For the first time in the history of the World Jiu-Jitsu Championships, the females had a roosterweight category. On the second day of the 2014 World Championship in Long Beach, CA, the blue and purple belt females of the new division entered the mat.
The purple belts had 11 while the blue belts had 20 in the roosterweight category, the fifth and fourth most populated divisions respectively. This proves that there have been many females often too light to be in the light-featherweight division, the lowest division prior to now. Don’t let the baggi gis fool you because many of these women struggled until now, where the two champions of the second day at the Worlds have earned their gold in their own division.
Katie Yamashita of Alliance at Cobrinha BJJ was able to earn the gold in the blue belt category after previous attempts to bulk up to a stronger weight as a light-featherweight. Katie had five matches with one submission. Her toughest match came when she was put in closed guard because “I train a lot of open guard but not a lot of closed guard defense”.
She began training in Jiu-Jitsu three years ago in her boyfriend’s garage where she trained for a year before moving to Cobrinha’s where her boyfriend trains. Now she trains five times a week while working full-time and works out three times a week. Last year she lost at the Pans and the Worlds because she her spider guard was “smashed” in the light-featherweight category.
“I feel like having the roosterweight division is more fair. It’s supposed to be about technique and when I was in light-feather I struggled because I was smaller,: she explains. The difference in opponents came in loud and clear. In the future she plans to continue her strength and conditioning to keep training hard and keep getting stronger.
The purple belt roosterweight gold was claimed by Brasa CTA athlete Outi Järvilehto from Finland. The 27-year-old veterinarian had three matches with two submissions in the form of a choke from the back and an armbar. Her toughest match against Maria Henderson was decided in literally the last two seconds as she secured an armbar submission while down by two points.
As a full-time veterinarian she works both the morning shift and the night shift but still tries to train twice a day with strength and conditioning as well. “I don’t always get to do all the training that I plan” she says, but she makes it in as often as she can.
She has been training a total of seven years in Finland but for the last three years she and her boyfriend, Tuomas Tammelehto, have traveled to the camp under Caio Terra that is held one week prior to the Worlds tournament. Her academy, Oulun Kamppailuklubi is under Brasa and Demian Maia and led by her professor, Tomi Kaaerela and Tuomas.