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I was going to blog, then life happened…

black belt , camp , competition , friends , gi , injury , Jiu Jitsu , Lachie , no gi , review , seminar , team , World Championships • Aug 31, 2018
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Life has been so wonderfully busy lately that I have slacked off with my blogging and I’m now literally months behind. So, what has been keeping me up late at night? The answer is the usual training 2 x day, working, running a business, coaching, The Board commitments, travelling, and planning our wedding.

Let me re-cap the major events of the last few months:

1) World Championships 2018.

I had some big goals for the 2018 World Championships, which I didn’t achieve. It left me a little broken, but also lit fire in my belly like never before. I had a great prep and a fabulous trip with the girl squad from Absolute MMA. I decided to stay at my normal weight and compete at light-feather, in which I feel strong and competent. It was great catching up with the usual training partners like Margot and Rikako at a few open mats in Longbeach before the competition started.

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On the day I felt great. I was strong, prepared and ready to go. In my first round I swept, passed, mounted and eventually won 27-0. Obviously, I need to fix my positional control and subs, but I was happy with my intensity, aggression and confidence.

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The 1/4 final was against Vanessa English, whom I recently lost to by 2 points at the European Championship final. This time around, I knew what to expect, had a better strategy and was going in with everything I had after a few months of fixing my mistakes that I made in Portugal. I was ready for war. And what a war we had! Couple of minutes after pulling guard and threatening sweeps, I locked up a tight triangle which I held on to for 2-3 minutes, but couldn’t finish. I then got another opportunity when I secured an omaplata, but again could not get it tight enough. With 2 minutes to go, Vanessa got an advantage for 1/2 guard, which I immediately recovered back to closed guard. We were even with a minute to go, and with literally 5 seconds till the clock run out, I attempted a kimura from 1/2 guard, which Vanessa countered and received an advantage for a near pass, after the timer went. I lost a bronze medal and a chance of making it to the final, by an advantage. Words will never describe the heartbreak I felt at that moment…

But a couple of months later, I can honestly say I left every ounce of my energy on the mat that day and gave it my all. Can I improve and be 100 x better next time? Without a doubt! Fights like these make me a million times better and more determined to get it right next time.

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 2) BOA Super 8Boa Super 8

End of June saw the return on the highly anticipated Boa Super 8, with $20K up for grabs for the main event for the men. I was offered an ADCC rules no-gi, 6 minutes super fight. Due to lack of black belt local women my size, I accepted a fight against brown-belt Tegan from QLD. My aims were to put on a show, and execute 2 of the things I’ve been working on – front headlocks and heel hooks. It was so much fun fighting in front of home crowd, and I could not ask for better support than my Absolute MMA teammates!

I pulled guard at the start of the fight, but was unable to find a leg lock entry, so I decided to come on top. I locked up a chin strap from top 1/2 guard and patiently waited till the half way mark so I could get point for passing. As soon as points started, I passed straight to mount and really wanted to finish the guillotine I had locked on. About a minute later though, my grip started to loosen and I don’t want to burn my grips, so I let go. I saw an opportunity to step over for the saddle, which I took and finished the fight with a sideways knee bar as I was rolling to set up an inside heel hook.

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Boa was such a fun event, with some serious international and Australian talent and incredible fights. I do wish though that there were more females showcased, specially as Australia boasts a few brown and black belt Worlds medallists. It would also be awesome to have black belt female fights closer to the main event and definitely, definitely (!) after purple belt male bouts.

3) Asian Seminar Tour and Tokyo Grand Slam

Anna from Malysian Jiujitseiras invited me to teach a seminar in Kuala Lumpur. She is doing amazing things for the development of female BJJ in Malaysia, so I jumped on the opportunity to support it. Anna met me at the airport the day after her wedding (crazy lady) and opened up her home to me. I loved spending time with her and getting to now her family and friends.

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The next day I taught a seminar on my passing series from headquarters position and got to roll with all the lovely ladies and guys who came. Thank you to Unforgiven Gym for hosting me and Bruninho for being the most awesome roll, dummy and a fellow midget black belt friend. I was also lucky enough to attend KL’s black belt rolls at GF Team. Safe to say I got royally (but gently) smashed by all the boys.

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After all the KL fun, I flew to Singapore, where I was scheduled to teach 2 seminars. Sue-Ann organised by entire stay and the amazing chef and super woman Arlene hosted me at her house. I will be forever grateful to these woman for making my stay so much fun, for feeding me, sight-seeing with me and for simply being such beautiful friends.
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I taught a no-gi ‘saddle/heel hook’ seminar at Team Highlight Reel and then a gi spider guard seminar at Trifecta. Thank you to both teams for hosting me, you have some killer students! Again, I was lucky enough to join ‘black belt’ sessions at Gracie Barra, which solidified my prep for the Tokyo Grand Slam.

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I flew to Tokyo 2 days before the Grand Slam and joined Lee Ting for some light rolls and drills at Isshin Jiu Jitsu, in Ota. Tingy was so much fun to hang out with and kept me laughing during our entire Tokyo trip.

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I can’t say my performance was great during the Grand Slam. It was the first time in a long time, where I just could not switch on. I was tired and found it very difficult to focus. I managed to win my first round 15-0, however sustained a bad elbow injury as my hand got caught in my sleeve when I was on top in side control. I fought the rest of the round virtually with one hand and lots of pain.

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Heavily strapped up, I needed to change my strategy for the final with the amazing Amal Amjahid. I have been working hard on my stand up and top game, but there was no way I could really use my right arm or post on it, so I decided to pull guard quickly. I felt good while I had the right grips, however I lost a collar grip for a split second and Amal took the opportunity to grab my sleeve to set up a quick arm bar. Knowing how fast Amal is and how injured I was, I started tapping as soon as I felt her grip, but unfortunately it was still a little late and I hurt myself a bit further. That’s the risk I took, but I only wish I could show much better BJJ…

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When I came home, I spent 2 weeks training with 1 arm and slowly fixing the mistakes I made in Tokyo.

4) Lachlan Giles Thailand Camp

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I have been looking forward to a mini BJJ holiday at our new Absolute MMA Phuket gym for a long time! Lachie taught a butterfly/single lex x/x guard no gi camp and it was one of the best weeks we have had in a long time. There was around 25 participants of all levels, different shapes and sizes and a few advanced girls that ended up being fabulous training partners and hilarious company.

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We trained twice a day, rolled lots and spent our time in between either exploring Rawai and it’s beautiful beaches, lazing by the pool, eating delicious local food and doing tours around Phuket. We went to night markets, watched Muay Thai fights in Patong, went out, visited The Big Buddha and explored some stunning view points.

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I made friends for life and really miss the amazing group of humans I got to share my week with. Thailand 5

I am beyond excited to teach a Women’s BJJ Gi Camp with 4 x World Champion Rikako Yuasa in October in Thailand, but more on that in my next blog post!Thailand 1

5) Planning a Wedding

Our wedding date is set for the 5th January 2019 and we are pretty chilled about the whole thing. I have my dress on order, we have a beautiful venue, our friends will be providing catering, deserts, entertainment, and MC-ing and I think most things are taken care of.

To married couples – if you could do it again, what would you add or do different? What did you love about your big day?

From Sacramento to Lisbon and in-between

black belt , competition , friends , gi , IBJJF , Jiu Jitsu , no gi • Mar 4, 2018
Purchase your prints and licensed downloads from this event - www.mikecalimbas.com/BJJ

 

My life has taken me to some very unexpected and wonderful places lately and I have been given many opportunities. Just last week my appointment as a Board Member for The Professional Boxing and Combat Sport became official and I will be commencing my new role soon. It’s a massive honour, which I will write more about later.  However, this also means that between my own training, competing, full time work, running a business, more and more coaching commitments, teaching seminars and privates, speaking at events and attempting to have a private life, I have very little time to update this blog, which I will try to be better at.

 

FIGHT TO WIN PRO – SACRAMENTO

My year started off with a bang as I travelled to Sacramento to have my No Gi Worlds final rematch with Pati Fontes at Fight To Win Pro. I flew in by myself and didn’t know anyone in town, but thanks to the incredible BJJ community, I wasn’t alone for long. Dave Kovar of Kovar Systems and his beautiful family hosted me for the few days, drove me around Sacramento, cooked for me and were simply amazing company.
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I was lucky enough to train with Marcos Torregrosa and his badass team at Yemaso BJJ, who were all super technical, committed to their training and skills and most of all just super nice people. The atmosphere at Yemaso reminded me of Absolute back home, and I’m super thankful I got to finish my prep there. I have no doubt that Marcos and his lovely wife Nikki, will be friends for years to come bound by our love for BJJ and burgers.

When I found out I would fight Pati on the card I was very excited about this match up. I believe that I didn’t show my best at Worlds and that I could do much better. I spend my Xmas/NY period fixing the mistakes I made and training very hard. Lachie and I drilled and specific trained the bits that needed improvement and I was very confident going into the fight.

IMG_9287IMG_9314Purchase your prints and licensed downloads from this event - www.mikecalimbas.com/BJJ

Fight To Win Promotion put on amazing shows and I was so glad to be a part of it. Everything was professional, run smoothly and I had a ton of fun. We had a great fight and I executed my plan that I worked on with Lachie. I had a few sub attempts at the start of the fight with a guillotine I didn’t finish, and a few leg lock entries from the saddle, which again I couldn’t quite execute. Pati had me in a guillotine and a non-threatening toe hold attempt, but the action was back and forth all fight. With about 30 seconds to go, I saw a an opening for a heel hook, and thought I was close to getting the tap, but the time run out. Although I made some mistakes in the fight as I didn’t finish my subs, I was happy with the improvements from our last fight. I lost the judges decision, but gained a ton of confidence and seriously enjoyed myself out there.
Purchase your prints and licensed downloads from this event - www.mikecalimbas.com/BJJPurchase your prints and licensed downloads from this event - www.mikecalimbas.com/BJJ Purchase your prints and licensed downloads from this event - www.mikecalimbas.com/BJJIMG_9299

 

IBJJF EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS – LISBON, PORTUGAL

The next day I flew back to LA and had Erin pick me up and entrain me for a day before we flew out to Portugal to tackle the European Championships together.

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After a long flight we met up with Margot and Steph in a cute old apartment in Lisbon. The best thing about BJJ competition travel for me is meeting my friends from all over the world, training, sharing information, going through the struggles of cutting weight together, the sadness losing and the joy of winning together.
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It’s been ages since I had the pleasure of rolling with Margot, the ever improving technician, Erin and  brown belt Rose of Ladies Only BJJ, who just finished Medical School and is pretty much my hero. I met and rolled with so many people from all over the world and had a constant smile on my face each day.

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I felt great on comp day and had the privilege of being cornered by one of the black belt legends Shanti Abelha whom I’ve looked up to for years. I won my first fight against a tough Tassia Pimenta by a cross collar choke from mount.

More pictures at maggieleft.com. Watch all the fights at flograppling.comMore pictures at maggieleft.com. Watch all the fights at flograppling.com

I was expecting Talita Alencar in the final, however she got disqualified in her first round from a leg cramp, and my final was set against Vanessa English. I pulled guard, but lost 2 points as she tapped my shin. I worked my collar sleeve guard and nearly landed a balloon sweep to mount, but I wasn’t tight enough and we both ended standing up. Instead of pulling again, I hesitated, and Vanessa jumped closed guard quickly. That’s when good BJJ ended from my end. I defended arm bars for 8 minutes and the couple of times I managed to stand up and break the guard, I ended up back in Vanessa’s closed guard. I lost the final by 2 points, frustrated with my performance, but came away with plenty of things to improve on. I feel like I wasted my opportunity at the shot at the European Title, but after drowning my sorrows by eating 6 Portuguese egg tarts and making a drilling plan, life was looking pretty damn good again.liv euros 26815013_986234231533236_5415995646019317254_nIMG_9734

We spent the rest of our days in Lisbon exploring the beautiful city, eating more egg tarts, dancing and going on day trips to beautiful neighbouring towns of Cintra and Cascais.

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It was such a fantastic trip, but I was also looking forward to getting back home and not leaving my physio business for that long again. I missed my training partners, my routine and Lachie!

I had a 5 hour stop over in LA and decided I wanted to go and train, so I did a no gi session at Meraki BJJ with Ryan Hall. What an awesome way to break up the long flights!

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My next major comp will be the Abu Dhabi World Pro. Really wish I could do Pan Ams as well, but overseas trips from Australia are not only very expensive, but also extremely time consuming. But on the plus side, I’m excited to be in a building/learning phase with my BJJ for the next few weeks before I build up for Worlds again.

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Seminars and Team Work

gi , Jiu Jitsu , no gi , seminar , team , World Championships • Sep 29, 2017
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I have been flat out with training, work and teaching seminars for the last couple of months. I have also finally officially launched my new physiotherapy business Physio Lab Melbourne, but more on that later.

A few weeks ago we held the Super Seminar of which I am still insanely proud of.

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The idea for the seminar came about when I was warming down after training with the girls and asking Sarah Chapman some technical questions about her spider lasso sweeps. Sarah has been a blue belt for 8 months, but her BJJ knowledge is incredibly deep and she has the competition results to prove it. I looked around the gym and counted the world titles we hold between the women at Absolute MMA… there are 6 medalists, who hold 9 world titles and no less than 17 medals from World Championships between us. It hit me that it’s a remarkable achievement to come out of one club in Melbourne and it’s extremely rare.

The idea of the Super Seminar was to show off the individuality of each of the women who taught. Highlighting their achievements, rewarding the hard work and giving them opportunities I never had at lower belt levels. We had myself and and fellow black belt Maryanne Mullahy kick off the event, followed by brown belt Shantelle Thompson and our talented blue belts Pippa Shaw, Sarah Chapman and Chisaki Akiyama. It was a fundraising event to get the girls to No Gi Worlds in December and the community support we received was incredible. We had over 80 people on the mat – men, women and children who came from all over Victoria and even as far as NSW and New Zealand.

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Thank you to everyone who supported the Super Seminar!

My next adventure was teaching a seminar in Echuca at Whickam’s Martial Arts Centre, which is about a 4 hour drive from Melbourne. I was so grateful to have Sarah and Mel come for a road trip with me and to assist with teaching. I had a fantastic time showing some of my spider guard and single x basics and had some very technical rolls. I can’t wait to visit Echuca again soon.

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I was lucky enough to travel to Brisbane and teach a seminar on my ‘Headquarters Passing System’ at Infinity North Lakes.  Lachie and I were so well looked after and enjoyed every bit of the QLD sun.

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Right before ADCC Finals, Lachie and Craig Jones taught a Heel Hook Seminar. All money raised went to Australian Cancer Research Foundation and at $30 per head you would be kicking yourself if you missed it…especially after Craig’s epic performance at ADCC! It was such a positive and a fun day with so many different academies and affiliations present and training together.

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I am so proud to be a part of Absolute MMA and my team. I am constantly inspired by my coaches and teammates, not only by their fabulous BJJ but by their never ending support and love and friendship.

I am available for seminars and privates throughout the year. If you would like to host me please contact me via the blog or email me at livia.gluchowska@gmail.com