January 11, 2010

Greetings. My name, for the purposes of this blog is Dagney Taggert. The slight misspelling of the name is on purpose (sort of). When I started using this as a screen name many years ago, the correct spelling was often being used, so I changed it slightly.

I have been practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) for 5 years, and I hold the rank of purple belt. For those who are not familiar with BJJ, it is a ground fighting martial art, often referred to as "grappling." I will discuss the history more in depth in a future post.

I have competed in large tournaments, such as the the Pan Ams and Worlds (gi and no-gi), and smaller tournaments such as the California Classic in Riverside.

My reason for this blog? Well.....

Many years ago in my salad days, I ran a few marathons, started hiking, and became an all around movement obsessed person. I rejoice in the challenge of pushing past the door of the envelope, of kicking my walls down, only to look back on them my with my eyes squinting at the far distance their carcass lays in the road.

Competing in BJJ has set a new bar for me. The women I compete against are half my age, and have been training longer, etc. They are extraordinary, tough, and skilled. Quite frankly, I have not competed as well as I KNOW I can... I have been watching and reading stories for many years now about women in their 40's who are competing better now than they were 10 years ago. And now I am here. I feel like the gauntlet has been thrown down. I know I have the physical ability to beat my worthy opponents. I have walked away from a few competitions thinking, okay, I could have beat her.... But I brought my B+/A game. My opponent brought her A+ game. So I need to bring my A++ game. I suppose my goal is two-fold, to win, but also to set an example for women over 40, as other women have done for me.

For the past two years I have crawled all over the internet looking for women's BJJ training blogs and diaries; the results are few. And forget about finding any blogs by women who are in their 40's, and who are training and competing. Like an idiot I kept thinking, why aren't there more women writing about this????.... Oh, that's right, I could write about it...

At my last tournament, I met another woman who had just competed in her first tournament. She was a white belt. She watched my fights, and asked me afterward, "how old are you?" I told her I had just turned 40. She just gasped, and said, "Wow, I CAN do this, I am 43." I thought, well of course you can, how was there any question about this?

Thus, my training blog. I am currently training for the Pan Ams (April) and the Worlds (June) this year. I am using this as a way to document my training, but also to serve as a touchstone for other athletic women who find themselves looking for a cohort.

I will be talking about what I eat, my workouts, and the intensity of my training. This will be all for now.


  1. Cool, its rare to see a female purple belt blogging!

    As you've been looking you may have already seen many of these, but here's a selection of the female BJJ blogs I'm aware of (full blog list here):

    Clumsy Ninja
    Hillary Williams
    Feisty Adventures
    Sheila Bird
    Felicia Oh
    Tangle With Thorns

  2. Thank you! This is great! I know a few of these women, but many of them are completely new to me, so I will enjoy getting to know them.

  3. Thanks for visiting my blog. I love BJJ and always think about it. There are a few men who are in the forties that train. I think that women at any age are very courageous because all of their training partners are men. However, I love working with them because I get to use my technique instead of my muscle. I'm 95 percent taller and 99 percent heavier than most women. I'm very happy that I was introduced into the martial art world when I was 19 years old. I'm still young because I'm 23.

  4. Thanks Dagney! I just started this year and am nearly 40 as well!

  5. Hi Dagney,
    I am a 40-year old woman who just started training bjj. I just started a blog about it. I'm happy to read yours and learn from your experiences.


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