Profile of a Powerful Female: Nathalie “Tata” Ribeiro

Third Coast Grappling Kumite 7 is the last event of the series that spans four months amidst a worldwide pandemic. The bracket is comprised of eight female black belts vying for the $10,000 prize. That is a powerful statement for equality in the sport. Eight world-class elite competitors showcasing the best of women’s Jiu Jitsu. This is part six of an eight-part series featuring each of the athletes in the bracket. This is Nathalie Ribeiro.

Nathalie “Tata” Ribeiro is the 2019 International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) World No Gi champion at black belt. She has also earned gold medals at  UAEJJF Grand Slam (LA) as well as many more titles at the lower belts. Most notably, she won gold at both Worlds and No Gi Worlds at brown belt in 2017, as well as the Pan Ams in 2018.

Finding Jiu Jitsu and Her Rightful Place

Born in November, 1992, Ribeiro was always involved in athletics from an early age. She was introduced to Jiu Jitsu by her father, a black belt, and a mother who also trained. Her Jiu Jitsu classes began at age eight, but she continued to engage in other sports. She earned her blue belt at 17 in 200,9 but she stopped training after giving birth in the same year. When she resumed training after a three-year absence, she demoted herself back to white belt. This time, however, she moved to Master Sylvio Behring‘s academy, where she earned her blue and purple belts.

During a trip to the US to compete at the Pan Ams and the Worlds, she was offered a sponsorship and scholarship by the father and son tandem Master Aloisio and João Silva. She accepted and became part of the team, where she was later promoted to brown belt. A few years later, she met Lucas Leite, who offered her an instructor position at Checkmat La Habra and promoted her to black belt in 2018.

Ribeiro as a blue belt at age 21 in Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
At Master Sylvio Behring’s academy
Ribeiro promoted to brown belt by the Silvas.
With her instructors, Master Aloisio Silva and João Silva
View this post on Instagram

???? BLACK BELT ???? Omg what a surprise I had last night! I don’t even know how to start, what to say, how to act, it’s crazy. I have dreamed with this moment for long time, I didn’t think I could deserve this one day, I know I worked hard, I trained a lot, during this whole process I had great moments but I had horrible experiences as well, I thought I was gonna give up on everything because I thought I wasn’t good enough, I had ups and downs like any other athlete. But I don’t know why I think I didn’t deserve that I always think I don’t do enough, I could’ve done better, or I don’t know, I doubt myself. But thanks to God he sent me the right persons in my life, those people always believed me even when I didn’t believe in myself, they showed that I can do everything, that I can get anywhere I want to, and I’m so grateful for having these people in my life, I couldn’t be what I am today without them. Thank you @wanunico @cristiane.bealeo @lucasleitebjj @joaosilvabjj @silvaarmy @rene_stein @d_loko84 for never giving up on me, I’ll never forget what you guys did for me, thank you I love you all. #lucasleitebjj #checkmatlahabra #breakpointfc #bjjtees #justroll #jcmealprepco #1visionsports #bitememouthguards #silvaarmy #blackbelt #promotion #bjj #bjjgirls #jiujitsu #jiujitsugirls #girlspower #jiujitsuparatodos #jiujitsuparamulheres #jiujiteiras #bjjgirlsmag #marrentasbjj #checkmat #checkmatbjj #checkmatgirls #checkmathq #bravewomen

A post shared by Nathalie Wan Ribeiro♏️???????? (@tatawribeiro) on

Ribeiro getting her black belt from Lucas Leite
Ribeiro with her son, circa 2019


View this post on Instagram

????IBJJF WORLD CHAMPION 2017???? Thank you @catherinefp for closing out the light division with me, queens of the light weight 2017 ???????????????? I don't have words to describe how happy I am now, I just want to thank God for this, for putting in my mind that I'm capable of getting there, thank you @lucasleitebjj for everything he has done for me, for believing me, for being there for me, I love you ❤️. Thank you all CHECKMAT TEAM @checkmatlahabra @checkmathq @leovieirabjj for helping me, pushing me and preparing me for this. Thank you @joaosilvabjj for being there for me, cheering me and for always believing me, I was so happy that you were there, I'll never forget what you and all your family did for me, I love all of you ❤️. Thank you my sponsor @breakpointfc for trusting me, for the awesome Gi, you guys are amazing ????❤️. Thank you to all my family that always believed me, that trusted me, without you I was nothing, I miss you guys so much, I love you guys so much more, you're my everything @wanunico @pantcris @v.hugo09 @bruciewan74 minha família inteira, amo vocês ❤️ And thank you all my students and @rich_jitslife626 for watching my matches during the class and for the amazing video you guys recorded it was amazing, you guys are the bests!! And thank you @rag_doll_madhatter @daniellswafford @swaffordspencer for coming and stayed all day watching me at the tournament I love you guys ❤️ Also thank you @ryan.libunao @aprilmarie.bjj @princessdenolo for watching me on line, it means a lot for me, I'll never forget this ❤️ #worlds2017 #ibjjfworlds2017 #ibjjfworlds #champion #jiujitsu #bjj #BJJGirls #jiujitsugirls #checkmat #checkmatgirls #checkmatlahabra #lucasleitebjj #checkmathq #checkmatbjj #wearecheckmat #silvaarmy #breakpointfc

A post shared by Nathalie Wan Ribeiro♏️???????? (@tatawribeiro) on

Watch Third Coast Grappling: Kumite 7 on September 26 to see who will reign as the “Queen of the Kumite.” Check back here for the other profiles as well as the preview, results and reviews.

Third Coast Grappling Kumite VII: Queen of the Kumite
Third Coast Grappling Kumite VII: Queen of the Kumite

Jeff Liwag

Jeff Liwag is an educator of 20 years with specializations in Special Education and Instructional Technology. "Submission fighting" lessons in 1999 was his first exposure to grappling martial arts, eventually taking up Jiu-Jitsu classes in 2004 and 2005, only to start training regularly at Gracie Barra Texas in 2011, where he still trains to this day, earning every belt rank up to his current brown belt from Vinicius "Draculino" Magalhaes.

Jeff Liwag has 32 posts and counting. See all posts by Jeff Liwag