Inspirational Women in Jiu Jitsu

boxing gym in tucson

When it comes to boxing and MMA, there are some names that will be remembered forever more. However, what about the wider story of martial arts? Specifically, who are some female inspirational figures in Jiu-Jitsu that we can look up to and aspire to be? At Boxing Inc, inspirational women fill our gym every day. Training alongside some of the toughest guys in Tucson, the ladies of Boxing Inc inspire all of us that are lucky enough to train with them. We offer amazing classes for women locally that might be looking to join a gym where they can connect with other women in the community training daily in Crossfit, Kickboxing, Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, and Boxing. Not only do we have inspirational women training at all three of our Tucson gyms, but we also have inspirational women teaching and motivating the members of our gym. That being said, don’t hesitate to come on down for a free class, give it a try, you will not be disappointed. Now, back to the program! Check out these inspirational women in BJJ.


kyra gracie bjj competitor Kyra Gracie

Where better to start than with a member of the Gracie family? Whenever the topic of Jiu-Jitsu arises, the mind instantly goes to Royce, Helio, and other famous Gracies. Yet, we shouldn’t sleep on younger members of the family such as Kyra. Winning her first Brazilian National Championship in 1998, her career has gone from strength to strength ever since and her title list includes World Champion, Pan American Champion, and ADCC Champion.
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Michelle Nicolini

From 2010, Nicolini asserted herself as a dominant force in BJJ and she now stands as one of the most decorated females ever to grace the sport. As a 10-time World Champion, she eventually retired from the competitive world of BJJ to focus on MMA, but she had already left her mark. Alongside the World Championships, she has also been European Champion, World Nogi Champion, World Pro Cup Champion, and Pan American Champion (quite an impressive trophy cabinet!).
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female BJJ fighter Beatriz Mesquita

While some impact the industry as teenagers or in adulthood, Mesquita is someone who started to make a name for herself at the age of 10. Very quickly, she won State Championships as well as becoming the Brazilian National Junior Champion. Before earning the black belt, she even won the Pan American title, the World No-Gi Championship, and many other medals. Now 27, she has won gold at the World Championships every year since 2012 (except 2017). For the younger girls in Jiu Jitsu, Mesquita is a perfect example of how hard work and talent can combine to produce magic.
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Mackenzie Dern

If you were impressed with Mesquita and the age at which she started, Dern was only 3 years of age when she started training with her father (Wellington ‘Megaton’ Dias). As she entered BJJ tournaments, Dern was not only competing with adults but beating them at just 14. If you want a masterclass in grappling, Dern is a superb person to watch and she has only improved her technique over time. At the age of 20, she had already been training for 17 years and she then earned her black belt. Six years later, she has earned bronzes, silvers, and golds at the Nogi World Championships, ADCC World Championships, World Jiu-Jitsu Championships, and more. In 2016, she decided to go into MMA and eventually made it to the UFC; her record is currently 7-0.
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top ranked women's BJJLeticia Ribeiro

Don’t panic, we were never going to talk about inspirational female Jiu-Jitsu fighters and leave Ribeiro from the conversation. Considered by many as one of the best female fighters in history, we could launch into her championships, medals, and titles but we assume you need to eat and sleep at some point in the near future. Instead, we’ll say that her hard work has earned her a spot in the IBJJF Hall of Fame. Since retiring, she has held a well-respected position as the head coach of the Gracie Humaita – one of the best female BJJ teams in the world. While some of these women have already retired, others are still rewriting tomorrow’s history. Regardless of their age, they have all been a pleasure to watch and we look forward to some more women transforming the BJJ universe!
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