Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Team History, Fighter Stats, Biographies and News

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Female Jiu Jitsu Competitors

Find here some of the top competitors of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, past and present, from the very first female black belt in the sport (Yvone Duarte) to the most accomplished woman of all time, Gabi Garcia. On this section of BJJ Heroes you will be able to read about their deeds and see these amazing representatives of the sport in action.

Karen Antunes is a jiu jitsu black belt under Mayko Araújo, being also one of the top athletes in the sport’s female lightweight class. Antunes paved her way to the big leagues of the sport in the lower belt divisions, where she conquered 3 IBJJF world titles among many other important placements. However, it was her performance at the prestigious Five Super League tournament on August 2015

Gazzy Parman is a pioneer for women’s jiu jitsu and a black belt under John Lewis. A unique character in the female competitive grappling scene throughout the 2000’s decade, Gazzy’s outspoken demeanor and competitive accolades made her a fan favorite across the globe.

Felicia Oh is a Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt under Jean Jacques Machado, being part of the Woman’s BJJ Dirty Dozen as the 6th woman outside Brazil to achieve the rank in this martial art (5th in the USA). Oh is also an accomplished competitor in both gi and no-gi, having medalled in important events such as the World and Pan American Championships (gi and nogi), the ADCC as well as the US Open, to name a few.

Deborah Christine Maxwell, commonly known as DC Maxwell is a Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt under Saulo Ribeiro, being part of the Woman’s BJJ Dirty Dozen as the 3rd woman outside Brazil to achieve the rank in this martial art (2nd in the USA). Maxwell is an extremely important figure in the development of the sport/martial art in the East Coast of the United States, particularly within the Delaware Valley and Tri-State area, where DC was one of the very first female athletes and jiu jitsu gym owners.

Cynthia Omatsu, commonly known as Cindy Omatsu, is a Japanese-American black belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu under Rigan Machado and Leka Vieira, being best known as the first female grappler outside of Brazil to have achieved the rank of black belt in this martial art (2002). Omatsu also gained notoriety in the jiu jitsu circuit as an interviewer for Grapple TV during the early/mid 2000’s, co-hosting the online show with a fellow teammate Felicia Oh.

Rikako Yuasa, also known as “Lady Sasa”, is a Japanese born, Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt under the prestigious Yukinori Sasa, being also one of the most accomplished female competitors of her generation. Competing in the light featherweight division (53.5kg/118lbs) for the Paraestra (Shinagawa) academy, Yuasa won important titles, such as the World Championship, Asian Open as well as European Open.

Joaquina Bonfim is a Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt under the illustrious coach “Zé Radiola”, leader of Gracie Barra – Pernambuco, an academy that has produced a long list of talented grapplers, such as Lucas Rocha, Otávio Sousa or Victor Estima. One of the main female black belt competitors to have come out of her state, Joaquina has cinched important titles on a national and international level, such as Brazilian National Champion (CBJJ/IBJJF), National Pro Champion (UAEJJ) or World Champion (CBJJE).

Emily Kwok is a Japanese born Canadian, who holds the rank of black belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu under Ricardo Almeida. Known as a pioneer of the sport and a great ambassador for women’s jiu jitsu, Kwok has won numerous titles such as World Jiu Jitsu Champion (gi and nogi). She is also known for her work with Marcelo and Tati Garcia.

One of the best grapplers of her generation, Luiza Monteiro is a Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt under Rodrigo Cavaca, who’s career in the sport is commonly associated with the Projecto Social Lutando Pelo Bem team of Cicero Costha. One of the top athletes in jiu jitsu’s women’s division, Monteiro conquered numerous medals in a variety of weight classes, from featherweight to medium heavy.

Dominyka Obelenyte is a lithuanian-american grappler, being the first female Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt under the legendary Marcelo Garcia. Regarded as a true grappling phenomenon since her early teens Dominyka Obelenyte proved her star quality by consistently winning at the highest level of the sport, being one of the youngest ever world champions in an adult division (14 years of age), a deed only surpassed by Luzia Fernandes.

Rosângela Conceição, is a historic Brazilian jiu jitsu figure, being the very first female world champion in the sport. Conceição is also a legendary figure in judo and freestyle wrestling having been part of the Brazilian national Olympic squad for both sports, being regarded as the most accomplished female wrestler ever produced by the south american country.

Janni Larsson is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under the illustrious instructor Shimon Mochizuki of the Arte Suave Academy (Checkmat affiliate) in Copenhagen, Denmark. A native of Sweden, Larsson is one of the most accomplished European black belts, and the first Swedish black belt world champion (2014).

Tammi Musumeci is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt who became one of the top featherweights in the women’s divisions at the young age of 19. Tammi Musumeci turned a few heads her way after she won the Pan American Championship in 2014 in her first year as a black belt, beating two former world champions on her way to the top.

The first female to achieve the rank of black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was Yvone Duarte, a belt rank received in 1990. This incredible pioneer of the sport was one of the main forces behind the implementation of a female division in Jiu Jitsu competitions, being also the first female to start her own BJJ team.

Mackenzie Dern is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt and one of the top female grapplers in the 2010 era. Being also the daughter of a respected BJJ personality, Wellington Dias, a lot was expected of Mackenzie Dern, and she did not disappoint, having become one of the top female athletes in BJJ. Mackenzie Dern is also famed for her relationship with professional BJJ competitor Augusto Mendes.

One of the top female jiu jitsu fighters at the turn of the century, Ana Laura Cordeiro became a star fighting for the Gracie Barra camp where she won 4 consecutive world BJJ titles. She was regarded as the top grappler of her generation before Ana Laura Cordeiro suffered a terrible back injury that prevented her from competing at the highest level ever since.

Monica Vanessa Silva is one of the top jiu jitsu practitioners in women’s jiu jitsu, and the first Portuguese woman to achieve the rank of black belt in BJJ. A former World Champion, European Champion and World Pro Jiu Jitsu Cup Trials Champion, Monica Vanessa Silva has led the classes at the “2 Brothers” academy in Portugal since her Master, Sandro “Bala” left the country in 2009.

Vanessa Oliveira is a Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt under Master Julio Cesar from Grappling Fight Team, and one of the top female competitors in the women’s middleweight division having medalled in important tournaments such as the World Jiu Jitsu Championships, the Pan American, Brazilian Nationals and Rio Open.

The French Laurence Cousin Fouillat is regarded as the first European female black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. An incredibly accomplished grappler Laurence was also the 2nd non Brazilian to win a gold medal at the world Jiu Jitsu championship in the black belt division.

Marina Ribeiro is a top Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitor from the Checkmat Team out ofRio de Janeiro,Brazil. A proof of just how talentedMarinais was her meteoric rise to black belt, which took her only 4 years, training under the legendary and former BJJ World Champion, Ricardo Vieira.