Friday, November 21, 2014

All Gold Everything - IBJJF Atlanta Open 2014

I'm always a little late writing these posts, but better late than never, right? :)

The Atlanta Open this year was a seriously great experience. Team Roberto Traven came out in force and took the whole thing by a super large margin, such a large margin that Gracie Mag wrote an article about it. Here's the official point spread per the IBJJF results page:

1 - Roberto Traven BJJ - 704
2 - Alliance - 342
3 - Gracie Barra - 198

This victory was a complete team effort which is a large part of why it felt so good.

It's really awesome to be a part of something that really does feel bigger than yourself. Of course, everyone on our team wanted to win their individual matches, but the unique part was that a lot of that desire to win was to score points for the team. And the reason for this seemingly skewed ratio of desire for team success over personal success can be attributed to the man himself, Master Roberto Traven. 

Master Traven pushes everyone on the team to be their best regardless of who they are, where they come from, their age, goals, anything - none of it matters. He only cares that you are willing to work hard and will always try to do your best. I think this is something very special and is largely why he is truly revered by every member of the team. 

This moment meant so much to all of us because it meant so much to him. 

I love my team. 

Looking a bit more closely, some of my favorite people on the planet, the Roberto Traven Ladies team, absolutely crushed it at this tournament! I'm super lucky to get to have so many awesome ladies to train with on my Jiu Jitsu journey.

In addition to an AWESOME team success, I had a little success of my own as well winning my division and the open weight division. I'd never won an open weight division before so that was a pretty cool feeling. Plus, the fact that I had several tough matches with some very tough ladies made the victory that much sweeter. 

Let's just say it was a pretty freakin awesome day :)

Much of the photo credit to Preston Smith Photography - he's awesome, you should check him out.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Fushida COMPLS Women's BJJ Gi Review

I've trained and competed regularly in the Fushida COMPLS women's gi for the last 8-9 months and it's held up extremely well despite rigorous daily use. This is my new favorite gi for both training and competition. It fits the female form perfectly, is constructed really well, and is aesthetically appealing without being overdone. 

I would say the sizing chart is very accurate. For reference, I wear an F1 and I'm about 5'1" tall and weigh between 115-125 lbs depending on the time of year ;) Two of my training partners also have this gi, and they were both able to use this size chart to accurately select the perfect size as well. 
Fushida Women's Size Chart
The Fit

This gi fits me really well which is a rare find for my petite yet athletic build. 

The jacket is the perfect length for my long torso at ~25.5in / 65cm lapel to hem after washing and hang drying and gives ample room in the shoulders for my relatively broad back. The sleeves are the perfect length as well at ~25in / 63.5cm lapel to hem after washing and hang drying. Plus, the sleeves minimally taper and are wide enough that I never worry about them passing IBJJF standards. 

Side rant - why do all women's gis seem to over taper?? Thank you for keeping it wide, Fushida :)

The pants are also cut to accommodate the female hip without over compensating (another common issue I find with women's gis). Plus, they don't create the 'diaper' effect many gi pants do - win!! The pants are straight from the hip through the leg and have a single, unobtrusive logo on the left pant leg. The pants tie with a black nylon rope and offer ample tie loops totaling 4 across the front to ensure a secure fit.

The pants were just a tad long when I first got this gi but shrunk to be the perfect length at ~33.5in / 85cm after washing in warm and tumble drying (keep in mind I'm only 5'1" and am mostly torso...).

The Feel

This gi has a great aesthetic all while providing quality that's built to hold up over time.

You can tell as soon as you put this gi on that it's well made. The fabric has a smooth yet durable feel and the stitching is reinforced in all the right places. Plus, this gi never stretches during training which is a biggie for me; I can't stand it when my gi stretches. I've put this gi through hell and back between my training and competition regimen and it looks just as good today as it did 8-9 months ago.

In addition to the quality, I really love the slightly feminine yet clean design this gi offers. The subtle purple accents - my favorite color :) - and seemingly personal touches really make this gi feel special. Of course the gi is branded, but it's done in a subtle, attractive way that lets you feel like you're still representing yourself on the mat.

The beauty is in the details.

Overall Thoughts

This is a great investment gi for the female BJJ practicioner in it for the long haul. Although this gi may be a tad pricier than the average female gi out there, it's going to fit well and it's going to hold up over time.

Bottomline, this gi offers an attractive, classic design and a level of quality you can't beat.

Pros: Great fit for the female form, accurate sizing, durable construction, aesthetically appealing

Cons: The only con I would note is the gi weight. With my belt, it comes in at about 4 lbs. For someone who cuts weight for tournaments, this can be a big factor when I'm close on weight. BUT, I would say the pros mentioned above definitely make it worth cutting the extra pound or two.

Family photoshoot sillyness for your Mom and Dad are the best :)

Thanks for the photography help, Uncle Mark!! Check him out for all of your photography and video needs at Atlanta Studios!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

What a great day - IBJJF Pan Am 2014

Competing at the 2014 IBJJF Pan Am tournament last week was a truly amazing experience. I worked hard and it paid off, nothing more validating than that!!

I felt really good going into this tournament as I was on weight, healthy, and had done everything I could to prepare. I went into my division with a cool confidence and ended up placing first after winning both of my matches by submission. Needless to say, I was more than a little bit excited :)

First match - win by armbar
I felt good after my division, so I decided to do the open weight division. Knowing that I was going to be one of the smallest girls out there, I didn't really put any pressure on myself to perform. With this sense of ease, I was able to get out there and just have a good time. I really surprised myself when I won my first match against a medium-heavy weight, won my second match against a heavy-weight, and placed 3rd overall! 

It was so exciting that I made this face...
Probably saying something like:
'Holy $#$!, I can't believe that just happened. HA!'...

Doing well in the open weight division was such a cool and unexpected experience. I went to Pan Ams with the sole intention of winning my division, so placing in the open weight was icing on the cake.

Plus, it's always enjoyable for me to get to stand my tiny light-feather weight self up on the podium with the bigger girls...

Hey, who let that child up there?!
Pan Ams 2014 is officially in my book of favorite Jiu Jitsu memories. A great day shared with great people all doing something they love, I couldn't ask for much more - WELL, except maybe for my teammates to also do well. Oh wait, that happened too! Team Roberto Traven BJJ CRUSHED it with ~35 competitors taking home 27 medals!! Success is even sweeter when shared with those you care about.

I am so incredibly grateful for my amazing Jiu Jitsu family. I could never have accomplished what I have without the people who push me to be my best everyday and support me on my journey. HUGE thank you to every one of my training partners and to Professor Roberto Traven; without you, I have no success. Also, another HUGE thank you to my sponsor, Fushida Sports Corp! It was truly an honor to get to represent all of you on the mat! I hope I made you proud!

Roberto Traven BJJ         Fushida Sports Corp

Now it's time to get back to the grind. Train hard, fight easy. 
IBJJF Worlds, I'm coming for you!! :D

AND a very special thanks to Preston Smith Photography for documenting this day for me!! Now I can relive it as many times as I want and for that I am sincerely appreciative!! :)

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