Goodbye, and Hello

Three weeks from tomorrow I will be getting on a plane heading toward Lisbon, Portugal for the European Championships!

I’ve been working really hard through the holiday season on trying to make the cut to feather weight – no easy task since it requires me to get down to about 126 lbs and I naturally walk around closer to 142 lbs. However I have made the weight twice before and, while I hate the process, I actually feel very good competing in the weight class. I’m right on track and should be good to go before I step on the plane!


I really wanted to go to Brazil in 2016 as well but I wasn’t sure I would be able to afford the plane ticket. However, I caught a fare sale put on by my airline of choice and got a plane ticket to Rio for the week of Brasilieros for half the lowest advertised price I had seen previously! It is only a week in Brazil, but I hope to meet up with friends, make new friends, and set the stage for a longer visit later on!


I will most definitely be competing at Pans this next year as well. I haven’t put together any travel plans yet (I’ve been distracted by plane tickets to Europe and Brazil), but I did get myself registered!


I’m going to win Worlds this year. I have no doubts.


It will happen!

The Plan

I have been working an (almost) full time evening job at a local grocery store gas station in order to pay for all my events this next year. I was up front when they hired me that my priority is my training and competition, but I also told them I would bust my butt working for them while I was on the clock in order to be indispensable. I have proven myself and my manager is being extremely flexible in giving me off the nights that I requested in order to get the best training in that I can. He told me that if I need off for events to just let him know and he will handle it. Here is my plan for the first 6 months of the year!

January 18 – Fly to Europe (9 hour layover in Paris, must bike the Seine to the Eiffel Tower)
January 19 – Arrive in Lisbon and check into Hotel
January 20-24 – Compete on whichever day they decide to put my division
January 27 – Fly home and back to the grind
March 15 or 16 – Fly to LA
March 16-20 Compete at Pans on designated day
March 21 – Fly home and back to the grind
April 25 – Take leave from work and Fly to Rio
April 26ish – Take bus or shuttle flight to Sao Paulo
April 27-May 1 – Compete at Brasilieros on my designated day and return to Rio immediately after
May 3 – Fly home (arrive 4th)
May 5 – Pick up Dante and fly to Washington D.C. for Worlds training camp at TLI HQ.
May 31 – Fly from D.C. to L.A. for Worlds
June 1-5 Win on my designated day of competition, then eat acai.
June 6 – Disneyland
June 7 – Fly Home

I’ll return from leave to work after getting home from Worlds and prepare myself to leave for two weeks in Asia. Most likely I will be gone September 8-22 and will be competing in the Pan Asian Championship on the 10th or 11th. A week was not long enough last visit!

That is my grand scheme for next year. The details will likely not all work out according to plan, but I will make it work at the end of the day!

Me Crack Head Squirrel!

I’ve had a good share of black belt rolls so far this week! I just love having access to a good number of excellent black belts where I train! They say their goal is to train me to defeat them someday.

I have been doing a lot of training lately. In my mind, this is off season – but on paper it’s another story entirely.

Rode bike 3 miles to gym
Rolled for 90 mins
Did 3 massages
Rolled/drilled for 2 hours
Did another massage
Kettlebell workout
Rode bike 3 miles to home

So yea… Guess I’m still training a lot… But it feels completely different than before. I’m having fun, and using the bike and kettlebells to build joint stability so I can handle training more.

Granted, I’m being fairly lazy today so far. No massages and no kettlebells. I did get to roll with one of our black belts this morning before class – getting much better at keeping from being smashed in half guard.

I feel bad sometimes for the guys rolling with me. I imagine it’s like having a crackhead squirrel running circles all over your body, and having to somehow catch it, without actually hurting it. Ha!

On a somber note, was talking with a friend of mine in Brazil. Prayers going out for safety and an end to corruption to the homeland of my beloved lifestyle!