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Battle Tested: Gracie Barra New Mexico’s Tammy Griego Takes Her Show on the Road

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Gracie Barra New Mexico Black Belt Tammy Griego has packed her bags a few Gis, rashguards and a her tooth brush as she sets out on her, “Jiu Jitsu for a Better Life” tour. Griego will be traveling the nation going from school to school teaching seminars to help raise the necessary funds to open a Gracie Barra location in Valencia County. Griego will showcase her well-known half guard but also some of the mental preparation and toughness that have earned her multiple medals and accolades around the World.

“The quality of techniques that I’ve learned over the years is from a quality source,” she said. “I’ve worked real hard to be a well-rounded athlete. The primary aspect of my jiu jitsu game is my half guard. I’ve spent years working on it. I have a wealth of knowledge that is efficient and expansive. We live in a circle here in New Mexico with quality jiu jitsu and we learn and pass on that knowledge to others.”

Griego’s journey will start in Northern New Mexico in Los Alamos at the Los Alamos Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy. From there Griego will head to California, Washington, New York, Florida and Texas.

As if traveling the nation teaching a World Champion’s techniques weren’t enough, Griego will also be displaying her techniques to her opponents in tournaments along the way.

“I’ll be competing in some tournaments along the way,” she said. “I have the Five Grappling Invitational Tournament and a couple more.”

The Espanola native is fresh off a bronze medal finish at the Abu Dhabi Combat Club Worlds 2013 in Bejing, China on Oct. 19, 2013. This is a tournament that has been on her wish list for quite some time now.

“I’ve been working to get to the ADCC tournament for six years,” Griego said. “This is the invite I wanted to get. This is the one I wanted to be at.”

After dispatching of her first opponent the Gracie Barra Black Belt faced the top-seeded Gabi Garcia in the semifinals. Griego came up short on points and was headed to the bronze medal match.

Griego picked up a referee’s decision over familiar foe Fernanda Mazelli of Brazil to earn a spot on the podium in her first attempt in the world’s premier no-gi grappling tournament.

In the process of obtaining the bronze medal, Griego also got some redemption.

“I’ve fought Fernanda before,” she recalled. “She beat me at the last No-Gi Worlds. I was ready to go after my match with Gabi. The first five minutes of the match were pretty slow and calculated. Then we got to the ground and started exchanging ankle locks and I tried to lock down a few submissions. In the overtime period I managed to get on top and aggressively tried to pass her guard and I got the decision.”

Griego recalled the feeling of earning a spot on the podium.

“I was truly greatful,” she said. “That was a huge accomplishment for me. Just to say that I reached the podium at this tournament that I have been working for what feels like forever.”

If you would like to donate or want more information on Tammy, her fundraising efforts or more information, visit http://fundly.com/jiu-jitsu-for-a-better-life.

Written by: Daniel S. Archuleta – daniel_archuleta1@msn.com

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