With Europeans just around the corner, there are ton of amazing female competitors to watch. There is an exciting surge of female black belts registered, both veterans and new. In addition, this year boasts many stand out stars climbing the ranks. Here are few to keep an eye out for:
Ffion Davies (East Coast Brazilian Jiu Jitsu)
It has been quite the year for the Welsh world champion, who received her black belt from Darragh O’ Connaill in 2018. She is notable featherweight and was a former judo player for the National Judo team in her junior years. In 2018, she won the No-Gi World Championships, IBJJF Dublin Open and the UAEJJF Spanish National Pro Championship, in addition to the ADCC European trials Champion in Gi and No-Gi. Fresh off dominant victory at No-Gi worlds, she is looking for another gold at Europeans.
Charlotte Von Baumgarten (Mathais Ribeiro Team)
Charlotte Von Baumgarten is a black belt under Mathais Ribiero in Madrid. After quitting her job as a veterinarian and moving to Jiu Jitsu fulltime, she has been on a winning streak in both the Master and Adult division. She took gold at Master European Worlds, European Grandslam, Abu Dhabi Grandslam, The Lisbon Open, The Madrid open and bronze at Worlds and the Europeans.
Serena Gabrielli (Flow Jiu Jitsu)
Italian competitor, Serena Gabrielli received her black belt under Andrea Verdemere in 2015, just after winning the world championships. She is currently #8 in IBJJF world rankings, competing at rooster-weight. She has won gold at the Europeans, Rome Open and the Italian National Championships, Silver at the World Championships and Madrid Open and Bronze at the Florence and Lisbon Open.
Samantha Cook (Checkmat Fightzone- London)
British competitor, Samantha Cook received her black belt in 2017 from Marcus Conha. She is a Polaris veteran and has been an active competitor in the Jiu Jitsu world.. Some of her notable wins include gold at the UAEJJF 2018 Grand slam in Tokyo and UAEJJF Grand slam in Dubai. In 2018, she took double gold in Paris and won the 2018 World Championships in her black belt debut. She made a name for herself representing and dominating in the medium heavy division. This year will be competing in Europeans at middle-weight.
Amal Amjahid (Pat Academy Brussels)
Amal is an extremely technical and exciting competitor. She received her black belt in June 2018, from Khalid Houry at C.E.N.S Academy in Brussels. In her first year at black belt, she acquired a massive amount of hardware. She won Gold in the JJIF World Jiu Jitsu Championship, Grand Slam German Open , Grand Slam Tokyo, UAEJJF World Professional Championship, Grand Slam London, double gold at the IBJJF Copenhagen International Open and European Championships.
Venla Orvokki Luukkonen (Hilti Akademi Nord)
Venla is an ADCC and Polaris Veteran and Black Belt Super Heavy Weight World Champion. She is a European favorite who has been active on the scene for many years. She trains at Hilti BJJ Jyväskylä in Finland and received her black belt under Pedro Duarte in 2014. In 2018, she won gold at the UKBJJA International Open, took Silver at the World Championships and won Polaris 7 in a tough match against Samantha Cook.
Jessa Khan (Art of Jiu Jitsu)
While, she is not a black belt, she is certainly one of the most exciting up and coming competitors to watch. Jessa Khan will be making her adult purple belt debut at rooster-weight. After competing on EBI 18 as a juvenile against some of toughest black belts out there, she showed she is capable of competing at the highest level as one of the best in the world. She is a 3x No-gi world champion, 3x Pan American champion, European champion, Abu Dhabi Grandslam Champion and an Asian Games Gold Medalist for Cambodia.
Ane N. Svendson (GF Team International)
Ane has made quite a name for herself in the medium-heavy division of brown belt, currently #10 in IBJJF rankings. She won the IBJJF 2017 No-Gi Worlds and 2018 European Championships with a silver in absolute. She took silver at the World Championships and No-Gi worlds, as well as bronze in the black/brown belt division of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam. If you do not know her yet, you are sure to know her after this competitive season.
Good luck to all! It’s gonna be an exciting weekend!
About the author:
Maggie Smith is a purple belt under Travis Tooke in Houston, TX. She has been training Jiu Jitsu for 5 years, starting out in Seoul, South Korea. She is a teacher, ex-rugby player and current blogger for Maggiemoodoesjiujitsu.com.