Name: FERNANDA MAZZELLI ALMEIDA MAIO
Belt Rank: BLACK BELT
Academy: STRIKER JJ
Instructor: THIAGO DE OLIVEIRA DUTRA
1. What do you do for a living?
I'm graduated in Physical Education, and Bachelor Degree in 2011. Since I graduated, I focused on training jiu jitsu and started to train in the morning, afternoon and evening. I got financial support from my state of Espirito Santo just to train. The year 2012 was my best year in jiu jitsu, earned the top jiu jitsu competitions held worldwide. After the World Cup in California, decided to enter politics in my city as alderman, and won. Today I try to reconcile the practice of jiu jitsu with the policy, so far ta working.
2. Are you a mom? A wife? A girlfriend? A sister? A daughter to awesome parents that let you do Jiu-Jitsu?
Yes, I am the daughter of parents who always supported me to do jiu jitsu. When I started training my mom was the biggest supporter, always have supported my father said: "This is a boy thing." But he never banned and so was continuing and he is a big fan of mine. My sister was already with me Brazilian champion, brought home 4 gold medals, each in its respective category and absolute. Every workout we fought, because I was the youngest, she always beat me but she stopped at the purple belt and asked not to train again and I ended up getting the black belt and she does not. My boyfriend is also a black belt and helps me a lot. My family is essential in my life, is my support for what may, in good times or bad vain they always be on your side.
3. Did you grow up doing other sports?
I've always liked sports, must be in the blood because my grandfather was one of the greatest rowers that Brazil and the Holy Spirit had he made history in Capixaba rowing and already attended a Olympiad. So I started swimming and I got to compete in the state championship. Then I went to try the ballet, but I was only one day. And also did volleyball.
4. How did you find BJJ?
I always say that I joined because of my family. I've been training jiu jitsu because my sister Fabiana and my cousins Mariana and Tina did. I did not know what was the jiu jitsu, but went anyway and was enjoying it. I started at age 11, late 1999 in Guarapari, ES, Brazil.
5. How often do you train?
I train Jiu jitsu every day, twice a day and more fitness
6. What is the one thing that keeps you from training some days?
Today, what stops me is the time to train.
7. Have you ever wanted to quit?
Yes, already wanted to quit in 2011 after I graduated, I thought I was obligation of start working and earning money. Ai came to a light and got a sponsorship from the Government of the state of Espirito Santo, was what helped me keep my training without I depend on my parents. This support was very rewarding and encouraging for me to keep training, because I have to show results.
8. What drives you or inspires you to keep training?
Its the will to want challenges, the will to win, anxiety, difficulties in a competition. This makes me to continue training.
9. Do you compete? Why or why not?
yes, I fight because fighting still makes me feel good, makes me wonder if I was dedicated enough to win.
10. Where do you think the drive inside you to fight comes from? (whether you compete or not)
What drives me is the love I feel for jiu jitsu, we have to do the things we like, without pleasure is not worth it and not got anywhere. So, I think my heart will come ... rsss
11. What are some of your biggest upsets either in training or competition?
My biggest surprise is something I happen not trained or that I do not know the game of the person who will train or fight me.
12. What are some of your best accomplishments either in training or competition, on or off the mats?
My biggest realization within the mat, was winning the World Jiu Jitsu black belt and off the mat is to know the person I am: dedicated and accomplished.
13. What are some of your fears with BJJ?
Fear in BJJ is knowing that one day may stop or train or not to train. Other than that I have no fear, because BJJ only brought good things into my life
14. What do you love about BJJ the most? What do you dislike?
I like to hear stories of athletes, difficulties or individual facilities. I like to learn new positions, like being inside of competitions, not only like to lose weight, it makes me very sad and stressed out ... rsss
15. What are your future goals with BJJ?
What my goals and win championships that have not yet conquered as ADCC and add more titles relevant to my curriculum.
16. Did BJJ change your life? How?
Yes, if it were not jiu jitsu not know what would become of me. Today I got a policy in my town, thanks to my performance in sports I do. People cheer, I did not ask to stop training because of politics. Anyway, I always talk queo jiu jitsu saved. The jiu jitsu changed my life since the age of 11. I know many places and people through competitions.
17. Do you have a BJJ practitioner you look up to whether it be male or female?
We always have to have someone to inspire us and dream of one day reaching the place of this idol. When I was younger I really liked jiu jitsu Ronaldo Jacare, today I'm a fan of classic jiu jitsu Roger Gracie.
18. If a girl was standing outside of your academy scared to come in and try BJJ, what words of encouragement would you give her?
I think nowadays if a girl get in the door of a gym she already trienar.Está with a goal of growing more and more women practicing BJJ, and this is the result of the girls' performance in competitions. World In 2012, the categories of female black belt were full, even separating the 1st time brown belt black belt. And all classes were over two favorites. And the World broke records of women enrolled. Imagine next year?!
19. Any last thoughts?
2011 was the worst year of my career in jiu jitsu and almost gave up continue to compete, but I did not quit, persisted and succeeded. So if you have a dream, do not let go, run after him, but for that you have to build your way battling. Vai vai have days that you want to cry and give up, but one day he will come, and when you arrive you will see that anything is possible.
To hear more about Fernanda click on the link below, It is in Portuguese so you will have to google translate if you don't speak Portuguese. Enjoy!