My BJJ Professor is Awesome

My BJJ professor who teaches the women’s class, Michelle Tavares, won her ADCC match this past weekend! She fought Michelle Nicolini.

Michelle smiling like crazy after winning her ADCC match! :)

Michelle smiling like crazy after winning her ADCC match! :)

Here’s an article (in Portuguese) from GracieMag with an interview with her, as well as a video of the match. It’s total technique — which is my favorite part of watching lightweight jiu jitsu matches. And especially at the black belt level.

Below I’ve translated one of the interview questions.

How was the end of the fight against Michelle Nicolini, from your perspective?

Nicolini is the best competitor out there at the moment, to me. I was able to see everything that was happening, I had to be patient and make sure that I didn’t give her enough space to move into one of her strong positions. Of course, with an opponent, you’re always going to be close to being in one of their strong positions. But today I had a student who did the same sweep that Nicolini did, and she did it really well, so we train like that. In order to pass, I ended up using the classic “bear hug” hold (laughs). It’s a grip that you use to secure a badass BJJ player, and in the end you either secure it or you’re in a zone of total danger. What I did was to hug her, getting my hooks in, and dominate her posture to pass. 

Original in Portuguese, for the curious..

Como foi a final contra a Michelle Nicolini, na sua visão?  

A Nicolini para mim é a melhor competidora do momento. Eu conseguia enxergar tudo que acontecia, tive de ter paciência e me policiar para não dar espaço para as posições fortes dela. Lógico, estamos sempre ligados na posição forte de nosso adversário. Mas hoje eu tenho uma aluna que faz a mesma raspagem que a Nicolini e faz muito bem, e assim treinamos em cima disso. Para passar, acabei usando o clássico abraço do urso (risos). É a pegada para segurar a danada, afinal ou eu segurava ou estava em zona de perigo total. O que fiz foi abraçar ganhando a esgrima e dominando o tronco para passar.

Many of her students, my fellow female classmates in the women’s class, went to see her fight this past Saturday. I realized she’d won after seeing my Facebook news feed blow up with their status updates about it. I love how much these women look up to her and appreciate her being their BJJ professor. One girl is even from one of the states in the Northeast of Brazil (the same one where Michelle is from), and came down for a couple of months just to train with her!

Very cool. I’m so honored to get to train with someone so awesome. :)

Video of her fight:


One response to “My BJJ Professor is Awesome

  1. Rachel, its great to hear about your experiences in training in Rio! One of the best things about being down here is the proximity to so many great BJJ athletes and great academies. Ossss

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