The female fighter of the hour, team Alliance’s Gabrielle Garcia has a few missions for 2012. If you want to know: winning weight and open weight at the 2012 Pan, ditto for the Worlds yet again and a third championship win in Abu Dhabi, at the professional competition with backing from the government of the United Arab Emirates.
On the first weekend of March, there’s the heavily anticipated Abu Dhabi tryouts in Brazil (sign up here), and the Fabio Gurgel student, despite already having qualified, is confirmed to be there. Find out what’s driving her to compete, and learn a bit more, in the following interview:
Having beaten two opponents at the Rio tryouts, you are through to the World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship in Abu Dhabi. Why compete in Gramado in March then?
For several reasons. I love competing. It’s in my blood, and of course the prize money and coming up with a solid result is really important, but I think the main thing is to put my Jiu-Jitsu to the test; there’s no better place for that than at a tournament. Another reason is that I want to help my training partner Andressa Correia to get to Abu Dhabi too.By competing and eliminating some of the tougher girls, I can help her make it to the final. Every day she makes the trip from Bragança Paulista to train with us in São Paulo proper; she’s worth it.
And your family will be watching from the stands…
Exactly. It will be a pleasure to compete in Rio Grande do Sul, where I was born, and competing with my family there watching is quite a motivator. This year my parents and a lot of friends will go; it’ll be a great party, and I can’t disappoint them. If I’m well trained, there’s no reason not to compete.
(Check out Gabi at the 2011 Pan:)
FEMALE JIU-JITSU STOCK UP
Do you see anyone out there with a real chance of beating you in the near future?
It’s always best to keep down to earth and know that there are always people out there training hard to beat me. I feel I deserve to be in the position I’m in and the titles I’ve won because of my dedication; but all that is already in the past. Each match is a new challenge; I respect all my opponents and I face each of them as if it were the fight of my life. I hope things keep working out; I know there are really good and well trained girls, but I am ready and will always be really headstrong. I’ve never been so confident before in my life.
What do you see happening in female Jiu-Jitsu this year? Do you feel there’s still room to grow?
Of course, there’s always room to grow. This year the brown and black belts will compete separately at the big tournaments, unlike in previous years. That shows how many more girls there are competing now. I hope the prize money increases for girls too; we train a lot and deserve the same respect. I feel there’s still plenty left to grow. There are other signs of that, too: in August of this year I’m going to teach a seminar and be godmother to the first all-female championship, in Fortaleza. After the 2012 IBJJF Worlds, I’m going to do an all-girl training camp in Florida, USA. These things show how our Jiu-Jitsu is growing with every day.