Life, the Martial Challenges, and Everything.

Category: Resolutions

Updates, but a little late

The winter semester was quite demanding on my time, and I spent most of my down-time being a lazy potato.  Then I had the summer semester — shorter, but no less demanding as it was a completely different subject — and up next is my wedding.  So I haven’t had a lot of time to think about topics to write about; my contributions to my sponsor’s blog have dropped as well.  But let’s look at the goals we set down in January:

  • earn my purple, brown, and black belts in BJJ
  • research the time and cost for becoming a Registered Massage Therapist (to supplement BA and MA)
  • earn my Sport Science diploma, Kinesiology specialization
  • obtain my PDP from SFU UBC
  • graduate from the BPEC program
  • continue coaching the NWSS Hyacks
  • complete rough draft of paper on BJJ for peer review and editing
  • learn how to properly skip rope for cardio
  • improve skip rope technique and increase intensity

In six months, what have I crossed off?  Well,

Earn my Sport Science diploma, Kinesiology specialization: I didn’t actually receive my diploma because I had heard that getting your diploma required you to reapply to the BPEC program.  Two pieces of paper seems nice, but I’ll still be able to obtain the Kinesiology specialization with the degree.  However, I did complete all the requirements for the diploma, and posted my well-loved “report card” on my Instagram.

Learn how to properly skip rope for cardio: thanks to some friends I’ve been able to not only start skipping, but maintain it in a decent rhythm.  I’ve also added in the cross-over, though it needs a bit of work.  Perhaps once I get a more properly-sized rope, or get more reps in, I’ll be able to hit the next bullet point about improving technique and intensity.

Next we have some modifications:

Obtain my PDP from SFU UBC: I’ve modified this from SFU to UBC.  SFU has their requirements laid out in a fairly neat and tidy package, but they require a declared minor in a Science type (Math, Physics, Chemisty, etc.) or French.  While re-learning French is a great option to take, at this point in my time at college it will mean at least another year; my competency isn’t enough to challenge an exam.  On the flip side of this PDP coin is UBC.  I actually hadn’t done any research for the Professional Development Program because I (incorrectly) assumed SFU was the only school that offered it.  Imagine my surprise when a Google search turns up eight school in B.C. from the Island to the Okanagan.  UBC does not require a declared minor, but their site is a bit more finicky to navigate and find the requirements.  I do have an “inside track” by way of a friend who recently got a job teaching at the same school I started my fieldwork, and so far UBC has been fairly prompt and decently informative with e-mails.  I’ll have to look in to attending an info session as well.

While I continue to complete my classes in my upcoming third year of the program, I take a long look at one of my more serious goals:

Complete rough draft of paper on BJJ for peer review and editing: My initial thought was to write something more sociology-based even though there is a bigger shortage of peer-reviewed articles based on physiology and psychology for the sport.  I got in contact with a fellow Redditor who was running a poll to collect data for non-research ends; the man is looking to do a full proper study starting in the fall, and I have asked to be a part of this process in any fashion.

Research the time and cost for becoming a Registered Massage Therapist (to supplement BA and MA): To be honest, getting my RMT status may be a bit too much.  The best programs are a full-time four-year process, with a cost equal to a Bachelor’s degree.  Being able to supplement my services with massage therapy is a wonderful idea, but I may have to look at alternate massage certifications.  It stays on the list, but will likely be modified before the year’s end.

Finally, I add a special goal to honour a friend of mine who is taking his learning to the next level:

Make it Raf’s Place to Challenge Him! Co-host of the MMA-comedy podcast “Verbal Tap Cast” (find, subscribe, and rate them on iTunes!), Raf Esparza and I have forged a relationship that consists mostly of trash talking each other and a certain Kevin T. Phillips.  I have vowed to meet with Raf on our field of battle: the mats of North Hollywood (or whatever sub-section of the sprawl known as L.A. Raf resides and/or trains in).  Perhaps Kevin Phillips can make it to town, where I can avenge my loss from our time on Over/Under Kevin.

And now, the new list:

  • earn my purple, brown, and black belts in BJJ
  • research the time and cost for becoming a Registered Massage Therapist (to supplement BA and MA)
  • obtain my PDP from SFU UBC
  • graduate from the BPEC program
  • continue coaching the NWSS Hyacks
  • complete rough draft of paper on BJJ for peer review and editing
  • improve skip rope technique and increase intensity
  • meet with, challenge, and defeat Raf Esparza of Verbal Tap “fame”
    • knee-bar or heel-hook Kevin if he’s in town

How are your goals progressing?  Let’s chat about them!

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


Making good

Very recently I publicly stated that I was going to learn how to skip rope — or jump rope as some call it.  My reasons for wanting to learn involved many constraints including time, space, and weather.  Well, shortly thereafter I got in contact with a classmate who does some personal training out in Surrey.  With his help and skip rope, I had a starting point that wasn’t as terrible as I remembered.

After my first solo 30-minute session, I wondered what made the difference between 2011 and 2016?  You see, little known fact: I used to kickbox before jiu-jitsu, and our warm-up involved three two-minute segments of skip rope.  And I was downright terrible back then, always coming to a sudden and often painful halt less than 15 seconds after starting.  Let’s try to compare then and now:

  • Then: rubber skipping rope, probably 9 feet in length.  Possibly ball bearing setup in handles, handles made of wood
  • Now: rubber skipping rope, probably 9 feet in length.  Ball bearing setup, handles made of plastic, notched for comfortable grips
  • Then: barefoot on 24mm puzzle mats over concrete
  • Now: in running or wrestling shoes, on hardwood dance floor or carpet-over-concrete
  • Then: mirrors in front and behind
  • Now: some mirrors, location dependant

The quality or make of the skip rope may have played a factor, but I believe the biggest factors are footwear and being able to not look in a mirror.  Even if I skip at school, I can actively shut out the mirrors — mirrors that are on adjacent walls to each other rather than opposite.  In this tiny sample size that has far too many unchecked variables, I have done three bursts of 30 seconds without missing a skip.  All three involved alternating single legs and then back to doubles, something I likely would not have been able to do back in 2011.  Whatever the cause of my improvement, I seek to improve upon that.  Fellow blogger Jennerosity commented on my last post with a YouTube channel full of tutorials, so I thought I’d share it with you all.

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

2016 Goals!

We can chalk this up to the New Year, or perhaps just as another 6-month check-in.  Either way, G-G-G-Goals!

Let’s recap years previous:

  • earn my purple, brown, and black belts in BJJ
  • research the time and cost for becoming a Registered Massage Therapist (to supplement BA and MA)
  • re-start my running exercise, re-time my 1-mile, 5k, and 10k times
  • improve upon my 1-mile, 5k, and 10k times
  • earn my Sport Science diploma, Kinesiology specialization
  • enter the Bachelor of Physical Education and Coaching program
  • graduate with my Bachelor’s degree
  • research institutes for Master’s degrees in Science of Kinesiology or Sport Psychology
  • continue coaching the NWSS Hyacks
  • complete rough draft of paper on BJJ for peer review and editing

What have I accomplished?  Well ..

Continue coaching the Hyacks: this season I have embraced more of my role as assistant coach.  Whether it’s tournament prep, getting the team to and from mini-meets or tournaments, or making sure they get a proper warm-up and cool-down, I try to stay on the ball.  I’m ready to take this to the next level.

Research institutes for Master’s degrees: I managed this in late-August, looking at the U of A and University of Calgary as somewhere closer than Ontario or Quebec.  I still have a bit more research to do, and a few other factors to consider now.  This is where it gets fun and interesting.

Enter the BPEC program: as you may remember, I had received a conditional acceptance pending a few things.  Well, I have passed both levels of Anatomy & Physiology, so I do believe I have earned a seat in this Bachelor’s program.  Haha!

It feels good to accomplish some of those goals, and I have a few to be re-worked to suit my current lifestyle.  Let’s see what is being altered:

Resume running: I might never give up the desire to start running again, but in terms of what I need and have time for, this is going to change to Learn how to skip rope.

Improve upon old running times: this will similarly change, and become Improve skip rope time and intensity.

Now let’s put it all back together!

Goals for 2016 and beyond!

  • earn my purple, brown, and black belts in BJJ
  • research the time and cost for becoming a Registered Massage Therapist (to supplement BA and MA)
  • earn my Sport Science diploma, Kinesiology specialization
  • obtain my PDP from SFU
  • graduate from the BPEC program
  • continue coaching the NWSS Hyacks
  • complete rough draft of paper on BJJ for peer review and editing
  • learn how to properly skip rope for cardio
  • improve skip rope technique and increase intensity

So … anyone know how to skip rope and is willing to teach someone with two left feet?  While you’re here, why don’t you comment with some of your goals, old or new?

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

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

2015.5 Goals Update

Now, the .5 is for “half”, not for the month it is published in, just thought I would clear that up.

Back to the goals!

Still to-do/long-term from 2014:

  • earn my purple belt in BJJ
  • research the time and cost for becoming a Registered Massage Therapist (to supplement BA and MA)
  • re-start my running exercise, re-time my 1-mile, 5k, and 10k times
  • improve upon my 1-mile, 5k, and 10k times

New short- and long-term for 2015 and beyond:

  • earn my diploma in Sport Science
  • enter the Bachelor of Physical Education and Coaching program
  • graduate with my Bachelor’s degree

Because bullet points tend to mess with me in terms of getting the format correct, I will simply make each one a new heading and list the updates below!

1. Earn my diploma in Sport Science: my original plan was to get an interdisciplinary diploma, as the requirements were broad and forgiving.  But given the courses I have taken, I am two courses away from completing the Kinesiology specialization.  Those two remaining courses are required for my BPEC graduation as well, so it is a Win-Win situation.

2. Enter the Bachelor of Physical Education and Coaching program: the BPEC program accepts applications in the beginning of each year for the fall semester.  Deadline application is April 1st, with some applicants being accepted as early as March 1st.  Conditional acceptances are given as well, which is what I received.  The conditions were:

  • Program deposit paid by April 6 2015 (Completed)
  • Background check paid and submitted by April 15 2015 (Completed)
  • BIOL 1109 Human Anatomy & Physiology I completed with a minimum of C-, final grade to be submitted by April 30 2015 (Completed)
  • BIOL 1209 Human Anatomy & Physiology II completed with a minimum of C-, final grade to be submitted by December 19 2015 (Pending)

3. Graduate with my Bachelor’s degree: this goal will be two more years or so, depending on if I can get into certain courses and successfully complete them on the first try.  I don’t anticipate a lot of problems – at least, no problems that can’t be solved with proper studying.

Now let us readjust those goals.

Short- and long-term for 2015 and beyond:

  • earn my purple, brown, and black belts in BJJ
  • research the time and cost for becoming a Registered Massage Therapist (to supplement BA and MA)
  • re-start my running exercise, re-time my 1-mile, 5k, and 10k times
  • improve upon my 1-mile, 5k, and 10k times
  • earn my Sport Science diploma, Kinesiology specialization
  • enter the Bachelor of Physical Education and Coaching program
  • graduate with my Bachelor’s degree

New for 2015 and beyond:

  • research institutes for Master’s degrees in Science of Kinesiology or Sport Psychology
  • continue coaching the NWSS Hyacks
  • complete rough draft of paper on BJJ for peer review and editing

Yes, it seems as though I am merely adding more goals without striking any off, but I am also painting these goals in broad strokes.  I have a running list of courses that I have taken followed by the courses I have yet to take.  It helps me stay organized and provides some direction when it comes time for course registration.  I may upload it as a progress report, currently it is on paper so I can better manage it and myself.

Do you have any updates on your goals?  Any new ones set?  Comment below!

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


6-month goal update

I recently reviewed the goals I posted in January, and looking at them now, I think I made them too easy.  Let’s review!

  • create a first draft/rough draft compilation video for potential sponsors
  • Prototype’s BJJ Journey, Square 1
  • create a “cover letter” for potential sponsors
  • written, sent, awaiting response from one place, and second “interview” from another
  • figure out my Bachelor’s and Master’s degree
  • Bachelor of Exercise Science and Human Movement/Bachelor of Psychological Studies (Sport Psychology) and Master of Applied Psychology (Sport Psychology,) at Victoria University, Melbourne.
  • compete internationally in BJJ
  • Registered for Proving Grounds, June 7th, Bellevue, WA

So, maybe a tad easy, but perhaps I had more motivation to complete these.  Which also means it’s time for some new ones!  Again, both short- and long-term goals, including my incomplete/in-progress goals.

  • earn my purple belt in BJJ
  • gain a second sponsor
  • gain a long-term sponsor that is willing for more than one-shot sponsorship
  • research all of the necessary information for studying abroad in Australia
  • research all of the necessary information for becoming an Australian resident/citizen
  • research the time and cost for becoming a Registered Massage Therapist (to supplement BA and MA)
  • re-start my running exercise, re-time my 1-mile, 5k, and 10k times
  • improve upon my 1-mile, 5k, and 10k times

These new goals, combined with the remaining previous ones, should provide enough of a long-term setting while allowing a sense of accomplishment while on the road to achieving these goals.


Goals goals goals

Yes, we enter the year 2014, year of the Horse.

The beginning of a new year in the Gregorian calendar seems like a good time to go back and look at the goals I set during 2013, and potentially revise them for 2014 and add new ones.

Let us review my accomplishments in 2013 from my goal-setting post:

  • earned my blue belt in July (bonus: earned my first stripe in December)
  • found a wonderful woman to be in a relationship with (bonus: her parents and my parents have met, with my aunt and uncle in tow. Double bonus: she has started BJJ)

Now let’s review my accomplishments that weren’t in my post:

  • started post secondary and did quite smashingly well
  • found an area to potentially major in
  • became a sponsored athlete

It’s nice to cross things off the “To Do” list, and it’s really nice to add things to the list and cross them off immediately.
Now let’s see about some new goals to supplement the older ones.  These are both short- and long-term goals

  • compete internationally in BJJ
  • create a first draft/rough draft compilation video for potential sponsors
  • create a “cover letter” for potential sponsors
  • gain a second sponsor
  • earn my purple belt in BJJ
  • figure out my Bachelor’s and Master’s degree

Like before, I’m sure unwritten goals will be accomplished alongside the written goals.
The unfortunate thing: I’ve misled myself to where the Pan-Ams are.  There are the games that travel from city to city each time, which is where I thought the BJJ part was held.  Turns out there are separate Pan-Ams (commonly referred to as “Pans”) in California for BJJ alone.  As previously mentioned, they are ranked just below Mundials (which I spelled incorrectly last time) in terms of prestige.
In terms of BJJ tournaments, 2014 is my last year in the “adult” category.  I turn 30 in October, and thus enter the “Master’s” division, but I’m sure I’ll “sneak” into the adult division in local tournaments here and there.

Well there we have it, new heights to reach.
What goals do you have set?  I’d love to hear them.

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


Back in January I listed short and long term goals in my life.  You can read the post here.

I am happy and excited to announce that I have accomplished one of those goals!

Sunday July 14th at Genesis Martial Arts in Abbotsford, B.C., under Jason Gagnon via Cobrinha BJJ, I earned my Blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.


I am very happy, though it has yet to fully sink in.  The belt whipping was exceptionally fun, despite some great thwacks from my teammates.  The best part about this is I compete on July 20th in Kelowna in the CBJJF Okanagan Summer Classic alongside my cousin Mike from RDC Jiu-Jitsu.  I throw myself right into the deep end without pause, I’ve e-mailed the tournament coordinator to let him know my registration has been changed slightly.


I congratulate all of my teammates who received stripes, belts, or just came out to celebrate our grand opening!  I’m truly honoured to have rolled with all of you, and I look forward to continuing learning alongside all of you.


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

The Little Goals

Several days ago – on recommendation of a good friend – I signed up for Reddit and went immediately to the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu sub-Reddit.  Okay, so I’m predictable, but what’s wrong with that?  While browsing through the many threads, I cam across something quite interesting: 100 things you should do before reaching black belt.

The article was written for, and quite unsurprisingly is Gracie Barra-centric (e.g. 75- Have a favourite Gracie.).  Despite that, it was still quite an interesting read, and provided me with many little goals to achieve.

Let’s start by listing off the ones I have already accomplished:

1- Like Jiu-Jitsu.
2- Love Jiu-Jitsu.
3- Respect Jiu-Jitsu.
8- Have a gruelling training session with your own master.
9- Make a lot of close friends at the gym.
12- Realize that deep, deep down points and the clock do not exist, while nothing is more real than those three little taps.
14- Learn to speak English. The way the Jiu-Jitsu market is going, you’ll have to get around in other continents.
21- Learn to lose.
25- If surfing isn’t your thing, work on another outdoor activity to invigorate you on those days you’re not in the gym.
29- Shave your head, even if just once.
31- Offer yourself as your master’s sparring partner, especially in private classes, as you, too, will learn a lot.
38- Use your technical abilities and stamina to get out of a bind. Adventures are a part of every black belt’s story.
54- Forget steroids.
60- Get turned down by women because of your ears.
64- Understand how your body works, after all each body type adapts to Jiu-Jitsu differently. Your game should be in tune with the type of body you boast.
65- Respect the white belts. And the blues, purples…
69- Tap, tap, tap and tap, over and over again. And, who knows? Maybe even pass out from some choke. That’s part of the game, and it’s all a learning experience until you’ve been decorated with the highest honours.
70- Do a no-time limit fight (at least in training), to the finish.
86- Find a way of deriving pleasure from the big and little things in Jiu-Jitsu, from warming up to even the bad days in the gym and the losses.

Some of them are on-going of course, accomplishments that I do – or try to do – after every session.  Others just make sense, like #69.  I tap to armbars quite often, because I need my arms, their joints, tendons, ligaments and everything else to be in working condition.

Next, let’s look at some of the goals that really pique my interests:

4- Learn to balance force and technique so as to fight as long as you can without tiring.
5- Understand that the belt is not the only objective, but the result of effort and learning. One whose only objective is to get a new belt limits his own potential, which is always enormous and unknown. Rather than focus on that, concern yourself with developing technical aspects of the fight.
10- Enter a tournament – and return home with a gold medal.
13- Participate in a seminar conducted by your greatest idol.
15- Learn to perform a flying armbar.
16- Compete at a World Championship.
17- Invent a hold or move.
18- Give the move a really creative name like “the flying butterfly,” “get-that-sucka” or “fireball,” for example.
22- Learn to win.
30- Try to take private classes – vital for refining your technique and learning tricks from your teacher.
36- Encourage a child to start learning Jiu-Jitsu. After all, they are the future of the sport.
37- Gain self-control.
42- Get yourself a physiotherapist buddy who after all the appointments gives you that discount when some new little injury crops up…
44- Find out when the best time of the day for you to train is, figuring out whether your body responds better to training hard at night, in the afternoon or early in the morning.
50- Be flexible; discover your favourite stretching routine.
51- Get your bottom game on par with your top game – or at least close to it.
52- Face off with athletes from other styles, like wrestlers in submission grappling tournaments, judoka friends and so on.
53- Have a lot of talks with higher ranked athletes and old masters.
55- Document the best shape you’ve ever been in in photos. Besides serving as a record, this will motivate you to not keep in shape, even as the years – and belts – go by. You will also have a beautiful photo to one day show your kids and grandkids…
56- Go on an unforgettable trip to compete or train Jiu-Jitsu with the team.
57- Represent well and divulge our Jiu-Jitsu’s flag abroad.
61- Pick up women because of your ears.
63- Donate your old gis to the needy and social-benefit projects.
71- If you have friends in other academies, visit new environments. “I would like to have trained more with other athletes to have tested my Jiu-Jitsu without the pressure of doing tournaments. I feel I missed something for not having trained with Amaury, Libório, Roleta, Cachorrão and Pé de Pano,” reveals six-time world champion Saulo Ribeiro.
72- Be somebody’s hero – even if it’s just your little brother.
73- Explain Jiu-Jitsu philosophy more than once to a number of friends, and don’t lose your patience when you hear, “But fighters are all kind of stupid, aren’t they?”
82- Find out what motivates you before a training session and what makes you feel better after a bad day at the gym – be it music, reading or positive thinking.
83- Develop your own style as a fighter.
84- Develop your own style as a teacher.
87- Learn CPR.
88- Learn to deal with the fear, insecurity and anxiety we all have in us, some more, some less than others. That is why competition is one of the best environments for us to get to know ourselves not just as athletes.
98- Write up your own list of 50, 100 or 200 goals you WILL meet achieve reaching black belt.
99- Apply the principal law of Jiu-Jitsu (“Minimum effort for maximum efficiency”) to your own life. Face challenges in the simplest way possible, as this will certainly be the most efficient.

Obviously I have a lot of goals I need to complete, but that’s what makes life interesting.  The goals will be signposts in the road of life, accomplishments signifying – if even just to me – improvement, understanding and acceptance.
A special note for #71: Saturday the 23rd I’ll be in Vernon for a tournament, and quite possibly the only familiar faces will be my cousin and the RDC team.  I will be in “enemy territory”, no teammates, only those whom I have beaten.  Maybe if I ask nicely enough, Sterling will coach me – assuming I’m not against one of his guys of course.

For the complete list in order, head over to

We finish off with 20 commandments before reaching black belt:

1-   Thou shalt not stall.
2-   Thou shalt not wimp out.
3-   Thou shalt not skip practice for silly reasons.
4-   Thou shalt not drink alcohol excessively.
5-   Thou shalt not partake in excessive slamming.
6-   Thou shalt not wear stinky gis or neglect your hygiene.
7-   Thou shalt not whine about refereeing.
8-   Thou shalt not be a “creonte” – respect your master and gym.
9-   Thou shalt not heed orders that go against your values.
10- Thou shalt not be rude during training.
11-  Thou shalt not make a trophy of your mangled ear.
12-  Thou shalt not succumb to cupcakes, candy bars and the likes.
13-  Thou shalt not show off – be discreet. After all, the more exposed you are, the greater the target.
14-  Thou shalt not talk too much smack nor cause discord between training partners.
15-  Thou shalt not take cheap shots.
16-  Thou shalt not take Steven Seagal films seriously.
17-  Thou shalt not count advantage points.
18-  Thou shalt not delay in letting go of your opponent when he taps.
19-  Thou shalt not take the stress of life out on training partners.
20-  Thou shalt not steal training partners’ flip-flops.

I’ll tell you right now that I don’t follow #12.  By not following it, I allow my coworkers to have a better chance at following it.
#18 is key.  Once I feel a tap, or hear the words “tap tap tap”, I immediately let go – or at least loosen up – and begin a quick and gentle untangling of whatever position we were in for the submission.  Some are easier than others: chokes I usually just have to stop flexing, but joint-locks I have to be more careful lest I do actual damage.

I’ll try to update these goals as I accomplish them.  Until next week!

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

Welcome to the New You

Maybe it’s just a North American thing, but people love their New Year’s Resolutions.
Typical resolutions include:

  • Getting in shape/losing weight
  • Finding an enjoyable job
  • Learning a new skill
  • Spend more time with Family/Friends
  • Enjoy life more

And unfortunately, most of those resolutions don’t last long.  Gyms and Martial Arts clubs see a rise in people, which quickly diminishes come February or March.  Excuses are made with the weather, not feeling up to it/lack of energy, and plenty of others.  I was among those, I once resolved when I was young to do at least 10 sit-ups a day.  I think I made it to day 4.

I have some new goals in mind this year, and some of them are going to take longer than a year.  It just happens to be around the time of New Years that they were conceived:

  • Compete internationally in BJJ
  • Re-learn French to the same standard I once had
  • Go beyond my former standard of French
  • See what I can do about making sure my niece(s) and/or nephew have an aunt by the time they’re born

And of course I still have a few long-term goals to accomplish:

  • earn my blue belt in BJJ
  • compete at the 2015 Pan-Ams

The Pan-Ams was my first goal since I started BJJ, especially since Toronto is hosting it.  If I can start getting international experience as a four-stripe white or a fresh blue, then all the better.  The Pan-Am Games are ranked below the Mondials in California, but I’m fine with that.  At some point I’ll have to start getting used to civilian spectators that I know in the crowd, my parents would probably come watch me compete, and any other  family I have out there as well.  I don’t look forward to explaining the details of a match to them, I have an idea of how it looks to an outsider.

All of this will come to pass once I get over this horrible semi-flu that I caught on Thursday.  In the meantime, Santa gifted me with a new computer, an HP Envy.  As I recover bodily fluids, lost weight and strength, I’ll be setting up my new rig and transferring all required files.

Until next post!

–Kiyoshi “The Prototype”Your #1 Canadian