Saturday, January 31, 2009

Hungry for a WIN!

The Fight

How to lose 14 pounds in 7 days

Last week, I read that they desperately needed a 115 pound fighter for a mma tournament in Evansville, Indiana for a January 17th fight. I was 128 pounds at time, but I'd been looking for a fight FOREVER! I took it. I knew the weight loss would be hard, but I didn't realize how hard until I started cutting food. I don't like to tell people how I do it- it could encourage people to use it as a viable weight loss method (and it's NOT- not healthy and quite dangerous, in fact!)

By the time I weighed in on January 16th, I was at 114 pounds. I was weak as a kitten, but I was proud that I had made the cut. I dragged my carcass over to a chair and immediately started the rehydration and reintrodution of food of my poor, emaciated body. I did nothing but drink fluids and eat easily digestible foods for the next several hours. By fight time the next day, I was up to 122 pounds. Yet, I was still weak- and scared. I thought I might still end up in the hospital for severe dehydration before the day was over. I had no grip strength, and it was even hard to run in place to warm up before the fight.

What scared me the most, though, was that IF I won my fight- I'd have to fight another lady, and IF I won THAT one, I'd have to fight a last one for the GFIGHT championship 115 pounder belt (for 3 five minute rounds, no less!). I knew in my heart that I would be lucky if I made it through the first fight. I also knew, though, that I would give it my all- that's my nature.

I met the woman I was to fight, and all the other women in the tournament, previously at weigh in. It amazed me that they were all awesome people. No attitude, no nastiness- just pure athletes. All excellent fighters with amazing records. Everyone was supportive of everyone. In fact, my opponent and I even had waffles together (at different tables) the morning of our fight.

It might interest you to know that my opponent, Van Do, trains out of Cung Le's Gym. Cung Le defeated Frank Shamrock with a kick to the arm that literally broke it in half! No slacker in her own right, Van has an IKF kickboxing title from 2005 and some gold medals from various tournaments and quite a few wins of her own. She is also a mature fighter like myself- (she's only 38, though).

Back to the fight- they called me out, I waited in the ring for Van. She came out- we tapped gloves- and it was ON! We banged eachouther pretty hard with some head shots, and soon after that- I was on my back holding on to her, waiting for the ref to stand us up. On our feet agin, more punches thrown (I can't recall if any kicks were thrown), she was on top of me again. She got me in an arm bar, and I was able to stand up and drive her into the mat head first to get her off me. More punches, and then she got me down again- I immobiolized her on me. Mercifully, the bell rung.

I had not been that exhausted in a fight in years. My tank was empty, I had nothing left. The dehydration took it's toll. My corner told me to keep it standing (keep her at the end of my punch). I said I'd try. The bell for round 2 rang and more punches were thrown. At some point, she got me in a position that I've been in before in judo class. I felt myself getting thrown over her hip (I think I said- "Oh crap!" as I was going over.) She got me in another arm bar- this time I didn't have the juice to fight her off. I lay there with my arm getting bent backward for what seemed like hours. I did not want to tap out. It didn't hurt yet. I was going to let her snap my joint just to prove that I was tough, but my common sense kicked in. I tapped. She won. We hugged. They raised her hand, and I went back to my locker room space.

My husband was back there with me, taking out my braids, feeding me Gatoraide and telling me how good I did and how proud he was of me. Then (and I hate to admit this- but I feel it paints a more honest picture) I broke down into a million tears. I probably depleated myself of whatever fluid I'd finally built up from those racking sobs. I was inconsolable. My husband just keep rubbing my back and telling me he was proud of me. I finished crying, called my parents and told them I was all right (they get so worried). I put on some decent clothes, wipped off the tears and joined the rest of the fans to watch the fights- and to show them that I was fairly unscathed (just a scratch on my cheek- Van, to my only credit, had a couple of black eyes from my punches).

When it was all over, and we were all back in our hotel rooms, we got together with Van and her coaches and had a drink together to celebrate the end of a chaotic week. I helped her take out her braids, and we talked about getting together to train some time. I told her I'd never fight in her weight class again- I'd stay at 125 where I'm strong. It's a funny sport where you can face eachother in a cage and try to pretty much beat the crap out of eachother and cause as much damage as you can in one instant- and in the next instant, you can be sharing a drink and laughing like old friends.

Meanwhile, I've been doing nothing but relaxing and eating and drinking as much as I can tolerate to try to get my strength back so I can start trianing (hopefully tomorrow). I'm looking forward to my next fight- which I am told will be in Palm Springs in March against my hero, 5 time world kickboxing champion, Kathy Long. We'll be fighting at 125 pounds- perfect! My husband always wants to know why I can't get an easy fight- I tell him it's just not in my nature.

GFIGHT in Indiana



I finally got a fight!!! I put my hat in the ring for a desperate call out for a 115 pound fighter for gfight in Indiana on January 17th. Since my pro license is just getting processed, I didn't think I would qualify yet. Jeff, the event coordinator, assured me that I would be able to fight. That took a lot of reassuring, because, Lord knows, I don't want to go all the way to Indiana and not be able to fight. He set me and my husband up with flights and rooms.

I was thrilled, to say the least! I've been trying to get a fight for around a year. Here's the catch.... it's old school elimination fights. I fight the first girl for 3 three minute rounds. If I win, I fight the next girl for 3 three minute rounds. If I win THAT one, I fight for the belt for 3 FIVE MINUTE ROUNDS!!! This will be all in a row- bam, bam, bam! Do you understand how hard it is to fight for FIVE minutes? Try sprinting for 5 minutes with someone on your back and you might get a slight understanding. I'm ready for it, though. I've been training for 5 minute rounds. I've just never had 3 fights in a row. Should be VERY interesting!

Now for the really hard part. I have been trying to gain weight for several months because it seemed like all the good fighters are at 135 pounds. Luckily, I haven't been too successful. I sit before you at a mighty 125 pounds. These fights are at 115 pounds. This means I have to do terrible things to myself in order to lose 10 pounds by Friday's weigh in. I'll spare you the details because I certainly don't want to encourage an anyone to lose weight like a wrestler- it's not healthy and can be dangerous. 10 pounds for me, though, not dangerous- I've got the muffin top going on. Hopefully, that will be the first to go- I haven't seen my six pack in years. Wonder what it looks like?

I'm ecstatic! I can't wait to tap leather and go at it! It's what I've been waiting for! My poor husband, on the other hand, is as nervous as a mother hen. He keeps asking, "Are you SURE you can lose the weight?" (Of couse I can- I used to lose 12 pounds in 2 days when I wrestled for Chico State.) He says, "Is there going to be anyone else who can corner you?" (Debi is trying to fly out to help). I assure him that he can corner me. I just need someone to feed me water and yell at me to whip her butt. He is more than qualified (he's pretty loud).

Anyhow- I have to go get some wind sprints in and do some light sparring to get ready for this. Wish me luck!

I Didn't Know it was a Jujitsu Match!

The Great Grappling Match

I got a call from my matchmaker (that's the person who sets up fights for me) to ask if I was interested in competing in a grappling match (which is pretty much a wrestling match with submissions) against Tonya Evinger. I'd been trying to get a fight with her all year, and, so, my response was "Of course!". I was excited! They told me the promoter (a typically dirty lot- who are not to be trusted) who give me $500 to grapple and $500 more if I won- in addition to gas money, room and board. I was all over that. I took time off of work- got my posse together (my husband, Debi and Katelynn) to corner me.

I was told that Tonya, an excellent wrestler, would be coming in at 140 pounds. I was cool with that, though I was at 125 at the time. I worked to gain as much as I could and brought heavy clothes and 4 pound hand weights to make my weight more impressive at the weigh in. With all that- I weighed in at 135.

We found out that the promoter would only be able to get us $100 after we got down there (LA area). I was not pleased- but I was game to grapple. Tonya was irked, too, and was not willing to bust her hump to cut weight at that price. So, she came in probably over 150. She's 5'8"- so you can just picture us looking like little sprout and jolly green giant. I didn't care- I was there for the match.

She brought her entourage with her (including a camera crew that is covering her life for a possible reality show on Spike tv). A couple of her girls spotted Debi and Katelynn and wanted matches with them. Of course, you know, my girls were totally game! When it came down to brass tacks, though, whoever wanted Debi- she backed out. Maybe she found out that Debi had a kickboxing title? Who knows.

So, Katelynn and I are getting ready- we're both a little nervous- these girls are awesome wrestlers and jujitsu trained (we are judo trained- this is a jujitsu match). Katelynn goes first. The girl rushes her to the side and gets her down! Katelynn defends like a champ and almost catches her in an arm bar at one point, but the girl has too much ground game. In the 5 minute match, she defeats Katelynn by points only (no submissions). Katelynn was pretty disappointed, but eveyone who watched could see how much potential she has. I was SO proud of her!

Next, I was up- I was pretty much warming up next to Tonya- weird for me to talk to someone prior to a match. She was very cool- no attitude whatsoever. I have to admit- I liked her. I've watched her fights on tv a few times and was always impressed with her talents. We get in the ring, touch hands and I'll be darned if she didn't get around to the side and get me down on my back rather quickly! (I'd been training for a front attack.) We had eachother in headlocks at the same time. We got out and were both attempting arm bars and head locks for the rest of the 5 minute match. She was on top the whole time, but she didn't submit me. So you can guess who one. She got me on points. I was just glad she didn't submit me, but, like Katelynn, I was a bit disappointed with my performance.

When it was all over, Tonya let us know that they might air the matches on Spike tv (if they pick up the pilot). Katelynn and I talked about the fact that the world will have an opportunity to see how well Red Bluff girls fight from our backs. We are both looking forward to MMA matches against these girls so they can see our stand up skills (that's where WE shine!)

My Girls- MMA's future superstars!


Once upon a time, way back in the early 90's, there were 2 female kick boxers (that would be me and Debi). I say only 2 because back then, female fighters were very rare indeed. We had to travel far and wide to find other females to train with. We even went as far as Bakersfield to train with Kathy Long (a legend in kickboxing).
I was always asking other female athletes to come give fighting a try- adding that it was a phenomenal workout both for the aerobic and the strengthening benefits. Still, very rarely would I get any women to come try it. Most looked at me like I was crazy.
So, fast forward to the present. Something wonderful has happened! Females are more adventurous and more open to trying new methods of training and working out. I currently have at least 8 girls (all in high school) who are very active in my Fight Club!
Some nights, it's almost all females upstairs. It makes my heart swell with pride! These aren't just your aerobicizing females either. These are hard hitting, hard throwing girls that mean business. They are there to learn all aspects of fighting. At least 3 of them want to compete in boxing now and MMA when they turn 18 (you have to be at least 18 to fight MMA in California).
I used to think that maybe Debi and I were weird- perhaps a little bit violent. We like to beat people up. We don't mind getting bloody. A black eye, to us, is like a beautiful make over- a badge of honor (although 2 black eyes makes you look lame- like you don't know how to keep your hands up).
Now I realize that a lot of females have the same desire to step into the ring and throw down. A lot of females like to test their skills against each other. A lot of females don't mind getting a fat lip (you don't need collagen injections- come to Fight Club- we'll give you that bee stung look).
Remember those old Virginia Slims commercials? You've come a long way, baby! Well, they were dumb because they encouraged women to smoke. But I'd like to swipe that slogan just for today. Ladies, be proud- you really have come a long way!

Getting a Pro License

Current mood: amused

Well- it looks like I have to get my pro license if I want a stab at some good fights (not just casino fights- which I'll still take). What a pain! I didn't realize all the doctors and tests it took. I need to see a general physician, an opthamalogist, a neurologist (and probably a gynacologist, a chiropractor and an ear nose and throat specialist). I have to get an MRI, an EKG, hepatitist A,B and C tests, HIV test, unspecified urine test (drug test?), and who knows what else.

What cracks me up the most is the MRI- what, you can't fight if you have pre-exisiting brain damage? What do they think getting hit in the head repeatedly does to you, anyway?

Another thing that gets my goat- to be licensed in Nevada (I'm working on California and Nevada licences) I have to get a SPECIAL licence because I was born before 1972. If I felt like an old broad before, I'll feel like a REALLY old broad when I have to present my special license. My husband jokes that I may as well get licensed through AARP while I'm at it.

Oh well- I'll do it because I want to fight. I'm just praying for some sponsorship- because my insurance will only cover so much. Anyone out there want to sponsor a professional fighter? I'll put your name all over me! Shorts, shirt, sports bra... whatever! Seriously- let me know. It'd be a great advertising opportunity (and a tax write off?)