Laura Barker is an English grappler and a black belt in jiu-jitsu under Braulio Estima, who also worked extensively with Victor Estima and Bradley Hill while representing the Gracie Barra Academy in the sport’s international competitive circuit. Barker earned her reputation as one of the leading athletes of her generation while battling in the purple and brown belt divisions of the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) league, a status she would later cement as a black belt.
Laura Barker Jiu-Jitsu
Full Name: Laura Barker
Lineage: Carlos Gracie > Helio Gracie > Carlos Gracie Jr > Braulio Estima > Laura Barker
- 1st Place IBJJF European Open (2020)
- 1st Place IBJJF Amsterdam Open (2019)
- 1st Place IBJJF London Fall Open (2019)
Main Achievements (Colored Belts):
- 1st Place IBJJF Pan Championship (2019 brown)
- 1st Place IBJJF European Open (2017 purple, 2019 brown)
- 2nd Place IBJJF World Championship (2018 / 2019 brown)
- 2nd Place IBJJF World Championship No-Gi (2017 purple)
- 2nd Place IBJJF European Open (2018 brown)
- 3rd Place IBJJF World Championship No-Gi (2017* purple)
** Weight and Absolute
Favorite Position/Technique: Collar And Sleeve Guard
Weight Division: Pesado (79,30 kg / 175.0 lbs)
Team/Association: Gracie Barra
Laura Barker Biography
Laura Barker was born on August 17, 1993, in Stourbridge, a town in the West Midlands county of England, growing up in Halesowen, a small town near the county’s capital, Birmingham.
During her pre-teens, Laura was introduced to martial arts at a local academy in Halesowen, where she learned jeet kune do (JKD), the combat style created by Bruce Lee, alongside her parents, sister, and cousins.
By the time Barker turned 14 years of age, she was one of the senior members in class, earning her black belt shortly after. In attempting to put her skills to further testing, Laura, alongside fellow JKD practitioner, and cousin Bradley Hill, joined a mixed martial arts (MMA) club. This experience led both athletes to seek the expansion of their ground skills, finding what they were looking for at Victor Estima‘s newly formed Gracie Barra Academy affiliate.
Laura started competing almost immediately in jiu-jitsu, falling in love with the sporting aspect of this martial art. Her continuous effort led Barker to a blue belt promotion at the age of 16, after nearly two years of training. Unfortunately, this period coincided with Estima’s move to Nottingham – an hour’s drive from Birmingham, a commute that became a barrier too big to overcome for the young teenager, leading Laura to interrupt her training for 5 years.
In the meantime, while Laura was away from the mats, her cousin Bradley Hill continued his training, becoming one of the top competitors on the national grappling circuit. Barker followed Hill’s career with great appreciation and eventually decided to return to the mats, joining Braulio Estima‘s gym (Victor’s older brother).
With the support of Bradley Hill, who trained with his cousin every day, Laura raised her grappling skills from scratch and back into top form, equally assisted by coach Braulio. It was Estima who graded the young Brummie in all belts, including her black belt, a promotion that took place on July 7, 2019, after a very successful competitive year where Barker medalled at the World, European and Pan Championships.
Laura Barker VS Sarah Draht