Gabi Garcia: “I don’t feel any pressure”

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Alliance’s Gabi Garcia is the 2011 double gold Worlds winner, winning both her heavyweight division and the absolute on Sunday. Last year, in 2010, she won her weight class and closed out the open class division for Alliance with her best friend and teammate Luanna Alzuguir. Garcia also won the Worlds in her weight class in 2008.

Gabrielle Garcia, double Worlds winner for the second year in a row / Photo: Deb Blyth

Garcia has been training in Jiu-Jitsu for about eight years and feels confident in her game. At 25 years of age, Garcia says she doesn’t give in to the pressure at these big events because Jiu-Jitsu is her job and it’s normal to expect it. “I just need to be my best,” she says, “People say I’m so strong, but the reason for that is because I train three times a day. For the last year, I’ve been on a very strict diet and have lost 30 kilos.” Garcia says the training plus the dieting has made her a much faster and more technical competitor. “My Jiu-Jitsu has definitely changed for the better because of it,” she says.

Although Garcia was nervous about her matches about a week before the Worlds, she says once she’s in the moment, her natural instincts take over and she feels great. “I love competing,” she says, “I like to fight.” She says her body has gotten tired over the years from all her training and competing and she’s had to fight off numerous injuries, but she loves Jiu-Jitsu and doesn’t have any plans to stop any time soon. “I need to stay at the top for the next two, three, four years,” she says, “My focus for now is just competition.”

Garcia says she’s ok with others studying her game and trying to beat her at every competition. “It’s normal for people to study the top game,” she says, “So, I’m honored that other girls study me. Garcia says her next event is the ADCC No-Gi tournament in London. “I haven’t gotten a gold medal in that yet,” she says, intimating that it’s time to get one, “That’s my focus.”

Garcia wants to thank her professor Fabio Gurgel. “He’s my coach and my best friend,” she says, “He’s changed my Jiu-Jitsu and my life.” She also wants to acknowledge Edson Ramalho, her strength and conditioning coach and her sponsors, Mginaction, Keiko, and Eternity Liss.

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