Ana Carolina Interview

ANA CAROLINA profile: 153cm 52kg

Denis Martin: What makes a sweet girl like you want to train Jiu Jitsu?

ANA CAROLINA: I started because my bother trained and I went to watch his practice. I liked it and became interested in Jiu Jitsu, however my father didn’t like this idea much. But he saw I had potential and he declined the idea of not letting me train.

DM: Did you watch when your brother started?

ANA CAROLINA: Yes, since his beginning.

DM: And when did you start after your brother?

ANA CAROLINA: Some months later I started my trainings.

DM: What about the rest of your parents. Did they accept it?

ANA CAROLINA: In the beginning they didn’t understand why I started Jiu Jitsu, but that was only in the beginning.

DM: But did you know something about fights before your brother joined the academy?

ANA CAROLINA: My father was a fighter when he was young and I knew a little about fights. So when my brother started his trainings I saw an opportunity to start training too.

DM: What year did you start?

ANA CAROLINA: I started in 2001.

DM: So you were 11 years old, very young. What did you friends think about your becoming a fighter?

ANA CAROLINA: They played with me. They told me they were afraid of me, because they thought I’d beat them.

DM: Did any of them followed your footsteps and enter a Jiu jitsu school?

ANA CAROLINA: No. Not one of them.

DM: Who was your instructor when you started Jiu Jitsu?

ANA CAROLINA: I started with Marcelo ‘Nigue’ Sandes, but there weren’t any women on Nigue’s academy and so he let me train with Leticia Ribeiro.

DM: Were there any other ladies in Leticia’s academy?

ANA CAROLINA: No. The trainings were just Leticia and I.

DM: Could you get to train well with only one teammate?

ANA CAROLINA: I had no problems, because they were private JJ lessons. I kept training with Leticia by private lessons during entire year and when we’ got close to a championship I would train with other ladies.

DM: How long did you train with Nigue?

ANA CAROLINA: I trained with him for 3 years.

DM: What was your belt when you moved-off from Nigue to Leticia’s supervision?

ANA CAROLINA: I was a blue-belt.

DM: Actually jiu jitsu for men, Brazilians had a big advantage because they have a long history. But for women, Brazilians have not had as many advantages as the men, and there have been many foreign winners in Blue and Purple. What do you think about it?

ANA CAROLINA: I think Jiu Jitsu for Brazilian women is a new thing. And we don’t have the same spotlights that the men have. I don’t know how to explain why the foreign women are in better situations then the Brazilian women, but I think we can reverse it. I think that now we’ve more women in Jiu Jitsu than 10 years ago.

DM: What did you see in Jiu Jitsu when you started at the age of 11?

ANA CAROLINA: I just liked it a lot. I didn’t think about being a competitor,but when I realized that I was good, I thought about training to compete.

DM: Who motivated you to become a competitor?

ANA CAROLINA: My father, and Nigue.

DM: Is your father your main motivator?

ANA CAROLINA: He is. He`s done a lot for me. He was the person wholooked for Leticia; now Leticia trains me.

DM: Which are your main titles?

ANA CAROLINA: Three times State of Rio de Janeiro Championship champion, two times Brasileiro champion, two times Mundial champion and two times Copa do Mundo champion.

DM: You’re now a purple-belt, but how many time did you stay in blue-belt?

ANA CAROLINA: Two years.

DM: Were you surprised with the purple-belt that Leticia gave you on the podium?

ANA CAROLINA: I didn’t expect it, but I submitted 3 fights in 4 and I won mylast match by 8-0.

DM: Do you think you’re ready for purple-belt?

(She just smiled, and then Leticia told me that she won two times Copa do Mundo and Mundial, so even she’s young she deserve the purple-belt due her victories among the adult women)

DM: What have Leticia and Leka Vieira done for your JJ life?

ANA CAROLINA: They opened places not just for me but for the other girls who are training and want to become champions such as them.

DM: Leticia and Leka have already competed in submission grappling. Wouldyou like to fight in submission grappling as well?

ANA CAROLINA: I will too. I already train wrestling with Darrel Gholar because I like it too.

DM: Where did you fight better, in the Mundial or Copa do Mundo?

ANA CAROLINA: I think I fought better in Mundial because it was in Rio de Janeiro. Mundial was held in my home and Copa do Mundo was in Sao Paulo.

DM: What fight did you think was the hardest in Copa do Mundo?

ANA CAROLINA: I didn’t have any easy fights; all of them were tough. I was a little nervous for the final, but just because it was a final and not due to my opponent.

DM: And in Mundial?

ANA CAROLINA: Well, my first opponent was my weight. Because I love candy. I had to run a little to cut the weight, but it was okay. In Mundial I was more tranquil and I fought well.

DM: Actually, the women classes aren’t purple/brown/black belts any more. Do you prefer this way?

ANA CAROLINA: I’d like to fight black and brown, but this way now is good too.

DM: You’re so shy, how did you communicate with Leticia in the beginning?

ANA CAROLINA: In the beginning it was hard, but after sometime it was okay.

DM: Which men do you like to watch?

ANA CAROLINA: Xande Ribeiro, Saulo Ribeiro, Ronaldo Jacare and RogerGracie.

DM: How would you define yourself like a fighter?

ANA CAROLINA: I like to fight on the top and I like armbars, armlocks and keylocks. On the bottom, I just like the sweeps.

DM: To fight Jiu Jitsu is always a problem with the ears. Don’t you have problems of cauliflower ears since you’re a pretty girl?

ANA CAROLINA: I never had problems with it, I just take care of it with my hair.

DM: Do you’ve a boyfriend?


DM: And what does he think about you fight career?

ANA CAROLINA: He trains Judo.

DM: How did you meet him?

ANA CAROLINA: It was in a Judo competition.

DM: Do you train Judo too?

ANA CAROLINA: Yes, I train at 2 years. I’m green belt.

DM: Did you use your Judo skills in Mundial, right?

ANA CAROLINA: I applied two takedowns on this event. My Judo supported me a lot.

DM: What are your goals?

ANA CAROLINA: To fightin all events next year. Including the Pan Arm of next year. I’ll train a lot to win everything

DM: Thank you very much.

ANA CAROLINA: I’d like to thanks my daddy, Leticia and my sponsor Koral Kimonos and Rags.

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About the author

Denis Martins