Your Questions Answered!
Hey guys! Thank you for sending me a bunch of great questions for my Q&A post :) I honestly thought nobody would be interested, but I got tons of responses! Without further ado, here they are...
Q: What is the best guard in the gi?
A: I don't think there is one best guard as so many people have unique styles that work for them. That being said, I feel that one of the most dominant guard positions overall is the closed guard. From there you can effectively control your partner's posture and you have so many attacking options- especially in the gi. A couple of my favourite submissions from the closed guard are the brabo choke and the overhook lapel grip to set up a triangle.
Q: What supplements do you take?
A: I don't take many supplements anymore, just multivitamins and omega-3 pills. I used to take more workout supplements such as BCAAs and protein powders etc. but they upset my digestion and I didn't feel any improvements taking them, so now I like to keep it simple!
Q: What is your sleep schedule like and how many hours of sleep do you get as a full time athlete?
A: I normally get around 8 hours of sleep. The competition training at my gym goes late on weeknights and I usually go to sleep around 11 pm and wake up around 7 am. Not sure why, but I always wake up in the middle of the night so I doubt all of it is deep sleep.
Q: What is your ethnicity?
A: I am half Moroccan and half Brazilian
Q: What is your favourite jiu jitsu fight you've had?
A: I've had so many enjoyable matches! One that stands out for me is the finals match I had to win Brazilian Nationals Nogi a couple of years ago. We had been practicing flying guillotines at the gym that week, and although its not my usual type of move I decided to try it and hit the timing perfectly! The match was over in 10 seconds.
Q: What would your MMA walkout song be?
A: The Greatest by Sia. It's been a special song for me for a while.
Q: How many times a day do you normally eat? Any specific timing pre/post workout?
A: I normally eat 3 meals a day and some snacks in between if I'm hungry. I try to leave at least an 1.5 hours between eating and training so I am not doing jiu jitsu on a full stomach.
Q: What's your best submission?
A: Kimura from north south that sometimes turns into an armbar. I also finish quite a few triangles and omoplatas.
Q: How did it feel to win all the major IBJJF and UAEJJF tournaments last year? That is insane!
A: Thank you. It was an incredible experience and brought me memories I will cherish forever. I can't wait for the challenge to keep building on this.
Q: Where is a place you've always wanted to visit (not for jiu jitsu)?
A: Somewhere in northern Brazil or Peru to see the rainforest! Also Tokyo.
Q: What goes through your mind the night before a competition and day of? How do you deal with nervousness?
A: I try not to think about the matches or look at the brackets the night before so I don't get an adrenaline rush when I'm trying to sleep. I distract myself by thinking about other things (usually food or weightlifting haha) or reading a book. Sometimes watching a documentary helps me relax too. On the day of the tournament I try to take it all in and focus while keeping my thoughts slow and relaxed. I find that making sure I'm prepared and at the venue without having to rush helps keep me as calm as possible.
Q: What are your next goals?
A: I want to continue on the path that I'm on and do my best in every aspect of my life. I can't control the results but I will strive to give my best performance at all of my upcoming tournaments. Other goals I have are to keep learning and improving steadily in both jiu jitsu and weightlifting, to grow my classes that I'm teaching, and to keep working to get my health back on track. I want to prioritize things and people that inspire me and bring me joy.
Q: What is your pet peeve?
A: I can't stand it when someone drops the door on a person walking right behind them. Also, in jiu jitsu when someone twists your fingers or does other dirty moves.
Q: How do you deal with bad days?
A: Whenever I'm feeling down, I think about all the things I'm grateful for and that really helps my mindset! I also remind myself that nothing is permanent and there is no problem without a solution.
Q: What is a weird fact about you?
A: I've never burped in my entire life
Q: When are you going to try bodybuilding?
A: Everyone asks me that! It doesn't interest me to get on stage with a spray tan and pose, but I love working out in the gym with my bodybuilder friends. I'll stick to jiu jitsu for now...
Q: What kinds of meats do you like eating?
A: Everything... I seriously love food. My favourite meats are lamb ribs and good ribeye steaks.
Q: When are you going to be on the Joe Rogan podcast? I wanna hear it!
A: I would love that experience haha but nothing planned thus far. I just recorded a podcast on Human Performance Outliers with Shawn Baker so that will be available to listen to soon!
Q: How is the training set up at Alliance Sao Paulo compared to Vancouver?
A: In Sao Paulo I only did the competition classes. The training was really tough and I spent most of my time in bad positions. It definitely helped me work on my defence. We would train at 10 am and then again at night. We did a lot of sparring in groups where you would rotate in with your partners which I liked! In Vancouver we train at noon and night, but the tougher training is at night which is the opposite of Alliance SP. I have lots of tough rounds and am often the only woman in the competition classes. All the classes are set up to be half technique and half sparring.
Q: Your life seems so perfect! Is it? (Also I'm in love with your dog lol)
A: Things are definitely far from perfect, but I am grateful for all the opportunities I have. I am thankful to have a loving family, a healthy body, and the chance to wake up every morning and do the things I love! What you see on social media is just a tiny slice of someone's life (and usually their better moments). And thank you, He's a really great dog :)
Q: Is it cold in Canada?
A: Some areas of Canada get very cold in the winter and hot in the summer. The city I live in is quite mild and it isn't too cold. Its very close to Seattle so the weather is similar to there.
Ok guys....that's the end of the questions I received. Let me know if there's anything else you want to know!