Interview with Karen Antunes

Team: CheckMat Weight Division: Feather (some times Light)

Lineage: M. Maeda > Carlos Gracie > Helio G. > Rolls G. > Romero Cavalcanti > L. Vieira > Mayko Araújo > Karen Antunes

Interview Questions:

1) What is your belt rank, current training academy, and how long have you been training?

K- I have been training for almost 7 years, my first coach today is also my husband and we are CheckMat under Leo Vieira.

2) What changes have you made to your game at each belt level. What did you emphasize on in each belt.

K- Since I started training my game it’s more on top, I love the action and I have been successful with this game. But once you get a black belt you have to be complete, now I’m working more with my guard skills.karen artunes

3) What would you say is most important for someone seriously considering jiu jitsu at an international competitive level?

K- I would say don’t be afraid with hard work, don’t let nothing stop you, training hard always pay off.

4) What’s a typical training week look like; training times, routines, meals, etc. ?

K- Typical week: Jiu jitsu twice a day. Condition Training. And more important than just training it’s care about your diet, what you eat will make a lot difference in your performance.

5) Walk us through your typical day of a competition, starting from when you wake up. (food, rituals, mind set etc.)

K- I use to be very excited in the day of competition. I like to wake up early, make my food, nothing very special. Once I’m in the tournament I don’t like to talk to much and I stay close to my partners of training.

6) Tell us about the changes you have seen in the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu scene for women over your career ?

K- It’s so amazing, I’m kind new if we compare myself with some woman like Michelle Nicolini. This women open the way for us, they have been fighting and showing another women can do this. The tournaments getting better in make good things for us.

7) How important would you say it is to travel outside your gym to train with different bodies and styles?

K- Very important, in Jiu jitsu we can not be in comfortable position, always we need looking for challenges to make our game better, if you just training with the same people sometimes we feel to comfortable.

8) What’s your favorite game to play against your opponents and what has been really working well for you lately?

K- I’m still playing my top game .

karen antunes bjj

9) What do you think about the evolution of bjj in recent years and where do you see it going?

K- I really appreciate the evolution, today we can easily see good talents, doesn’t matter belts, sometimes I can se purple belts fighting like black belts. And day by day this will looks better. I know this because I like watching kids tournament and they are so beautiful matches.

10) Who’s your favorite competitor to watch these days and why?

K- Sorry I have to talk about her one more time. I love watch Michelle compete, she always is so confident and happy, and all her matches are very excite, she always work for a submission and never “stolen”.

11) If you could see a bjj super fight with any two athletes, who would it be… aside from you and Michelle of course lol?

K- I would love to see my head coach Leo Vieira against Victor Shaolin, in the past they did amazing fights.

12) Whats your thoughts on the 50/50 guard and double guard pulls in jiu jitsu? Do you think it makes it less “outside spectator(people who don’t understand the sport)” friendly?

K- I’m not a big fan of 50/50 guard because some competitors use this guard to stolen or guaranty winning a mach by advantages. I’m ok with double guard pulls but I hate (once spectator) when booth athletes don’t want come up and fight, maybe that’s why I having in trouble because I can’t not fight with patience and calm.

13) Have sponsors played a role in your training and how do you maintain the jiu Jitsu lifestyle?

K-Always it’s hard to maintain jiu jitsu lifestyle just by sponsoring. This is not my reality now, I’m work just to be able to compete, all my money I invest in jiu jitsu. But I’m still positive to have sponsors enough to maintain this lifestyle.

15) Thanks again for your time. Any shout outs or final thoughts?

K- You are welcome. Just want thank for the invite, I’m so happy to be part of this event. I use to talk with every single one about how important it is jiu jitsu for women, even they’re just kids, and now I have opportunity to talk with someone who really will understand. Thanks one more time and I can’t wait to meet you all. PS: Sorry about my English 😬 I tried my best.