Welcome to my new website!!!! I want to take a moment to give a huge shout out and thank-you to my good friend and teammate Conor Driscoll for taking the time to help me make this site a reality. You wouldn’t believe what I put him through and he deserves recognition for all his hard work! 🙂 Some aspects of the site are still under construction but that doesn’t mean I cant keep ya’ll updated on my comings and goings in the mean time. But be sure to check back often for updates and changes.
As usual, it’s time to play the catch up game! I have been around the world and back since my last blog post. After travelling everywhere from Tokyo to Paris to Hawaii to Russia and numerous places in between I am now back in the states for the time being.

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Taking a break from training at the Tokyo NTC to visit Asakusa

Life has returned to a semblance or normality for me with my regular schedule of training and competing. I made my way back to competition for the first time since the Olympics in April at the U.S. Senior Nationals where I took a gold medal. It felt great to be back on the mat doing what I know best and it was a great warm up for the Pan American championships that I fought a week later in Costa Rica.

2013 Senior Nationals

2013 Senior Nationals

I took a silver medal at the Pan Ams losing to a long time rival of mine from Brazil in the final. It was a particularly embarrassing loss as I lost by a shime-waza (choke) in the first exchange. It was a lapse in judgment on my part as I assumed there was a stop called by the referee and stuck my neck out like a giraffe. It was a hard thing for me to deal with in the aftermath. One, because I have never lost by a choke before and two because these bad lapses in judgment are the exact things I have been working to remove from my performances. I felt a little better when I was able to exact some revenge on the Brazilian the next day during the team competition where I ended up beating her by an arm bar.
Even sweeter was the US women’s teams ability to win the entire team tournament that day for the first time ever and qualify for the World Team championships later this year. I was so proud of our team for having had such a united front and fighting spirit.

57kg Podium Pan Am Championships

57kg Podium Pan Am Championships

USA Pan Am Women's Team Takes GOLD!

USA Pan Am Women’s Team Takes GOLD!

After that, I spent my time preparing for the World Masters Championships in Russia. It was my third time fighting in the prestigious masters event where only the top 16 athletes in the world are invited. Like in my two previous masters showings I drew the #1 Portuguese player first round. I also fought the POR player first round at the Olympics which was the only time I ever beat her. Unfortunately, I was unable to repeat that performance and ended up losing by 2 penalties to 1.
There is nothing more crushing than doing everything you can to prepare for a competition and then traveling for 2 days only to come home empty handed.The loss weighed on my mind very heavily and I used it to propel myself into intense training and mental focus for my next event.

Speaking to press after arriving in Russia

Speaking to press after arriving in Russia

I set my sights on redemption at the first ever Miami Grand Prix held in the U.S. in June. I was able to go 4-0 at the event and emerge as the only American to win a gold medal. In addition, the only other American medalist at the event was my teammate and SJSU team captain Colton Brown, who took a bronze. He and I had toiled side by side all year in the dojo and celebrating our wins together in Miami along side our awesome mat-side coach Mike Swain was exhilarating.

My first Grand Prix medal!

My first Grand Prix medal!

With Coach Mike Swain and teammate Colton Brown after Colton took Bronze!!

With Coach Mike Swain and teammate Colton Brown after Colton took Bronze!!

Now I find myself in the last 6 weeks of preparation building up to the biggest event of the year, the World Championships. I have wanted to become a world champion my entire judo life, just as bad as I have wanted to become an Olympic champion. With my date with destiny moving ever closer I am excited and focused on the task at hand and cant wait to make another dream of mine come true.Every day in the dojo is an opportunity to become stronger ,faster and better and I’m learning to relish every moment of this incredible journey through life as a judoka.Only time will tell how this journey will end in Rio this year at the worlds or in 2016 at the Olympics but I am doing everything I can to ensure it’s a happy ending.Be sure to check back often for news and updates on my progress and don’t forget to take a look around my site!
Much Love!
Marti