Triin Seppel is one of the founders of the Women’s Jiu Jitsu Championship, a women’s only tournament organization dedicated to empowering women through the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Seppel, a native of Estonia, currently resides in Dallas with her two children. She found her passion for BJJ three years ago and continues to actively train to this day. Along with the WJJC, Seppel also operates Fenom Kimonos, a gi company tailored specifically to women and girls in the sport.
The WJJC will hold its inaugural event on October 9th in Frisco, Texas.
We sat down with Triin to find out more.
BJJ Legends: Tell me about the WJJC.
Triin Seppel: Earlier this year, Zebra Tournament Systems of Texas reached out to us with the initial idea of creating an event specifically for women and girls. After meeting over some Starbucks coffee and talking about our common values, the WJJC was born. Our mission is to foster community and growth for women and girls, on and off the mat. We believe that it’s more than just winning medals and tapping people out. At the end of the day, it’s about people sharing a common goal to improve. On October 9, 2010, the WJJC’s first event will be held in Frisco, Texas. Thanks to Zebra Tournament Systems of Texas, we’re going to have a first-class event at a first-class venue. Hope to see lots of girls and women on the mat and their parents, spouses, friends and coaches cheering on!
BJJL: What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve come across with your organizing of such an event? Most rewarding moments?
[einset][/einset]TS: When you have a team of motivated people, challenges have nothing to do with organizing. Things just get done when you’re excited. I think the biggest challenge with any event has to do with participation. Promoting the event and creating the best turnout possible is where the challenge is. With the help of our local community and organizations such as BJJ Legends, we hope people will want to be a part of something good. The most rewarding moment will come from positive feedback we hope to get from event participants. The second most rewarding moments have to do with willingness of sponsors to offer their services at no cost to help support our mission. A special thanks to Christopher Story of Evolve Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu a Van Miles of Strongvon, LLC for contributing their time and resources to help make this event a success!
BJJL: What are some benefits women can gain from training/competing?
TS: The physical benefits women can gain from training and competing are the same as men. Self-defense, weight-loss, health, benchmarking progress etc. One of the most interesting observations I’ve made in the short time I’ve been training is how Jiu-Jitsu has an amazing way of taking a woman (or man), competitor or not, and making that woman face every fear and internal struggle under the sun. Dealing with the thought of possibly being choked and eventually getting choked takes people into deep waters mentally and emotionally. This process produces a healthy balance between confidence and humility. That’s better than any college course or self-help program out there!
BJJL: How is your organization different from all of the other tournaments?
TS: There are tons of great tournaments out there. I think we’re different because we’re not 100% about the medals and winning. I know that may sound a little off. After all it’s a tournament and people win and lose. A fun place where everyone can have a good time without the pressure typically experienced at bigger events. Oh, and only women and girls can compete 🙂
BJJL: How do we get more women involved?
TS: Register to compete, come to watch, or spread the word to friends and family. We’re also very open to ideas from everyone. Email us your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BJJL: What are your goals and future plans for the WJJC?
TS: As of today, our goal and future plan is to have the best event we can have on October 9, 2010. Beyond that we hope to have more events and partnerships with like-minded tournaments to figure out ways to improve our communities through Jiu-Jitsu.