Tag Archives: women’s bjj

You Can Compete Against Someone and Still be Friends with Them

I think this is something we all know, but not really something we talk about in jiu jitsu. I’ve had conversations with other jiu jitsu women where this is sometimes the elephant in the room that’s danced around, and I think that it’s time we explicitly state it.

You can compete against someone and still not only have the upmost respect for that person, but you can in fact be friends with them.

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There are plenty of other women in the jiu jitsu community that I have competed against, and regardless of winning or losing I am always thrilled to see them at the next tournament. And they seem pretty happy to see me as well! We chat, talk about how things are going, so on and so forth.

While the sport is growing in popularity, it is still relatively a small sport. Particularly as you gain more rank, you’ll see more and more of the same faces at tournaments, the same people standing across from you to shake your hand to start a match, the same smiles on the podium as you sit there and wait for that one guy to get out of the photographer’s way so you can just take the damn picture… It seems kind of silly to see someone a bajillion times (granted, at one specific function, but still), and not at the very least exchange a few pleasantries.

Anyway, my point being that there are times where it seems to be a bit awkward: you’re not sure if someone is willing to extend their hand in friendship after a match. And some won’t, if we’re being totally honest. But more often than not they will, and to me that’s also part of what competing is all about: of course the main purpose is to step on the mat and do your best with the intent of winning, but win or lose it’s also about meeting new people and having a chance to connect with other people in the sport.

Just some thoughts for today: have a great day everyone!

 

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Hillary VanOrnum Opening Her Own BJJ Academy- Unicorn Jiu Jitsu!

Hi everyone! This is going to be super quick, but just wanted to share how Hillary VanOrnum is opening her own academy with her husband and brother in Portland!

I met Hillary at Master Worlds…. two years ago(?) She’s a lovely person and I’m really excited for her and her new business venture!

Check out their site: Unicorn Jiu Jitsu and have a great day everyone!

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Back from a Long Writing Hiatus…

Oh man, it’s been a minute… Coming back and writing is something I’ve thought about often, but just haven’t had the chance due to life and such.

Actually, I’m not being totally honest: there was also someone that was connected to my social media accounts that at the time I couldn’t block or unfollow and didn’t feel comfortable sharing anything with, and so in response I withdrew a lot from social media. Anyway, that person is pretty much no longer in my life, so they are no longer on my social media and I’m slowly coming back around to posting stuff online again. I hate admitting when things are not ok, but it also doesn’t feel honest to not address that part of the whole thing.

Anyway a (somewhat) quick recap of the more interesting things that have happened over the past… goodness, 9 months? Dang….

  • Went to Costa Rica: It’s a beautiful place with some amazing beaches, rainforests and volcanoes: however, a lot of people will tell you that ‘everyone there speaks English’. MOST speak English, but not everyone. I think every time I failed to say something in Spanish, somewhere in the world my old high school Spanish teacher felt a twinge of sadness (…Lo siento?). I would still highly recommend visiting.

 

  •  Training, training, and trained some more.
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And we’re in a new space- with huge windows!

  • Competed in a couple of tournaments: didn’t really do anything amazing at any of them, but that’s just fine. I did the best that I could at the time, and I’m ok with that. I don’t really dwell on “could have, should have, would have” scenarios when it comes to tournaments and instead prefer to look ahead to the next challenge. Made some friends along the way, which is also great fun and something I always enjoy.
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Competed against Emily Kwok! Lovely person to lose to….

  • Co-taught my first seminar! I was asked by Girls in Gis a few months ago to go through a little mini teaching session with another black belt in the area, Jen Russell. I didn’t really teach anything super cool, but everyone seemed to have fun, which is really more of the point.

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So anyway, that’s more or less a quick recap of what’s been happening over the past several months. I’m hoping to get back into a more regular posting schedule- I may even try to redesign the look of this blog (whaaaaaat…). It’s been what, 8 or 9 years, at least? Probably time for a little- er, a lot, rather- sprucing up.

Anyhoo, for anyone who still checks in now and again to read this, let me know what you’ve been up to, and see you later!

 

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Interesting Article on Mackenzie Dern

Hey Everyone,

Sport 360 has an interesting article on Mackenzie Dern, her decision to start a career in MMA, among other things.

Check it out, let me know what you think- otherwise, have a great day everyone!

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Bio for Gazzy Parman on BJJ Heroes

I’l be honest, I don’t know the back story of a lot of the big name grapplers, male or female, so it’s always nice to see the bios of some big names on the site BJJ Heroes.

They recently did one for Gazzy Parman: I know the name, but really didn’t know much about the grappler herself. She has an impressive resume, and sounds like someone who has led a pretty interesting life.

Check it out, and have a great day everyone!

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Women’s Jiu Jitsu and MMA News, and Vice -Versa

Well, this is interesting- apparently I missed that Rhonda Rousey announced that she wants to be the best at jiu jitsu. That’s cool, I guess. I think she has the potential to do well in jiu jitsu, but it sounds like she feels it’s going to be a breeze, where I feel it’s going to be more difficult than she may realize. But then again, she may enjoy the challenge: it gives her something to aspire to while she currently holds her title in UFC.

And then on the other side of the fence, jiu jitsu black belt Mackenzie Dern apparently just announced her intentions to move to MMA, which sounds pretty cool. I don’t really have anything to say on the subject, so we’ll just have see how that plays out.

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Article on BJJ Women’s “Dirty Dozen”

Hey everyone, BJJ Heroes has an interesting article on the first 12 females to be awarded black belts outside of Brazil, the women’s “Dirty Dozen” of BJJ.

Check it out, and have a great day everyone!

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Female Jiu Jitsu Player You Should Read About: Rosângela “Zanza” Conceição

I just read a quick bio on bjj player Rosângela “Zanza” Conceiçãoand while it’s slightly embarrassing to admit I have never heard the name before, I’m glad to have taken the time out to read her bio on BJJ Heroes. Originally a judo player, this jiu jitsu black belt also went to the Olympics not once but twice, in two different sports (once for judo and once for wrestling).

And if that weren’t awesome enough, she also worked at a hospital in Morumbi teaching children with Down’s Syndrome the fundamentals of judo and overall conditioning.

And finally, you know you’re awesome when a comic book is created for you:

“In 2011 Rosângela Conceição became the subject of a series of comic books named: As Aventuras de Zanza (the Adventures of Zanza). In these comics, Zanza shows the values and morals of martial arts through these illustrations.”

If that’s not cool, I don’t know what is (apparently).

Check out her bio, and have a great day everyone!

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Happy Friday: Garcia/Dern/Metamoris 6 Edition

Happy Friday everyone!

So apparently the saga continues: according to an article in MMA Fighting, there were talks of Mackenzie Dern and Gabi Garcia fighting in Metamoris 6, but couldn’t come to terms with payment. According to Dern, the paltry sum they were willing to pay the female fighters, in addition to the match being on absurdly short notice (4 days before the event) just didn’t make sense and that it’s detrimental to women’s jiu jitsu, and I absolutely agree. It sets a precedent that would take a long time to reverse, if ever.

However, believe it or not I can also see Garcia’s point about wanting to fight anyone, anywhere (I know, I surprise me too sometimes). Personally, it grates against my soul to think of walking away from a fight. I think Gabi needs to see the bigger picture here though: it’s not about the fighting, it’s about the expectations that is being set when agreeing to do these sorts of events. I don’t think she’s seeing the larger implication by accepting a smaller amount- that her jiu jitsu is worth less than a man’s jiu jitsu. She and Dern are some of the most recognized names in the community, male or female, so why should they accept a sum that would be more deserving of a lesser known name?

Either she doesn’t realize this, or just doesn’t care- which actually I wouldn’t be surprised. I imagine she’s had a lifetime of practice not giving a damn what other people say or think, but in this case I do think she needs to take a step back and see the longer, more nuanced implications of her actions.

What do you guys think? Let me know- otherwise, have a great weekend everyone!

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Ralek Gracie and Foot in Mouth Syndrome, Caught on Tape

Jiu Jiu wrote an article on her blog about how Ralek Gracie basically spent 15 minutes putting his foot in his mouth. 

First, I applaud her for taking the time to watch the whole damn thing. I absolutely hate the straight on, close up shots the organization seems to be so fond of when it comes to interview footage- I don’t know what it is, it just really gets on my nerves.

Anyway, apparently he spends the time talking about how his comment was not sexist, but rather out of context, and all other sorts of things I have no interest in hearing at the moment (sorry, not sorry).

Check it out, let me know what you think, and have a great day everyone!

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