Girls in Gis Florida Special Event Recap & Photos

GIGFL GROUP PHOTOFlorida is said to have one of the fastest growing BJJ communities and on April 30th 2016 at the Girls in Gis Florida special event in Vero Beach that rumor was proven not just to be a rumor. One hundred and fifty-eight females of all ages and skill levels came together for the first event in Florida at American Top Team Vero Beach (ATT). Legendary women like Hannette Staack of Brazil 021, Gezary Matuda of ATT, Melissa Bentley of ATT, Carina Damm of ATT and Gina Franssen of X2 Fitness hosted this groundbreaking event. Girls from all over Florida, North Carolina, West Virginia, Minnesota and Texas came together for their first Girls in Gis event! This was the largest female grappling event Florida has ever seen.

Girls in Gis ambassadors Shama Ko (Texas), Lana Hunter (Texas) and Milly (Colorado) facilitated this event. The event that ran so smooth, it practically ran its self. Shama opened the event with a welcoming reception introducing Girls in Gis and the guest instructors for the day.  Having been the biggest female event in Florida, this was a unique experience for everyone in the room. The event began with an icebreaker warm up which quickly warmed up everyone to each other.


What do you get when you put five black belts with over 40 years experience, 15 World titles and thousands of hours of instructing between them in one room? A super doper awesome mega event that’s what!!! It was four hours instruction, rolling and raffles. The energy was high and the love was strong.

Melissa Bentley of American Top Team Vero Beach (ATTVB) was the opening act for the Girls in Gis Florida special event. Melissa showed slick lasso grip from closed guard transition to arm bar submission.  Carina showed a very effective transition to side mount resulting in an arm bar. Gezary shared a fun sequence from a failed arm bar in the guard to another arm bar. Gina showed an awesome back escape and Hannette finished up the instructional portion with a sweep from guard to mount finishing with a choke. It was a feast of Black belt instruction.  We got a taste of each of their styles and preferences. Moves that have made them some of the top competitors and most sought after instructors in the community. It was truly inspirational to watch these black belts work their magic, but even more beautiful to see them supporting and learning from each other.

Our sponsors that stand by us in support of this movement are largely responsible for making these events happen. Thanks to our sponsors War Tribe, Girls Bring it BJJ, Phalanx, Pressure Grappling, Detales, Neocell, DFKC and Pulse Skin Care for being a part of this event and their contributions.  We are honored to partner with all of you.

Jiu-Jitsu has given us so much and in the spirit of giving we love to give back to the community at large. Together we made a huge difference. Thank you all for your donations to Sulzbacher Center. Additional donations can be made at

Thank you to everyone at American Top Team Vero Beach, Renato Tavares, Hannette Staack, Melissa Bentley, Gezary Matuda, Carina Damm, Gina Franssen,Monster Photography, Shama Ko, Lana Hunter, Milly Malloy and everyone for helping to making this event possible. Thank you to all the Girls in Gis of Florida for joining us for this event.

You have to water a plant for it to grow and that water runs deep in Florida. There is an abundance of  love and support within the community. There is a reason Florida’s BJJ community is growing so fast. It isn’t just because of the up and coming talent that has been tearing up the competition scene or the quality instructors that have set up shop, it is because of the passion and strength of the people of Florida. Florida’s BJJ community is a blossoming community just waiting for more opportunities to thrust it into the spotlight and help it blossom into one of the largest BJJ communities in the states. Girls in Gis is honored to have brought recognition to the female community in Florida and look forward to contributing to this community as we continue to grow together.

Strength in Solidarity.

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