On June 12th Ground Dwellers BJJ hosted Girls in Gis in Spring, Texas. Thirty-four women and girls came together for a day of fun and BJJ. Two brave souls venture onto the mats for the first time. Sisters Loralei (13) and Sierra Miller (14) along with Aaliyah (13) and Angelina (10) Vega age 10 were eager participants. The summer is just heating up, but the fun never ends!
Brown Belt instructor Jacqueline Avelar and Purple Belt Instructor Rachel Phoenix warmed the attendees up with various Jiu- Jjitsu movements including shrimping and a long Army crawl consisting of a bridge you had to crawl through. Phoenix followed this up by teaching an ezekial choke from the closed guard position. Then she demonstrated one of her favorite techniques, a triangle from the mount position.
Next Avelar showed a sweep from the closed guard position and an option to transition to if the opponent blocks the ezekial choke. She finished with a shoulder lock from side control. After everyone drilled the technique, they were paired up for some rolls. There were about 4 four-minute rounds and everyone got a chance to switch partners and roll with someone new.
Host Instructor Brown Belt Jacqueline Avelar has been training BJJ seven years since her husband Eddie Avelar was teaching a self-defense class that she attended. BJJ piqued her interest as it is technical and gives the smaller opponent a fighting chance at the upper hand. Her family and competitive spirit are what drives her to keep going at the rate that she does. Balancing her family, career, and personal just like anything can be a challenge but she makes time and it helps a great deal that her family trains alongside her. When life gets in the way of training Avelar’s advice to anyone is “don’t beat yourself up to much over it. Just work on getting back on track.” What she loves most about BJJ is how it challenges her both mentally and physically and being able to take those same challenges and incorporate them into her techniques is the most rewarding part of her training overall.
Host instructor Purple Belt Rachel Phoenix has been training for 10 years on and off. Her husband’s interest in the UFC is what initially brought her to her first class but some prior training in Aikido and the mutual respect the practitioners have when the drilling takes place kept her returning. What keeps her motivated is her; she has her highs and lows but knows that all her efforts and growth show when she goes head to head with another practitioner, good, bad, or indifferent. Finding a balance as Phoenix puts is “a constant revising.”
She trains with her spouse and recently returned to the mats after time off for pregnancy so there is a proper balance you just have to find what works for you. She and her husband swap training days so that they both are able to train and can watch their child. What she loves most about BJJ is the physical and intellectual building and rebuilding of your overall game. What she finds most challenging is, “for me, the most challenging part has been not comparing my BJJ journey to that of others. I recognize that we all take different paths and some will progress more quickly, some will have more time to give, some will be more physically capable. BJJ is humbling (for most of us). It forces us to put our ego aside, teaches us that failure is a great teacher. And then when we forget, it teaches us again.”
Ground Dwellers BJJ were gracious Girls in Gis hosts. Overall it was a fun and successful event. Everybody enjoyed the techniques taught and had some great rolls to end the event. Thank you for opening your doors and supporting these grass roots efforts that have become a massive coast to coast success for women in BJJ. We are always grateful that you come out to learn and grow with us. See you next time around!
Check out all the photos from this event: www.facebook.com/GirlsinGis/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1188471474518006