Reigning supreme in the women’s section for the second straight year, Tayane Porfírio took part in the 2018 IBJJF Worlds, which ended June 3rd, with another perfect run. The Alliance Rio member again went home with double gold. But this time, there was another enemy lurking.
After a complicated start to the season, with three back hernias and arthrosis, Tayane went through intense months of physical therapy to be able to finally resume competing. After beating her fears and limitations, and securing the top spot in the IBJJF rankings — good for $15k, — she was ready to do just as well as last year.
We had a chance to talk to Tayane after the World Championship. Here’s how it went.
GRACIEMAG: After winning the Worlds through and through in 2017, you went back to California and did it again in the super-heavy and absolute divisions. Does the second year feel different?
TAYANE: The emotion gets bigger each year, you know? There were a lot of people who asked me why I didn’t celebrate, or something like that. The truth is I wasn’t in a very pleasant moment. My grandfather was in hospital, and I had lot of pain in my injury. But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t happy to compete; I really was very happy.
You had a series of injuries throughout the season. In what situations did they bother you most, and in what way did you have to push yourself?
I think my biggest show of tenacity wasn’t physical, but mental. Leaving my problems aside at that moment, because I was very sad for all that happened to me this season. Even so, I thought it was one of my better championships, because of all that I went through to get there. I think my biggest show of tenacity was defeating my fears.
What was your hardest fight?
I had six fights in total, and they were all very hard. There’s no such thing as an easy fight, but I think sometimes I want to fight for others, and that can get in my way. Nathiely always brings it. In that omoplata play, I was going to let her sweep, but she didn’t want to come up and preferred the omoplata. I have a somewhat flexible shoulder, so it tends to take a while to take effect. Of course I was afraid of it sinking, but I saw there were just a few seconds to go, so I didn’t get too desperate to defend. I stopped and thought, “God, thanks for having let me come this far,” and then came the final whistle.
In your second season as a black-belt, you won every tournament you participated in. What competitive goals remain?
My ambition continues to be winning six world championships. After I conquer that, I’ll retire. I would also like to teach seminars, maybe. I want to give more visibility to big women, you know? That’s what I seek — for women to get more professional recognition. That’s one of my dreams as well — to get more recognition for my work.
What advice do you have for women trying to carve out a space for themselves?
To never give up. This Worlds made me see how much God intervenes on my behalf, because my head was really in a bad place. Maybe due to not have trained the way I wanted to, due to family problems arising, I wasn’t doing well spiritually. Many people stop moving forward because someone they interact with tells them it’s not possible, and we shed dreams for fear of what people will say. We must charge forward, follow our heart — being happy is what’s important; the rest is a consequence.