On November 22nd, 2015 Girls in Gis held it’s grand finale Girls in Gis 6th Anniversary celebration in Houston Texas at the birth place of Girls in Gis. One hundred females of all ages, skill levels and from affiliations all across Texas came together to celebrate this milestone. The event was held at Elite MMA in Houston, Texas, the very place that Girls in Gis held it’s first event 6 years ago.
In the spirit of coming together the event hosts and guest instructors were black belts Kristine Felts of Peak Performance and brown belts Kat Harrison of Claunch Academy, Veronica Mota-Messina of Revolution Dojo Katy, Lana Hunter of Ohana Academy, Kristin Sommer of Gracie Barra Sugarland Dracalino and Gaby Muller of Aliance Jiu-Jitsu. Along with our purple belt hosts Olympia Watts of Gracie Barra Sugarland Dracalino, Vicki Serrano of CEV Athletics, Belinda Bueno Serrano of CEV Athleics and Kelly McGonigle of Revolution Dojo Katy. In coming together from different academies and learning from some of the most experienced females in Texas the unity and strength of the community was felt by all.
The goal six years ago was to create a community to foster the growth and unity of females in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. To have more opportunities for females to train together and to increasing the presence of females. This desire has turned into a movement. Thought this we have been slowing chipping at change and aided in paving the way to equality. Although the mission has not been completed, the progress has been made. We started with fifteen girls at the first event and have grown into hosting events with upwards of 150 participants. By continuing to coming together through our events we are growing the sport and art for females everywhere. We are empowering and uniting females in their martial arts training as well as in life.
The event began with an opening reception which was let by Girls in Gis founder Ashley Freeman Nguyen. It was an honor to have Ashley there not only as the birth mother of Girls in Gis, but especially since she had only given birth 9 days ago to her second daughter Mackenzie. She graciously welcomed the girls to her academy and to the Girls in Gis 6th Anniversary celebration. After the welcoming reception it was time to get sweaty!
Kristine led the warm up which got the girls prepared for the exciting instruction to follow. It was a traditional warm up that began with some jogging, plyometric exercises, shrimping, bear crawling and much more. After the warm up it was time to get it on!! The girls then broke up into seperate groups based on experience levels. Veronica and Kelly taught the beginner group a guard sweep with one variation. Kristin and Olympia taught the intermediate group 2 sweeps from an open guard setup and a counter for the sweep as well. Kat taught the advance group some aweome leg attacks. Kristine and Vicki taught the kids some take downs. It was an amazing opportunity for participants to get one on one instruction from some of the highest ranked females in the state and some of the most skilled instructors.
True to tradition, not only did we roll but we rocked! Thanks to our valued sponsors we were able to have cake, raffles and tons of giveaways. Big thanks to our sponsors Girls Bring it BJJ, War Tribe Gear, DFKC, Kozamurai, AGF, Club Boost, Phalanx, Neocell, Moya Brand, Detales, King Reality and Promax Nutrition for being a part of this event and for your contribution. Girls Bring it BJJ brought it. They generously donated close to 30 different prizes ranging from t-shirts to skate boards, mugs to athletic tape. Girls loved all of it! War Tribe has been on the war path coming out with one incredible gi after another. Girls where on edge to win one of their new limited edition gi. Kozamurai has one of the fiercest rash guards out there. Girls can’t wait to go to battle at the next AGF tournament in Texas. Four lucky ladies are competing free of charge via AGF. As if one gi isn’t enough Club Boost graciously donated one of their Geisha gi and Club Boost rash guards. Our friends at Phalanx donated two amazing rash guards in support of the event. Our long time supporters at Neocell, sent us an amazing basket again filled with all sorts of Neocell goodies. Moya Brand generously donated a hoodie and tank top. Detales came out in full force donating tank tops, rash guards, leggings and much more. One of the crowd pleasers was the two tickets to Madonna care of King Reality. Last but not least big thanks to Promax Nutriton for all of the food donations! No one went hungry thanks to the assortment of nutritional bars donated. Congratulations to all our raffle winners! Thank you for Bring it for sticker and poster giveaways for everyone!
This time of year we are reminded how grateful we are. Even thought Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has become a necessity for us, it is a luxury . It gives us so much that it only makes sense to give back. Together we raised an amazing amount of non-perishable donations for Texas Food Bank. Our efforts to make a difference paid off and once again we did more than we could have alone.
Kristine, Kat, Veronica, Lana, Kristin, Gaby, Olympia, Vicki, Belinda and Kelly went above and beyond to make sure fun was had by all. This event could not be possible if not for the support of Elie MMA of Houston, and volunteers Krystal Davilla, April Ewing, Claudia Duca, Alyssa Delzell, AJ Chavez, Juana Mata and Breonna Nonhof. This was a very special event because of everyone’s contribution. Big thanks to Mike Calimbas Photography and TXMMA for covering the event and capturing all those special moments.
We set a new record this year. The youngest Girls in Gis in attendance and perhaps the youngest female to ever attend an all female event. She was -1 day old. Big congratulations to Gaby and Raul on the birth of Monique. We look forward to having her on the mats with us. Big props to Gaby for joining us and helping with the event a day before her induced labor.
“Strength in Solidarity” is our motto and it means that together we can accomplish more than we can alone and we can find strength in each other. Whether it is inspiring the next generation for females in the art and sport, earning respect as athletes, instructors and achieves equality in a male dominated sport or unifying the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu community as a whole. Together the potential is limitless and all of our dreams are possible. Today we saw and felt the power of this movement and it is like a giant snow ball rolling down a hill, it is only gaining momentum.
Check out these photos from the event: www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153722234344293.1073742179.119323554292&type=3&pnref=story