Hitomi Hiraiwa

Hitomi Hiraiwa (Akano)

Hitomi Hiraiwa (Akano)

Previous name: Hitomi Akano (before marriage)
Home: Tokyo – Japan
Style: Judo
Division: over 60 Kg
BJJ/ADCC record: ADCC 2009 Asian & Pacific Trials winner
MMA record: 1 – 0 – 0 (submission)

Bio: In ADCC 2009 Japan Trials, Mizuho Sato aggressively went for a take down but Hitomi Hiraiwa countered with leg locks. When Sato came in for a single leg, Hitomi calmly grabbed the right arm for a kimura. And from there, Hitomi threw Sato then twisted the kimura even further for a quick tap out win. It was a complete domination by Hitomi!


Ina Steffensen

ina2Born in 1982

Home: Denmark

Style: Bjj and Submission Fighting

Team: Mascarenhas Team

Division: under 60 Kg

BJJ/ADCC record:
Stockholm Open Bjj 2008
Gold: Class -58,3

Danish Open Bjj 2008
Gold: Class -58,3
Silver: Open class

ADCC Danish tryout 2008
Gold: Class -55

ADCC European championship 2008
Gold: Class -55

Scandinavian Open Bjj 2008
Silver: Class -58,3

Kaisho cup Bjj 2009
Gold: Open class

Laurence Cousin

Laurence Cousin

Laurence Cousin

Nicknames: First Lady of BJJ, Lolotte, Lolo, Feefee…
Born in 1981
Home: Paris – France
Style: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Team: NCU
Division: under 60 Kg

BJJ/ADCC record:
-Black belt since 2005 from Flavio Behring jiujitsu
-Undefeated in Europe
-European ADCC Trials Champion, Stockholm (Sweden) 2009
-Belgium ADCC Trials Champion, Charleroi (Belgium) 2006
-Double World Champion FILA (gi and no-gi), Switzerland 2008
-Four times Brussel International Grappling Champion (1, 4, 5 and 6)
-2nd place on the Arnold World Gracie Submission Championship – Ohio, USA 2004

CBJJ World Championships:
– World Champion Black Belt, 2007
– 2nd place in Black Belt, 2008
– 3rd place in Brown and Black Belt, 2005 (brown belt)
– 3rd place in Purple, Brown and Black Belt, 2003 (purple belt)
– 2nd place in team championship, 2003
– 5th place in Blue Belt, 2001

CBJJO World Cup :
– World Champion, 2005
– 3rd place in Purple, Brown and Black Belt 2003 (purple belt)
– 2nd place in team championship, 2003

Bio: Lolo started in Martial Arts at 8 years old. She had a very open minded Aikido teacher that introduced her to Judo, Karate and finally Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu through seminars. Now Laurence trains at NCU, in Paris, with David Pierre Louis and François Laurent.  She’s a police officer but she trains every day (or night), working hard in physical conditioning. Cousin wants to fight Kyra Gracie again in ADCC 2009.

“I think girls are far more technical than men, however men find this very difficult to admit!! hahaha!”

Click here to see Laurence Cousin vs Sayaka Shioda.

Michelle Tavares

Michelle TavaresComplete name: Ana Michelle Tavares
Home: Rio de Janeiro – Brasil
Style: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Team: Nova União
Division: under 60 Kg

BJJ/ADCC record: ADCC 2009 South American Trials winner

MMA record: 7 – 2 – 0 (71% of victories by submission)

Bio: Michelle Tavares is a Jiu-jitsu black belt and a MMA fighter from Nova Uniao academy, having 5 of her 7 wins by submission. She was in the ADCC Trials at the Botafogo Gymnasium, in Rio de Janeiro and took the spot to represent Brasil in the traditional Submission tournament, defeating favorite Gracie Barra’s Bianca Andrade in the finals of under 60 Kg. Her triangle is really dangerous: chocking, arm-baring or inverted.

Megumi Fujii

Megumi FujiiNickname: Mega Megu
Born in 1974
Home: Okinawa – Japan
Style: MMA
Team: Abe Ani Combat Club
Division: under 60 Kg

BJJ/Sambo/Wrestling/ADCC record:
– ADCC 2009 Asia & South Pacific Trials winner
– 3rd place in 2005 ADCC World Submission Wrestling Championships
– 9 times All-Japan sambo champion
– All Japan Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu champion
– 2 times Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Pan American Games champion
– Ground Impact: “Queen of Jiu-Jitsu” professional Jiu-Jitsu tournament champion
– Professional Submission League: “LA Sub X” event winner and fastest submission

MMA record: 18 – 0 – 0 (83% of victories by submission)Megumi Fujii

Bio: Megumi is the most decorated female grappler in all of Japan and arguably pound-for-pound the best female fighter in the world. Known for her aggressive attacking style of wrestling, dynamic and explosive submissions punctuate her matches. Her most popular move is the Inazuma Toe Hold submission, dubbed the Megulock. Megumi also holds black belts in both Judo and Jiu-Jitsu, and was trained in MMA by Shooto veteran Hiroyuki Abe and PRIDE Fighting Championships alumni, former UFC Heavyweight Champion, Josh Barnett. She has also trained several other female MMA fighters including current top fighter Hitomi Akano (Hiraiwa). 15 of her 18 victories in MMA were by submission.

Penny Thomas

penny thomasHome: South Africa
Style: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Team: Gracie Humaitá
Division: over 60 Kg
BJJ/ADCC record:

– 2009 Brazilian Jiu-jitsu World Champion

– 2009  Open class 3rd place in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu World Championship

– 2008  2nd place in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu World Championship
– 2008 Grapplers Quest No-Gi Absolute Champion
– 2007 NAGA Hawaii, Advanced Gi & No-Gi Champion
– 2007 Pan American Champion
– 2007 ADCC Champion
– 2007 Brazilian Jiu-jitsu World Champion

Penny started brazilian jiu-jitsu in South Africa more for the self defense aspects, but after her first class, BJJ became a big part of Penny’s life – from traveling to Brasil each year to train in Gracie Humaitá and compete, to managing South Africa’s first Brazilian Jiu-jitsu out of her garage, to eventually resigning from her full time job as a software developer to go on tour and become South Africa’s first BJJ World Champion.

Sayaka Shioda

sayaka shiodaHome: Japan
Style: Shooto
Team: Abe Ani Combat Club
Division: under 60 Kg
MMA record:  3 – 1 – 0

Bio: Sayaka Shioda is a skilled MMA fighter with 2 of her 3 wins by submission. In 2005 she won the G-Shooto with a beautiful reverse triangle choke against veteran Seri Saito. In ADCC 2007  she won the first place in under 55kg division. It will be interesting to watch Shioda putting her title against the incredible card ADCC has assembled for Barcelona.