Larissa Paes remembers her achievements and talks about her actual moment

Larissa Paes at UAE Awards. Photo: Personal Archive

Larissa Paes, 26 years old, had to take a break from her growing career as a black belt because of an injury on her shin, during Grand Slam Abu Dhabi, last year, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

The black belt, who represents Gordo Jiu-Jitsu, was considered the best athlete of the AJP events tour in 2017, between brown and black belt.

Now, recovering from the injury, Larissa explains the injury and details her career in an exclusive interview to the VF Comunica. Check it out:

VF Comunica: You’ve been growing in the competitions, but an injury ended up throwing you out. How is your recovery going?

LARISSA PAES: Man, it’s still a little crazy talking about everything that happened. I got injured at the 2022 Grand Slam Abu Dhabi. My recovery was and has been horrible. Since then, there hasn’t been a day without pain, it’s been a long process and I wasn’t psychologically prepared for this process. Despite all this, I learned how to overcome the people who are around me and see that the world is not just about fighting. I still have no plans to fight again, depending completely on the calcification of my shin bone, the frontal part is still in the process of calcification.

You lived an amazing moment, rocked by many titles since 2017 until the injury. What did you achieve in that time?

As soon as I came to live and live in Abu Dhabi, in 2017, I went to work in the northern part of the country, almost nobody knew that. Jiu-Jitsu was still very young, but time passed and new teachers arrived until our training there became one of the best. During the time I lived there and still as a brown belt, I won the UAEJJF brown and black belt ranking, the last one they had with consecutive points. I won some Grand Slams and was always on the podiums of the big championships.

What is the main difference that you notice in terms of Jiu-Jitsu between Brazil and the United Arab Emirates?

The investment! Jiu-Jitsu is obrigatory for men in public schools and optional for girls. It is a curricular subject, just like mathematics and Portuguese in Brazil. It is also mandatory in the army. This thing of investment is something out of the ordinary, they don’t have to worry about having to do a raffle to get a subscription or sell things, which in Brazil we have always had to do. It’s “less difficult” to be a Jiu-Jitsu athlete here in this regard, because you have a salary, kimonos, buses to pick up and drop off, so the athlete’s total focus is just on training. They are at another level in terms of the professionalization of athletes and are showing that they are becoming more and more professional, with several athletes having expressive titles worldwide. So, the path is to be dedicated to succeed, right? If you really want to be a high performance athlete, you need a multidisciplinary team! Specific training, preparation, nutrition, physiotherapy and psychologist. And as things stand effectively in these areas here, the world has begun to see the level of Jiu-Jitsu that the Arabs have.

Jiu-Jitsu Tribe and Braus launch gi to help social projects

Pedro Rocha gets his 4th gold medal in a row at IBJJF