Equality for Women in Competition in Grappling, Jiu Jitsu and MMA Plus The REAL History of Female Pro Divisions in ADCC
Taking off the first few months of 2013 has allowed a lot of time of reflection about the past, present and future of Grappling and my overall life balance in general. I'm proudly doing 1-2 hours per day of meditation to help quiet my mind, relax my body and heal my mind and soul. Writing has always been a passion and challenge of mine, due to a racing mind and jumbled thoughts sometimes, so please be patient - I'm getting better every day :-).
Spending time with my two children and helping my wife Lucia Cimins launch her Hair Stylist and Cosmetology Career (http://HairSalonFlorhamPark.com) along with working on several Coaching clients and planning the 2nd half of 2013 Grapplers Quest season (opens May 25-26 in Brampton, Ontario, Canada) keeps me busy, but not overwhelmed or stressed.
During one of my meditation sessions, I focused on remembering my proudest professional moments in life and wanted to share a few with you...
One of my proudest accomplishments and life moments was when Women could finally stand alongside Men at the "ADCC World Championships in 2005". I'm proud that the "Professional Female Grappling" legacy has been maintained since inception, but It didn't come easy and no one ever told the full story how it all came to fruition against all odds.
I forgot how hard I struggled to petition and literally beg for Women to be involved in the first ever Abu Dhabi Combat Club World Championship Grappling Event in the United States in May 2005. I remember overhearing, "The Event could never be held in Abu Dhabi again once Women were invited." I couldn't believe the resistance, but I refused to take NO for an answer.
For two months, I battled with the ADCC committee, which was completely against allowing Women into the tournament until they finally approved the proposal for Women to Compete at ADCC, but sadly refused to pay the Female Purses. I refused to give up, accepted their challenge of, "Approved But We Won't Pay for it" and immediately sprung into action to secure the Female Tournament Purses and sponsorship for the ADCC 2005 in Long Beach, California. I pushed hard, but in the early days, even $1,000 was a lot from a sponsor, so it was a long uphill battle.
Our one main sponsor who promised to cover ALL of the Women's Purses, only to have them completely bail on us just three weeks before the competition, abandoning their investment into paying for the Women's Cash Prizes, but we still didn't give up.
Gilberto from Jiu Jitsu Pro Gear (http://JiuJitsuProGear.com) and I (Brian Cimins from Grapplers Quest) paid for the Women's Division Purses out of pocket from retail sales from the event because the ladies deserved the same honor and opportunity. I couldn't let this opportunity pass for Women in Grappling, I knew it's significance.
I would do it over, again and again, because I'm so glad to see how far the sport has come since the dark ages. I never fully grasped how the “Women in ADCC” was actually a Gender Equality and Female Empowerment movement victory and was a turning point in the history of grappling.
Sometimes when you are pushing forward so hard, down in the trenches, you forget to look up once in a while and realize all of the amazing people you met along the way and how many challenging situations you faced - and the Women of Grappling deserved the same spotlight, it was TIME. Remembering this proud moment makes it all worth it for me.
Another crazy memory popped up while writing this, I remembered that Alicia Anthony and Gazzy Parman and many of the Top Female Athletes in the Sport put together a Plaque and Beautiful book of hand written “Thank You” cards, but the ADCC Committee blocked the presentation of the award at the 2005 World Championships, so instead, the ladies presented it to me at World Grappling Games 2005 hosted by http://OnTheMat.com - that award meant the World to me and still proudly hangs on my wall today.
Check out the award and photos from Alicia Anthony for this special day here: http://bit.ly/YRdPmr
Ultimately, I want to Thank ALL of the amazing WOMEN who helped be pioneers for Submission Grappling and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and inspirations to many future generations to come.
Searching through old Grapplers Quest tapes, I came across footage from the first Professional Female No-Gi Grappling Tournament ever held in the World on Saturday, February 21, 2003 at Grapplers Quest, nearly two years before ADCC "approved" Women to compete alongside Men.
To celebrate the historic moment for the "First Female Professional Grappling Tournament" and commemorate this historic moment for eternally, I will be posting all of these previously lost matches for Free on YouTube at: http://LiveGrappling.com during this week sponsored by Super Body Care (http://SuperBodyCare.com), Onnit Supplements (http://StressExpo.com) and Meditation and Hypnosis training from http://HowToHealYourLife.com
Thank you for believing in Grapplers Quest, the Sport of Grappling and yourselves - we are evolving and will continue to push through the peaks and valleys of life, together as one.
On the horizon, the first women's match headlines UFC 156 with Rhonda Rousey. The future is bright for men and women alike in Grappling, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts!
With Your Happiness and Success in Mind Always,
Brian J. Cimins,
Founder of Grapplers Quest