2012’s Year of the Dragon: In Review


A movie that I didn’t watch.
The year of the Dragon (and the Water Dragon more specifically)
Time of the Mayan Apocalypse (discounting the Gregorian Calendar)

And lots of Jiu-Jitsu.

I managed to take some notes of some important events of 2012.  Well, important to me, in my life.

And since this my first post on this shiny new WP blog, what better way than to recap all that has happened?

-January: My (triumphant) return to training after my fracture.  I think this counts as my “official” return, as in when the Doctor gave me the “OK”.  I’m pretty sure I did a session or two right before New Years.

-February: my third move, this time to Maple Ridge.  The house was first dubbed “The Jiu-Jitsu House”, but may require a name change now.  I also got my second tattoo with my same tattoo artist.

Rising suns, Maple leaf. Oss!

Rising suns, Maple leaf. Oss!

-March: Quest for Glory: Fighting Championships 3 finally happened, which saw teammate Christian Tremayne lose a decision against fan-favourite Oliver Vajda, teammate Michael Hurley lose to Manvir Burk via Armbar, and teammate/Coach Christiaan Allaart defeat Emilio Ditrocchio via Unanimous Decision to take home the 145lbs Title Belt.  A decent night of fun, but the venue – Gossip Night Club- wasn’t  the best choice.

-April: Held at Budo MMA by Scott Boudreau, I attended another West Coast BJJ seminar.  The Easter long weekend saw me graced with my third of four stripes on my white belt.  As a special note, Professor Don Whitefield managed to put two holes in their walls inside of the first hour.

-May: You have to push yourself to test your limits, and one specific weekend in May was my test.  First was the B.C. Provincial Championships, hosted by the Canadian Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (CBJJF) – the local chapter of the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) – at Trinity Western University in Langley.  I competed in Gi and No-Gi Lightweight White belt Division, and took Silver in No-Gi.
The very next day – less than 12 hours after leaving the competition behind – I was lined up in my corral to run a half-marathon: BMO Vancouver.  As usual, I ran the 21 kilometre distance shirtless, and managed a time of 2 hours 1 minute and 1 second.  I would backtrack along the course after finishing to run my friend, teammate and fellow TNT Mentor Lisa in for the last two kilometres of her full marathon.
A busy weekend, and I’m sure there are not many sane individuals who would do the same, except maybe Nick Diaz.  But then, I did say “sane”, did I not?

-June: Limits were pushed once more in June.  Warpath 6 – hosted by Revolution Martial Arts Chilliwack (now Four Directions Martial Arts) – saw teammate Christian Tremayne lose via TKO to Johnny “Two Feathers”, and teammate/Coach Christiaan Allaart win via (Controversial) Split Decision against Miller Roger.
Right after the main event ended at 11:30PM, Christiaan and I would return to New Westminster – narrowly avoiding a semi trying to run us off the highway – to pick up his then-pregnant wife Devon and head to Whistler.  Through Infinity MMA – our gym – we had assembled a team to take on Tough Mudder: a long-distance obstacle course.  Our chosen start time was 9AM, though the three of us didn’t arrive at our hotel until 3AM.  After scant hours of sleep we started our Tough Mudder and completed it as a team around the 4-hour mark.

-July: Full of challenges of a different sort, July was more relaxing and definitely heavier on sleep.  I entered in the Seattle-based BJJ tournament “The Revolution”, but failed to gain entrance into the States due to a lack of proper documentation.  Weeks later I would fly down to Miami to meet up with friend and crush Katie for a sunny vacation and brief tour of the Sunshine State – Orlando, Miami and Fort Lauderdale specifically.  On the flight home, I would slap together a speech for good friend Mark Wilson’s wedding – in which I was the Best Man.  It was my first time speaking publicly since my High School days.

The Maid of Honour and Best Man

The Maid of Honour and Best Man

-August: At Isshindo Martial Arts’ second location in Cloverdale, I earned my fourth stripe in BJJ – and no holes in any walls from Professor Don this time.  Pleased with my progress in one art, I turned my attention to a longstanding problem stemming from my childhood: stopping on skates.  I began lessons with long-time friend Stuart to learn how to stop on ice skates.

-September: Stoked for my first concert in four or five years,I attended Linkin Park when they stopped in Vancouver.  My general admission floor “seats” were worth the admission, with the mosh-pits, body-surfing and general rocking out all bringing back fond memories of concerts past.  Monday nights at the gym were reserved for kickboxing sparring followed by No-Gi BJJ, which I took over leading and teaching so Christiaan could attend pre-Natal classes with his wife Devon.  I also began cross-training BJJ with Cecil Richards out of Aegis Athletics Delta, a.k.a. World Taekwondo Academy run by friends Kevin and Ryan.

My second crew.

My second crew.

-October: I celebrated my 28th birthday in great style, and hoped for teammate/Coach Christiaan Allaart to bring home a Win and Title Belt over Cam Deleurme at Warpath 7.  However, Christiaan suffered a bit of a seizure from an aggressive weight-cut curriculum and was forced to pull out of the fight.  His opponent Cam was forced to pull out as well, with rumours of a DUI being the cause.
Thanksgiving weekend was busy; first I managed to successfully stop on skates, then news that newlywed friends Mark and Becca were expecting, Thanksgiving dinner at good friends Chris and Lisa’s, and finally an engagement between good friends Jeff and Claire.  An action-packed weekend.
The next weekend was the Western Canadian Martial Arts Challenge at BCIT, where I pulled my first coaching duty, helping teammate Lewis Hart to a Bronze medal in his No-Gi Heavyweight division.  Right after I would compete in the 170lbs Amateur Modified Muay Thai, my first striking tournament, and take home the Silver.  Teammate Lewis Hart would continue his streak and take Bronze in his Muay Thai division.

-November: CBJJF hosted their second B.C. Open, where I competed in the Gi Middleweight division, taking a Bronze.  Christiaan and Devon gave birth to their girl Audrey Rose Allaart, 8lbs, 2 ounces.

-December: Scott Boudreau of Budo MMA hosted a second BJJ seminar, where I gained some good Open Guard skills and tips.  A week later, Infinity MMA would host a BJJ seminar, seeing friends and teammates earned some well-deserved stripes, and gain knowledge on North/South escapes.
Finally, my brother Koji and his wife Jana would inform me that I would become an Uncle in the summer of 2013.

The Infinity BJJ crew with Professor Don Whitefield

Kai, Andy, Cody, Jeff, Professor Don, Christiaan, me, Brandon, Jason

So ends my list of memorable events in 2012.  It was quite a year, but I’m going to make 2013 even better!  Thanks for staying with me on my first post, see you all soon enough!

–Kiyoshi “The Prototype”
Your #1 Canadian