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February + March issue of Jiujiteira Magazine

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Published by jiujiteiramagazine, 2021-03-10 19:51:03

Jiujiteira Magazine Feb/Mar 2021

February + March issue of Jiujiteira Magazine

Keywords: jiu jitsu,sports,women,athletic,mma,uf,bellator,fighter,active

SPOTLIGHT: Sophie "The Dog" Sharp wants the ADCC champ crown

issue FIVE | feb/MAR 2021

STRONG

& silenced
exposing gender
discrimination in
brazilian jiu-jitsu

MIND GAME

simynpodsrteorme

how to overcome it

rafaela guedes reigns supreme

page 6

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FEB/MAR 2021 cover story 6

Fight2Win Miami 32
34
sections: 40
48
COACH TALK 54
Cross Collar Choke
4
BY DAVID SUTTON 42
52
BEAUTY IS A BEAST
Drink Up!

BY VHILENA NELSON

YOGA FOR JIU-JITSU
Bend Your Back

BY EVELYN SUT TON

OUT OF THE CAGE
Not all Family is Blood

BY SAMANTHA SEFF

MIND GAME
Imposter Syndrome

BY BRITTANY ALLISON

every issue:

PUBLISHER'S CORNER
Speak Your Truth
CLOSE CHOKE
Interview with Amy Bower
JIUJITEIRAS AROUND THE WORLD

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page 6

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EVELYN SUTTON is on a mission feb/mar 2021
to uncover and promote the universe
of women in one of the deadliest № 5ISSUE
martial arts in the world.
PUBLISHER

PUBLISHER’s corner

Refusing Silence.

I'm a sucker for a good quote. A few choice Still a male-dominated sport, the panorama Creative Director & CEO
words strung together in a sentence can in BJJ is, however, changing. A new gener-
create a connection, inspire us in the pur- ation of Jiujiteiras are charging full speed Evelyn Sutton
sue of greatness, and at times, be revolu- ahead and they refuse to be quiet. One of
tionary. One of my favorite quotes that lits these young athletes is Sophie "the Dog" writers
up a holy fire in my belly is attributed to the Sharp. Talented, outspoken, ambitious, and Brittany Allison
former first lady, Eleonor Roosevelt, who determined there is no stopping this girl Chris Fletcher
said: "Well-behaved women seldom make from achieving her biggest dream of one Charlotte McKinley
history." I couldn't agree more. day winning ADCC. Story on page 28.
David Sutton
Women who dare to make themselves We traveled around the country to bring Evelyn Sutton
heard and pursue goals traditionally you coverage of women in BJJ at some of
assigned to men are still considered to be the most recent events: Fight2Win 162 in Girls in Gis
disobedient. Ring any bells? Miami, the ladies of High Rollers 5 in Las Ve- Samantha Seff
gas, Submissions on the Shore in Galveston, Sophia McDermott
In March we celebrate Women's History The Good Fight Tournament in PA and Girls Vhilena Nelson
Month and the theme this year is "Val- in Gis seminar in Houston, TX. Wendy L Jarva
iant Women of the Vote: Refusing to Be
Silenced." Without a doubt, history and Speak against discrimination, isolation and proofreading
Jiu-Jitsu has given us extraordinary ladies. I misogyny. If something is bothering you
enjoy looking back and drawing inspiration at your gym, if you suspect unfairness at a Edgard Esperança
from their powerful examples. But we don’t competition, issues with a coach or training
only have to look back to find women push- parter, speak up. Speak your truth. Feel free photography
ing aside boundaries and obstacles that to disobey and break the rules if they are Blanca Marisa Garcia
have long confined our opportunities and unfair. Take it to social media. Send us an
abilities in life and in the sport. Just read email. Just don't be quiet. Evelyn Sutton
through the pages of this magazine. Katie Marie Jones
There are no well-behaved Jiujiteiras.
Strong and Silenced, by our contributing We are by the very essence of our nature, Lindsay Conley
writer Charlotte McKinley on page 16 zooms women who refuse to behave. Michelle Chopp
in on the problem. Read the story and find
the information and encouragement you Happy reading! 880 Mc Clendon Street, Melbourne, FL 32935
seek to speak out and refuse to be silenced. jiujiteiramagazine.com U 321.917-1599
Evelyn Sutton
Subscribe online at JIUJITEIRAMAGAZINE.COM. Please al-
note P.S. (You may notice that we changed the date on our masthead to reflect two months, Feb/Mar. We decided low 4-6 weeks for subscription to start. Jiujiteira Magazine is
to make this change to be able to include more recent events and time relevant stories. Our next issue will a registered trademark of LuxDei Studio. The contents of Jiu-
cover stories from Mar/Apr. You will still receive 12 issues a year. Contact us if you have any questions.) jiteira Magazine, associated websites, advertisements, articles,
graphics, photographs and any other published content are
let’s keep rolling... Follow us online and keep the conversation going! protected by copyright law and may not be reproduced, dis-
jiujiteiramagazine.com tributed or modified without prior written consent of Jiujiteira
Magazine. Jiujiteira Magazine does not necessarily endorse,
jiujiteirausa jiujiteirausa [email protected] verify, or agree with the content, and makes no guarantees as
to the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, or usefulness of any
content. Jiujiteira Magazine shall not be held liable for any er-
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reproduction, in whole or in part, is prohibited without written
permission from the publisher.

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cover story STORY AND PHOTOS
BY EVELYN SUT TON

A HISTORIC ALL-FEMALE BRAZILIAN JIU-JITSU EVENT F2MWiam16i 2

The ladies of Fight2Win set the Magic City ablaze. The historic event
featured an international crowd of some of the most influential players in
today's Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu both on and off stage. Continuing the tradition of
being a strong supporter of Jiujiteiras, Fight2Win 162 goes down in history
as the ultimate celebration of women's achievements in Jiu-Jitsu.

f you've been to tors in a outpour of love and
Miami, Florida, support of womens' Jiu-Jitsu.
you know just
how thrilling the Led by well-known promoter
nightlife is in Seth Daniels, the organiza-
the most trop- tion that calls it's events the
ical metropolis "largest party in grappling"
in the country. certainly lived up to it's repu-
Yet the city was tation putting on a show that
set ablaze by the Jiujiteiras was second to none.
who incinerated the stage
of La Scala on the famous Throughout the night, the
Brickell Dr at Fight2Win 162. ladies delivered an array of
The historic all-women event awe-inspiring performances
featured a stacked card with at a high level of techni-
over 40 of the most exciting cal skill and bravado. The
female athletes to watch in athletes fought hard, even
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. going off-stage a few times,
flinging themselves into the
As I walked into the venue, I cheering arms of the crowd
could feel the energy in the who rushed to their rescue.
room and it was intoxicating. Luckily no one was seriously
Spectators were at the edge injured, and the show contin-
of their seats watching every ued as scheduled, delivering
moment of every fight, cheer- explosive and unexpected
ing on their favorite gladia- matches, one after another.

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Some of the biggest names in Jiu-Jitsu such as Professor "At the beginning, we didn't necessarily set out with
André Galvão from Atos Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in San Diego the intention of putting together an all-women card
and Master Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu from Fight Sports for F2W 162. We actually had some guys in there. But
Miami, were there to support the ladies. This was truly once we set those four top matches, we realized the
a night to remember for all fans of the sport. high-level caliber of the female athletes we were dealing
with. We knew we had something big. We moved the
The significance of this event for women in Jiu-Jitsu is guys matches and from that moment on, dedicated the
unprecedented. Not too long ago, getting a few high-pro- entire card to the ladies. It was time for an all-women
file Jiujiteiras on a card was nearly impossible. It can’t card." - Missy Estrada, Vice President of Fight 2 Win.
be overstated that Fight2Win has kicked open the doors
for professional female BJJ athletes to shine. If you missed the historic night, don't worry. Missy gave
us a preview of what's to come: "Our first all-women
The fight of the night between Lightweight Champ card was so successful, we plan on doing this again."
Ana Carolina Vieira and Welterweight Champ Rafaela
Guedes was an intense match that included a rolling The first Jiu-Jitsu promotion to set a female main event
toehold from Guedes that sent both women to the edge back in 2016 (F2W 4) with Mackenzie Dern vs Rosie
of the stage. The fight ended with a victory for Guedes. Snow, Fight2Win has been one of the driving forces pro-
pelling women Jiu-Jitsu forward, continuously pushing
The co-main event featured Amanda “Tubby” Alequin for more representation and equal pay for all athletes
and Nathalie Ribeiro. The ladies did not disappoint and regardless of gender. As an organization, they made
Alequin took the decision win. Excellent performances every effort to have women prominently featured on
were also delivered by BJJ legend Hannette Staack who their cards and made those matches main and co-main
faced 2009’s ADCC champion Luanna Alzuguir, and by events when others would avoid it, claiming there was
powerhouse Talita Alencar vs. Gabrielle McComb. no market for women-only shows.

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cover story fight 2 win 162 MIAMI
MAIN CARD RESULTS

RAFAELA GUEDES
WINS by decision against

Ana Carolina Vieira

GUEDES 155LBS NOGI F2W CHAMPION

AMANDA “TUBBY” ALEQUIN
WINS by decision against
Nathalie Ribeiro

ALEQUIN 135LBS NOGI F2W CHAMPION

TALITA ALENCAR
WINS by decision against

Gabrielle McComb

ALENCAR 125LBS NOGI F2W CHAMPION

LUANNA ALZUGUIR
WINS by decision against

Hannette Staack

ALZUGUIR 145LBS NOGI F2W CHAMPION

ERIN HARPE ELIZABETH KATHERINE
WINS by decision against MITROVIĆ

Maggie Grindatti WINS by decision against
Tara White
PAMELA BOVEDA
WINS by decision against ANA NASCIMENTO
WINS by decision against
Yani Reyes
Liz Exell
FIONA MARGARET WATSON
WINS by decision against SOFIA AMARANTE
Mariana Vieira WINS by decision against

Jessica Rodriguez

SEE COMPLETE RESULTS: INSTAGRAM.COM/P/CKQFXOWJMRG

Fight2Win isn’t the only organization to support wom-
en in BJJ. Eddie Bravo Invitational has hosted women
brackets, and Submission Hunter Pro 60 recently fea-
tured an entire card of female competitors in Texas.

Once a unicorn, women-only BJJ and MMA events are
now more popular than ever. The change in panorama
is due to promoters following the example of F2W and
taking a stand to support female athletes, the incredi-
ble level of Jiu-Jitsu being displayed by professional Jiu-
jiteiras, and the support of the public. Thanks to these
efforts, women's Jiu-Jitsu continues to move forward.
Congratulations to all the fighters who made F2W 162
an incredible event. I look forward to the next one!

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Exposé

don't
speak

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BY CHARLOTTE MCKINLEY

STRONG

& silenced

Verbal and nonverbal responses
such as eye-rolls and dismissing
reactions, weigh heavily on women
and are a sign of disrespect.

Women in Jiu-Jitsu is not a new thing. Women interested
in “men’s sports” is also not a new thing. This being the
case, why is it when men find out that women know
more about technique or fighters than they do,
surprise and bluster is a common response?

o-owner of Gracie Barra to be the one teaching this time
Colorado Springs and black spot, [the] coach answered yes. The
belt instructor Vanessa Waltz man huffed, turned up his nose,
recalls a time when a new said a woman was not able to teach
member joined her gym and his son and walked out.” Despite
assumed that, as a woman, her the show, Waltz was relieved when
knowledge was inadequate to they decided to leave. “There
teach. “A man brought his teen- was nothing but trouble ahead
age son to my morning class years if they stayed.” Disrespect to any
ago. [The] dad sat and watched me instructor is not acceptable. As an
teach with his son next to him. By instructor and a black belt, there is
the second technique he pulled a a wealth of knowledge possessed no
male coach aside and asked if I was matter the gender.

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Despite this, there is still a struggle move, and that the only assistance I Waltz has done more than being

in achieving acceptance and respect needed from him was to be my uke. a co-owner and professor at her

in the male-dominated community. He apologized immediately and has gym. She has been instrumental in

“Coming up in a very male-dominat- never done it again.” helping women achieve notoriety

ed era of BJJ, it always felt as though and opportunities in the Jiu-Jitsu

I had to do more than my male Samantha Seff, brown belt in- community through advocating for

counterparts to acquire the same structor at Rubao Carioca at Schell more women’s divisions in tour-

level of respect. I did more competi- Shock BJJ, has also experienced naments. “I hassled people, pissed

tions, more classes, more everything this phenomenon. “Every once in a people off, and had to fight for

you can imagine to be accepted as while a bit of an ego will pop up with even a single open class division.”

valid,” Waltz said. someone new, and they get humbled For Waltz, seeing ladies inside and

real quick.” She deals with this head outside of the Jiu-Jitsu community

When she first began teaching, it on making sure to always train with stand up for themselves and equal

was not easy for Waltz. “There were someone new so they can better ap- opportunity has been a “vision

classes that felt so off that I questioned preciate the technique that comes turned to reality.”

myself and I

would compare "Coming up in a very male-dominated Dani Harris,
my abilities to era of BJJ, it always felt as though I had who runs the
my husband to do more than my male counterparts Artemis Sub-
and feel heart- mission Series,
breakingly has similar

inadequate. Just to acquire the same level of respect." thoughts.
as we learn in “When I first

the beginning of VANESSA WALTZ got into Jiu-Jit-
our BJJ journey, su, I trained in

sucking is a Kentucky that

part of healthy growth. I embraced with years of gym time. “Because of really didn’t have a lot of women. I

it. I studied ways to deal with speak- that, I feel very well respected at my wanted to get closer to other women

ing anxiety, kept accepting offers gym and could not ask for a better who were doing this because I wres-

for seminars, and faced this phase place to train.” tled in High School, but I didn’t really

with arms wide open. It took time An old saying in Jiu-Jitsu advises have any women I personally looked
to grow into a well-rounded leader, practitioners to “leave their ego at up to in this sport. I knew I wanted
especially having no other woman to grow this because I love Jiu-Jitsu

to relate [to] or reference.” the door” before stepping onto the and wrestling and combat sports, so I

mats. For Waltz, this was something wanted to share that with others.”

This is not an isolated event. Melissa that continues to be applicable in

Lohsen, black belt and co-owner of her instruction. “I learned to remove Harris didn’t stop there. At just a

Darkwolf MMA, had something simi- personal ego even as a teacher,” Waltz white belt with a few stripes, she

lar happen. “The only thing I have had said. “I am forever a student myself hosted a seminar with Cat Zingano.

to deal with is well meaning advanced and do not hold myself above anyone, “I didn’t have a lot of notoriety or

belts mansplaining over the top of me but I know my worth and teach like even a leg to stand on, but for some

when I was teaching. I handled him I know it. If that confidence pushes reason I got a turnout of about 50

right there on the floor with everyone someone away, I am left with those women.” This success made her

watching. I just told him that I did not that are happy to be there seeking think of what she could do if she

need his assistance in instructing the knowledge and having fun!” had a bit of marketing on her side.

Fast forward to 2021, Harris has

CHARLOT TE MCKIN LEY is a blue belt affiliated under Jean created and hosted the Artemis
Jacques Machado. She enjoys armbars, books, and people. Submission Series, a females-only
Charlotte has a passion for blending her writing and love of Jiu-Jitsu submission tournament where
together. She is a full time student, works with the youth classes
at Alpha Jiu Jitsu and Fitness and is a social media guru. You can
contact her by DM via Instagram at @bjj_charlotte

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the competitors compete for money. “We VANESSA WALTZ
[as women] deserve to have a lot more,” she
said. “Most of the time, it’s targeted towards Do you have a preference for whom you teach?
men. I wanted to flip that.” My favorite is co-ed adult classes! People in general are so unique
and love the mix you get every class. It also demonstrates that
Ana Yagües, a black belt, IBJJF referee, and black belt women are highly valued in our community! Teaching
author of BJJ: The Rules of the Game, set herself women's classes is where I really shine, though. I love to share
up differently. To gain respect or knowledge, ideas, tell jokes, and hold them close to my heart. I can be more
she knew she would have to outwork the men feminine, laugh until I cry, and roll hard with them. My husband is
around her. When she became pregnant, she phenomenal at teaching kids, I however like to roll up children but
trained until she couldn’t. After giving birth, don't have the passion for leading those classes like he does!
she was the first one back on the mats. She
worked her way up refereeing this way too. “I MELISSA LOHSEN
started to referee for small competitions for
free, to learn and get experience before I could Have you ever had anyone turn away or leave your
properly call myself a referee,” she said. “Men gym when they found out a woman owned it?
see that and they respect it. As a woman in a I teach the morning classes and I know I have had at least two
man’s world, you need their respect in order to prospective students who did not come back after the first
be heard—in order to be considered as equal. lesson and I definitely got the vibe that it was the fact that I am a
Other men don’t have to train, fight, or prove female instructor. One asked some of the male students what my
themselves as hard as a woman has to do in qualifications were even though I have my black belt on my waist
order to reach the same level of respect and and certificates on the wall. I don’t think that would have been
acknowledgment, but it is the way it is.” asked of my husband.

The dynamic between men and women SAMANTHA SEFF
in Jiu-Jitsu is ever-changing. “Today BJJ is
widespread and women have been more When you first started training for MMA, did you get put down
involved which creates a balanced respect for being female and wanting to fight in the cage?
between female and male professors,” Waltz I did. I have a brother (I'm a triplet) who began training a year and
says. Though there are still instances where a half before I did. He's incredibly ripped and although he had no
women are not treated fairly in the Jiu-Jitsu aspirations to fight, he felt pressured into it because he hates saying
community, the vast majority of this tight- no and letting others down. People assumed I would train for self-
knit community has grown more accepting of defense and he would be the fighter of the family. He was ecstatic
the women in their ranks. Lohsen agrees. “I when people finally took me seriously so he could go back to
think that having a woman on the ownership training for fun while I had the mindset to dedicate my life to fighting.
team does help bring that woman's perspec-
tive to decisions. It is easier to attract female DANI HARRIS
students when you have a female instructor
and female leadership in the gym.” How did you connect with women in BJJ?
When I first got into Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, I trained in Kentucky that
Female practitioners are a valuable asset to really didn’t have a lot of Jiujiteiras. I wanted to get closer to other
the Jiu-Jitsu community. Women have a dif- women who trained because I wrestled in High School, but I didn’t
ferent perspective and see things their male really have any girls I personally looked up to in this sport. I knew
counterparts do not see, they use different I wanted to change this because I love Jiu-Jitsu and wrestling and
methods and techniques, and have a differ- combat sports so much, I want to share it with others. I didn’t have
ent relate to others. Truth is, no practitioner a lot of notoriety or even a leg to stand on, but for some reason I
deserves to be disrespected in any way and got a turnout of about 50 women.
most definitely not when the disrespect is
A N A YAG ÜE S
based on their gender. Y
Have you ever noticed a difference in the way people listen to
you vs. a male professor?
No, probably because I've always focused first in earning “my seat at
the table”. I never tried to make my thoughts known until I've showed
that I'm taking it seriously. I don’t mean having to win a major
competition or having a high rank before you can have an opinion, I
mean to work hard and show you are not there to play around. As a
woman, coming from the physics world which Is also predominantly
male, I knew you need to prove yourself to be taken seriously.

dosnp'teakJIUJITEIRAMAGAZINE.COM | JIUJITEIRA MAGAZINE | 19

events Founded by Cortney
GA LV ESTON , TX Danielle Carlson
and Albert Tapia, STORY AND PHOTOS
Submissions Submissions on BY EVELYN SUT TON
the Shore is a
ON THEShorestrong supporter
of women's Jiu-Jitsu.
We traveled to
Galveston, Texas
to cover their latest
action-packed
installment which
featured sixteen
teams of three
athletes competing
for the grand prize
of $5,000. Team "Will
Sub For Money" took
the victory which
came down to the
very last match, an
intense night
full of excitement.

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elebrating their one year Subs on the Shore employs For Money, won against Faye
anniversary, Submissions on submission-only rules, with Cherrier from Atos Atlanta.
the Shore put on an exciting mandatory overtime (EBI rules Zaira was also awarded "Sub-
all-women event in Galveston, or sudden-death) if no submis- mission of the Night" awards
Texas. Incredible athletes sion happens in regulation. for her efficient mounted and
such as Amanda Loewen, The decision came down to the inverted triangles. Congratula-
Talita Nogueira, and daugh- final match of the last round. tions to the winning team, all
ter, Luiza Nogueira shared After an intense duel, Zaira the fighters who participated
the stage with their teams. Cousins, from team Will Sub and the promotion team!

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THE WINNING TEAM, "WILL SUB FOR MONEY"
WITH SOPHIA NORDENO, ZAIRA COUSINS AND
HEATHER RAFTERY TOOK HOME THE GRAND PRIZE
OF $5,000 FROM SUBMISSIONS ON THE SHORE.
PICTURED ABOVE WITH SUBS ON THE SHORE
FOUNDER, CORTNEY DANIELLE CARLSON (FAR RIGHT).

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

events STORY BY EVELYN SUT TON
PHOTOS BY BLANCA MARISA GARCIA

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA 4HighRollerz

Research suggests many High Rollerz is a cannabis-friendly California-based BJJ submission only event
professional athletes use where all fighters must smoke weed before competing. The tournament
cannabis. Most use it as offers a unique grand-prize: a pound of marijuana, worth around $4,000.
an anti-inflammatory and The fourth installment took place in Las Vegas, Nevada on February 5 and
to alleviate pain. Others 6 and was well-attended by stars in the martial arts world, including Eddie
use it to reduce pre-fight Bravo and Tyron Woodley. Jiujiteiras were well represented in the NOGI invite-
stress and anxiety. Read only competition by athletes such as Zaira Cousins and Champ Valerie
more about the benefits Wong, who took the coveted pound of pot in the female division.
of cannabis for athletes
on our next issue!

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events

HOUSTON, TX

STORY AND PHOTOS
BY EVELYN S UT TO N

PROFESSORA TALITA “TRETA” NOGUEIRA GIRLS IN GIS DIRECTOR, SHAMA KO PROFESSORA AMANDA LOEWEN

After a long hiatus due to the pandemic, Girls
in Gis, the premier organization that has been
supporting women in Jiu-Jitsu since 2009 held it's
first event of 2021 in Houston, Texas. With over
60 Jiujiteiras in attendance, the seminar was the
perfect opportunity for Jiujiteiras to learn from high-
level athletes and feel part of a true sisterhood. The
organization plans on hosting more events this
year in different parts of the country. Stay tuned for
updates and visit their website to learn how you
can get be part of Girls in Gis: girls-in-gis.com Y

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

BY

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SPOTLIGHT

SOPHIE

"The DoSgh"arp

STORY BY EVELYN SUT TON She got the nickname, "Dog" from her dad
PHOTOS SUPPLIED BY SOPHIE SHARP for her tenacity. At just 14 years old, Sophie
Sharp has countless of hours of training
2 8 | J I U J I T E I R A MAGAZINE | JIUJITEIRAMAGAZINE.COM and an impressive number of Brazilian Jiu-
Jitsu competitions under her belt. The teen
athlete from New Jersey has more drive and
ambition than most adults. Her dreams of one
day becoming the ADCC Champion of her
generation are not far-fetched. Like a dog with
a bone, Sophie is relentlessly paving her way to
Jiu-Jitsu glory, one submission at a time.

ophie’s love story with BJJ started years ago when her
older sister Emily became interested in wrestling.
Their mother researched the sport and came across
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. She thought BJJ would be a good
option to get Emily ready for wrestling. Curious, So-
phie followed her big sister. After a few months on the
mat, Emily decided BJJ wasn’t exactly what she was
looking for, but for Sophie, it was love at first roll.

“I had only been practicing full- Surrounded “Our main girl is Danielle Kelly. She’s
time for 5 months or so then, but by Great amazing. She trains all the time and has
I already couldn’t imagine my life Mentors accomplished so much already. I am
without Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. From super excited about helping her with
that day on, I’ve practiced Jiu-Jit- Sophie trains at Studio 84 the women’s program at our gym. It’s
su seven days a week. It’s my pas- AJJ & MMA in Cream Ridge, another opportunity for me to get to do
sion and hopefully it will be just New Jersey, under Profes- even more in this sport.”
like this for the rest of my life.” sor Guitano Mione. A life
long Martial Artist, Guitano Besides her natural drive Sophie credits
The love and dedication Sophie is a BJJ Black Belt under her coaches and teammates for keeping
puts into her training is admira- Tom Deblass and a member her motivated. “Having their example,
ble. At only 14 years old, the teen of the legendary “Team that inspiration, definitely helps you
juggles a demanding schedule of Renzo Gracie.” Professor take your training to the next level. I’m
daily arduous training, competi- Guitano is a 2019 IBJJF glad that I have the opportunity to be
tions, school and spending time World and Pan-American surrounded by people like that.”
with family and friends. Jiu-Jitsu Champion amongst many
has been the epicenter of her life other medals and titles.
for the past four years and she
wouldn’t want it any other way. Already a leader at her
gym, Sophie assists EBI
The young athlete is happy and Veteran Danielle Kelly
confident about her decision to with the women’s pro-
pursue Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as a gram. Danielle earned her
career and the fact that it makes black-belt last year, at only
her stand out amongst her peers. 24 years old. With remark-
able wins along the way,
“I like that I’m doing something including champion of
that isn’t normally “for girls”. I Submission Hunter Pro 60
know how to defend myself in all-women’s card in 2020
real world situations. I think the and her submission of UFC
best part is when people look at fighter Cynthia Calvillo
me, and see a cute little girl, they at Quintet Ultra in 2019,
underestimate me. And then I which took her only 17
choke them in a triangle before seconds. Danielle is a great
they can do anything to stop me. source of inspiration to
That’s always funny.” Sophie and a mentor.

JIUJITEIRAMAGAZINE.COM | J I U J I T E I R A MAGAZINE | 2 9

her family: “Honestly, I Recently, she did an in-
don’t know where I would terview with Sam Ryan of
be without my family. I ABCNEWS for a segment
probably wouldn’t be any- called Future Stars. Sophie
where without my mom describes it as an unbeliev-
and dad being able to drive able experience. "They used
me to wherever I need to a ton of different cameras
go, paying for my train- including a GoPro on my
ing, paying for all of my partner's head to capture
tournaments, making sure takedowns. The news an-
I have everything I need to chor asked great questions
succeed and that I get to and the best part was being
train every day. My family able to share the spotlight
means everything to me with my little sister Stella
and I don’t know what I "The Monster" Sharp. An-
would do without them.” other of dad's nicknames.

In the future, Sophie wants to have a gym of her own
where she plans to focus on the women’s program to
bring BJJ to more ladies. “I absolutely love teaching the
kids and even adults if there’s a new guy trying class or
a woman, especially a woman. I just love to make them
feel welcome. Once I get to brown-belt, I might open a
gym. One of my dreams is opening a gym with my dad
who is a purple-belt right now. We’ve kind of planned
everything out for the future, in the meanwhile, I'm
learning and having fun teaching any chance I get."

Sophie feels one of the ty out, and you get a couple “...have a voice. Don’t be the
reason why there aren’t that are a little scared, shy girl in the corner waiting
more women participat- then you get a handful for someone to say,
ing in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu that are like, 'Wow, I really “hey, you wanna roll?”
is because of the incorrect like this!' I just want to get Go up to them and ask them
assumption that this is a as many girls and women yourself. We’re here for a reason.”
sport for men and boys, to train and experience it
women and girls just don’t for themselves. Just have
think they are strong fun, you know?”
enough to do it. Sophie
wants to charge that Besides having an excep-
perception. “It’s definitely tional working relation-
a male-dominated sport. I ship with her coaches
love watching new women and teammates at Studio
step on the mats for the 84, Sophie credits her
first time. I’ve helped plen- success to the support of

SOPHIE ON THE TOP RIGHT WITH ONE OF HER
MENTORS, DANIELLE KELLY AND ON THE BOT TOM,

LEADING A WOMEN'S CLASS AT STUDIO 84

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

Future ADCC
champion

Before committing to SO PH IE AN D H ER P RO F E SSO RS: G U ITA NO, JAY A ND JOH N
Jiu-Jitsu, Sophie trained
in Taekwondo, and she
was pretty competitive.
Competing in BJJ was a
natural transition for her.

When you watch any of beginning, it’s nerve-rack- When looking for inspira- "I would like to take this
her matches, it becomes ing, for sure. You get the tion, Sophie also looks up to opportunity to thank my
clear that her signature little butterflies in your competitors Grace Gun- professor, all of my coach-
go-to submission is the stomach, but if you just drum, from 10th Planet es, my family and my
triangle arm bar. “I main- keep doing it, you will get Bethlehem and Elizabeth sponsors for believing in
ly play from my back, in over that initial fear. And Clay, number one in the me and helping me every
guard. From there, I work the more you compete, the IBJJF NOGI brown belt step of the way."
my way into the triangle.” better you get at it.” division, just to name a few.
Her advice for young girls
Before Covid, Sophie was Competing is not for Sophie is after the ADCC and women who may be
competing almost every everyone, however Sophie title and there is no stop- struggling to be seen at
weekend, an impressive encourages women to try ping her. “My biggest goal their gyms, feel they are
schedule for anyone, espe- it at least once, “you dis- for this year is the ADCC constantly ignored or left
cially for a teenager who cover things about your- trials in November. That is out is to be bold and have a
is trying to balance BJJ, self that you didn’t know a huge one for me.” voice. “The main thing is to
social life and school work. when you compete”, she have a voice. Don’t be shy
Covid slowed things down explains. She also hopes to With no time to waste, she and don’t be the girl in the
a bit, yet she still found see a stronger presence of is hitting the mats hard corner waiting for some-
tournaments to compete a female athletes at Jiu-Jit- already getting ready for one to say, “hey, you wanna
couple of times a month. su sporting events. ADCC. “The ADCC trials roll?” Go up to them and
is mainly what I’m train- ask them yourself. We’re
Sophie wants to motivate Not every match is a win. ing for right now. I will here for a reason.”
more women to compete. Anything can happen and definitely participate in
“Just go for it”, she says. even when you are at the all the other local tourna- We hear you Sophie, loud
The athlete shares with top of your game, at some ments but my main focus and clear. And we will be
us her first experience in point, loss is inevitable. is ADCC. I want to be in there to celebrate your
a Jiu-Jitsu tournament to Sophie demonstrates that huge stage.” victory when you reach
inspire other Jiujiteiras. great emotional maturity the top of the ADCC
and wisdom on how she When Sophie is not train- podium and many other
“You’ll never know how treats those moments as ing for ADCC or compet- amazing triumphs you
you will perform until you learning opportunities. ing, she likes to pursue cre- will sure have along
do it. My first ever tour- ative endeavors and enjoy
nament, I was only three “I just went through a big the company of animals. your journey! Y
weeks in BJJ and I was pet- loss last weekend, and I “I’m a very artsy person.
rified. I didn’t know what was very upset. I lost five I love painting, drawing, Follow Sophie "The Dog" Sharp
I was walking into or how matches, one by one they singing, listening to music, on social media:
good I would be against got away from me. I look stuff like that. I’m also a
my opponent. Now, I’ve back now and I see how big animal person. I love IG: sophie_dog922
gotten used to it. But in the much I learned from that.” being around animals.” FB: facebook.com/SophieDog922

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

coach talk

The secret of 1 CCorolslsar
the cross collar 3 choke
choke is in the A high percentage submission, this
movement of the choke is effective from any position,
guard, mount, even side control.
wrists. It is not Regardless of the position, this
about squeezing choke constricts the blood flow to
the head and pressures the vagus
but instead, nerve, slowing down the heart and
revving, as if you decreasing oxygen supply to the brain.

were starting 2
a motorcycle.
The sharp part 4
of your bones
against your 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
opponent's currently a brown belt in Jiu-Jitsu, David is responsible for a sucessful
carotid arteries kids, adults and womens' program at his gym. You can contact him at:
is what creates [email protected] or bjjmelbournefl.com
choking pressure

on their neck.

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

eventsLANGHORNE, PA

cross colar STORY & PHOTOS BY WENDY L JARVA
from closed guard PHOTOS ALSO BYD KLINE DESIGNS
he Good Fights Tournament of Brotherly Love in
BREAKING IT DOWN: Langhorne PA was the place to be over the weekend
1. Before you can execute the cross collar choke from closed of March 6th, 2021. The Sub Only event, which
guard, it is imperative that you break your opponent’s posture highly supports women in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
first. Use your legs to push them down towards you, and had a whopping 316 competitors hitting the
prevent them of posting back up. mats with a good amount of Jiujiteiras.

2. Use your left hand to open up the opponent's lapel and Register for their next event online at:
create space for you to slide your right hand inside for the goodfighttournament.com Use coupon code:
grip, four fingers in, thumb up at the back of the opponent’s SICCHIC and receive $5 off each division!
head so that the radial bone is in contact with their neck.

3. For the second grip, take your left arm under your right arm
and slide your left hand inside the opponent's opposite collar,
creating an ‘X’ position with your arms. Use the same grip as
before, four fingers in, thumb up behind their neck.

4. Once you have your grips in you are now ready to finalize
the choke. Use your wrists in a revving motion, as if you were
starting a motorcycle. Keep you elbows tight and pull them
down towards the floor. Keep revving and bringing your
opponent down to you until they are submitted.

When finalizing the cross collar choke from mount, it can
happen very fast or it can take a few moments. Keep your
grips tight, be patient and trust the technique. It's only a matter
of seconds before a tap or your opponent goes lights out.

LEVEL: Beginner

SCAN THIS QR CODE WITH
YOUR PHONE'S CAMERA TO
LEARN MORE BJJ TIPS AND
WATCH STEP - BY- STEP
VIDEO TUTORIALS

Beauty is a Beast

UdriPnk

BY VHILENA NELSON

It's always a good reminder to drink plenty of water. Don't underestimate the
effect of proper hydration on athletic performance. In addition to preventing
muscle fatigue, cramps and other benefits to the body, with adequate
hydration, your endurance will be higher giving you more time on the mats.

t's easy to make excuses not to go to tell how much your body is D E H Y D R AT I O N
out, especially during the pandem- actually sweating. Relying on MEANS YOUR
ic last year. As the weather warms thirst alone to indicate when to
up and the Covid-19 vaccine is now hydrate or drink water is usually BODY DOESN'T
available, many of us are ready to not enough. In order to keep the HAVE ENOUGH
return to a more normal level of muscles working properly and
physical activity. Outdoor activities avoid fatigue, it is very important WAT E R
are a great way to let those endor- to stay hydrated before, during
phins flow and make fitness fun. and after any physical activity. TO CARRY OUT
It is a good thing to be more physi- NORMAL TASKS,
cally active, but you need to pay close A good rule of thumb for partic-
attention to hydration. ipating in any physical exercise AND THIRST
is to drink at least two glasses IS THE MAIN
When the weather is warm, your of fluids two hours before. This
body will sweat more to help you will ensure that you are fully SYMPTOM.
cool down. Due to the nature of the hydrated before exercising. It DON'T RUN ON
activity, temperature and humidity, is also recommended to drink
certain activities make it difficult 4-6 ounces every 15-20 minutes E M P T Y.
while exercising. This is to keep
DID YOU KNOW? 60%Up to the muscles fully hydrated and FUEL UP
avoid fatigue and cramps. If your
exercise intensity is very high or BEFORE, DURING
you exercise for an hour or lon- AND AFTER
ger, make sure to have at least 16 TRAINING.
ounces (2 cups) of fluid to cover
of the human body is water: the entire workout process.

Brain and heart are composed of 73% water

Lungs are about 83% water

Skin contains 64% water

Muscles and kidneys are 79%

Bones are 31%

SOURCE: USGS.GOV/SPECIAL-TOPIC/WATER-SCIENCE-SCHOOL

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JIUJITEIRAMAGAZINE.COM | J I U J I T E I R A MAGAZINE | 3 5

After the exercise is complete, you or fructose, and all these carbohy- into your system can also help you
will need to drink more fluids to drates should be absorbed quickly determine some of the other factors
restore your body. Again, this is to during exercise. Avoid carbonated mentioned above. The key is to stay
protect your muscles and prevent drinks, as they may cause stomach hydrated before, during and after
fatigue. If your exercise level is high- upset and hiccups during exercise. exercise. Staying hydrated helps
er than average, it is recommended prevent muscle injuries, soreness,
to weigh yourself before and after Most sports drinks are fairly diluted fatigue and cramps.
exercise. During exercise, for every and have relatively lower calorie
pound of weight lost, many doctors content. If the taste of sports drinks Don't underestimate the effect
recommend that you drink 20 ounc- can help you keep hydrated over of high-quality sports drinks on
es of fluid after your workout. water which is tasteless, then by overall performance. After proper
all means enjoy your sports drink. hydration, your endurance will be
For physical exercise, there really If you are concerned about the better for longer. In addition to pre-
is no magical drink. It is perfectly increase in calories, try diluting the venting muscle fatigue, hydration
ok to take water directly from your sports drink with water or with ice has many other positive benefits to
kitchen sink. If your activity is more cubes. There are many choices in the body. Keeping hydrated is good
intense or more than an hour, it is sport drinks and it all boils down for your skin, organs, hair, nails and
best to look for fluids that replace to what you prefer. Exercise level overall health. So remember, enjoy
electrolytes. "Electrolyte" is a gen- and how sports drinks are absorbed
eral term for positively or negative- working out and DRINK UP! Y
ly charged particles. In terms of
nutrition, the term refers to essential Sports drinks such as Gatorade,
minerals found in blood, sweat and Powerade and Liquid IV, can
urine. When these minerals are provide you with the energy
dissolved in the liquid, they will form boost you need during training.
electrolyte positive or negative ions
used in metabolism.

Sports drinks such as Gatorade, WE WANT
Powerade and Liquid IV, can pro- TO HEAR
vide you with the energy boost you FROM YOU!
need during exercise. They are de-
signed to quickly replace fluids and At Jiujiteira Magazine, we believe
increase circulating sugar (glucose) in creating a magazine that truly
in the blood. It is important to read represents our community and
the labels of sports drinks so that gives you a voice. We’re eager to
you can make an informed decision hear more from our readers.
that is best for you.
Send your feedback to:
Be careful to avoid beverages that [email protected]
are too high in sugar and sodium, as
they can also cause muscle cramps V HIL E N A N E L S ON is a professional hair stylist and owner of
and fatigue. Ideally, every 8-ounce His & Her Mobile Hair Salon in Melbourne, FL. A blue belt in Jiu-Jitsu,
serving of a suitable sports drink Vhilena competes in BJJ and is a local advocate for women in the
will provide approximately 14 grams sport. You can contact her at: [email protected]
of carbohydrates, 28 mg of potassi- or hisandhermobilehaircare.com
um, and 100 mg of sodium. The car-
bohydrates in sports drinks should
come from glucose, sucrose and/

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jiu-jitsu shopping

During our travels, we had the pleasure of meeting the
folks behind Fostering Jiu-Jitsu and enjoying delicious
jam! A certified non-profit organization from Pomona, CA,
Fostering Jiu-Jitsu funds at-risk youth from ages 5-26 to
train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Their goal is to bring BJJ to as many
at-risk kids as possible and they believe the cornerstone
of modern Jiu-Jitsu is the schools. Fostering Jiu-Jitsu funds
membership to the local BJJ school including the uniform.
How they fundraise is by making and selling handcrafted
jams - Jams for Jiu-Jitsu. A family-owned venture, they
travel in a van to events and gyms all across the country
bringing their jams. Check out their website, buy some
jams, donate to the cause and be part of something
meaningful that will positively impact a young person's life:
FOSTERINGJIUJITSU.ORG

Good Snacks The best snacks we found to keep your
tummy happy on and off the mats!

Craving something sweet but don't want the
sugar? Try ChocZero peanut butter cups. They
come in three varieties: milk chocolate, dark
chocolate, and our staff favorite, white chocolate.
Keto friendly, they have only 1g net carb per
serving. The creamy, sugar-free peanut butter
mixes will take you back on a nostalgic journey
through your childhood.
CHOCZERO.COM

Roll with these cinnamon rolls for If you're looking for a low carb snack baked to
breakfast without adding any rolls to perfection that won't leave you feeling guilty afterwards,
your waistline. Better Than Good look no further. With only 2 net carbs, 11g of fat and
Foods protein puffs are light, crunchy no added sugar, Fat Snax is sure to satisfy. Certified
and veggie infused. These puffs are gluten-free, baked with almond and coconut flour,
the new go-to snack for those who these crackers are Keto friendly and fit into any diet.
demand great taste and high-quality
ingredients that fits a healthy lifestyle. FATSNAX.COM
Low carbs, zero sugar, low fat, big
taste. Give it a try:
BETTERTHANGOODSNACKS.COM

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

coming up

Who’s Number One? SUBMISSION HUNTER
PRO 68
GRINDATTI vs GUEDES Our very own contributing
writer, Lorena Balli will be
After taking the crown at Fight- Maggie, a black-belt under Roberto facing off Chiara Nunu on
2Win 162 in Miami, Rafaela “Cyborg” Abreu, holds numerous titles March 21 in Ediburg, TX.
Guedes of Atos is now getting in IBJJF, including consecutive World Many other great fights on
ready to showcase more of her phe- Championship medals in all colored belt the card with 30+ matches.
nomenal Jiu-Jitsu when she faces off levels, both in GI and NOGI This will be More info:
Maggie Grindatti of Fight Sports Miami Maggie's second appearance on the WNO garciapromotions.com
on March 26th. Showcasing two distinct stage. For Rafaela,it's her debut.
styles, this promises to be an exciting SOPHIA MCDERMOTT
match where anything can happen. Rafaela Guedes, who earned her black- FIT LIFESTYLE CAMP
belt in September under BJJ power cou- Australia's first female BJJ
Both top-ranked female competitors are ple André and Angelica Galvão, is widely black-belt hosts a Jiu-
part of the main card of Who’s Number recognized as one of the most promising Jitsu lifestyle camp for
One, an event hosted by FloGrapppling. rising female athletes in the sport. Be- women complete with
The card also features the highly antici- sides her recent victory in Miami against yoga, meditation, nutrition,
pated match between Gordon Ryan and Ana Carolina Viera, Guedes holds IBJJF workouts, beach and of
Vagner Rocha. Maggie and Rafaela are Pan and No-Gi Pan 2020 championships. course, sisterhood. In
two of the best women currently in the Visit FloGrappling's website to find out Bradenton Beach, FL from
145lb division. June 4-8. Sign up at:
how you can watch it. Y sophiaFIT.com

HOW TO WATCH: FLOGRAPPLING.COM

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 | 3 9

yoga for jiu jitsu

bbendaycoukr

BY EVELYN SUT TON

Certain body parts play pivotal roles in Jiu-Jitsu and your back is one of them. Improving back
flexibility helps your muscles get stronger to perform the many twists and turns of Brazilian
Jiu-Jitsu. As you become more flexible, your speed, strength, balance and coordination also
increases. Back flexibility reduces the risk of potential injuries to the neck and spine, while helping
speed up recovery time from sore muscles. The following set of yoga poses are known as back
bends, and specifically target back, shoulder and neck flexibility. Practice daily, and notice the
positive impacts increased back flexibility has on your BJJ performance.

Fish Pose

Matsyasana

Bring hands to your sides, then press through the floor as you
lift through your chest to create a bend in your back, and rest
the crown of your head on the floor. You can also add a gentle
hip opener by bringing soles of the feet together, allowing your
knees to fall open to the sides in reclining butterfly as shown.

Level: Beginner

Bow Pose

Dhanurasana

Press the hip bones into the floor, bring feet into
your hands, then pull against your feet to create
tension within your body and allow a higher lift.
Try to keep your knees in line with your hips as
you come up higher to create the shape of a bow.

Level: Intermediate

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

BrPidogsee Wheel
Pose
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
Urdhva Dhanurasana
Bridge pose is also known as the "bridge of healing". This
backbend has many benefits to the body and mind. Not A powerful back bend and heart opener, wheel pose is
only it bends your whole back from top to bottom, it’s a best performed after more mild backbends, so leave this

great pose to engage the muscles in your glutes, inner pose for the end of your yoga session when your spine
thighs, and lower abs. To perform this pose, lift through will be ready for it. Start lying down with arms alongside
your hips, pull your ribcage together to stop your ribs from the body. Bring the palms of your hands next to your ears
splaying open, and roll your shoulders under your body to
come up highter. Try placing a block between your knees so that your elbows are pointing straight up and your
fingers pointing towards your feet. Place the crown of the
and squeezing it for deeper activation. head on the floor. Push up through feet and hands lifting
Level: Beginner the hips as high as you can. Then push up until your head

PLoosceust comes off the floor and use your forearms for support.

Salabhasana Level: Advanced

Grounding through the hip bones, stretch your arms out
alongside the body with fingers pointing towards your
feet. Interlock your hands together behind your back,
and simultaneously lift your chest and legs. Keep your
legs and feet together as close together as possible.
Level: Intermediate

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 | 4 1

close choke

Flying Above Limits

A small-town girl from Tully in upstate New York, Amy Bower set her
eyes in the big blue skies. Her dreams of flying above the clouds were
accomplished when she became a pilot for the US Air Force, no easy
feat. Back then, she didn't know that one day she would also spread
her wings on the Jiu-Jitsu mats. The part-time Air Force Reservist, wife
and mother of two managed to adapt the skills she learned during her
military and pilot training to her BJJ game. She has recently earned her
promotion to blue-belt, and the new level has her soaring, setting Amy
on the path to conquer new horizons.

STORY & PHOTOS BY EVELYN SUT TON

JM: Tell us about yourself. ance of family, work, and with him. I had watched some side control posi-
Where are you from and BJJ kind of always fluctu- him train before so I had tional rolling, though I
what does a typical day in ating. I try to get to the a basic understanding didn’t know that’s what
your life look like? gym every chance I get. of what Brazilian Jiu-Jit- we were doing at the time.
AB: I grew up in Tully, a Sometimes that means su was but I was still as We moved to the Tampa
small town just south of day classes when my kids clueless as anyone else on area shortly after that first
Syracuse in upstate New are at school, sometimes my first day climbing onto class. My second class was
York. I went to college it means we hire a babysit- those mats. with Tony Way at Gracie
at Syracuse University, ter and have "date night" Palm Harbor. Tony starts
which is where I met Jer- on the mats. JM: I remember my first you off with the basics like
emy. We've been married Jiu-Jitsu class as having most places, but has you
for almost 14 years now JM: Have you trained mar- no clue what was going on. rolling right away. That’s
and have a 4-year old tial arts before and what How was your first class? truly when I fell in love
daughter and a 6-year old attracted you to BJJ? AB: My first class was with BJJ, when I real-
son. Jeremy owns and AB: I did a few martial arts with a Gracie Barra gym ized the physicality and
operates Givr Packag- classes in college but it in Jupiter, FL. It was gi endurance needed. I was
ing, a forward-thinking was more like a combo of and I remember noticing a runner through high
eco-friendly packaging Judo and Karate. Jeremy how weird it was to be school, and still consider
company here in Mel- started training BJJ many working out in this very myself one, but the
bourne, FL. I am a part- years ago on and off. It heavy blanket-like outfit. type of survival-based
time Air Force Reservist, wasn't until a little over 2 Jeremy was with me at cardio you get while roll-
wife and mom. Our years ago that he started the class and we practiced ing is unique and I
schedule is actually pretty training regularly again skills that I certainly don’t was instantly hooked.
dynamic, a careful bal- and convinced me to try it remember and then did

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JM: What’s your favorite
position and favorite
submission?
AB: In gi I love getting a
cross-face and taking the
back then using a basic
collar choke submission.
For nogi, anaconda is still
my favorite submission.

JM: What impact has AB: I’ve been training for just over 2 years now. My first JM: What things do you
Jiu-Jitsu made in your 6 months was all nogi (besides my very first class which find hard in training?
life, as a woman, and was in the gi), so when I put a gi on 6 months in, I really AB: I have a hard time re-
individual? hated it. It took a few months to warm up to the gi but membering everything we
AB: I look at people some- now I actually prefer it. Now that I’m learning how to use learn. I’ve been incredibly
times now and think, it, the gi provides a nice point of control and leverage, lucky to have some truly
“I could defend myself especially against bigger or stronger training partners. gifted instructors, but I’ll
against you if I needed to.” learn the technique in
That’s a powerful thing. class and think, “this is
I’d say I feel generally awesome, I’m going to use
more confident overall it all the time,” but then
because of it. I also enjoy forget it a few days (or
being part of the BJJ com- hours) later. I try to keep
munity. There is a certain a notebook of techniques
amount of respect and but my success rate at
understanding between following through with
people who are about to that is spotty at best. It’s
try to choke and break also tough to find time
each other, and it makes to train. I really have to
way for great friendships. make it a priority or it just
doesn’t happen.
JM: How long have you
been training? Do you JM: And what do you find
prefer gi or no-gi? easy, what comes natural
to you?
AB: Between riding horses
and running in my youth,
the cardio, endurance,
and leg strength aspects
of BJJ came easily for me.
Horses, I think, helped me
develop good coordina-

LOVE + JIU-JITSU >
AMY AND JEREMY WERE
BOTH PROMOTED TO
BLUE BELT ON THE SAME
NIGHT, WHICH MADE THE
PROMOTION EVEN SWEETER.

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tion and muscle memory, with. I was an Electrical JM: What do you consider or appreciate until you
which have helped a lot Engineering major in the greatest challenges practice it. Until you’ve
too. On the mental side of college, where I was a for women in Jiu-Jitsu? been on the receiving end
the game, there are some minority as a woman. I AB: Finding great training of shoulder pressure, it’s
skills I gained during mili- joined the Air Force and partners is important. I easy to assume that BJJ is
tary and pilot training that even though the number have had great training a type of Karate. Ann has
translate to BJJ really well. of females serving our partners that are men, but been inspiring me along
Little things like attention country continues to grow, when I roll with women the way. We used to ride
to detail and establishing there are still far fewer it feels like a more honest horses together constant-
“triggers and scripts” as a women than men. And assessment of each other’s ly, but we still haven’t had
type of mental flow chart then I decided to be a pilot skills. I guess for both the opportunity to roll
for what to do and when, in the Air Force, where women and men, if you together, hopefully soon!
have helped me develop there are even less women don’t find great training
my understanding of tech- proportionally. The fact partners right away, it can JM: What is something
niques and positions. that it’s a male dominated be hard to keep coming that people would be
sport doesn’t bother me. I back and getting smashed surprised to learn
JM: How was your first BJJ make the most out of my day after day at the begin- about you?
competition? What was training and try to enjoy ning. The right training AB: In 2017 we sold our
the greatest lesson you every minute whether I’m partners will keep smash- house and most of our
took from it and will you the only woman on the ing you but also show you possessions and lived
compete again? mats, or at a women’s only that there is a light at the in an RV. We traveled
AB: I competed at LeLeo class. When women train end of the tunnel and help around the country for
Code in November 2019, together, I feel like we are you recognize the ways in the first year and then
I was so nervous. There all harder on each other, which you’re improving. traveled around Florida
were only a handful of which is a good thing. our second year, ultimate-
female competitors but JM: Who are some of the ly deciding to settle down
I had 4 or 5 matches. In JM: You were recently women who inspire you in Melbourne, FL. It was
addition to being nervous, promoted to blue belt. in BJJ? quite an adventure with 2
I remember having an in- What did that moment AB: All the women I’ve small kids, we feel really
credible adrenaline dump feel like? trained with have inspired grateful to have been in
which left me very, very AB: I always thought I me. The aggressive nature a position to make that
tired after. I walked into would see it coming but it of BJJ doesn’t come natu- choice for our family and
the competition looking was a big surprise. Jeremy rally to a lot of women, so have that experience.
at every other woman and I were promoted on the fact that we have all
there like a threat, but the same day but sepa- developed it and continue "Anything gyms
I left with an incredible rately. It was really special to work at it is amazing. can do to help
amount of respect for that we were recognized One of my closest child- women feel
them all. I will absolutely individually for our tal- hood friends, Ann Hahn, comfortable
be looking to compete ents and hard work but and her husband own a through those
again. I hope to walk into also together, since find- gym in upstate New York,
my next competition ing time to train has really Shogun Martial Arts. She first few months
without as many nerves. been a team effort. It was was already a brown belt is super helpful...
something I’ll always when I started training. It
JM: What does it feel like remember, an intentional wasn’t until a few weeks and being really
to be a woman on the and public recognition of after I had been training aware of how the
mat in what is still a male skills that you can wear that it clicked… wow,
dominated sport? around on your waist. Ann is a brown belt! I women in your
AB: It’s something I’ve What an honor! think it’s a sport that is gym are being
become pretty familiar very hard to understand treated is critical."

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JM: You’re married and your hus- longer than me and the fact that he months. Once you get some basic
band Jeremy also trains. What is it is supportive and understands the skills under your belt it gets eas-
like to share this practice with your sport is the only thing that keeps ier and being a woman in a male
significant other? me coming back to the mats some dominated sport becomes less of an
AB: It’s amazing. There are a lot days. I think that would be a hard issue. Anything gyms can do to help
of challenges that come with BJJ. situation to deal with. I guess my women feel comfortable signing up
Getting smashed pretty consistent- advice would be to see if you can get and stay comfortable through those
ly as a lower belt, then feeling like them to try it out! If you can head first few months is super helpful.
you’re really starting to get it only to and arm choke them every morning Women’s only classes, female-led
have your house of cards knocked they’ll probably eventually want to and focused seminars, and being re-
down a few weeks or months later learn how to defend it right? ally aware of how the women in your
when you’re game falls apart again. gym are being treated is critical.
It’s constantly learning and growing JM: What are your future plans for
and the fact that we get to learn and Jiu-Jitsu? JM: What is an event you would like
grow together is really rewarding. AB: At this point I just want to keep to compete in?
It’s certainly brought us closer. I coming back. Keep growing and AB: I’d love to start competing more
think having a common passion learning with Jeremy and with my but I don’t have any specific compe-
and hobby is critical especially other amazing training partners at titions I’m aiming for at this point.
with busy schedules and little kids. Carlson Gracie Melbourne. I’d love
We can motivate each other and to compete, teach, and one day be a JM: If you could pick anyone in the
celebrate our achievements in a way black belt, but I’ll take it one step at world to roll with - male or female -
that would be hard to appreciate if a time for now! who would you choose and why?
both of us weren’t training. AB: John Danaher. He breaks things
JM: How do you feel about the level down in a very logical way and in
JM: What is your advice to women of Jiu-Jitsu education currently many circumstances, watching
whose partners do not support or available to women? Do you feel it’s instruction from him has helped me
approve of their training? lacking in any way? see a technique or position in a com-
AB: Oh wow, that’s a hard question. AB: I think it’s harder for a lot of pletely different light. It would be an
I’m not really sure I have any great women to initially step on the mats amazing experience to roll with him
advice. Jeremy has been training and then get through the first few or even just attend a seminar.

JM: What is your hope or
resolution for 2021?
AB: I think “world peace” is al-
ways an acceptable answer, right?
Seriously though, I want to keep
working at BJJ and make sure I
don’t fall into the large pool of folks
who get their blue belt and then
stop training. I’m trying to get to the
gym at every opportunity but also
see the journey for the marathon
it is and effectively balance work
and family. It’s no easy task, but
it certainly helps having a spouse
that understands the addiction and
bitter challenges that come along

with BJJ! Y

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LET LIGHT BE.

STUDIO

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out of the cage

Not All

Family is Blood.

When it comes to Jiu-Jitsu, "...my gym is like family people are participating in Jiu-Jitsu
finding the best gym as an outlet and a hobby, and hob-
suited to our individual bies are supposed to be fun, not a
needs and expectations is a reference source of stress or anxiety. The gym

akin to Goldilocks and the three and the members should be your sanctuary, and not
bears, i.e., securing the right fit for are my brothers a place causing you dread because
us until it feels just right. View any and sisters. I feel so of the maniacal way an owner leads
large Facebook group that pertains fortunate to train at a their BJJ environment.
to grappling and Jiu-Jitsu, and you place that truly feels
will see and read horror stories about like home; my refuge Toxic gym culture is a thing,
certain gym experiences, or reasons from the darkness of and it’s sad how prevalent it
why one was just not a good fit for the world, my therapy can be. My biggest gripe with
a specific individual, or even tales from the stressors of this is when there are people fresh
of an almost cult-like atmosphere. life, and my loving to the game, maybe a bit young
It’s enough to deter anyone from solace I look forward and naïve, but eager and willing to
branching out and trying again. to every single day. It’s work hard and do what is expected.
However, through adversity is when why we have a saying However, there are those in position
we find our greatest strengths, and if in our academy, ‘not of power, who get their jollies off
we know what to be wary of and the all family is blood’ and by taking advantage of those that
warning signs to watch out for, we these are the people blindly adhere to their every whim,
will become wiser in our journey to I continue to choose and use the atmospheric hierarchy
finding the right bowl of porridge for every single day." of the gym to assert their domi-
us, um, I mean gym. nance over those who revere their
knowledge. A good student wants to
It’s odd to me, because at the end believe and trust in their coaches,
of the day you are a contributing but some of these people capitalize
member paying for a service. Un- on the willingness of their students
less you are employed by said gym, to abide by their dialogue. Unfortu-
it is incredulous to expect to be told nately, it is a tough pill to swallow
what to do in every other facet of to learn that not everyone will have
your life. You are giving compen- your best interests at heart, and we
sation for learning a grappling art can only hope to learn this lesson
from your instructors, professors, before it is too late.
and coaches. You don’t need to be

micromanaged on a day-to-day basis

that permeates your outside/per- SA MA N T HA S E F F, "The Wolf Queen" is a BJJ brown belt under Team
sonal life in fear of being ambushed Rubao Carioca at Schell Shock BJJ in Fuquay Varina, NC. She's a professional
by Jim Jones and his Kool-Aid if you atomweight MMA fighter and writes a weekly blog: WolfQueenMMA.com.
don’t. At the end of the day, most 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 8 | J I U J I T E I R A MAGAZINE | JIUJITEIRAMAGAZINE.COM

When there is a teacher/student sit- "Sometimes, we find our home on the very first try, Personally, I hate the phrase ‘tribe’
uation, it should never be abused and for others, it may take time when in reference to a gym. No
in a way where the person in pow- offence to those who use the term,
er knows their subordinate will go along with until we find one that feels just right." but to me, my gym is like family and the
what is said because of the nature of their members are my brothers and sisters. They
authority, whether or not it is objectionably are my chosen camaraderie and the relation-
reprehensible or even legal. A newer student ships we share transcend mat time. I believe
might not have the life experience or competi- that this type of mentality trickles from the
tion knowledge to know when they are being top down, and I feel so fortunate to train at
led astray, and how positively shameful for a place that truly feels like home; my refuge
someone to take advantage of that. Our trust from the darkness of the world, my thera-
can be misplaced because of the accolades py from the stressors of life, and my loving
our mentor has achieved, and a black belt in solace I look forward to every single day. It’s
Jiu-Jitsu does not equate to a black belt in why we have a saying in our academy, ‘not
life’s moralities. The belt around your waist all family is blood’ and these are the people I
is not indicative to the quality of your char- continue to choose every single day.
acter and placing people on pedestals can be
a dangerous and slippery slope. Ihope those who fall in love with Jiu-
Jitsu have a safe and conducive place
When the blinders fall off and the they are comfortable training Jiu-Jitsu
rose-colored glasses become and building relationships with their peers
askew, we may finally be able at the academy. I hope the warning signs
to see what was really there all along; the of detrimental places become easier to
Emperor never had any exquisite cloth- spot and we learn to trust that gut feeling.
ing at all, but was merely traipsing their Everyone deserves happiness, and what
authority and gallivanting all through town may be a right fit for some, may be quite
buck-ass naked. The megalomaniacs of the the contrary for others. It may not even be
world enjoy flouting their power at their anything ominous or damaging, just simply
respective dojos, and the cult-like mentality that we are the wrong Goldilocks for that
that the members of their gym fall victim to particular tale. Sometimes, we find our
have them resemble a dictator in charge of home on the very first try, and for others, it
their domain. It is a scary thing to witness may take time until we find one that feels
and even scarier to have been preyed upon just right, but hopefully we can all find the
in such a manner.
dojo where we live happily ever after. Y

JIUJITEIRAMAGAZINE.COM | J I U J I T E I R A MAGAZINE | 4 9

ask the doc

Jiu-Jitsu Armbar Elbow:

A New Name for a Common Injury

ou are in the I involves mild tearing of Treatment for a ILLUSTRATION BY DUSTIN SCOTT
middle of a roll, the ligament, resulting in UCL sprain varies,
and your arm gets minimal loss of motion depending on The content in this
pulled into an armbar; or strength, no feeling of the grade. For a article is for informational
you tap late and your instability, and tenderness Grade I sprain purposes only to promote
elbow hurts – a lot. It to touch at the inside of the to the ligament:  understanding of various
still hurts the next elbow. A Grade II sprain Rest, ice, and musculoskeletal injuries.
morning, too. So, results in partial tear of the gentle motion It is not intended to delay
what happened to your ligament and you may have in bending and or substitute professional
elbow yesterday? experienced a “pop” at the straightening, medical advice, diagnosis
time of the injury. Also, you return to activity or treatment. Content may
Believe it or not, the elbow is will have some feeling of as tolerated. Im- not apply to your specific
the joint most commonly in- instability in the elbow, aging is typically
jured joint during Jiu-Jitsu and pain at rest and with not needed. Usu- condition or symptoms.
competition, and the typical sleeping. For Grade III, a ally, it resolves Always seek the advice
submission is an armbar.  complete tear of the liga- within 2-4 weeks.
ment; you will also have For a Grade II partial tear of your physician or
The elbow is made up of that feeling of instability, of the ligament: Referral other qualified medical
three bones: the humer- with feelings of it giving to physical therapy, with
us, radius, and ulna. The way when you bear weight a potential MRI if pain is professionals for any
elbow joint additionally has through it while doing not improving. It usually questions you have for a
three ligaments that create Jiu-Jitsu, and most likely resolves in 12-20 weeks.
stability: the ulnar collateral you will experience swell- A Grade III complete tear medical condition. 
ligament/ UCL (also known ing and loss of function. of the ligament: Referral to
as the medial collateral lig- an orthopedic surgeon and
ament), the radial collateral Women have a higher risk MRI. Athletes will typically
ligament/RCL (also known of ligament injury because be able to return to sport
as the lateral collateral we rely on ligaments for 6 months after surgery
ligament) and the annular structural support while
ligament. When the elbow men rely more on muscu- and rehabilitation. Y
is moved into full extension lar support. There is also
by an armbar, the front research to indicate that REFERENCES
portion of the UCL is placed women are more likely to SCOGGIN JF ET AL. ASSESSMENT OF INJURIES DURING BRAZILIAN JIU-JITSU
under tension. Depending tear a ligament when they COM PETIT ION. ORTH OP J SP ORTS M E D. 20 14 FE B; 2( 2) : 232596 7 114 522184 . 
on the stress, the ligament are in the ovulatory phase
can suffer a minor sprain or of their menstrual cycle.  HAUSER, R. LIGAMENT INJURY AND HEALING: A REVIEW OF CURRENT
a partial or complete tear.  CLINICAL DIAGNOSTICS AND THERAPEUTICS. JANUARY 2013THE OPEN
REHABILITATION JOURNAL 6(1). 
There are three grades of
ligament sprains. Grade SM ITH M V, BE RNH OLT D L . U LNAR COLLATER AL LIGAM ENT INJU RY I N T H E
ELBOW: CURRE NT TRE ND S FOR TRE ATM E NT. ANN JOINT 20 20 ; 5: 15. 

C HRIS F L E TC HE R has her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the
University of Iowa and owns Combat Arts Physical Therapy in Spokane,
Washington. She is a purple belt under Newborn Cascao Jiu Jitsu, and is
happy to answer your questions regarding musculoskeletal injuries.
Email those to [email protected]

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