This Lady MMA Fighter is cute as a button and will choke you out!
all photos (C) courtesy of Roxanne V. Modafferi
Q-full name? Roxanne V. Modafferi Q-fight or stage name? no real fight name yet. Q-place born? Wilmington, Delaware Q-place you grew up? Kennett Square, Pennsylvania Q-favorite color? red and purple Q-height? 5'7" Q-weight? 135 lbs Q-eye color? brown Q-favorite pastime? training MMA, watching anime, reading fantasy novels Q-schools attended? graduate? University of Massachusetts, Amherst, majored in Japanese Language and Literature with a minor in Linguistics Q-Favorite movie? Aladdin, the Die Hards, Lord of the Rings Q-What got you intrested in martial arts? I got interested as a kid by the Power Rangers at first. They were so cool- beating up the bad guys, being good people, etc. Then after a few years of Tae Kwon Do as a teenager, I got into the non-violent spiritual aspect of it. Anger was the enemy to be avoided at all costs- as was laziness. As was violence. I started doing Judo and did that for three years in high school, before starting Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, which my Judo friend introduced me to.
Q-Types of martial arts training or styles you have studied? Tae Kwon do (3 years) Kempo Karate (2 years), Judo (3 years), kickboxing (on and off 4 or 5 years), Brazilian Jiu-jitsu (4 years), and Submission Grappling and MMA for six years and continuing. Q-Do you currently teach martial arts? If so Where? I used to teach Judo in high school at the Dalton Judo Club, Massachusetts, but not anymore. Q-Favorite sports? I used to play soccer from elementary school, but stopped in high school. Now I only do and watch MMA Q-What's your take on the future of Martial arts? Mixed Martial Arts is becoming a regulated sport. I think it will become legal everywhere, and people in the States will get used to it as not just some violent thing, but see it for the technique, hard work, and skill required. People in Japan already get it. Of course, people still love to see a good brawl, so I'm not trying to be a goodie-goodie. Separate styles of Martial Arts have their place, and there will always be specialists in their field. That's fine and honorable.
Q-Belt ranking? I appreciate belt ranking by skill, not necessarily time spent and if you have enough money to pass a test. In Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, if you're a black belt, then you should be able to beat anybody up one-on-one. If someone is a black belt in some of the karate styles in the States, for example, not naming any particular styles, you never know. But they have their place and I respect them.
Fight record? 11 wins 4 losses in MMA. I've competed in many BJJ and Judo tournaments. Q-After all you have accomplished what do you plan to do with your life now? goals? I am going to be the number one female mixed martial artist. I will strive after this goal until my body can no longer support me. Also, using Japanese, I want to translate books, MMA sports articles, and interviews. I also would like to do live interviews, and become fluent in Japanese. Eventually, once I get older and retire, maybe start my own dojo, and start my own English school or classes on the side to make money. I want to stay in Japan. Q-If you could change one thing in the world today to make it a better place what would it be? Endow everyone in the world with the ability to forgive each other. Q-How has the martial arts affected your life? It's helped me not to sweat the small stuff. It's helped me appreciate what I have. I can appreciate my health, my body, and it's given me mental toughness to plow forward if something needs to be done, to make that effort, and to never give up. Q-You have kids? are you Married? If so, what do they think about you training / fighting? And where is Roxanne these days? How is Roxannes life and what are Roxannes goals for the future? No, not married, and no kids yet. I hope to find a husband I can train with, or who at least loves some kind of martial arts. I can tell you my parents aren't crazy about me doing MMA. Now, I am teaching English along side training MMA. My life is pretty full from these things. I manage to experience Japan once in a while, and I always try and blog to share my experiences. Someday I want to become a translator, but I don't have time or energy to focus on studying Japanese right now. I'd also like to open a dojo or gym with somebody eventually. Those last two goals would be in the ten years or so, after my MMA career is winding down.
What has been your most challenging hurdle as a female fighter on the fighting circuit? And What has been your biggest learning experince so far just as a fighter? Getting fights is my biggest challenge and hurdle. There are fewer oppotunities for women to get on a fight card- less promotions having women, and fewer women to choose from as opponents. Plus, the big promotions (UFC, the Japanese "Dream, K-1 and Sengoku") didn't put on women's fights. However, Strikeforce, for one, is now doing a great
job of giving the women's division a chance, and raising awareness that there are talented female fighters. Q-Can you give any advice to the younger generation about learning martial arts? Make sure you find a good school or gym or dojo with a nice supportive environment, who cares about you, and also knows how to train correctly. You can build yourself strong, if you do it right, and you can conquer the world. But it's not going to be easy. -Roxanne, Apr. 2010