Roxanne Modafferi ロク Tokyo, Japan 2010
“The Happy Warrior”
I couldn’t think of a more appropriate name for Roxy. She is one of the most positive, upbeat and wholesome people I have ever met and it’s 100% genuine. She’s got more energy than elementary aged children on Red Bull and does everything to the utmost extent. She’s got a full time job (and we are talking Japanese job where you work like 12 hour days / 6 days a week), she trains at least 2xs a day, and maybe sleeps for about 4 hours a day. If you were to run into her on the street, you might think that she is a mild mannered school teacher and you’re right, expect when she gets in the cage. There’s this huge transformation and she totally reminds me of the Onryo-kei masks my Obachan had in her home. The eyes glaze over and there is this sheer and unadulterated hunger in her face, (blood lust?) or rather the desire to win above all else. It’s kind of amazing to watch that kind of transformation happen in a person right before your eyes. You can’t tell if it’s like Clark Kent & Superman or like Dr. Jerkyll & Mr. Hyde. It is both, beautiful and terrifying, which is exactly how MMA should be.
And here’s where I get on my soapbox… Roxy works her ass off in everything she does. Teaching Japanese school children all day most days of the week would probably be enough to exhaust anyone, but on top of this she’s training in the morning and evenings. Tokyo is not a cheap place to live, but irregardless most fighters I know have at least one day job. The costs of specialized training are high, along with the dietary needs and supplements, hours spent in the gym instead of at work are also costly, but fighting is a job, one that is pretty underpaid. So much is sacrificed, time away from family, limited socializing unless it’s at training. The money made from fighting rarely if ever covers the costs of training let alone the basic costs of living (ie. rent, food, transportation). I just wanted to give a big shout out to Roxy and the many other women who dedicate their lives to a sport they love. If you can stop by Roxy’s store and show her a little love too by picking up one of her t-shirts or make a donation. You can also check her on Twitter.