Strength Training for Female BJJ Athletes

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Four Milwaukee grapplers were able to bring home gold medals from the Arnold Grappling Championships in Columbus, Ohio last weekend.

Every year hundreds of grapplers and thousands of other athletes from across the globe make the trek to America’s largest multi-sport event, the Arnold Sports Festival.

And once again, Wisconsinites made quite the impression as Eric “Red” Schafer, Omar Choudhury, Tony Senner, and Kali Robbins brought gold back home.

In grappling action, Roufusport’s Kali Robbins, who just last fall received her Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu blue belt, competed in the 120-139.9lb women’s blue belt gi division on Saturday submitting all of her opponents.

On Sunday, Robbins followed up on that performance by winning the 120-139.9lb womens no-gi intermediate division going undefeated for the weekend in what was only her second tournament since she began grappling. The video below is of Robbins competing in the finals of her no-gi division for the gold medal where she wins with a triangle choke from mount.

Omar Choudhury, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt from Roufusport competed in the mens 134.9lb and under, purple/brown belt gi division. Choudhury, who received his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt from Henry Matamoros, defeated Louis Perna, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu purple belt of Ribeiro Jiu-Jitsu in Charleston, South Carolina with a triangle choke to claim his gold medal.

Choudhury also competed in the official ADCC (Abu Dhabi Combat Club) expert portion of the show in the 145.2lbs and under division but was defeated by last year’s expert champion, James Gray of Team SFS (Scorpon Fight Systems) in Howell, Michigan via triangle choke. The video below is of Choudhury submitting his opponent via triangle choke in the finals of the purple/brown division.

Eric “Red” Schafer, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt from Red Schafer Mixed Martial Arts, faced off against Sean Bansfield of Ann Arbor Jiu-Jitsu in Michigan in the 205-219.9lb black belt gi division on Saturday. Event organizers decided to stop the action in the other divisions and all four rings were closed off so all grappling contestants and spectators could watch the most anticipated match of the day.

Bansfield, who received his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt from Saulo Ribeiro, utilized a closed guard strategy for several minutes but was later able to get a hip bump sweep into mount to take a six-point lead at the seven-minute mark. With less than 30-seconds left in the 10-minute match, Schafer used a deep half guard sweep to turn the tables and eventually take the back of Bansfield with the clock inching closer to zero. However, the referee didn’t feel the deep half guard sweep warranted points and only awarded the back points which resulted in a final score of 6 to 4 securing the victory for Bansfield. For more info on her strategy check out US Combat Sport’s Gi review

On Sunday, Schafer competed in and won gold in the official ADCC (Abu Dhabi Combat Club) expert portion of the show in the 193.7-217.8lb division. Schafer first squared off against Jake Burroughs, a purple belt from Northwest Jiu-Jitsu Association in Seattle, Washington, utilizing a one-armed kimura keylock at 1:43 in the match to move on to the semi-finals.

In the semi-finals, Schafer faced Marc Yates, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt from 3 Elements BJJ in Erie, Pennsylvania. Schafer finished the match at 1:33 with a knee bar to move onto the finals. In the finals, Schafer got to rematch Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu blackbelt, Sean Bansfield, who had defeated him the day earlier in gi and had outpointed his teammate Anthony Senner in the semi-finals.

The match lasted less than a minute as Bansfield attempted a leap frog guard pass but Schafer quickly set up a heel hook and forcing Bansfield to tap at the 57-second mark of the match. Schafer submitted all three opponents, a purple, brown, and black belt all in less than 5 minutes total time and the victories earned Schafer a spot at the ADCC North American Championships later this spring. The video below is of Schafer winning the gold medal in the finals of the official ADCC (Abu Dhabi Combat Club) expert portion of the show.