And the winner is…

A week ago today i was severely disappointed because I had discovered that I was unable to compete in that tournament that I had looked forward to for months on end…Wellllllll I prayed and hoped and cried a little (don’t judge me) but with some help I scrounged together enough to register and some friends helped with the gas and I’m so glad we did because….I WON the women’s divisions (both gi and nogi) at the Ohio Grappling Challenge in Cincinnati, Ohio. Yay me.

Me, debandi, and Shannon spent the night before the tournament at our coach’s place because that 3 and a half hour drive just wasn’t happening in one day.  We rode up and the mood was fun, everyone was anxious, and I kept wondering, hoping, and wishing that I would have enough competitors.  Apart from that a lot of us were worried about our teammate that discovered his grandfather had passed on as he was driving to the tournament for the Invite Only division ( 😦 ) .

This teammate was recently promoted to purple belt and our coach chose to have Jason Hayden, aka Filipino, blue belt, take his place.  Everyone was slightly nervous, he was set to face a guy who had won many big competitions, and he beat him.  I’m hazy on the details but it was by points or advantages I believe.  The best way to describe him while he grapples is that he moves like a spider monkey.  Either way Our Team, Team 1/ Bowling Green-Etown BJJ won the team division. Big shoutout to Hayden, Joe Baize (beastmode), and Luiz Eduardo aka Dentinho.

I’m making this a bit shorter because I’ve been up for forever and I had tough matches, on top of being inside a car for forever.


me & my 2nd match

Women’s Division

The room itself was complete chaos.  When you weren’t on edge waiting for your name to be called you were juggling between your teammate’s matches.  There was always constant fumbling of gatorade bottles, mouth guards, cameras and camcorders. One slight glance to an other match and you could potentially miss the submission, sweep, or tactical error that changed everything.

Gi- 1st match) Damn she’s strong. Luckily all my competitors were around my skill level and most were heavier, I did 136.0 and above (i’m 145). My first match I won with an armbar from mount

2nd match) Tall, and slightly intimidating.  She had her gameface on but I got an outside leg trip and ended up winning with the exact same armbar from mount

no gi- 1st match) this girl was like the terminator or the energizer bunny.  Thanks to terrible sinuses, allergies, and just being plain tired it felt like she’d never let up (duh it’s a tournament)  I mounted her and I think I passed her guard too so I won by points.  I tried to finish with an armbar from mount but something was off, then I went for an epic triangle and tried to adjust it every which kind of way but i didn’t finish 😦 so instead i won by points, which isn’t terrible, but I’d rather it be by submission so they can’t argue.

Either way it was a great day, had all the matches I could handle.  I’m glad I came out on top because that makes this past week that much worth it.

Big congrats to all my teammates, 10 competed, 15 medals, great night.








Caldwell pictured abov.

Notable Moments at the Tournament


  • Got to meet pro mma fighter Marissa Caldwell who trains out of Cincinatti so whenever I’m up north I’ll have someone else to train with, oh and did I mention that she’s a freakin purple belt?!?! It was nice to meet her. She didn’t compete because she’s preparing for her fight next saturday, January 22 in Jacksonville, Fl. Good Luck!!
  • UFC Fighter Dustin Hazlett was also in attendance as he reffed many of the bouts. Jorge Gurgel was there, and before I actually ‘knew’ who he was his mannerisms pointed me in the right direction.  It’s weird to hear big names like that but in all actuality it’s often little people behind those names that are capable of very big things.
  • Got to see a very nasty heel hook, looked like the guy’s ankle was just gonna pop off. Gross.

8 Responses to “And the winner is…”
  1. OMG!!! I’m so happy for you! Congratulations to you and your team!

  2. shakiaharris says:

    thanks! it makes the busted lip, and hours of training worth it!! I’m proud, my coach is proud, everyone’s been in good spirits about our team’s performance.

  3. Awesome- congratulations! 🙂

  4. shakiaharris says:

    thnks slidey…everyone i added the video of my two gi matches above

  5. Jonna says:

    Oh, yay! Congratulations! 🙂

  6. shakiaharris says:

    thanks, i’m hoping to compete again fairly soon. There’s rarely anything too close to bowling green, ky. so i’m hoping something pops up in tenn.

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