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January issue of Jiujiteira Magazine

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Published by jiujiteiramagazine, 2021-01-29 09:06:57

Jiujiteira Magazine January 2021

January issue of Jiujiteira Magazine

Keywords: jiujitsu,bjj,women,martial arts,brazilian jiu jitsu,mma,magazine

timeless: Elaine Beiersdoerfer's passion for jiu-jitsu defies age

issue FOUR | JANUARY 2021

get to know SBoRphAiaVtheE

GGirIlsSin Australia's first
female jiu-jitsu black
the premier organization belt reveals her plan
for women in jiu-jitsu to demolish archaic
patriarchal thinking
charmingprinceout of the cage
page 6
need not apply
JIUJITEIRAMAGAZINE.COM | J I U J I T E I R A MAGAZINE | 1

JANUARY 2021 cover story 6

Sophia McDermott

sections: 28
30
COACH TALK 36
Omoplata from Closed Guard 44
50
BY DAVID SUTTON

BEAUTY IS A BEAST
What's Your Post-Training Ritual?

BY VHILENA NELSON

YOGA FOR JIU-JITSU
Get Inverted: Headstand

BY EVELYN SUT TON

OUT OF THE CAGE
Prince Charming? No, thanks!

BY SAMANTHA SEFF

MIND GAME
Martial Arts & PTSD

BY BRITTANY ALLISON

every issue: 4
38
PUBLISHER'S CORNER 48
Glass on the Floor

CLOSE CHOKE
Interview with Melissa Lohsen

JIUJITEIRAS AROUND THE WORLD

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page 6

JIUJITEIRAMAGAZINE.COM | J I U J I T E I R A MAGAZINE | 3

EVELYN SUTTON is on a mission JANUARY 2021
to uncover and promote the universe
of women in one of the deadliest № 4ISSUE
martial arts in the world.
PUBLISHER

PUBLISHER’s corner

Glass on the floor.

On January 20th, along with millions of I don’t know about your grandma but Creative Director & CEO
Americans, I watched the inauguration of mine spent most of her time in the kitchen
the 46th President of the USA. Much was baking treats for her grandchildren. Not Evelyn Sutton
different this time. Due to the pandemic, Elaine Beiersdoerfer. At 72 years young,
there were no parades or large crowds. Most she spends time on the mats. Known as writers
importantly - for the first time in our his- the “Jiu-Jitsu grandma”; Elaine is not your
tory - a woman accepted the second highest typical grandma. See page 18. Brittany Allison
office in the greatest country in the world. David Sutton
Finally, for women everywhere, the ceiling is Then along comes a pretty and very dan- Evelyn Sutton
shattered and there’s glass all over the floor. gerous lady, Melissa Lohsen, co-founder Girls in Gis
of Pretty Dangerous and Dark Wolf MMA, Samantha Seff
It only took us 233 years of elections to get our Close Choke interview. Melissa shares Vhilena Nelson
a woman in the oval. Kamala Harris is VP, her story and the endearing love she has for
not POTUS, so we still have some work to her partner in crime husband, proving that proofreading
do. Nevertheless, we are closer now than even the strongest of us can rise higher with
100 years ago when women weren’t even the right partner by our side (page 38). Edgard Esperança
allowed to vote in this country. Regardless
of how you feel about politics, Kamala is a With so many brave women paving the photography
trailblazer and a very powerful woman. way, it’s easy to feel inspired.
Blanca Marisa Garcia
It’s a new era for every woman and girl who But just in case you’re still looking for an- Evelyn Sutton
lives in a society shaped by archaic patriar- other powerful woman, take a look in the Lindsay Conley
chal thinking. If it wasn’t clear before, it’s mirror. The fact that one day you had the Michelle Chopp
clear now that gender is not a measure of audacity to enter into a sport heavily dom-
anyone’s potential of success in life. inated by men, step onto the mats with a 880 Mc Clendon Street, Melbourne, FL 32935
bunch of sweaty guys and, begin your Bra- jiujiteiramagazine.com U 321.917-1599
Like our Madam Vice-President, the ladies zilian Jiu-Jitsu journey is all you need to be
featured in this issue are very powerful wom- qualified as a grade-A badass lady. Subscribe online at JIUJITEIRAMAGAZINE.COM. Please al-
en. They share their challenges, accomplish- low 4-6 weeks for subscription to start. Jiujiteira Magazine is
ments and advice in hope of inspiring us to Allow yourself to get fired up by the stories a registered trademark of LuxDei Studio. The contents of Jiu-
reach beyond limits and ignore the voices of of these powerful women. Be bold and jiteira Magazine, associated websites, advertisements, articles,
those who would keep us in the dark ages. break the ceiling others have forced upon graphics, photographs and any other published content are
you for being female. In chess, the king protected by copyright law and may not be reproduced, dis-
Leading the pack, the Aussie beauty, Sophia is the most important piece, however, tributed or modified without prior written consent of Jiujiteira
McDermott graces us with a cover that the queen is the most powerful one, as Magazine. Jiujiteira Magazine does not necessarily endorse,
makes a statement. She bares it all, em- she alone performs more moves than any verify, or agree with the content, and makes no guarantees as
braced by the Australian flag and the black other. Speak your truth. Know your power. to the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, or usefulness of any
belt she fought hard to earn. Sophia reveals Make all the moves. content. Jiujiteira Magazine shall not be held liable for any er-
her mission to empower women in BJJ and rors or omissions in the content. ©2021 All rights reserved. Any
life through a holistic approach to coaching Evelyn Sutton reproduction, in whole or in part, is prohibited without written
designed specifically for our strengths, permission from the publisher.
emotional needs and psychology (page 6).

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LET LIGHT BE.

STUDIO

ART & YOGA CLASSES ⌘ POWER YOGA ⌘ VINYASA FLOW ⌘ RESTORATIVE
880 MC CLENDON ST, MELBOURNE, FL | 321.917.1599 | LUXDEISTUDIO.COM

JIUJITEIRAMAGAZINE.COM | J I U J I T E I R A MAGAZINE | 5

cover story BY EVELYN SUT TON

PHOTOS BY LINDSAY CONLEY

Sophia
McDermott

Australia's first woman BJJ black belt World Champion is on mission
to demolish archaic patriarchal structures in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and
in society. Her life's journey has brought her to this very moment.
She reminds us to speak up. Be strong. Be powerful. Be a woman.

hen you meet the vibrant and “The choice I made was to be part of the
confident Sophia McDermott, pack, subjugating my femininity. I be-
you can’t imagine how arduous her came one of the boys. It was easier that
journey to the top of the Brazilian way because dealing with the sexual ha-
Jiu-Jitsu podium was and the many rassment was pretty tough”, she reveals.
challenges she had to overcome to get
there. A spectacular example of sheer Today, Sophia is regarded as one of the
tenacity, talent and determination, top female grappling competitors of
Sophia hails from a time when the male all time and a top-notch professor who
predominant sport of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu inspires and trains people in BJJ and
was dominated by a wolf pack culture fitness worldwide. Despite the lack of
where female athletes were very low in support, the long days on the road away
quantity and relevance. from her family and many sacrifices,
Sophia McDermott went on to become
“I’ve been in this sport for quite a long a World Champion and Australia’s first
time and when I started, it was all about female Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black-belt.
the male wolf pack. If you were a female
athlete, you could only be one of two “I would tell myself, I want to be Austra-
things. One of the boys, in which case lia’s first woman BJJ black belt. I want
you had to prove yourself to be one of to be a World Champion. I kept showing
them and be lumped in their hierarchy. up, I kept training and plugging away.
Or, you were completely ostracized, most I put my head down and focused on my
likely as just a sex object, and never be goals. I dealt with every adversity and
taken seriously as an athlete.” came out stronger.”

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The road less She had to work twice as to get the recognition I After a series of successful
traveled hard to earn respect. In deserved. If I lose because wins, Sophia moved from
fact, she believes, in the my opponent was legiti- Australia to Las Vegas
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu wasn’t beginning, she suffered mately better, that’s cool, I seeking a higher level of
something women did double discrimination for get it. But I cannot tolerate training and to pursue a
back then. For the most being a woman and not losing a match because career in Jiu-Jitsu.
part, women weren’t being Brazilian. It played my points were switched.
encouraged to participate a major part in her feeling That’s the reason I learned In Vegas, Sophia joined
and parents wouldn’t ostracized. “Besides the Portuguese. I realized I Robert Drysdale‘s presti-
think about enrolling challenges of being one needed to speak in Portu- gious gym where she went
their daughters in such a of the few females in the guese to the referees so I on to become one of their
“dangerous sport”. BJJ was BJJ competition scene, would understand what most celebrated black-
for men and boys. Women I also had to deal with they were saying, be more belts. Sophia and Robert
who dared to compete in it politics and favoritism accepted in their eyes and started dating and eventu-
knew they weren’t going to because I was a ‘gringo’. I actually get the points I ally got married. Nowa-
receive the same amount didn’t fit. For me to win, I earned. I have never fit. I’m days, no longer a couple,
of support and attention as literally had to break my an absolute Jiu-Jitsu rebel. they remain friends and
their male counterparts. opponents. It was hard I’ve embraced that.” share custody of their
daughters.

Sophia was no different. Not everything in her
Despite her innate athlet- journey was a struggle.
ic aptitude and physical There was also a lot of joy
conditioning from her and beauty along the way.
years as a gymnast, her
arrival at the Jiu-Jitsu “I was a gymnast, ex-
competition circuit was tremely disciplined. I
met with resistance. Her trained very, very serious-
self-imposed demands for ly, every day. My child-
perfection would also get hood was militant and
the best of her at times. “I structured. I was the child
wanted to be the best that that didn’t go to birthday
I could be. I was not a good parties because I had to
competitor. Right before train. I was that child and
a match, I would tend to it was all my choice, an in-
freeze up because I put so satiable drive from within
much pressure on myself.” pushed me forward.”

An Impressive Record: Aussie's 1st female BJJ "When something hard
Black Belt • 2 x No Gi World like the pandemic
Champ• 4 x Pan Am Champ• happens, I think, how
UFC coach • FujiSports athlete can we change this for
good? How can we make
World Master Champion (2014) this a positive? I try to
view life this way.”
World No-GI Championship (2014, 2008)

Pan American Champion (2014 Master 1, 2007/2006 purple)

World Championship 3rd Place (2015, 2008)

World No Gi Championship 3rd Place (2013)

Pan American Championship 3rd Place (2012, 2010, 2009, 2005 blue)

SEE MORE: AWAKENINGFIGHTERS.COM/ATHLETES/SOPHIA-MCDERMOTT-DRYSDALE

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“My career was cut short at empowering cover story sophia mcdermott
21 years old due to a severe women
broken shoulder. The “The choice I made was to be
injury was on the growth Girls on Top is the realiza- part of the pack, subjugating
plate. Basically, it wouldn’t tion of a dream from long
heal until I stopped grow- ago. Amidst the chaos of my femininity. I became one
ing. My immediate goal 2020, Sophia saw an op- of the boys. It was easier that
was to find something as portunity to finally launch
physically and mentally the online program she way because dealing with
challenging as gymnas- had been dreaming of, as the sexual harassment was
tics. I was introduced to train-at-home resources
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu by my became an urgent need. pretty tough”.
boyfriend. My first thought
was, I’m not going to roll The response from the fe-
around with all these male BJJ community was
sweaty dudes in pajamas.” immediate and enthusias-
tic. Jiujiteiras all around
“I had my first session, and the world now had access,
fell in love with it. I remem- from the safety of their
ber being on top, beating homes, to women specific
the crap out of a guy, he training videos, one-on-
couldn’t push me off. This one coaching sessions and
is amazing, I thought. I even a training partner,
found what I’ve been look- Barry, a BJJ dummy cus-
ing for. That night, I made tom designed for women.
a declaration to my family
that I found this weird Women are biologically
sport and I was going to be wired to be nurturers.
the first Aussie female to That can be hard for some
get a black belt in it. They to overcome in the early
looked at me like a had white-belt days of their
grown another head.” training. They find it hard
to apply the pressure
“I trained as much as I needed and to engage in
could and started compet- the form of combat that is
ing. I was winning. It felt Jiu-Jitsu. “Having a Barry
good. The more I won, the can help. It makes it eas-
more I wanted. I decided ier for women to psycho-
to go overseas and give in- logically work through the
ternational tournaments hang ups and bring forth
a try. I started winning positive aggression.”
there too. I was hooked.”
“For me, 2020 was actually
Sophia also participated one of the best years of
in Ms Figure tournaments my life. It was the birth
and won the title of Over- of Girls on Top. It was in-
all Unlimited Champion teresting that a pandemic
in the “Figure” category had to happen for my
for the NPC federation. business to be realized.”

JIUJITEIRAMAGAZINE.COM | J I U J I T E I R A MAGAZINE | 9

"I was There’s a recurring and However, they are going It’s not all gloomy in BJJ.
introduced underlying theme in to be sharing techniques There is hope on the
to Brazilian everything Sophia does, that in general work bet- horizon. Thanks to the
Jiu-Jitsu by and that is empowerment. ter for men, because that’s sacrifices of pioneer female
my boyfriend. “It has always been about their personal experience athletes and male coach-
My first empowering women. I was and the majority of people es who helped open the
thought was, going crazy during the in the class are men. doors and dedicated their
I’m not going lockdown, not being able time and effort to training
to roll around to go to the gym. I kept “Women deal with things women, we have a much
with all these thinking about the ladies men don’t have to deal higher level of recognition
sweaty dudes who were feeling extreme- with. And we don’t move and respect in the sport
in pajamas.” ly isolated and alone. the same way. Certain fac- today than 25 years ago.
That for me was a driving tors that are important for
Sophia wants to continue force. I wanted to be able women to work on in their The rise of women and the
to improve her program to be there for the ladies technique are not going to demise of patriarchy con-
and reach more women. that didn’t have outside be on a man’s radar. Some tinues to move forward
“I’m working on develop- support. To help them not of the main lessons I teach as more ladies take on
ing new strategies and just with their Jiu-Jitsu are based on Jiu-Jitsu sce- leadership roles. More fe-
building up Girls on Top. training but also with narios and situations that males are reaching black
I’m setting goals for grow- health and fitness.” happen to women much belt rank and an exciting
ing the business, being more frequently than number of women-owned
an empowered woman as Girls on Top offers em- men. I provide solutions gyms are starting to pop
well as raising my chil- powerment, education, that are more pertinent to up everywhere.
dren as a single mother.” provides women specific female bodies."
Jiu-Jitsu and a communi- “I want to break down the
During her most recent ty that helps women feel The fall of ancient, debilitating and
tour in the United States part of something greater. patriarchy destructive patriarchal
she visited several gyms, structures that still exist
and spent some time in “Even if you’re training at The empowerment of in society. They don’t
Florida during the week- a BJJ gym, Girls on Top is women and fall of the serve anyone. I feel this is
end IBJJF Masters World still a valuable resource patriarchy is a mission my life’s purpose. Honest-
took place. “I love travel- capable of taking your Sophia takes to heart. ly, what better field to pro-
ing and teaching. When Jiu-Jitsu to the next level", “I personally have dealt mote this kind of change
I’m on the road, I’m meet- she explains. "Maybe you’re with or seen everything than in a male dominated
ing new people, and it was the only female at your that could possibly hap- sport, like Jiu-Jitsu?"
good for me to do that. As gym and not able to train pen to women in Jiu-Jitsu.
most, I was on lockdown with other girls. There’s Nowadays, I go online and “I’m doing my best in my
for a while. It was good to a feeling of isolation, a read about what women field. And if there’s more
be able to get out again feeling you can’t move for- are still dealing with. women just like us who are
and do what I love.” ward in your techniques Sexism, harassment, doing their best to move
because you’re getting ostracism, and wolf pack society forward, then col-
crashed by big guys.” mentality, still exists. lectively, we’re all creating
There’s a couple of wom- change. And that’s why you
The majority of instruc- en’s BJJ Facebook groups and I have come together
tors teaching Brazilian that are really open about for this interview because
Jiu-Jitsu are male. Most sharing this stuff. I go you are building awareness
of them mean well and through their comments for women in Jiu-Jitsu, giv-
are great coaches. You and I’m like; yep, yep, yep. ing them a voice and you
will learn a lot from them. It’s happened to me.” are creating change.”

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According to Sophia, the “A big reason why I do “At most gyms there’s an knows better than me, he’s
way to accomplish this is what I do is to remove authority figure, a male au- my coach. I gotta do what
to empower women and some of the stigma and thority figure who’s usually he says. It’s a slow indoctri-
men who are also stuck in to hopefully be a female a black belt and the profes- nation and brainwashing.
this unforgiving system professor that people sor in charge. Then there’s This is the ultimate abuse
to create change together. can come to. I don’t want the younger girl who is still in power. It is revolting.”
"That’s the only way." women going through innocent, impressionable Sophia declares.
what I went through.” and vulnerable or the shy
Harassment woman who may be afraid It takes a lot of courage for
and sexual Women who have been to speak up, afraid to ques- victims to speak up.
abuse in bjj victimized often mention tion things so a certain
their lack of knowledge to dynamic takes place. The Sophia believes change
Sexual abuse and harass- distinguish what actually women look up to and is already taking place in
ment in sports is a reality is Jiu-Jitsu and what is unconditionally trust the Jiu-Jitsu. “Abuse can be
women have to deal with. not. The difference be- professor. The professor’s stopped with more aware-
Unfortunately, the Brazil- tween an accidental “hand role is to mentor and guide ness, which is happening.
ian Jiu-Jitsu community is in the wrong place” situ- these women in a profes- Also by having more female
not immune to it. ation while rolling with sional and safe manner.” leaders so there’s absolutely
a guy and subtle abusive no risk of women being sex-
Most reputable gyms do behavior can be murky, “In ego-driven predatory ually harassed and indoc-
not tolerate any kind of especially for beginners. personalities, the dynamic trinated. There’s something
harassment or discrim- plays out very differently. about the totalitarianism
ination and discourage Past trauma victims can There is abuse of author- of patriarchal leadership
gender inequality. More also be more vulnerable to ity and one thing leads where authority becomes
and more often, gym predators if they develop to another, and another, control and domination.
members or staff of either the habit of questioning and another. The abuse With more female leaders,
gender who violate the their feelings and dismiss- methodically escalates there’s a balance of power.
rules are swiftly dealt with ing their gut reactions to until someone finds out or The whole structure
and invited to leave. what’s going on. It’s almost the victim speaks out. It’s of leadership becomes
natural for them to engage a slow process of control very different.”
That is not to say the prob- in this thinking, as they are and conditioning.”
lem has been eradicated. working through trauma “I want to
It’s a work in progress. triggers, trying to figure out In this toxic scenario, the break down
if what they are experienc- power is always with the the ancient,
“We hear more stories ing on the mats is a form man, and if the woman debilitating,
of sexual harassment of PTSD or something bad wants to get better and get destructive
and abuse in sports now is actually happening that promoted, she does what patriarchal
because of social media. needs to be reported. her coach tells her to do.
There are more support What she doesn’t realize structures
groups and women are Sophia believes the issue is that instead of em- that still exist
more vocal about what’s runs deeper than lack of powering her, the abuser
going on. Encouraging knowledge or past trauma. is slowly chipping away in society.
women leadership, build- In her opinion, the root of her confidence, breaking They don’t
ing awareness and provid- the problem is the abuse down her boundaries. serve anyone.”
ing community support is of authority allowed not
the key to end any form of exclusively in Jiu-Jitsu but “She comes home from
abuse, and for it to not be in society in general, any- training one day thinking
tolerated anywhere. That where archaic patriarchal that didn’t feel right. But,
is a wonderful change.” structures are still upheld. oh, well, he’s the boss. He

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Sophia Fit This was a significant “Teaching comes natural would be at competitions
awakening for Sophia, to to me. I want to make constantly looking at the
Around the same time she realize how her gymnastics people feel good in the clock. You know, breast-
started Jiu-Jitsu, Sophia background helped shape sport instead of feeling feeding is like a ball and
launched a personal train- and propel her BJJ train- like crap. I was very happy chain, hahaha. “I have to
ing business, Sophia Fit. ing. She was concerned with my decision to retire hurry up and breastfeed
that without basic condi- from competing. I was right now before I get
“My progression in BJJ was tioning, BJJ would be too being true to myself, and on the mat for my next
fast tracked because of my difficult for women in par- it was a swift transition.” competition. If I don’t do
very serious gymnastics ticular. She was concerned it, my breasts are going
background. Honestly, I they would drop out. “I think I have taught to explode, and it’s really
was a beast of an athlete. more Jiu-Jitsu seminars going to hurt.”
And that’s why I was able Sophia, once again, paved than any woman on the
to hang with the wolf pack. the way and created a planet. I’ve probably “I got very good at hyper
If it weren’t for the mental fitness and nutrition pro- taught as many as the top focusing my training since
toughness I developed gram accessible to anyone 10 male professors.” I couldn’t train as much.
through gymnastics, I that would support faster My time on the mat was
don’t think I would’ve progress in BJJ. Motherhood golden. I needed to make
made it. That, and the & jiu-jitsu every second count.”
absolute physical strength, “I was trying to create a
stamina and fitness I had. smoother, less judgmental The most under appreci- Once the reality of mother-
I say this as a fact, not as path for beginners, espe- ated comeback in sports is hood sets in, many athletes
boasting. Looking back, I cially white and blue belts. that of a woman who has can develop depression.
was a super freak. I’m not Jiu-Jitsu is an amazing just given birth. A baby “Perhaps a lot of it is due
that athlete anymore.” journey and I hate to see can drastically change to the fact that the women
anyone quit. If you feel things for female athletes. don’t actually have any
Sophia Fit focuses on that you are progressing a They may struggle more time for themselves or
fitness and nutrition little bit faster, a little bit with self-identity and they are not making time
programs designed smoother with some sup- postpartum depression. for themselves out of guilt.
specifically for women, portive physical exercises, They’ve lost their identity
including building stami- it’s more likely that you “I had always prided and are raising babies in
na and strength as well as will stick with it.” myself on being this fierce a very isolated situation.
post-pregnancy fitness. athlete, that’s who I was. They are probably not
the student And then, all of a sudden, around other women
"I remember having my becomes the I was a mother and at first enough and don’t have a
first few clients and not teacher I thought, those two don’t support network. Maybe
understanding why they go together. Eventually, I their families are overseas
couldn’t do the things I After having babies, it be- realized I could be both if I or in another state. All of
could do. I realized it was came very hard for Sophia learned to prioritize.” a sudden, they’ve become
because I was training so to be constantly on the a mother and everything
hard. I was trying to get road competing while her Motherhood has allowed they did and loved is lost.
them to do things that family stayed behind on Sophia to share her knowl- I believe that is a major
were absolutely physical- the other side of Australia. edge with ladies who just contributing factor to
ly impossible for them "Something in me was had babies and want to post-natal depression.”
without the same insane shifting. That hardcore continue to train.
level of training I imposed competitor just wasn’t “The stories keep coming
on myself. In my mind, the who I was anymore and “As a new mother, breast- my way about the woman
brutality of my training I made the decision to feeding was probably the who has a baby and stops
was normal.” retire from competing." most challenging factor. I everything she’s doing

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while the man’s life almost “The number one theme that comes up regularly at my Women come to Jiu-Jitsu
doesn’t change at all. He’s camp is that, for some of the women attending, this is for a variety of reasons and
in and out of the house do- their first time away from their babies. They desperate- the things they crave and
ing what he does, working, ly need to get out but are scared to leave their baby.” need from their practice
training, coming home in are very different from the
the evening, expecting the Motherhood is not the only real life situation women men. “It’s wonderful that I
house to be clean and the are dealing with on the mats. Sometimes it’s a divorce, a can provide that outlet for
meal to be ready while she significant breakup from a long term partner or some- them”, Sophia says.
is sacrificing everything thing else entirely.
she loves. I hear the same Change Your
story over and over again.” Perspective

“I chat with these ladies Due to everything that is
and I encourage them to happening in the world
think outside of the box. right now and the fact
There are ways you can there are still many people
still train. Bring a nanny who haven’t been able to
to training with you or return to training, the
a co-worker, a friend, a World Champion stresses
fellow student who is not the importance of chang-
training that day. Find one ing your perspective. She
hour to train, once or twice warns against the dangers
a week, and maximize the of getting attached to so-
heck out of that hour. cial media and comparing
your BJJ journey to others.
“I am blessed to have two
beautiful girls. They are “I got very good at hyper “Lately, I’ve been noticing
eight and nine. They’ve focusing my training since many women are feeling
grown up seeing me com- I couldn’t train as much. My left out because of the pan-
pete, teach and travel quite time on the mat was golden. demic. They feel like they
a lot and yes, they train. I needed to make every are losing ground and not
They will train at least second count.” keeping up with the people
until they are teenagers. they see on social media
I want to make sure they who are back training
can defend themselves. every day. It’s important
That’s super important to to shift your perspective
me as a mother. I wish ev- and realize you’re doing
ery single girl on the plan- Jiu-Jitsu because you love
et would learn some basic it and not compare your
Jiu-Jitsu self-defense.” journey to others. Take
that pressure off.”
a sisterhood
Social media is a tool to
Everything that orbits share information, stay
the universe of women's in touch with family and
Jiu-Jitsu is discussed at friends, promote your
the lifestyle camps for business. It should not be
women, Sophia started used to measure the quali-
running five years ago. ty of someone’s life.

JIUJITEIRAMAGAZINE.COM | J I U J I T E I R A MAGAZINE | 1 3

The "perfect man" “Speak up. I say this all the time. I
say this at my seminars. I say this
MEET BARRY at my camp. I say it over and over
again at my women’s self-defense
Barry is a pretty cool training partner. workshops. If you’re rolling with big
He doesn't get tired, won't smash you strong guys that just want to squash
relentlessly, and you can beat the crap the crap out of you to satisfy their
out of out Barry. He won't say a word. egos or if something is making you
feel weird, talk to your professor.
An integral part of Sophia's Girls on If the issue is with your professor,
Top program, Barry is a training dummy reach out to someone you trust. I’m
custom designed for women. He became here to say, that’s your gym, that’s
very popular during the pandemic when where you train and you don’t have
gyms closed and Jiujiteiras were left at to force yourself to train with people
home with time to train but no one to who only make you feel uncomfort-
train with. "Barry came about for many able. If it doesn’t feel right, it most
reasons and he took off during the likely isn’t. Don’t just take it. Say no.
pandemic. Training dummies have been It’s your body. It’s your job to protect
around for a while but they’ve been big, it. It’s your journey.”
heavy and hard to maneuver. Most of the
time, they sit in the corner and no one You can say no and do it without
uses them, especially the women." justification and without apology.
Stand your ground.
"Barry is a bit smaller and moveable.
You can sweep him, grab and smash “People in general get overly at- A successful journey is not possible
him. He helps improve women's tached to what they see on social without those who picked us up
technique and build their confidence so media. They see their friends get- and supported us along the way. “I
they’re learning patterns without tons ting promoted while they are feeling would like to thank everyone who
of pressure and better understanding alone, sitting at home unable to has been in my corner, especially my
their own body movements in the train because their gym is still un- sponsor, Fuji sports. They believed
process", Sophia explains. der lockdown. Don’t let social media in me from the start and have been
dictate your happiness. Stick with my sponsor for a long time. Fuji
How did the name Barry come about? "I your passion. Watch instructional makes absolutely fabulous gis for
was filming one day. It was probably the videos, practice some solo drills, do female athletes and is a company
second session that I was doing for a what you can from home.” that has been essential in putting
live online class and the name Barry just
came out. I thought, now and forever women on the map in BJJ. Y
this dummy will be called Barry."
“Also, make sure you’re connected Can't get enough Sophia?
Some people have asked Sophia why with supportive people and support Follow the champ online:
Barry is a male if he is custom designed groups like Girls on Top. There is an
for female BJJ practitioners. "Retribution", abundance of women’s groups and BJJ: girls-ontop.com
she says. "Every woman who trains support networks online.” Fitness & Nutrition: sophiafit.com
with Barry seems to enjoy the idea of FB: sophiamcdermottFIT
squashing the crap out of a guy, hahaha. If you’re back training and feel like IG: sophiamcdermottbjj
He has been an incredible tool for many you don’t have a voice at your gym,
women to take out their frustrations." Sophia’s advice is to speak up. Go sophia_fit_official
to your professor. Go to a support
To get your very own Barry, sign up group. Make yourself heard.
for Girls on Top program. He comes
included with your membership:
girls-ontop.com

1 4 | J I U J I T E I R A MAGAZINE | JIUJITEIRAMAGAZINE.COM

COVER SHOOT

BEHIND THE

SCENES

Our power-trio production
team had a blast shooting this
cover with the beautiful Sophia
McDermott. Check out the
behind-the-scenes photos.
Art Direction: Evelyn Sutton
Photography: Lindsay Conley
Hair & Makeup: Vhilena Nelson

See more online:
jiujiteiramagazine.com/
behind-the-scenes
JIUJITEIRAMAGAZINE.COM | J I U J I T E I R A MAGAZINE | 1 5

with Sophia McDermottSeminar

at carlson gracie jiu-jitsu
Melbourne, FL

Sophia McDermott recently visited
Florida for a series of seminars with
her Girls on Top program. We caught
up with the World Champion at Carlson
Gracie Jiu-Jitsu in Melbourne, where local
Jiujiteiras had the opportunity to ask
questions and train with Sophia's custom
designed dummies, known as "Bernies".
Sophia emphasized the need for women
specific drills and offered modifications on
common BJJ moves and techniques that
can give women an advantage when rolling
and in competitions. Learn more:

girls-ontop.com. Y

THE "BERNIES" WERE A BIG HIT!

PHOTOS BY LINDSAY CONLEY

1 6 | J I U J I T E I R A MAGAZINE | JIUJITEIRAMAGAZINE.COM

JIUJITEIRAMAGAZINE.COM | J I U J I T E I R A MAGAZINE | 1 7

inspiration

Breaking
the spell of

BY EVELYN SUT TON
PHOTOS BY BLANCA MARISA GARCIA

1 8 | J I U J I T E I R A MAGAZINE | JIUJITEIRAMAGAZINE.COM

ffectionately known in the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu community as “Jiu-Jitsu
Grandma”, Elaine Beiersdoerfer is most definitely not your typical
meemaw. While other ladies her age might spent their evenings

lounging in front of the TV knitting a sweater or two, Elaine is
on the mats perfecting her positions and favorite chokes. "I’m
a very easy going person but when I get on the mats and

start rolling, it’s a different story. My fighting spirit kicks in."
And fighting spirit is something she's got in spades.

JIUJITEIRAMAGAZINE.COM | J I U J I T E I R A MAGAZINE | 1 9

The 72-year old athlete is passionate She went on to compete at Pan Ams Her family is a constant source of
about her Jiu-Jitsu practice and the following year and fought against support and encouragement. “I have
trains at Gracie Barra Alabama in Merilee Anne Maira. Both Masters 7 seven grandkids, the youngest is
Pelham under professor Kaliffa female blue belts stole the show and about 10 months old. He’s a pistol
Oliveira, three times a week. “I try to the news of their match went viral. but he’s cute. Three of my grandkids
hit at least two night classes and a Everybody was talking about the 72- have gone to Jiu-Jitsu class and one
lunch class a week. Sometimes I stay year old Jiujiteira at Pan Ams. of them, the eight year old, is inter-
for a second two hour class at night. ested. I’m hoping his parents will let
Lately, I’ve had some minor back Elaine’s lip was busted and the match him start training in the spring. He
issues, so I haven’t pushed myself as was stopped briefly. “Too stubborn to really likes it. I’m keeping my fingers
much as I had been before. But even tap”, as she wrote on her Instagram, crossed because I think he’d be fair-
if I just go just to watch class, I still Elaine requested to resume the ly good at it. We’ll see.”
go and record the drills, you know, match. “Yes, I bloodied my face in the
so I can watch and practice later.” Pan American games, so what? The Don’t be fooled by her sweet de-
woman I was going against was trying meanor. When it comes time to
She discovered her competitive to choke me and it busted my lip, lit- roll, Elaine is not to be taken lightly.
drive when professor Oliveira “told” erally. They stopped the match to get “This one time I was rolling with a
her that she would be competing at the blood off my face and hands. And younger guy. He was sort of smaller,
Master Worlds Championships in then we just started back again.” about 5’5, he just wasn’t a very big
2019. “You notice I said TOLD, not guy. And I was rolling well and doing
ASK, and being a good student, I Born and raised in Alabama, the my best to choke him. When the
said okay”, Elaine shares. proper Southern Belle fell in love buzzer rang, he said, “Man, you’re
with a handsome German boy whose really mean. I need to remember
Without hesitation she went to Ve- family had migrated to Canada that! And I said, “Yes, you do.”
gas and brought home two shinning after World War II and eventually
silver medals. From then on, grand- found their way South to Alabama. “I JM: What does a normal day in your
ma was hooked. “You learn a lot married my high school sweetheart. life look like?
about yourself in Jiu-Jitsu. I didn’t My husband ended up in Birming- EB: I live on a farm. I have horses,
know I was so competitive, at all. I ham about the same time I started dogs, cats and some foster dogs at
had no idea. Before BJJ, I had never high school. We met in chemistry the moment. I foster for rescue and
done any competitive sports at all.” class during our junior year. There we have animals coming in and out.
Elaine currently ranks third in was a lot of chemistry going on but I spend a lot of time caring for them.
the world in her division. it wasn’t in the classroom, hahaha.” My husband is good enough to feed
Elaine and Werner have been mar- them in the mornings, especially
ried for more than 50 years. when it’s cold and I feed the animals
in the afternoons, which takes, about
“Yes, I bloodied my face in the an hour and a half. I’m normally
Pan American games, so what? busy running around, doing stuff for
The woman I was going against was the grandkids and for my husband.
trying to choke me and it busted Things of that nature. And training,
my lip. They stopped the match to of course, watching videos and trying
get the blood off my face and hands. to exercise to stay in shape.
And then we just started back again.”

PHOTO CREDIT: SHELBYLIVING.COM

2 0 | J I U J I T E I R A MAGAZINE | JIUJITEIRAMAGAZINE.COM

JIUJITEIRAS ELAINE BEIERSDOERFER & MERILEE ANNE MAIRA AT IBJJF PAN-AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIP. PHOTO CREDIT: BLANCA MARISA GARCIA

JM: What is your favorite thing boys. They are all super nice to me. compete much. There aren’t many
about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu? Surprisingly enough since I wouldn’t women over 50 who compete. I
EB: I know this might sound weird have expected that reaction from normally either have to go up a few
coming from me but I really like the teenagers, they are phenomenal. pounds so they’re heavier than me
fighting! A lot of people don’t want They roll hard with me but they also or I have to go down about 20 years
all that close personal contact, they stop in the middle if they feel they’ve in age. It’s going to be one of the two.
get uncomfortable with that sort gone too far. There’s a sense of family
of thing. They are worried about and caring that I appreciate.” JM: Did you take any time off from
rolling, afraid of getting hurt but for training or extra precautions due
me, that’s the fun part. I really like JM: Are you picky about who to Covid-19?
the physical challenge of Jiu-Jitsu you roll with? EB: No, I didn’t. My gym had to close
and I certainly love the gym I’m in, EB: No. I’ll roll with anybody. Doesn’t down for a few months but we still
the people are just great. matter to me. I had a competition trained via zoom classes. Once the
with a girl that was about 38 years gym opened back up in June, I was
I have made so many friends, I forget old and fairly tall, too, about 5.8’. I there. I take the basic precautions,
that I’m old when I step on the mats. got killed and my coach was con- sure, but the truth is I feel that
It just goes out from the top of my cerned that I was going to get hurt when it’s my time, it’s my time. I
head that I’m an old person because rolling with people much younger have a very good immune system
everybody treats me like I’m just one than me. He said, “you don’t need and I’m not a fearful person. I keep
of the guys, especially the teenage to not roll with anybody under 50.” training. I believe it helps keep me
But if I do that, I won’t get to roll or stay healthy and I’m not concerned.

JIUJITEIRAMAGAZINE.COM | J I U J I T E I R A MAGAZINE | 2 1

"I forget that I’m JM: How important is it to have your wrestling team at her school and
old when I step husband support your training? killing it. I look at her and she’s so
on the mats." EB: It’s incredibly important. It self-possessed, she’s got such poise
would have been very hard for me and maturity. I think sports in gener-
JM: You're a brave woman, Elaine. to train if my husband complained al do this to women. And then there’s
Where does that come from? every time I leave for class. I love the self-defense element, which
EB: Heavens, I don’t know. I think it Jiu-Jitsu and I love my family. I try really boosts your confidence. I think
has always been there, since child- to create balance between the two. it’s very important in this day and
hood. I have two older brothers. And that’s why I train two nights age that a girl knows how to defend
We were always wrestling around a week and I pick up lunch classes herself. Jiu-Jitsu is probably the only
when I was a kid. I was somewhat in the middle of the day so that I’m martial art that really teaches practi-
of a tomboy. I cared nothing about not taking time away from our time cal self-defense and how not to panic
girl things. I played with the boys, I together. After all these years, we if you are in a dangerous situation
climbed trees. I never played with still work on our marriage. where you have to fight for your life.
dolls. It just wasn’t my thing. Luckily,
I married a man who was perfectly JM: What’s your advice for the new JM: Have any of your older friends
okay with me doing whatever I want- generation of young Jiujiteiras who tried Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?
ed to do. I got married and I said: “I are rising in notoriety in the sport EB: I’ve been trying to show my
want to jump out of an airplane.” He and plan to make Jiu-Jitsu their friends some self-defense tech-
replied: “Go ahead, I don’t care.” career and life? niques. They don’t even know how
EB: My advice is that they create to make a fist, hahaha. I spent half
JM: Your husband sounds great! the right balance between Jiu-Jit- the time teaching them how to
EB: Yes, he is. He’s really good about su, school, friends and social life. make a fist. Most of my friends are
supporting me in Jiu-Jitsu. He’s very Their main focus absolutely needs very active women who do all kinds
encouraging. We never had tradi- to be Jiu-Jitsu and competitions but of stuff, they ride horses, exercise
tional stereotypes in our marriage. that’s not all that life has to offer. but when it comes to Jiu-Jitsu they
I might be in the backyard cutting Balance is very important. You can don’t want anything to do with it.
grass while he’s in the house doing have it all while still pursuing your You’ve got to have a certain mindset
dishes. It's always been a partnership Jiu-Jitsu dreams. Don’t limit your- to practice BJJ, especially as a wom-
and that has been helpful. He loves self or sacrifice anything. You can an. I have yet to find anybody near
me for who I am and has never put have the best of both worlds. my age that would even consider
me in a box. With that being said, my doing it, and that is so strange to me
husband has been a perfect Southern JM: Any advice for parents of girls because it’s so much fun. I’m having
gentleman most of his life. I’ve never who want to train BJJ? such a good time.
sat on a park bench he didn’t wipe EB: I was always very encouraging
off for me. He opens every door and of my girls to do whatever it is that JM: Are you saying that Jiujiteiras
stands when I come into the room. they wanted to do, from sports to are cut from a different cloth?
Most Southern men tend to do that. academics. And I encourage parents EB: Yeah, I think so. We have a dif-
to do the same. Nowadays, I see a lot ferent mindset, especially Jiujiteiras
JM: Are you his bodyguard? of these young girls in competitions that are about my age. Most of them
EB: He’s probably my bodyguard. and they are very driven. I think have been doing Jiu-Jitsu for quite a
He’s a tough man. He’s 73 now, but Jiu-Jitsu really, really encourages while or they’ve done other mar-
he’s still a looker. I never know who that. Or maybe Jiu-Jitsu attracts tial arts and athletic pursuits. But,
is looking at him and I might have to girls who are very driven to the truth the said, I haven’t really run
choke somebody out now and then, sport. I’m not sure which it is. into anyone my own age, yet. The
hahaha. Really, he looks good. older women I know that practice
I see my professor’s daughter, for Jiu-Jitsu are in their fifties and
example. Oh, my heaven! She is sixties. I haven’t run across anybody
an amazing girl. She’s on the boy’s in their seventies.

2 2 | J I U J I T E I R A MAGAZINE | JIUJITEIRAMAGAZINE.COM

JM: What frustrates you the I’m a creative thinker. I can usually Follow Elaine on Instagram:
most about BJJ? find a lot of fun things to do, even in
EB: Sometimes the injuries frustrate situations that are not that great, @Jiujitsu_grandma
me, especially this back injury that something good comes out of it, one
I’m dealing with right now. It has way or another. I’m a very religious “I was rolling
been extremely frustrating. I can’t go person and that helps, too. I’ve got with a a younger
as hard as I want or as much as I want. my faith to fall back on and that is a guy. I was rolling
I just try to ignore it. My professor says main part of my life.
if you’re not hurting, you’re not doing well and doing
it right. I’m doing something right, I think the secret is to not worry my best to choke
that’s for sure. And I’m having a great and to be grateful for each day. Too
time, I can tell you that. many people are worried about too him. When the
many things they can’t do anything buzzer rang, he
JM: What’s your favorite position about. You can’t do anything about said, “Man, you’re
and favorite submission? your past. You can only look back at really mean. I need
EB: I much rather fight from the top. it. I wake up every morning excited to remember that!
Most of the time I’m more likely to to be in the day, you know? And
go for a choke than anything else. when I go to bed at night, I’m thank- And I said,
I have a few favorites I’m always ful that I’ve had today. “Yes, you do.”
working on and improving. I can’t
get a triangle, my legs are too short. JM: Who are some of the
I’m not flexible enough but my women you look up to in BJJ?
hands are strong. I’m stronger than EB: My professor’s wife, Lorena.
most people would assume. So you She’s a black belt and a wonderful
know, varying chokes usually work. teacher. She is really helpful and a
Throws and sweeps are not a big great person to roll and train with.
thing for me but I did one at World
Masters last year that really worked. JM: What would you like to see
I swept my opponent’s foot and happen for women in this sport?
when she came down, I got on top of EB: I think I can speak for all women
her and I didn’t let her up. Jiu-Jitsu when I say that we would certainly
is a chess match. I’m learning to appreciate to be more respected in
think several steps ahead. this sport. For most gyms, I don’t
think that is an issue, however I’ve
JM: What is your secret for being so heard from other ladies around the
happy and full of joy? world about what goes on at some of
EB: I’m a glass half full person. I’ve the their gyms, and unfortunately
always been a very happy individual. there are still training environments
I don’t I don’t dwell on things that that are hostile to women. My pro-
I can’t fix. I don’t worry because I fessor runs a really tight gym. There’s
think worrying is useless. It’s either no discrimination. There’s no bad
going to happen or it’s not. I’ve spent attitude. You respect everybody. You
my whole life looking for all the don’t hurt the girls. That’s the way it
positive things and just having fun. I goes. I hope that becomes more of a
think I have somewhat of a childlike, trend, worldwide. I would also like
outlook on life. I love playing with to see women get more recognition. I
the grandkids. We go for a horse ride. can’t wait to see how things evolve. I
We laugh and play and do silly stuff. I think it’s going to be an exciting time
did that a lot with my kids, too.
for all of us. Y

JIUJITEIRAMAGAZINE.COM | J I U J I T E I R A MAGAZINE | 2 3

GIRLS IN GIS

GIRLS IN GIS - we’ve all heard of it. Maybe we use the hashtag, follow the social
media accounts, or attend the events, but is that all there is to it? Not by a long shot.

n 2009, there was usually of the Jiu-Jitsu sisterhood. Her An avid purple belt competi-
just one women’s division desire to create and foster a tor and IBJJF Pan American
at a tournament, virtually community of women and girls champion Shama Ko, joined the
no other women’s Brazilian led to the creation of Girls in Gis. community and made Girls in
Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) groups, few Gis what it is today. Having been
women’s classes, and defi- The first event was held in Hous- a member of the group for about
nitely not enough women ton, Texas and was a success. a year, Shama knew first hand
in Jiu-Jitsu to “support With fifteen participants of all how Girls in Gis had benefited
women’s Jiu-Jitsu”, but ages, skill levels, and from all over her and others. This sparked a
Ashley Nguyen of Houston, Tex- the state showed up in solidarity desire to take Ashley’s concept to
as had an idea and a simple de- to train with other females. (this the next level. Over the next 10
sire to have more female train- success pales in comparison by years Shama worked tirelessly to
ing partners. Having been an today’s standards). Eventually, establish the Girls in Gis organi-
avid participant of Groundswell more and more ladies joined the zation and expand their efforts
Grappling Concepts camps, led Girls in Gis group and the com- to a national level. Since then,
by Emily Kwok and Val Worth- munity grew stronger. However, Girls in Gis has hosted over 400
ington, Ashley knew first hand it wasn’t until 2010 when the events spanning two countries
the benefits of having women to trajectory of Girls in Gis elevated and thirty states. Today, sixteen
train with and the importance to unimaginable heights. Girls in Gis chapters exist.

2 4 | J I U J I T E I R A MAGAZINE | JIUJITEIRAMAGAZINE.COM

A B O VE: FI RS T EVENT HELD IN HOUSTON, TX.
RIGH T: FOUNDER ASH LEY NGUYEN AND
EADER SHAMA KO
CURRENT L

camps & more

In addition to the events,
Girls in Gis hosts camps,
provides online classes,
live Q&A interviews, and
panel discussions. All
of which has drastically
increased the presence of
women and girls in Brazil-
ian Jiu-Jitsu and brought
representation to them on
a worldwide level.

In efforts to continue
to increase the number
of women and girls in
BJJ, Girls in Gis aims to
eliminate the barriers that
might inhibit training by
offering scholarships for
tuition, equipment, and
tournament stipends for
underprivileged women
and girls worldwide. Schol-
arships are made possible
by donations. Scan the
QR code below with your
phone's camera to donate:

JIUJITEIRAMAGAZINE.COM | J I U J I T E I R A MAGAZINE | 2 5

Leadership “Strength in Solidarity'
Programs

Another aim of Girls in Gis of the movement, Girls in Gis advocates for “Strength in common love for Jiu-Jitsu.
is to provide leadership Solidarity''. This motto embodies the ideologies that to- They have and continue to
opportunities for women gether we are stronger and can accomplish more than we set a very high standard
in Jiu-Jitsu. Through am- can alone. If we want to see change in the community, we for those to follow. They
bassador and instructor have to advocate and work toward it together. If we want have inspired the concept
training programs, women to have more of a women’s presence in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu of unity which will allow
and girls are provided we have to empower and uplift each other. This concept us all to rise even higher
with training, resources, has inspired many women to contribute to the movement together. Now the flood-
support, and opportunities by establishing their own women’s open mats, women’s gates are open.
to build and expand their groups, women’s camps, and women’s classes.
leadership skills. The Girls Join them for their victo-
in Gis events are not only You could say Girls in Gis is a community, an advocate,
an opportunity to bring a resource, a network and a platform to empower and rious return Feb 28th. Y
women and girls together give women in BJJ a voice. But when you look at all of
and encourage them to try that, what is as the root of Girls in GIs? It’s a sisterhood. GET INVOLVED
BJJ, but an opportunity for A sisterhood that is going strong and growing fast
new instructors to teach thanks to so many. For the past 12 years,
and for ambassadors to Girls in Gis has been the
exhibit their leadership Over the past 12 years Girls in Gis has been doing the
skills. These women have heavy lifting and blazing the trails leading the way so number one resource
been able to transfer their that others can follow. They did what was once consid- in the world available
leadership skills over to ered impossible. They broke down barriers and over- to women and girls in
Girls in Gis post COVID19 came obstacles by uniting women and girls through their Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. It's
programs which include missionto educate and
hosting panel discussions, empower women in the
hosting the podcast, in- sport continues today.
terviews, writing articles, To learn more about this
leading instructional incredible organization
videos and much more. and get involved. Visit:

Early on in this movement, girls-in-gis.com/
it was clear to those at get-involved
Girls in Gis that there was
a big need to fill and it
would take all of us to fill it.
Positioned at the forefront

2 6 | J I U J I T E I R A MAGAZINE | JIUJITEIRAMAGAZINE.COM

coming up

SAubLmLissi-oWns oOn tMhe EShoNre NAGA GRAPPLING
CHAMPIONSHIP
Submissions On The Shore is the Their upcoming show on February 27th El Paso, TX:
largest women’s-only profession- will be taking place in Galveston, Texas. February 20, 2021
al grappling show in the world. The format is a 3-on-3, 16 teams tourna- Nashville, TN:
The focus is on the growth of women in ment; the winning team will take home February 20, 2021
grappling, from Jiu-Jitsu to wrestling. In $5,000. This is projected to be the biggest Pensacola, FL:
2020, despite limitations, Submissions on event in women’s grappling history. The February 27, 2021
the Shore had a very successful year and energy, intensity, and excitement of the Children, teens and adult
made a major impact in the industry of teams format is unmatched. It brings a divisions. Come as an
grappling for women. The inaugural show whole new level of engagement from both individual or as a team
was held on February 28th, 2020 in the the competitors and fans. In 2021, the to compete in this Gi
ballroom of the historic Queen Mary ship organization plans on hosting 12 profes- and NoGi event.
in Long Beach, California. Over $9,000 sional shows and 10 smaller tournament nagafighter.com
was paid to the athletes who participated.
series throughout the United States. Y GRAPPLING INDUSTRIES
San Antonio:
MORE INFO: subsontheshore.com • [email protected] February 20, 2021
Oklahoma City:
February 27, 2021
Round Robin Pool format.
All adult competitors get 4
matches for signing up for
a division that fills up to 5
competitors. If you compete
in both Gi and NoGi, you
could get 8 plus fights.
grapplingindustries.com

ALABAMA STATE
CHAMPIONSHIPS
WHITE-BELTS ONLY
January 29, 2021
Our main goal is to expand
BJJ in Alabama. Our
competitions are open
to every practitioner from
every state and team.
This event will be for
white belts only.
smoothcomp.com

Featherweight title fight
between Amanda Nunes
& Megan Anderson UFC
259 on March 6

Make Your Memories lindsay conley Photographer
Unforgettable facebook.com/UnforgettableImagesfl

732-644-0517 [email protected]

JIUJITEIRAMAGAZINE.COM | J I U J I T E I R A MAGAZINE | 2 7

coach talk

Omoplata
from
closed guard

The omoplata, which means scapula
in Portuguese, is a highly effective
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu submission. The
omoplata is an excellent weapon
for any arsenal. In this issue, coach
David Sutton shows how to execute
the omoplata from close guard.

Highly efficient 1 2
and often 4 5

underrated, the
omoplata is

more than just a
submission, it's a
great technique

that can be
used to sweep
opponents and

setup many
other attacks,
including back

takes.

DAV ID S U T TON is the lead coach and owner of Carlson Gracie
Jiu-Jitsu Team in Melbourne, FL. With over 18 years in martial arts and
currently a brown belt in Jiu-Jitsu, David is responsible for a sucessful
kids, adults and womens' program at his gym. You can contact him at:
[email protected] or bjjmelbournefl.com

2 8 | J I U J I T E I R A MAGAZINE | JIUJITEIRAMAGAZINE.COM

QUESTIONS? execute with precision
WE GOT
BREAKING IT DOWN:
ANSWERS. 1. From closed guard: open your guard, place one foot on your opponent's hip
grip their sleeves.
What moves and submissions 2. Get into a lasso guard by looping your leg around the arm you plan to attack
do you want to learn? Got ques- and connect your leg to your opponent's armpit.
tions on positions? Anything 3. Create some space, keep the sleeve grip on the arm you're attacking, let go of
Jiu-Jitsu related you want to the other and begin to rotate on your shoulders inward towards your opponent
know more about, just send us getting ready to naturally roll up into position for the omoplata.
an e-mail and our experts will 4. Keep the rotation going until you come all the way up.
get you the answer. 5. Drop your leg down on their arm with force to pin them in place and stop
them from posturing up. Control your opponent's arm above the elbow and
Send your e-mail to: right below the shoulder further restricting their movement and eliminating any
[email protected] opportunity to escape.
6. You can choose to triangle your legs when doing the omoplata, but you really
3 only need one leg firmly hooking the arm.
7. Lean in and flatten your opponent so their chest is flat on the mat.
6 8. With your free hand, reach up across their back and grab on to their shoulder.
Move up further as if you're going to tell them a secret. The more you move up,
the more pressure gets applied to their shoulder forcing them to submit.

You can use the lasso guard or the De La Riva to set up this submission. It
doesn't matter how you get to it, the way you finish the omoplata is the same so
the final details are the most important.

LEVEL: Intermediate

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Beauty is a Beast

postr-torauinitnignweellness

BY VHILENA NELSON

Washing your gi immediately after class and incorporating tea tree products
in your post-training cleansing ritual increases your chances of staying healthy

and avoiding nasty bacteria common to the gym environment.

f you drive around most towns BJJ is a sport which requires WASH
across the United States you’ll be- its participants to be barefoot
gin to notice more Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu making them more susceptible YOUR GI
gyms. The UFC has definitely helped to infections like athlete’s foot, AFTER
to popularize the sport that is con- ringworm on the scalp and body, EVERY
sidered to be one of the most practi- plantar warts, staph infections,
cal martial arts. jock itch and more. PRACTICE.
BACTERIA
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is extremely ef- the Nasty bunch LIVE ON THE
fective for anyone who desires great- SKIN AND
er self-development, better health, Athlete’s foot show up generally
and realistic self-defense training. between the toes. It will be red, GET ON
BJJ is an amazing sport which will irritated, often splitting the skin CLOTHING
help keep you healthy by increasing and be very painful. Athlete’s WHEN WE
flexibility, strength, endurance, car- foot can happen if your feet get SWEAT. NOT
dio and burning more calories than very sweaty while in tight-fitting WASHING
most traditional workouts. shoes. Damp, humid conditions
help fungus grow. Plantar warts YOUR GI
With that being said, there are a few can be contracted the same BEFORE OR
things when participating in a sport way you pick up athlete's foot IN BETWEEN
like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu which need to by walking around barefoot PRACTICES
be considered. Even if the gym own- in a shower, gym mats, or gym
ers are very thorough when it comes common areas. Plantar warts L E AV E S
to the cleanliness of the gym and its are caused by a virus and can YOURSELF
equipment, gym mats are a breed- enter your system from tiny cuts
ing ground for fungus and bacteria. AND
OTHERS
OPEN TO
SERIOUS
INFECTIONS

3 0 | J I U J I T E I R A MAGAZINE | JIUJITEIRAMAGAZINE.COM

JIUJITEIRAMAGAZINE.COM | J I U J I T E I R A MAGAZINE | 3 1

or sores on your feet. A plantar wart bacteria on their skin, and 1 out of you have contracted a fungus or
has the appearance of a callus. The 3 carry it in their nose. In general it bacterial infection it is important
difference is a plantar wart will is not harmful, but it can cause skin to avoid spreading it to others. Most
have black dots in them and can be infections and be fatal if it enters fungus infections and some bacte-
painful. This is why it is especially the bloodstream through a cut or rial infections can be treated with
important to wear flip-flops or to sore on the skin. A staph infection over the counter topical creams. Be
keep your feet covered when walk- may show up as a red, painful, swol- sure the infection has completely
ing around in a bathroom, shower, len boil or abscess on the skin. cleared up before returning to the
or common areas at the gym. mats or using common areas that
While this is not intended to scare could expose others.
Another common fungus which is or deter participants from sports
easily picked up at a gym is ring- like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, it is in- Another way to protect yourself and
worm of the scalp and body. It is tended to inform and educate. It others is disinfecting your gym gear
also known as tinea corporis, which is incredibly important to ensure and washing your gi immediately
is a fungus regularly contracted your safety and health by protecting after practice. Bacteria live on the
from gym equipment and mats yourself. The cleanliness of the gym skin and are then transferred to
that have not been sanitized and and its equipment is instrumental clothing when we begin to sweat.
wiped down. It presents itself as a to keeping its members at a lower Many times when we sweat our
round, pink, scaly plaque which is risk to contracting fungus and bac- clothing becomes damp as well
usually itchy. Staphylococcus aureus terial infections. It is the gym own- making it a breeding ground for
(staph infection) is one of the most er’s responsibility to do a detailed more bacterias and fungus to grow.
common microbe pathogens found cleaning of the mats, equipment, Not to mention allowing your gi to
at the gym. Many people carry this shower, and common areas for their sit after training will cause the gi
gym members to avoid spreading to smell and be very unpleasant for
and contracting diseases. However, others to tolerate. Not washing your
some of the responsibility lies on gi before or in between practices is
the gym’s members. leaving yourself and others suscepti-
ble to contracting infections as well.
Common Courtesy
One of the most important things
It is the responsibility of the gym you can do to protect yourself is to
members to be considerate and immediately shower after a work-
thoughtful of their teammates. If out. It should be the first thing you

THE MENSTRUAL CUP, V HIL E N A N E L S ON is a professional hair stylist and owner of
FREEDOM FOR ATHLETES His & Her Mobile Hair Salon in Melbourne, FL. A blue belt in Jiu-Jitsu,
Vhilena competes in BJJ and is a local advocate for women in the
3 2 | J I U J I T E I R A MAGAZINE | JIUJITEIRAMAGAZINE.COM sport. You can contact her at: [email protected]
or hisandhermobilehaircare.com

do when you get home before you WE WANT
do anything else. Brazilian Jiu-Jit- TO HEAR
su is a close contact sport where FROM YOU!
participants are physically touch-
ing almost the entire time. Which Do you have a story idea, a
means other people’s sweaty bodies question for our columnists or
are regularly touching one another. feedback on our coverage? Let us
know. At Jiujiteira Magazine, we
Tea Tree benefits believe in creating a magazine
that represents our community
A great way to avoid fungus and bac- salon shelves, local pharmacies, and gives you a voice. We’re eager
teria infections is by using Tea Tree Walmart, Target, and even grocery to hear more from our readers.
products. Not only it’s minty aroma stores. Tea Tree is an easy and cost Please send us an e-mail. We won’t
is extremely refreshing, Tea Tree effective way to help keep you and be able to respond to every mes-
is a natural hand sanitizer and an- others safe from harmful infections. sage, but we promise to read and
ti-fungal product. It also is an insect When we all do our part to keep the carefully consider each one.
repellent, natural deodorant, anti- gym, ourselves, and teammates safe
septic for minor cuts and scrapes. it allows us all to stay healthy and Send your feedback to:
Tea Tree has proven to be effective [email protected]
in boosting wound healing, fighting continue to train. Y
acne, getting rid of nail fungus, and
lastly a chemical-free mouthwash.
Tea Tree can be found on most

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jiu-jitsu shopping

In our beauty section this month, we talk
about how tea tree products can help keep
you fresh and healthy, regardless of what
you may encounter on the mats. One of our
favorite tea tree products is this dynamic
duo that infuses your hair with cleanliness
and shine! Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special
Shampoo and Conditioner. Get yours at:

ULTA BEAUTY / AMAZON / WALMART

Ready to Roll

Our staff picks for all The brand for today's modern women warriors is
your pre, during and here and it looks fabulous! Take your BJJ game
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this solid sport stick gives you convenient, temporary
relief on-the-go and it can be applied immediately after
a hard roll ( just clean the area first with some tea tree
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women in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and
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JIUJITEIRAMAGAZINE.COM | J I U J I T E I R A MAGAZINE | 3 5

yoga for jiu jitsu

thhe ekiangdofsatllaansadnas

BY EVELYN SUT TON

Salamba Shirshasana or Yoga Headstand is a popular yoga inversion that has been called
the king of all asanas for the multitude of benefits and well-being this pose brings to the body
and mind. Headstand is an impressive pose that requires patience, diligence, and strength to
master. Regular practice improves balance, mood and confidence while strengthening your
shoulder girdle muscles, upper back, and core, naturally realigning the spine. Headstands also
provide increased mental clarity and enhanced focus. Get inverted and elevate your BJJ game!

3 6 | J I U J I T E I R A MAGAZINE | JIUJITEIRAMAGAZINE.COM

Get inverted

in 7 easy steps

If you are just starting our an inversion practice, the safest way to get
upside down is to use the wall for support. Over time, start taking your
heels away from the wall and balancing your feet above your hips to
increase core strenght.

1. Place a yoga mat alongside a wall. necessary balance and core strength
required to execute the full expression
2. Get on table pose (all fours) and of the pose, overtime.
face the wall.
Please note: Yoga is a universal
3. Come down onto the forearms and practice and accessible to everyone,
interlace your fingers. Your knuckles however not every yoga pose is the
should be about half-inch away from right pose for you. Inversion moves,
the wall; keep your elbows no wider including headstands and shoulder
than your shoulders. stands, are regarded as a special
category of asanas that should be
4. Place the crown of your head flat practiced with extreme care.
on the ground, and cup your hands
around the back of your head. If you had any recent issues or
surgery on your neck, spine, or
5. Tuck your toes and lift your knees shoulder; hypertension; glaucoma;
off the ground so that your pelvis is and heart issues, avoid inversions
elevated and legs are as straight as all together. Pregnant moms-to-be
possible with a slight bend in the should also not attempt the posture.
knees to accommodate hamstring There is a risk of falling out of the
flexibility level. pose and that can be dangerous to
your growing baby.

6. Slowly extend one leg up to the If you're curious about inversion work
wall. Repeat with other leg. Keep being the right approach for you,
your heels on the wall and flexed ask your doctor before incorporating
feet. Hold position for 5 breaths. them in your practice.

7. To come down, reverse the move by Level: Intermediate to Advanced
bending your knees and curling them
into your chest, one at a time. Take
child's pose to round out the spine
and rest for another 5 breaths.

As you become more confident in CLEAR YOUR MIND AND PATH:
your headstands, begin to move away TURN OFF ALL DISTRACTIONS
from the wall. Eventually, you'll be AND MAKE SURE THERE IS
able to get into this inversion without NO FURNITURE, PETS OR
using the wall at all. Take one step at SMALL CHILDREN NEAR YOU
a time and don't rush your practice. BEFORE ATTEMPTING
Allow your body to get used to A HEADSTAND
being upside down and build up the

E V ELY N S UT TO N is a E-RYT200 yoga teacher and owner of
LuxDei Studio in Melbourne, FL. A white belt in Jiu-Jitsu, Evelyn applies
her personal practice and knowledge of yoga to BJJ while helping
others do the same. You can contact her at: [email protected]
or luxdeistudio.com

JIUJITEIRAMAGAZINE.COM | J I U J I T E I R A MAGAZINE | 3 7

close choke

Pretty & Dangerous

Melissa Lohsen is one of the most inspiring and hard-working women
you will meet in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. With over 24 years of training under
her black-belt, a 2017 IBJJF Masters World Champion title, her own gym,
Dark Wolf MMA, and the office of fearless leader of Pretty Dangerous
Women's Jiu Jitsu, she is the epitome of an empowered lady. She credits
her success to the love of her life and best friend of 30 years, fellow BJJ
black-belt and husband, David Lohsen. Together they share a family, a
loving marriage, a business partnership and a mission that much like
Melissa's Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu journey, has lasted the tides of times.

STORY & PHOTOS BY EVELYN SUT TON

JM: Tell us about yourself. es, then clean the gym competitive person. I com- ing all of your insecurities
How old are you? How long and sometimes record a peted in high level swim- and smashing them and
have you been training? podcast with my husband ming all the way through what you are left with is
ML: LOL, I am super old. (Submission Coalition). high school so when I got an inner strength that
I am 48. Started Jiu-Jitsu Home around 11pm then into it and started win- you didn’t know you had. I
around 1996ish so around laundry, dinner and bed ning some matches even think that it has made me
24 years give or take. My by midnight. Not a whole though I was probably the a more patient, smarter,
husband started in 1994 lot of sleep in our lives. weakest person in the gym, strategic, calmer, and
and then talked me into I got hooked. I loved that more confident person.
trying it out. JM: What first attracted the more technical I got
you to BJJ? the easier it was to handle MELISSA'S MESSAGE
JM: What does a typical ML: I wasn’t at first. I those big strong guys. TO WOMEN IN BJJ:
day in your life look like? watched my husband train
ML: Wake up at 6am, for 2 years before he talked JM: What impact Jiu-Jitsu “You don’t
get to the gym at 7am. I me into trying it out. I has in your life, as a need to be
homeschool a handful of really had no interest woman, and individual? a black belt
kids at the dojo (harder because all I saw was a lot ML: Definitely helped to make a
than it sounds LOL), 10am of really sweaty ego-driven with confidence. I think difference."
teach morning Jiu-Jitsu, men smashing each other overall it has helped me
1pm pick up kids from (there were really no wom- in all aspects of my life,
school for our after school en in the sport back then). from work, to family, to
program, 4:00pm to 9pm It was mostly wanna be general inner peace and
teach a multitude of fighters and tough guys. happiness. Jiu-Jitsu has
Jiu-Jitsu and MMA class- But I am an incredibly an incredible way of tak-

3 8 | J I U J I T E I R A MAGAZINE | JIUJITEIRAMAGAZINE.COM

JIUJITEIRAMAGAZINE.COM | J I U J I T E I R A MAGAZINE | 3 9

A PASSION FOR TEACHING > JM: In your experience,
MELISSA TRAVELS AROUND THE STATE OF FLORIDA what are some of the dif-
LEADING PRETTY DANGEROUS OPEN MATS AND FREE SEMINARS ferences of training with
THAT HELP WOMEN IN BJJ FEEL PART OF A SISTERHOOD and competing against
men and women?
JM: You have an impres- and win or loose come out of it with something to work ML: Funny story behind
sive competition record on so that no matter the outcome, you have benefited my answer. My first com-
which includes 2017 from the match. It’s a win-win. Have fun. If you are not petition was the first Gra-
brown belt IBJJF Masters having fun then what is the point. Do I like loosing?Hell cie open in 1997 or 1998.
World Champion title. no! But it never devastates me because I come out of it They did not have a wom-
What is your advice for with new tools to hone. ens division and there
the young women today were no women compet-
who compete and look up ing so they dropped me
to you as inspiration? one weight class and put
ML: I love competition. It me in with the men. Two
is truly a happy place for things happened: some
me. I know that is not the of the men dropped out
same for everyone. I have because they did not want
talked to so many people to compete against a wom-
who have immense anxi- an, and the others tried to
ety over competition. My murder me hahaha. I got
biggest piece of advice is literally, man-handled.
this: prepare to the best of Needless to say I did not
your abilities and when it win any of those matches.
comes time for the actual Fast forward to the next
competition, understand competition and there
that this is the best train- was one woman, blue belt
ing session you will ever and smaller than me. So
have, enjoy the moment I slap bump and this girl
jumps guard and starts
working a technical attack
driven guard game and I
really didn’t know what to
do with that. I was used to
always being on the bot-
tom and getting smashed.
It was eye opening. I left
that competition and told
my husband David Lohsen
that I needed to find a way
to train with women be-
cause it was so different.

PARTNERS IN JIU-JITSU
& IN LIFE >
MELISSA AND DAVID
SHOWING OFF NEW BLING
AT THE 2020 PAN JIU-JITSU
IBJJF CHAMPIONSHIP

4 0 | J I U J I T E I R A MAGAZINE | JIUJITEIRAMAGAZINE.COM

JM: For 10 years you JM: Tell us more about show up. The mission JM: What’s your favorite
owned Lohsen Martial Pretty Dangerous. of Pretty Dangerous has position and favorite
Arts Academy, in Califor- ML: Pretty Dangerous is evolved through the years. submission?
nia where you organized actually my husband, Da- It started out as a selfish ML: Well my favorite thing
the Foothill Submission vid Lohsen’s idea. When endeavor to get more in Jiu-Jitsu is Passing. I
Championships with we moved to Florida and ladies to train with for feel strongly that guard
MMA athletes such as were just starting Dark- me so I could be ready for passing is the single most
Michael McDonald and wolfMMA I didn’t have any competition. Since then, it important skill you need
TJ Dillashaw. What was female training partners evolved into a movement in Jiu-Jitsu. I tell our
that experience like and yet. I was getting the bug to expose women to strong students all the time, you
would you ever consider to compete again and we female leaders and show can be great at everything
running an event like that both knew I needed to them that women can be else but if your passing
for women? train with women to be leaders in this sport and a sucks your Jiu-Jitsu sucks.
ML: It was exhausting and prepared. We went to a secondary mission is “you On the flip side if your
fun. We were in a truly Girls in Gis event in Vero don’t need to be a black passing in on point and
tiny community up in the Beach and came back belt to make a difference." everything else is meh
foothills above Stockton, feeling that was great then your Jiu-Jitsu could
CA. The Foothill Sub- but they only come out to JM: What do you consider still be pretty good. Posi-
mission Championships Florida maybe once a year. the most important factor tion wise I love side-con-
started out as a NOGI only So, my amazing husband for a successful learning + trol, I think it lends itself
tournament. It attracted said "let's do one in this training relationship be- to my strength which is
a lot of the up-and-com- are". He had already come tween coach and student? pressure and there are
ing MMA fighters. When up with the name Pretty ML: Trust – is incredibly so many submission and
those big name guys did Dangerous when we had a important. I am lucky in movement options from
the tournament they womens team in Califor- that my instructor is my there. Submission is hands
had not made a name for nia. He told me to go for it husband and I have the ut- down Kimura. Kimuras are
themselves yet. Yes, we and that we could use that most trust and respect for literally everywhere and
have talked about running name for the events. him. You need to be picky gain you so much control
some tournaments and in choosing the right school without giving up position.
may start when we get our In the beginning we just with the right culture and
gym moved to the new did them at our gym and leadership for you. A gym JM: What is something
location. We have ran a no one showed up. I was with amazing technique people would be sur-
Pretty Dangerous wom- getting very frustrated. but a toxic or bad culture prised to learn about you?
ens-only tournament and Other gym owners did will lead to you either ML: That’s a tough one. I
would love to run more not want to send their hating training or leaving am pretty much an open
of those. As far as MMA students to another gym the sport altogether. Not book. Maybe that my high
events, we help our son to train even for a one- all gyms are the right fit school job was to guide
run Origin Fight League off event. We started for every person. There are horseback trail rides at
which is a local amateur reaching out to friendly so many different types of Columbia state park and
MMA event. At some point gyms to see if they would gym culture and the trick is hold up the stage coach as
we may do a womens-only host and I had way more to find the right fit for your Jessica James.
card. That would be fun. success getting ladies to goals and personality.

multiple times whether it be in sports or in my professional career. You are
there on your own path with your own goals, who cares what others think and
what they have to say? Don’t be discouraged. I’ve been there before. You earned

your right to be there. Be there and be phenomenal.

JIUJITEIRAMAGAZINE.COM | J I U J I T E I R A MAGAZINE | 4 1

JM: You’ve been training, when I was 15 and he was classes. Get them to meet their strength and pressure
competing and coaching 16. He is the whole reason and be a part of your team to their advantage.
for a long time. How do I even found and fell in so they can be familiar with
you balance Jiu-Jitsu and love with Jiu-Jitsu. He has these people you spend JM: What is your best ad-
family life? always been in my corner so much time with. The vice for women who train
ML: HAHAHAHA I don’t. for every competition. He is absolute best is to get them at gyms where they are
Plain and simple when not afraid to be honest with training as well. the only female?
you own an academy there me and let me know when I ML: Find training partners
is no balance. You live and suck and when I am amaz- JM: What do you consider you trust. Get to as many
breathe your academy. ing. We were actually just the greatest challenges womens open mats and
If you are not teaching, talking about this the other for women in Jiu Jitsu? seminars as possible.
cleaning, promoting, book day, I think that because we ML: I think that we have
keeping, then you are at are best friends we would been conditioned to be JM: What is your hope or
competitions coaching. always rather experience people pleasers and to resolution for 2021?
Sounds rough right? I everything together, if apologize for taking up ML: Master World Champ
would not have it any something happens we space. I have to stop this year. And get our gym
other way. We chose this can't wait to discuss it with women all the time from to the point that my hus-
life and I am looking for- each other. We see other apologizing for doing band can come on board
ward to the day I can get relationships where they go techniques they should be
the gym to the point that on guys nights out or girls doing. Women have a hard full time. Y
my amazing husband can nights out or they need time using pressure or
work it full-time with me. breaks from one another discomfort in Jiu-Jitsu. resources
Right now unfortunately and that just doesn’t com-
he still works his day job pute in our brains. I think JM: What do you Learn more about
to support us and then now I am going off-tangent consider the greatest Melissa's work, her gym,
works the gym at night. and getting mushy. I truly accomplishments of
love that we both have this women in Jiu-Jitsu? Pretty Dangerous and
JM: You have described passion for Jiu-Jitsu. I ML: Getting on the mat. other resources she has
your husband, David think in the simplest terms That first step is the available for women in BJJ.
Lohsen also a BJJ black that is what makes it work, most terrifying.
belt as your coach, we are striving for the same DARK WOLF MMA
mentor, confidant, best goals and we are way stron- JM: How do you feel about darkwolfmma.com
training partner, moti- ger together. the level of Jiu-Jitsu edu- 221 Strawberry Oaks Dr,
vation and inspiration. cation currently available Orange City, FL 32763
What would you say is JM: What is your advice to to women? Do you feel its (386) 960-7837
the secret sauce of your women whose partners lacking in any way?
marriage that makes it do not support or approve ML: I don’t know. I think PRETTY DANGEROUS
all work, the factors that of their training? that it is getting better. WOMEN'S JIU-JITSU
enabled you to feel sup- ML: That is a great but You see a lot more sem- FB:
ported and empowered incredibly tough question. inars put on by women prettydangerousjiujitsu
in all areas as a student, Unfortunately, that de- now which helps.
mother, and wife to really pends on your relationship. SUBMISSION
be able to go after your I think discussing it openly JM: Who are some of the COALITION PODCAST
Jiu Jitsu dreams. and honestly and finding women who inspire you Spotify: scan the QR code
ML: Well he’s hot for one…. out what their hesitation in BJJ? below with your phone's
Lol. But seriously he is my is helps. They may not ML: I love heavyweights, be- camera to get the podcast
best friend and has been understand that there is cause I know the struggle. I
my best friend for 30 + no sexuality when rolling. have mad respect for ladies
years. We started dating Maybe get them to try some that are not afraid to use

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out of the cage

Prince Charming

Need Not Apply

If only I could turn back time, sit I’m sure an incredible amount childhood version of myself to see
with my younger self, place both of people reading this piece me now. I hope I make her proud
hands on her shoulder, and tell can relate to a period in their and have aspired to reach new

her that one day everything will be lives when everything felt so dark, goals and dreams every single day.

okay and things will turn out far bet- and that there was no escape and You see, I never dreamt of a knight

ter than she could even imagine. But dreamt for a world void of suffering in shining armor or a prince charm-

then again, I probably wouldn’t have and pain. If only I had viewed life’s ing to come and rescue me. I wanted

believed a word of it. I turned from a stressors as a chance to flourish to be my own superhero, Queen of

rambunctious and tomboy child, to a and grow instead of always view- my very own kingdom, and save

stubborn adolescent, and then a per- ing everything so pessimistically. myself and help anyone and every-

petually angry and sad teenager, that Instead of thinking life was try- one that I could. I’d like to think I’ve

I wonder why I wasted so many years ing to bury me, maybe it was just made some positive contributions in

of my youth letting my mind dictate repotting my roots so I would have that regard.

my emotions and limiting myself. To a chance to grow and reach new To the younger version of
know that one day I would become heights that would never have been myself, I want to be able to
the woman that the younger version capable in my former restricted tell you that I made it. Every
of myself always dreamed of is truly a boundaries. Life is all about chanc-

humbling experience, and I hope to es and opportunities, if only we day that I look in the mirror, I see a

make that little girl proud each and can gather the bravery to embrace strong and capable woman staring

every single day. them rather than hide from them back at me. And while I still have

The world can be a tough and shun them. those days where I breakdown and
battlefield, full of devastat- cry, and feel as if I’m failing, I know
ing twists and turns along So really, all the times while that the little girl that still lives
the way. There was a time in my growing up that I was com- inside of me would beam with pride
adolescence and teenage years plaining of being sh*t on when at the obstacles I have overcome
there was actually a good chance I and the struggles I have conquered.

where I longingly pondered all of was simply being crop dusted with I think we could all benefit from

the tears that spilled from my eyes fertilizer in order to grow. What a being less hypercritical of ourselves,

and whether it was all worth it. I weird correlation to make between and instead, reflect on the

even won a poetry contest dedicated fecal matter and success, but yet admiration our younger selves

to my sorrows that I had titled “An here I am, encouraging the relation- would feel about all the goals we

Ode to Tears.” It’s so hard for me to ship between the two. Oh, for the have accomplished.

imagine that sad little girl would

one day grow up to be a fierce and

resilient fighter. Perhaps all those

tears were exceptionally cathartic

and a necessary therapeutic device I SA MA N T HA S E F F, "The Wolf Queen" is a BJJ brown belt under Team
needed to make peace within myself Rubao Carioca at Schell Shock BJJ in Fuquay Varina, NC. She's a professional
in order to grow. atomweight MMA fighter and writes a weekly blog: WolfQueenMMA.com.
In her spare time, she enjoys cooking & baking and besides her
title belts, her color-coded self-written cookbook is her most prized
possession. You can reach her via DM on Instagram @wolfqueenmma

4 4 | J I U J I T E I R A MAGAZINE | JIUJITEIRAMAGAZINE.COM

I never dreamt of a knight in shining armor
or a prince charming to come and rescue me.

I wanted to be my own superhero, Queen of
my very own kingdom, and save myself and

help anyone and everyone that I could.

It’s a great life lesson to learn to So to the little girls of the world,
be unapologetic of our emotions, who dream of being a warrior
as that is what makes us human. with big goals and even bigger
As long as we learn to reign them in ambitions, keep fighting. One day,
when it’s necessary, it’s okay to cry everything will fall into place and
and to feel and to become both exas- though we may lose some battles
perated and liberated by all that we along the way, eventually we will
deal with. A woman in martial arts win that war for we are the fierce
may not be typical and of the norm, women they write legendary tales
but that is what makes us so strong about. I was always determined to
and capable. A new era of fairy- never settle for being a princess,
tales is upon us, where the woman but instead, to be a Queen,
decides to fight her own battles and and conquer all that dare try
be her own savior and heck, even
rescue the prince charming instead. to impede my journey. Y

thankTsh, aMnkrsPbruintcne!o

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ALL HAIL
THE QUEEN OF
JIU-JITSU.

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around the world 2

1 3 1. THE SAVAGE TWENTY, BROWNSVILLE, TX:
Elsa Cardenas getting fancy with spider guard
4 8 | J I U J I T E I R A MAGAZINE | JIUJITEIRAMAGAZINE.COM triangles. Picture by Kathleen Kyle.

2. SOUTHSIDE BRAZILIAN JIU-JITSU ON THE
GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA:
Our BJJ sisters from down under, Teresa and Denise.

3. CONSECUTION JIU-JITSU ACADEMY, OH:
We love the pretty smiles and the matching rashies!

4. FLORENCE BJJ, AL:
Friends who train together, stay together! Say hello
to Jiujiteiras Erica, Katie and Becky

5. OVERLIMIT JIUJITSU ACADEMY, PHILIPPINES:
Not just a country of beautiful islands, the
Philippines also has beautiful Jiujiteiras.

6. BRAZILIAN FIGHT FACTORY, AUSTIN, TX:
Blood and love for the sport evident on the face
of World Master 2020 Champion, Aline Mercado
during the Austin Open 2020. Valeu campeã!

7. LEGION JIUJITSU CHECKMAT IN TN:
Meet Katie, Sam, Tina, Mandy, Olivia, Kat, and
Dawn, ready to roll!

8. CARLSON GRACIE, HOUSTON, TX:
Our beautiful cover girl, Mona Bailey flipping
through the pages of Jiujiteira Magazine in her
exclusive Jiujiteira purple tee. Get yours at:
jiujiteiramagazine.com

9. SWAMPFOX BRAZILIAN JIU JITSU ACADEMY,
FLORENCE, SC:
The fierce ladies of South Carolina, representing!

10. ROCKPILE DOJO, ANACORTES, WA:
Jiujiteiras Ruby, Lesa, Cari, Jen and Paige never miss
a training session.

11. KEARNEY COMBAT SPORTS AND FITNESS, NE:
Jiujiteiras of all ages coming together on the mat to
empower one another!

12. CARLSON GRACIE JIU-JITSU MELBOURNE, FL:
Lindsay Conley from Jiujiteira Magazine and
professor Melissa Lohsen founder of Dark Wolf MMA
and Pretty Dangerous, pose for a photo after a very
educational and productive Pretty Dangerous all-
women open mat/seminar in Melbourne, Florida.

45

67 8

9 10

11

JIUJITEIRAS AROUND THE WORLD SUBMISSION: 12
To be featured in this section, e-mail a photo (high res images with
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names and gym location to: [email protected]

MIND game Training allows you to take control

and empower yourself in a

treating PTSD ou may have non-threatening
never thought
there could be a environment.
connection between
martial arts with Training in martial arts allows
therapeutic techniques. you to take control and empower
However, there is some- yourself in a non-threatening
thing very unique environment which allows your
about martial arts body to engage in self-defense
that can be beneficial to women, physical activities. It helps build
including those who have expe- comfort in yourself and confi-
rienced trauma(s) in their life. dence in your ability to defend
yourself if you are ever in that
Prolonged exposure therapy has situation. Martial arts combine
long been identified as one of both the physical and psycholog-
the most effective techniques in ical aspects of yourself which can
treating Post-Traumatic Stress help you heal from past traumas
Disorder (PTSD). Now, that does while developing new skills. The
not mean all who experience a more you train, the more com-
trauma also develop PTSD, but it fortable you feel in your body
speaks to the efficacy of exposure and training in mixed company.
to experiences or stimuli that may Lack of control can be incredibly
trigger memories and emotions frightening. Martial arts can be a
from a past negative event, no method to take back some of that
matter the severity of said event. control and help you decrease
fears. In fact, training can trans-
What is exposure form fear and self-destructive
therapy? aggression into self-confidence
and pro-social assertiveness.

Exposure therapy is continuous- Keep in mind that this is not a
ly re-introducing aspects that replacement for psychotherapy
could be related to a trauma in and if you have experienced a
a safe and appropriate environ- trauma, it is still recommended
ment so that one can decrease you seek out a therapist. This is
negative emotions and reactions a way to incorporate the psycho-
over time. This is where martial logical processing along with the
arts play a role. physicality of training.

REFERENCES GOT QUESTIONS? EMAIL: [email protected]
TWEMLOW, S. W., SACCO, F. C., & WITH THE SUBJECT MIND GAME AND OUR EXPERT THERAPIST
FO NAGY, P. (2 0 0 8). E M B ODYI NG T H E WILL ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS ON THE NEXT ISSUE!
MIND: MOVEMENT AS A CONTAINER FOR
DESTRUCTIVE AGGRESSION. AMERICAN BRITTANY ALLISION is a graduate of the clinical psychology doctoral
J OU RNAL OF P SYCHOTH E R A PY,   6 2(1 ), program at FIT. A resident at Henry Ford Hospital in Michigan and
1–33. HT TPS://DOI.ORG/10.1176/APPI. white belt in Jiu-Jitsu, Brittany hopes to help women in their BJJ journey
P S YC H OT H E R A P Y. 2 0 0 8 . 6 2 . 1 . 1 by offering her clinical advice. E-mail her your questions with the
subject "Head Game" : [email protected]

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