What's Your Excuse?

And just like that, another Pan Ams came and went. It always seems like the camps and anticipation before will never end, and when the moment comes, it’s gone in the blink of an eye. A little unorthodox this year, but always reminding us why it is one the most anticipated moments of the year for the Jiu Jitsu community.

So many upsets, so many high intensity matches, and so many styles of Jiu Jitsu were displayed this past weekend. However, the stars of the show were definitely not the black belts or high-level colored belts. Nope, the spotlight of this year’s Pan American championship was dedicated to two very amazing and fierce 72-year-old grandmas.

Yes, you heard correctly.


An age where most people would be mostly sedentary and require assistance with daily activities, or an age where you most likely have more stripes on your black belt than you have grandkids. But for these two ladies, it is an age where they are just getting started kicking butt.

Elaine Beiersdoerfer, famously known on Instagram as “jiujitsu_grandma”, gave up 28 lb to fight Merilee Anne Maira, due to lack of competitors in her weight class. Both Masters 7 female blue belts completely stole the show as they put an end to all gender and age excuses. The match was stopped briefly when the ref noticed Elaine’s lip was busted. But she requested a quick clean up and for the match to continue, “too stubborn to tap” she wrote on her Instagram.

The match continued with a victory for Marilee, and they proceeded to share a heartfelt embrace after to show their respect and appreciation, which left the crowd completely in awe.

So, for anyone who ever thought about joining Jiu Jitsu, but set their age as their limitation...

I ask, what’s your excuse?

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