Thursday, May 19, 2011

Working for a good cause!

Since I've started training at the Combat Club, I have been trying to help support their charity In The Cage 4 Kids. I've been quite blessed with my BJJ network and their support! I'm grateful for such a kind circle of friends and family. If you have any suggestions, ideas or donations...please don't hesitate to contact me..or pass along my info!

Chico Santiago has been a member of our nation’s Navy for 23 years including several tours in the Middle East. On July of 2004 Chico got the terrible news his 4 year old son, Diego Santiago, had a condition called Wilms tumor, a rare kidney cancer that primarily affects children. Also known as nephroblastoma, it’s the most common malignant tumor of the kidneys in children. The peak time of Wilms’ tumor occurrence is at age 3 and it occurs only rarely after age 8.

Initially the family was told that with mild chemo and radiation treatments Diego would be okay, but by November of 2004 the treatments were not working and the family was told Diego only had 6 months to live. Chico was devastated. They tried hard to find Diego some experimental treatment, but nothing seemed to work. After 7 hospitals, 22 doctors, $956,000 in medical bills and many, many chemo and radiation treatments, nothing could stop Diego’s cancer. They then concentrated their efforts on giving Diego his last wishes.

His wish was to be a Navy Chief Petty Officer, like his father. The US Navy, with permission from Congress, allowed Diego Santiago to be in the history books as the youngest Chief Petty Officer in the Navy. His ceremony was a large event. His dream had come true.

On August 2, 2006, five days after his 6th birthday. Diego Enrique Santiago passed away at home in his parents arms. After a long 3 1/2 years of missing his son and a long deployment to Iraq, Chico decided to do something about this terrible illness and started In The Cage 4 Cancer, in 2009, a non-profit organization aimed at raising awareness and contributions to fight cancer. To broaden the reach of the children touched by the MMA community, in 2010, In The Cage 4 Kids was established with a focused effort to help all sick or disabled children regardless of the causing factor.
As a veteran, Chico qualifies to be a Ranger Up sponsored fighter, so we’re throwing our weight behind him and supporting his octagon dreams.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Great Day For My Girls!

So yesterday was an awesome day! I'm up 14 ladies in the BJJ class. I've never been so lucky to have so many women to train with. We had 3 or 4 sign up in one night. It seems as if we have taken over the gym during the day. Cardio kickboxing, BJJ and Arnis. Loving the Arnis class! I need practice, but it seems to come easier each lesson I get. Last night we had some impromptu promotions in the co-ed BJJ class. One of my girls got a stripe, 3 fellas and I even got one.I was shocked, but stoked! The cauliflower ear is totally worth it!

Looking forward to a seminar on May 20th with Felipe Oliviera and May 21st with Scott Oates. These should be great seminars. Of course I'm really looking forward to Leticia Ribeiro on June 24th-26th.

I got a great shirt from 31Fifty!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Leticia Ribeiro seminar is set!

Well, it's official for me. Leticia Ribeiro is coming to my academy! I'm so excited. She will be here 24-26 June. She is my all time favorite female BJJ players. I hope that I will see some of my old friends and make some new ones. Looking forward to seeing you Leslie!

Monday, April 25, 2011

What a surprise!

Today I got an message from Leticia Ribeiro, 3rd degree black belt and 5x world champ. I thought I was gonna die and go to BJJ heaven! I made a comment on a Facebook page on one of her seminars in Arizona.."i wish she would do an east coast one.." Well, looks like I got my wish! She sent me the info and all that. I just need to pick a date and settle the business end of it with all those important people and details. I'm hoping that the association approves of her coming. Our guy who does all that is on vacation. I have my fingers crossed and aiming for a weekend in June. She said any time after the Worlds! So I definitely need at least 20 students to come to her seminar. I am hoping when things are solid that my Virginia and Carolina buddies will come and show support. I've never set up a seminar before, but I am hoping this one will be a great success! I think I will have it be a co-ed event to ensure I can meet the minimum 20. The next question is should it be a regular 1-2 day seminar or BJJ 3 day camp (fri,sat, sun)? What would you want to attend? I'm hoping that Addie, clinzy and Leslie will be able to come..any thoughts guys?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Just a few pics to share

Teaching at the self defense seminar with Roel. If you know me, you know I can't ever keep a straight face..even in a tourney!
My promotion in Texas with Josh Lauber at Relson Gracie San Antonio. This guy has the cleanest mats I have ever been on!
My husband and I with Renzo Gracie. He gives a pretty awesome seminar!
Valerie showing us her moves.
Some of my teammates after promotions at Combat Club.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Today started off pretty good. A bit sore from yesterday's 6 hours of rolling. Met up with my usual ladies to train then off to Roanoke Rapids to pick up the hubby. Got home a lil late so I missed class at the karate place. Then my hubs says he got an email from them. Basically saying that it's bad business for us to teach at another school and train with them, etc etc..
To me that's pretty lame. Like saying we can't attend seminars at any other place or that if I have a BP gas card, I can't fill up at Exxon. Or that I can only buy one brand of gi, or that I have to only eat at the restaurant I work at. You get what I mean.. I pay him for a service whether I attend or not. I love this sport; I want to train all I can! I'm a volunteer at another local gym that he has a grudge with. What does that have to do with me and how was I supposed to know all his personal business? Is it really my problem that he has a personal issue with the other guy? There's no clause in my contract that says I can't train elsewhere or work for that matter. I trained with him 6 days a week and twice a week at the other place. He was getting 3 of us full time.Should I be upset or just say screw it? Do you think I'm in the wrong? How would you handle it? Be honest..I can take it. The rejection stings a tad, but maybe he is doing me a favor.

Guess I'm kinda shocked, but suspected an ill reaction. What ever happened to one love for the sport!?! LOL

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Insane Weekend

I had a great first week teaching the womens BJJ class at Combat Club. I had a really good mix of ladies. A few who had no experience whatsoever and some who did. It was really cool to be able to get to know them and their reasons for participating. I started with the basic fundamentals and incorporated some Ginastica Naturalthat I use in my routine. If you never tried it, you should! Or catch a seminar with Alvaro Romano. He is well worth it and he is all over the globe (seriously)!

They seemed to progress well over the week. They are really becoming more comfortable on the mats. Most of them had expressed that they were skittish of co-ed classes because of a brutish experience with a training partner at one time or another. Some were just a tad intimidated in general. Others just wanted a safe environment to train technique without the worry of a guy muscling her right off the bat and getting hurt. I got just about every shape, size and personality training. And they were quite shocked that I encouraged questions.

Tomorrow, we are gonna step it up a bit. I had a sick seminar that I attended this weekend in Beaufort, South Carolina at my friend, Abe Stem's academy. It was with US Grappling's black belt, Andrew Smith He's clinzy's biz partner). This guy was phenomenal. Never seen a guy so flexible or insightful in BJJ. His entire seminar was Q&A. It was slotted for 3 hours and ended up lasting over 5! Every person in attendance got the chance to ask questions about their problem positions/submissions. No one left without an answer. Some with multiple solutions. I walked away with a several pages of notes! Can't wait to try them out..then I will share em! LOL!

By a strange stroke of luck, I took a different route instead of my usual to get to SC. Good thing, because we missed the tornadoes that struck the interstate I normally take and also the town I live in. It did considerable damage in out town..missed my house, but only by a mile. Literally. Everything a few streets over was smashed to bits. I guess it's a blessing to be so obsessed over BJJ that I just up and travel hours away to pick up seminars. My poor English Bulldog was a ball of nerves when I got home..he gets really freaked about storms..I didn't even know we were having bad weather! Next time I will pay more attention to the news!