We are almost done with January of 2018 and I’m already thinking about next month’s goals. See I’m a very goal-oriented person. If I don’t have something to work towards its hard for me to stay motivated. I have to keep my eye on the price. What’s the next thing? The problem with that is I tend to look past the things that I’ve already accomplished. So I’m going to look back at look back at 2017 and review some of the things that I accomplished.


  • Completed a Whole30


I know it doesn’t sound like much but anyone who has done a Whole30 will tell you it’s not easy, simple but not easy. The Whole30 is thirty days of clean eating, no processed food, sugar, alcohol, dairy, grain, legumes, or fun…just kidding. In 2017 this was my second Whole30 and just to make it more difficult I decided to give up caffeine also. So for thirty days I ate super clean, was extremely tired and lost almost 10 pounds of body weight?

For more info check out my blog post about my experience on the Whole30 click here


  • Got my blog up and running

For those of you who are reading this right now this might be a little redundant but in 2017 I really got my blog up and running. I really enjoy writing actually and I especially love sharing my experiences and perceptive with the rest of the world. What I was surprised about was the feedback that I got back from the people I trained with saying that the posts were good!

Below are some of my most popular posts from last year.

Size Doesn’t Matter Until it Does

Leverage Knows No Gender

Train Like You Don’t Have Health Insurance


  • I Started A YouTube Channel, Throat Punch Thursday
Chris Hauter throat punching me!

One Thursday in Kali class we were working split entries and one of my friends says out loud in class “Well, it is Throat Punch Thursday.” An idea hit me…how about a martial arts instructional video with a twist. “Consider that stolen!” I said. The rest is history.

See some of our favorite episodes below:


  • Got my instructorship under Dan Inosanto

In July of 2017 at a Dan Inosanto seminar in Woodbridge, VA I received my certificates of instructorship in the Filipino Martial Arts and JKD under Dan Inosanto. This was a huge honor and very unexpected. I am very proud to be part of an amazing lineage and under such an amazing martial artist that I have tremendous respect for.

You can read more about this in the blog post below.

I Like the Moderately Suck at Everything


  • Went to Oregon Thai Camp for the first time
Krysta and I with our State College PA friends.

“Just make it through the next rotation.” Or a least that’s what I told myself every time we rotated station to station at Oregon Thai Camp. Sweat beating down my face as a run to find the heavy bag that is in the shade. Everyone talks about Oregon Thai Camp in hushed tones and horror stories, mostly to scare you. And if I’m being completely honest…it kind of worked. But luckily I got lost of good advice from everyone before I started, pace yourself. What I wasn’t expecting though is how enjoyable it would be to suffer around friends, training partners, and to learn from some amazing Thai Boxing instructors. Did also mention that I did not die…? Oh, good.

Myself with three amazing instructors: Ajarn Chai, Ajarn Trigg, and Ajarn Parker.


  • Taught my first out of town seminars

Who would want to bring in a female BJJ brown belt in to teach a seminar? Apparently more people than I thought. I was lucky enough to teach two out of town seminars last year at two amazing schools, Integrated Martial Arts in North Carolina and Top Level Martial Arts in Ohio. I had so much fun, met some amazing people and can’t wait to come back this year. Read more about my experiences below:

Travel and Training: North Carolina

Travel and Training: Ohio


  • Competed in BJJ again
Silver and Bronze

On a whim, I decided to do the Rickson Cup up in Albany, New York in 2017. I usually don’t compete a lot anymore because I am so focused in the kids program and making sure the children do well in competition. So even though I didn’t really prepare and did it on two weeks noticed I am happy that I got a chance to compete as a brown belt one more time. You can read about my experience below:

Travel and Training: Rickson Cup


  • Got my Black Belt under Bryan Mossey

Bryan Mossey and I go way back. I used to pay him for private lessons in boxing buy giving wine. Made sense to me at the time. Luckily for me he graciously taught me. He coached me in MMA, taught me Thai, brought me into the world of Kali/JKD and changed my perception of self-defense. In November I went down to receive my black belt and full instructorship under Bryan Mossey. In order to be full instructor under Guro Moss you have to do BJJ, JKD, Kali, and Thai Boxing and have rank in each. No small accomplishment, (plus I get a sword!)

  • Hit My Strength Goals for the Year

I have been very lucky to meet Brian Wright. I consider him a coach and a friend. He has always pushed me to be better and stronger then I think I am. Thanks to programming and him giving me a hard time, I set a lot of PRs and strength goals for this year. Here are some just to list a few:

  • Competed in the TSC (Tactical Strength Challenge) placing 14th in my division in the world.
  • Hit a PR for Pull Ups (I can finally do three.)
  • Hit a PR for KB Press (22 kg)
  • Hit a PR for Turkish Get Up (36 kg)
  • Hit a PR for KB Snatch (28 kg)
  • Hit the Sinister Goal of the Simple & Sinister Program

Here is a video of my 36 kg Get Up:



  • Got my Black Belt in BJJ under Master Pedro Sauer
Photo By Matt DeBruycker

Only took 11 years…but totally worth the wait. To the test under Master Sauer, you have to demonstrate the standing self-defense from Helio Gracie’s Master Text. Because I train at the headquarters of Master Sauer in Herndon, VA we decided to up the ante. I did the whole self-defense demonstration from memory and did every move twice. Once slow step by step to show the details of the technique and a second time at speed with intention, showing the devastation of the techniques in the book. It was probably one of my proudest moments ever. Not only for how I did at my test but also just to have the honor of being awarded my black belt from someone that I respect so much.

Click below to see my post about receiving my black belt:

A Black Belt is a White Belt that Never Quit



So 2017…I think I’m done. Let’s see what great things are in store for 2018.

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