The Kentuckiana Women’s Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Club (KWBJJC) welcomes black belt Sophia McDermott Drysdale as instructor for its co-ed seminar on June 18. The event will be held at the Derby City Mixed Martial Arts gym on Dixie Highway.
With only about 100 female black belts in Jiu-Jitsu in the world, and most of them living on the West Coast of the United States, Drysdale has chosen to visit Kentucky to teach a seminar that is expected to draw 50+ from Kentuckiana and surrounding states including Illinois and Tennessee.
Scott is a blue belt who manages events and the social media for the KWBJJC. Introduced to the art by her husband and two oldest sons, the mother of five has been practicing the Jiu-Jitsu for a little over three years now. To date, she has competed in over 10 tournaments.
As the event’s instructor, Drysdale has many accomplishments under her belt – no pun intended. She has taken first place at the World Championships, held every year in California. She is a two-time championship of the World Nogi Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championships. She also has won the Pan American champion title four times. Check out some footage of Drysdale in action here.
In addition, Drysdale is a mom, successful entrepreneur, self-defense instructor, and fitness figure champion. A native of Australia, Drysdale currently resides in Las Vegas.
The unique thing about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is that it combines martial arts, combat, and self-defense. It focuses on grappling and ground fighting to get the upper hand of the opponent. It’s an art form in which a lot of its technique has been popularized by Ronda Rousey.
“It takes you about 14 years to earn your black belt,” said Scott. That’s the average time for men; women tend to earn it in 10-12 years. But it remains a male-dominated sport – from participants to instructors.
The KWBJJC hosts two seminars per year like the one Drysdale will be instructing. The club was created in 2015 to provide females the opportunity to fellowship with other women once a month at alternating participating dojos (rooms where martial arts are practiced). The first seminar it hosted was female-only. The KWBJJC has since changed its strategy to allow female instructors to teach co-ed Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu seminars, enhancing males’ understanding of the female perspective in the art.
And Scott is seeing that more women are coming to the sport.
“Kentuckiana is working on annihilating those barriers,” she said.
For the seminar on June 18, the KWBJJC is partnering with Hope Southern Indiana for a food drive.
“We decided that we want to make a difference in our community,” added Scott. “We enjoyed learning about how to fight, but decided ‘Let’s fight hunger.'”
Participants are encouraged to bring canned foods with them.