By TXMMA Staff // Hannah Robinow
Second generation BJJ competitor and instructor determined to continue pushing towards her life goals
ARLINGTON, TX, August 18, 2014 – For fitness enthusiasts, BJJ classes are a great way to stay in shape while breaking out of the usual weights-and-cardio routine. To martial arts practitioners, learning Jiu-jitsu is a discipline that imparts a deep understanding of how leverage and body weight can be used to neutralize an opponent. BJJ competitors understand that this form of training is a way of life. Danielle Alvarez is a purple belt, training at Alvarez BJJ in Arlington, Texas. The daughter of black belt Daniel Alvarez, the competitor counts among her accomplishments TXMMA’s 2012 Award for Purple Belt Competitor of the Year, representing the United States at the 2012 ADCC in Abu Dhabi, as well as medals accrued throughout four years of hard work. Alvarez has faced off against the best BJJ athletes in the world. In 2011, she placed third in Womens’ Blue Belt Featherweight at the June 2011 Worlds, and then went on to achieve first place at Womens’ Blue Belt Lightweight and Absolute Class at the Abu Dhabi Pro Trials in November of that same year. The next year, Alvarez took 3rd place in Blue Belt Lightweight Division at the IBJJF Pan-American Championships in Irvine, California.
2013 saw Danielle Alvarez bring home a first-place finish in the Purple Belt Feather Division at the IBJJF No-Gi Worlds, followed by attaining a 2nd-place ranking in the Purple Belt Feather Division at Pan-Ams. In May, Alvarez competed at the IBJJF World Jiu Jitsu Championships in Long Beach, taking home a 2nd-place finish in the Purple Belt Featherweight Division. When asked about her most important achievement to date, Alvarez notes, “My most important achievement to date is winning a super-fight against black belt Fabiana Borges. It meant a lot to me to realize that with hard work, anything is possible and made me excited for the future at black belt.” The fight, held at the March 2014 Womens’ Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation, came to a thrilling finish when Alvarez outfought Borges’ top game, ending the match by taking her back in the last two minutes of the match, then finishing the round in mount.
Currently, Alvarez is an assistant instructor at Alvarez BJJ, teaching the kids’ classes and a women’s only class in addition to keeping up a twice-daily training schedule. She credits this experience for the important life lessons she’s learned from the sport, and making her a well-rounded athlete. Thanks to her experience as an instructor, the purple belt learned “My favorite go-to moves in BJJ are arm locks from the triangle position and bow and arrow chokes from the back.” Alvarez adds, “I’ve learned… the importance of hard work and perseverance. Jiu-jitsu has taught me that regardless of how much talent you may or may not have those two qualities are key to climbing your way to any goal you want to accomplish both on and off the mats. Through hard work and dedication you can accomplish anything. Failure only comes when you stop pushing for what you want.”
When Alvarez started training BJJ in January 2009, her father’s close mentorship and relationships with her training partners inspired her to always push to become a better BJJ practitioner. Alvarez describes her father’s role as crucial to her success, stating, “He helps me with everything and I would not have any of the achievements I have without him.” Training at Alvarez BJJ also connected her with a team dedicated to pushing each other to improve their Jiu-jitsu. Alvarez notes, “I’d like to give a shout-out to all of my teammates… for pushing me during practice and always supporting me.” Learning to be successful in BJJ laid a strong foundation for Alvarez’s achievements in the sport, and will give this athlete a lot to look forward to in her development as a practitioner.