Technical nonsense

I’m in the process of attempting some technical shenanigans with this blog, so if you’re experiencing problems, I promise it will be only temporary.

Basically, this is what’s going on.


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What it’s like at Atos (also, I’m a terrible ambassador for women in BJJ)

I’ve been getting tons of emails from people asking what it’s really like to train with people like JT, Keenan, Liera, and Professor Galvao, and what they should do if they want to train to be a world champion.  I’m not a world champion (yet!) but I do train with them, and I can answer questions about what training is like at Atos, and what training is like for women at Atos.

 I realize I’m not a great ambassador for women who are just starting out in BJJ, but there’s a reason for that.

I realize that there aren’t a lot of women in BJJ.  I know that because I’m at one of the top competition schools in the US and I can count my female mat-mates on one hand (the answer is four, and one of them is thirteen years old, awesome at BJJ, but can barely be counted as a “woman”). I can’t claim that Atos has a great (or large) women’s team, and I know I have probably contributed to that.  But here’s the thing– if you want to train at Atos, and I know a lot of my readers do because I get emails from you guys and ladies all the time telling me you want to come out and train– you better have a damn thick skin.  You may be the best in your academy.  Most of the people who come here are.  Most of them don’t make it through the first week.  If you’re female, you may be used to being treated relatively kindly during sparring.  It’s not like that here.

If you’re female and want to come and train here, that is incredibly thrilling for me.  Like I said, I have four training partners who are female, and I love having every single one of them. They make a huge difference in my training and my experience on the mats. But I hate when my male teammates make me responsible for getting the women in their lives into jiu jitsu.  Most women don’t want to do jiu jitsu, people.  Most PEOPLE don’t want to do jiu jitsu.  Women find the environment at Atos harsh and relatively inhospitable, and that’s because it IS during class– we’re about training and competing and hopefully winning.  That makes it difficult for new people, particularly hobbyist women, to come into this gym and settle into a routine.  We train hard.  Every time you step on the mat, you’re stepping on the mat with six, eight, fifteen different world titles.  I’ve had visiting women tell me they’re surprised at how hard the girls go at each other– of course we do, we’re competitors.  I won’t hurt a teammate or a visitor, I won’t be unnecessarily rough or mean, but I’m also not going to put on the kid gloves to spar with them, and this is something that I imagine a lot of women struggle with when they visit or think about joining Atos.

There are more relaxed classes that you can take here. The morning classes and the beginner classes are more focused on training technique versus competition-oriented sparring, and there are hobbyists here that train in the evening classes.  But even our normal evening classes are tough, and focused on training hard for every minute we’re in the class.

I’ve watched a lot of people come in, excited about training here, and burn out in the first week because they didn’t have the mental strength to get through the inevitable ego-crush.  So for everyone asking what it’s like to train here– it’s soul-crushingly fantastic every day.  Every day I learn something new, and every day someone pushes me harder than I’ve gone before, and I cry all the time because I love jiu jitsu and I’m too small for real life.

If that sounds as wonderful to you as it did to me… well, see you on the mats.


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Holiday slump (GIF POST)

The feeling you get after training twice and lifting once and forgetting to eat since lunch:

What every jiu jitsu creep needs tattooed on his hands:

Lifting with the boys:

Watching the douchebags in their natural habitat– 24 Hour Fitness:

When a douchebro needs to use the squat rack to do his 547th set of prone inverted what-the-fuck-ever bicep curls:

When a Brazilian messages me on Facebook and I don’t feel like muddling through the Portuguese:

Why Atos should not have a ping pong table:

How the boys  handle losing:

Atos, in gif form:

How I feel when I can’t get a technique right even with help:

My thoughts immediately preceding every competition match ever:

Talking about the IBJJF point rules:

When I didn’t sleep well and I’m ready to go home and whoever’s running the class needs to talk to us while we’re in line for 15 minutes after class is already over:

Whenever anyone tells me “size doesn’t matter:”

If I go to 7-11 while Liera is teaching class:

Training without music:

Training with music:

A white belt’s first excursion into the advanced class:

When someone says “you may not be very big but you’re really technical!”

Getting onto the mats on cold mornings:

Doing deep half guard drills on tall guys:

When someone well-known adds me on Facebook:

Sparring on the Atos bulgy mats in the big mat room:

Whenever someone asks, “Don’t you get tired of training?”

Deciding on lunch:

Getting injured and carried off the mats:

My teammates when people are taking pictures of them during training:

When we’re informed that we have to do “judo warm-ups:”

How I feel when I think about the fact that Pan Ams camp starts on January 26:

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Hey everyone!

Hey guys, I’ve gotten a ton of messages and mail and stuff since yesterday. I promise I’ll get to everyone, but it may take me a little while. In the meantime, if you want to talk on Facebook, I’m trying to respond there in real time. If you have questions about training, seminars, private lessons, Atos, creeps on Facebook or anything else, you can use my Contact Me page.

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The men’s DREAM highlight is out!

My knees hurt after watching some of these submissions.

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Meet Little Monster

I’ve been all laid up because of a freak incident with my knee last week (NO JUDO WITHOUT WARMUP) so I’ve been working and lifting and thinking of things to occupy myself.  So I started illustrating my jiu jitsu problems with monsters.  Please forgive my art.

sitting out

Little Monster would like to sit out this round, please.

double legs

Little Monster cannot shoot the double leg.


I promise I’ll be back to posting about jiu jitsu soon. I might post more about Little Monster too, though.

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I’m such a baby about the cold

I’m from the East Coast. I lived in China. But I am the biggest damn baby about the cold, I swear. It hasn’t even dropped below 50 degrees here yet and I’m just a miserable human being. I’m supposed to be going to the gym but I just can’t get warm enough to justify going and lifting heavy things. Aghhhhhhh.  I can handle concussions, dislocations, and even having my teeth knocked in but God forbid the temperature drop below 75 degrees.  My hands and feet turn into popsicles.


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I had a weird Facebook experience, guys. Parents, keep an eye out for this dude.

So I was on Facebook the other day, and I’ve been having an influx of friend requests from people I don’t know since the Dream tournament (I didn’t think that win was going to increase my visibility so much, but apparently I was wrong…)  anyway, so I just add people as friends on Facebook, even though that may be inadvisable.  Normally, I wouldn’t name any of these people– I’ll show you some of the messages because they’re funny, but then I got this one message from someone calling himself “BJJ Liker.”

Right away I figured this guy was a weirdo, since his pictures look like this:

Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 12.29.50 PM

Oh man, this is going to be a weirdo trying to get into my pants or whatever from a world away.  I don’t have patience for this, but Liera does, so I turned over the computer to him when the guy messaged me.  Bear with me, it’s a little long but there is a point:

Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 12.32.05 PM

I don’t call anyone buddy, that’s Liera.

Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 12.32.16 PM

“Chels, what do I say to that?” “Just act clueless, that’s what I always do.”

Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 12.32.35 PM

Things get progressively weirder.

Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 12.32.48 PMScreen Shot 2013-12-05 at 12.33.01 PM

This is where I ended the conversation pretty much, because we found this picture on his Facebook:

Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 12.30.25 PM

Caption: “Good work by the girl ..nice triangle”

This guy clearly sexualizes BJJ, triangles in particular, and those are children.  I reported it to Facebook but I imagine Facebook won’t do anything because it’s not actually against their rules, even if it is massively creepy.  Guh.  There are some massive creeps out there.  I know people are going to sexualize BJJ and it’s kind of weird, but it’s fun to laugh at because usually the people involved are, you know, adults… but when you bring children into the mix (clearly prepubescent children) things get wrong and weird and fucked up really quickly.

There isn’t really a solution to this problem or anything, I just wanted to bring some attention to this kind of thing.  Hopefully the parents of these children can see this and petition Facebook for a removal of the picture or something.  Parents, I hope you keep an eye out for what’s being done with your kids’ photos, if nothing else.  I hate to see kids used in this way. 😦


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GracieMag, what are you DOING.



Really?  Would it kill you to proofread?


What a sad excuse for a publication.


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This weekend burned me out

I’ve been resting for the past few days, and true to form I got sick immediately after the tournament. I guess I should be glad that my body holds out for me, but it’s pretty irritating to get sick after every damn tournament ever.

So I’m going to recover and get chubby 🙂 But also I just wanted to remind people in the San Diego area about this event this weekend:

It’s going to be a great event, get out there if you can!

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