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Melissa Bardfield takes home gold for SXM!

CoverLocal Brazilian Jiu Jitsu coach Melissa Bardfield had great results at the American Nationals Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournament taking place at the UFC Fan Expo during the UFC International Fight Week in Las Vegas, Nevada, on July 10 and 11.

The tournament brought Melissa's ranking to #2 worldwide in the female brown belt Master 1 (age 30+) category! (//ibjjf.org/brown-belt-female-master-1-ranking/)

Coach Melissa competed in both the no-gi (submission grappling) and Gi brown belt master divisions. She won both her weight and open class final matches in the no-gi division by a guillotine submission within the first minute of the match. In the Gi division, she won by executing a takedown in the open weight class final, earning a total of four gold medals for the weekend. She proudly wore a team Renzo Gracie St. Maarten logo on her uniform.

Health & Beauty interviewed Melissa to find out more about her recent competitions:

How confident did you feel going into each fight?

I felt very confident.

Who were your opponents?

Donna Kay Andreas from team Fabio Santos and Vanessa Wexler from Gracie Barra.

What were specific key areas that you worked hard on to make sure you were ready?

I did a lot of physical therapy the last couple months after injuring my knee at a tournament in May in Florida (ADCC North American Qualifiers). My objective was to strengthen the muscles supporting my injured knee. I've been working a lot of leg locks as they are allowed in my belt division and often under-looked.

How long did you prepare for this fight?

I only had four days training at Renzo Gracie Academy in NYC but I am always training with my students and training partners at SXM BJJ.

Did you follow a specific eating program?

I didn't have to lose weight for this tournament; I just ate clean, stayed hydrated and didn't drink alcohol. I tried to have a good amount of protein at every meal and immediately after strength training.

What do you think were major contributors to your wins?

Confidence in my training and staying relaxed before my matches.

What would you like to see happen with BJJ on SXM? Will there be other BJJ fighters representing the island soon you think?

I'd love to find sponsorship so my students could compete. So far, I have only been able to bring one student to compete at the IBJJF World Championships in California in 2014.

Melissa regularly represents St. Maarten at various BJJ competitions throughout the year, and it is not the first time she is bringing home gold medals. She also won her weight class and absolute at the 2013 and 2014 IBJJF NY Summer Open and the 2013 IBJJF NY Spring Open in the Brown belt master category. Health and Beauty congratulates her on her wins!

Jiu Jitsu classes are on hold for July and August but will start back on September 1 at SXM BJJ in Cole Bay with classes for adults and children. Visit www.sxmbjj.com or www.facebook.com/sxmbjj for more information.

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