Just when you thought Girls in Gis could get any bigger and better…surprise! Girls in Gis not only raged hard at its three year anniversary event, but we set a new record of having the most GIG participants ever. Seventy-four women and girls ranging in ages and skill levels came together from twenty-eight Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu academies across Texas and one woman even came from as far away as Vermont. They all met on Sunday December 2, 2012 in Houston Tx, the birth place of Girls in Gis-Elite MMA.
Girls in Gis founder Ashley Nguyen and organizer Shama Ko, led the introductions and opening reception. This was an opportunity for both Nguyen and Ko to thank participants and the BJJ community for making GIG what it is today. They also recognized the 2012 GIG hosts, GIG3 Sponsors, media guests, TXMMA, Cagesiders and the Kino Eye Center film crew. GIG Founder Nguyen shared the history and principles behind GIG. She gave the participants an inside perspective on how big GIG has become and how women and girls in BJJ is on the rise. Nguyen led the group through a series of warm-up exercises and activities followed by the instructional portion of the event. She then concluded with an extended open mat training session. After a long work out session, a delicious home-made lunch donated by Nguyen was served and topped off with a special GIG birthday cake.
GIG’s third year anniversary event sponsors included: Neocell, Fenom Kimonos, BJJ Legends, Fight to Win, World Grappling Circuit, Defense Soap and Resist Attack. Among the GIG3 challenges was the push-up challenge, scooting races and a random giveaway. Stephanie Alba won the GIG push-up challenge with sixty-seven push ups, and the kids division winner was Amelia Nuzzo. Alba won the Neocell Basket and Nuzzo was very excited to win a GIG tee. In the scooting race finals, Fabiana Borges and Jaime Hill finished only seconds apart. Borges may have technically won, but she generously insisted that Hill take home the new Fenom Gi. The last giveaway was a year subscription to BJJ Legends that went to Lisa Hong for being the first person to register online. Every participant was given a GIG goodie bag filled with all sorts of very cool swag from Resist Attack Foundation, Defense Soap, Fenom Kimonos, Hannette Staack, F2W& WGC, BJJ Legends and Girls in Gis.
An amazing amount of toy donations were collected for Toys for Tots and $136 was also raised. GIG sponsor Defense Soap matched the GIG cash donations which brought the total amount to $272 raised for Toys for Tots, in addition to the toys collected.
There was absolutely no better place to be in Houston last Sunday than at the GIG event! The smiles and laughter were more contagious than a winter cold and a lot more fun! The event embodied everything GIG is about. Enjoying, learning and coming together for an amazing experience! Of the seventy-four participants, sixteen were little girls ranging in ages from 5 to 16 years old! Black belt Fabiana Borges was a great addition to the event. As we are inspired by Borges, we too inspire the next generation of women and girls in Jiu-Jitsu. That is what GIG is all about, creating a legacy of future women and girl competitors, enthusiasts and champions.
We are very grateful to Nguyen and Ko for executing the largest and most successful event of the year! We also would like to thank Elite MMA, the BJJ community, sponsors, media and everyone for their support and generosity! We could not have done this without all of you! Most of all, we would like to thank GIG participants for joining us at GIG3! You inspire us, keep us going and push us forward! Thank you!!!