Currently working on:

Attacking - My tournament results suffered greatly because I was so focused on defense. Now that I have a solid defense, it's time to build my offense. If you are attacking, they are defending. If they are defending, they are losing.

Monday, August 30, 2010

IBJJF Chicago results

On August 22nd I competed at the IBJJF Chicago along side a few teammates. The overall experience was exactly what I needed to take the next step in my game. I am completely ok with how things turned out, and that much more motivated to be back home and working on what I need to incorporate into my jiu jitsu.

My first match was against a much older opponent, and honestly he felt quite a bit stronger than me. I was slightly intimidated at first, but remembered professor Crabtree telling me to take it to them. I decided to make a good first impression on my opponent by taking him down with a single leg. I landed in half guard and he held onto a Kimura for about a minute and a half which led to me being stuck there. He eventually figured out that he would not submit me and let it go. I worked a little bit and eventually got the pass. This is where things didn't go so smoothly. Instead of attacking from side mount, I sort of held on and he eventually put me back into his half guard where the match ended 5 - 0 with me taking the victory. I know now that I should have attacked him and submitted him. I had the power to do so, but I guess I just froze up being it my first adult division and nerves were fairly high. I've been working on my attacks since I got back and hope to see serious improvement soon.

Match number two - I was against a 19 year old kid who was a four stripe white belt. I honestly was not intimidated at all and felt that I could win this from the beginning. He jumped guard immediately and I backed away and he smacked himself on the ground. He got up quickly before I could establish a pass game. Same thing again, this time I followed him down into his half guard. He too also tried for a kimura, but I have fairly good kimura defense. Only problem was he hung onto it for a while as well, stalling out the match for a few pricey seconds. I tried working the pass game and eventually he caught me off guard and swept me. I worked and worked for the underhook and swept him back. It was tied 2-2 and I was on top in a sort of half butterfly guard position. He throw his free leg over into a rubber-guard position on my back and I honestly didn't really know how to escape this. I was not as active as I should have been, just like the first match. I sort of laid there hoping for him to let go of that position, but he didn't. I broke free toward the end of the match and nearly had the pass when time ran out. The ref gave him the decision. I wasn't aggressive enough, and didn't attack like I should have.

So 1-1 in my adult division debut wasn't to bad considering my nerves and my lack of attack. I went home with a considerable amount of regret but even more motivation to work on my attacking.

The rest of the team did AMAZING with Ben taking silver in his weight, and Gold in the blue belt masters absolute. Jeff also took gold in his weight as blue belt, and fought hard in absolute winning his first match. Abby took silver in her weight as blue belt, and also fought hard in absolute. Mike took third place in mens adult white belt, out of 32 guys! What an accomplishment. Stu lost his first match in white belt on points, but came to fight.

All together Carlson Gracie team took second over Third place Gracie Barra and just under First place Loyd Irvin. We were tied with Loyd Irvin but they had just a couple more gold medals than us so they gave them the first place trophy.

Monday, August 16, 2010

IBJJF Chicago International Open

This Sunday our team will travel down to Chicago for the first ever IBJJF tournament in the Midwest. The tournament reached full capacity and is going to be the biggest and grandest tournament I've ever attended, no doubt. I am eager to compete, and watch my fellow teammates compete as well.

We have all put countless hours of hard work on the mats, and with that we have come a long way. Some of us suffering through injury, plateaus, and just everyday problems that come with life, but quitting is never an option at GRBJJ. We've all had that moment where we just want to say, "ok, that's enough". We've all had the moment where we almost reach the breaking point, but decide to push onward instead of quitting. We all understand that through suffering comes reward. That's what will set us apart from our competition.

Win or lose, though, I am proud to be a part of GRBJJ and the Carlson Gracie Team because of everyones hard work and undying love for the sport and art. It's great to be a part of such a family, with the greatest Professor ever, Clint Crabtree.

My game plan for the tournament is really simple - I am entering the adult Division 18-34, so everyone in the division is going to have that advantage on me. I'll still stare them down with tenacity though, and take the match to them from the opening seconds. There will be no cowering away just because I am younger, and there will be no fear just because maybe they are a little stronger. I'll have to make them remember the day they fought that freshly 17 year old kid from GRBJJ.

Obrigado to all my training partners, and good luck to all of you while competing.


"He who hesitates, meditates in a horizontal position"

"Don't back down because your opponent is bigger, step up because he IS."

"You've got to have the most heart during those given minutes, you don't have to be better all the time."

"Remember where you came from, how you got here, and who helped you achieve this, all while you are holding the gold medal around your neck."

Monday, June 21, 2010

Jiu Jitsu

Nothing is wrong with pushing the norm aside. Everybody wants to go to college, and learn, and try and fill in the same gaps in society that will always be there. They are a slave to a 9-5 job, and a slave to their annoying alarm clocks. They were forced to believe that to have a happy life they had to do amazing in school, and had to get a scholarship and then follow up with higher education. That is foolish.

I will not be a slave to that norm. I will not be forced to believe there is only one successful path. I will not fall victim to everyone telling me there is only way to reach the top. I will work, but it will be towards my dreams with a passion. I will put all of my time and energy into doing the one thing that I can say I really love. The only knowledge I need is the things I learn on the mats, and the things I experience in everyday life. I was blessed with a great gift, a strong mind, and I will use it with everything in me.

I once thought that college, or the marines was the right path for me, but with so much thought and dedication now put into what I truly love, I have found that they were so far from the right path. I was born for this, and god has lead me here for a reason. Money doesn't matter, my status doesn't matter, and the things that have happened in the past do not matter. At 16 years old I have found what I was made for, and it will be the only thing that I will ever be a slave to.

Some people might ask how I could do it? How could I just throw everything I had for me going away? A near full scholarship to colleges all around the united states, High ACT scores, and a year early graduation from High School. My answer - How could I not? How could I not search for my true purpose in life? How could I not live it to the greatest extent everyday? How could I not eventually die in satisfaction, saying that I did everything I ever wanted to and loved. How could I not?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


A jiu jitsu match is physical. Life is physical. Jiu jitsu is beautiful, and it is emotional. Life is beautiful, and life is also very emotional. So through jiu jitsu, and through life, you've got to always remember one thing - to breathe.

Friday, May 21, 2010


There is so much that has gone into that arm-bar you did in class today. So much philosophy, so much science. It was perfectly crafted to apply the perfect amount of leverage at just the right spot. In its entirety, its not just an arm-bar. Its a complex and beautiful series of motion.

So remember, you aren't "Doing" the technique, you are expressing it.

Monday, May 17, 2010

A prayer

It's time to get serious if I am to reach for this dream, I've got to push myself, by all means. Lord, lead me, please tell me this is my destiny.

Mental training

Just training to approach your physical limits may make you better, but only to a certain extent. You've got to pick those days where you exceed those limits and go to your very breaking point, you've got to train to your mental limits. Try picking one day a month to push yourself right over the edge, not just before the edge, but right over the thing. Next time you go to train, your mental AND physical limits will be that much higher.

You see, training just before your breaking point will mean you always will have the same limits. Training just past the breaking point, until compete physical AND mental exhaustion means you have just broken through that wall and set a new standard, a new limit. Its not always about how much of a physical exercise you can do, sometimes its about how many times you can get into the position and fail. The effort you make to achieve the movement, not just the movement itself.

"I have trained my mind, and my body will follow"


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hard surface rolling

After my evening jog tonight, I sat on my driveway and took my shoes/socks off. Put some stairway to heaven in my ears, and started stretching out, mainly focusing on my butterfly stretch. That seems to be my weak spot, haha. I decided to add in a little twist to my training, and took out my headphones and put my hoody back on.

I started just shadow grappling, just kind of working on footwork and single foot sprawls. dodging around lightly barefooted and just foot movement, head movement, and hand movements. I decided to throw in some rolls. They were quite rough on my back and shoulders at first, and a few times my feet would slap the cold pavement. This hurt. After about five minutes or so of this, I started getting just a little bit smoother, and the rolls still hurt, but not as much. I did forward, sideways, and backward variations. Went all over the place as best as I could. Overall experience = great.

Think I am going to be adding this to my nightly routine. I believe this is going to soften up my rolls on the mat and keep them very smooth and tight.

Great night,


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Robson Moura Etc. 5/8/10

This weekend I traveled down with Professor Crabtree and Abby to Chicago to attend a Robson Moura seminar at Deterberg academy. Soon as I heard I might be able to go I was on board and moved all plans I had for the weekend out of the WAY. =] Mother understands, I hope.

We left the park and ride at about 6:30 AM, and had a nice ride down to Chicago ahead of us. With professor being the speed demon that he is, we arrived at a much quicker time than expected. Didn't expect to go 90 the whole way down, but hey, gotta do what you gotta do haha. We arrived in Chicago nearly two hours early, and had some time to kill, so professor, Abby, and myself went to some small cafe to get a bite to eat. All I'll say about this is they have weird interpretations of omelette's and they have an interesting crowd, who appeared to all be Serbian, and I am pretty sure they wanted to steal Abby. Anyways, survived that and we were off to the academy to train with Robson.

All changed up we entered the room where we would be training. It was an interesting place, with some interesting people. Had all kinds of different martial artists, some were black belts in who knows what, nothing that seemed that legit to ME anyways. No one really had much of an idea about jiu jitsu though, except for a select few. Robson arrived and him and professor immediately shook hands and talked for a minute. Could tell they were buddy's =]

Robson kicked the seminar off, and we lined up. Most of the black belts or brown belts were stepping in front of me in the line once they saw I was a two stripe white belt, not that I really cared, but I wonder if they knew this was a jiu jitsu seminar, not a knife fighting Hapkido seminar. Anyways, we started to warm up with some shrimpin' and I think me and Abby were the only ones who could really do it proficiently, the rest were sort of flopping around. I laughed, and kept warming up =]

We started with a few basic techniques and drills, keeping hips square with someone while you are on the ground and they are standing, to knee on belly escape to counters to shoulder locks to this and that and the other thing. I wont get into the techniques really, because thats not the point of my blog or this post. The teaching was very good though, and I liked how he handled the class, even the people who have never trained jiu jitsu before were getting into it and learning some basic stuff they could apply. Professor Crabtree helped Abby and I when we had questions, and was always there to make sure our technique was good. I learned a lot and overall it was just a great experience getting to train with a 7 time world champion.

After the Seminar we got dressed and went out to lunch with Robson. He wanted to go to some Thai restaurant, so we walked to one that was supposed to be good nearby. My step dad is half Thai, and thats all we used to eat when I lived with him and my mom back in Jackson, so I had a good idea of what I wanted and what to order and what most of the stuff on the menu was. I was in my "element" I guess you could say. They all talked and shot the shiz, I didn't really get into the conversation to much except for when Robson asked how old I was, hold long I had been training and if I could handle the spicy food. I just ate my food and enjoyed the sit down time thinking. We all finished up, and payed our bills and headed out. We departed, saying our goodbyes to Robson and taking a few last pictures before we left. I thanked him for everything and let him know he did a good job at the seminar. We left and headed on.

Abby had been talking about visiting Carlson's grave site earlier that morning, and she had found the address on Clint's ipod. We decided to punch that into the GPS and go searching for it. After a bit of driving we arrived at the Graveyard. This place was HUGE, and first thought I had was how in the heck are we going to find one small gravestone with Master Carlson on it. After about 25 minutes of searching, we didn't even come close to finding it... hah. We came up with the idea of looking on Hillary Williams facebook for her picture of it with Jr. We found the picture and checked the background, picking out one key structure that would lead to the finding of the grave, some bushes and rocks. We drove around and found the same things and that led right to Carlson's grave. Damn we are good detectives =] We took a few pictures and just stood around for a couple minutes looking at it and talking. It was amazing to be able to visit such a place where a true master was laid to rest. Some real jiu jitsu history and culture right there. It especially meant something to Clint, who had trained with him a few times before but never visited his grave before. He talked about how he would never talk to you while training, but if you were doing a technique incorrectly he would just move your hands/feet or other part of you to the correct position and smile. Thats how professor remembered him teach. What awesome stuff. We left and had a cool little surprise in store for us next.

Clint drove around town and we ended up at FFC. This is where Jr's academy is located. We went upstairs and checked it out. Abby and I had never been there before. we took a few pictures and stepped on the mats. There were a couple of his students there rolling, and we had a couple words with them while there. It was really cool to visit Carlson's academy, seeing as that I had never seen or been there before. Another unforgettable jiu jitsu experience in the books.

We now were heading home after a killer weekend of pure jiu jitsu. Between the training, the emotional aspects and all the other experiences I had it was really an unforgettable time. Spent the weekend with two amazing people, and hope to one day do it again.

I started to really understand this weekend why I do what I do. Why I love jiu jitsu so much. It's not just the training and competing I love. Its not just learning new techniques and the technical aspect of it. Its not even that it takes years to truly master and its not that its one of the hardest sports/martial arts to learn. Its because of the experiences that come with it, the family and friends that I make while traveling and competing, and the overall feeling I get every single day that I step on the mats or learn something new about it. The history behind it, and the history still to be made. Its about my dream to one day become a champion, and the road to getting there. Its about persevering and adversity, failing and trying again. The humbleness you feel, and respect you earn. I empty my pockets on jiu jitsu because I love it. I love learning, and love teaching. I just love jiu jitsu and that's it.

My journey and pursuit has officially started,


Wednesday, May 5, 2010


On the long (and lovely) walk and bus ride home from jiu jitsu tonight, I pondered a thought which has been sticking to the back of my mind like some strangely powerful adhesive.

Ever since I was 7, I was prone to making friendships with people, and then moving away to a different city only to make more friendships, and move again. This has been a serious problem in "stability" you could say. I've never lived in one place for more than a year or two, so things come and go, and I've learned to flow with it. What has always lasted though, is those friendships that were forged with certain people along the way. I guess this may because of things like cellphones, email, facebook and other social connections that are provided in the world today. Or this could be because of a serious concept that I have not come to realize until recently.

I will make this simple, because I'm tired and have to get one last meal in before the night is over. We are nothing without our brothers. Everyone goes through struggles, everyone has hardships, everyone changes throughout time as they mature, and people cry, and die, and fight, and kill, and are full of joy, and happy, and things happen that you just can't always control. Sometimes people pick up their homes and move every year or two, and sometimes you might do something as little as say the wrong thing to a friend and make them upset. Because of this we form relationships with others to "vent" out our hardships, and maybe you don't, but you know you wish you did.

When all the eggs are scrambled my friends, we are nothing without our brothers, and forever I will struggle with you, my brothers. Forever I will fight for what I believe in with you, my brothers, and I will eventually take the path that only my footsteps can take, but it will be with you, my brothers.

What is brotherhood, and what does it mean to you?


Monday, May 3, 2010

At school with 25 days left to Graduation

and im sitting at school, thinking about choking someone.


Thursday, April 29, 2010

4-29-10 Earned my first two stripes

Some background - I have been training BJJ since January. About 4 months now is what it has been. My first class was tough, and I was like "wtf". My second class I was hooked on it, completely. They really are serious when they say the addiction to BJJ is serious. I cant get enough of it. I've been training consistently 4,5 and occasionally 6 times a week under Professor Crabtree at Grand Rapids Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I have learned an extensive amount about the art and lifestyle, and amazingly have a lifetime left to go. Thats the greatest thing about BJJ if you ask me, the complexity and time it takes to learn and master. I feel like I have so much knowledge compared to the average person, but when I think about my Professor, my training partners, and other black belts around the world, I know nothing. It's remarkable and Im eager to continue my journey.

I approached class tonight looking to work on a few things in particular, a few things I have been trying to study more and more because they have been of serious interest to me lately. 1 - taking the back 2 - escaping after having your back taken =]. Thankfully we worked on a escape and submission while someone has your back tonight. I'm still piecing together all the concepts of taking and escaping the back, and I'm looking forward to getting a nice series of my own put together, because it is my favorite position by far. We live rolled, and thats what I worked to do, take the back, get my back taken, and escape again, over and over. Great night, bottom line.

The end of class came, and I was ready to bow out. Professor pulled out a yellow belt from his Gi and promoted Robert, who more than deserved it. I said "hell yea" and clapped. =] Professor always surprises us. He then awarded a stripe to Holly Schippers, and again another "hell yea". She also deserved it, completely. She comes more than any other female there, and definitely puts in the time and effort in getting better all the time. Ready to bow out now, my name was called and I walked up there to receive what professor felt I had earned. I was awarded two stripes on my white belt and I could have not been any happier. All of the training, studying, learning, and traveling, and I earned the first two stripes on my belt. New heights were reached tonight, and its time to take things even higher.

Thanks to all of my training partners, my professor, my family and friends for support, and god, because without him none of this could have happened.

Still learning to flow with the go,


Sunday, April 25, 2010

NAGA 2010 Chicago - results/experiences

Competition this weekend in Chicago was really great. The largest NAGA competition on record and probably the most people that has ever been packed into a gym in history. Arrived at the tournament at about 8 AM and didn't leave until about Midnight. 16 Great hours of jiu jitsu and miscellaneous adventures.

I came into this tournament very focused and wanting to win from the beginning. Nothing changed when we got there. Suspecting that I was going to be rolling at about 11 AM, I warmed up and got prepared. Little did I know that the amount of competitors would halt off my competing until about 2:45 PM, Nearly 4 hours later. I had no idea when my bracket was going to be called, so it was a little hard for me to warm up and get food in me at the right times.

With much anticipation, my bracket was called, so I did as much as I really could to warm up quickly. (Pushups, jumping jacks, the normal stuff I guess.) There were two matches before mine, and they looked to be some seriously tough competitors. They were really taking it to each other, and I honestly didn't expect them to even be in my division. My named was finally called, so I took a deep breath and bowed onto the mats. I walked to the square ring, and circled it real quick (something I always do, symbolizing the space within to be mine.) The ref attached the color band for scoring to my belt, and then to my opponent. I stared him down, like I always do, and the fight started.

I danced around a little, kind of feeling my opponent out and waiting for the right time to execute my game plan. About 10 seconds into the match he took it right to me and took me down, aggressively. Scored two points for take down. I worked hard to not let him pass my guard, but he eventually got around it with consistency and aggressiveness. Scored three points for the guard pass. The score was five to zero and some nerves started to kick in. I worked to establish guard back, but ended up in some seriously funky north south guard position. Don't ask how it happened because I really have no idea. I fought to get out and I threw my hips over and landed in a mount position on top, but facing the wrong way. No points awarded obviously. I worked to turn around, slowly, getting the best grips possible but as I turned around he got up and I pulled him into my guard. He passed, again, and now I was seriously down on points eight to zero. I established guard once again after a real battle of grips, strength, and technique. I looked over and there was less than thirty seconds left on the clock so I knew I had to pull off a sub to win this thing. Trapped his arm, threw a leg over and shot my hips up with all my strength. He went down into the arm bar, but he was holding his arm so I could not break it free and submit him. I locked it up as best I could and pulled that thing back with everything in me. It gave, but wouldn't tap. I pulled a little harder, and lifted my hips a little harder. He let out a cry/yell type noise and the ref stopped the fight. He argued he didn't tap, but bottom line was he was caught and wasn't tapping. First match - Win, barely.

My second match was against the silver medal winner. It started out slower than the first, and he eventually pulled guard on me. I was controlling his hips very well and he couldn't scoot out to do anything. I went for a gracie gift pass and nearly had it. Just as I broke his guard open he shot out went into a hook guard. He was speaking in some different language, (I'm assuming Portuguese because he looked Brazilian) but I had no idea what he was saying to me so I just ignored it. He was pushing and pulling, just as I was taught, and I was trying my best to keep a base and keep my grips tight. I eventually was swept, not really knowing how to defend his technique. He swept into my half guard, and I slowly worked to get back full guard. I should have swept though, because I felt that I had a good opportunity to and I didn't. Instead I established full guard and started to work for a flower sweep from there. He swept his other opponent with this move twice, very well. I could tell he had some great techniques. I tried twice, opposite sides, and failed. Almost having it the second time but my grip on his base slipped so he didn't budge. After failing the sweep I decided that I would try and finish the fight from the guard, and worked for the cross collar choke. I had a good grip on the left lapel, but couldn't sink in the grip on the other side. After a minute or so, time ran out and he had taken the match 2-0 with a win by sweep. Disappointed, I shook his hand and thanked the ref and walked back to the side of the mats.

I had missed my chance to seize the moment and I could feel that tenfold. For a second I looked over and saw my teammate YunJae in a match right next to my mat. His division was going on the same time mine was and I only caught his last match, which happened to be finals. I quickly got involved in it, running over to his side and coaching. I yelled out points and the score and the time and just did everything I could to encourage and help YunJae win the gold. Time ran out and He took the match 2-0. It had sort of ignited a small fire inside me and I was happy again. I congratulated him and sat back down. My name was called again for another match, and surprised I walked to the mat and got ready for battle.

I was unaware that I would be competing for third place, but didn't ask questions. After watching my teammate go out there and do his absolute best I was ready to do the dang thing. Ref said go and I went. Felt him out for a few seconds, and took him straight to the ground with a hard take down. Heard the crowed go "Oooo" and that only fueled me. The match was reset in the middle from his guard, and we went at it again. I focused extremely hard on keeping tight and not letting him scoot his hips out to work. He didn't budge for about a minute of the match, and thats when I took the chance to use some of his expended energy against him. There's a move I use sometimes in practice, not quite perfected, but I was confident I could do it against this opponent at that moment. I let him get a easy grip to shoot for a triangle, but at the precise time he shot for the triangle I spun my body around and walked my feet over his chest passing his guard. The move worked flawlessly and scored me three points for the guard pass. He eventually got half guard back, and I escaped seconds later straight to mount. I worked for a Kimura to try and end the fight with about 20 seconds left. He rolled me as I had it locked in and I kept it while he was in my guard. I tried to finish this way (the same way I had finished me first match at arnolds) but he got out of it somehow. With about 10 seconds left in the match I was up on points and held on the rest of the way.

I was happy with my last matches performance, and even more happier that it was against a fairly tough opponent. I executed my plan very strategically and it worked well. Overall I took third place, which I was eventually happy with considering how tough my opponents were and was even more happier after I considered how long I had been training to that point, which was only about 4 months.

I send out huge thank you's to Coach Hyde for the ride in the "trunk" of his car, and also to Stutz, Dano, Tim, A.J and YunJae.

It was a great experience and learned a million things that I plan to work on and implement this weekend in class and during the next few months of training and competing.


Sunday, April 18, 2010

The notebook

Now... we aren't talking about the 2004 romance movie staring Ryan gosling and Rachael McAdams. We are talking about the small square thing everyone should have in their gym bag for practice.

I recently started using the notebook to memorize the techniques and make sure they stayed fresh in my mind. Every time I wrote a new technique or tip in there, I'd read a couple others just to get it flowing through my brain again. I find that the notebook comes in handy for a few other things though. Not JUST to help you memorize your techniques.

Today in class we learned, or at least it was my first time learning, a variation of the loop choke with a cross collar grip. I wrote this down in my journal, and of course that sunk it deeper into my mind. ( Remember guys, the more ways you do something, the better you learn it) Meaning - writing it down, saying it, doing it, watching someone do it, listen to someone explain it. The more ways you do something, or the more senses that you touch (Touch, feel, see, hear) the easier and better for you in the long run. If I JUST do it and then expect to remember that forever its going to be a lot harder on me than someone who did it, then wrote it down, then explained it to someone, then watched them do it, then had them explain it to them. See what I mean eh?

ANYWAYS - as I was saying. I wrote this down in my journal, step by step. As I read through it and revised it, I actually acquired a better understanding of the technique itself and how it actually works. This deeper understanding led to me being able to help my teammate do the technique correctly as well. Not only could I help my teammate do it correctly, from there I could build a couple things off of the technique I had just learned. Or, add a little of my own personal flare to it if you will. So, from the few minutes I wrote the technique down and read it over I was able to deepen my own understanding of it, deepen my teammates understanding of it, build off of it, and better establish that technique into my mind on a more permanent basis. Imagine what could be done if I read through this technique several more times and practice it regularly. You become your own little master and thats when you know you have truly learned the technique.

The power of the notebook goes beyond just memorization. There is a long list of other things that the notebook is beneficial for. Go out and get one, and get back to me on how this helps your game, or didn't help at all... whichever one...


Robson Fusion 2 Sweep from half

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

NAGA approaching

With NAGA approaching most of my time is consumed by jiu jitsu. If im not doing jiu jitsu, Im making a meal that is going to benefit my body FOR jiu jitsu, which is basically...still jiu jitsu. We are about 10 days out and I'm not even 100% sure that I will have a ride down to Chicago to compete. I still have to use my time wisely though, because more than likely I will find some teammate to ride down there with.

I'd like to be more prepared for this tournament than I was for the Arnold's. I did a fair job there, and took silver in my division with about 12 competitors, but its not what I went there to do. I went to take gold and I choked up in my last match under my own nerves. Though I was happy because my teammate took the gold, (good job YunJae) something inside of me knew thats not why I rode down to Columbus.

A few things I have changed from my last tournament -
1. My diet has been completely re vamped.
2. I have added another training day to my routine, Sundays.
3. I've approached class a bit differently than I originally was, and I am learning from my teammates a whole lot every day.
4. Started writing down what we learn in class, this way the techniques don't just disappear from my mind.

Those things, among a few other things, I think will help me become just a tad bit more prepared. Though I know, that I could be more prepared than anyone there, if I don't go out there with heart and do what I've been taught I'm not taking anything home but another lesson.

I'm still learning how to flow with the go.