Jen Eng: First Tournament as a Blue Belt

During the coldest winter weekend so far in Ottawa, I competed in my first blue belt competition and had a great experience all round. :)

The first tournament after holidays is always tough for me when it comes to making weight, training hard, and gearing up. I was pretty nervous about doing the blue belt divison too, knowing some competitors could have 3+ years of experience more than me and likely having competed before.  Also knowing there were alot of guaranteed matches (6 of them) I was worried about fitness and being able to do 2 more than I’ve ever done in a day.

BJJ Women Ottawa Jen Eng first comp 2016 Blue Belt Ottawa

All that being said, once I was there, things went great and I was excited to fight and also watch my awesome teammates compete. Going with a team of competitors and coaches has always helped me do my best. The support I feel from them and those at the dojo is truly like having a second family.  I ended up coming home with 3 gold medals and 1 silver, winning 8 of 9 matches, and I couldn’t be happier with the outcome.  Our coaches are amazing, Renshi Chris Davison and Coach Delphie Dugal-Tessier, from start to finish they are there for us and believe in us. There’s alot of work and fun to be done on the mats now that comp season has begun. I’m looking forward to a great year of hard training and exciting competitions, all with my bjj family.

Jen

 

Special workshop this Thursday with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Master World Champion

This Thursday June 18th at 8:15, coach Delphie will be conducting a special Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Shin Guard Workshop.   Coach Delphie used this type of guard to win the Purple Belt Master World Championships this past November.

 

Don’t miss out.

Ottawa BJJ Women BJJ Workshop with Delphie Dugal Tessier

 

First trimester… DONE

There will be no competition for me this year, apparently it is frowned upon to compete pregnant ;).

I just started my second trimester and boy I am happy to be out of the first one.  You hear about being tired during your first three month of pregnancy but it is hard to imagine how bad this tiredness can be until you live it.  I went from training like a top athlete to pretty much struggling to get through a 30 min walk.  Me being pregnant doesn’t mean I am taking a break from jiu jitsu, it just mean I have to change how I train.  I have definitely scaled down quite a bit, not because my body cant handle it, but more because I just don’t have the energy to keep up my old jiu jitsu tempo (I hear that’s normal and acceptable, hehe).   I still teach all my classes and plan to keep on teaching until I am no longer physically able to get up on my own (hopefully I will make it to 8 month…crossing my fingers for the whole 9 months).

 

Chris and I couldn’t be happier and are very excited to be welcoming a new member to our family.  I will be keeping you all updated with my pregnant jiu jitsu training.  :)

 

Delphie + baby bump

Women Self-Defense Workshop

At K2 Martial Arts and Fitness in Barrhaven, we did our first women self-defense workshop. It was a fantastic turnout.  We had women of all ages and all walks of life come out.   Self-defense for women is not about creating fear, but instead it’s about building your confidence to deal with any type of situation that may or may not come your way.  Violence against women is all around us and we should all be prepared on how to deal with these types of situations.

DSC00258

Self-defense courses and workshops a great tool to help women understand different types of dangers and how to react to them.  It is important to keep in mind, that you need to practice self-defense and build that muscle memory.  This is why martial arts training is so important, you can build your confidence, strength, endurance and fitness all at the same time you learn to defend yourself.

 

K2 Martial Arts Women's Self Defence workshop with Delphie Dugal-Tessier copy

February 5 Training Tip

Training tip:

Hard training for competition is essential.  Competition training will test you physically, mentally and emotionally.  Hard training doesn’t mean you can’t have fun.  Having fun with your teammates does make the hardest training session seem so much more enjoyable.

 

Here we are taken it to the cage fitness bags during comp training.

Ottawa Cage Fitness

The Worlds Masters

The Worlds Masters

Ottawa BJJ Women World Masters Delphie good to go

This competition year has been a rollercoaster ride. All the loses, heartbreaks, hard training sessions, bruises, tears (there has been a few) and even the wins has lead to Gold at the Worlds Masters.  I have never been so physically and mentally ready for this.  In my mind, I have done everything humanely possible to win and there was no way I was losing this one.  Since becoming a purple belt, I had to relearn how to compete, I had to tighten my game and rebuild the confidence I once had.

Ottawa BJJ Women World Masters Delphie wins Purple Belt Light FeatherOttawa BJJ Women World Masters Delphie Dugal-Tessier GOLD

I am always very nervous leading up to competitions, especially a big one like the Worlds Masters.  The Seattle Open was a perfect opportunity to get rid of all my competition jitters.  Once I stepped on those mats at the Worlds Masters, it was go time.  My family was there to support and cheer for me, it was a great feeling to be there with them.

Ottawa BJJ Women Delphie wins Gold at Seattle Open

The harder I lose, the bigger I win and its all due to this wonderful RCJ Machado family.  I can’t say it enough; I do have the best team in the world; my teammates, my coaches, my husband, my family.  We win, we lose and we grow together.

 

Ottawa BJJ Women World Masters Delphie

The No Gi experience

This weekend I competed in the IBJJF Pan No-Gi Championships in New York.  Unfortunately, the competition went terrible.  Leading up to the tournament, my condition and strength was excellent, however, I definitely did not give myself enough no-gi time on the mats, and it showed this weekend.  I got submitted twice and I made mistakes that I would of never done in gi.  This competition was a real eye opener, I didn’t lose because the competition was way over my head, I lost because I did not efficiently train no-gi to be ready to compete at the level I needed to be.

The Pan No-Gi taught me a valuable lesson, if I want to compete in no-gi, I have to train in no-gi as hard as I train gi.  Bad days happen but the Pan no-gi wasn’t a bad day; it was a lack of not enough no-gi training and drilling.   Losing is heart breaking, however this does not shatter my confidence it only makes me want to train harder and be more prepared for the next tournament.

 

I will always come back stronger after a lose.

 

Ottawa BJJ Women Pan No-Gi 2014

Gold in Boston

On August 23rd, I competed at the Boston Summer Open IBJJF Championship.  It felt great getting back into competition training.  There were no other women competitors registered for my usual light feather weight class, so I decided to compete in feather,  one weight class above mine.  I easily made weight for this competition but unfortunately my first opponent did not.  I went right through to the finals.  I was feeling good during the fight and I was able to get a submission for the gold.

Ottawa Women's BJJ Boston Summer Open 2014

It is always unfortunate to see fellow competitors get disqualified for not making weight, especially at higher belt levels.  I always monitor my weight very closely and I keep to my training, eating and drinking routine.

This was a good start to the fall competition season, I got some important tournaments coming up, stay tune.

 

Ottawa Women's BJJ Boston Summer Open 2014 Delphie

What weight class should I be? Part 2

When training for a competition, especially your first ones, try and give yourself 1 to 2 month (ladies) to try and clean up your diet.  See blog “Eat well, stay strong” for nutrition ideas.  You will surprise yourself what healthy conscious eating (not restriction eating) can actually do to your weight without affecting your strength. This will give you an idea of what weight class you can safely and easily compete at.  With experience, you will learn to tweak your eating habits and establish what works best for you.  Asking your friends and teammate, how to drop 20lb overnight is not the way to do it.

My rule of thumb is NO alcohol for at least 1-2 month before competition and I don’t put anything in my body that has no beneficial effects.  Carbs are good before training, you need that sugar to fuel you up and keep your muscles strong and energized. However, not all carbs are created equal, sugar from fruit is much better then cookies.  Drink lots and lots of water, competitors who dehydrate them-self 1 week before competition, are only making them-self weaker.  Second, listen to your body, you shouldn’t feel like your going to pass out, that does not make for a great competitor.

Talk to people who have successfully been able to compete at their optimal weight to strength ratio.  Keep in mind what works for them might not work for you.  Experience will help you develop what is good for you.

Most important HAVE FUN!

What weight class should I be? Part 1

Ottawa BJJ Women Weight Cut

For this entry, we will focus on IBJJF type competition, where you weight in with your gi on before the start of your division.

Competition can be a very stressful time on its own but when you factor in weight divisions, weight cuts and weight in’s, it brings competitions to a whole new level.  From when I  was a white belt, I competed in three different weight classes, before I figured out the ideal weight class for me.  I didn’t drop any weight or change my diet for my first tournament.  I was at the very bottom of the light weight division, size and weight.  I decided to make a conscious diet change. I cut alcohol, deserts, and nachos and I easily made the feather division. When I received my blue belt, I wanted to optimize my weight to strength ratio by taking my diet much more seriously. I successfully compete at light feather.  It is much more work but worth it on competition day.

As a new white belt competitor, this question of what weight category should you be in can be very stressful, especially if you have never cut weight before.  My advice to a new white belt is don’t go to crazy with the weight cut.  At this point, you don’t want the additional stress of weight cutting/hydration for the first time.  The white belt division is a very heterogenous pool, from new white belts to very experienced white belt competitors, this is the time to feel the field.  If you didn’t choose the right weight category, it’s not a big deal, change your diet and try again.

The more you compete, the better you get,  and have a much better  understanding of how your body reacts leading up to a  competition. Furthermore, as you grow through the ranks, your weight division becomes more and more important, especially for the bigger competitions, you definitely want to be at your optimal weight to strength ratio.