Sarah Black’s resume already includes World Championship titles at purple and brown belt. Now, as a brand new Gustavo Dantas black belt she has already made her presence known at the highest level of BJJ competition.
Sarah started her competitive black belt career this year at the IBJJF American Nationals where she earned the National title in her division for both Gi and No-Gi. She won a third National title for the No-Gi absolute division.
The rookie black belt participated this past weekend in 2015 IBJJF World Masters Championship where she won the Master 1 World Championship in the light weight division. She earned a silver medal in the Master 1 absolute division.
Her resume so far is inspiring. Already a second degree Black Belt in Judo Sarah is no stranger to high level competition. Currently, at 36 years old Sarah qualifies as a Master 2 competitor, but competes in the Adult division. She is a full-time software developer and the Women’s and Kid’s coach and program director at GD Jiu-Jitsu Headquarters in Tempe Arizona.
With the Adult and Master World Championships combined she has accumulated seven gold medals in the last 4 years:
- 2012 – World Masters – Double Gold (Light & Open) Blue Belt
- 2013 – World Adults – Purple Belt World Champion (Light)
- 2013 – World Masters – Double Gold (Light & Open) Purple Belt
- 2014 – Out due to injury
- 2015 – World Adults – Brown Belt World Champion (Light)
- 2015 – World Masters – Black Belt World Champion (Light)
We spoke to Sarah about her success and advice for other girls competing in Jiu-Jitsu.
“If you want to compete do it. If nerves are keeping competitions from being fun then keep signing up for tournaments until the nerves are manageable (it gets better). Don’t worry about winning so much as performing like you train. Then train. Just train. Show up. Show up injured and do what you can. Study. Fail. Focus on a topic and get good at it. Take care of your body so that you can train. There is not much of an off-season to thrash your body because it will affect your training and thus effect your competitions. Take off only a few days when needed and train lighter when you need rest.
Technique and conditioning, although critical, are not the only areas to focus on. Make sure you don’t neglect the mental aspect of your training. I constantly utilize the BJJ Mental Coach to make sure my mindset for training and competition is as strong as possible.”