Elaine Beiersdoerfer Success Story
Elaine Beiersdoerfer Success Story
Elaine Beiersdoerfer is an athlete.
A short introduction to yourself?
My name is Elaine Beiersdoerfer. I’m 72 years old, 4’11”, 110 lbs. I’ve been married 52 years to my High School sweetheart. We have 3 kids and 7 grandkids.
How did you develop your fondness for your sport and at what age did you start learning karate?
When I was 20, I took a JUDO six-week course while my husband was in graduate school, and loved it, but it wasn’t taught in my hometown. I was 69 before I found a gym that taught Judo, so I signed up. I was the oldest by over 40 years and the only female but I enjoyed the class and the guys were nice. A few weeks later, my professor encouraged me to try jiujitsu, which was taught on the next mat over. He taught both classes. I did both for a while but finally settled into jiujitsu, though I still take a Judo class occasionally.
What is your style and what rank do you currently hold in?
I have two stripes on my Blue Belt after three years in jiujitsu.
Do you have a favourite Sensei?
I have two main Professors in jiujitsu. Professor Kaliffa Oliveira owns the gym and teaches both judo and Jiujitsu and Professor Pedro Dutra teaches most of the jiujitsu classes. They are both Black Belts. Two female Black Belts teach women-only jiujitsu classes: Professor Lorena Oliveira and Professor Juliana Gassaway.
How did you get into this position and how did your journey in this sport go?
I got my blue belt after one and a half years and started competing at that point. I’ve never done any competitive sports until jiujitsu. I’ve fought in the Master World Championships, Pan American Games and a few smaller tournaments. My division is Master 7 – 61 yrs and older and Feather Light – 108-118lbs. I usually go down to master 6 or 5 and up a weight class or two to find a match.
What challenges have you faced in getting to where you are now? You can also share any injury story.
Most of my challenges come from my age but most of the injuries that have kept me off the mat have happened on my farm. I broke my finger on a stall door and stepped into a deep hole while putting up fencing. I did get a large hematoma on my shin from getting kicked in a Judo class. I had to have it surgically removed as I had a jiujitsu competition coming up and it was too sore to workout.
What motivates you most about your profession as an athlete?
I love the fighting aspect of jiujitsu, which I know is odd for my age, but it’s fun for me. I also love my gym and the teammates and Professors. I like being active and engaged in an exciting sport.
Do you have anything you want everyone to learn?
My motto is “Not too old, and Not too Late”. You’re never too old to learn something new.
What tournament or match you have won are you most proud of and why?
My first tournament was Master Worlds two years ago. I won one, lost one and tied two. I’ve had 8 other fights over the last two years. I’ve lost all of them fighting ladies many years younger and bigger than me. My best match was in the Orlando Open a few weeks ago. Even though I lost by two points, it was close and I fought well. I figure if I’ve got the guts to step on that mat at my age (I’ll be 73 in October) then that’s a win for me.
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