Hall Of Famer Michelle Nicolini Interview With WBBJJ.com

 

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Michelle Nicolini is one of the elite fighters in women’s Jiu Jitsu. She is an IBJJF Hall of Famer, an 8x Jiu Jitsu World Champion, ADCC champion and the World Pro Cup champion. She is a black belt under Robert Drysdale and is one of the main stars in the Checkmat BJJ Team.

 

We wanted to catch up with Michelle and see how everything has been going since her latest win against Angelica Galvao at the first Polaris Pro event held on January 10th, 2015.

 

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WBBJJ.com: Hello Michelle Nicolini! Thanks for taking the time to talk with me and the followers of White Belt BJJ about your Jiu Jitsu Journey, and your recent bout against Angelica Galvao at Polaris Pro.

 

Michelle Nicolini: Thank you! It has been a pleasure to have the space here to talk bit more about my BJJ journey. Fight with Angelica was nice. I was training for that fight, sub only for some time, and I could get my goal.

 

WBBJJ.com: How is everything going with you since your recent win against Angelica Galvao at Polaris Pro?

 

Michelle Nicolini: Everything is great. Nothing to complain! After Polaris I went back to London and I keeped training at London Fight Factory, my team Checkmat and I was getting ready for Europeans. I fought last weekend and I got another gold medal. Now I’m back in Brazil for the Abu Dhabi pro trials in Natal. I will be fighting on Sunday.

 

 

WBBJJ.com: What was your game plan going into the match and what concerned you the most leading up to it?

 

Michelle Nicolini: My game was the goal of the show: SUBMIT my opponent.

 

WBBJJ.com:  You are known for your footlocks and you won the match with one. What is it that draws you personally to the lure of foot attacks? Is it because they are effective against larger opponents? Or is it more because you feel safe, defensively speaking, when attacking legs and feet? I ask because I am beginning to find my way with them and would like to know your perspective.

 

Michelle Nicolini: Footlocks are easy for me. I saw it in many different places. But I think the combination of my game make it happens more. I get sweep for example, I end up on top, or I gonna pass or if you start to resist to much I will try to attack your foot.

 

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WBBJJ.com: You have said that you are tired of fighting for medals and that it is time for you to continue with MMA. Are you taking the time to do that now that Polaris is over? or are you training for an upcoming BJJ event?

 

Michelle Nicolini: I did the Euros cause I was already in Europe. So always nice to fight where BJJ is still growing if we compare with America. But this year, we had so many competitors that maybe this event gonna be bigger than others in US. Polaris was awesome. I’m sure they will have big success in the second edition. And they paid good! I’ve some other things before, but I’m already thinking about Abu Dhabi Pro in April. As I lost last year, I’m super motivated to win this year. MMA probably in June.

 

WBBJJ.com: Did you watch this season of the Ultimate Fighter seeing as it featured all ladies from your MMA weight class? How do you think you would have done if you were on the show? Who was your favorite straw-weight fighter of the season and why?

 

Michelle Nicolini: I didn’t watch all the show, but I was following some. I’m super excited to meet one of the finalist girls one day in the cage. They are all good. I think if I had been there I would had learn a lot from the coaches and I could do good too. But when they asked me if I wanted to go in the house, it was too late, I had other plans and I preferred to not cancel. I will be there one day!

 

WBBJJ.com: You said about Ronda Rousey that “Talk is cheap if you never show up” (referring to Worlds). A fight between the two of you in MMA wouldn’t happen because of the weight difference, that being said, do you think you can beat her in the gi? What would you do to nullify her takedowns and extra 20 – 30 lbs?

 

Michelle Nicolini:  I believe on my Jiu Jitsu. I fought big girls before. I won sometimes, I lose others. Its hard to say the result of a fight before it happen. But I would for sure pull guard and I’m sure she wouldn’t pass!  You need have lot of ability to pass a guard without expose yourself.

 

WBBJJ.com: We have a large following of BJJ ladies and a large amount of white belt followers (obviously haha)? What advice do you have for white belts starting out in BJJ? And then what advice do you have specifically for the ladies who are starting out in BJJ? This is your time to share your knowledge with a lot of new BJJ players!

 

Michelle Nicolini: White belts, don’t miss the classes. Go as much you can so you will learn the sequence of the techniques and it will be easier to memorize. For the ladies, I know sometimes it’s hard to train with the guys, but I trained most of my time with them. And as much we learn easier and better it will be. Remember to not try exchange power with them, be technical and faster!

 

WBBJJ.com: Without giving away all of your secrets, when you are rolling with the guys, what adjustments (if any) do you make to your game that perhaps other ladies could use?

 

Michelle Nicolini: One of my coaches I had, Drysdale, he always used to say for me to not exchange power with a guy, so I learned it so good. Of course BJJ is little bit about power but I’m 100% convinced if you move yourself first then you try to move your opponent you will have a large advantage. So it’s not a secret, I move more than my opponents. I use a lot my legs, cause they are stronger than my arms. And all works good!! I think so heheheh.

 

WBBJJ.com: Thank you very much for your time Michelle. Is there anyone you would like to acknowledge? Any sponsors you would like to mention?

 

Michelle Nicolini: Thank you to Tatami fight wear, first year together and it has been so good for me. They gave me a great support. Thank you to my team Checkmat, The House Fight Co., London Fight Factory, all the people who always send me messages and to everyone reading this article. So glad you guys want to know about me, my BJJ career. Thank you!!

 

WBBJJ.com: Thanks again and best wishes to you and yours!

 

Michelle Nicolini: Thank you!!

 

Check out some videos of Michelle Nicolini in action below. In the first video Michelle breaks Tammi Musumeci’s arm or comes very close to doing so. The second one is a fantastic highlight video.

 

 

 

The Jiu Jitsu Roots Of Anderson Silva And Nick Diaz

 

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Tonight one of the most exciting fights of the year is taking place at UFC 183: Silva vs Diaz.

 

Everyone is familiar with these two legends in regard to their MMA careers. Not everyone knows that both of these men are Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belts.

 

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(Anderson Silva and the Nogueira Brothers)

 

Anderson Silva is a 3rd degree Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt under Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.

 

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(Nick Diaz)

 

Nick Diaz is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt under Cesar Gracie.

 

Their complete lineages are as follows:

 

Anderson Silva < Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira < Ricardo De la Riva < Carlson Gracie < Carlos Gracie < Mitsuyo Maeda

 

Nick Diaz < Cesar Gracie < Robson Gracie < Carlos Gracie Sr. < Mitsuyo Maeda

 

Hopefully this means that we will get to see some high level grappling action in tonight’s five-rounder. Thoughts?

 

 

 

Tag Team MMA Match With KO And Armbar Finish!

 

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This is one of those rare treasures that you find and wonder why you have never heard about it before. MMA not exciting enough for you? How about tag team MMA? This isn’t just any old backyard production (okay many of the fights take place in the sand, but that’s not the point). This fighting federation from Russia recently has gone international staging their first event in Brazil in 2014.

 

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You simply have got to watch this. I have watched at least 10 videos from their YouTube channel and have been enjoying them. They remind me of early Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fights that would happen right there on the beach. The level of fighting is pretty good at times. They wear MMA gloves and have referees.

 

Check out the match below where you get a knock out and an armbar in a single tag team match! Incredible!

 

 

For more information check out their webpage!

 

BJ Penn – “My Whole Game Is Basics”

 

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BJ “The Prodigy” Penn is a true BJJ and Mixed Martial Arts Legend. His list of achievements is too long to list and most of us already know of them anyway.

 

In this video series BJ explains that the secret to his meteoric rise was Brazilian Jiu Jitsu basics. In the video below he goes so far as to say that his entire game is basics.

 

For a fledgling white belt (and blue belts like myself), it is tremendously easy to get caught up in the flash of today’s BJJ. There is so much dynamic maneuvering going on and the advent of new and exciting guards, that it makes it difficult for a white belt to simply focus on the armbar from closed guard.

 

However white belt, this is a game of patience. There will plenty of time down the road to get as flashy as you would like. Take it from BJ Penn, fundamentals are your best friend!

 

I highly recommend reading his book Why I Fight: The Belt Is Just an Accessory

 

It is an incredible story if you are a Jiu Jitsu lover. BJ tells all about rising up from his struggles growing up in Hilo, Hawaii to going on to becoming the first American BJJ Black Belt to ever win the World Championship (Mundials). Check out that match here.

 

 

 

Testosterone, Steroids, MMA And Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

 

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We have all heard the stories of BJJ and MMA fighters, both male and female, getting busted using steroids. Sometimes we are surprised and other times not so much. Why do these athletes feel compelled to take performance enhancing drugs? The answer is testosterone.

 

Testosterone injections can make male rats more aggressive in marking their territories, cause castrated red deer to grow antlers, and induce female rhesus monkeys to screech like males.

 

 

To put it simply, some athletes believe that taking synthetic anabolic steroids will propel them to the next level. The hope is for stronger muscles, increased aggression and faster recovery times.

 

In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu we are taught to focus on technique rather than strength, and leverage rather than force. However some athletes at high levels of competition feel that technique becomes relatively equal on the mats and in the cage, therefore strength and athleticism become important again. It is one thing to beat an athletic, unskilled fighter with technique and leverage. That changes completely once both competitors are the same size and generally drink from the same pool of knowledge. 

 

The question for these athletes than becomes, to cheat? or not to cheat?

 

Both men and women produce testosterone naturally, but under normal conditions women only possess about 10% of what males have.

 

In my researching of this article I found that, ironically enough, studies are now showing that men having low levels of testosterone can be a tremendous health risk. If testosterone levels decline, various symptoms may arise. Men may experience fatigue, weight gain, loss of libido, decreased mental sharpness, loss of motivation, mood swings or irritability and declining muscle mass. Research has linked declining testosterone values to several chronic diseases and risk factors, including heart disease and vascular disease. Lower testosterone also correlates with worsening blood sugar levels in diabetics and decreased heart strength. Other studies have shown worse heart function in men with lower free testosterone levels. Finally, there is an overall increased mortality rate among men with lower testosterone values. One study has even shown that certain men with lower testosterone levels may be at risk for more aggressive prostate cancer than those with higher testosterone levels. [Source]

 

These health issues will certainly degrade and lessen one’s abilities to perform well at Jiu Jitsu and MMA.

 

READ ALSO: Ways That Jiu Jitsu Brings Family Closer Together

 

What are the risks involved with taking synthetic steroids or PEDs? Men may develop prominent breasts, shrunken testicles, prostate gland enlargement, infertility and impotence. Women may develop a deeper voice, an enlarged clitoris, increased body hair, infrequent and/or absent periods. Both men and women may experience baldness, severe acne, liver abnormalities, increased low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol), decreased high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol), high blood pressure, heart and circulatory problems, rage, violence, depression, and drug dependence. Use among teenagers can inhibit future growth. [Source]

 

[WARNING] The video below is graphic and disturbing but it shows how harmful steroids can be.

 

 

It is clear from research that steroid and PED abuse can lead to a host of other problems. It is also clear that having low testosterone can pose significant health risks. The bottom line is talk to your doctor and have your levels checked regularly. There is a ton of information, articles and other blogs out there about steroids and testosterone in BJJ and MMA. This article is simply my non-expert opinion on the matter. WBBJJ.com doesn’t condone any illegal activity whatsoever, especially black market injectable drugs.

 

Are there ways to boost your testosterone naturally? The answer is yes! I suggest checking out this great article from a fellow BJJ practitioner to see how.

 

Also get the truth about over-the-counter testosterone boosters here.

 

UFC Champion Anthony Pettis Earns His BJJ Brown Belt

 

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UFC lightweight champion Anthony “Showtime” Pettis earned his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Brown Belt yesterday from Daniel Wanderley, head BJJ coach of Roufusport MMA.

 

Anthony has recently submitted Jiu Jitsu Black Belts Benson Henderson (UFC 164) and Gilbert Melendez (UFC 181) in the octagon.

 

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Check out a video of the champ grappling below!

 

 

Congratulations for earning your Brown Belt Anthony Pettis! Keep up the hard work! Oss!

 

“Jesus Didn’t Tap.” Christian Churches Begin Supporting MMA

 

“Jesus Didn’t Tap.” Christian Churches Begin Supporting MMA

 

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In a seemingly unlikely turn of events hundreds of churches have begun encouraging members to beat each other up because ‘men are made for combat’. You cannot make this stuff up folks. Christian MMA is on the way.

 

According to RawStory more than 700 evangelical US churches now integrate MMA (a combination of Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Greco-Roman Wrestling and Thai Boxing) into their ministry programs. The phenomenon has even been featured in a recent documentary film, 2014’s Fight Church.

 

 

 

 

This tactic has been used in the past to bring men to the Church. Again according to RawStory, “The notion that MMA and Christianity are compatible bedfellows is loosely based on the ideology of Muscular Christianity, a mostly-male, Victorian-era movement that linked the gospel with physical and mental toughness. Two leaders of the movement – Charles Kingsley, a clergymen and scholar, and Thomas Hughes, a celebrated Victorian era author (and boxing coach) – sought to counter the perceived feminization of Church and to attract men to the faith.”

 

I’m sure the thousands of women who do BJJ and MMA are loving hearing this…

 

What do you all think about this one? See you on Sunday?

 

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(Sometimes memes do come true)