The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu expert shared her knowledge in South Carolina
Story by Evelyn Sutton. Photos by Dwight Decker
Celebrated for her superior grappling abilities, Danielle Kelly is a 26-year-old Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu phenomenon. A One Championship athlete, veteran of WNO, EBI, and ADCC Trials, she has faced off some of the best female athletes in the sport, including UFC champs. Earlier this month, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt from Philadelphia was invited by coach Dwight Decker, owner and head coach of Black Force MMA to teach a seminar at his gym in South Carolina.
A submissions expert, Kelly’s record includes impressive wins over veteran UFC fighters Carla Esparza, Roxanne Modafferi, and Cynthia Calvillo and multiple-time IBJJF World Champion Sofia Amarante, who she beat by rear-naked choke. And most recently, a win against four-time Sambo World Champion Mariia Molchanova with a rear-naked choke just a little over two minutes into the match. The submission earned Kelly her first win inside the One Championship Circle – along with a US$50,000 performance bonus.
Many of the students at Black Force MMA actively compete and their team holds the tradition of consistently taking first place at local tournaments. Professor Decker highly encourages his students to participate in competitions and provides all the support they need, including bringing high level competitors such as Danielle Kelly to share their expertise. A huge promoter of women in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Black Force has a large female presence. “Some of our young ladies compete in wrestling. Many of them end up going all the way to State. I call them “Mat Monsters”, because they look sweet and innocent until they put their hands on you and the beast comes out.”, says Professor Dwight Decker.
During the seminar, Danielle showed a variety of techniques, answered questions and posed for photos with the students.
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