The pinnacle of this year’s tournament: Vannessa Griffin won Purple Belt IBJJF World Championships 2017 in Long Beach, California, in the Light Weight Division. She also won the Blue Belt Light Weight World Championships in 2015 and she took Bronze her first year at Purple Belt in 2016. As a culmination of her work, she was promoted to Crazy 88’s first female Brown Belt.
Highlights: Griffin won five matches on her road to World Champion. She beat her first two opponents on points, third by injury mid-match, and submitted her fourth by mounted cross choke. Griffin submitted her final opponent with an arm bar leading to her victory, an opponent she lost to in the Semi-Finals the year prior. Watch Griffin’s secret sauce “The Finish” on her Instagram page. Earlier in the season, she partially tore her knee. However, her determination and focus lead to her triumph. She is also a full-time student and works 20 hours a week to support herself.
She has come a long way from her first day when she was wondering how to tie a jiu-jitsu belt.
Day 1 – Thursday, June 1
The Blue Belt Males and Purple Belt Females took stage on the first day.
Brandon Simms won two matches and lost in the Quarter-Finals of the Blue Belt Medium Heavy Division. He choked his first opponent and won his second match 4-2.
Griffin’s victory closed out the first day of the IBJJF World Championships 2017. Michael Silverman also competed this day.
Griffin was featured in the Jiu-Jitsu Times on her victory, read more in “Full-Time Student, Part-Time Employee, And World Champion: Vannessa Griffin Is Proof That You CAN Do It All.”
“My advice to others is to learn and understand what is worth worrying about and what isn’t. Worrying about things you can’t control is a waste of time… The hard training, nagging injuries, and exhaustion that comes with both don’t affect me like they affect other people, which is why I’m able to achieve such high levels of success and deal with the work it takes. I also do the things I’m supposed to do the way I’m supposed to. Running a kids’ program, training every night, going to school full time, and working a part time job is a lot to handle, but I make sure that I do everything I’m supposed to, when I’m supposed to, and how I’m supposed to, and it all works out.”
Day 2 – Friday, June 2
On the second day, the Purple Belt Males and Blue Belt Females were on deck.
Byung Ju Lee won three matches and lost by an advantage in the Quarter-Finals of the Purple Belt Light Weight Division. His first opponent was disqualified by no-show. He won his first two matches each by an advantage.
Amanda Riggs won her first match 2-2 on referee’s decision in the Feather Weight Blue Belt Division. She lost 2-4 in her second match.
Kayla Dehm won her first match 6-0 in the Heavy Weight Blue Belt Division. She also lost her second match.
Tori Kim and Leah Mays also competed.
Day 3 – Saturday, June 3
Juvenile Blue Belts were up on the third day. Damion Mansapit and Meghan Sirico were the last to compete.