Jaqueline Almeida an Jiu-Jitsu athlete.
A short introduction to yourself?
I am Jaqueline Almeida, a Brazilian living in Ireland for 5 years. I graduated in Marketing &
Design throughout scholarship and I also coach Ladies Bjj & Self Defence for women
How did you develop your fondness for your sport and at what age did you start learning Jiu-Jitsu?
I grew up without my father close to me and having problems with my stepfather. As a
result of this significant male absence, I did not have satisfactory relationships. I was
always an impulsive, hyperactive child so from an early age I was already participating in
the school basketball team, I used to swim a lot and was an active member in the school
chess competition group. I decided to live on my own at the age of 19 and a friend introduced me to Jiu-Jitsu at the age of 21 which I immediately fell in love with.
What is your style and what rank do you currently hold in?
I like the grappling style that involves jiu Jitsu no-gi and wrestling. I’m an IBJJF
multi medalist (Including Curitiba Open, Paulista Open, London Open, Dublin Open),
Brazilian National Champion and I were second in the European Championship.
Do you have a favourite Sensei?
It’s hard to say a favourite sensei as I obviously have a lot of admiration and respect for my
first senseis Gabriel Marangoni and Rafael Marangoni and also for my current ones as
well John Kavanagh, Nerijus and Sergey Pikulskiy. And many more that I’ve had the
opportunity to have classes with.
How did you get into this position and how did your journey in this sport go?
Since when I started Jiu-Jitsu my coach has always motivated me to start and participate
in competitions, so I compete since my second month of training. Two years later in a
competition, my opponent got me in a joint lock, in the Omoplata Submission.
Unfortunately, after the girl was finished, she went in the wrong direction and ended up
breaking my arm into three parts and dislocating my shoulder. This resulted in me missing a
full year of training. But even then, after developing a fear of specific submissions, my wish
to return was stronger than my fear. While Holding my blue belt I participated and won very
important titles. After coming to Ireland, for better or worse, I had to take my focus off Jiu
jitsu for a while and, once again, I had to quit Jiu-Jitsu for a year. But lucky me I started to
work with a friend who introduced me to the SBG gym. When I started coaching/training
after a year my coach John Kavanah invited me to run a ladies’ JJ class. As an athlete, I
have competed in some IBJJF Open in Europe which I got a great result and also one of
the biggest competitions in Europe and I got second place. Of course, next time I am going
for first. Jiu-Jitsu has since become the biggest single thing in my life, for so many reasons
but the main ones are the possibility of taking risks, learning different things, and applying
patience and determination to other points in my life are incredible.
Do you take sports as a profession or is it just a hobby?
What challenges have you faced in getting to where you are now? You can also share any injury story.
I competed and my opponent got me in a joint lock, in the Omoplata
Submission. Unfortunately, after the girl was finished, she went in the wrong direction and
ended up breaking my arm into three parts and dislocating my shoulder.
My recovery was quite complicated as I had to spend around 2 months with a cast and
starting to physiotherapy to regain my movement again.
It was almost a year that I returned to Jiu-Jitsu, still very scared but I just wanted to be
there as soon as my doctor said that I can come back training, I remember that my coach
only put me to roll with higher belts and I only used the arm I had broken, so that I could
get rid of the fear in my head.
What motivates you most about your profession as an athlete?
What most motivates me as an athlete is a process, I love training, learning new things
also, I have some titles that I still want to achieve.
Do you have anything you want everyone to learn?
Yes, my greatest wish is that women learn how to defend themselves and that they can
become more confident through sport.
What tournament or match you have won are you most proud of and why?
The tournament is the European Championship, the match it was the one that I did in
Brazil called Curitiba Open it was very hard to win that title.
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