Skip to main content

Women's Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Blogs

Report: Polaris Pro 3

Meerkatsu - Sun, 2016-04-03 02:00

The third instalment of the submission-only professional grappling tournament known as Polaris Pro took place last night at the Poole Lighthouse in the UK. On display were 5 main card matches and 8 preliminary matches. Heading the bill was the mouth watering prospect of a fight between two leg locking experts in Garry Tonon and Rousimar Palhares. Yours truly here managed to bag a press pass and took some photos.



For various reasons, I wasn't able to attend the live shows for Polaris 1 and 2. I did see them on ppv live and knowing how exciting the past two were, I was determined not to miss Polaris Pro 3. And it did not disappoint.

Preliminaries
The prelims were exciting for me because I have known most of the fighters for many years and it was great to see them in action. These fights were aired for free.





The results for the prelims were:
Alain Pozo x Micah Atkinson (NO GI) - Alain wins by heel hook
Vinicius de Castro x Greg Creel (GI) - draw
Keith McKenzie x Jeff Lawson (GI) -  McKenzie wins by RNC
Adam Adshead x Phil Harris (NO GI) - draw
Travis Newaza x Ben Dyson (NO GI) - Dyson wins by kimura

The prelims were not without drama and thrilling action. Probably the best fight of the night in my opinion was the bout between McKenzie and Lawson. It was a real back and forth exchange of sweeps, passes, turnovers and transitions. Keith secured the choke against Jeff moments before the buzzer rang to end time, you couldn't have got any closer.

Another talking point in the prelims was the match between Travis Newaza and Ben Dyson. The taller Travis dominating the match for large periods and seemingly about to finish a nasty looking toe hold had his momentum halted when Dyson banged his head against the advertising hoarding. The referee gave Dyson an injury time out and then re-set the fighters in the middle in roughly the same position. Dyson escaped the leg entanglement and proceeded to gain top position and execute a match winning kimura.

Main card
The main card featured some mouth watering prospects, the Polaris Pro team having done a amazing job matching up the very best in the world against one another.







In a somewhat cruel twist of luck, the submission only format this evening resulted in 100% no submissions for the main card. Eight fights and eight draws. But dismissing the lack of submissions would do an immense disservice to the thrilling action on display.

There was something to talk about in each and every match but perhaps the two highlights of the evening were in the matches between AJ Agazarm and Jake Shields and the finale between Rousimar Palhares and Garry Tonon. The former match included a number of heated exchanges, face slaps, alleged illegal attacks (eye pokes etc) and a foul mouthed war of words. It was certainly highly entertaining but perhaps a little too over the top.



In the headlining fight, there was no war of words or unpleasantness, in fact, given the reputation Palhares has had with his previous MMA fights, it was all highly respectful. What us spectators got to enjoy was an absolutely amazing grappling match featuring no-stop action. The much larger Palhares opening with his trademark attacks against Garry's ankles but Garry fending them off while also having to deal with being thrown into the air with suplex throws and other moments of air time! Tonon himself was clearly a big danger to his opponent, locking on a number of seemingly tight heel hooks and triangle chokes. Watching these two combatants was like watching a kind of muscled up fighting form of ballet.

Final thoughts
The submission only format has been around now for a number of years. It was devised to ensure that fighters seeking match winning submissions would mean less opportunity for boring, slower, less exciting matches that the point based system is thought to induce. Unfortunately, the format itself is no guarantee of achieving submissions. But, as Polaris Pro and other successful events have shown, it does lead to a lot of exciting action and drama on the mat. I look forward to the next instalment of Polaris Pro!



For more photos of the event, see my Flickr gallery: https://www.flickr.com/photos/meerkatsu/albums/72157664413072193
To view the live replay online, visit the Polaris Pro website.





.

Thursday Sparring - Footwork

Catface BJJ - Thu, 2011-12-15 10:47
In today session Paul was there to help us, as after watching my most recent fight with footwork still being an issue this is what we decided to work on.
We started off with some skipping followed by 9 minutes of agility drills to get warmed up. After this we worked on cutting the angle off a jab and a few other boxing combinations to get us thinking about using footwork to set up shots.
As usual the session was finished up with some sparring and then I helped the girls work their take downs and defense against the cage.
After I did some squats and lunges with Sharlotte as I have been slacking with strength work and have a bit more time to work on my conditioning with no fights or competitions for at least 4 weeks.
Planning our next big session January 22nd so if anyone would like to come and do a bit of sparring just send me a message or call up first gen on 01323 724831

Kayo MMA and Female only Sparing in January

Catface BJJ - Mon, 2011-12-12 13:18



Its the day after my fourth fight and fourth win of the year.
As you may have read I had just fought a couple of weeks back on the Battle Arena show. This isn't something I would recommend or make a habit of doing as it is tough going having two fights so close together but I felt it was a good opportunity seeing as I had missed out on the contenders show and was feeling fight ready.
My opponent was Laura Clarke who was coming off a good win via TKO through a body shot.
As such I worked lots on my wrestling and movement around the cage.
The fight went how I wanted it to (despite a point taken off from an accidental illegal knee) and my take downs felt strong. I won in the first round via G&P, which was similar to my last fight but this time I felt a lot stronger with my shots.

Female training, classes and Open mats

I won't be fighting again until Feburary on either the Contenders or Battle Arena show, which gives me lots of time to work on my BJJ and grappling.

I was thinking about my plans for January and that's when I realised that there are quite a few female only events that might be of interest so here's a run down of some of them.

On the 7th January my friend caz is organising an event called "sticks kicks and jits" Which is a taster session of BJJ grappling and stick fighting, check out the event on facebook or send me an email for more info.

There is also competition sparring for BJJ at Gracie Barra in Derby the following day,,, these sessions are organised by Christine and are a great chance to get in some quality training before the Europeans.

Make sure you keep your ears open for news of the next London BJJ womens open mat session organised by Meg and taking place at various different gyms. The sessions are a great way to learn some BJJ and get some extra training in. Check out a review of the day by Meg at Megjitsu


If you live in London then why not check out purple belt Pippa Grangers female only BJJ class at diesel gym 1 on Mondays at 8pm or Sarah Merriners class on Saturdays 11am at Carlson Gracie Hammersmith.

Thursdays at First Generation gym Eastbourne from 11-2 is ladies only training, there is a good group of us now that have been meeting up to drill some technique and do a bit of hard sparring in the cage, I know not everyone is free to train in the day but if you are then feel free to come down for it, we might start a weekend class if there is enough interest.

So there you have it, lots going on in January to look forward to! Check out my next post on BJJ seminars and competitions in the next couple of days.

Kayo MMA 11th December

Catface BJJ - Mon, 2011-12-12 13:18
Its the day after my fourth fight and fourth win of the year that took place at the KAYO show in Watford, organised by my friend David Lee.
As you may have read I had just fought a couple of weeks back on the Battle Arena show. This isn't something I would recommend or make a habit of doing as it is tough going having two fights so close together but I felt it was a good opportunity seeing as I had missed out on the contenders show and was feeling fight ready.
My opponent was Laura Clarke who was coming off a good win via TKO through a body shot.
As such I worked lots on my wrestling and movement around the cage.
The fight went how I wanted it to (despite a point taken off from an accidental illegal knee) and my take downs felt strong. I won in the first round via G&P, which was similar to my last fight but this time I felt a lot stronger with my shots.

Female training and Open mats
I won't be fighting again until Feburary on either the Contenders or Battle Arena show, which gives me lots of time to work on my BJJ and grappling.

I have some group training on the 7th January with some other female fighters at an event my friend caz is organising called sticks kicks and jits check out the event on facebook or send me an email for more info.

There is also competition sparring for BJJ at Gracie Barra in Derby the following day,,, these sessions are organised by Christine and are a great chance to get in some quality training before the Europeans.

Make sure you keep your ears open for news of the next London BJJ womens open mat session organised by Meg and taking place at various different gyms. The sessions are a great way to learn some BJJ and get some extra training in.

Thursdays at first generation gym from 11-2 is ladies only training, there is a good group of us now that have been meeting up to drill some technique and do a bit of hard sparring in the cage, I know not everyone is free to train in the day but if you are then feel free to come down for it, we might start a weekend class if there is enough interest.



Strikeforce WMMA Riled up by Rousey

Catface BJJ - Tue, 2011-11-29 18:09
I sometimes read the stats to see who has been checking out my blog, and its always interesting to see the range of countries that it has been viewed in.
I got an email out of the blue from an old friend that I had lost contact with who said that one of his friends was telling him about my blog from all the way in Australia.
I can sometimes be a bit crappy about keeping in contact but its nice to know I'm not rambelling to cyber space unheard, and it was good to catch up with someone from the past.

Has anyone else been following the twitter wars in the woman's MMA scene over the last few weeks?
Ronda Rousey, an Olympic judo medalist who has recently crossed over into MMA has been causing controversy and in her own words "getting the woman riled up"
Interest in her was sparked after she won all 4 of her pro fights in under a minute into the first round via armbar submission.
Her success didn't come without controversy as Sarah D'Alelio claimed to not have tapped from the armbar. These allegations made sure Ronda would not be letting go of a submission unless as the old saying goes her opponent tapped or snapped.
Unfortunately for Julia Budd, Rouseys latest opponent, this is exactly what went down, in an attempt to roll out of the armbar Buds arm was painfuly broken at the elbow.
After another impressive victory Rousey announced her intentions to drop to the 135lb weight class, calling out the current champ Miesha Tate for a shot at the title. Some would say this was a bold request to make after only 4 fights, especially as giving her a shot at Tate would mean Rousey skipping past fighters who had already worked their way through the 135lb division, claims were made over twitter that she should "wait her turn".
The call out had female fighters up in arms as to weather it was fair that Rousey be able to get a title shot in a category she had yet to prove herself in. The publicity and interest in the conflict lead to a double interview between Tate and Rousey on MMA hour with Ariel Helwani. Rousey took a direct approach stating that a fight between her and Tate would make the most sense from a marketing point of view.

Rousey's comments were probably more thought out that they seemed, I think it was her intention to act the cocky new comer and tempt Tate into a fight that her common sense probably wouldn't agree to. Interestingly the conflict has sparked even more of a dispute between not only Tate and Rousey but also the fighters such as Sarah Kaufman who would miss out a chance at a rematch against Tate if Rousey got her way.
I know my coaches wouldn't let me take a fight like that, Tate worked hard to get the title, it would make more sense for her to see how Rousey copes against some good fighters in the 135lbs category first.
I can see why Rousey is pushing it as she has nothing to lose 4 fights in, and remaining in the 145lb category where the cream of the crop includes the likes of Chris Cyborg, mean it makes sense for Rousey to go for gold in the 135lb category while she has a buzz surrounding her.

It may not be fair what Ronda is trying to do and as a Brit I'm inclined to get ticked off when someone tries to queue jump, however whatever fights happen next in WMMA are going to be a lot more interesting now that there is more of a story behind the match ups.

I.S.K.A MMA title

Catface BJJ - Mon, 2011-11-28 20:56
After watching all my friends kill it on UCMMA contenders in Brighton I was feeling some what sulky that I didn't get to fight.
Despite contenders not happening I had been keeping up my training, even though it wasn't looking likely I would have anyone to fight on our next fight night either.

My new found love of twitter (I know took me long enough) meant I was even more restless and psyched up to fight after following the uproar that Ronda Rousey caused by calling out Miesha Tate for a shot at the 135lb title.
"Sigh" it seems life isn't as interesting when you don't have a fight or competition to focus training around.

Randomly my friend Tanya who I fought way back in March asked me if I wanted to step in last minute for a title fight at Battle arena in Northampton.
I was in London doing my exercise to music training day and in the middle of making a "just because we can" chocolate cake with my cousins.

I text my coaches to see what they had to say and both Paul and Tolly seemed up for it if I put in the hard work.
I would like to say that I didn't scoff a huge slice of chocolate cake inducing a sugar high of excitement that was followed by a series of rocky style pose downs in mirror but yeah that totally happened.

We killed it in training for 5 days working everything, Tolly is particularly ruthless when it comes to being fight ready.
Sunday came around really quickly, I weighed in at 3pm at around 60.5kg my opponent was around 2kg heavier but we had been expecting that. Had the standard pre-fight meal of nando's quarter chicken medium, chips and garlic bread, coconut water, then a smoothie and some fruit and a couple lucozade sports.

As it was a title my fight was 19th so there was a long wait in the changing rooms, I had my book "the night watch" to keep me distracted, but overall I was feeling pretty good about the fight.
It was three 4 minute rounds, and my first time doing head shots on the ground. I think from the crowds reactions that they enjoyed the fight, and it was stopped in the third round via ground and pound.

All the excitement has meant I am now back on nocturnal time, as we got back really late and then I pretty much slept all day got up had an espresso and went to training hence writing this at 4am. Sleep is an important part of recovery so its back to a caffeine ban again from tomorrow, well today!


Thanks to my coaches Paul and Tolly and all the guys at 1st gen that helped me get ready especially joe, mikey and lee, and the crossface guys for nurturing some extra aggression in my game. Cheers to my sponsors Punchtown who hooked me up with some really nice sparing gear that made me feel extra bad ass in training.
Last fight of the year will be 11th December on KAYO MMA show in Watford then its time to focus on Jiujitsu again to be ready to rock the Euro's at the end of January.
Saying that I can't believe this year has gone so quickly but I'll save those thoughts for another post and leave you with some pictures of my new bling.

Nogi British Open

Catface BJJ - Mon, 2011-10-24 05:11
Its good to start doing competitions again especially as my time as a blue belt was spent mostly overseas or busy and broke in London, which meant I could only enter a select few comps.
It was also the first time I have entered a nogi competition.
Before I started training to fight in MMA I really used to hate nogi but I have since started to enjoy it and felt a lot more comfortable with the standing or wrestling element.
I recently got my purple belt and as I have been training for about 3 years now I entered the intermediate category.
There were 3 other girls in my group but I only got one fight against Aisling Daly which ended in a RNC.
I was pretty gutted but it was a good fight and I will feel a bit better about competing at a higher level.
I didn't really post about getting my purple belt with the same enthusiasm that surrounded getting my blue belt, as my training had felt quite hit and miss the last year.
But now I'm thinking of it more as a positive as it will push me to get better and compete at a higher level.
Time to start extra gi training for the English open at the end of November, hopefully will get a team from 1st gen to go compete.
Its looking unlikely I will have someone to fight in 2 weeks at contenders so my next MMA fight will be in December.

SFC Fight Night "The Grappling match"

Catface BJJ - Sun, 2011-09-11 13:42
I am happy to announce that I won my third MMA fight on Friday night against Kirsty Davis with both rounds scored 10,9.
The fight went exactly how I had planned, and I was able to get the take down from the clinch and against the cage and remain in a dominant position. I worked for the submissions for both rounds, which essentially prevented my opponent from using any of their "stand up" technique.
This resulted in my opponent commenting that they were disappointed they had not got to fight properly, they didn't realize they had signed up for a grappling match and also that it was the easiest fight they had ever had. They also threw in that as I was a blue belt I should have been able to submit a white belt.

Lets look at this from a different perspective, say my opponent had spent the 2 rounds hammering me with punches and kicks and I had just moved around and covered up, essentially avoiding them from knocking me out.
I couldn't say this would be something I would be particularly proud of or use as bragging rights to help soften the blow of defeat.I also wouldn't make claims like, "I didn't know this was a kickboxing match" If it was my lack of ability to keep the match where I wanted that resulted in me not getting to show off any of my grappling skills.

I was also surprised that the fight was mainly fought on grappling terms, as I expected my opponent to perhaps try to punch or kick me throw a knee in the clinch?
Oh well you live and learn and I took away lots of positive things from the fight.
As I have always said grappling with girls is a lot different as they have a much better range of motion and are good at escaping as they are often on the receiving end when training with bigger stronger guys.I will keep travelling to train with other girls to work on that aspect of my game but I am happy with how I am progressing.

I am sorry if this seems like a bitchy post and I hate getting drawn into petty arguments but I think as a fighter its important to be able accent and learn as much from defeat as from victory.
I have respect for anyone that gets into the cage to fight as its no laughing matter and takes lots of guts but don't do it if your not prepared for what another fighter is going to bring to the table!

Helen Currie Seminar

Catface BJJ - Mon, 2011-08-29 05:40
Ego

I recently read Sam Sheridans books 'A fighters heart' and 'A fighters mind' and really enjoyed them both.
A common theme that arose with regards to progressing in jiu jitsu and fighting in general was ego.
More specifically that as you progress through the belt ranks it is important to keep an open mind and be able to learn from everyone.
I think female jiu jitsu practitioners are at particular risk of being affected by ego and its something I've always felt but never been able to place my finger on or explain very coherently.
I am sure other females often get comments like 'I didn't expect you to be so strong' or 'you would kill other girls.' from their male training partners, who are often impressed enough that we are there training let alone pulling off submissions and holding our own against all the big tough guys.
I think our egos are nicely protected as we often don't have to put ourselves on the line or in a position of fighting someone of a similar size, strength or ability.
It is too easy to make excuses when fighting men who are bigger or stronger and play a safe game based purely on escapes and avoiding submissions.
Its similar to an observation one of my coaches once made when he noticed that sometimes before sparing people would ask how much their opponent weighed or how long they have been training so as to have an excuse to provide if they got into bad situations.
Can this type of thinking or excuse making hinder us from progressing?
One of the reasons I enjoy situations such as female open mat sessions and seminars and competitions is that they allow me to test my skills against other girls. I usually approach these situations with a different mindset, I'm more sharp and focused and move in for the kill more than I ever would when training with the bigger guys in terms of ego there is a lot more at stake losing to another girl than a bigger stronger guy.
Maybe it was just a personal problem I had as opposed to something that bugs all female grapples, I have come across girls that are a lot more aggressive than me and better at imposing their game on anyone regardless.
They are the ones that inspire me to make less excuses and impose my game on people of all sizes or abilities even if it means risking being put in less favorable positions if my attempts are unsuccessful, and I'm hoping this will help to improve my BJJ and general mindset to training.

Helen Currie Seminar
In other news last weekend I attended a female only no-go seminar featuring Helen Currie at Leicester MMA academy.
It was a detailed technical session that started with a quick warm up that involved lots of different squats (that I really need to do more of to improve my mobility).
We drilled breaking our opponents posture from guard and trying to stay out of closed guard which was challenging and surprisingly tiring. Helen stated the importance of avoiding being put in someone’s closed guard at all costs.

The bulk of the seminar was based around the 3 ways to pass guard- over under or around - Working off the sitting guard pass where you position your knee to open your opponents guard.
Helen went over the importance of posture in the guard position as a way to keep your self safe from attack and to pass guard when the opportunity arose
I'm thinking about me, I'm keeping myself safe
It was a great day and despite the fact that I was a bit tired from training all week and getting up so early I still managed to get a bit of rolling in at the end with Caz Teedy, who organised the event and is a great no-gi grappler.
She also runs a monthly female MMA class and circuit training class which I will try to attend in the future.
Syndicate content