Monday, February 21, 2011

am baaaaaack!

It has been a long, long time since I last posted. Ok. A year has passed. But now I hope to have this blog really running this year, to showcase the girls in the BJJ scene in Asia. This past year I have met many more women/gals and there have been more girls joing our gym here in Bangkok! We currently have 6 girls training at our gym!! It is awesome!

I hope that more girls will be able to contribute to this blog to provide a sense of community for women in the BJJ scene in South East Asia. We have girls training and/or competing in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, The Philipines and Hong Kong just to name a few.

BJJ builds communities. BJJ is love. Tough love at times! but love nonetheless.

Here are some personal pictures from my past year to kickstart representing women in SEA!

With Aziza who travelled all the way from NY!....
 try BJJ for the first time in Bangkok!

With Celine, a fellow Bangkok BJJ'er

My fellow Bangkok gal, Hiroku and I after the 2010 tournament in Thailand.

With my gal Lee Li from Hong Kong :)

Training in Bangkok

My fellow Bangkok training gal, Minyoung who just took up BJJ and is kicking butt!

A portion of my BJJ family.
Happy is my heart :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Last Saturday we had the pleasure to have Prof. Garth Taylor at Bangkok BJJ. His seminar focused on takedowns, specifically the double and single leg takedowns. It was an awesome seminar and so much fun. I had been weary of takedowns since my shoulder injury, but now that it has recovered, everything was fine. I had  a lot of fun, particularly with double legs which has always been a favourite of mine. Prof. Taylor got into the details of each technique and it's often the little things that you change/do that make all the difference. This is what we really learnt at this seminar. Was to take something but really break it down, understand it amd drill, drill drill! It has been good as we have been drilling a lot in class as well.

Am gearing up for the competitions ahead this year. I am working with kettlebells and pilates for overall (core) strenght and running/jogging then jump rope for cardio. Nothing beats that for cardio! That I learnt from the Thai Boxers here :)

Many girlfriends are competing soon in  the Philipines and hopefully will have some pictures and things to share after. They are all training hard right now and want to send them all  the positive energy in the world :)

Here are some pics from our time with Prof. Taylor.

Friday, January 8, 2010

New Year Resolutions

Today was my first day back after a three week hiatus over Christmas and New Years. It was good to be back on the mat. I felt refreshed and ready, though I really need to get back into my running routine, my cardio sucked! I had been reading over Saulo Ribeiro's "Jiu-Jitsu University" over the holidays and was inspired not only by the plethora of techniques available but of the way Ribeiro spoke of BJJ. It stuck with my that I want to step on the mats and really let my ego go and just play. This year I want to study hard and play, play, play.

A lot of people treat the New Year as a time to focus on getting fit and losing weight (yeah, I ate a few too many mince pies too....) but whilst I acknowledge that I do desire to lose weight this year, I also felt like I was devaluing my body by feeling this. So many women (and men too) get caught up  in weight issues, myself included and sometimes training in a sport like BJJ, you do become aware of your weight. I am aware that I am definatley the bigger girl here in Bangkok. I stand at 5'9 and lets just say I am not in the 60 and below weight bracket! This plays on my mind sometimes, and I wonder if other girls have ever felt that way? But then I got to thinking about me. I appreciate that my body is strong. It has faced and overcome challenges. I have been injured and recovered. My body treats me well and allows me to do what I can do. I owe a lot to it.

I believe that is why I want to treat me body well too. This year is about studying hard, playing and treating my body with care. I read in a magazine (ok, not the most reliable of sources) someone state that when people say they want to get fit that they are lying. That what everyone really wants is to lose weight. As stated, I am not immune to the desire to lose some weight, but I really want to just treat my body better and if a result is losing some weight, well that's just a bonus! So part of my study and practice is to incorporate a better diet, do more interval cardio runs and jump rope, kettlebells and pilates and meditation. Funnily enough, meditation is the hardest part for me. But I really want to work on it this year.

I hope all of you gals out there can appreciate your body for what it is as well. Look at how well it serves you in BJJ and be proud of it. HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone and have fun playing on the mats :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


One of the things I most appreciate about BJJ is the sense of family that is created through the sport. I know I touched on this in a previous post, but walking into the gym today I realised how much I enjoy the company of my training buddies. I also miss many friends that have sinced moved either back to their homeland or to other countries.

I have an awesome training partner in Tomi-san. Tomi is a purple belt at our academy (Bangkok BJJ) and he always take the time to roll using technique with me. I think this is invaluable as a girl. Tonight I had to really pay attention to my own awareness (awareness of position, losing positions, recovery etc) and I appreciated how I was given the time to develop this awareness and try incorporate my game. Believe me, Tomi could walk through me if he so desired!

I also appreciated my friends who mentioned that have read this blog. I know it's early days, but my guys seem really supportive, so thanks! I think it's important to note that I really want to hear what my male friends have to say and that this is a forum for sharing thoughts and ideas as well as promoting women :) I know many friends (guys) that comment that rolling with women is different in some ways (not just with regards to the weight and strength differentiation) and this I find interesting too.

I would like to invite all my girlfriends from the Phillipines, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore, to name just a few, to send in any materials - be it pictures, ideas, thoughts, reflections. I think it would be neat to have a forum, one place where we can collectively come together to not only promote women in the region but share our journey together too. Of course, I have girlfriends in the USA, UK and Australia and I welcome the sharing of anything BJJ from them too :) BJJ, espeically women in BJJ, is still a relatively small community and, as stated at the start, the community created is all part of an extended 'family'. Besides being exclusionary is just not necessary. I just hope to highlight how the community in SEA is developing with such amazing talent so that people coming to live/work/holiday in the region know that us gals (and guys!) are out here and having a blast :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Working on a Game Plan!

4 1/2 years after starting BJJ (with one year out...) I have FINALLY started on a game plan!
This is monumental for me!
Prior to, hmmmmm, 2 weeks ago, I was simply relying on perservering through rolling. Defending, preventing subs etc etc. Now, I am actually thinking (no jokes, please! I am blonde..) and it is working wonders for my game. I feel that I am more proactive. I know that for the next few months I will have to work hard on ironing out the techniques and I am aware that I will be crushed, pummelled and walked through for a while, but that's ok. I have something to work with and the moves are the ones I most enjoy!

Right now I am in a good place with my training. I have good friends and good training partners at my gym. The warm ups in general are not killing me but the burpees are.

I will post pictures soon.

A dialogue between friends.

I was recently inspired by a friend, whom I have not yet met, in the UK to reintroduce a blog concerning BJJ - in particularly - women training in BJJ.

I realised that I was moved by this encouragement. My training has ebbed and flowed. Mostly due to injury (and the much needed rest for recovery) and then through feeling inadequate on the mats. But through the reading and sharing of ideas, thoughts and reflections with other girls (in the extended BJJ family worldwide) I felt reinspired to get back on the mats. And I couldn't be happier.

I have met so many wonderful girls in BJJ. Mostly in South East Asia (SEA) where I live, but also online worldwide. Due to the nature of the game, there are seemingly never as many gals as guys, but the numbers are increasing! Part of the reason for setting up this blog was to create a way in which for us to all keep in contact. Through the rough times, I have turned to other girls and have found out that they too have felt the way I have felt, that they too have experienced the frustrations that comes with training (as a girl) in BJJ. This has helped me no end and kept me going. I want to contribute to this and provide a forum in which to share ideas and training tips. To create conversation between friends separated by sea.

This blog is obviously not restricted to just girls. I love my male team mates and I would not be where I am in BJJ without them. I welcome their responses and contributions just as much the girls. But I do want to help in creating visiblity to girls in BJJ in SEA.

SEA is bubbling with BJJ and this enthusiasm is gaining momentum each year. I am proud to call Luke who is the author of BJJ Asia a friend of mine as I believe he has done a lot to promote BJJ in SEA. This blog is in no way an attempt to replicate the sheer cohesiveness that has been created through BJJ SEA. This is simply a blog where I share my perspective(s) and training trials and tribulations and pictures, and I hope that my friends in the BJJ scene (both guys and gals) can help contribute to a fun, productive and meaningful dialogue that will help us all in this amazing journey.