Saturday, June 26, 2010

2010 BJJ Texas State Championships

Whenever I know I have to get up early the next morning, I always have a hard time falling a sleep the night before. I knew that Georgette was picking me up at 4:45 am, but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't fall asleep until around midnight. Thankfully, I had packed my bag that night, so all I had to do was wake up, get dressed and fall asleep again for a few hours on the ride up to Fort Worth. The last thing I remember before falling asleep in the car was hearing my friend, Ian jokingly say to Georgette "Are you going to be okay driving if I fall asleep or am I going to wake up in the afterlife?" But like a champ (despite not having an alert driving companion), Georgette got us there safe and sound.

I was super excited to compete and was looking forward to rolling with Sue Ausman. Sue and I have been going toe to toe for many years now being the only two purple belts that actively compete in Texas. It's always fun to roll with her and it makes for an exciting match to watch (or so I am told). Sue is in amazing shape and one of the most skilled purple belt competitors in Texas that I've come across.

The tournament started off with no gi 1st. A newcomer Chastity Deleon was registered in the advanced no gi division. I say newcomer because I've never competed against her before in the advanced gi division. However, she definitely knows her stuff on the mats. I think that she may be a teenager, she looked very young. Maybe that's why I have never seen her in this division before.

As she went for a guard pass, I heard a loud popping noise come from my knee followed by an excruciating pain. Immediately the ref stopped the match. I lay crippled on the mats trying my best not to use every other profanity word I know in the book. They dragged me by my arms off the mat and I propped myself up against the barricade. I was told that a medic would be over to see me shortly.

Moments later a woman came over and said she was an off duty nurse. Finally after a while, I realized that no medics were coming and she was working the event as the medical staff. She asked me some questions and gently poked around at my knee, then came back with a target bag full of ice and a large Saran wrap roll. She wrapped up my knee and left. She was an awesome help. I am sure glad they had her there. I sat there for a good while holding back tears of pain as I watched my division move on without me. I wasn't really paying close attention as to who won, but I am sure that Sue dominated as she always does.

I hobbled back to my belongings in the stands and plopped down on the bleachers next to the cutest lil' 8 year old blond boy with a thick Texas accent. He asked me what had happened to my knee. I told him I had hurt it in my match. He asked me if I had been fighting in the teen division cause I looked like a teen. I laughed out loud, thanked him and told him that I was actually a grown up. That was the highlight of my whole day!

I knew that I'd be stuck at the tourney until the bitter end because Georgette was working the event. You never really know when it's going to end. Sometimes it's 3 pm and sometimes 8 pm. I had brought my camera to take photos of the event for my own portfolio, but of course at this point hobbling around taking snap shots was not exactly something my knee would tolerate.

I did manage to catch a few shots of the Black and Brown belt Absolute division which had a $1,000 cash prize up for grabs. Here's some of the shots I got of the winner Braga Neto who was in town doing a seminar.

I also managed to make my way over to the kids mats and snag a spot on the score keeping table. Surprisingly they didn't say anything to me and let me sit there as I watched the kids compete. I love watching the kids compete. They are all so uninhibited, amazingly technical and just down right cute. Here are a few shots I got of them.

I am happy to report my teammate Ian won 1st place in the no gi division and 3rd in the gi! Way to go Champ!

Overall, I have to say this was a well organized tournament as far as tournaments go. They have come along way from the 1st tournament that I did last year. I don't know why they decided to only have medics on call and not on site. I would strongly suggest that they hire medics next time as I was not the only or the most seriously injured competitor today. They were poorly prepared and equipped to handle these medical situations. On a positive note, they did wrap things up by 3 pm and had us out the door and on the road back to Austin quickly. Despite my injury that I now have to nurse, I had a great time and was glad to see my friend Sean for lunch. Big thanks to Georgette for driving and huge congrats to Ian a 2010 Texas State BJJ Champion!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Yerba maté

What is Yerba Mate? The Yerba Mate plant is a specie of holly found in Southern Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina. The infusion called mate is prepared by steeping dry leaves (and twigs) of yerba mate in hot water. Drinking mate with friends from a shared hollow gourd(also called a guampa or mate in Spanish, or cabaça or cuia in Portuguese) with a metal straw (a bombilla in Spanish, bomba in Portuguese) is a common social practice in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile, eastern Bolivia and southern and western Brazil and has been cultivated in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan.

The flavor of brewed yerba mate is strongly herbal, and grassy, reminiscent of some varieties of green tea. Some consider the flavor to be very agreeable, but it is generally bitter if steeped in boiling water. The water should be steaming hot yet not quite boiling. One can also purchase flavored mate, in which the yerba is blended with an herb (such as peppermint) or citrus rind.

In South America Yerba maté is used as a tonic, diuretic and as a stimulant to reduce fatigue, suppress appetite and aid gastric function. In Europe Yerba maté is used for weight loss, physical and mental fatigue, nervous depression, rheumatic pains and psychogenic and fatigue related headaches. In the USA Yerba maté is used for arthritis, headaches, hemorrhoids, fluid retention, obesity, fatigue, stress, constipation, allergies and hay fever

It is said that Yerba Mate "cleanses the blood, tones the nervous system, retards aging, stimulates the mind, controls the appetite, stimulates the production of cortisone and is believed to enhance the healing powers of other herbs.". If you want to loose weight it works as an amazing appetite suppressant. It is the healthiest natural stimulant. A cup of Mate has as much caffeine as 1/4 cup of coffee. Yerba Mate is said to stimulate the mind and body.


•Xanthines-chemicals that boost your metabolic rate by 10%

•Rich in pantothenic acid-which prevents overstimulation of the nervous system.

•A host of anti-oxidants that boost immunity and protect against colds and flu.

•Powerful a cell protector as vitamin C, reducing the effects of aging as well as protecting against cancer and other disease.

•Rich source of magnesium that has been proven to ease anxiety.

I discovered Yerba Mate just a few months ago. I was working on a marketing campaign for Pacific Foods. The program focused around their ready to drink Yerba Mate and Green tea. Even though I love a good cup of Kona coffee, I wouldn't say I am much of a coffee drinker. My kick for a long time has been Chai tea. Oh, I love Chai! Anyhow, so I started drinking the Yerba Mate and it was like love at first sight. Pacific Foods make the best Ginger lemon favored Mate. So I went to Whole foods and researched the other types of Yerba. I bought a bunch of Guayaki Yerba Mate tea bags and have been making massive batches and then making iced tea with it. One thing I noticed is that when drinking Mate make sure to drink enough water. The best part is that Guayaki makes a Chai favored Mate!