Where was Tracey Goodell in 2011?

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In 2010, Tracey Goodell accomplished something special.

At the Pan, she reigned at blue belt, conquering the lightweight and absolute divisions.

Promoted to purple belt by her master Lloyd Irvin, two months later Tracey repeated the same awesome performance at the Worlds.

Such great results made her one of the most promising names in female Jiu-Jitsu.

At the Worlds 2010

When 2011 came, the Jiu-Jitsu community expected to see Tracey shine again and maybe reach the brown belt to compete with the top black belt girls, such as Kyra Gracie, Gabi Garcia, Luanna Alzuguir, Beatriz Mesquita, Hannette Staack, Hillary Williams and others.

But that didn’t happen.

Tracey vanished from Jiu-Jitsu’s biggest stages, but she did so for a good reason – perhaps the best of reasons.

We’ll let her explain, as she posted on her blog last August 18: “After a long nine months, Mike Fowler and I were blessed with a baby boy! Thor Michael Makani Fowler. He was born on June 6, 2011!”

Did you notice the date of Thor’s birth? He arrived one day after the final day of competitions of the Worlds 2011, on June 5.

With Thor

So we could say, Tracey won her very special and personal prize this year off the mats.

We doubt she cares one bit about her absence from the Long Beach pyramid.

In the same blog post, Tracey makes clear that being a mom won’t keep her from pursuing the goal of becoming a black belt world champion, as she once told GRACIEMAG.com: “I did my best to keep up with my training as much as I could. Even grip fighting when I was 7-8 months. Just trying to get a sweat here and there, I was eager to stay on the mat. About 2-3 weeks after I gave birth, I was back to training again! Not feeling 100% but I was trying my hardest. I could’t wait any longer. I am now in my seventh week of training and I’m feeling great, drilling and sparring daily!”

So watch out for Tracey in 2012, as now she has a whole new reason to be the best.

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There are 20 comments for this article
    • Bruno Magalhães at 4:35 pm

      She was not banned. She was prevented from competing, once her professor did not respected the graduation rules set by the IBJJF since the beggining of the sport. To become a brown belt, you need to be a purple belt for at least a year and a half. In Tracey’s case, she was a purple belt for less than two months. It amazes me that Amrericans who love to brag about who they respect rules and blame Brazilians of being so unorganized get real angry when obligated to follow a simple and very clear rule.

      • Hillary Williams at 11:07 pm

        Not true. BJJ has become a major market through American expansion, but the sport would still exist. She was withheld from competition with the same rule that I was under for 5 months in 2010. After talking to the IBJJF crew, I’m fully supportive of the rule as long as it is evenly administered among Brazilians and Americans. Bruno’s lovely generalization of Americans, however, wasn’t necessary.

        • Bruno Magalhães at 11:55 am

          I apologize for my generalization, but I reafirm that Tracey was not banned. The mistake was made by her master and not the IBJJF

        • Bruno Magalhães at 11:55 am

          I apologize for my generalization, but I reafirm that Tracey was not banned. The mistake was made by her master and not the IBJJF

      • Tracey Goodell at 11:48 pm

        Prevented from competing, Banned, whatever you want to call it. It was a rough year and a half for me..and NO the IBJJF rules were not ‘set since the beginning of the sport’. what about BJ Penn, Mike Fowler, Saulo Ribeiro, Terere, Master Lloyd to name a few

  1. Carlton motherlins at 7:51 pm

    i’m pretty sure the rules for lengths of time for belts is rarely strictly enforced, i’ve seen MANY brazilian AND american bjj fighters promoted before the ibjjf’s rules allowed and still competed… and she WAS banned from competing. in english, when you say someone was ‘not banned, they were kept from competing’, that’s the same thing, she was banned. she tapped everyone out in the WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS as a purple (in lightweight AND absolute)… i think that probably means she deserves her brown… enforce ALL the rules, ALL the time, or you’ll get called out in times such as these. Boom, roasted.

  2. Fritz Dagger at 10:15 pm

    Yeah for real, thats was bullsh** i think the ibjjf was just afraid that tracy would go and destroy the top brazilian girls in the brown black division.

    • Bjj Forever at 2:56 pm

      To think the IBJJF gives a shit about who wins or not is just crazy. Competitive BJJ had/ has many non-Brazilians champions on all categories. Hillary Williams was world champion, Penny Thomas was too. Rafael Lovato Jr beat a Brazilian fighter on a judges decision to become a world champion. Tracey himself won the purple belt absolute in a fight much debated by her opponent’s team and the referee had no doubt in giving Goodell the win. The real problem here is that a rule was not followed in a very high profile manner. Tracey was graduated purple belt at the podium during the Pan 2010. Later on, Lloyd Irvn posted a video explaining why he was promoting her to brown belt only months later. If the rules were not always followed, it is a GOOD thing it is being followed now.

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  4. Anna at 8:36 pm

    Nice assessment. There are many paryels out there that pull guard right away (thus the double guard pull) because they dont have a standup game. However, just as limiting is the player that can’t or won’t pull guard under any circumstances because they don’t have a good guard game. I think you need to be comfortable with both strategies depending on the situation, the opponent and your overall strategy at that particular time. If you have the choice of pulling guard or playing standup you have a huge tactical advantage.

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