Tiffany "Pikachu" Lee
She train at Modern Warrior MMA and Checkmat . She is a mere 5 foot even and 105lbs. She like to think of herself as a well-rounded fighter. She got into martial arts after the military. She needed to do something with her time and she found BJJ. Keith Richardson, her mma coach, talked her into taking a few striking classes as she was doing BJJ and she really loved it. MMA has really helped her realize that she is stronger than She thinks she is and has built her confidence in a big way. She is still a pretty shy person but have gotten a lot better. Mixed Martial Arts was only supposed to give her an outlet after she got out of the Army but she has learned so much more. The family she has also gained from the MMA community is irreplaceable.
Q&A Session Between Tiffany Lee and Elite Sports
Question: What inspires you about BJJ?
Answer: The struggle and the risk inspires me. The potential for failure but not total disaster gets my heart pumping and my mind working. Sometimes struggles and risk taking are exactly what we need. When you start BJJ or MMA, you have no idea the journey it will take you on. You begin to witness your teammates and even your own self go through different journeys. At some point in the journey, the sport pushes you to make two choices: to step forward into growth or to step back and do the same thing you have always done. For those who chose to step forward into growth, the leaps and bounds made is amazing. BJJ and MMA teaches us that it is ok to struggle. It teaches us that sometimes we have to make tough decisions and take certain risks in order to achieve what we want. It makes you push your own boundaries and allows you to grow.
Question: Who inspires you, past or present? Why do they inspire you?
Answer: Probably one of the most famous speeches came from the Oscar winning actor, Matthew McConaughey in 2014. He said it best (so I’m not going to change it) when he took the podium and stated that there are “three things, to my count, that I need each day. One of them is something to look up to; another is something to look forward to, and another is someone to chase”.
First off, I am inspired and I look up to my coaches: Keith Richardson and Michael Allen. I can’t say that each day is easy training under both of them. They push me to my limits each and every practice. They sometimes even yell at me when I do dumb things on the mat. However, each and every day they never ask me to do anything that they can’t or wouldn’t do themselves. They teach everyone that it’s not just ok to be a great fighter but also to be a great person. I also look up to God. He has always graced my life with opportunities that I cannot fathom.
My family is who I look forward to. My girlfriend, Kiya, who has been patient and sacrificing because in this sport… there are more times I spend on the mats and in the gym then I am home cuddling with her on the couch and talking about our day over wine. My teammates who are my family. Without watching them work and grow, I would not have the motivation to work and grow. We bleed together, twist our ankles together, fail together, grow together, and succeed together. My mom and dad who taught me nothing can replace good work ethic.
My heroes are who I chase. I have a few heroes in my life but to keep this section short, I will just name two. The first are those little girls that are in the next generation of combat sports. They are going to be a force to recon with. I chase and admire their current work ethic and the skills they are developing that will place them on the map. They are pioneering the next generation of female fighters that will blow the current ones off the map. Lastly, well Matthew McConaughey explained it when he said, “It’s me in 10 year.” I figured if I can’t chase and inspire myself; how else am I going to expect to inspire other people. Each day, I try to find a way to make myself a better fighter, a better girlfriend, a better student, a better coworker, a better teammate, and a better over all person. I’m never going to attain the goal of being my own hero; however, each day it forces me to grow.
Question: How much importance has the sports gear in any competition?
Answer: It helps you to feel relax in your fight.
Question: What are your goals for this year? Next 3 years? Next 5 years?
Answer: This year I hope to go pro in MMA and I hope to go to IBJJF World Master and of course win. In 3 years, I hope to be signed on to Invicta. In 5 years, I hope to have a belt around my waist
Question: How long have you been training?
Answer: I have been training now for about 4 years.
Question: How often do you train?
Answer: Outside of fighting, I train about 3 to 4 times a week. I also lift 5 times a week. When I have a fight coming up, I will train 6 times a week about 2x a day.
Question: Any major accomplishments you’ve been able to achieve in that time?
My focus has mainly been in MMA. Only recently, I have turned my attention to perfecting BJJ. So far my MMA record as an amateur is 5-0. I’m looking forward to fine tuning a few things and turning pro soon.
Question: What sort of gear do you usually keep in your gym bag before hitting the gym? Do you have different items for specific days
Answer: It really depends on the day. I always keep a set of running shoes in my gym bag, pair of hand wraps, my Elite Sports gi, a pair of shorts, and a shirt. However, if I go to my MMA gym, I will throw a set of boxing gloves, mma gloves, and shin guards. There is always a letter that was written by my first MMA/grappling coach right before my first fight. He is no longer teaching but I keep it there to remind myself of where I came from, how far I have gone, and how far I still have to go.
Question: Do you have a go-to finishing move?
Answer: I wouldn’t say that I have a specific finishing move. I’m more of an opportunistic finisher. I take what I am given. I’m not saying that I won’t have my favorite go to submission later on. However, as a blue belt, I am still developing my style and finding out what works for me and what doesn’t.
Question: What do you think it takes to be a champion in your sports?
Answer: There is a lot to being a champion other than just winning a world title. I believe that being a champion isn’t just about being the best in your sport but also about what you do in your day to day life. I believe a champion consistently strives to reach their full potential. I believe that they are committed, disciplined, and take personal responsibility on and off the mat. I believe that a champion needs to be able to demonstrate a desire to succeed. I believe that they should have passion and heart to any and everything they do. A champion will need to have impeccable and relentless work ethic in everyday life. A champion has to be able to set priorities and make sacrifices. We all know that in the combat athletic world, there are many sacrifices made by the athlete, their family, and friends. I believe that a champion has to have a lot of perseverance. All of these characteristics need to be built on a foundation of character and integrity. I believe they should have these characteristics not only to be at the top of their sport but also to inspire those around them.