Archive for the ‘For the love of it’ Category

WCMAC fight

November 12, 2010

An extract from an article written for the Vancouver Observer.

Olivia Bevan at the WCMACWith twenty-four hours to go before the big competition, I’d become an obsessive slave to the scales. I was teetering so close to my target weight that after every sip, munch or crunch of drink or food I’d desperately hop back on the balance to check out the damage.

Standing statuesque, I closed my eyes hoping that the digits would appear on the right side of 120lbs to keep me in my chosen weight category. I’d even gone down the desperate route of weighing myself in different outfits to determine which clothes I could compete in and which ones I couldn’t. With my chosen gear in hand and bags all packed up there was nothing left to do but head to the venue.

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The most extreme way to banish cellulite

October 20, 2010

Women boxingAfter a recent sparring session, I gawked at the knotty, tangled mess that had once counted as a hair ‘style’ and reluctantly acknowledged that the luxury of looking good has been sadly absent from my life for the past few weeks. Even at the best of times it’s debatable whether I, with my amateur hair skills, can pull off trendy and tousled looks, but evidently I do dishevelment with ease.

Who needs a Halloween costume when you can go three rounds and get the look for free?

Read the full article, as published in the Vancouver Observer.

Top 10 adventures for thrill-seeking women

October 9, 2010

Liv at the shooting rangeVancouver’s fun-loving lifestyle isn’t just limited to zenning out yoga-style or sweating your stuff jogging along the beach.

For ladies seeking a little more oomph from their local adventures here’s a piece I wrote for the Vancouver Observer about ten action-packed, adrenaline-fuelled activities to satisfy even the most hardcore thrill-seekers out there.

Have you tried any of these out? What adventures make your top 10?

Heart of a fighter = Jay

October 3, 2010

Look up “heart of a fighter” and you’ll see Jay’s name in the dictionary.

For the past four weeks we’ve watched him evolve from a guy we train with to a real fighter who we’re absolutely in awe of! Someone who actually said “I want to fight” and had the heart, courage and determination to see it through.

We couldn’t be more proud of him and a group of us from Universal screamed our hearts out last night supporting him at the Pinnacle Hotel’s IFC 9 in North Vancouver.

My dodgy camera work doesn’t do Jay justice but for three 2 minute rounds he fought his heart out and gave it his all.

Enjoy your well-deserved time off Jay and look after that nose!

Ps. You might want to watch this with the sound turned down to tune out my screaming!

Fedor Emelianenko takes on Fabricio Werdum in a joint Strikeforce / M1 spectacular

June 23, 2010

Alexia(Huge thanks to Alexia Krause for this great article).

The Strikeforce event on June 26th is bound to be one for the books.

Strikeforce mixed martial arts has joined forces with M-1 Global to bring some of the toughest fighters in the world together in the cage.

This showcase has a huge title card as Fedor Emelianenko (who is actually a co-owner of M-1 Global) takes on Fabricio Werdum in a heavyweight bout that promises to entertain.

Fedor Emelianenko (also known as ‘The Last Emperor’) holds a record of 31-1. His only recorded loss comes from the fact that his fight with Tsuyoshi Kohsaka was stopped when Emelianenko suffered a gash in the opening seconds of the fight. Even though he has a loss to tarnish his undefeated streak, ‘The Last Emperor’ understands that numbers don’t mean anything when you’re inside the cage.

Fedor has been at the top as the best heavyweight in the world for the better part of the last decade. He has taken down Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipović, Mark Coleman, and Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira on his way there. On June 26th he goes up against Fabricio Werdum (the number nine heavyweight in the world) for a showdown that’s bound to define the two fighters and the event.

Even though Emelianenko is among the top heavyweights in the world, he will have a lot on his hands going up against the jiu-jitsu technician, Fabricio Werdum. Werdum is known as ‘Vai Cavalo’ or ‘Leading Horse’ which speaks to his wild and free nature in the ring. It looks like Emelianenko will be tasked with taming Werdum if he wants that victory.

Despite this exciting main card, the June 26th Strikeforce will feature much more heated action. In fact, many more people are looking forward to the top woman in the world, Cris “Cyborg” Santos taking on Jan Finney. Most feel that Cyborg will take out Finney pretty easily and glide on to an effortless victory (even more so considering that Finney’s nickname is ‘Cuddles’), but Finney has been known to be scrappy making the fight a good one to watch.

Plus, seeing Cris Cyborg in action is always an event in itself.

With some of the best male heavyweight and female featherweight fighters clashing on the same night, the June 26th Strikeforce event is destined to be an exciting evening for MMA fans.

Alexia is a lifelong fan of sports and fitness. Recently, she’s been obsessed with MMA. As a result, she has joined forces with MMA Industries – purveyors of widely popular MMA shirts and gloves. Alexia has been writing about the latest developments in MMA equipment for the past few years, and continues to bring you the latest news in the mixed martial arts world.

Is the ice cream still fat-free if you eat the whole tub?

June 12, 2010

Having been so, so good with my eating up until the point of competing the other week, I’ve now totally fallen off the wagon and am in the grip of trying to shake off constant sugar cravings! Arrgghh.

In an attempt to meet my cravings halfway (one that involved scouring the freezer sections of several local supermarkets) I finally discovered some fat-free ice cream. It’s even chocolate flavoured. But is it really too good to be true? And is it still fat-free if you devour most of the tub? Haahaah. (It’s always so hard to walk away from that last little bit!)

I’ve been trying to drown out the tiny voice that’s been telling me I should really just try and avoid sugar altogether, but I blame the sun that finally decided to shine in Vancouver today. You can’t celebrate the first sunny weekend without ice cream. Just don’t get me started on the wine that’s crying out to be uncorked!

Inspiration

June 2, 2010

Wonder Woman - at any age!I read a book not too long ago about the incredibly inspiring swimmer Dara Torres who, at 41 years old, launched her Olympic comeback and stood on that podium with the best of them.

It was just called “Age is just a number” and, every so often, when I seriously question whether I’m a little crazy to get in to competitive martial arts at 30 years old I remember what you can achieve if you put your mind to it.

As if to confirm this I met a very sweet lady yesterday who, at 56 years old, was about to enter her first world championship power lifting competition. What was even more incredible was that this wonderful lady only started training five years ago and despite going up against people much younger than her she absolutely refused to enhance her performace with any sort of drugs. It was natural or nothing.

There are many more women out there who are perfect examples of age being just a number. Screw how you think you might be judged. If you want it – go for it! Or as my trainer once put it, “Do it or do not do it. There is no try.”

Tales of Thailand Part 1

March 26, 2010

Wow, there’s so much to tell you! I’m so sorry for not updating my site while in Thailand.

Just to recap: The preparation for this trip started nine months ago over a glass of white wine in a small Vancouver bar. Fueled by inebriation, Emma Lynds (36-year-old mother of two, black belt and owner of Elements Academy of Martial Arts) and I (martial arts rookie) decided to set ourselves the ambitious challenge of taking part in our first Muay Thai fight in Thailand. Neither one of us had fought before, but somehow after a glass or two of Pinot Grigio, it sounded like an inspired idea and entirely rational.

We arrived in Phuket and plunged straight in to training 4-5hrs per day in 34 degree heat. Sweat didn’t just drip off us; it flowed like rivers out of every part of our body. We would run, skip, do push ups, shadow box and finally hit the pats in the ring or the heavy bags (or, more often than not, both)….twice a day.

Despite rounding off the training with a thorough stretching session, we were still left clutching what bits of our body still moved as we scooter’d our way back to the hotel, positioning our sporty short shorts over the scorching seat as best we could.

During those first two days, head trainer, Sing, watched both Emma and I to determine our fighting fate. Would we meet the standard he required of his fighters or would we need more time? On Wednesday, he announced that Emma would fight on Friday but I would need more time. Something I didn’t have on this short trip.

I faced this decision with mixed emotions but thanks to support and positive encouragement from friends and family, I relaxed in to enjoying the rest of my training.

How did Emma do? I’ll post a copy of her fight video shortly.

In the meantime we’re back and, rather than giving myself time to fall of the wagon as I’d promised myself, it’s straight back in to training ready for the Tiger Balm Internationals this Sunday (more on this shortly).

I just want to say a huge thank you to friends and family who all supported this crazy idea and to those who pushed me physically and mentally way beyond what I thought I could possibly do (Cliff and Wilf: I’m talking about you!!). I have every intention of being the last one standing this weekend.

Women and martial arts

March 4, 2010

Martial arts for womenI came across this post today by a female martial artist and was amazed at how well she’d articulated the reasons why martial arts and, in particular MMA, can be such a rewarding sport. For both men and women.

There are no right or wrong reasons for getting in to martial arts. Maybe you do it just to get fit, perhaps it’s to fight or maybe one day to be the proud owner of a black belt. Whatever your motivation, I’ve learned first-hand that it’s a journey and a learning experience that can change you in so many ways: Confidence, fitness, ability, flexibility and mind-set, to name just a few. And despite what you might think, age and experience are not barriers.

So if you’re open to tranforming your body, skills and confidence in a way you could never imagine I highly recommend martial arts.  Plus, there are so many different types out there there that there really is something to suit everyone.

Are you a martial artist or perhaps someone who’s thinking of taking it up? I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences.

To tap or not to tap

February 20, 2010

If it’s possible to choose between a fight or flight response, six months ago I would have opted for flight every time. Even up until six weeks ago I’d have preferred to bolt for the exit than fight back.

I can’t say that ‘flight’ is a conscious decision. It’s just that my natural response has always have been to get out of a situation before getting involved in one.

So, of course, standing my ground in a ring has been a tough mental battle with plenty of tears and frustration. But for the first time last Thursday something inside of me felt very differently about sparring. I felt what could have been aggression for the first time! (Much to my trainer’s relief, I’m sure.) Rather than counting down the seconds until the final bell, I didn’t want the round to end. Had I had the chance to get back in the ring again I would have done. To finally feel that way having wanted to feel like that for so long was amazing.

This ‘fight back’ mode seems to also be translating in to Jiu Jitsu training. Rather than opting to tap if someone has something on me, I’ll fight with every inch to get out.

I’ve been waiting to turn this corner for nine months and it feels great to have arrived. However, it has come with a downside: my reluctance to tap. As a result, in the past few weeks I’ve passed out cold from a choke (an odd, if not entirely unpleasant experience) and, frustratingly, succumbed to an old rib injury after battling to (successfully) escape an arm bar.

With only two weeks until Thailand it’s an incredibly annoying injury that’s sidelining me during a time when I want to be going all out. But I’m taking the advice of people who know better than me and laying low for a couple of days. I don’t do ‘sitting still’ very well but it’s time to get a perspective on things. For nine months I’ve trained hard to be in a position where I can step in to a ring in Thailand. That time is nearly here. If I have to take it easy for a couple of days in order to still get there then so be it.

Perhaps it’s time to watch something of those fight films I’ve had lined up for so long.

14 days to go and counting. Bring it on!