Archive for the ‘BJJ for Girls’ Category

Team Link Get’s a Second and Third Place Medal at IBJFF Worlds No Gi 2012

Kate Marshall from Team Link NH

Congratulations to Kate Marshall for winning 3rd place in the Adult Female Blue Belt Featherweight division at IBJFF Worlds No Gi 2012.

Also to Ana Carolina Lima (aka Morena) from Team Link NH for placing 2nd in the Adult Female Purple Belt Middleweight division. Only 3 athletes from with in Team Link made the trip to compete and 2 placed. Two out of three is not bad.

Remember you can’t win, if you don’t try. If you are looking to compete in BJJ in Western Mass vistit our website


Team Link Purple Belt Beats Black Belt at 2013 Abu Dhabi pro trials in NY

Ana Carolina “Morena” Lima a Purple Belt from Team Link Manchester, NH didn’t win the trip to Abu Dhabi this year but was victorious against a Black Belt in her 1st match winning by points 7-0.  Morena fought hard her second match against a tough Brown Belt and lost by points 5-2. All of us from Team Link are very proud of Morena for having fought so hard for our team. It goes to show that hard work truly pays off!!! For info how to become part of our team visit

Free Women’s Self Defense Seminar at Team Link Enfield

On Sunday April 29th from 12-2pm Team Link Brazilian Jiujitsu Enfield will be conducting our 2nd FREE women’s self defense seminar. This seminar is for women age 14 and up. The last seminar was a lot of fun and we had great feedback from the women that attended. PLEASE don’t take your safety lightly.You will learn self defense techniques but more importantly you will gain valuable KNOWLEDGE that could save your life.

Team Link Enfield is located inside of Northeast Elite Wrestling 72 Shaker Rd. Enfield,Ct. 06082. Call 1-855-CTLINK(528-5465) to reserve your spot today.

PLEASE forward this to any women you know who might be interested.

We have  been doing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) in Western Mass over 10 years now and BJJ in general for almost 25 years. Looking back over the years, there are five distinct revelations I’ve been through with my open guard.  Each realization/revolution made my guard twice as difficult to pass.

1- Getting stacked.  I realized that I could balance on my neck and shoulders, and that my guard wasn’t passed just because I was stacked.  Virtually all of my blue belt students are better at this than I was when I first got my blue belt, which is more a sign of the times than anything else.  20 years ago, “guard” really meant “closed guard” to most BJJ practitioners and instructors.  15 years ago, “open guard” was in the first stages of coming into its own.  For me, this realization came the earliest in my open guard evolution, somewhere between white and blue belt.

2.  Getting underneath.   In 2003, I watched Marcelo Garcia dominate ADCC with a new type of guard people started calling “X-guard.”  About a year before that, I had been introduced to a less advanced version of X-guard by Eric Burdo, but seeing it in competition at the highest level made it much clearer to me.  At about the same time, I was obsessed with leglocks, so I was looking at ankle lock and heel hook transitions from the bottom.  Eventually, the two positions were revealed as branches of the same underlying concept:  just because someone steps over my legs doesn’t mean they had passed my guard.

3.  Spinning back to guard.  I first noticed Rickson Gracie recovering his guard this way nearly 15 years ago and immediately saw the value in this, but didn’t see how to integrate it into my own game until years later.  If your opponent is trying to throw your legs to your right to pass, instead of shrimping towards him, you continue the motion and circle your legs around to recover guard.  This essentially doubles your guard recovery ability because you literally have two ways to go in order to get your guard back.

4.  Lazy man hands.  Remember that you have four limbs and your opponent essentially only has two when you are playing open guard. Not only can you use your hands as frames to escape a bad position; you can use your outstretched arms as guard maintenance tools, becoming every bit as important as your legs with your open guard, creating space and helping you make angles.  This is one of the most frustrating things for the guard passer to deal with. Just because someone gets around your legs doesn’t mean your guard is passed.  Your hands and arms are as much a part of your guard as your legs.

5.  Inversion/upside down guard.  This goes back to the beginnings of my open guard- being stacked and realizing my guard isn’t passed.  Imagine you can do a 180 degree split with your legs.  This means your guard has 180 degrees.  If you simply follow your opponent when he goes around your legs and go upside down, you have an extra 180 degrees, totaling 360.  No matter where your opponent goes, you will still have him inside your guard.  Watch Michael Langhi if you’re curious as to what this idealized type of open guard might look like.

Be realistic about your expectations!  You probably won’t be able to integrate all five of these at once, but pick one that makes the most sense for you to develop immediately.  You will see your guard become tougher almost right away.

Western Mass BJJ – click here for best BJJ in Western Mass

Pan Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2012 training method of the stars

South American Championship-winning black belt Vinicius Marinho (GFTeam) is one of the aces who will be sticking his neck out at the IBJJF Pan-American Championship, which kicks off this Thursday and ends on Sunday, April 1, in Irvine, California.

At’s request, Marinho revealed the training method he’s using to show up at the Pan in tip-top form.

“I’m in really great shape. I expect to be at my best and come up with a good result. Training has been going strong; I’ve been training every day with the guys at GFTeam at CTMMA in Connecticut, along with Ricardo Evangelista and Rafael Formiga, who were a great help to us,” said Rodolfo Vieira’s teammate.

It’s only the second time that Marinho competes at a Pan, but he’s not too nervous about it. The reason: he’s been preparing hard for any situation.


“I like training all types of positions and every kind of situation, both on top and on bottom. We do one day training only on top, another only on bottom,” he explains. “We train three times a day, each session lasting two hours. We dedicate one session just to repeating positions, which helps us fix up the details of the position. One day we work on passing half-guard, passing hook guard, passing spider-guard. The next, we do sweeps from closed guard, open guard and spider guard.”


As the competition approaches, Marinho recounts the trick to getting the positions tight: “The trick is to always adjust your best grip, to make it harder for your opponent to work their grips and positions.”

Now watch a complete half-guard pass lesson from Vinicius Marinho at the 2011 South American Championship, and stay tuned to for the fines coverage of the 2012 Pan-American Championship.

Courtesy of western mass bjj.

Women’s Self Defense (BJJ) Classes: Western Mass BJJ guide you step by step.

Kira Gracie is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt

click here to find best BJJ School in Western Mass

The Advantages of Participating in Jiu Jitsu for Girls: Health, Strength of Character and Self Defense

“But shouldn’t she be taking dance classes instead?”

“My daughter is 9 years old and a fourth grade honor roll student. Besides being smart AND the most beautiful girl in the universe (as I am sure your daughter is, too!) she is also creative and energetic. She enjoys playing with dolls, reading horror books (like R.L. Stine) and sewing. She likes boys, too, which of course is new territory for me as her mom. Often she spends hours braiding her hair or changing her outfits six times per hour. In other words, she is a typical nine year old girl!

Three days a week, however, she (along with her younger brother) dons a gi, kicks off her flip flops, bows respectfully and joins a large group of (mostly) boys for her class in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. For an hour she sprints, rolls, cartwheels, and performs all manner of difficult Pilates-style exercises before spending twenty to thirty minutes participating in full-contact grappling with boys and girls of all sizes and ages. Her instructors are tough – the children are expected to have self-control and discipline. There is no striking, kicking, hair-pulling, eye-poking, or roughhousing allowed. If a student feels concerned he or she will be injured, a simple tap on the sparring partner’s body alerts the person to ease up and then they begin again.

So why do I allow my daughter to participate in a full-contact grappling sport?

The short answer: Because I love her, and I want her to be independent and secure her entire life.

“It can be a dangerous world for girls”

Statistics show that 1 in 5 girls have been sexually assaulted by someone they know by the time they reach high school. Far from the media-perpetuated myth of armed strangers attacking helpless girls, the most common sexual assault is perpetrated by someone the girl knows.

Click here to BJJ for girls in Western Mass

BJJ is the best martial art class for girls. If you live in Springfield, Chicopee, Ludlow, Palmer, or Anywhere in Western MA. Click the link above