Sunday, October 31, 2010

November 18th Royler Gracie Seminar-Austin, TX

Hey Everyone I wanted to share information on the November 18th Royler Gracie seminar. I hear that Kathy Brothers will be in attendance too. It will be held at the Relson Gracie Jiu Jitsu Academy and is open to everyone. All the details are in the in the link below. This is a great opportunity, don't miss out!

Royler Gracie Austin, Texas seminar

Monday, October 11, 2010

2010 Womens Jiu Jitsu Championships

This past weekend my friend Lana and I ventured up to Dallas to participate in the very first Texas Women's Jiu Jitsu Championships! At first, I was hesitant about going because I've been so busy with traveling, school and work that I haven't had time to devote to training as I usually do prior to a tournament. But I knew I didn't want to miss this historic event for women in Ju Jitsu.

I was super excited to compete but I wondered how many women would show up since the turn-out at most local tournaments is usually very small. I was pleasantly surprised when a phenomenal number of women and girls of all ranks and sizes were there. There must have been at least 80 total participants. It was great seeing a lot of familiar faces, but there was also a ton of women that came out of the woodwork to join in. I think that they had about 30 white belts registered! In my division there were four purple belts in the gi division and the no gi division was stacked with a total of eight women! I have never had that many women compete in my division in Texas before.

The tournament ran super efficiently, especially considering it was the first tournament of it's kind. For the most part, I thought the reffing was reasonable and fair. Everyone had a lot of matches and seemed to be having a good time. It was also a great opportunity to meet fellow BJJ enthusiasts. This tournament was HUGE success! I enjoyed photographing it and competing. Congrats to all that competed and those that placed! Special thanks to Fenom Kimons, Zebra Tournament Systems of Texas, Strong Von, Launch Pad Group and Evolve Brazilian Jiu Jitsu without them this tournament would not have been possible. I can't wait until next year! Hope to see y'all before next years WJJC! Keep on rolling...

Here is video of one of my matches:

Subscribe and tune in on Youtube!

Here are some shots from the event...

Check out Shama Ko Photography to see more! Images will soon be available for sale. More details to follow.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

How did you get into Jiu Jitsu?

Even though Jiu Jitsu is growing in popularity worldwide, it still isn't a common martial art to practice, especially for women. Jiu Jitsu isn't exactly your typical after school activity in the United States. I meet people all the time who don't even know what Jiu Jitsu is. They get it confused with Karate, Kick boxing and Judo. One thing I've enjoyed most is hearing other people's stories of how they got introduced to Jiu Jitsu.

As for me, I've known what Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was since about 1996. My friend ,and now instructor, Phil Cardella started his training at the Relson Gracie Jiu Jitsu academy in Aiea, Hawaii. I remember dropping Phil and our friends off at the academy a few times. I had no interest in Jiu Jitsu then and thought of it as "their thing" and not mine.

When I came back home to Hawaii after my first year in college, Phil was a blue belt by then. I remember he was excited to show me the new Jiu Jitsu moves he had learned. He was so nuts about it, that he kept a spare room in his house with nothing but a salt water aquarium and practice mats. I think he showed me some triangle from the guard and arm bar variation, but I don't really remember. I've always loved to roughhouse with my guy friends, but at this point in time, I could still take it or leave it when it came to Jiu Jitsu. Perhaps, I just wasn't ready at the time to to fall in love with Jiu Jitsu and have it take over my life, like it has now.

Despite being aware of Jiu Jitsu, it wasn't until 2003 and over 3,753 miles away in Austin Texas, that I finally began my martial arts training. To be honest, my initial reasons were purely superficial. I just wanted to get in shape and lose some weight. Phil had also moved to Austin by then and he suggested I get into Muay Thai. For 3 years I trained in Muay Thai. I absolutely loved it, but hated the chances of hurting another person or myself when sparring. One of the major reasons I crossed over to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu from Muay Thai was because I liked the fact that Jiu Jitsu was a much more controlled sport/martial art.

At first I was apprehensive about Jiu Jitsu because it is such a close contact sport. I had to get over the whole personal space issue. But it didn't take long for me to crave more! My first instructor wasn't Phil, it was the co-owner Christy Thomas. Christy Thomas and Nancy Rodriguez taught an all women's class once a week at the Hills Fitness Center. I loved Jiu Jitsu so much soon I was also going to the co-ed classes taught by Phil a few times a week with my boyfriend.

Then I found myself going to classes more and more and more and more. It didn't take long for me to be hooked...and here I am now! So, how did you find out about Ju Jitsu and what made you start?