Ana Yagües BJJ

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BJJ Baby Boom - Marķa & Gina on Interview


It has been a very long time since I last wrote in this blog. Being a worker, mum, BJJ fighter and competitor is not easy. It is not easy and nobody claimed it was. It requires sacrifice, good organizing skills and very important, a supporting family or team (even better, both!). At the end, it all comes down to priorities. When you learn to set your own priorities, you can take back control of your life


And setting priorities begins with your deciding what you want most in life and then organizing your time and activities so that everything you do is the most valuable use of your time in achieving those goals.

And what I want most in life is to be the best mum and the best BJJ fighter I can be. So my time is highly structured in order to get my work at the university done, make at least one training at day, if possible two, and spend quality time with my little princess Gisele every single day.

Being my trainer and husband the same person make things, usually, easier, then I don't have to further split my time in order to have an adult relationship and save a lot of time, for instance competition trips and family holidays become the same thing.


BJJ is a fast growing sport, every day more and more people start this sport and every day the number of female practicioners increase. Eventually, many of these women, specially the competitors, face a conflict of interests: they want to keep practicing BJJ at high level but they want to become mums, to start a family.

That is how this blog originally started, when I myself faced that conflict and refused to choose only one out of the two options. My main goal was/is to help other mum-to-be female fighters by sharing my own experiences. So what better way to start writing again after almost a year without any publication than coming back to the issue of being a mum and a fighter, only this time by the hand of two spanish female fighters.


In 2010 a baby boom started in the BJJ spanish scene. Together with my little warrior princess, other two future champs were born: the first-borns from blackbelt Ezekiel Zayas und from Willy Mum. One year later another princess arrived, the baby-girl from Angie and Carmelo (Samurai Academy in Tenerife). And this year we have big reasons to celebrate since there are several BJJ-Babies on the way!

Amongst others, Sergio Calderón, Maria Galizia and Ginal Contel are going to become parents soon!

And well, you will have to agree with me that even if you are the best dad in the world, at least during the first months (I would dare to say the first couple of years), are the mums who face the biggest troubles to combine parenthood and BJJ. After all, we are who get pregnant for 9 months, who has to recovery from giving birth (which is NOT easy), who has to breastfeed her baby (well, this is optional, but it is the best thing a mum can do)... and a long list of only-mum -can-do-things.


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Therefore, when I heard that my friends Maria and Gina were expecting, I ask them to share their experiences with the rest of the female girls.

They are now in the middle of the pregnancy and here you can read what they have to say:


Since when do you train BJJ?

Gina: Since January 2010

Maria: Since March 2009


Where do you train? Who is your instructor?

Gina: Association Aranha – Yan Cabral

Maria: Kito Ryu BJJ. My instructor ist Ricardo Oliveira, but he went to the USA and since then I train under Thiago Souza and Cauê Corte Leal.

Some of your achievements?

Gina: European Champion 2011 as white belt in feather division, also first place in the 2nd Open Euskadi and in the DCA Grappling Cup. As blue belt in 2011, gold in BJJ Procup in Italy and 3er place in the 2nd France Open

Maria: as white belt I got third place in the British Open and first in medium division in the II Open Euskadi.

As blue belt I achieved, amongst others, bronze in the European Championship 2012 and first in the Hamburg Open 2012


In which month are you pregnant?

Gina: around 4th month

Maria: end of the 5th month


Is a boy or a girl?

Gina: A boy :)

Maria: A Girl :-)

*Note the smilies, does not matter of boy or girl, a mum is always happy and whatever comes, it is always the best that it could happen.

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How did you react to the big news of being pregnant?

Gina: female intution is seldom wrong... but when the definitive test came positive I was taken aback.

I got injured just days before the European Championship 2012 and since then I had worked hard in the recovery, looking forward to get back on the mat.

I weighed up the pros and contras and decided to carry on. I was already 4 months in a break because of the injury, so I can wait a couple of months more and come back with more energy than ever!


Maria: The first thing that came across my mind was: ”I will not be able to compete in the British Open”. But it was a great new and I was very happy.


Is the dad also a BJJ fighter?

Gina: Yes, Gustavo has been for many years into this sport. He is actually a brown belt, started with Judo at the age of 8 and with BJJ at 13. His support has been very important when it came to take this decision of becoming mum.


Maria: Yes, Pere. He is blue belt too.


Do you keep training?

Gina: As I said above, because of the injury I have been making a forced break for the last 4 months. I work on my recovery and though only from the bench, I don't miss most of the trainings, competitions and seminars. I am using the time to work on my mental game. That is also part of training!


Maria: Yes, I try to go as regularly as I can, at leats twice at week. Up to the 3er month I train as everybody else, but then I reduced my training to warming-up, condition and tecnique. I don't do fights any more. And I have to remove or modify some exercises according to my new state.

I would like to roll more but my teammates and trainer are overprotective and don't want.


Note: She got to roll almost every day with Samuel and me in Hamburg during her last visit to Hamburg two weeks ago.


How do you see our future in the BJJ after your son/daughter is born? Any plan?

Gina: My only plan is training, getting better and going back to competion as soon as possible.I will not have so much time as before but I am anyway in my first stage of BJJ. I still have so much to learn!


Maria: I see it positive. I don't think I will quit competition just for having become a mum. I want to take two months maternity leave and then go back to training. Maybe not daily but as much as I get. We will see.


Is there anything you would like to say to other women who practice this sport and think about becoming mums?

Gina: Is in every mum's mouth “a child is the best thing that happen in life”, so one should not let escape the oportunity of becoming a mother.

Despite all the worries one may have, I think BJJ and Motherhood is perfectly compatible. You just need willpower and a bit of sacrifice to get whatever you want to get.

BJJ had not age or state... Angelica Galvao for instance is mum, competitior and world champion. Ana Payan, a friend of mine, is mum (twice) and a strong competitor. My friend Nadie Bougard too or you, Ana, fighter and strong competitor. All of you a example to follow for all the women.

So I can just thank all this women and hope to be soon also in the list to cheer up and support other BJJ women and mothers.


Maria: BJJ is always there, will be always there. It is a sport suitable for all ages and physical conditions.

I had to give up competition for the moment being, but I know that I can come back in the future if I want. But you can't postpone forever maternity. If you want to become a mum, you have to pay attention to the biological clock.

And having a baby means a good chance to have another future BJJ fighter in the world!


Note: Talita Nogueira, a black belt, is also world champion 2011 (amongst other things) and have a beautiful girl who happen to practice BJJ too and be a champion


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