prototypemmeh

Life, the Martial Challenges, and Everything.

Category: Travel

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

 

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2016 BCWA High School Provincials

February 25th, 26th, and 27th were the B.C. Wrestling Association High School Provincial Championships.  The New Westminster Secondary School Hyacks attended in force, along with their coaching team.  The 25th was weigh-ins, and thankfully everyone made weight.  We followed up with a team dinner that night, having some nice White Spot.  The 26th was Day 1, and everyone wrestled.  About half of the team made it to Day 2, securing themselves a Top 6 spot.  Connor and TJ were in the Finals, which meant that we would be there all day long again.

Day 2 is where grit and determination is truly tested.  Injuries accrued from Day 1 don’t heal, and only get worse as you wrestle more.  You’re mentally tired, physically drained, and you might have to wait until the afternoon for your match.  All of the Hyacks did well, and felt pretty good about their performances, and identified areas they need to work on.  Connor placed 1st, after being down 8-0.  He brought the score to a narrow margin, 8-9, but was still down that one point.  Then he snagged a cradle-pin for a strong finish.  TJ’s match was fast-paced affair, but he got caught up in the scrambling instead of forcing his opponent into a position, he took 2nd.

In an unexpected turn, there were no devastating teams this season.  The Hyacks boy’s team placed 1st, and our Pacific Rim affiliate STM placed first as a girl’s team, and as an aggregate team.  Our little area of New West is a huge concentration of champions.

The National Championships took place April 14th, 15th, 16th, and 17th.  I was unable to attend due to my exam schedule, and I hope to not have that problem next season; I should also have my NCCP certified status by then which will allow me to coach at the national level.  Three of the Hyacks placed 1st, a rookie placed 2nd, and the rest placed in the top six.  As a club team, Pacific Rim took 3rd in Men’s Freestyle, and the province of B.C. took 2nd in the country.  Pretty impressive considering how little mat time we had this season.

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–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

Proving Grounds

I must say that my choice of tournaments thus far in 2015 has been a little more unusual compared to my standard resume.  While I have been to only two this year, they have both been Submission Only tournaments, and one of them a Round Robin format.

A year ago I competed in the Proving Grounds Qualifier II in Bellevue WA, and had a lot of fun.  I was looking forward to making my return to Washington, and to a bigger venue.  The drive down was great, quick border crossing, easy traffic, and no construction to delay things or re-route me.

Unfortunately, my first match started with my opponent trying a flying triangle.  I blocked it enough that his legs couldn’t lock up around me, but he still had a good collar grip.  We went down to the mat, and the referee ruled it as a slam and DQ’d me.  My opponent argued against the call, and managed to give the choice to my remaining four opponents.  Two of them took the easy win points, and two of them opted to let me on the mats with them.

I’m already three matches down at this point, with a score of 0 versus three of my opponents with a score of 3.  It would take everyone else going to a draw and me winning both matches in order to get a podium spot, but I only managed to get one win.  I will say that my back-take is superior to what I saw that day, the Cobrinha lockdown is an amazing tool to get the superior position and then work on the submission.  I pulled off a modified bow-and-arrow – essentially a very lazy lapel choke – that Coach Jordan showed me the night before.  My other match I managed to take the back, but not soon enough and it went to a draw.

Thus I finished with 4 points to my name; a win, a draw, and three losses that shouldn’t have happened.  My late rally wasn’t enough to get me on the podium, leaving me feel disappointed and a touch betrayed.

There is a lot more that I want to work on and become proficient at, but I may be competing in too many tournaments and thus not giving myself the chance to let the new techniques become muscle memory.  The priority now is taking the time to seal up the holes in my game.  I might start a big flow-chart to help keep me organized.  I’ve found that putting things on paper keeps it from getting too overwhelming.

–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.

For Sale!

While doing a few loads of laundry on Thanksgiving weekend, I decided to clean out my closet of BJJ gis that I hadn’t worn for a while.  I have three gently used gis for sale.  All of the gis are washed with dye- and perfume-free detergent, on a cold-water cycle, and hang-dried.  I wash my gis after each training session to stop bacteria from colonizing and creating odours.

We’ll start with the collaboration between Inverted Gear and Tap Cancer Out.  It’s an A2, but their sizes run a tad larger than normal, which is why their half-sizes do so well. The A2 is listed as a 5’8-5’11, 165-195 pounds range, which sounds normal for an A2, but the jacket width at the torso is wider than what I consider “normal”.  If you’re closer to the top end of the weight range, or built in the chest/shoulders, then I’d recommend this gi.  However, the jacket is adorned with a round Genesis patch on the back, and a rectangular Team Genesis patch on the bottom of the top lapel, right under where your belt would sit.  There are embroidered patches on the sleeves of the Inverted Panda on the left sleeve, and the TCO logo on the right sleeve, and a rectangular TCO patch at the bottom back of the jacket.

The gi is of the typical quality you’d expected from Inverted Gear: 550 gsm pearl weave; 12oz ripstop pants with pearl weave crotch elastic rope and 6 loops.  It’s comfy and fairly light, and has been through a Cobrinha seminar.  It normally sells for $120-$150.


Next up is the G1 gi from Very Hard to Submit.  It is an A2 as well, and runs a tad slimmer.  The length of the sleeves and pants is not affected, but the width of the jacket is recommended for someone around 5’9-6’1 in height, and 140-160 pounds in weight.  The gi is 550 gsm pre-shrunk pearl weave with rip-stop pants and pearl weave crotch, and an elastic rope and 6 loops.  The VHTS logos are embroidered on the left and right sleeves.  It is quite light, and would serve well as a competition gi.  The G1 normally sells for $120.


Finally we have the never-used Royalty gi from Reign Unlimited that I won in a draw.  Once more an A2, with a “standard” fit, as in one that is similar to the fit of other A2s I find comfortable.  The gi itself is the softest I have felt outside of a hemp gi, and it’s a 450gsm pearl weave.  The pants are 100% ripstop with a stretch cord drawstring and 6 loops.  The gi is adorned with multiple patches, and comes with a drawstring bag to hold the gi.  It normally sells for $140, and is currently on sale for $99.


If anyone is interested in purchasing, then please e-mail me at Kiyoshi.Perkins@gmail.com, or send me a message through Facebook if you came to this post from there.  It will be first come, first serve, and I can ship the gis for the additional cost of shipping.

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

 

Mawwiage

I was going to post something from “Life of Brian” until I realized that it might have been from “The Princess Bride”.  Now that my quotes are all mixed up, I’m not entirely sure that it’s an actual quote or not.  Maybe I just pieced it together.  Oh well.

Keri, River, and I packed up at the end of July for a quick trip back to Alberta.  One of my long-time childhood friends was getting married.  Our fathers had been coworkers and friends since before I was born, and we frequented holiday and summer parties, alternating houses.  Their wedding was held at the Sunridge ski chalet in Edmonton, a place I haven’t been to since I was but a wee lad.  It is actually a nice little place to hold a wedding and ceremony, except for the lack of chairs.  We had to move the chairs from the dining area to the ceremony area, and then back again, but it went quickly when we got an official chain-gang going.

My dad was the MC, and he had to make do without a microphone for most of his duties.  The wireless model kept dying on him, and besides, the speakers were at the wrong end of the chalet.  There were tears, as are typical at a wedding, there were laughs, and surprisingly there were very few overly drunk people.  The newlyweds requested that pictures of them be kept off social media and the like, while not a new request to me, I have to wonder if the groom’s unbridled dislike of communism has to do with it.  Probably not.

Sunday was a brunch at their parent’s house, a nice acreage way out in the country, and a nice sunny day.  Of course, the wasps and horse-flies were out in force, but I don’t think anyone was stung or bitten, a nice change.  After a lovely brunch and the gift opening, we headed home, and then Keri and I went into town for a quick bit of shopping and cheap gas.

A short trip, but fun, and worth it.  My brother, his wife, and their son couldn’t make it, which was unfortunate, I would have like to have seen them as well.

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

Double Time!

I had yet another back-to-back set of tournaments:

  • CBJJF’s Western Canadian BJJ Championships in Penticton, BC, June 28th
  • Katana BJJ’s Roots BJJ Challenge in Richmond, BC, July 5th

I competed in Gi Lightweight for both tournaments, and in No-Gi Middleweight for the Western Canadians.

The Western Canadians!
Held at the South Okanagan Events Centre, it was spacious, with plenty of parking.  Inside were multiple change rooms and the new option to weigh in up to three hours before your scheduled division time.  This is a fantastic addition, allowing competitors to eat and hydrate before stepping on the mats.  My Gi Lightweight division was eleven large, myself included.  I unfortunately had to face off against RDC-teammate Cam Deleurme first round, and he got the better of me.  Between his stronger wrestling and my ineffective game plan, Cam maintained superior positions and secured a submission finish.  It was also the first tournament my parents, my aunt and uncle, and my grandmother were able to attend.  Definitely not my best performance.

After waiting the rest of the afternoon for No-Gi, our four-man division was called to the bull-pen and sent to mat 6.  My game plan seemed ineffective at first, I was stuck in bottom half-guard for three minutes or so, with a failed attempt to take the back, defending my opponent’s attempts at Kimura and Americana arm-locks.  Finally he destabilized his own base going for submissions that I was able to sweep him and secure the mount.  Now four points up, I could begin to work from a superior position.  Unfortunately, he managed a sweep in the closing 30 seconds, but in the end I prevailed 6-4.  It was onto the finals against Burnaby BJJ’s Zac who had a more dominant game and secured a rear-naked choke.  In the end I took Silver.

In between my Gi and No-Gi matches, I coached first-time competitor and teammate Eddie.  He was a recent addition to Genesis, and competed in the Master Male White Belt Middleweight division against five others.  He won his first match on points, second match via submission, and the finals via points.  My coaching voice hadn’t been used in a while, and barely made it to Ed’s third round.

Roots BJJ Challenge!
Once more held in the Fridge Gymnasium, it proved to be a busy tournament inside of a venue too small for the crowd.  Once more in the Lightweight Adult male division, I managed to arrive and change moments before they called my division up to the bullpen.  My first match would be against Graeme Martin of Powell River BJJ, the man I had gone against at the Copa Katana III in March.  Knowing this, I remembered his guard and triangles, and to shoot early and shoot fast for a takedown to bypass his guard.  Graeme kept me on my feet long enough to jump guard, and after transitioning from a cross-collar to an omaplata to a triangle, he sealed it in and finished it.  Lesson learned: work on breaking the guard quickly (or the standing break).

Now it’s about three months until the next tournament, which happens to be the day after my 30th birthday.  I’m looking forward to the Masters division, but I know that if there are not enough of us, we get sent to the Adult division.

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

 

The Proving Grounds

Last week I updated my goals, and mentioned that I was soon to compete internationally.  Now it may seem like I’m making a big deal about competing internationally, but I know how long it takes for me to adjust; I’d rather not pay a lot in registration and travel and accommodation just to be overwhelmed by too many things.

Proving Grounds Qualifier 2, hosted by KYS Promotions, held at Ring Sports United, is a round-robin submission-only tournament.  That format promises to match a competitor against everyone in the bracket, or the best of three if there are only two competitors in the bracket.  The submission only aspect encourages finishes and attempts until the very last second of each match.  In order to determine a bracket winner and runner-up, points are awarded at the end of each match: three points to the winner by submission and zero points to the submitted, or one point to each competitor if there is no submission finish.  Total points are tallied once everyone has faced each other, and the most points gives you the first and second places.

In a bracket of two people, you do a best of three scenario, and in the event of a tie (i.e., one win to each competitor and one draw) there is an unlimited time tie-breaker match.  This is what happened to me.

Brendan (or maybe it was Brandon, still waiting on the official results to be posted), my opponent, and I weighed in at 164.6lbs.  We were assigned to mat 1, which featured the kids divisions in Gi and No-Gi before we finally went.  Actually, we were the last Gi division to go, the adult No-Gi had already started multiple weight divisions.  As soon as we locked up, I realized he was a very proficient judoka, and decided to pull guard to put me in a position I’m comfortable with.  After minutes of battling in guard, he finally managed to break it and sit in side control.  A judoka has a different style of sitting in top side control, one I have quite learned to how to escape from.  In their position, they can easily attack a keylock submission using their leg to provide leverage.  And that is exactly what he did.

Round 1 winner: Brendan
Points: 3 to 0

Our second round I realized I had one option: wrestle him.  I shot in early for a single-leg and dragged him down, managing to push past his attempts to re-guard me and transition into side control.  Most of the match is a blur, I do remember getting my hooks and taking his back before he shucked me off and gained side control, whereupon I attempted to bridge out.  While that specific attempt failed, I wasn’t far from making it work.  Then our time was up, the match ended.

Round 2 winner: Draw
Points: 4 to 1

At this point I had seen a previous division finish with one draw and one win.  Apparently the third match is required if there has only been one victory.  So we shook hands again and battle once more.  I shot in again, transition to side control, took his back, he escaped into my guard and during his attempt to pass I slapped on a triangle and locked it up.  Normally I prefer to have my right leg to control their upper body behind their neck, but in this case it was my left leg.  Not quite as confident with myself, I didn’t want to risk a quick unlock to better position myself for a tighter triangle, so I fell back on the old trick of pulling their head down to further compress arteries and airways.  It worked, though I was a tiny bit disappointed in having to resort to that.

Round 3 winner: Kiyoshi
Points: 4 to 4 (tie)

This is where the tie breaker with unlimited time comes in.  I have seen teammates stuck in a 90-minute match, unable to secure a submission for the win, and I vowed not to be in those shoes.  It would be a fast and decisive finish.  And it was, but not for me.  I don’t know why I didn’t shoot in again, but Brendan managed a shoulder throw.  I have been on the receiving end of this throw before, and 5o% of the time I manage to take their back instead of being truly taken down.  In this particular case, I was close to securing the back, but he managed to pull me that last little bit and gain top side control and keylock me.

Round 4 winner: Brendan
Points: 7 to 4

1st place: Brendan
2nd place: Kiyoshi

We chatted after receiving our medals, about judo, wrestling, and being able to stop certain attempts.  I admitted that I had specific training on what to do if my shot was stuffed, which was what allowed me to take him down.  He admitted that he had barely trained his sprawls and had concentrated more on what to do when an opponent pulled guard.

Overall I am happy with my performance, and I have a few things I can tune up for my next tournament (which is at the end of the month in Penticton).  I am also very happy to have travelled across the border for this one, and I look forward to getting more experience and tournaments under my belt south of the border.  I also look forward to finding out if the promotion will post the videos of the matches anywhere, they had a dedicated video camera and operator at each match.

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

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.