Purple belt pride of Team Lloyd Irvin

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Female Jiu-Jitsu just keeps growing in the United States and around the world. Proof of it is how the number of women competing increases with every World Championship, and promising new competitors pop up on the scene.

GRACIEMAG.com had a chat this week with one of these revelations: 2010’s purple belt absolute champion Tracy Goodell. In her weight group, Tracy submitted all her opponents until getting her hands on the gold. In the absolute, she kept the pace up and snagged her second gold medal. Quite a feat for a lightweight.

A fan of BJ Penn, the Lloyd Irvin Team rep commented on the gold medal she conquered with just two weeks under her purple belt, spoke of what it’s like to train with beasts like Jonathan Torres and Mike Fowler, and much more.

You got your purple belt just before the Worlds 2010, in June. How was the experience of winning right away like that?

It was an amazing experience for me! I was promoted to the rank of purple belt just two weeks before the Worlds, my first tournament as a purple belt, and my first Worlds. Our team trained very hard, and it paid off. You see, team Lloyd Irvin has been competing in the IBJJF World Championships for a while now. 2010 has shown that Team Lloyd Irvin has come a long way. Not only are there more gold Medals and medalists on the podium, there is a crowd for Team Lloyd Irvin! We have come from a few teammates in the stands or on the side, to having a cheering section!

When did you start training Jiu-Jitsu?

I started training Jiu-Jitsu in 2006 when I was living in Hawaii. Then for the next year and a half, from 2007 to about May 2008, I didn’t train at all. In the beginning of June is when I started up again.

How important is it for you to train in such a respected team as Lloyd Irvin’s, with champions like JT, Jonathan Torres ?

I think that your training environment and surroundings is very important. Putting yourself in the company of like-minded people greatly helps you achieve your goals. I am sure Lloyd Irvin Jiu-Jitsu system is very effective. It obviously shows in our team’s results.

What do you think about female Jiu-Jitsu today?

I think females involved in the sport is great! Women are getting more and more exposure and that’s why I am always looking for sponsors so that I can continue to travel around the world and compete, although I don’t think that females get enough recognition in Jiu-Jitsu. The amount of girls training and competing is growing more and more every year, and I hope it continues to stay that way.

What do you think is missing for female Jiu-Jitsu to grow and bring more women to practice?

Girls don’t like to get sweaty!!! (LOL) But I really think that it is hard to get women to come into the gym based on the fact that more males train than females. So bringing a girl in who is not intimidated by the males and getting her to stick with it can be hard. It’s hard to be the first girl in the gym and stick it out until more girls join… Unless you really end up loving the sport.

Who is your favorite fighter?

My favorite Jiu-Jitsu fighter would have to be BJ Penn.

Who do you look up to?

I look up to Master Lloyd, Mike Fowler, JT Torres and Jim Harbison and the team. We’re only getting stronger, and with a TEAM, anything is possible!

The list of medals is impressive this year. Each medal well earned and deserved. Among blue belts, Frank Camacho, Evan Gideon, Rachael Demara, and Sijara Eubanks, all took gold in their divisions. Frank Camacho and DJ Jackson battled their way to the finals where it was a clash of titans! With a great hip-toss, Frank was able to take home the gold. DJ also took 3rd in the open, where his opponent moved on to face Evan Gideon in the finals. Evan fought a great match and took home silver for the blue belt absolute.

For the purple belts, Andris Brunovskis won his divisions with all submissions. Big Willie Leonard also took gold winning his second consecutive Worlds title. Kim Rivers and Brad Pearson took home silvers. Kenneth Brown took bronze at his weight. Rachael Demara took home a bronze with her gold medal as well, taking 3rd in the absolute division. I see there are many big things to come for the future of Team Lloyd Irvin.

Please tell us about your training program.

My training program consisted of 3 practices a day, sparring, grip strengthening, and drills! Morning class at 11:30, drilling at 4:30 and then the advanced class at 8:30. On Saturdays we also had a class that started at 12noon and basically went until Master Lloyd said it was done. This is just my training schedule for a couple months leading up until the Worlds. It changes back after the Worlds to just the 10 am class, and an evening advanced class at 8:30 because I work all day, 6 days a week.

What are your plans for the future?

My ultimate goal for the future is to achieve my black belt and win the Mundials. I want to compete with the best and become the best.

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