Review: My Fight / Your Fight by Ronda Rousey

Every once in awhile I learn about someone who has been chronically underestimated. Ronda Rousey is one of those people. I’m embarrassed to admit I underestimated her biography. I’ve read a lot of crap bios in the past and I feared this would be the same.

I was wrong.

In her book, My Fight / Your Fight Rousey speaks fearlessly about losing her dad, the pressure to be an Olympic medalist, her battle with an eating disorder, and her sometimes estranged relationship with her mother and sisters. Even if you’re not into Mixed Martial Arts or Judo, this book should be on your reading list.

Every chapter starts with a short, direct lesson, almost all of which can be applied to life outside the fighting ring. Then she opens with a 1-2 paragraph overview of the learning. The rest of the chapter is devoted to telling a specific story from her experience that led to her learning the lesson. It’s compelling.

Ronda Rousey My Fight, Your Fight Rest BeatsAt times, the descriptions are so clear I can smell her car or the gym. I can feel the fabric or sense the heat of the sun. I get angry with her. I get excited with her.

I was really surprised to read her accounts of her fights. You get a glimpse into her thinking. A snapshot of her brain at the time. I love reading about her fights with great Judo or MMA competitors and then watching those fights online. She gives you a rare, inside look into her thoughts and feelings before and during the match and it makes for exceptional reading and watching.

She writes about an incredible fight against Edith Bosch at the 2007 World Judo Championships in Rio de Janeiro. Reading her side of the story and then watching the fight is one of the most captivating experiences I’ve had in a long time. I know nothing about Judo or the rules of the sport. In the fight, you see she’s just amped energy, itching to start. Because I’ve read Rousey’s account of her history with Bosch and you know what she’s thinking in the moment, I felt like I understood her in the fight.

You can watch the fight on YouTube, but I recommend you read the book first and then watch it:

What I took away from her biography is that she’s a strong, mentally tough athlete who doesn’t accept “no” or defeat. She’s a real competitor. Anyone can see that in the way she fights, but there’s also a softer side to her. Delicate. She’s still a woman with feelings.

There have been a few tough moments in my training recently. I took a hybrid of a Crossfit and Krav Maga class. It was tough. There were times when I was exhausted or I wanted to do less reps. Instead, I thought to myself: What would Ronda do? The answer is obvious. Keep going. Push harder. Be faster than last time. And so I did.

This was a stirring, visceral, inspiring read and I highly recommend it to everyone.

Buy My Fight / Your Fight on Amazon or from your local bookstore.

Note: If you follow the links in this post and purchase this book from Amazon, I will receive a small affiliate commission. No one paid me to write this review. I’m just excited to tell everyone about it.

Review: SISU 2.4 Max Guard (Mouth Guard)

I’ve been on the hunt for a new mouth guard. My current mouth guard is this chunky thing that I can’t speak, drink, and barely breathe through. Kaci's mouth full of mouth guardI look like a monkey when I wear it.

I did some research for the best mouth guards on the market. My requirements were:

  • The mouth guard should—first and foremost—protect my teeth.
  • I should be able to breathe.
  • I should be able drink water.
  • Ideally, I can speak. I give feedback and ask questions all throughout class. In a perfect world, I’ll be able to leave my mouth guard in my mouth at all times. When you’ve been sweating (and sweat on by your partner) the last thing you want to do is reach into your mouth to pull out your mouth guard.
  • My final nice to have is that the manufacturer’s logo or name shouldn’t be written across my teeth. I’d like to choose when to advertise. Thanks.

Last week the new mouth guard arrived: the SISU 2.4 Max Guard (in blue)! It came completely flat. At first I was a little confused, but it only took a quick look through the instructions and I was on my way. I’ve done the boil-and-fit scenario with previous mouth guards. The instructions were similar to those experiences and very straight forward. It’s not very complicated and I doubt many would have any issue with it.

The main difference with this mouth guard compared to others is you fit the entire piece of plastic around your teeth. It is 100% customized to your mouth. There’s very little base design that you work around. I should mention I also have a pretty small mouth. Most guards feel oversized in my mouth. The SISU is slim, but sturdy. There’s plenty of plastic to completely cover your teeth, but not so much that it overpowers your mouth.

As soon as the guard started to set around my teeth, I knew I was going to be a satisfied customer.

Just listen to the difference:

Tonight was my first Krav Maga level 2 class with the new mouth guard. It was so comfortable. I could breathe, drink, and speak! I didn’t have to take it out of my mouth once and my partner could understand me the whole time.

We sparred at the end of class to practice our defenses and my partner was vicious. She let me have it. The guard was snug and secure. I could bite down without any issues and I never once thought about it while we were sparring.

I’m sold.

The one tiny downside is that the mouth guard is more expensive than any mouth guard I’ve ever purchased. It ranges from $22-35 on Amazon, but, in my opinion, was completely worth it. This is mouth guard number four for me and I’d buy the SISU 2.4 Max Guard again.

Let me know if you have any experience with the SISU mouth guard or if you end up buying it! I’d love to hear your experience.

Note: If you follow the links in this post and purchase this mouth guard from Amazon, I will receive a small affiliate commission. SISU did not pay me to write this review. I’m just legitimately excited to tell everyone about it.


Review: Mouth Guards for Krav Maga

Mouth guards are officially a required piece of equipment for me in Krav Maga. I purchased and began training with two mouth guards after the tooth incident. While I haven’t found the perfect mouth guard, I at least have something to protect my teeth.

I wasn’t sure what to expect or which features would be useful. I stood in the boxing/mma aisle for 20 minutes feeling a little overwhelmed. In the end, I chose to start at the most economical side of the spectrum and work my way up until I find a mouth guard I like. At $3-5 per mouth guard, I can’t really go wrong.

The Everlast Single Mouthguard is, by far, the cheapest option (less than $3!). I purchased this mouth guard in black.

The instructions were easy to follow to mold the guard to my jaw and teeth. I have a small mouth and it’s a little bigger than I think I need. I had to cut off the two edges around my molars to get it to fit without rubbing uncomfortably. I also notice there’s a lot of space between the mouth guard and my teeth, no matter how many times I boil and fit it. I’ve used it for a month now and it seems fine. I’ll probably keep shopping around, but the price is right for a simple mouth guard.

I also purchased this Everlast Double Mouth Guard (also in black).

The difference between the Everlast Single and the Everlast Double is that the Double protects your top and bottom teeth, compared to just your top teeth with the Everlast Single. This guard was also easy to shape to my mouth.

If you’re really concerned about your upper and lower teeth, this mouth guard is an acceptable option.

A few downsides: it’s a little difficult to breathe even with the center breathing channel. It’s also distracting. I catch myself biting down on it and clenching my jaw.

For both of these mouth guards, there are additional down sides worth mentioning. I have to remove the mouth guard to speak and drink water. Because of the nature of Krav Maga, I have to pull it out of my mouth with the same hands that have been attacking and defending my fellow (sweaty) trainees. Not exactly sanitary. I’ve seen a few people get around this by removing their mouth guard with the inside of their shirt (near their collar) for the brief moment they need to take it out of their mouths. Not an ideal scenario, but definitely doable. The design isn’t elegant, but it’s usable.

If you need a decent mouth guard and you want to spend less than $5, these are fair options. I don’t think you can beat the price.

I’ll keep you in the loop as I try other options. I would really like to find a guard that doesn’t require me to take it out of my mouth when I speak. Stay tuned!