Brianna Ste-Marie is now less than a week away from the 2022 ADCC World Championships, the biggest opportunity of her competitive career.
An ADCC West Coast Trials winner in the under 60 kg. division, Ste-Marie has been a black belt for less than a year but seems poised to medal at grappling’s biggest tournament. Her blend of wrestling, positional control, and phenomenal submission mechanics helped her through arguably the tournament’s most talent-rich bracket; Ste-Marie defeated the likes of no-gi world champions Raquel Canuto and Nathalie “Tata” Ribeiro in her quarterfinal and semifinal matches at Trials.
Like many other professional grapplers, Ste-Marie sees the ADCC World Championships as the pinnacle of the sport and a life-altering event. She sat down with Grappling Insider to speak about the event, competition nerves, food and diet, and how she believes women can secure more representation in jiu-jitsu.
Check out the full interview here:
Ste-Marie describes what the ADCC World Championships mean to her:
“I think about all the sacrifices that you have to put in to compete. I think about all the injuries that I’ve dealt with over the years, all the dieting I’ve done all the years. All the competitions that I’ve flown in on my own money that I’ve saved up working on the side, going to go to competitions sometimes with a team, sometimes by myself. I think about all these sacrifices were all so that I would be ready to compete at the highest level, and now ADCC is that moment…
That feeling of like, getting something in return, in a way, for everything that you’ve put in, is just an incredible feeling… I do feel that I’ve put a lot in, and that’s why I’m so emotional. Win or lose I get very emotional because I truly feel like I’m giving every part of myself to do well at these events.”
In a stacked 8-woman division, Ste-Marie is looking forward to literally any possible opponent.
“Because I’ve never fought any of these women, I’m kind of excited for any potential match I could have. They’re all women that I’ve been dreaming of getting the opportunity to test myself against… I’m definitely excited for any match. There’s no way this bracket is not going to line up in some sort of exciting fashion.”
Ste-Marie would like to see more opportunities for women in competitive jiu-jitsu (such as more weight classes or 16-woman brackets at ADCC). She spoke about how that change could come about.
“Both sides have to be willing to put in the work. The ladies, you gotta show up at the tournaments as much as you can, support local events, encourage each other to come out. We see that all the time where I’m from… Other women from other gyms send messages and will be like, ‘I’m signing up for this weight class at this tournament, sign up and let’s have a match.’ The more we show up, the better things we’ll get.
Vice versa, though. Promoters have to do their part and give the space to the women. And when you have tournaments with cash prizes, Don’t have it like the men get this and the women get this. Say X amount of competitors get X amount of prize. Physically, we gotta meet in the middle. We can tell the ladies as much as you want you gotta show up, but you have to give them the same incentives as the men are getting.”
How to watch: The 2022 ADCC World Championships take place on September 17-18 and will air live on FloGrappling (subscription required).