Category Archives: BJJ

On a BJJ hiatus


So I’ve been on a hiatus from BJJ and any form of exercise since my sprained ankle. It’s been a real bumpy ride 😦 On the day itself I couldn’t walk much (had to use F as a crutch!) and the day after it was swollen and tender to the touch. I think it was only 3 days after the incident that I could walk around without help… Eek.

Just to give an update, there’s some good news and some bad news…. I’ll start with the good news, which is that the ankle is not too badly sprained. My best friend has some knowledge as a ‘tukung urut’ (traditional massage therapist) cause she grew up in the border town of Kota Bharu (the border in between Malaysia and Thailand). She’s really good and has been massaging me and my friends for ages, so she’s been regularly massaging my ankle with some traditional remedies (i.e. Minyak Gamat, a traditional oil made out of sea cucumbers. Weird stuff but apparently it’s very good for cuts, injuries and bruises). Anyway, her diagnosis is that the ankle isn’t too badly sprained.

But yeah well that’s the good news, the bad news is that the injury is mostly due to ‘bone bruise’. The bone in question that is bruised is the lower foot bone. It’s still swollen and tender to the touch, a week after the accident. I’ve read up on bone bruises and honestly, mine isn’t too bad but the worse thing is that, they take FOREVER to heal. 😦 And they are fragile little injuries, reinjury will just cause healing process to restart. Here’s a good visual picture to what the heck a bone bruise is:

So yeah, I think another week of rest will do my foot some good. 8 days after the injury it still hurts a little to walk and excessive walking usually leaves my foot really sore. F and I were practicing some moves we had seen from a tutorial but ummmmm no, the foot doesn’t like it and I was in pain most of the time. So for now it’s lots of ice, lots of rest, lots of massaging and lots of restlessness. 😦

I’m really hoping this heals up quickly as I’m competing in June for the Pan-Asians in Manila. The tickets were purchased way ahead of time so there’s no turning back. I’m almost gonna write the Pan-Asians off as a lost tournament but Coach always says that it’s a mental game, if you’re defeated in the mind before the match than you’ve all ready lost. So I’m keeping my hopes up and I’m gonna try to train my butt off (or as much as I can without reinjuring my foot) when I get back to the mats. Then again time will tell how hard I can train given the nature of the injury. I suppose I should compete, any tournament experience is a good one but it’s soooooooooooooooo bummy knowing that you didn’t train your full best. But oh well c’est la vie right?

On the flipside, not exercising after work or running off to class has allowed me to catch up with my friends and also snuggle up to my Nintendo DS. Ahhhhh video games, the hobby I was into before BJJ. Do I miss it? Kinda, but I think I miss exercising and BJJ more. 🙂

Getting dirty in No-gi


My first ever No-gi tournament. FYI I’m the one on the right in the pink rashguard.
Photos are courtesy of BJJ Japanese Journalist Kinya Hashimoto
I’ve been taking my no-gi training a lot more seriously lately though I still maintain that I don’t like it much as Gi. Though I have to admit, I’m just a /little/ traumatized by No-gi… You see in my first ever no-gi tournament in my first match, I had the unfortunate luck to draw an opponent who is a Thai MMA fighter who’s been grappling No-gi for about 3 years. I read all that from Kinya Hashimoto’s blog and how she was suppose to go to Japan for a female MMA tournament called Smackgirl. That’s also where I got the pictures from. Hope he doesn’t mind me posting them here? T_T He also said I was heavy. I suppose in comparison to her (she’s like 45 kilos) I’m a giant. But still he said I was 58 Kilos when in reality I’m only 53 kilos. Uwaaaaaa… Am I bigger than I look? ;___; Hehehehe needless to say that match didn’t end well at all for me.


She caught my hand into an armbar and as you can see in the picture, my other hand is trying to stack her to save my arm but my base was pretty shitty at that point so she thrusts her hip forward, I fall back and bham she inverts the armbar to crank the submission. It’s a beautiful submission to look at I bet for the audience, just not fun to be in lol. Yeah can you say ouch? 😦 It popped my elbow but thank god it’s fully recovered with the occasional ache when the weather gets chilly (or as the Chinese like to call it “fung sap” or “rheumatism” in English). Well the good thing about it is that, I’m very aware of armbars now. My elbow twitches at the first ‘feeling’ of an armbar. Not to say I don’t get armbared now, but I think that incident just caused a hyper awareness to armbars. Or maybe my elbow is just scared shitless of them now lol.


Anyway, to get back to the topic of No-Gi, my apprehension to No-Gi probably stems from the fact that I just don’t ‘get’ No-gi quite yet and everything I’ve learned from Gi (controls, weight distribution) gets thrown out the window since there are no grips. =/ I feel like a total noob in No-Gi. I don’t really get how to play guard, I don’t really get how to pass guard, I don’t get where to grip, grips are totally weird and non existent once the sweat comes into play, etc…. It seems like a whole different planet or something.


Then there’s the whole issue of the ‘comfort’ zone. I’ve never had an issue with rolling with guys in Gi cause the Kimono Gi is so thick so there’s plenty of padding and stuff. But somehow in No-Gi since everything is so skin tight, I kinda feel sorry when rolling with the guys sometimes. Especially when I take their back and stuff….. I’m sure you all know where I’m getting at. It must undoubtedly feel uncomfortable since you have to remain very close to them to get the chokes and stuff so my chest is literally stuck right behind and well you know it ummm squishes lol. Heck it makes me feel uncomfortable to even type this. @_@ I wonder how you female no-gi grapplers deal with the comfort zone? Rolling with guys is a must since there’s so little girls in BJJ let alone those who train in No-Gi. Is it something you just get use to? Is it not even an issue and I’m just making a big deal out of it? Hmmmmm….

But you know, despite everything. I’m definitely going to stick and train No-Gi in earnest as I know it will improve my Gi game tremendously. It also encourages me to work on my conditioning because it’s very fast paced. The other benefit of No-Gi is the fact that I play guards I wouldn’t normally play in Gi such as Butterfly (ugh I hate butterfly sniff sniff ;_;) and the Sit-Up guard. Which is all fine and dandy since I shouldn’t have an over reliance on the Spider or the Knee Shield guard (both of which don’t work as well in No-Gi).

And you know going back to Ann (the Thai MMA fighter I was talking about in my first paragraph), if a girl her size and physique can take down much larger opponents with no problems at all…. I’m sure there’s still some hope for me in No-Gi.

Just got to train harder!!!!!! >_<

Caio Terra 111 Half Guard DVD Set


Caio Terra’s first instructional DVD set looks to be a very impressive set for the half guard game. I’m particularly excited since my half guard game is virtually non existent and every chance I have to play with a knee shield guard leads to getting passed 😦

Lucky for me, someone in the gym recently got a copy of it and I was fortunate enough to be able to borrow it from said person. So far popping in DVD 1, I was blown away with just the first section alone “Getting out of bad spots”. Can’t wait to try it out tomorrow during Gi class!

I must admit Caio Terra’s English is surprisingly very fluent. It’s very easy to understand but more importantly though, the guy is an amazing instructor. He breaks the technique and concepts down brick by brick making it very easy to learn. Quite surprising from someone who is so young. Though the one thing that cracks me up is how much he resembles Elijah Wood. I can’t help but think Gandalf is gonna bust in into the room telling him “Son you have to destroy the one ring dawg” lol…..

I honestly haven’t watched everything (it is 3 dvd’s after all and 5 hours of half guard goodness!). But here’s the complete chapter list I got from budovideos. You can purchase the DVD for USD100.00 from Budovideos.

Complete chapter list:

Getting out of bad spots Part 11. Recover full guard
2. Sweep from head control
3. Recovering knee shield from head control
4. Sweep with lapel and pants grip
5. Recovering knee shield from knee slide pass
6. Sweep from knee slide pass
7. Getting underhook from knee slide pass
8. Hip bump sweep
9. Sweep to mount when opponent moves to inverted half guard
10. Taking the back when opponent moves to inverted half guard
11. Roll over sweep when opponent moves to inverted HG

Getting out of bad spots Part 2 – Knee Shield

1. Taking the Back
2. Roll over sweep
3. Taking the back from knee grip
4. Kimura sweep/submission
5. Straight armlock
6. Collar choke
7. Collar choke to sweep to mount
8. Brabo choke
9. Brabo choke variation 2 with sweep
10. Brabo choke variation 3 with sweep
11. Taking the back when opponent pummels
12. Sweep when opponent pummels
13. Sweep 2 when opponent pummels with Kimura
14. Reverse triangle when opponent pummels
15. Sweep to kneebar
16. Roll under armbar 1
17. Roll under armbar 2
18. To the crucifix

Underhooks and hooks

1. Taking the back
2. Roll under sweep
3. Knee drag sweep
4. Knee push sweep
5. Ankle pick sweep
6. Underhook the knee sweep

When opponent attempts to move to inverted half guard
7. Arm trap with collar to ankle pick or Triangle finish
8. Take the back when opponent switches to inverted HG
9. Leg trap sweep when opponent switches to inverted HG.
10. Roll over sweep

Using leg hooks
11. Taking the back
12. Beating the overhook to the back with arm drag
13. Jumping to triangle from the knees
14. Takedown from knees
15. Single leg to back
16. Single leg takedown
17. Single leg takedown variation

Underhook when opponent pushes head
18. Toe grab to deep half guard sweep to knee bar
19. Take the back with lapel grip
20. Roll under sweep with lapel grip

Half Guard Single Leg

1. Takedown
2. kimura style sweep
3. dive under sweep with sleeve grip
4. Collar drag sweep
5. Collar drag variation with triangle
6. Lapel grip with foot on the hip sweep
7. Tomoe Nage to double leg takedown
8. Single leg sitting and standing

Half Guard Scissor

1. Scissor sweep
2. back roll sweep
3. X-gaurd technical lift
4. X-guard Sweep 1
5. X-guard Sweep 2
6. X-guard to the back

Deep Half Guard

1. Pendulum sweep
2. Pendulum to rollover sweep
3. Pendulum to the back/ sweep
4. Pendulum to Omoplata
5. Pendulum to Technical lift
6. Pendulum to Knee ride to back
7. Homer Simpson sweep
8. Homer Simpson to back
9. Homer Simpson to back 2
10. Collar grip hip bump sweep
11. Collar grip sweep
12. Double under sweep
13. Double under sweep 2

Inverted Half

Opponent attempts to go to Inverted Half
1. Take the back
2. Roll over sweep
3. Leg hook sweep

Inverted Half
4. Back roll sweep
5. Triangle
6. Kimura and Americana roll over sweep
7. Collar choke and sweep
8. Lapel grip sweep to mount
9. Lapel grip to the back

Upside down half

1. Sweep 1
2. Sweep 2
3. Triangle

Terra’s Guard

1. Backdoor escape to back
2. Sweep 1
3. Sweep 2
4. Sweep 3 with armlock
5. Triangle
6. Upside down armbar
7. Sweep to inverted half guard
8. Sweep to knee bar
9. Leg hook sweep

50/50

When opponent prevents back take
1. Kneebar
2. Kneebar to toehold
3. Sweep
4. To the back
5. Straight ankle lock

From cross grip
6. Calf slicer
7. Kneebar
8. To the back
9. Technical lift

Kimura

1. Kimura
2. Hip bump sweep
3. Sweep to armbar
4. To roll under armbar
5. Take the back

How I started BJJ


F posted this video on my FB wall and it sent shivers down my spine after watching it. It was very well shot, choreographed and produced and well it just reminded me of my first proper introduction to BJJ.

I was first introduced to BJJ when I started dating F. He had been learning BJJ for about a year and a half when we first started going out and he was totally hooked. At that time I had never heard of BJJ and being a huge Japanophile I was intrigued. But well since virtually all aspects of Japan was taken out of BJJ (like seiza, kiyai, bowing, meditating, etc…) I kinda lost interest and just accepted it as sometime F was crazy about. I have to admit, I was pretty patient as a Jits Practioner GF – he would train 3 times a week (cause at that time class was only 3 times a week, he would have trained more if there were more classes :p) and I would keep myself busy with my xbox (which now admittedly is collecting dust :().

Then about 8 months down the line there was a BJJ self defense seminar the gym organized and he urged me to try it out. I wasn’t keen to be honest and was kinda like ‘ok hun I’ll try it out cause u want me to’. Just to clarify he didn’t want me to try it out because it was BJJ, he wanted me to try it out because it was self defense and was worried for my safety. Well I had loads of fun with the techniques at the seminar and was like ‘hey F is BJJ a lot like this?’ and he said ‘well everything we learned today are actual BJJ techniques but applied a little differently’. I showed up for the very next class!

My first class of BJJ was really interesting. Prof Marcos wasn’t around and Quico (F’s old coach who is now staying in Bali) was visiting us so he took over class. Had lots of fun but there was a lot of things I needed to get use to (it being a full contact sport and all). I guess I’m very lucky to have F to guide me during class cause BJJ can be a very intimidating sport due to the high learning curve and the sparring. I’m also thankful to the regular girls who were training at that time. They helped me a lot to integrate well into BJJ.

Odd thing is that there were at least 4 girls who trained regularly when I started. Now they kinda just dropped off and left BJJ (two moved far away, one got pregnant and the other went MIA). Apart from me, there’s only one other girl in the gym (I brought her in actually! She’s an old family friend). Lucky for me she is super super super tough (can I just add another superlative SUPER lol). Her background is that she teaches fitness classes part time (les mills), is a level 2 certified kettlebell instructor and also a certified TRX instructor. She’s sooooooooooo fit and her stamina is crazy; oh and did I mention she has technique lol? She runs 15 km marathons and heads to open mats AND rolls like she does on a normal day and still kicks it hard on the mats. She kicks my ass on a daily basis. If my stamina or conditioning is not up to par that day, I will get submitted! Thank goodness I have her in the gym to train my conditioning (which I think can be a LOT better, need to train harder!).

Here’s the two of us with Prof when we got promoted to blue. My goodness, it’s been a huge whirlwind of training since the first picture (with the 3 girls) after 3 months of training and the picture above after 1 year and 10 months of training. It’s been a honestly a life changing experience, physically and mentally. Looking forward to continue on my BJJ journey.

“Train more, Train hard, Train always” ~Leo Viera

Adam’s farewell 2011 :(

This weekend went by so fast it was crazy! Combining my love for baking and my Jits family, I really couldn’t ask for anything more. But first the sad things first, this weekend was Adam’s last day before he flies back to Canada 😦

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This here be Adam! Isn’t he the sweetest thing ever? He’s just turned single ladies so hehehehe holler if you want some details, you won’t find a nicer guy ever!

I first met Adam when he came back from Canada for Chinese New Year in 2010 and we just clicked. He was seriously like a long lost brother I never had and he was an amazing training partner for me. We started Jits at around the same time (him at Toronto BJJ and I at Marcos Escobar Malaysia). He was a lot more technical than me but he always gave me loads on chances and never uses full strength when we were training. Plus since he was from a Saulo school, I always asked him clarification on the many Jiu Jitsu University techniques I wanted to incorporate into my game. Other then Jits we both love anime and video games and were huge geeks. Anyway he trained with us for about 2 months before leaving.

This time around, his 2011 trip was so damn short! Just a month! It’s nice to be able to roll after a year and incredible to see how different our games have developed! We’re both guard players (ok technically I’m a top player who has been working on my guard for about 10 months that somehow along the way became a guard player lol). He plays a lot of deep half while I play a lot of open and spider.

Anyway his sister (who is the sweetest thing, bless her heart) called me up randomly to organize a farewell thing for her brother. She wanted to keep it a surprise so I planned it out with Aaron to tell the guys about it. So she booked a table for all of us at Luna Bar on Saturday after open mats. She also wanted a cake but was finding it difficult to get it without Adam getting suspicious so I offered to bake him a cake Saturday morning itself.

The cake was trouble from the very start! I was being ambitious and wanted to bake a lemon cake with lemon curd and lemon white chocolate buttercream (courtesy of Rose from Rose’s Heavenly Cakes) in 4 hours 20110405-102249.jpg

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It started well with the white chocolate base and lemon curd prepared perfectly.

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But goodness me, it was a comedy of errors from the cake onwards. You could say I was being silly, trying to bake a 3″ high cake without expecting problems. First the inside did not bake properly then the buttercream melting cause the cake wasn’t fully cooled… Oh my lord! I was honestly about to call it quits several times but I ploughed through cause Adam is an awesome guy and he deserves this cake! I scraped whatever melting buttercream was left (what a waste as it tasted so nice too :(), put the cake back into the fridge to firm up so I could cover it with fondant later then went to open mats. F was so supportive throughout the whole ordeal, he even got me my favorite drink during open mats.

Needless to say, I was moving at the speed of snail during open mats cause I was so tired. Had a couple of good rolls and of course definitely one last roll with Adam. Our last roll was hilarious cause we were giving video game like commentary during the roll:
SL: Triangle attack! Button mash!!
A: Triangle defense! Stack Stack Stack!
SL: Shrimps away, regains guard level up!
A: Smash pass!!! Button mash!!!
Gosh we’re such gaming retards!


Many of the guys came out for the party and we all had a really nice time at Luna Bar. The place is damn swank as it’s on the rooftop of the Pacific Regency so the view from the bar is stellar.

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20110404-010955.jpgThe drinks there are watered down in terms of alcohol but big on taste which is fine by me cause I hate the taste of alcohol but don’t mind it hidden in a cocktail. Easily one of the best tasting Pina Coladas in town. Yummy. I’m really glad Adam enjoyed himself so much and many thanks to Amanda for co-organizing this for her brother.

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Adam here partying it out in style with a flaming lamborghini.

Finally it was cake time. Despite all the problems, it came together in the end! I learnt so much (like for starters NOT to bake and decorate a difficult cake from scratch in 4 hours) but you know it was all worth it when I saw the smile on Adam’s face 🙂
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F and I are gonna miss you loads Adam but we’ll see you again next year! 🙂

Freestyle Fullcontact Martial Arts Tournament 2011

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It’s my first time watching a MMA event live so I’m pretty excited (as I told F I’m looking forward to the bloooooodddd lol, I kid but there always blood drawn on the UFC). To be honest I have nooooooooooooooo idea what to expect cause although it’s touted as a MMA event, majority of fighters are Muay Thai trained with only probably a handful with official grappling training. So I’m not expecting much in terms of grappling but I’m pretty sure the Muay Thai would be kick ass. Our team mate AJ from Borneo is fighting tonight so hopefully he does well. He’s got Muay Thai training and BJJ so I hope he does well to spread the BJJ love here 🙂

The stadium set up is pretty nice. I can so totally imagine us organizing a BJJ tourney here, that’d be real sweet!! Then I can finally fight on home turf instead of traveling.

The stadium was really empty though, that’s to be expected since it was a 3 night event. I’m not quite sure what the organizers were thinking since fighting events aren’t really that popular to begin with and to have 3 nights in a row is just insane. I’m sure if they had consolidated the fights into one night, the turn out would have been better.

As usual the event started late (oh Malaysian time how I loathe n hate thee). But the night was full of surprises!

The first fight was actually a Muay Thai match and it was between a guy and a girl?! Or maybe a transgendered guy? I really have no clue o.o but the fight only lasted for 30 secs before the ref declared a TKO. The girl/transgendered guy was totally owned. It didn’t even look like s/he was fighting at all. The fight ended so fast I had no opportunity to take a pic so 😦 (edit: ok apparently according to my teammates who were backstage it was a transgendered guy and not a girl!)

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The next fight was AJ’s fight. Allen the coach from Borneo was his corner man while Coach Escobar was cornering him. It was actually the only MMA fight for the night as the rest were only stand up with no ground fighting allowed boooo. AJ was fighting this 17 yr old Nepalese kid called Keanu. Keanu came to our gym 2 months ago for an open mats session so we kinda know him and bits of his game. Anyway Keanu’s striking was pretty good, he gave AJ a huge welt on the eye and tried to take him down several times but AJ sprawled fast and hard. Then AJ took him down and it went to the ground. Keanu then caught him in a sloppy triangle, AJ made the mistake of letting him adjust and it became a nasty ass armbar from guard. Lucky for AJ he was saved by the bell. The next 2 rounds went better for AJ. It was strange cause Keanu kept insisting on playing guard by butt flopping at every opportunity (without controlling legs or arms). The ref got him to stand several times. There were times where AJ would pass his guard and go to side control but the kid regained guard most times. Sometimes AJ would just kinda stand there and kick Keanu’s legs. I guess AJ didn’t really know how to deal with the butt flopping in MMA and was on the look out for kicks since the kid has long lanky legs. Well after 2 rounds of that, needless to say AJ won by points. So yay for our team mate from Borneo 🙂

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This Muay Thai fight ended as quickly as the first one. It was an Iranian dude from some MT gym in Ampang and another guy from the police MT club. The skill difference between the opponents is insane and the Iranian won by TKO.

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This was a boxing match and it was pretty interesting. The white guy was really cocky and kept shoving his head out and taunting the black guy. But the black guy couldn’t honestly do much to the white guy. He kept missing and his reach wasn’t very good. In the end after 5 rounds the cocky white guy won by points.

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This was the most interesting match of the night (other then AJs of course!). it was a stand up vale tudo match between a Muay Thai fighter and a Kyokushin Karate fighter. The MT fighter did very well in the first 2 rounds then he got kicked in the balls!!! Ouch. He never quite recovered from that and the Karate fighter was doing some serious damage to the MT fighter in the last 3 rounds but no KOs. The top ropes in the ring broke in the 5th fight (I know, so ghetto right?!). security had to surround the ring to hold the fighters up so they wouldn’t topple over when they were close to the edges. It was kinda sad and funny at the same time. After 5 rounds the match ended in a draw.

Overall the event was pretty fun. Though to be honest I don’t really like watching stand up fights but it was a real fun outing with the guys from the gym. They can be such a riot at times!