West Hartford, CT, February 07, 2007 --(PR.com
)-- Women do not fight in the UFC, consequently, Showtime seems to be breaking new ground. Jim Harpe, Brazilian jiu Jitsu coach at Royce Gracie Jiu Jitsu in Agawam MA where he teaches Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and MMA/SABAKI Methods says, "It's all in the natural order of things, women are as mentally strong as men, maybe even stronger... Royce's father's vision was to have Jiu Jitsu for everyone that means girls and women too.”
He should know. His 12 year old daughter Erin Harpe is living proof. She has won her division in the toughest sport Jiu Jitsu tournaments under the guidance of her seasoned father and his best friend, Tony Davila. Principal by day, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fighter and coach by night, Mr. Davila says, "It is amazing to see Erin make the teenage boys tap.” She apparently competes against the boys who are generally bigger and stronger.
Jim Hughes of Royce Gracie Jiu Jitsu commented, “I don't know, she might be on a mission to make everyone change how they view women in general. She's just 12 and she can make a grown man quit. You have to respect her… and Royce's dad Helio Gracie for giving us Brazilian Jiujitsu where it is the leveraged based technique that rules.”
Jim Hughes of Royce Gracie Brazilian Jiujitsu, ctmma & mamma, New England is a Black Belt under Royce Gracie, and was one of the first to offer Gracie Jiu Jitsu instruction in Connecticut. He reportedly has had a number of women who achieved success in regional grappling competitions.
Recently, Dominic P. of Royce Gracie Jiu Jitsu of Glastonbury CT competed in a national level full contact kickboxing tournament. Doug Gallant, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu coach with Royce Gracie and longtime kickboxing coach prepared her for the event: “She looks all nice and cute, just don't let her hit you in the face, you won't think she is so nice and cute, she punches harder than most well trained men.” Not bad for a 14 year old.
Josh Randorf, a Coach with Gracie Jiu Jitsu in Southington housed at the Southington Athletic Club, also entered the tournament. He was impressed with the level of skill of the women competitors. While many people find women fighting to be controversial, the fact is this is a natural evolution of any sport. Women athletes are proving to be just as technical as their male counterparts. These are truly exciting times for the fans of MMA. For women athletes the event on Feb. 10th will be historic, as it will include a match between Julie Kedzie and Gina Carano (Gina was featured on the MSNBC show Warrior Nation recently). For a non-Pay Per View event to broadcast a women's match is an unparalleled event, and a step forward for MMA.
Remember Feb. 10, on Showtime at 10 PM EliteXC will air. To catch the un-televised undercard fights, go to The main televised card is set to have 5 fights including the main event Renzo Gracie vs. Frank Shamrock. The internet streamed undercard will also include 5 fights.