Texas-Hot or Not?

It's burning up in Texas and I am not just talking about the heat wave. BJJ is blowing up in Texas! Could it be the next hot spot for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu? Just looking around Austin, I can see obvious signs that a jiu-jitsu "invasion" is underway. For instance, within the past few years, there has been a huge increase in the number of schools opening all over Texas and the number of competitors at local tournaments has at least doubled. We also, for the first time ever, have a very accomplished black belt woman teaching in central Texas. The times are a changin'...

This invasion of jiu-jitsu in Texas has many benefits and I am doing my best to take full advantage of them. There have been back-to-back seminars with one talented black belt after another. First was the Leticia Ribeiro and Beatriz Mesquita seminar, then one with Fabiana Borges and most recently the Open Door seminar series by Gracie Legacy, Donald Park. The growth of jiu-jitsu in Texas is providing a great opportunity for all of us to come together, share our love of jiu-jitsu and unite the BJJ community.

Fabiana Borges Seminar-Austin, TX
On July 2, 2011, newcomer to Texas black belt Fabiana Borges, hosted a women's seminar in Austin at her academy Gracie Barra N. Austin. While most were off BBQing and celebrating the Fourth of July weekend with family and friends, twelve of us decided to take a break from the festivities to celebrate by spending it with each other and learning from Fabiana.

For only $35 we got a two-hour inside look into some of her style and technique. She jokingly called it "dangerous" to share her game. I particularly liked the choke she showed us. It was one that I hadn't ever seen from that position before. This was yet another eye opening experience for me. I won't get into any more details, because you just have to go find out for yourself. If you missed this chance to learn from Fabiana, you still can. She's an excellent teacher and she definitely knows her stuff when it comes to BJJ. She has women's classes every Friday from 7 to 8 p.m. for only $25. This class is open to all women from all schools. The location is Gracie Barra N. Austin at 8868 Research Blvd suite 608, Austin, TX 78758 (877) 946-2426. I strongly recommend you take advantage of having such a talented, accomplished and generous female black belt in our own backyard. I know I will and I hope you do too!  Check out some of my photographs from this event @ Shama Ko Photography on Facebook. 

Next up was the first of the Gracie Legacy Open Door Seminar Series held on July 9, 2011. Gracie Legacy, a newly established school in Austin, Texas, first Open Door Seminar series was a huge success. Black belt Donald Park is an incredibly talented competitor and instructor with fifteen years of experience in jiu-jitsu.  I highly recommend that you check out one of the Gracie Legacy Open Door Serminars.  The seminar was an incredible environment for jiu-jitsu and brought together students and instructors from all over Texas to the same mat. The overwhelming response from the first seminar is a sure sign of the success for the many seminars to come.

Fear not, if you couldn't make it this time, this is the first of many more seminars that will occur twice a month for the next few months. Gracie Legacy instructor Donald Park of the Gracie Humaitá team under David Adiv and Royler Gracie will be conducting these two-hour seminars at NO COST to the participants. Gracie Legacy encourages everyone from all schools including instructors and students to attend. To get a full recap and more information about this event and upcoming ones go to gracielegacy.com.

A BIG thank you to Fabiana Borges, Donald Park and the crew of Gracie Legacy! Let's go get our roll on!


  1. Thanks to Professor Fabiana Borges for holding the seminar and allowing more women to train in brazilian jiujitsu together. I had a great time learning and training with some of the best ladies in Texas! It's such a great opportunity to train with other women. It was a pleasure to train with you at the seminars Shama! I look forward to training with you again in the near future.

  2. Yeah, there seem to be lots of cool places to train BJJ in Austin now. It would be especially interesting to train under a female black belt: currently, there is only one in the UK, so I've yet to meet one.

    It would probably be a solo trip though, as I haven't yet managed to convince my gf of Texas' virtues as a holiday destination. ;)

  3. JC-Thanks girl! It was great training with you too. Look forward to training with you @ Girls in Gis.

    SF-Lol! It's amazing how much talent is in one small city. I completely understand...visiting Texas right now is especially hot and uncomfortable. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. However, Austin is the best city in Texas in my opinion if you were to pass thru. :)


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