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

 

37 weeks and still teaching

My third trimester has been challenging, I feel great except for this annoying constant back pain.  I guess it is to be expected when you carry an extra 30 lb localized in the belly. I had to decrease my teaching schedule, however, I am very happy that I can still teach the women‘s BJJ class every Saturday morning in Barrhaven.  At 37 weeks, I am planning on staying as long as I can on the mats.  I am very excited for the journey ahead and getting back to my hard core training schedule :)

 

Still on the mats teaching the Women's Only BJJ Class every Saturday at the Barrhaven Academy

Still on the mats teaching the Women’s Only BJJ Class every Saturday at the Barrhaven Academy

My second trimester and still going strong

My second trimester and still going strong

I am more then half way done my second trimester.  Things are actually going super well.  I have started kickboxing again and I feel fantastic.  I have to be careful with my roundhouse kicks but besides that everything is good to go, hitting the pads it’s very refreshing. Things have been changing a lot lately and everything is growing and stretching. Every week I have to retire a gi ;), it’s a good thing I have many gis of many sizes.

The biggest challenge on the mats is actually how many times I need to pee ;).

Ottawa Women's BJJ Still going Strong

The good news is I still feel awesome being on the mats and teaching.

Obviously I have changed my grappling training, I don’t do hardcore sparring anymore but I still do light sparring and drilling with partners I trust (I am looking at you Jen, thanks for still drilling and sparring with me).  I still teach at least 3 times a week and I am so grateful to have such great group of  students, that respect me for who I am and are not bothered by me bring pregnant :).

Unfortunately I hear frustrating stories of women being asked every 2 min if they were okay or asked them why they were still training, being pregnant doesn’t make us less of a grappler or athlete, we just have to approach things differently and there is still so much we can learn.

 

Pregnant or not, I will never give that up and I will be on the mats as long as I physically can 😉

 

Ottawa Women's BJJ Delphie Teaching

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

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

Girls on the mats

Girls on the mats


  In the last year, the number of women training BJJ at K2 Martial Arts has skyrocketed.  We have a great group of women that shows dedication and hard work.

Congratulation to Morgan on obtaining her blue belt, hard work does pay off.  Every belt is a new beginning.

To all the ladies, always remember to train like a girl.  That’s what we are and that’s what will make stronger and better.

We are ALL grappling machines.

Ottawa Women's BJJ Carlos Machado Workshop with the girls

 

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

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!