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Life, the Martial Challenges, and Everything.

Category: Pets

2015’s Year of the Sheep: In Review

We may remember that 2014 was good.  But 2015? Yowzah.

Sheep!  I could go the obvious route about sheep and flocking and yadda-yadda-yadda, but then I’d feel a little sheepish about it.  Ba-DUM-tish!

Once more (with feeling) these are just some of the important days, notes, and highlights in my year.

-January: After reviewing the requirements for entry into the Bachelor of Physical Education and Coaching (BPEC) program, I arranged with former Professor Gord Sturrock to become an assistant coach for the Hyacks’ Wrestling Team out of New Westminster Secondary School.  I helped out with their first tournament of the season: the Western Canada Age Class 2015 Championship, where they all wrestled to a podium finish.  I attended Battlefield Fight League’s 34th card featuring a hefty line-up of friends and training partners: Jeremy Kennedy, Shawn Albrecht, Micah Brakefield, and Christiaan Allaart.  Christiaan’s opponent would no-show to the weigh-ins, forcing him from the card.  Micah would lose to Ash Mashreghi via questionable stoppage, but it was an exciting fight nonetheless.  Shawn would win a unanimous decision and put him as the #1 contender in the Featherweight division.  Jeremy would win a unanimous decision (including a 50-43 score) to claim the Featherweight title belt.  My seat-mates were Sterling Redlack and Stu Deleurme – invited down from Kelowna by BFL to honour Cam’s passing – and Matt Dwyer – former BFL Middleweight champ and current UFC fighter.10945393_10152516525252172_8174109688879230386_o IMAG2571

-February: Keri and I moved from our place off of 240th and into a newer place on the Haney Bypass.  We moved the big objects during my study break, and got the rest during the month.  With cement floors and ceilings – plus underground parking – it is an upgrade in layout, noise (the lack thereof mainly), and time saved by not scraping frost.  The stairs don’t go down to the parkade, which is a touch annoying, but that’s a mild complaint honestly.  The Hyacks went to the BC Provincials at the Abbotsford Agricultural Rec Centre at the end of the month, and several team members made the top eight to get onto the podium.  I also attended a tournament, the 2nd Marcus Soares Invitational Championships, my first of the year.  I opted in for Gi and No-Gi, feeling decently confident in my stand-up.  Since this tournament only awarded points for submission attempts, I probably would have been safer to jump guard ASAP, but I wanted to test myself.  I lost both of my rounds, but hit an amazing lumberjack sweep in my No-Gi match.  Then I proposed to Keri.  My friend James from Caliber Media was there to help with pictures of the moment.  She said yes.20150221_121657 received_10155313250690473

-March: WarPath hosted their first card in about two years.  I am sad to report that it was not up to their usual standards, plagued by delays and a lineup that was not finalized until the night of the event.  Of note, my friend and former opponent Creigh Sullivan won via dominant fashion, securing a triangle choke in the first round. Battlefield’s 35th card occurred on the 28th, featuring well-known talent such as Nick Ghaeni, Jamie Siraj, Matt Baker, and my friend and former teammate Christian Tremayne.  It was a great night to watch the local talent grow, as well as see their corners evolve.  Notably in attendance were UFC bantamweight veteran Sarah Kaufmann, and ONE FC featherweight Champion Bibiano Fernandes.  Christian won with crisp boxing and slick transitions, getting the Unanimous Decision.  Keri and I celebrated our 2-year anniversary with some lovely relaxation.

-April: Keri celebrated her birthday in conjunction with the Easter Long Weekend, which made for quite a time for all.  Apparently people know us as fans of Doctor Who, as many of her gifts were Doctor-themed.  The final weeks of my classes finished, and then exams.  During that period I had enough stress to lower my immune system and catch a cold and a low-grade fever.  Despite that, I managed to pass all of my classes and up my GPA.  One more course to register and pass, and then I am accepted into my Bachelor’s program.  Keri scheduled an interview at the end of the month at Ridge Meadows Hospital, and her professionalism and knowledge made her a sure-fire hire.

-May: Keri began her training and orientation for her job, traveling to Royal Columbian, Surrey Memorial, and Ridge Meadows.  Then she got an e-mail from ARH asking if she was still available for shifts on the Maternity ward.  While the timing could have been better, it does mean that she could pick up casual shifts from both hospitals and thus have a decent amount of hours.  My summer semester started, and a day earlier than I had previously believed.  Fortunately I caught my erroneous belief before the start, so I managed to appear prepared. The end of the month meant Proving Grounds VI in Bellevue, a tournament I was quite eager for.  It was the same weekend as the IBJJF Mundials which saw a lot of my friends and teammates compete.  Unfortunately I came up short in my tournament thanks to a call that should not have been made.  The experience soured the day for me, but the evening was able to pull it back thanks to Battlefield 36.  It was BFL’s 5th Anniversary. and the card featured five title fights: three amateur titles, one inaugural kickboxing title, and one pro title.  My friend and former teammate/coach Christiaan Allaart would suffer a loss via guillotine choke in the first round, going unconscious and making him unable to claim the Featherweight title.  Christiaan would also retire from MMA following his fight, leaving him able to concentrate on his family and his job teaching BJJ.  Friend and former teammate Christian Tremayne would weather a hard first and second round before going on to win the final three rounds to win the vacant Lightweight belt via unanimous decision, 48-47.  Friend and former co-worker Tylor Nicholson would be unable to continue the inaugural kickboxing bout due to receiving unintentional illegal blows; that coming after his opponent missed weight by 5 pounds.  Chris Anderson would defend his Middleweight title via KO in the second round; Ash Mashreghi would claim the vacant pro Middleweight title via RNC in the third round.

-June: The first Saturday was a taste test at Austin Gourmet, a wedding catering company.  We selected a 3-bean salad, southwestern potato salad, spinach and feta cannelloni in a white sauce, and a beef lasagna.  All of it was amazing, filling, and not greasy.  While eating, we chatted about the general layout of the Old Mill Boathouse, and got some experienced input on where the head table should go.  The staff at Austin Gourmet were very pleasant to deal with, and we recommend them to anyone looking for a caterer.  The next Saturday was the CBJJF 3rd Annual Provincial BJJ Championships, hosted in Abbotsford at the Events Centre.  I volunteered with the set-up and the scorekeeping, plus I competed in Gi and No-Gi; medalling in both.  The following Monday I attended a seminar hosted by top Featherweight competitor Gianni Grippo, learning about a berimbolo set-up.  Friend, roommate, and teammate Jordan and I would complete the Grouse Grind for the first time in many years.  It is quite different now with a lot more completed staircases and fewer rocks to scale.image 20150613_16293720150704_11064820150704_123519

-July: After a few false bookings, I booked and completed my Standard First Aid & CPR level C + AED certification; a prerequisite not only to graduate from my program but also to start my fieldwork courses in the fall.  The two-day course was a lot easier than the provided First Aid Reference Guide suggested, but there are skills that I want to continue to practice.  Keri and I went to lunch with my cousin Courtney, finally allowing the two of them to meet face to face instead of relying on stories from me.  Professor Cobrinha returned to town for a two-day seminar, concentrating on the double-under guard pass and utilizing a Kimura grip in a variety of ways.  My cousin Mike came down from Kelowna to participate as well, which was fun.  That same weekend I attended Battlefield Fight League’s 37th card, which was aired on the Fight Network.  My teammate and friend Shawn Albrecht fought but fell prey to a superior stand-up game despite his control of the ground game.  UFC Bantamweight fighter Sarah Kaufmann was in town to coach her teammate and fellow professional fighter Ryan Janes to a successful and exciting Middleweight title defence.  A day later my parents arrived in town for a quick vacation, allowing for an impromptu reunion of sorts followed by a family engagement party.20150725_184717 20150725_145203

-August: Longtime friend Jordan tied the knot in a wonderful, simple, and fun Hawaiian-themed ceremony; myself and longtime friend Niv were the groomsmen, along with fellow Edmontonian Jan.  Friend and training partner Matt Kwan would host an open mat at his new academy On Guard BJJ, and receive his well-deserved and long-awaited brown belt.  I volunteered at the Katana BJJ Roots BJJ Challenge III, and ended up competing rather spur-of-the-moment.  I had enough warning to invite my cousin Courtney to come watch, it helped that the tournament was at the Richmond Oval.  I took gold after two good matches, and I got another two takedowns.   I would make my way up to Kelowna to attend a Rafa Mendes seminar – thus completing a third seminar by one of the best BJJ Featherweights in the world – and managed to get in a couple of training sessions with the beasts at RDC Jiu-Jitsu.  While there, I went (or tried) wakeboarding, and then had a blast on a huge tube — until it flipped and launched me into the air.  Apparently my body made a very unmistakeably loud noise when it hit the water.  But, no injuries to report from that!  Amanda and I (and everyone else) pulled a surprise engagement party for Keri (and for me, but one of us had to be in on it).  Finally, Keri and I managed to sneak off for a week-long trip to Alberta to visit my parents and test-drive some Subarus.  We managed to avoid the massive windstorm as well.11911949_10207638996872102_982762283_n 20150808_150332

-September: I finished the last round of my Twinrix Immunization, bringing me up to date on Hep A/B, MMR, and Tetanus.  Another Fall semester started with an unexpected fire alarm, an expected Violent Intruder Drill, and Fieldwork Orientation.  Amanda and Ben had their engagement party, which was a fun mingling experience with mini pumpkin pies!  Just as my school schedule became normal, Keri and I jetted off to Florida/a quick Bahaman cruise (BOAT DAY!) for my good friends Jeff and Claire and their wedding!  Yay!  I helped Jordan get his first sponsorship with Just Saiyan, a company that has a collection of shirts and rashguards featuring costumes from DragonBall Z.  Jordan picked up Vegeta and Frieza, Keri grabbed a Vegeta (which can double as child Gohan on Namek), and I grabbed a Goku.20150927_145206 20150927_122733 20150927_112224 20150926_190058

-October: We celebrated my 31st birthday in a low-key style: watching the UFC 192 card with friends.  I started getting back to the weights to push my weight solidly into the Middleweight bracket, with the assistance of Twin 1: Jack.  The entire household went to the advance voting polls to cast our votes for the Federal election, an action that over 800,000 Canadians joined in on.  My Fieldwork site was a voting station, and they didn’t seem terribly busy during the scant moments I was inside to notice them — but that doesn’t mean they weren’t getting a good turnout.  Battlefield Fight League held their 39th card, “Halloween Hell”, at the Hard Rock Casino.  Friend and sometimes-teammate Stu Deleurme fought for the first time since Cam passed away; Stu unfortunately lost via first round TKO.  Mr. Kitty unfortunately passed away, but it appeared to be painless for her.  She will always be loved, and missed dearly.20151017_204602 20151007_215702 20151003_220507 20150916_165218

-November: Keri and I went to visit the Shar Peis that Sonja breeds, and enjoyed being once again in a pile of dogs.  We had a sleepover with one of the gorgeous dogs, and soon realized that separating a grown adult from her pack was not the easiest task in the world; especially compared to raising a puppy.  It was a good lesson to learn, but at least we enjoyed a night of having a dog sleep on the bed with us.  I did my first solo stint as a wrestling coach at a takedown tournament.  It was a great way to give our youngest team member some competition experience before War On The Floor; a big thanks to the Pinetree wrestlers for ignoring the 25kg difference in weight and giving him several matches.  My fieldwork at Maple Creek wrapped up, and I was gifted one of their shirts.  More than 10 years after graduating high school I’m finally starting to feel school pride.  Finally, I got my seasonal flu shot, continuing the trend I started in the summer.20151115_184102

-December: The month started out with my last tournament of the year: the 1st Annual Vancouver International Open.  I competed in Gi and No-Gi, and volunteered all day.  My Gi division didn’t go as planned, but I managed a better show in No-Gi, taking Gold.  My cousin Courtney came out to watch, and we had a little family reunion with our cousin/my teammate Mike.  The first official tournament of the wrestling season kicked off right as I had to write my big Anatomy & Physiology final, but the timing worked so the Hyacks had a coach with them all day.  I solo coached four of my wrestlers at War On The Floor, two of them were second-year veterans and two of them were new.  None of them have any big holes in their games to deal with, just small things to be corrected in practice and with more experience.  Back on the dog front, we puppy-sat the gorgeous little Muji while Sonja tended to the newest litter of puppies.  This gave her the opportunity to work somewhat less impeded while giving Muji lots of love and attention.  Keri and I had multiple Christmas dinners with family and friends, including some haggis!  ‘Twas delicious actually.  Finally, I felt my first earthquake on the 29th, a 4.9 on the Richter scale.  It was a bit underwhelming, but perhaps this building is a bit more earthquake-ready as compared to older places.20151220_185041 20151205_184130

What a year it’s been!  I know some of what 2016 will bring, but I’m looking forward to all of it!  How was your 2015?  Any big highlights — or small ones — that you’d like to share?

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

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Cat Scratch Fever

Well, no fever at least, but definitely a cat who is scratching.  Poor Helo has been getting some random inflammation around his eyelid.  It comes and goes quickly and without rhyme or reason.  He started to groom it excessively — much like a child would rub their eyes if there was an irritant — and gave himself a bit of a bald spot.  We decided that a vet’s appointment would be best to make sure there wasn’t a bigger issue that we couldn’t see.

He was surprisingly calm on the car ride there and back, which is a nice change from typical cat-in-car behaviour, but he didn’t want to come out of his little carrier when we in the vet’s office.  When we got him out, he stayed curled up in a defensive posture but somewhat calm so long as I kept my hands on him.  His general check-up was good, and a closer examination came up negative for any scratches on his eye.  He was prescribed a cream to help reduce and stave off any inflammation, so hopefully that will keep it away.

In the meantime, silly Helo, Y U SO OBSESSIVE?!

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

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.

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-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.

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-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.

Wrapping Up

Well, the presents are unwrapped, the food has been consumed with gusto, and the aftermath cleaned up.  Christmas has come and gone, but thanks to the multitude of get-togethers, the spirit and joy has lasted longer than just one day.  This is my second Christmas where I am with someone, and I have to say that I have been more excited to watch others open their gifts and spend time together than I have been waiting to open mine.

That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy my gifts, Keri got me some wonderful things, including The Voice of Reason: A VIP Pass to Enlightenment by Chael P. Sonnen.  I devoured that book, it along the same line of “You’re Welcome! With Chael Sonnen” – his podcast on PodcastOne.  Of course, I am biased towards Mr. Sonnen, and one day I will meet him and do some wrestling with him.

My parents went a different route this year, and asked me to use the money for their gifts and donate instead.  They’ve chosen the Delta Community Animal Shelter to receive the donation.  On that note, Daisy – or River as we called her – has been adopted, hopefully to her forever-home.

New Year’s Eve fast approaches, and then things go back to normal: school, BJJ, tournaments, all the usual jazz.  I hope you enjoyed your holidays, and had plenty of merry-making!  I’ll see you in the New Year, alongside the Christmas cards I sent!

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

A new tail

We have a new addition to our little family: Helo.IMAG2142

Helo had three other brothers and sisters, all of them grey tabbies, and it was a toss-up between him and one of his sisters.  Both were cuddly and affectionate, but we figured having another boy would be nice.  A kitten is the best way to acclimatize our current cat – Iris the tuxedo – to her own species.  Iris was a barn-rescue, left behind by accident when her mother and siblings moved.  She’s under-sized, and a little anti-social, but since I’ve known her, she’s warmed up to humans considerably.  And she’s quite relaxed around dogs.IMAG2189

We worked consistently in the first week to get Iris acclimatized to Helo and vice versa.  I tried using towels to let them smell each other without being in the same room, but letting them stare at each other through a mostly closed door worked better.  We borrowed a baby gate and started feeding them wet food on either side, and that made some great in-roads.  The wet food was a bonus for both of them: Helo was still pretty tiny and could use the extra protein, and Iris had been hiding and not eating or drinking as much.IMAG2118

They had their first acceptable meeting purely by accident; I wasn’t fast enough to keep Iris from hopping the baby gate.  We supervised their first several interactions, and once we were confident there wasn’t going to be fur flying, we let them have the run of the house.  Iris was more than happy, she didn’t like having to be restrained to one part of the house or another.  Helo enjoyed not having to be locked in the room while we were out.  They started playing with each other – or rather Helo started playing with Iris who would bat him away – and establishing boundaries.  Helo will submit, belly up, if he knows he’s pushed Iris too far.IMAG2129

We’ve only had one recorded instance of both cats sleeping on the bed with us, but Helo is starting to nap more on the bed when Iris is also there.  Helo is moving closer inch by inch each time, and Iris seems to be quite comfortable.  When we sleep, Iris tends to stay in the living room or on her cat-tree, while Helo sleeps on our pillows and apparently has to be touching my head as we all sleep.IMAG2157

He is now around 14-15 weeks old, and he’s grown quite a bit.  It will be interesting to see how big he gets, and how Iris deals with that.

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

A sad tail

No preamble here, it would hurt me too much.  We had to return River to the Delta animal shelter.  She opened up to us a lot, and developed separation anxiety, in part from all of the noise in our area.  There are a lot of dogs out, particularly from 9AM to 7PM, and despite most owners having a fence, they didn’t always close the gate.  River became quite defensive towards all dogs, growling and moaning, and raising her hackles.  We tried to socialize her with other friendly dogs, but even with a pug she was not a happy camper.  We also tried working on her anxiety, but her previous conditioned responses were proving to be extremely difficult to overcome.

River had been in our lives for six weeks, six awesome dog-filled loving weeks.  We quickly established a routine of up at 6AM for early potty break, and again around 8:30 followed by breakfast and any medicine required.  Around noon or 1Pm – dependent on weather and how much water she’s had – would be another break, and a quick one around 4PM.  Evening breaks were at 6:30-7PM with her evening meal, and 9PM, followed by a final one around 10-10:30PM.  Of course, if I was at school, then there would be a minor change in schedule, dependent on which campus I was at.

She travelled very well, settling in for the 12-hour trip to Edmonton, plus return.  A nice doggy seat-belt and some window shades are key to a great journey.  We stopped every two or three hours for a break, including pee, stretching, and gas.  It kept Keri and I refreshed as well, my typical plan when travelling solo is to push four to five hours, stopping only when I need to gas up.

We also discovered that she’s easy to bathe, especially outside without the tub.  She was quite obedient outside, and it’s a lot less to clean up when she shakes herself off.

Keri and I both miss her, but River wasn’t suitable to our lifestyles of work and school.  She would be a fantastic and loyal friend to anyone who worked from home, or was retired, with a fenced backyard to run in, and a quite neighbourhood.

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

 

The Story of River

You may have seen a new album posted on my Facebook area.  An album that contains a photo or three of a Shar Pei dog.  Her name is River, though once she was known as Daisy.  River is a foster-to-adopt dog who had a rough go in her last home and became very stressed out by the shelter.  She is quick to recognize us now, even after we dropped her off at the shelter again for an overnight stay before her appointment at the vet’s.  River had successful dental work — resulting in clean teeth and only one tooth pulled due to decay — and entropion surgery.  Her sutures, which look like eyelashes, come out at the end of the month, and until then she must wear her cone.

Keri and I have been fairly proactive in terms of setting up our home for a dog.  Cords have been bundled and tucked away, food and water dishes bought along with a leash and collar.  A kennel carrier for medium-to-large size dogs has been set up in the corner, which also serves as a platform for cat food and water.  Finally, a comfy — if poofy — dog mattress for her bed has been set up.  These changes have also allowed us to clean up a few things that we had been putting off.

River travels well in car, especially with our new dog seatbelt.  It keeps her on the bench seat in my car if I have to brake suddenly, and I’ve shortened it enough to prevent her from whacking herself on doors and windows from a sharp turn.  She’s not a fan of any motorcycle, she growls at them with deep throaty voice.

Our girl already has the nickname of “Sweetie”, as her namesake River Song from Doctor Who is often heard saying.  I usually call Iris “bubi” from Die Hard (“Hans, bubi, I’m your white knight!”), and now sometimes I call her “Sweetie” as well.

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