British women athletes have brought home a stunning haul of six medals, including three golds from the World IBJJF Jiu Jitsu Championship. The World IBJJF Jiu Jitsu Championship is the largest and most prestigious Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) competition in the world, attracting nearly 4,000 competitors from around the globe. It was held in Long Beach, California from 31 May to 3 June, 2018.
Alongside legends of the sport, a small but determined squad of British athletes set out to bring home medals – and it was the women competitors who stood out, with three Golds, two Bronzes and a Silver.
As a result, Wales also has its first ever world champion in Ffion Davies, who won gold at Brown Belt. The other gold medals came from Margot Cicarelli-Tang with a very strong performance at Purple Belt and relative newcomer Agnes Wrodarczyk who battled her way to victory in the White Belt division.
Agnes said “I am 39 so the pressure of proving myself that I can still do well in the world of sport not to mention traveling so far to do so, was high. My first fight was close to death after being caught in triangle choke. It took me about a minute to get out of it but won it by points and then won two more to reach the finals. After the competition I felt relieved but humble. It was not an easy win and made me realise how much more work I need to put in to carry on competing on the international scene.”
The UK’s first ever Black Belt medals came from Vanessa English and Samantha Cook, and Laura Barker completed the medal haul with a silver in the Brown Belt divisions.
Although relatively new to the UK, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is one of the fastest growing sports with over 20,000 people (adults and juniors) regularly training in gyms across the country. It is a combat sport that focuses on grappling on the ground. It is suitable for all ages, both male and female. The governing body is the UKBJJA (http://www.ukbjja.org), which offers insurance, a club directory and a national ranking system for both adult and junior athletes. A key aim is to increase participation from female athletes, through an initiative called Unstoppable Girl and community and schools outreach programmes.
A full list of results, as well as video of the gold medal matches, can be found at the following link: https://www.flograppling.com/results/6207361-2018-world-ibjjf-jiu-jitsu-championship/24562
About the UKBJJA:
The UKBJJA (www.ukbjja.org) is a not-for profit organisation which aims to provide a governance structure for the martial art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, that promotes and develops the sport while allowing individual clubs and practitioners the space and freedom to practice the martial art in the way they enjoy. The UKBJJA is currently under assessment to be recognised by Sport England as the governing body for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in the UK.
The UKBJJA was formed in 2013, and the association’s goal is to foster the development of BJJ at elite, community and grassroots levels, raising the profile of the sport but also providing pathways for development and involvement across communities in the UK. Visit UKBJJA at www.ukbjja.org or follow us on Twitter @ukbjja.
For more information, contact Mike Williams, CEO on 07748620235 or firstname.lastname@example.org