bamboo boxes which the meals come in are recyclable and we heat up our meals in them, which means there is no washing up to do. I am so time poor already, so saving a good 45 minutes of each day is a real blessing.  I can concentrate on training and working more and my recovery is way better.

nourissh boxes 2

How can you get Nourissh in your fridge?

Easy! Visit www.nourissh.com and get started. There is no contracts and for my blog/social media readers the team at Nourissh have offered $25 off your first box. Just type LIVIA in the coupon code. You will not regret it!

Happy eating!

 

A tribute to ‘Jits n Tits’

Uncategorized • Aug 12, 2016
Photo @ Hannah Gorman

Photo @ Hannah Gorman

Every couple of months I get an uneasy feeling of guilt creeping in to my system. I feel guilty for indulging in so much BJJ every single day – training twice a day, 6 days a week takes a toll on my body, my time with family and the energy I can give my friends. Travelling for comps is not cheap either, especially when there is barely any prize money on offer. So my brain often floods with doubt whether I’m doing the right thing or if I should spend my time and money on more productive things such as buying a house or starting my masters degree or a PhD.

I expressed these feelings to my sports psychologist last time we caught up and we did an interesting exercise. I had to write down the things that jiu jitsu has given me. Once I started writing, I couldn’t stop. This sports has and continues to give me so much.Recently I looked at the list again and I wasn’t surprised to remind myself that the medals, awards and trophies all scraped in last. Sure, my experiences of winning a major titles and sharing those moments with my teammates are indecribable and I will value them forever, but that’s not what gives me satisfaction each and every day on the mats.

What I value most is the friendships and close bonds I make with my teammates. When we opened Absolute South Yarra 1.5 years ago, Lachie and I knew what culture we wanted within a club and worked hard to make it a reality. We’ve figured that if we are going to spend 5 hours a day or more at a gym, we may as well try to make it the best 5 hours in our days.

When we first started, I was the only female training regulary. This was nothing new to me and I wasn’t bothered by it as I have some incredible male training partners, who became some of my best friends. But as more and more women started coming (and staying), I finally started to understand what it feels like to be a part of a group comprised of intelligent, strong and unique women who truly support each other.

When we opened the business, I was entrusted with a task of teaching a Ladies Only Class once a week. I was quite nervous to start off with, but slowly Friday nights become my favourite nights of the week. Not only because I get to teach and share my passion for BJJ with other women, but because these women teach me more that I ever thought possible.

1st ever Women's class

The ladies of Absolute South Yarra and the many regular visitors from other clubs have called our group ‘Jits n Tits‘ and it stuck. It warms my heart and makes me smile to see such an inclusive and accepting group of women. They make sure beginners never feel left out and that everyone is always invited to social events. The girls have learnt to work hard, drill, train, support each other, roll hard, aim to continually improve, but without the jealousy. I am so lucky to call my students my friends and my training partners. I am lucky that I get to experience first hand how good it is to have a women who have my back. And I have theirs, at all times. It is an amazing feeling to see my students learn a new skill, then pull it off, to see them compete, and to get to travel together. Win or lose, we don’t care, because we have each other for support.

However, competing isn’t for everyone and that’s never our only focus.  For most, training is less to dowith jiu jitsu and more to do with life.  Being a part of such a positive group may give someone an hour out of their stressful life. It may make them realise just what they are capable of. It may make them smile again. It may make them know that they have a group that truly cares. We all come from very different walks of life and we all have something to add to the group, and jiu jitsu is just a small part of it.

image

image

 

To Jits n Tits:

Thanks for making me realise just how much you all mean to me, as people, friends and teammates and that there is nowhere else I would rather be. Medals don’t mean much compared to our friendships and our crazy. Each and every one of you means the world to me and I am so glad I finally get to see what a group of tough, kind and smart women can do for each other. Thanks for teaching me how to be a better person and for every time you’ve fed me brownies.

Most importantly though, thank you for making me have no doubts in my mind that my BJJ journey is worth having.

 

imageimage image image image image image

image image imageimage image image image image