Sunday, August 16, 2015

Goddess Gaya

Last week I got to meet and wrestle Goddess Gaya, from Portugal who is a legit grappling Black Belt and also has MMA experience!  It all came together pretty quickly so I almost didn't have time to be nervous and found myself on my way to Newark to take on a very tough grappler. We texted back and fourth on the way.  She was very nice and also very confident. I could get a sense of her level of competitiveness and I definitely knew I was in for a huge challenge!

We met up and she opened the door and I got my first look at her (didn't have any pics beforehand). She was very pretty and had a cute smile, and I could see she was in really good shape!  Her body was thick and powerful, wearing purple grappling tights that had stylistic rips in them that made her look like a grappling tigress!  English is not her first language so we chatted a little bit as best we could.  But she was eager to get to the mats and have at it!  I liked how enthusiastic she was.  The challenge was clearly on!

We started from knees at my request and locked up on the set of puzzle mats and I got a good feel for her strength for the first time. Gaya is HELLA-strong! She could push like a tank and also had the technique to back up her strength! The only way left for me to compete with her was to try to wear her down and use my legs.  We went back and fourth for the hour trading top positions but with her definitely on top for most of the time.

I did manage to get my legs around her a couple of times and squeeze a submission or two from her but only after holding her there for a long time!  Her core has a lot of strength to break through.

She had several great attempts on me with arm bars, arm triangles and guillotines.  I was able to defend a lot of them but in the end fell prey to a very well applied arm bar and more than one leg lock submission!

In the end I was thrilled I was able to put up as much of a fight as I did against such a skilled grappler, but she was definitely one of the toughest, strongest wrestlers I've ever faced!  She was very nice, strong and super skilled!  And there was something very primal about the power she possessed.  I'll definitely be looking to take her on again.  She is a supreme challenge!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Kaysha Brazil - Match 2!

Wow!  My arms are still wobbly as I type this. I just got back from a second time grappling with Kaysha Brazil and it was quite a strenuous contest!  Last time I was able pull off a 2-2 tie against this compact powerhouse which I'd have to call an upset against a brown belt so I knew this time she would be gunning for me maybe even a little extra.

We met up at the space and set out the mats as we stretch out and warmed up.  There was only very sparse chit-chat, maybe a little bit of nerves. We squared up across from each other and slapped hands to start the match.  As we did this I see a smirk flash on her face as if to say "you're in for it now..."  It's very easy to see she just loves to be competitive and take on a challenge.

As we did last time, part of the game was trying to wear each other out.  If I could trap her in a tough position I would hold it and force her to struggle from below and she would certainly return the favor when she was able to sweep her way on top. She's a very patient grappler in that way. If you don't make a mistake she will try to wear your down until you get desperate and finally slip up.  And when you do she can transition quick!

Also like last time the biggest trouble I had was having my legs get out grappled by hers. Every time I was able to pass one of her legs she would lock down on the other so tight you can barely lift your hips.  I managed to get both my legs past hers just once and I made it count by trapping her in a body scissors and scoring a submission.  But this time Kaysha would be the clear victor of this match racking up 4 submissions by way of RNC twice, arm bar, and finally a triangle lock.  Each fall was long and as much an endurance match as it was a grappling chess match.  But Kaysha seems to have endurance for days!  We'll see if I'm able to turn the tables on her next time, which could be in June as she was definitely interested in our NYC June event currently in the works!

Till next time, more training to do for me! ;)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Kaysha Brazil

Been too long for blog entries! I had looked for reasons other than new videos to start blogging again and finally the perfect circumstance came up for me to talk about.

So tonight I got to take on Kaysha Brazil for full hour session after a lot of uncertainty of weather we'd actually get to meet up. I'm really glad our schedules finally clicked because this was a super fun, intensely competitive match!

Kaysha is originally from Rio de Janeiro and has been wrestling since she can remember. She's a jujitsu brown belt with a natural competitive streak and a tempered will that makes her a patient yet unrelenting opponent.

We faced off from knees knowing we were going to end up down on the mats pretty quickly anyways and both of us had similar strategies of trying to wear the other down. Kaysha has excellent endurance! Despite anything I did to try to tire her she would sweep me and put me in similar situations where I had to constantly defend her submission attempts and contend against her strong physical pressure.

Our first fall must have gone about 20 minutes. Both of us ground the other into the mats waiting for the opportunity to finish.

After many sweeps and reversals Kaysha finally caught me in a hold I've never experienced before. She had my neck in a sort of arm scissor and once locked in she wrapped her legs to squeeze her arms into my neck!  It was hard to have to finally tap out after such a long hard-working fall but Kaysha had me locked in tight!  I was really intrigued. She said it was an improvised version of a submission she has use in Gi grappling. I asked of she needed a water break after such a long fall but she was eager to go right back at it. Clearly there was no tiring her out!

We continued on for another 40 minutes. There were many sweeps, reversals and submission attempts. I caught her a couple of times with my legs but most of the time she had me pretty tightly tangled in hers. The final score ended up being something like 2-2. I was proud to have to have hung in there with such an awesome grappler. It was a really awesome challenge!

Kaysha may be new to the this scene but she's not new to the game. She's been whooping butt on the mats for over 10 years. If you get the chance to challenge her consider yourself lucky! She's fierce competition mixed with a very sweet personality and you'll be seeing her name everywhere soon enough!

You can follow her on Twitter: @KayshaBrazil
And send her a note at