Category Archives: tournament


I apologize that this is a few days late. I’m on spring break…
              First of all, my exam went very well! It was a long exam (170 questions in about 4 hours) but very fair I thought and I knew a lot of the information and was able to synthesize it. So that was a big weight off my shoulders. Also, before I delve into Chicago, the weight cut also went well! I actually ended up being 126 with the gi at weigh in and had to be under 129. The cut honestly sucked, and I wouldn’t like to repeat the experience any time soon, but it worked and I still felt healthy and strong at the end.

View from our balcony
                Chicago was FUN in so many ways. It was a trip out of Ohio, which is always exciting, to a big city with lots of shopping plus I got to test out my BJJ skills. My brother and I stayed at a very nice hotel and spent Friday night walking through downtown and ate at an incredibly delicious steakhouse (Gibsons) which I highly recommend! Saturday morning I worked out to a view overlooking the city, then we spend the day shopping on Michigan Ave (and to compensate for the delicious meal the night before ate all of a salad, tea, and a protein shake). Started freaking out a little bit about competing on Saturday night, but I am an incredibly lucky girl to have teammates who put up with me and will text me encouraging words over and over until I finally calm down.

CHI from Starbucks
  Sunday was the big day! We actually woke up early and walked downtown for a bit just to calm my nerves and get some blood flowing (plus we got caramel corn to bring home). To say I was freaking out from the moment I woke up would be no exaggeration – but it was more of an excited adrenaline rush. When we got to Chicago State I was just ready to go. Double checked my weight on the scale, sipped water, and the next thing I know I’m in the bullpen getting my gi checked. Side note, they put white belt gi competition on the day of no gi so a whole bunch of my teammates weren’t there which was kind of a bummer. But luckily some of my really good friends surprised me and came to support me! That made my day. Plus I did have really awesome teammates there and one of them ended up being a really great coach.

On the right, girl with the Ribeiro patch is me.
What I gained most from the tournament was that I need to learn to maintain a dominant position and take my time. I also need to learn to finish those gosh darn triangles, for some reason they continue to evade me! Don’t pull guard when someone has your pant leg, you’ll lose two points, and also don’t let them control your head in half guard. And regardless of the fact that I can do eight 6 minute matches in a row in the academy, 5 minutes can genuinely feel like an eternity in competition. I also learned that I need to play my game and not let them play theirs. And the standing part of the match, definitely not my favorite – should work on that. Overall, it was an incredible experience and I ended up taking home a bronze medal! Not bad for my first IBJJF tournament! [Though, I did actually miss the podium… long story.] That third place really is a TEAM effort, as I wouldn’t be where I was without the help of so many others. So it’s as much theirs as it is mine. Afterwards we got some seriously delicious deep dish Chicago pizza, some Starbucks, and headed home.
3rd place Female Adult White Belt Feather

I had such an incredible outpouring of support from all my family, classmates, friends, and teammatesthroughout the training process, the competition, and afterwards. And I want to say THANK YOU. Thank you all for pushing me to be the best I can be and for never letting me give up, even on days I may have wanted to. I am so proud to be a medical student, but I was just as proud to be competing with the Ribeiro patch on my back and with the support of my Ribeiro family.

I have another super exciting announcement to make as well, but this is already long enough. Look for the update in a few days.


My week in pictures

This is how my week has been spent… Less than 2 days until my 4.25 hour exam with 170 questions.  Less than 3 days until Chicago. Just trying to keep my head above water! (also…. I will never try to cut for a tournament the week of a big exam ever again. Sheesh I can make poor life choices).

Feeling pretty good about both. Everyone at the Academy has really made me step up my game, and I’m as prepared as I can be! But that’s not first priority… This exam is. So back to the grind!


Edit… White belts aren’t fighting until Sunday so add a day to that one.