Success Comes in all Shapes and Sizes

This win was for the women at SafePlace Austin by way of the Texas BJJ group Girls in Gis.

On January 22, 2012, twenty-nine women and girls traveled far and wide across Texas to attend Girls in Gis-Austin. Some traveled over five hours with their families to participate in the three hour BJJ training session. Black belt Fabiana Borges of Gracie Barra N. Austin hosted and led the instruction. In addition to providing a fun and friendly place to train, this event also served as the final collection drop off location for the GIG Wish List donation drive for SafePlace, Austin.

The Girls in Gis-Austin event began with a traditional Gracie Barra warm-up, fundamental Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu self defense techniques, a few sport Jiu-Jitsu techniques, drilling and concluded with structured rolling led by Borges’. “This was the best Girls in Gis yet! I really liked how Fabiana structured the training session. I had so much fun!” said Girls in Gis veteran Rebecca Varady of Gracie Humaitá Austin .



Girls in Gis celebrated many “firsts” last month. The wrap up of the first Girls in Gis charity drive was marked by the first self defense event led by the first woman black belt, Fabiana Borges. Borges’ comprehensive understanding of Jiu-Jitsu and willingness to share was a tremendous resource for Girls in Gis participants of varying skill levels. For several women this was their first opportunity to ever train with, be instructed by or roll with a female black belt. Borges’ strong leadership skill accompanied by her charismatic and warm demeanor was welcoming and supportive. Her innate sweet disposition and kindhearted nature was contagious.

The Girls in Gis Wish List Donation Drive, dedicated to collecting donations and raising awareness on the services and resources at SafePlace, was a huge success thanks to the support from the entire BJJ community. Borges and the women of Gracie Barra N. Austin were awarded the Girls in Gis Swag Basket for their achievement in collecting the most donations for SafePlace Austin. The following sponsors contributed to the Girls in Gis swag baskets: Fenom Kimonos, BJJ Legends Magazine, Fight Soap, She-Jitsu, Mean Streak, Scentsy Independent consultant Lana Hunter, A.C.T Energy Drink, Grand Prix Grappling, Paleo Pam and NeoCell.

Together over twenty-five Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academies and Girls in Gis members raised an outstanding amount of donations for SafePlace. The clients of SafePlace Austin directly benefited from the contributions and efforts made on behalf of these academies and members. “Today my prayer to help others was answered, that’s all I could ever ask for.” said Girls in Gis member Brenda Castillo of Paragon RGV.

The next Girls in Gis event will be held on February 19, 2012 at Kealin BJJ in The Dallas, Texas area. Women of all ages and skill levels are invited to attend this free training session with host brown belt Tracy D’Arcy.

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