If you don\’t play to win, why play at all?

FAME-dom Thee to Thy Blog
June 2, 2009, 6:14 pm
Filed under: ETC Etcetera, MMA Mixed Martial Arts | Tags:
This is totally amusing. And I only discovered it TODAY!

I was tinkering with the statistics of my blog (I keep two blogs — one on my ordinary boring life and another on my BJJ adventures and misadventures, both in WordPress), which apparently is a very good feature because you can see how many views you get each day, which sites linked you, or which site did the viewer click first before they got to my blog.  I was looking at the graph and I noticed that there’s an unusual spike in the month of December.  Clicking further, it says that the busiest day was on Wednesday, December 24, 2008 — with 203 views!  Of course I had to investigate.  How can 203 people visit my blog on the same day?  And weird thing is, I didn’t even post an entry on that day (who would?!  It’s Christmas eve!)!

I was thrilled when I saw that someone actually posted a link to my entry in Sherdog, and they ran a 5-page thread discussing it!  It was about a little BJJ quiz I invented for fun, from a woman’s point of view, of course.  When someone commented that it was gay, my teammate (who is practically active in that forum) came to my defense, and said, “this was made by a girl…no worries guys haha, shes my team mate.”  It feels good to be so popular (hahaha, at least my blog was, for a day :p)!  YAY! 🙂

December 19, 2007, 10:54 pm
Filed under: BJJ Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, MMA Mixed Martial Arts

It was an evening unlike any other…because it was the night I lived my dream.

Eversince I started doing BJJ, the Gracies have earned my respect for letting the sport grow and for cleverly showing the world how effective it is against other martial arts. One particular Gracie, ROYCE, who fought and won in the early UFC, became my favorite. No matter what other people say, Royce Gracie for me is the icon of the sport I so passionately love now. He is my hero. And I have always longed to meet him in person.

Then the opportunity came. Ring of Fire, an international MMA event produced by Platinum Productions, was brought to the Philippines. They hoped to make it as big as Thrilla in Manila, regarded as one of the most brutal and bitter bouts in the history of boxing but unfortunately , they lacked promotions and noise so it didn’t turn out as big as planned. Nevertheless, they still brought in UFC and BJJ celebrities — including Royce Gracie.

I didn’t watch live at the Araneta Coliseum due to the steep price of the ticket (I can buy a new gi and rash guard with it!). But as soon as I learned that Gracie Barra Phils. is part of the production team, I had to pull strings and get my connections working.

Richard Lasprilla, my former student in Asia Pacific College (who is also a Gracie Barra purple belt and former URCC champ) got me and three of my boys in the after-party. If he had been my current student, I could have given him the perfect grade for that favor =P And what happened inside Club Divino shouldn’t just stay there! It’s meant to be shared, so here are the photos (to view the album in full, click here):

I am definitely starstruck. To quote Richard L., “it was like a kid opening a present with the twinkling eyes of Spongebob” Truly, I was like a kid overwhelmed by the presents right before me. I couldn’t stop gushing for three days!

Cultured Underworld
April 27, 2005, 12:00 am
Filed under: MMA Mixed Martial Arts

I found my underworld.

Last Saturday was the qualifying for URCC (Universal Reality Combat Championship), a full contact mixed martial arts competition for fighters with strong will, well-rounded training, stamina for slugfest and bravado for bloodsport. Now I’ll take it slowly from here.

Eversince I started with my kickboxing classes, I loved the striking part. That is where you use your knuckles, palms, elbows, knees and legs to strike your opponent. The sudden release of energy pushes my adrenaline to its highest. And it gives me a natural high. Now hold it there. It was not a love at first sight for the sport. It was a slow acceptance of the fact that I have to be scarred and injured to learn the craft. I’ve been bruised, I’ve been wounded and even sprained, and I have cried for those times. But the euphoric high I get from sweating it all out is enough to forget all my daily stress and emotional hang-ups. It is addicting. And I don’t want to stop at striking.

Now I am also into grappling. The reason why mixed martial arts is a full contact sport is because of the grappling part, where you use submission skills by holding the opponent’s arm, leg, neck and other joints in vulnerable positions then slowly applying force on it. The purpose is to make the opponent “submit” or retreat from the fight. This is almost always done on the ground. Of course it sounds easy, but the techniques are not. And you have to be able to master the skills to the point that doing it has become instinctive because believe me, once you are fighting, there is no time for your nerve cells to travel to your brain and ask what the next move shall be. Everything happens in a snap. And the first time I did it, I did what is instinctive to women — pull my opponent’s hair (who happened to be a meek five-years-my-junior guy)!

My three trainors have already commended me for my solid punches and improved speed. But I have yet to see myself doing fairly in submissions.

But things do not end there.

I never liked watching anything violent — boxing, wrestling — tune in to it and I will quickly disappear in front of the TV. That was before. Now I gave up HBO and Star Movies for UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) and Pride. And voila, during the qualifying last Saturday, I was at the ringside — literally. I could hear the breath and smell the sweat of the fighters in the ring. I saw and smelled blood right in front of my face. and I never felt a tinge of yucky-ness. I was amazed at myself. It was liberating.

It was also my first time to get up the ring that night. I should have joined the Wahpakk Challenge (of course the event was sponsored by San Miguel!) but didn’t have the balls early on. It is a “challenge” for women to demonstrate their punches to one URCC fighter for a full minute. The one who gets the loudest clap (no, make that howl) wins. When I finally had my balls back after two hours (yeah, yeah…I have imaginary balls), I was answering these no-brainer questions inside the ring, with Ericka Fife doing the questioning. And so I won a Red Corner gift certificate worth P2,000.

Violence, albeit in moderation, is now part of my daily grind. I am no longer a weakling. Although I will not go around looking for a fight, I will be ready to defend my pride if so needed. This is my underworld — where I get down and dirty on the mats while exchanging sweat with my sparring partner. Where I step out of my slinky stilettos to soil and scar my footsies. Where I strip off my chunky necklace and fancy earrings to don hand wraps and boxing gloves. Indeed I have become one of the boys. this is my underworld — where I am not an authority, my trainor is. Where I am a novice, and they are the experienced. Where I am commended not for brainwork but for physical effort.

THIS IS, INDEED, MY UNDERWORLD. It gives balance to my rather monotonous and all-diplomatic corporate life. It is a welcome antonym of my rather cultured fine-dining-cocktail-sipping weekend lifestyle. It is an arousing respite from my all too girly ways and character.

And if ever I get the chance to fill up those teeny-boppers’ slumbook again, at least I can proudly say without any tinge of doubt that I have a real sport. Finally.


takes from the URCC Qualifying (April 23, 2005 / Racks El Pueblo) …click on the image to enlarge



Shawty made this comment,
i never liked the punching kind of violence but when i saw fight club galing!!! parang gusto ko manuntok ng manuntok hahahaha
im wishing to be back to kickboxing righ now!
comment added :: 29th April 2005, 01:04 GMT+08

A visitor made this comment,
ei sis! wow galing naman.. i’m proud of you! a stronger Jonna : )
comment added :: 29th April 2005, 11:24 GMT+08

jonna made this comment,
ei luré, thanks ;p
btw, i’ll be cross-training in Red Corner, we can grab a few drinks in Istana Bali or Figaro afterwards 🙂
comment added :: 29th April 2005, 19:05 GMT+08

nicole made this comment,
wow hanga ako 😀 it’s like what your header states, you are anything but ordinary 🙂
take care!
comment added :: 30th April 2005, 05:05 GMT+08

A visitor made this comment,
Kick some ass girl! I’m proud of you!
comment added :: 30th April 2005, 07:38 GMT+08

A visitor made this comment,
wow…. mare, you’ve changed!
hehehe. congrats in finding something to sink your passion into. we all need that!
acid42 [acid42@yahoo.com]
comment added :: 11th May 2005, 06:24 GMT+08

A visitor made this comment,
im getting myself into Muay thai. like the footworks. =)
comment added :: 27th May 2005, 03:27 GMT+08