Amanda Magda on Winning Adult Black Belt Euros Gold at Age 45: “My Main Focus is Evolution”

Amanda Magda, 45, is no stranger to trouncing jiu-jitsu athletes half her age. Her dedication to the game – and refusal to let the youth of her opponents intimidate her – won her the IBJJF Euros heavyweight championship in the adult black belt division this January. 

A relative newcomer to the elite ranks of adult black belts on the IBJJF tournament scene, Magda didn’t even start training jiu-jitsu until she turned 38 – an age at which most adult black belt competitors begin entering the masters’ divisions, or retiring from competition entirely.

Not so for Magda. “Since I was a white belt, I’ve competed many times in the adult category, because I didn’t have anyone in the masters – and just being able to have girls to roll in the same rank and weight as mine made me happy,” she shares with the Jiu-Jitsu Times. Though she’s also competed in the masters’ divisions, she liked the fact that adult divisions typically offered her more matches. “What I really wanted was to challenge myself and do a lot of fights,” says Magda.

So, what’s her secret to success – and can she share it with other aspiring competitors over age 40? Her short answer: sheer willpower. 

“I believe that determination – and how much you are willing to give of yourself to get what you want – is extremely important,” Magda elaborates. “Of course, being 40 years old and fighting athletes half your age is not easy, so your dedication will have to be doubled and well-used in the way you perform.” 

Magda, however, thrives on that challenge. “When I enter a competition, my main focus is evolution,” she explains. “The more difficult the level, the more I have to dedicate myself – and consequently, I’ll learn more, even if in the competition, the result does not come with a victory. But when [victory] comes, you truly feel that the work was well-done and well-applied, both in performance and in mentality.” 

As for her personal jiu-jitsu style, Magda prefers to keep things simple, building her game on a powerful foundation of basics performed at a high level. “I really like doing the basics that work,” she says. “And foot and knee transitions are something I find comfortable in my game.” Basics may not look fancy, but Magda’s commitment to perfecting those techniques has earned results that speak for themselves.

Jiu-jitsu has also served as a tremendous outlet for Magda’s unwavering hunger for action. “I always had a lot of energy, and I needed something to help me deal with it,” she says. That something turned out to be jiu-jitsu. She hopes that her success in the sport will inspire others to find something they love, and commit fully to that passion. She believes, above all else, in the value of “doing” – of setting goals and getting things done. 

“The impossible will always be possible in the hands of those who do,” says Magda. “Just go and do.” 

To keep up with Amanda Magda’s adventures, follow her on Instagram.


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