Undaunted by an opponent of a higher rank, Marathon teen Autumn Wolfe secured a victory at her Fight 2 Win showdown in Miami last month. CONTRIBUTED

Marathon teen Autumn Wolfe has done it yet again, setting a new standard of excellence for youth Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) fighters around the world. On Jan. 13, the national title holder pulled off an upset over Khloe Cook at Miami’s Fight 2 Win (F2W) event at La Scala Theater.

Described as the “biggest party in grappling,” Fight 2 Win is the original live BJJ event of its kind, hosting fights across the United States that focus on highlighting top local grapplers and creating an experience closer to a Las Vegas boxing match than a traditional BJJ tournament. The January event was Wolfe’s second fight of this nature, with the first win coming in 2021.

“On behalf of Fight 2 Win and Flograppling, I’m telling you that I’ve been all over the country and all over the world and I do not know if I’ve seen greater jiu-jitsu by teams and children than I have seen in Miami,” said tournament commentator Dave Bever. “They are the best in the world.” 

Grappling is a broad term encompassing various wrestling disciplines whose primary objective is to secure victory by compelling the opponent to submit through techniques such as joint locks and chokeholds, rather than employing strikes. The essence of grappling lies in seizing and controlling the opponent’s body, particularly emphasizing techniques executed on the ground. 

While there are numerous styles falling under the grappling umbrella, two of the most prominent ones are no gi Brazilian jiu-jitsu, which omits the traditional gi attire (a kimono), and luta livre, a distinct discipline derived from wrestling. Other grappling styles include catch wrestling and submission wrestling, each characterized by its unique fighting approach, rules and repertoire of holds. Despite their similarities, these disciplines have their own distinct fighting techniques, regulations and cultural backgrounds. Overall, grappling disciplines provide effective methods for self-defense, sport competition and physical fitness, with practitioners often developing a high level of technical skill, strategic thinking and physical conditioning.

Wolfe’s victory as a yellow belt over Cook, who held the higher rank of an orange belt, was highly unexpected due to the latter’s greater experience and training. The win showcased Wolfe’s skill and determination, defying the odds and highlighting her potential in the realm of martial arts. It’s a fitting followup for the teen who last July captured the gold medal for her division at the Pan Kids Jiu-Jitsu Tournament IBJJF Championships.

“I’m very excited for another win at Fight 2 Win and to represent the Keys,” Wolfe told the Weekly. “I’ve been working super hard and it’s paid off. Thank you to my coaches Justin Brunet and Yeison Perez, and thank you to the Lord Jesus Christ – without him this wouldn’t be possible.”

When asked about his star athlete, coach Justin Brunet of the Big Pine Key-based Keys Fitness and Jiu Jitsu was all smiles. 

“This kid never stops amazing me. Autumn fought in the first Fight 2 Win (on) an all-women’s card in Miami. And last night she had another war on the first all-kids card in Miami,” Brunet said. “She executed her game plan flawlessly. Her plan for the past two weeks was to play guard, sweep, mass mount and get her Ezekiel choke that she loves so much. To see this manifest is surreal. However, this is no surprise. Autumn as well as the rest of the kids in class work very hard (on) every technique she did last night.”

Jen Alexander
Jen Alexander is a teacher and volleyball coach at Sugarloaf School. She is a lover of travel, adventure, action, home improvement and family. A self-proclaimed "master of none," she is a doer of all and partaker of anything fun and exciting.