2013 European Championships – Brown Belts

Female Brown Belt Pluma Podium

Female Brown Belt Pluma Podium

The ladies came to play fight at the 2013 European Championships!

The Brown Belt Pluma Division had only 3 women in it. Tove Sodersten (Alliance-Cobrinha BJJ) was the favorite as an experienced brown belt, having placed 3rd at the 2012 World Championships. Tove fought Alicja Rybak (Gold Team Fighters) in the first round. Tove pulled guard quickly and went to work finishing with a triangle in what seemed like less than a minute. The second round brought Alicja up against relatively new brown belt (full disclosure-me) Jen Flannery (Alliance-Marcelo Garcia-50/50 BJJ) who was competing for the first time at brown as well as the first time since her recent shoulder surgery in July 2012. Jen pulled guard off the start and swept quickly from de la riva. After being up 12-0 Jen won on a tap from shoulder pressure in side control. The final brought Tove and Jen together. Again Jen pulled guard quickly but the experienced Tove moved in quickly to stuff it before Jen could set her grips/space. Tove forced her way to half guard but Jen fought to stay on her side and was able to recover her guard but when the pressure was on she switched to a cross grip and turned away. From here she was able to sweep to top but was unable to secure the pass and Tove scrambled to her spider guard. From here Tove was able to sweep again and became the victor, winning by 2 advantages.

Unfortunately, since I was competing I missed most of the other brown belt matches, although I heard there was some issue with Angelica Galvao being disqualified.

Here are the rest of the brown belt weight division results…
FIRST Karen Deisy Antunes Souza – CheckMat
SECOND Yasmine Clarisa Wilson – Roger Gracie Academy

FIRST Anna Louise Mayne – CFS BJJ
SECOND Camilla Kerstine Elnegaard Hansen – CheckMat
THIRD Arnela Hadzisulejmanovic – Viva Zapata Jiu Jitsu
THIRD Jackeline Rodrigues M. de Oliveira – Alliance

FIRST Karolina Zawodnik – Brasa
SECOND Janni Margareta Larsson – CheckMat

FIRST Gretchen Dawn Zoeller – Gracie Barra
SECOND Venla Orvokki Luukkonen – Hilti BJJ Jyvaskyla

Brown Belt Open Podium

Brown Belt Open Podium

The open weight division saw most of the toughest brown belt women enter. I was busy helping a friend (which I’ll discuss in the next write-up tomorrow) so I missed some of the open matches but I saw Karen Souza (CheckMat) up by a ton of points and on the back in one match before succumbing to Anna Louise Mayne (CFS) in her next. In the final, Janni Larsson (CheckMat) pulled closed guard. Although she was constantly attacking and forcing Anna Mayne to defend, she was unable to secure any points or advantages. At the very end it looked like Anna was going to open the guard but when left to the referee, he had to go with the one who was initiating most of the danger for most of the match, and in this case it was clearly Janni. In an emotional adrenaline dump, Janni apologized through tears to one of her coaches, Michelle Nicolini, for not doing more during the match, although anyone could see that she was spent and had given all she had today.

As a competitor I was really impressed with the positive energy given off by all the women at the European Championships today. There was frustration, tears, and joy and through all of it these women shared friendly chats, experiences, hugs…and a few scrapes, bruises and black eyes.

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