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Anna Rodrigues

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Anna Rodrigues (often spelled Ana Rodrigues [one “n”]) is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under Isaque Bahiense, who worked extensively with other references of the grappling world, namely Márcio Rodrigues, Luiz “Guigo”, André Galvão, Fábio Gurgel, and Michael Langhi before earning her rank. Widely regarded as one of the top female grapplers of her generation, Anna Rodrigues’ reputation was conquered while competing in the lower belt divisions of the sport, where she conquered numerous World and Pans titles of the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF), going on to cement her status as a major player in her very first year at black belt.

Anna Rodrigues Jiu-Jitsu

Full Name: Anna Cristina Araújo Rodrigues

Nickname: N/A

Lineage:  Carlos Gracie > Helio Gracie > Rolls Gracie > Romero Cavalcanti > Fábio Gurgel > Isaque Bahiense > Anna Rodrigues

Main Achievements:

  • 1st Place UAEJJF Grand Slam, RJ (2019)
  • 1st Place UAEJJF Grand Slam, LA (2019)
  • 2nd Place UAEJJF Queen Of Mats (2019)

Main Achievements (Colored Belts):

  • 1st Place IBJJF World Championship (2016 blue, 2018 purple, 2019 brown)
  • 1st Place IBJJF World Championship NoGi (2016 blue)
  • 1st Place IBJJF World Championship Juvenile (2015)
  • 1st Place IBJJF Pan Championship (2017 purple, 2018 / 2019 brown)
  • 1st Place IBJJF European Open (2017 purple
  • 1st Place CBJJ Brazilian Nationals (2016 blue, 2018 purple, 2019 brown)
  • 1st Place CBJJ Brazilian Nationals Juvenile (2014 / 2015)
  • 2nd Place IBJJF World Championship Juvenile (2015*)
  • 3rd Place IBJJF World Championship (2017 purple)
  • 3rd Place IBJJF Pan Championship (2016 blue)
  • 3rd Place CBJJ Brazilian Nationals (2016 blue*)
  • 3rd Place UAEJJF Abu Dhabi Pro (2019)
  • 3rd Place UAEJJF Grand Slam, RJ (2018)

* Absolute
** Weight and absolute

Favorite Position/Technique: Open Guard

Weight Division: Peso Pluma (53.5kg / 118 lbs)

Team/Association: Alliance / Dream Arts Project

Anna Rodrigues Biography

Anna Rodrigues was born in Niteroi, a city that neighbors Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, on December 14, 1998. In trying to provide the best possible life for their young baby, Anna’s parents sent her to the Northern state of Ceará, where she was raised by her grandmother, in a quiet and rural town up until her 4th birthday.

After turning 4, Anna returned to her parent’s care, growing up in the Favela Rio das Pedras, a Rio de Janeiro slum located close to the Barra da Tijuca coastal line. Her home for the following 11 years.

As a child, Rodrigues was extremely enthusiastic about sports and already envisioned one day being a professional athlete, an idea she started focussing on from the age of 8. Without a defined sport to embrace, she took on many activities before finding jiu-jitsu, with gymnastics and volleyball being the two she competed in the most. Particularly volleyball, where she played in big Rio de Janeiro teams such as Vasco da Gama and Fluminense.

Anna’s first jiu-jitsu class was at the age of 13, and she immediately fell in love with the sport/martial art. By her admission, Rodrigues was not an easy teenager to handle. Fights at school and in her neighborhood were a constant and Anna’s relationship with her parents was equally tumultuous. Jiu-jitsu helped channel many of Anna’s frustrations on to the mats and away from the streets, a liberating experience that caused her to choose BJJ as her profession early on.

Coach Márcio Rodrigues was Anna’s first coach and the man who guided her up to blue belt. At Team MR, Anna shared the mats with many of her generation’s future stars, including Lucas Barbosa (Hulk), Matheus Gabriel, Erberth Santos, and Ygor Rodrigues.

At the age of 15, Anna decided to dive into jiu-jitsu and become a full-time athlete, moving to São Paulo to train under Master Luiz Guilherme’s guidance with a full scholarship at the Guigo JJ Academy. During her time with Guigo, one of her former teammates – Lucas Barbosa, joined the Atos Academy. Being a good friend of Rodrigues and well aware of her talent, Hulk interceeded with André and Angelica Galvão, on behalf of Anna for a possible move to the team’s headquarters in San Diego. With both parties in agreement, Rodrigues started representing the Atos team internationally, although still training and competing for Guigo when in Brazil.

In a unique purple belt promotion, Luiz Guigo tied the purple belt around Anna’s waist, with the consent of André Galvão. Her time with Atos was, however, limited, as she went on to work at the Alliance São Paulo camp while still a purple belt, being promoted to brown by Fábio Gurgel.

While training at the Alliance camp, Rodrigues became good friends with one of the team’s top black belts, Mr. Isaque Bahiense. Bahiense had the hope of one day building a social project for talented young athletes of low income, who looked for a way to make jiu-jitsu their living. The idea would become a reality with the launch of the Dream Arts Project, an enterprise started by Isaque with solid help from Anna, who was involved in many aspects of the DAP, including in the logo concept/design, the name of the project and the social media development.

With the Dream Arts Project running at full steam, Bahiense decided to make an exclusively female team, asking Anna – the senior female in the team, to coach and lead that new workgroup, an offer fully embraced by the Rio de Janeiro native.

Shortly after taking control of the female division of the Dream Arts Project female team, and after earning her 4th IBJJF World title in the United States, Rodrigues was promoted to black belt, in September 2019, by coach Isaque Bahiense.

The cover photo was taken by AJP Tour.

Submission Back Attacks Instructional by John Danaher

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