Life, the Martial Challenges, and Everything.

Category: Newborn and Expecting

2014’s Year of the Horse: In Review

Back to the even numbered years, which may seem to follow the convention set down by the Star Trek movies.  (i.e., even is good like Wrath of Khan and First Contact, odd is bad like The Motion(less) Picture).  Not that 2013 was bad, but I’m of firm belief that 2014 was even better.

So, Horse!  I have no witty remarks to make.  Onto the recap!

Wait!  Something about a glue factory?  Nevermind, recap time!

As always, these are just important days, notes, and highlights in my year.

-January: Upon finding a basement suite for an opportune move-in time, I decided it was time to start going through my things and donating clothes that I hadn’t worn in a while … or ever.  I ended filling three garbage bags full of shirts, hoodies, and pants, as well as a bag of items that weren’t accepted for donation.  Despite how much that seems to be, I had a lot more stuff to pack.  I entered a draw put on by B.C. Kimonos for one of their Comp V2 gis, which I won, received, and reviewed.  You can read it here.  I also covered Battlefield Fight League‘s 27th card for MMA Mad House, which featured Toshido MMA’s Matt Dwyer defend his middleweight title against long-time veteran Shonie “Mr. International” Carter.


-February: As hinted, I moved in with my loving girlfriend Keri.  It’s fortunate that our Reading Week is in February, it allowed us to unpack at leisure, as well as for me to finish moving.  I was double-fortunate that our new place is about two blocks away from my old place.  No moving truck for me!  I would like to thank Keri’s parents for helping us with the furniture from her place, it would have been rather difficult otherwise.  To unwind from the move, I competed in the Okanagan Winter Classic, hosted by the CBJJF.  It was held in Vernon again, and I carpooled with my cousin Mike out of RDC.  I competed in Gi at Lightweight, and won Silver, and then in No-Gi at Middleweight, winning Bronze.  I also won my entry fee from an online draw.

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-March: I competed at the Copa Katana III, hosted by Katana BJJ, in Richmond, BC.  I wouldn’t make it out of my first match, falling into a triangle choke.  I would watch teammates and friends compete as the day continued, and live to learn another day.  Our fridge would break down overnight, prompting us to evacuate our food to her parents’ for temporary storage as a replacement came.  Our landlord was quite speedy, we had a fridge on the same day we evacuated the food.  I would cover Battlefield’s 29th card for MMA Mad House, an all amateur card with some great bouts on it.  Summer registration opened up, and I chose Critical Thinking (Philosophy), Academic Writing (English), and Introduction to Psychology I.  Finally, and most importantly, I would celebrate my 1-year anniversary with the love of my life by recreating our first date: skating, and dinner at the Frog Stone Grill.


-April: Keri celebrated a quarter of a century on this planet, and I did what I could to make it memorable.  The Winter semester closed with exams, seeing my GPA improve to 3.11 with an A- in Intro Study of Sport & Leisure and Physical Growth/Motor Development, and an A+ in Performance Analysis: Wrestling and Judo.  I finally found a post secondary institute I was looking for: Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia, which offers the Sport Psychology Bachelors and Masters degrees.  Of course, I would look at half-a-dozen or more places beforehand, looking for my specific program.  Finally, I would take my car in for what I presume to be its final Air Care inspection, where it would pass easily and quickly.

-May: The Summer semester would begin, with my Psych class taking place at the New West campus.  It would take me almost an hour to figure out which lot I was supposed to park in, and let it be known that it pays to ask the lot attendants instead of Student Union members.  We swapped Keri’s tires back to her summer tires, on a day that threatened to rain all day, but somehow held off until after I was done.  I would receive my acceptance letter into the Sports Science program, I guess all it takes is a good GPA to convince them that I’m not a slack-ass.  Finally, I would cover BFL 30 for MMA Mad House, which would see Matt Dwyer defeat ex-UFC vet and heavy-hitter DaMarques Johnson via TKO.  I would also see good ol’ Christian “Stinky” Tremayne lose via decision on the same card.

-June: After a long wait (since Christmas 2013), my highly-anticipated Blue Dream Gi from The Green Gi would finally arrive.  It was truly a dream to try on and roll in, and compete in.  Unfortunately, it would also tear along the right sleeve while I was at the Proving Grounds Qualifier II.  I would place second in the best-of-three format, losing the first round, drawing the second, winning the third, and losing the tie-breaker.  Not shabby for my first international competition.  I would assist longtime friends Stuart and Dani in building some Ikea closet shelves in anticipation of their bun-in-the-oven.  Entering in another free gi contest, I would win a Reign Unlimited gi.  At the end of the month I would travel to Kelowna to stay with my cousin for the CBJJF Western Canadian BJJ Championships in Penticton.  My cousin and my coach would compete in the Kurt Osiander Finisher Series running at the same venue; a cash-prize tournament for brown belts and black belts.  Competing in Gi Lightweight, I would be subjected to a tight rear-naked choke by sometimes-teammate Cam Deleurme, and in No-Gi Middleweight I would earn a 6-4 victory in my first match before succumbing to another rear-naked choke to take Silver.

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-July: First order of business would be the Katana BJJ Roots BJJ Challenge held in Richmond, B.C., yet again in the Gi Lightweight division.  I would be against Graeme Martin, who I went against in the last Katana BJJ event, and I was determined to make it go differently this time.  Well, I was partly successful, attempting a couple of takedown attempts before he pulled guard.  He would chain up several submission attempts before gaining success with another triangle.   Next up was another visit from Professor Cobrinha for a 3-day seminar.  Keri was off on Sunday and able to attend, I managed all three days.  My cousin Mike came down as well.  I attended Battlefield’s 31st card, watching friend and former co-worker Tylor Nicholson secure an exciting win by rear-naked choke.  Keri and I also started fostering a 7-year old Shar Pei cross who was having a very rough go in the shelter.  Her name was Daisy, and we gave her the nickname of River.   I assisted Stuart and Dani once more with closet shelving, this time for bigger units.  Then Keri and I would travel to Alberta for a quick getaway: old family friend Stephanie Jasinoski was getting married.  We took River with us for the weekend, and she seemed to enjoy a country acreage setting, and didn’t mind 12-hour car rides.  The wedding itself was lovely and low-key, a nice gathering of old friends and family.  Finally, I received a new gi from Triangle Athletics: their Brooklyn gi with a rashguard liner, a pre-release offer from my man Desi.

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-August: This month started on a rather sad note, Keri and I made the hard decision to return River to the shelter.  While she opened up to us, she also developed separation anxiety, and coupled with her fear towards other dogs, meant many things set her off.  Her last time alone she barked for two hours straight.  Our lifestyles just aren’t compatible with a dog of her temperament.  If we had more time at home with her – I’m talking several weeks – then we might have been able to change her conditioned responses.  Keri and I gave blood again, but I didn’t get my third-donation keepsake.  I’ll have to ask for that the next time we’re able to donate again.  I had only two final exams: for Psychology and Academic Writing, unfortunately they needed a lot of studying, the most I’ve had to do thus far.  The work paid off, I earned an A- is Philosophy, and a B+ in Psych and Academic Writing, pushing my GPA up to 3.22.  I also covered BFL 32, watching friend and teammate Jeremy Kennedy – freshly returned from Thailand.  We went out to the Langley Animal Protection Society and adopted a little kitten: Helo, a black/grey tabby.  Finally, I made a review for the Brooklyn gi here.

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-September: The fall semester begins with four courses: Reading Fiction, Psych 1200, Intro to Stats, and Motor Skill Acquisition.  The first three satisfy my English and non-Sports Science electives, and the last one constitutes my sole Sport Science course this semester.  I mapped out my requirements to graduate, which helps me keep track of what courses I need to take, and what I want to take.  Our good friends Dani and Stuart wake early to celebrate his birthday, though the early waking was due to Dani starting the labour process.  That same day she gives birth to their son: Oliver Grayson McGillivray.  I guess that makes it easy to remember birthdays for their family.  Finally, Keri and I earned our second stripes in BJJ.IMAG2299

-October: It starts off with a bang as I celebrate my 30th birthday.  Before the celebration can truly occur, I compete in the 3rd annual Vancouver BJJ Championships tournament, in the blue belt lightweight Master’s division.  Our 3-man division saw me lose both matches to claim a bronze, but more importantly it saw the development of a few good techniques and exposed a few subtle holes to patch up.  After the tournament was the birthday celebration, organized by Keri.  I became Triangle Athletics’ newest sponsored athlete, and had a good Skype-call with founder/owner Desi Saran.  The Proving Grounds Invitational tournament was unfortunately cancelled due to a lack of numbers, possibly thanks to the Seattle IBJJF appearance at the end of the month.  Instead Keri and I helped our coach Jason and his wife Vanessa move, which proved to be a fairly speedy affair.  The next day we went to her parents’ house for a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner and dessert; I was absolutely stuffed.  The aforementioned IBJJF Seattle Open was attended by several of my teammates, and they brought home a few medals and lots of memories.  Finally, I carved a pumpkin for the first time in many years.  For Halloween!Van_BJJ_Oct_2014_TAB_01 Van_BJJ_Oct_2014_TAB_02 Van_BJJ_Oct_2014_TAB_04IMAG2400

-November: We begin with a huge open mat hosted by P.T.T. Chilliwack and Harley Chappell, a mat filled with practitioners from all over British Columbia and many academies.  A couple of promotions, and a couple of great rolls with friends.  Then I registered for the Winter 2015 semester: Human Anatomy & Physiology I, Applied Methods of Creative & Social Dance, Topics in Human Nutrition, and Sociocultural Aspects of Sport, plus tuition paid a week later, far before the deadline.  I attended BFL 33, witnessing friend and former teammate Christian Tremayne win a rematch against Kolton Higgenbottom via KO, and friend Micah Brakefield lose via TKO.  Then our washing machine broke.  You want to talk about first world problems?  Take away your ability to clean your clothes, gis, and bedsheets while cooking or doing homework.  That’s a big problem.  We also put our tree up – yes, it’s early – to allow our cats to acclimate to it.  I bought a custom dentist-fitted grappling mouthguard to ensure the safety of my teeth from local PROtect Custom Mouthguards.  Then I went on a whirlwind of changing flat tires thanks to someone losing a flat box on the road during a busy period.  It is quite fortunate that Keri has winter tires on a different set of rims, because there is a definite bend in the rim that ran over the box.  Keri and I attended Infinity MMA’s Expansion Open House and Gravity BJJ’s Movember Rollathon in the same day, getting some good rolls in.  On the last Sunday, we – along with Coach Jason, Papa T, and Rack Attack – attended a Flavio Almeida seminar at Revolution Langley and learned some great open-guard techniques.   With great sadness, my friend and teammate Cam Deleurme, passed away.  Rest in peace buddy, and thank you for a great match during the summer.63749_742029865876411_1343126915008353693_n 10690333_1591148384438191_6110254537388678050_n 10537413_552205461581781_5684581140694656391_o

-December: With final exams right around the corner, I took a day away from worrying about them with the CBJJF B.C. Provincial BJJ Championships II, where I competed in Gi and No-Gi in the Master’s division, taking silver in No-Gi. We had a large showing, and together will our fellow Alliance school – Walter Buse’s East Van BJJ – placed second on team points.  It is exceptional in the fact that we had fewer competitors than the winning team, which means a lot of medals in weight classes and absolute divisions. Fall semester final grades were posted, and I passed all of my classes (much to my surprise for Stats).  I restored my ability to game with a second-hand Xbox 360 and a new gamertag (PrototypeMMeh if you’re interested in adding me).  We caught a little bug right before Christmas and had to miss all of the Open Mat events; being responsible about other people’s health can be a chore.  Christmas day was spent with longtime friends Stuart and Dani, and their 3-month old Oliver, for some presents (well, for Oliver) and turkey dinner.  Boxing day was spent with Keri’s family, and we went over early as Keri wanted to see the process of preparing the turkey first-hand.20141206_160538 IMG_2512 IMG_2530 20141206_133348 20141206_160423

2014 was a pretty amazing year, and I look forward to making 2015 even better!  What notable events happened to you?  Anything unexpected?  Let me know!

–Kiyoshi “The Prototype”
Your #1 Canadian eh?
Triangle Army, Respect the Technique.

The Little One!

Well, it has been an eventful week.  My great friends Stuart and Dani have given birth to their baby boy, and he is an adorable little dude!  I spent most of Wednesday running around between the hospital, their place, and school.  Their poor dog Bentley was confused, but we got some good play-times in and I made sure he ate foot and had water.  Their car was parked in what has to be the most expensive ImPark lot ever built, so thanks to the SkyTrain I moved it back to their place.  But I was happy to help them out, and on Thursday I got to hold the little one.  He is truly squee-tastic.


–Kiyoshi “The Prototype”
Your #1 Canadian eh?

Family Future

I apologize for missing last week’s post, I had to work on the weekend, and there was quite a bit of drinking involved.  They may have even been related … who knows?

With my bro Jordan being a new father – and to be perfectly honest, his baby girl is cute – I started thinking about the progression of my family line.

  • My brother has one sibling: me.  My sister-in-law (a.k.a. his wife) is an only child.  They are expecting their firstborn in the summer.
  • I may be out of town/province/country/continent when their child is born.  I suppose the proper thing to do would be to inform them so I don’t get a phone-call at odd hours in Japan.  That would be expensive.
  • I am the only Uncle this child shall have.  I get to spoil him or her or them rotten, teach them all the cool moves I know, and generally make my brother’s life difficult, just like when we were kids ourselves.
  • Since I will be the only Uncle, this means I am responsible for providing cousins.  Cousins are key for anyone, no matter their age.  Even if you’re not close with a cousin growing up, you connect strongly with them as adults.  I am quite close to two of my cousins that I saw maybe a half-dozen times as a child.
  • Their child will have one great grand-mother on our side, and I believe a great grand-mother and great grand-father on her side.  This boggles my mind, I knew none of my great grand-parents, and the same goes for my brother.
  • He, she, or they will have two grand-parents on our side, and three or four on her side.  Her parents are divorced, and I believe her mother remarried.  I’m not sure about her father.  While I’m used to having friends with divorced parents, it will take me a while to wrap my head around a child having multiple grand-parent couples on the same side of the family.
  • My brother and I used Japanese words for our maternal grand-parents, in an attempt to embrace at least a tiny bit of our heritage.  However, we didn’t use the formal terms, instead just using “Baachan” and “Jiichan”.
  • On the flip side, our paternal grand-parents were referred to by “Nanny” and “Pops”, the reasons for which I can only assume lie within some part of British culture.  I believe my paternal great grand-father was referred to as “Chief”.
  • My cousin once told me that in order to keep family land in Japan, one of our female ancestors had her husband take her family name. I feel as though this would be uncommon in present day, but in Japan at least 70 years ago?  Yikes.
  • The Nagasaka and Perkins lines will be continued, however the Quackenbush line ends with my sister-in-law.  I suppose it’s inevitable that a family line will end eventually.

Those are just some thoughts that popped into my head.

–Kiyoshi “The Prototype”
Your #1 Canadian eh?


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