Nutrition Nutrition Nutrition

I had an epiphany after the Dallas competition. The last tournament I was in, and actually felt good and energized, was Europe. Since then, at every tournament I have been gassed halfway through my second match. Not winded, just exhausted and weak. I’ve been pushing through all 4 matches out of sheer willpower.

So I sat down to analyze what I did differently for Europe that I have been missing since then. Conclusion: calorie intake the day before.

When preparing for Europe, I spent the 6 months prior doing circuit training, and monitoring my weight. I got on the plane with several pounds to spare – and I was flying Alitalia airlines…

Man those Italians know how to feed you! I had a hot meal/snack every few hours. If I was asleep, I’d wake up with food next to me!

In any case, I had so much fuel in my system that I had plenty of energy for all my matches the next day!

Since Europe, I’m sad to say I have not been paying as close attention to my weight – and have basically been fasting the day before competing in order to make weight. Not so smart eh?

I’m correcting this problem. I’m already down 4 lbs since competing in Dallas. I plan to get onto the plane in two weeks with at least 3 lbs to spare. And I’m gonna EAT!

Right now my diet is consisting of lots of fresh fruit smoothies, kale, legumes, and an awesome protein shake after training. I’ve also added in rice and Ezekiel bread as my primary carb source.

Favorite Smoothie (to date)
2 bananas
1/2 c blueberries
1/2 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 scoop Vega One chocolate protein powder

Prepping for Dallas and Worlds

Well I’m leaving for Dallas on Saturday. I’m making the drive with two of my team mates – we figure it will take between 10 and 12 hours depending on how often we stop.

There are 9 people in my division, so I’ll probably get 3 fights. Feeling good!

Here is a little video with some clips from my competitions. I watch it after I’ve been pounded into a grease spot on the mats – helps re-inflate me!

Worlds is coming up in just a few short weeks and I am psyched! My coach is trying to get sponsors to┬ácover my and 3 of my team mates expenses. I wouldn’t be able to go otherwise! If you’re interested in helping some broke, hard training people, you can shoot him an email at shawnhammonds@hotmail.com !

Pan Ams and Team Changes

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So… maybe I should give up on being consistent with this?

Anyhow, I competed at the IBJJF Chicago Open and managed to win gold – subbing all my opponents. It was a bit of an adventure, which I shall now elaborate on.

My first opponent seemed to be a bit larger than me – I wondered if I was in the correct bracket! I tapped her with an armbar from guard, which was the first time I’ve ever done that!

Second match was a very tall girl – kind of like Steven – just very long. Had a really good battle with her and finally ended with a bow/arrow choke variation.

After that, I was in the finals. And here comes the adventure….

I was very lightheaded after that second match and couldn’t even hold myself up, had to hang onto the partition to stay upright. My pulse was racing so badly and I remember telling coach I was about to pass out. He asked me if I wanted to call it, or if I’d be ok to continue. I told him “I’ll just finish really fast and probably collapse afterward.”

I willed myself to stay upright when I was called to the mat and I ended her with a triangle in mount. I could tell I was about to go out, but managed to stay upright just long enough for my hand to be raised. Then I collapsed.

I don’t think I actually blacked out, I just couldn’t stay up any longer. The medics came over and when I couldn’t even hold myself in a sitting position they called the paramedics. Turns out I was having a pretty severe irregular heart beat so I was carted off on the stretcher and hooked up to a heart monitor for about an hour until I stabilized.

We narrowed it down to my electrolytes being out of wack. Once they got a couple of bottles of watered down gatorade into me, i was all good. So from now on, always gonna take pedialite with me to tournaments!

All this was less than 2 weeks from Pan Ams!

Skipping to Pan Ams…

I figured after doing Europe by myself, Pan Ams would be a breeze since I’d have my team mates with me. It was so much easier mentally!

I had 17 in my division, so 4 matches to win. My first match I won with a guillotine choke at right past the 1 min mark.

Second match I went against a feisty, slightly older woman. I guess she would have been in a masters bracket, but there wasn’t anyone else in that division . She gave me some trouble with passing her guard. I ended up going all Kenny on her – standing knee on chest guard pass. I got an Americana from side control locked in, but she wasn’t tapping, so I cranked it… Found out later that I actually broke her radius and ulna! Didn’t know that at the time so I just moved on to my next match.

I didn’t get much rest time before my next match. My opponent’s coach was a ref and has apparently competed against my coach before. So no pressure right?

She was good at avoiding my sweeps for sure, but I managed to lock in an armbar from guard. She tapped and I started to let go, but the ref didn’t see, so she started fighting again. Thankfully I still had it and rolled belly down to finish (again).

After that, the mat coordinator informed me that I had won 1st place. I was severely confused as I was sure I had 4 matches. At any rate, I changed into another Gi and decided to hang until I was called either to the mat or the podium.

45 mins later it was back to the mat. We went the full time and I ended up losing 3 advantage points to 4. My team mates say I legitimately won the match because I didn’t get points for an omoplata sweep, but whatever. I haven’t seen the video yet, and all I know is this: I did some good Jiu Jitsu and am proud of myself. Neither of us were able to stand afterward – wish we lived closer to one another so we could train together occasionally!

She got her blue belt on the podium so I won’t get a re-match at Worlds in May. Kinda bummed about that, but I’ll catch her next year!

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The Jiu Jitsu community has been buzzing about the Lloyd Irvin cataclysm. I’m so sad over the whole thing – my coach has been under Master Lloyd since he was a blue belt, but we had to break away when it looked like we were gonna lose our affiliate schools.

Chicago was my last tournament under TLI. Pan Ams I was under TAC Team (Jared Weiner).

Honestly, I believe innocent until proven guilty and there is so much dirt chucking and heresay… this is the story I’m sticking with:

There will never be another TLI organization. What he has done for the Jiu Jitsu community will never be replicated. When I was in Europe, the team welcomed me with open arms just like family – and I still consider them as such. My school separating from the team was simply a business decision – not an act of condemnation.

That said – no matter how the storm settles, I’m gonna just keep on doing Jiu Jitsu. I honestly don’t care about team organizations, all the politics, and whose refs are screwing who – I’m here for the love of Jiu Jitsu. I’m not going anywhere!

War on Ringworm Won!

I ended up not being able to get the oral medication for the ring worm – without insurance it would have cost me almost 300 bucks. Yikes!

After a couple days of the topical, it started getting worse. So in a fit of desperation I resorted to “barbaric”, non-scientific methods.

Basically, I scrubbed it with my salt scrub, then coated it with liquid bandage.

Two days later, all redness and swelling is gone – and the guys said I can play with them again. Yay! I have yet another reason to love liquid bandage!

I got to watch the UFC fights last nights with a bunch of my team mates! It was awesome! My favorite fight of the night was Griffin vs. Ortiz – we were all cheering for Griffin. (It’s just a given that we also cheered for Silva!)

We were, of course, ALL screaming at Mike Easton – fellow member of team Lloyd Irvin. Wish he’d taken Menjivar down – his ground work is killer. But oh well.

I get to open up the gym tomorrow at 6 am. Gonna do some circuits to get rolling a bit more with this weight cut. Side note: had to buy new jeans. My old ones were falling off me – literally. I tried to run to my car and they just dropped, and thankfully no one saw… I don’t think.