Sunday, 26 July 2009

3rd Brighton Grab and Pull

Well its the day after the competition, it was great to have one on home turf which meant that we didn't have to get up too early. We got to the king Alfred leisure center at about 9.30, which gave the boys time to get changed and hit the warm up mats! the whole event was filmed and streamed live online so that people could watch which is a pretty new concept to have at a bjj comp so thanks to Gus the competition organiser for sorting that out.

There was alot of us from Eastbourne competing this time including me and Sophie cook- female white belt, lee finch, Dan osborne, Alex broers, Steve, Paul Brown, Ben Donahue, Dan, Pete, Sam scobie, in various white belt categories along with our coach Tolly competing in the purple belt category and a couple of guys from BTT slough.

I watched a few peoples fights but me and soph were up fighting pretty quickly at 12. There was 5 female white belts there, Pippa Granger was kind enough to sort out the brackets splitting it up to sophie and Camilla in the light weight cat and me Rachel Passfield and Vlavena Agapekyan in the heavier cat. Sophie did really well against Camilla wining on points. I had to fight Rachel first which was a tough match I got the points for take down and mount and then won with an ezekyl choke. I wasn't looking forward to fighting Vlavena again as last time when we had to fight standup for 6 minutes. This time it was equally hard she got the 2 points for the take down and was in my guard for the rest of the fight which was about a minute and a half. I was kind of gutted to loose just by 2 points but it was still a good fight.

For the absolute i got a bye in the first match when Rachel fought camilla and won. The match was going pretty much the same and I was about to try for the ezekyl choke again when she started screaming and tapping, i think as she was trying to buck and turn she had hurt her rib? So I won that match which meant winning the absolute as Vlavena had dropped out as her lip had split when we were fighting.

couple of pics from this grab and pull and the last one

All in all another good competition and we came back with a few medals and a lot more experience as a team, which will help to improve everyones game and I'm sure we will all be training harder and working on new things. I bumped into Jadon who writes The tapping like riverdance blog (see my blog list) and he was updating me on his travels to all the different BJJ schools, Also bumped into Emma Leavy who i fought at the British open, it seemed like a few of the girls I know are injured atm so i hope everyone gets better soon! If anyone is looking for pictures of the event I think there will be some on and within the next week.

Today now equals sitting around blogging having a nice hot bath and doing some yoga and will probably be the calm before the storm as I have my graduation on Wednesday and then my grandparents 50th wedding anniversary in Scotland followed by a quick trip to Spain, where we might check out a club where out friend Isaac from btt trains.

I think my training in the next few months will involve drilling
the hell out of a couple of takedowns, practicing my guard game, seeking out a few more girls to train with, (need to talk to meg about when to have another ladies open mat)and maybe a bit of strength training now my cardio is back on track.
The next competition I'm thinking of doing is the Bristol open on the 6th of September which gives me lots of time to train and be ready for that.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

competition preparation

Well the third grab and pull competition is less than week away, this will be my 4rth big comp so I thought i would post my thoughts on what to expect if its your first competition.

Competitions generally start in the morning at around 9, when you get there you will need to register and try find out what time you will be fighting. This is sometimes posted up on the wall, if not just bug someone till you find out when because if its right away you'll want to go warm up and if its alot later on you can think about when to eat, and maybe chill out and nap for a bit.

White belts are typically on first usually in order of weight. The order of purple, blue, brown varies with any black belt fights near the end however this varies from comp to comp. You will be weighed just before you fight, so make sure if your a white belt you make weight the day before as there is unlikely to be any time to run around and sweat it out.
Most competitions are elimination style i.e. if you lose your first fight then you'll only get to fight once, to get to the finals you may have to have about 8 fights especially in popular categories such as white and blue belt light-middle weight.

For all us female competitors we usually all compete at roughly the same time in the afternoon. You will usually have a couple of people in your weight category with the option to fight in an absolute later in the day. Be aware that sometimes if theres smaller numbers it can feel a bit unfair when theres no one to compete against and you have to move up and fight heavier competitors especially if you've worked hard to cut weight, or conversly have someone heavier grouped with you.
Its for that reason that i wouldn't recommend making huge cuts in weight particularly at white belt level. To me I would rather maybe fight someone a bit bigger and have eaten a good amount of food and kept my strength up the week before than be starving and grumpy the day of the competition. I would expect about 1-3 fights in your weight category and possibly more in the absolute division if its not held too much later in the day.

what to bring?
Food: Brazilian jiujitsu competitions usually start early and finish late! you don't want to be running around trying to find food while your there, with the exception of a cheeky 5 quid acai berry shake, so its important to bring enough with you.

fruit - bananas and oranges grapes always go down well and are good to eat before your fight as they are quickly digested and provide an immediate source of energy

A nice carb meal to refuel after your fight particularly if you have been cutting weight all week

Plenty of water and a couple of carb drinks if you prefer a quick drink over food

Clothes: as competitions tend to be a drive or a train away i usually wear something comfy and loose and bring along a pair of flip flops for once you've changed into your gi

Music: if its your first comp its nice to chill out and drown out the sound of people frantically talking bout last minute game plans. You should go into the mat feeling as calm as possible with a clear mind if you've trained hard then stick to what you know

You might want to bring a pillow/sleeping mask to have a quick nap if you got up early and arnt fighting till later on.

Camera: to get some some pics of your fight, sometimes professional photographers take pictures and film the fights check out and for info about pictures of competitions

The week before

This week i'm planning on going to training on Monday and Wednesday and going over escapes and positions with maybe a few light rolls, try and avoid rolling with some of the heavier crazier people in the run up to a competition, the last thing you want is someone messing you up with a week to go!
Intense exercise increases the stress hormone cortisol, which can decrease our immune system functioning, this is another reason to go easy the run up to the competition as you don't want to get a cold or,, dun dun dun the dreaded swine flu.
As alot of people are still cutting weight the week before competition your body probably isn't getting all the nutrients it needs which is another reason to take a good multivitamin.
Make sure you get plenty of sleep and rest maybe do some yoga or go get a sports massage, in my mind with a week to go I've trained as hard as I can so i like to give my body and mind a few days to chill so I'll have plenty of energy on the day.

Peace 4 now, i'll leave you with this Rickson Gracie clip

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Ladies open mat and lots of training

The ladies open mat in dartford was a great day, there was some amazing blue belts there who were really strong and pretty much killed me rolling but it was a good experience and made me realise i still need to work on armbar/triangle escapes before the Brighton comp. Hopefully going to ask Richard if we can host one at our club maybe a week after the grapplers showdown in August so will post when i know more.

Training has been pretty intense the last few weeks
modays bjj 8.30-10 @ Canton
Tuesdays bjj 8.30-10 @ BTT Slough
wed bjj 8.30-10 @ Canton
Thursday rest
Friday rest
Saturday bjj 12.30-2 @ caton 2.30-4 @ Sparta
Sunday bjj 12-2 @ BTT Slough

I run most days as I'm training Elliot on 3 days a week and will hopefully get some more clients soon!

In terms of nutrition my diet most days is
breakfast: oatmeal with fruit,
lunch: fish rice and veggies
pre training smoothie (frozen berries, banana, milk, some pine nuts or seeds to get efa's)
Dinner: 2 scrambled eggs and 2 veggie sausages or soup with a pitta pocket or chicken salad

I snack on things like tesco cereal bars, fruit, nuts, activia yogurt, dark choc, oatcakes and low fat philly, if my diet is good 80% of the time I'm happy, Italian and Indian food are my weaknesses although I'm trying to chose the healthiest thing like chicken tikka instead of a curry with a creamy sauce and poppadoms instead of yummy nan bread.

I recently started taking a good multivitamin and have a couple of those fizzy vitamin c tablets and glucosamine sulphate religiously for about a week now and I notice the difference in my mood and energy levels. Late night training does mean I find it so hard to wake up in the morning but luckily for me I'm only working part time so unless temp work comes up i work mainly in the afternoons and evenings.

Last nights training was really good, warm up and drills as usual and then tolly taught us a take down and had us drill it for ages. He then put all of us smaller guys in the middle with 1 minute of trying to get the take down with 5 different people, some of the new guys slammed me a bit but i got revenge by sweeping them when we got to the floor haha. It was the smaller guys first so we got to rest while the bigger guys had their turn killing each other. I do admit i looked at the clock and it was already 5 past ten and I thought hmm don't think we'll be rolling tonight and for once i felt vaguely relieved as every muscle in my body felt pumped. My relief was short lived as tolly shouted everyone to get a drink and put in mouth guards. I can only remeber rolling with joe, didnt work for submission worked on escaping half gaurd and getting to mount. I'm pretty knackered today but i think alex wanted to go do the cross fit work out later so might be up for that after a nice hot bath!

some random pics, you can see a bit more of what our training area is like is easbourne at Canton martial arts

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Busy Times!

Well i am officially a graduate in sports science, well health and exercise science to be precise! I'm going to be pretty busy the next few weeks with the Brighton grab and pull comp on the 25th followed by graduation on the 29th then a quick trip to Scotland for my grandparents 50th wedding anniversary on the 30th to the 2nd and then and the London comp on the 8th August! I have been training allot for the upcoming competitions and feel a lot more prepared than the British open, I've been eating fairly healthy, apart from all the nice meals out with Alex and my mum and dad who are over visiting.

On the work front temping is going rubbish, I did a 3 hour shift at my Friends bar today but to be honest bar work kills me as I'm not 2 much of a people person and clumsy as hell, so I'm sure that it will be pretty short lived haha. I'm enjoying doing personal training with Elliot and if I get a few more clients then that would probably keep me in the money. The plan at the minute is still to head back to Bahrain in mid September to go back home and be able to hopefully save more money than I would here.

Ah well I'm looking forward to tomorrow, heading down to the open mat at dartford mma which will hopefully help improve my game for the comp! I'm also dragging my mum down with me to keep me company on the train and maybe persuade her to try some bjj haha

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Nutrition 101

Too keep my brain sharp and to write about some of the stuff thats interesting me atm here is a quick post on some basic nutrition for health, enjoy.

Carbohydrate: Humans have evolved having a sweet tooth (The history and evolution of the human diet is something I'm currently fixated with lol) and will often crave carbohydrates in their diet. While our ancestors would have snacked on fruits rich in natural sugars, the refinement and creation of simple sugar rich snacks has been linked with the increasing levels of obesity and metabolic disorders such as type 2 diabetes. The understanding that carbohydrate containing foods effect our blood sugar levels and can create cravings and mood/energy fluctuations has lead to the development and popularisation of low carbohydrate diets.

A low carbohydrate diet typically favoured by individuals who are trying to lose weight recommend consuming 20% or less total calorific intake from carbohydrates this equates to 20 to 60 g per day (to put this in perspective 30g of cheerios has around 30g of carbohydrates while a 180g baked potato has 55g)

Restricting carbohydrates is thought to facilitate weight loss as it limits the amount of glucose, the body's preferred energy source, meaning that stored fat will be used in its place, this is the same philosophy many people employ when working out in the morning on an empty stomach. I would not advice this diet to be used by any one participating in Brazilian jiujitsu for more than 3 hours a week unless they are particularly overweight (will post more on weight status next post). Instead it is wiser to obtain 50-65% of daily energy intake from whole grain carbohydrates including brown rice and pasta, pulses and beans, rye bread, 3 servings of fruit and 4 servings of vegetables while limiting the amount of processed sugar rich snacks and drinks.

If your still not convinced that low carb diets can be detrimental to training over a long time period read

Fat: Fat gets a bad reputation as 1g provides 9kcal, double that of carbohydrate and protein and so it is often linked with weight gain. However it is important to understand that there are 2 different types of fat distinguished by their differing chemical properties, known as saturated and unsaturated fat. Saturated fat is solid at room temperature and found in diary products, snacks like cakes, chocolate, crisps and pastry and the fat that can be seen on cuts of red meat. Many of us consume too much of this type of fat (high amounts in take away food, crisps chocolate full fat dairy and red meat) which can have detrimental effects on our cholesterol and lipid profile.

see for more info on the saturated fat content of foods

Unsaturated fats (Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) are typically found in vegetable oils and spreads and are liquid at room temperature, these provide the essential fatty acids omega 3 and 6 that our body can not synthesis and therefore must be obtained through diet. A diet that provides the recommended amount of essential fatty acids is particularly important for anyone participating in bjj as it also helps with joint health.

The recommend intake of fat is less than 35% of total daily calories for total fat intake and less than 15% for saturated fat intake. For example if you are consuming 2000kcal a day then around 76g of fat or 684kcals. However it would be beneficial if aiming to lose weight or improve health to consume lower levels particularly of saturated fat.

Protien: Protein is used for growth and repair of the body cells, it is composed of amino acids. For a food to be a high quality or complete source of protein it must contain 9 essential amino acids in the right proportions. The recommended dietary intake of protein for is 0.8g per kilogram of body weight which can be obtained by eating by 2-3 servings of meat (or vegetarian meat alternative) daily which provide about 45 to 65 grams of protein.

Most of us training will probably be consuming higher levels of protein than this to aid in recovery and muscle growth, while this is a sensible approach as Protein ingestion before or after exercise clearly results in positive muscle anabolism (growth) it should be noted that more than 10g of protein will most likely be oxidised for energy and not used for muscle building.
For more detailed info on optimum protein intake read

So to put all that into context... The for the average person consuming 2000kcal a day a general guideline would be as follows
protein: 15-25%
carbohydrates 50-65%
fat 20-35%

Nutrition is a very individual thing and is infulenced by weight, age, gender, size, health and training status. My next nutrition post will talk more about the nutritional requirements of those of us training in bjj whether it be in the short term i.e before tonights training session, or more long term i.e. in the run up to next months competition.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

300 tap class

Ohhh i forgot to mention that tonight we had a special 2 hour long class with about 20 of us where 3 people started off at the middle and had to tap as many people as possible so that we eventually got 300 taps in a class. I was in the light weight group which consisted of me sophie joe and Naz. I am propbably the heaviest and slightly more experianced which lead to me rolling for about 40 minutes before Tolly realised that we hadnt even got 100 taps yet so we switched to 2 minute rolls then evenutally 1 minute rolls. It took about 2 hours to finish and i lost about 1.5kg even after downing about 3 bottles of water! The whole thing was in aid of raising money to that the gym can get a bit of a revamp and maybe a ring for the thai boxing lot so hopfully that will go well. I am now officially cream crackered so i'm off to scoff some tuna and then go to sleep. Boring temp work in the a.m followed by mma later at night. The promised nutrition post will come soon! Untill then i suggest reading some of blogs on my list good posts about British open from black cat and meerkatsu

MMA gina and cyborg

I was talking to my coach today about maybe doing an amature mma fight in the near future, this of cource lead to me googling and discovering the following clips. The first is of cyborg choking out a reporter and the second is gina Carano on sports science both feature the rear naked choke a move that untill recently I never used but worked for me at the last competition, hoping mine gets as bad ass as theres soon!