Duda Gracie, juvenile blue-belt, wants gold at IBJJF Worlds and ADCC Youth

Ronaldo Jacaré’s student has been having an excellent campaign in the main IBJJF tournaments

Duda Gracie shows the gold medal won at the season's Pans.
Duda Gracie shows the gold medal won at the season’s Pans. Image: @ibjjf

The competitive spirit has always been loudest in Duda Gracie, a youth athlete, now a blue-belt, who trains with Ronaldo Jacaré in Orlando, in the United States. At the season’s IBJJF Pans, Duda won the gold medal in the competition. A dedicated athlete, Duda is the perfect example to illustrate that hard work pays off.

In the belts before the blue-belt, Duda was four-time Brazilian Nationals champion. Achieving more and more prominence with each competition, the Ronaldo Jacaré Martial Arts student is preparing to compete in the Worlds at the Pyramid, in Long Beach. Invited to fight at ADCC Youth, in Las Vegas, due to her excellent competitive performance, Duda will intensify her grappling training in the third quarter.

In an interview with the VF Comunica team, the blue-belt spoke a little more about her personality, training routine and interaction with master Ronaldo Jacaré, one of the most influential names in the history of Jiu-Jitsu. According to her, the desire to dedicate herself to a combat sport has always made her heart beat faster.

“I always had this desire, this dream of fighting Jiu-Jitsu and I had already tried some other sports. Like swimming, ballet, but I never found myself. I always told my parents that I had this dream about fighting. So, as for the competitive part, I always had that within me, this desire to compete and challenge myself. It’s something I love.”, Duda said.

Family and psychological support makes a difference in Duda’s routine

The lifestyle of an athlete, before reaching adulthood, can be doubly challenging due to issues such as lack of maturity and support from parents. But these particularities weren’t problems in Duda’s journey. According to her, family support was a strong pillar that supported her improvement in the world of competitive Jiu-Jitsu.

“My parents have always supported me, in everything, and this was fundamental for my growth, both as a person and as an athlete. I was taught to be a person with an armored mind, regardless of any result, any obstacle, victory or defeat. I think this is very important, because I have been preparing a lot for the competitions. Always confident, believing in myself.”, Duda reinforced, remembering the importance of psychological support for every athlete who aims for high performance.

Ronaldo Jacaré, Duda Gracie and the athlete's mother celebrate the title won in the tournament that is part of the IBJJF Grand Slam.
Ronaldo Jacaré, Duda Gracie and the athlete’s mother celebrate the title won in the tournament that is part of the IBJJF Grand Slam. Image: @m8sportsoficial Foto: @m8sportsoficial

Duda had his first contact with Jiu-Jitsu at Carlson Gracie and the change to Ronaldo Jacaré’s team happened due to a move to Orlando. Driven by the desire to grow in the sport, having Ronaldo Jacaré as a master was like a gift for Duda, who learns daily from a Jiu-Jitsu legend.

“My lineage is Carlson Gracie, I trained at Carlson my whole life and changed to my master Ronaldo Jacaré’s academy when I moved to Orlando. It’s a dream come true to have this opportunity, because he has always been a reference. Living every moment close to him, every story he tells, is incredible. I am very grateful to have this opportunity to train and spend time with him.”, the blue belt stated.

Duda Gracie during training at Ronaldo Jacaré Martial Arts. Image: @lionheartlopes

With a long journey ahead, Duda Gracie’s dream is to climb to the top of the Worlds podium, as a black-belt. Naturally, Ronaldo Jacaré is one of Duda’s inspirations, a figure who made good use of the sport in all fields, as a fighter and professor. Nathiely de Jesus, multiple Jiu-Jitsu champion, is also mentioned by Duda with great admiration.

“My biggest dream is to be world champion as a black-belt. This is my biggest goal within Jiu-Jitsu. I take Jacaré as an example, he was the greatest in Jiu-Jitsu, he was world champion, he made a name for himself in Jiu-Jitsu and MMA and after that he opened this incredible gym. One of my biggest dreams is to have my own gym, to be able to make a living from it, forever. Among black-belt women, my biggest reference is Nathiely de Jesus, a sensational woman, world champion, always carrying the word of God. I am very inspired by her.”, the young champion concluded.

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Written by Emmanuela Oliveira

Emmanuela Oliveira é faixa-marrom de Jiu-Jitsu e formada em Comunicação Social. Dentro do tatame, aprendeu que é possível conjugar Jiu-Jitsu, escrita e o gosto pelas artes visuais em um só pacote.

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