Tuesday, June 21, 2011

NEW! Women's Gameness Feather Gi

Every gi I have ever owned (besides my first one) has been Gameness.  I have two platinums (white/blue), one elite (white), and one feather (black).  When I heard they were coming out with a new gi, cut specifically for women I was very excited!  I just got the new female gi from Gameness last week and I must say, I love it!  It is a feather weave with rip stop pants.  Gameness also makes a feather weave for men, which is also awesome...I own one of those too :)  Although, if you are a girl I highly recommend getting the female gi.  The top is cut slimmer, the sides tapper in, so its not all baggy like the men's feather.  The sleeves are thinner too - this is a feature I personally really like.  It makes it harder for your opponent to get a good grip!  As far as I can tell, the pants are the same cut as the regular feather.  It comes in two colors, violet and white.  I have the violet right now, and I plan on getting the white for the bigger tournaments that have color restrictions for the gi you are allowed to wear. 

 So all you lady's out there that are in the market for a new gi, I suggest trying the new female feather weave from Gameness!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Words I Live By

Loyalty: faithfulness or a devotion to a person, country, group, or cause

 “The greater the loyalty of a group toward the group, the greater is the motivation among the members to achieve the goals of the group, and the greater the probability that the group will achieve its goals.”  -Rensis Likert

Integrity: a concept of consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations, and outcomes. In ethics, integrity is regarded as the honesty and truthfulness or accuracy of one's actions. 

"Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity."
 -W. Clement Stone

Honesty: honorable in principles, intentions, and actions; upright and fair. It also denotes positive, virtuous attributes such as integrity, truthfulness, and straightforwardness along with the absence of lying, cheating, or theft.

“If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it."  -Marcus Aurelius

Thursday, April 21, 2011

IBJJF: New York Open

Last Saturday I competed in my first New York Open along with two of my other teammates, Kevin Callen and Arturo Ayala.  This was Kevin's first ever tournament and he took gold after mowing through his opponent.  It was Arturo's first international level tournament and he took bronze.  I placed 3rd in my division, losing to the champion, and I took 2nd in the open weight class.  I only lost two matches all day...both to the same girl, Jessica Eve Richer.

Below are my videos from the open division.  Unfortunately my camera died (I really need to get a wall charger for that thing!) and I couldn't get the finals recorded. :-(




Thanks to our coach, Dave Trader, and to those that came out to cheer us on!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Grapplers Quest: Beast of the East VI

Last weekend Andrew Babeu and I traveled to Asbury Park, New Jersey to participate in Grappler's Quest Beast of the East VI.  We had quite an adventure....

It started off at 3:00pm Friday afternoon.  Our estimated drive time to the weigh-ins was 4.5 hours without traffic and 5.5 hours with traffic.  Okay, so weigh-ins end at 8:00pm, we are supposed to leave between 2:30pm and 3:00pm, so if we drive fast we should be able to make it no problem.   Well, Andrew gets to the gym around 3:15pm so we are already behind schedule...hopefully there won't be much traffic.... (its 3:15pm on a rainy Friday...no traffic?  yeah right!)  It takes us 2.25 hours to get from the gym, Manassas Mixed Martial Arts, to I-95!  36 miles in 2 hours!  At this point we know we aren't going to make it to the night before weight-ins; in fact, we probably won't even make it up there in time to go out to dinner :-(  The drive was long, it was dark and raining the entire time, and for a while I didn't even have anyone to talk to because Andrew decided to sleep...thanks man.

We end up getting there around 10:00pm, we checked into our hotel, and went out for food.  Pretty much the only places left to eat were fast food restaurants....so we went to Taco Bell.  I was a little nervous about getting any food since we had missed the weigh-ins.  I didn't bring my scale and I wasn't sure what eating out would do to my weight.  I ate a quesadilla and a taco and drank some diet Pepsi.  Not too bad....  I finished way before Andrew, who was eating multiple burritos and tacos!  They looked and smelled so good!


After Taco Bell we proceeded to the 24 hour grocery store to get snacks and drinks for Saturday.  Of course the have and Easter section and Andrew just couldn't resist buying the $10 giant chocolate Easter bunny!  which I have to admit was pretty good : )  We got our snacks - Nature Valley granola bars along with some G2 for me, and a bunch of random stuff for Andrew.  After this we went back to the hotel and went to bed.  ..But only after eating a little bit of the chocolate bunny...I just couldn't resist!

Since I was so nervous about my weight I decided to wake up early to go to the weigh-ins.  That way if I was over I would have time to cut a little if I had to.  Weigh-ins opened at 7:00am, I got there around 8:00am, stood in line to register, and then proceeded to the stage to weigh-in.  I weighed in at 157 lbs.  I could have eaten more of that bunny!!!  I drove back to the hotel to get Andrew.  We went to IHOP for breakfast.  I got the Simple & Fit Two X Two X Two (2 eggs, 2 strips of turkey bacon, and 2 pancakes - 400 calories!)  Andrew got something enormous, as usual...I think it was an omelet, hash browns, biscuits and gravy, and sausages.  Service was horrible.  It took forever for them to take our order and forever for our food to come out.  Once our food finally came out, it was barely warm.  I would've complained but I didn't want to risk them doing something gross to my food if they took it back.  Andrew's food wasn't very hot either.  He didn't even finish.  For the the first time in my life I have only 10% tip....   I love IHOP but I was very disappointed with this visit.

Anyways, back to the tournament.  We got to the venue, Andrew registered and weighed in while I found a place to sit.  The place was awesome.  As soon as you walked through the doors you could hear the music playing and see competitor warming up.  There was such a good vibe traveling through the room, it really got you excited to compete!

The tournament started an hour late, which is not unusual.  Before starting Brian Cimins made an announcement welcoming everyone, wishing everyone luck, and informing all of us that this was the biggest turn-out of competitors Grappler's Quest has ever had!  Kids divisions started at 11:15am and went till about 2:00 or 3:00pm, when finally the adult divisions started going.  I think a lot of competitors dropped out of their gi divisions since the no-gi was taking so long.  The gi divisions didn't even start until about 6:30 or 7:00pm and the last match of the night took place around 11:00pm!

I went into this tournament with a new confidence.  After losing in the first round at Pan-Ams I decided I needed to reevaluate my jiu-jitsu game and mentality.  My jiu-jitsu was good but my mind wasn't right.  I talked a lot with my coach and one of my teammates about it.  They both gave me some great advice, which I followed, and it worked.  
My first division was the Women's Advanced No-Gi 140-159.9 lbs division.  I won my both of my matches by triangle chokes!  Watch the videos for all the details.


Michelle Welti takes 1st in the Women's Advanced No-Gi 140-159.9 lbs division.

My next division was the Women's Advanced No-Gi Absolute.  My first match was stopped.  During a takedown my opponent landed on her knee wrong and was unable to continue.  My second match went all 6 minutes, ending 15-2, allowing me to take home the gold in this division as well.  Despite winning the match, I was thrown off a bit by all the leg locks my opponent was getting my in.  I managed to escape every time but it definitely threw me off a bit and made me want to learn some leg locks myself.


Sorry the video cuts out early.  My video camera battery died :-(

Michelle Welti places 1st in the Women's Advanced No-Gi Absolute.

I placed first and took home the prize of a championship belt, $250 cash, and compete free for life!

During the finals match my name was called over the loud speaker, so after my match I went to the customer service table to see what was up.  It turned out there weren't any other blue belts registered in my weight class or the weight class above me.  Soooooooo disappointing!  I am getting ready to compete in the New York Open this coming weekend and that will be gi only so I was really looking forward to competing in the gi.

Around 7:00pm Andrew division finally started.  He was competing in the Men's Beginner No-Gi Absolute for a shot at $150 cash and compete free for life!  The division consisted of 26 men!  Andrew fought 5 matches, finishing 2 by points, 2 by submissions, and losing just one to the eventual winner.  Andrew placed third overall.  He also competed in the Judo Throwdown Challenge and the Wrestling Takedown Challenge placing 3rd in both of those as well.  Make sure to check out Andrew's blog for all the details of his matchs!

Andrew Babeu places 3rd in the Men's Beginner No-Gi Absolute.

We finally left New Jersey around 11:30pm.  There weren't any restaurants open anymore so we just started heading home.  We were both pretty tired so we stopped at a gas station for some energy pills and soda.  Andrew wanted to go to Pat's King of Steaks in Philadelphia for their world famous Phili Cheese Steak.  I wasn't opposed to the idea since I was hungry and they were open 24 hours.  Once we got there I was a little annoyed though.  It was in a bad part of town and there was absolutely nowhere to park.  I dropped Andrew off to get the food and circled the block.  Totally sketchy..weird people were standing on the corners.....  I come back around and there is Andrew, standing on the sidewalk with NO FOOD.  Apparently they only accept cash.  So I had to park, find and ATM, and then wait in line for my food.  We were surrounded by drunk people at 1:45am in the middle of Philadelphia...fun.  I was so grouchy because I was tired and hungry.  I kept telling Andrew that this cheese steak better be worth it!  It was :-)

We finally got back to the gym at 5:15am.  I got 2.5 hours of sleep and then it was time to teach my kid's team.

Overall, I had a very fun, satisfying trip.  Congrats again to Andrew on his medals and for getting over some mental fears he had about competing in the adult division.


Be sure to check out www.mmaindc.com for articles and more pics from the tournament!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Feeling Good

So things seem to be coming together a bit.  I have started focusing more on myself and less on what is going on with everyone around me.  I am focusing on my own personal weaknesses and correcting them when I catch myself doing these things.  I have been pushing past my mental blocks and taking more risks when sparring.  It feels good.  By not putting so much pressure on myself during class it is allowing me to enjoy rolling more and I am actually preforming better!

In Judo class Tuesday I land and ippon drop seoi nage against James!  And I tried for many other throws against him, Andrew, and Victor (black belt Judo instructor).  Even though I knew there was no way I was going to be able to throw Victor I still tried, and if I got thrown in the process (which I did...a few times) that was okay because I was being offensive and aggressive.

Last night I actually surprised myself -- I did things that I thought I couldn't do.  I swept a bigger, stronger opponent from my half guard, I swept a bigger, stronger guy from deep half, I used the technique we learned in class during the guard rotation, I landed submissions.  I felt like the mental blocks were gone and I was in the zone.  I didn't want to stop training, but class had already run overtime and we were preventing the muay thai class from starting.

My confidence is starting to reach the level it should already be at.  I am feeling really good about going into these upcoming tournaments.  Grappler's Quest Beast of the East this Saturday in New Jersey, and the IBJJF New York Open next Saturday. :-D

Check these items out on Amazon -- These are some great books, and the Gameness Platinum Weave Gi is the one I use for competition : )

Monday, April 4, 2011


Dave Sweeping Me
I just want to say thanks to my coach and boyfriend, Dave Trader, and to my teammate, Bill Nagle, for helping me to get past this mental hump I've hit.  I haven't fully passed over this hill but I am on my way over it.  Your words of wisdom and hours of rolling have definitely changed my mindset these past few days.

Bill and I - Half Guard Action
There are some fundamental flaws in my game that have been hurting me and there are definitely mental blocks that I have too.  Dave gave me a great book to read called The Mental Athlete by Kay Porter.  I have only read a few pages so far, but I believe it is already starting to help.  

Thanks again Dave and Bill.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Hitting a Plateau

Do you ever feel like you've hit a plateau?  Like you are just stagnating at a certain level?  Like no matter what you do you just can't seem to improve your weaknesses?

This is how I feel right now.  I know all the things I need to do but I just can't seem to make my game change.  I need to make my mind think quicker and retain more knowledge...but I can't figure out how to make it do this.  I learn things in class, drill them, and understand them, but as soon as the day is done I seem to forget how to execute them.  I spar and my coach yells for me to do things but by the time his voice processes through my head and I think of what he is saying the opportunity is gone.  I see openings but by the time my head processes what to do the openings are gone.

....I have my good collar grip, I'm breaking the posture, I'm going for the choke -- he postures waaay back -- ooh, I should hip bump sweep.....

Do I get it? NO.  By the time this thought gets to my brain the opportunity is gone. 

It's the same with transitions.  I know how to transition from one thing to the next....but when I spar my mind seems to forget.  I shoot a triangle, they posture.  I know I should switch off to an armlock or an omaplata but do I do it? Of course not.  The thought doesn't even seem to cross my mind.

WHY??? I don't understand this.  I have been doing jiu-jitsu for years, why am I having so much trouble all of sudden?  I need to be quicker and transition faster.  I know these things, but why can't I do them?

No matter how hard I try, it doesn't seem to be enough.  The harder I push myself the more I seem to shut down.  I go into class thinking about my weaknesses with the plan to conciously think about them and try to fix them.  I try, and try, and try, and the harder I try without results the more frustrated I get.  I push myself more, I tell myself to relax and not get upset, but I can't.  I go insane.

I feel lost...

I don't know what to do to take myself to the next level...

I need help...

Pans - Day 3/4

Pictures and Videos coming soon!

Pans - Day 3: Local Competitor Videos & Pics!


Leo Dalla vs Alessandro L. Gomes Almeida

 Isaac July vs Omar Sabha


Nakapan Phungephorn vs Aldo Januario de Oliveira

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Pans - Day 2

So I know today is day 3 but I want to recap day 2 before I say anything about today.

Yesterday was my day to compete.  I woke up early, took a shower, and got ready to go.  I left nice and early so I could get to the venue with pleanty of time to check my weight, settle in, and relax before my bracket was up.  I got there at 10:00am and my weight was 160 -- great! that's 3 pounds under!  I ate some granola bars and an apple throughout the day and drank some water and Gatorade.  I kept weighing myself throughout the day and my weight never went above 160.5 (which I don't get because I was drinking a lot!).  Forty minutes before it was time for my bracket to go I decided to start getting warmed up.  I like to warm up early because I always get nervous jitters and running around helps me to get rid of them.  My bracket was called to the warm-up area at 1:20 so I went from running around the back hallways to bouncing around in the bull pen.  I was in there for an hour before they called me to get my gi and weight checked.  Surprisingly I was pretty relax this whole time, even as I walked onto the mat. 

Michelle Welti (DTJJ) vs Brooke Goldsworthy (Crispim BJJ) 
We shook hands and the match began.  Brooke crouched down low - I knew this meant she was going to try to pull guard.  She backed away from me as I came in to get my grip.  I remained in the center of the mat to wait for her to come to me.  I wanted her to play my game.  Time was ticking by and she wouldn't come to me so finally I went to her.  I grabbed her lapel and she immediately pulled guard.  I held her up, her feet weren't closed yet - this is not so bad, I like the top, I'll just pass to the side and submit.  Oh no, she grabbed my ankels - I can't let her sweep me, I am not starting this match down to points.  She ended up sweeping me.  She was in my open guard in combat base.  I tried for submissions, and I tried for sweeps but she was holding her positions and not wanting to move.  I was getting frustrated.  All of a sudden I here someone call out "30 seconds left!"  No, I refuse to lose in the first round again.  I MUST get a sweep!  I tried so hard, but was unable to do anything.  The buzzer rang - I lost. 

I was so mad, and dissapointed, and frustrated.  I couldn't believe I lost in the first round.  I honestly thought  I was going to win gold.  I wanted to cry.  I gathered my things and returned to the stands to watch the remainder of my braket.  Brooke Goldsworthy ended up placing third in the bracket.  First place went to Jessica Eve Richer of team Gracie Barra Long Island.  And 2nd place went to Alexis Dufresne of team Carlson Gracie.
Hours past as I watch the rest of the women's blue and purple belt divisions.  Time was closing in on the Women's Blue Belt Open.  I cleared my head and was ready to make my comeback in the Open.

Michelle Welti (DTJJ) vs Hana Fischer (Alliance SP)
Match starts and I immediately get my grips.  Hana also gets her grips, a huge power grip around my arm and to my belt.  Great, gotta break this and get my posture - she's creating an angle, she wants to throw - break that grip NOW.  I broke the grip - we gripped back up, same grip.  I broke it again.  We gripped back up, SAME grips - ugh this is getting frustrating. Oh no, I just got thrown.  I won't let her take my side...turtle up.   I reached for her leg to drive he back.  She was big and sprawling hard - I just couldn't pull that leg under.  New plan, sit through to guard.   I tried a few time to sit through to guard but had to revert back to the turtle.  Eventually I got to the half guard. I need to sweep to the top, I can't let this 200 pounder stay on top.  Let's try to get to deep half and sweep, I don't think I can lift all her weight with a hook sweep with my bad knee.  Oh shit, she has my arm and is going for a paint brush!  My shoulders are bad!  This hurts so bad...  Tap.  I lost again.

I learned a lot yesterday.  There are many things I need to work on.  But the number 1 thing is my confidence.  I know I am better than most, if not all, of the girls out here, but for some reason when I get to the mat all my confidence goes out the window.  I start to fear losing and it crushes me mentally.  I need to search deep inside myself and figure out why this is.  It is only then that I will start winning the titles I deserve.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Pans - Day 1 Con't

I got to the tournament, paid $10 for parking, and made my way inside.  It's a pretty big place, not as big as the venue for the World's, but still pretty big.  There were all the usual stands -- Atama, Jiu-Jitsu Pro Gear, Keiko, Vulkan, Gracie Mag, the Brazilian BBQ, and the Acai ice cream with granola and sliced bananas on it (soooo good!).  I took a couple pictures and then started trying to find the stand to pick up my event t-shirt.  I wanted to get my t-shirt right away because there were already a lot of people there and I didn't want them to run out of size small.  At last year's World's I had to get a medium that I don't even wear :(  Eventually I found it -- downstairs in the competitors area.  I had never seen a line so long to get a shirt!  I was a little worried they wouldn't have my size, but after standing there for 45 minutes I found out they did!!

I went back upstairs and found a good seat to settle in at for the day.  I watched hours of matches and finally left the tournament a little after 4:00pm.  It wasn't over yet but most of the blue belts were done and the next 3 hours of the schedule were supposed to be white belts.  I did want to see the blue belt male open division but it wasn't scheduled until 7:00pm and I just didn't want to sit through all those white belts to see it.  My drive back to my hotel is supposed to only take 15-20 minutes and it took me an HOUR!  Ugh, traffic was so bad.

Now I think I am going to head over to the 24 Hour Fitness and do a little cardio and kill some time!

Pans - Day 1

When I got to my hotel last night I was a little scared.  It was dark and rainy, my room was all the way in the back of the building, and there were weird people sitting outside.  I was planning to go to Walmart to get some food and drinks and other stuff I'd be needing for the next few days, but decided to stay in because I didn't want to walk past those people again.  I talked to Dave on the phone for a while and then went to bed.  It was only like 10:00pm here but it felt like 1:00am.  I ended up waking up at 5:00am (equivalent to 8:00am back home, which is like sleeping in for 2 extra hours for me) went back to sleep and woke up again around 7:00am.  I got dressed and went to Walmart.  The neighborhood I'm in is not actually bad like I originally thought.  Like two blocks away there is an amusment park, Knott's Berry Farm - America's First Theme Park, and tons of stores and restaurants and a mall!  I feel much better now :)

 I got all my groceries and have settled in a bit so now I am ready to head out for the day.  Check out the venue, watch the white belts and blue belt males compete.  I want to get my event t-shirt today too so that I can get a size small -- at last years Mundials I had to get a medium and I don't even wear it because it is too big :-( 

Well, I'm off -- I'll take pics while I'm there and post them for you guys!


Heading to Cali -- ALONE!

This is the first time in my 23 year of life that I have ever traveled alone. It’s a little scary but kind of fun. I feel like I am being forced to grow up a little bit and becoming more independent. I am traveling to Irvine, CA to compete in the IBJJF: Pan Jiu-jitsu Championship. I wasn’t supposed to take this trip alone, but due to unexpected circumstances I had to. I was pretty stressed out this morning – I had to work before leaving for the airport, and the entire time I was at work I was on the phone with the travel agency making changes to my trip – cancelling a flight and changing the car rental. After being on the phone for what seemed like forever, I finally got things straightened out. After getting of the phone I felt like one weight was lifted off my shoulders and another was put on. I am about to travel to the other side of the country to compete in the second largest tournament in the world – ALONE!

Dave Trader was supposed to bring me to the airport but because of those unforeseen circumstances he was running late. Those of you who know me know how crazy I get when I am feeling stressed. So finding out Dave was going to be a little late got my heart rate going and I could feel the stress coming on. Luckily for me, Dave is awesome and knows that I got nuts about this kind of stuff and he suggested I drive myself to the airport and just pay to park. Initially my heart sunk at the thought of not being able to see him before leaving for this trip – my first trip alone, to a big tournament. I wanted to wait for him so I could get some last minute words of wisdom before the tournament, but then I decided it would be best to just get to the airport and not stress myself out too much. I can always talk to him on the phone right? :-)
Josh was in between clients on a long break so he said he would take me to the airport. (Thanks again!) My flight was scheduled to take off at 2:20pm so getting to there airport at 1:00pm gave me plenty of time to get through security. So I head to security dreading the long line I’d have to stand in, but luckily for me there was almost no line at all! I flew right through that (no body scanners) and headed to my departure gate. When I got to my gate I saw there was a flight delay! Ugh, I wished I had waited for Dave! We didn’t start boarding the plane until 2:45 and didn’t take off till after 3:00! This pushed our arrival time back to 6:00pm – hopefully this doesn’t effect my car rental…I know they are weird about you picking your car up within a certain amount of time. I’m sure things will be fine – why do I always do this to myself, stressing over nothing!

Anyways, now I am bored on the plane with nothing to do. The last two times I traveled out to California I traveled on Virgin America, which was awesome. They have TV’s behind every seat and you can watch TV or movies, play games, listen to music, order food – it even shows you a map of where you are, how fast you are going, your altitude, and your ETA! Today I am flying American Airlines and I must say I am very disappointed. The only thing for you to do is watch the “feature film” on the one TV they have for every 3 rows. Fortunately for me I was interested in what they were showing – a documentary on how bad the education system and teachers in America are. Now that that is over there is nothing to do again, so I thought to myself, what better time to write a blog entry! As soon as I land and am able to connect to the internet again I will post this!


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

US Grappling: Submission Only - March 19th

This past Saturday was my first ever submission only tournament.

No points.

No time limits.
Roll to the tap.

I have to admit, I was pretty nervous going into this. More nervous than I let everyone believe. I was nervous because in class and at tournaments I don't find myself finishing a lot of submissions. I am the only female in my school so most of the time when I roll I am going against someone who is larger and stronger than me and just won't try any techniques and will just sit there and defend or hold me down out of fear that they will get beat by a girl, so then I find myself having to use all my might just to execute basic techniques on these guys, let alone finish a submission.

But despite being nervous about the potential of long matches due to my lack of finishing skills, there were things that made me more relaxed too. I didn't have to worry about giving up any points or having to race against the clock to win the match. I could take my time and roll the way I wanted -- tight, controlled, heavy.

I was most nervous about my no-gi match because I don't really train without the gi very often. I am so used to getting my grips on the gi and now I have to grip a sweaty wrist!?  Once we got to the ground I felt much better - my nervousness left, and I was having fun!  I stayed in dominant position the entire time - half guard on top, side control, mount, back control - and after 12:30 minutes I finished with a rear naked choke.  I was so excited!

When the gi division rolled around I wasn't nervous one bit.  I was excited to take my time on my feet and try to get a judo throw.  This match was fast, just 2:30 minutes.  I went for a Tai-O-Toshi and landed in side control.  I tried for an Americana but she was blocking well, and then I heard my coach, Dave Trader, tell me to go for the bread cutter.  Next thing I knew, she was tapping!

Out of every tournament I've been to, this one was the most FUN!  I cannot wait for the next Submission Only in Richmond!

Check out the highlight video and photos from the event at www.mmaindc.com!

Monday, March 21, 2011

VIDEOS: US Grappling Richmond - March 5th

US Grappling Richmond - March 5th

Friday night, my teammate Andrew Babeu and I drove down to the night-before weigh-ins in Ashland, VA for the US Grappling Richmond  tournament.  Andrew weighed in at 201 lbs and I weighed in at 157.5 lbs, both of us making weight! We drove back up to Fredericksburg to meet our teammates Josh Wehrmann and Bill Nagle for dinner at Olive Garden for a little post weigh-in feast - yum! After dinner we followed Bill back to his Dad's house (he lives in Fredericksburg) to get a good night's sleep before heading off to the tournament in the morning!

The plan was to wake up at 8:00am and head to IHOP for breakfast.  But at around 7:45AM Andrew thought it would be "hilarious" to set off his alarm and throw his phone into my room to wake me up!  But because I was already awake before he did this and could hear him snickering outside my door, I knew he was up to something. I wasn't sure what, but because I grew up with five brothers I was ready for just about anything.  I thought someone might come running in to jump on me, or shake me awake, or something crazy like that.  Luckily for me, all he did was turn his alarm on and throw his phone at me.  Soooooo......I guess the guys had decided they wanted to leave by 8:00 instead of wake up at 8:00......next time how about you just knock on the door and wake me up.......boys.........sigh.

Michelle Welti (Blue) vs. Lo Menzies (White)
After IHOP we made our way over to the tournament. Our coach, Dave Trader got stuck in the typically awful I-95 traffic on his way down, but ended up making it before my first match started.  I was the first competitor up for Team Dave Trader in my Women's Advanced No-Gi Absolute division. My first match went well - I got the takedown , passed the guard, got the mount and ended up winning on points. My second match was again Lo Menzies, a great competitor from BJJ Revolution in Richmond! She was one of the toughest girls I've competed against. She pulled guard and I almost got caught in a triangle early on. I did manage to escape, but had to give up the sweep in the process. The rest of the match was pretty much fought from my guard, with lots of attempted arm locks.  Unfortunately I just couldnt manage to lock any of them in and ended up losing 2-0...that darn sweep! The next division was the Women's Blue Belt up to 158 lbs division. My first match as against Lo again. We had a hard 6 minute match and she ended up beating me in a very close match on points again. My next match went a bit better.  I got an Osoto Gari, landed in side control, and quickly finished my opponent with an Americana to place second.  My final match of the day was in the Women's Blue Belt Absolute.  I attempted to throw on my much heavier opponent, but missed and ended up on my back fighting from my guard for the remainder of the match.  I really need to work on my judo.  So overall, I placed 2nd in all three of my divisions - not what I wanted but I got some good matches and know what I need to work on.

Andrew Babeu (left) vs. LJ Hand (right)
Andrew, despite his best attempts to convince Dave he should only fight in the teen division, fought in all 6 divisions open to him.  He finished the day with 5 medals overall placing 1st in both the Teen Advanced Gi and No-Gi, 2nd in the Men's Beginner No-Gi  Absolute and No-Gi up to 202lbs, and 1st in the Men's White Belt up to 202lbs.

Big Josh fought in the Men's White Belt Ultra Heavy Weight division and Men's While Belt Absolute, making quick work of all his opponents and placing 1st in both.

With just three competitors, Team Dave Trader Jiu-Jitsu took home 5 GOLD medals and 5 SILVER medals!  Great job guys!!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I hate being sick :(

Training has been at a stand still for the past week.  I got pretty sick last week and couldn't train in fear of getting my teammates sick too.  I ended up leaving work early on Friday and sleeping for the following 14 hours.  I had a fever and felt awful.  I dragged myself out of bed for my Mom's birthday party on Saturday.  It was fun, we went bowling :-)  but it was hard.  I was so tired after that, I went home, got back in bed and didn't get out again until yesterday morning  for work.  (Thank goodness it was a holiday and we opened at 8am instead of 5am!) 

I am finally starting to feel okay enough to start working out again.  I think I may just do some cardio today, maybe the stairs for 30 minutes and then sit in the sauna to loosen up all the gunk in my lungs.  I hate not being able to train.  I have so many goals for this year, but if I keep getting injured or sick they are going to be hard to fulfill.  I need to start dieting again - Valentine's Day and then getting sick has caused me to eat a lot of junk.  Dieting is just so hard.  Especially when everyone around you is NOT dieting and eating anything they want.  What am I supposed to do when everyone is going out to Chipotle for lunch!?  I can do it, I just need to get back into the swing of things.  Once you get past those first two weeks it gets easy, it becomes a habit.

I hate not being active.  I am feeling fat and lazy and I can't stand it!!!!!!  I NEED BJJ BACK!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Abu Dhabi Pro Trials 2011

Over the weekend I competed in the Abu Dhabi Pro Trials in Jersey City, NJ, USA.

I left the gym Friday afternoon with my coach to head up to NJ for the weigh-ins.  The drive was long but we finally made it.  I weighted in and then we were off to our hotel.  Our hotel wasn't too bad.  I was a little upset that I had to pay an extra $15 for parking, but other than that it was good.  I got a good 9-10 hours of sleep and then it was time to head to the tournament!

It was raining (yuck!) and with all the snow they have gotten up north, parking was nearly impossible.  There wasn't a parking lot; all street parking...with meters!  Finally after driving around for about 15-20 minutes we found a spot about 2 blocks away.  We parked and headed to the venue.  The tournament started on time and actually ran pretty efficiently.  It started with female purple/brown/black belts and male brown/black belts, followed by male purple, then female white/blue and male white/blue.

After hours of watching and waiting it was finally my turn to go!  My first match was against a girl from Brazilian Top Team Canada.  She pulled guard, I passed to half, I tried to take her back but got swept landing in my guard where I ended up submitting her by cross collar choke.  The match was only 2:30 minutes, giving me plenty of recovery time before the next round.  My next match was against another girl from Brazilian Top Team Canada.  She also pulled guard, I passed and dominated positionally.  I tried for submissions but she defended pretty well.  Final score was 13-0, although I think they didn't give me points for a few things.  My last match wasn't as great as the first two :(  I got taken down, but landed in my guard.  The girl passed to half, tried for the mount but I recovered half guard, and with 30 seconds left she ended up tapping me with a straight arm lock. 

Overall I took second place in the women's white/blue +63kg division.  Not bad, but I don't like to settle for less than first.  I definitely need to work on a few things, specially my judo and my open guard.  I have a lot to work on these next few weeks.  I won't be making the same mistakes in the next tournament.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Great rolls last night :-)

Class was great last night.  We drilled for an hour and 15 minutes, followed by 15 minutes of guard rotations, and 30 minutes of sparring.  I really tried to step it up last night, and I'm pretty sure it showed to all my teammates too.

One of my weaknesses is that in class I tend to accept things during rolling that would be unacceptable during competition...getting swept, mounted, or letting someone take my back.  Last night I put my head in tournament mode.  I refused to accept anything; if I did get put in a bad position I escaped.  I was heavy from the top and aggressive from my back.  I rolled hard right down to the last second of every round.  With 13 seconds left in one round I shot a triangle and almost put my teammate to sleep.  My gi was soaked completely through; it was awesome.

Thanks to everyone that rolled with me last night, and previous nights, helping me to get ready for the tournament this weekend.  I will make you all proud!

P.S.  I started dieting again - trying to get to 147 for Pan Ams and Worlds - I am down 3lbs :-D

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Abu Dhabi Pro Trials this weekend!

It's almost here and I can't wait!!! Just 2 more days until we leave for New Jersey, and 3 days until the competition!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Tournament Results

Well, it turned out there wasn't anyone registered in my division so I ended up just coaching this tournament :-(

Overall the team did well.

Andrew took 1st in the beginner no-gi absolute and 3rd in the white belt absolute.  Arturo took 1st in the white belt under 150 division.  Jose took 3rd in the white belt under 165 division.  Khoger and Josh fought hard matches against the eventual winners of their divisions. 

David took silver in both his gi and no-gi under 60 divisions.  Keegan took two silvers in both his gi and no-gi under 110 divisions.   Koen placed 3rd in the no-gi under 80 division.  Abby did not feel prepared for this tournament but is looking forward to competing in the next one.

I want to say a special congrats to little David.  He did such an outstanding job on Saturday.  He got his first tournament match win ever!  You should have seen the smile on his face, it was priceless!  He was landing judo throws all over the place, passing the guard, and mounting his opponents!  No submissions, but positionally he was great!  After his matches HE told ME that the reason he did so well this time around is because he has been training harder and sparring harder in class.  This is coming from a 7 year old!  I expect great things from David in the years to come.

Great job to everyone on Team DTJJ that competed!  Especially those who were competing for this first time, and those of you who got your first gold!  Keep coming to class and training hard and there will be nothing but success down the road.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Change of Plans!

I will be competing tomorrow at CopaNova....even though I'm 15-20lbs over my competition weight and have a sore rib and knee!  I have to start 2011 off right, and what better way to do that than with a tournament!!!  I can't wait!

Good luck to Josh, Arturo, Jose, Khoger, Koen, Keegan, Abby, and David who will all also be competing!  Let's go Team Dave Trader!!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My knee is almost better..

Last night I jumped in the guard rotation!  It was great!  I hadn't rolled in almost three weeks due to my knee.  I was a little hesitant at first because there were a lot of new guys in class...and we all know how spastic new people can be!  I ended up jumping in about half way through, I just couldn't take sitting on the sideline any longer.  It felt so good to roll around again.  Three weeks may not seem long to some of you, but anyone who does BJJ knows how much that can sucks!  That was the longest break I've taken off of jiu-jitsu in probably two years! 

Due to this break in training, I will not be participating in the CopaNova tournament this Saturday, but I will still be there to support the guys on the team that will be competing, and to coach my kids team!  We have about 5 adults and 4 kids competing.  Good luck to them all!