‘Kaka’ Perret: Loving Life and Crushing Dreams
You may catch a glimpse of her at the next big tournament, with a mane of dreadlocks flying behind her as she throws her opponent through the air. Affectionately known as ‘Kaka’ by her friends and family, this Brazil native is always exciting to watch. She pushes the pace with her aggressive stand-up and passing, and charms the crowd with her huge, infectious smile.
Atama and BJJ Tees sponsored athlete Catherine Fuhro Perret has had some battles in the past year, but she’s coming out on top. She just won the IBJJF Pan Championships, avenging a close loss in the finals last year. Also a Fight To Win Champion, this girl has a fire behind her leading into the Worlds.
Name: Catherine Fuhro Perret
BJJ Tees: Where are you from, and where do you currently train?
Kaka: I’m from Brazil. I train with Marcelo Mafra for team Checkmat in Hesperia, CA.
How long have you been training?
You moved to California from Brazil last year. How has the move affected your training and your Jiu-Jitsu?
I believe that every change is made for evolution. Today we can say that California is the capital of Jiu-Jitsu in America because here we find much more support in our training, and more recognition as high level athletes.
How do you like California? Do you miss home?
I love California because here it is very similar to the tropical climate of Brazil and, of course, you will find Jiu-Jitsu of a high level. Before moving to live here, I had already come seven times to compete. I always stayed for a short period.
I sure miss my home ‘family’, but that only strengthens me to continue believing in my dreams!
How much do you train every week? What is your daily schedule like leading up to a big competition like the Pans?
I train three times a day, every day!
Tuesday and Thursday I train wrestling.
The other days, I train Jiu-Jitsu two times a day and do physical preparation.
When I have a big competition coming up, I stop teaching two weeks before and just focus on training.
What are some of the challenges you have faced along your journey as a competitor?
I believe that, for me and other athletes, the greatest difficulty we encounter is the lack of recognition and support for the sport.
How did it feel to win your finals match at the Pan Ams and become a Pan champion?
I felt very happy because I trained a lot for this championship and last year I lost in the final.
Every effort was worth it!
Is there anything special you do to help you get pumped up before a competition? Do you have any superstitions?
Sometimes I listen to some music. In this last championship, I was very focused on my goal and could only visualize in my mind the top of the podium and the gold medal around my neck. Always, before entering the fight, I wash my face with water.
What do you think is your biggest accomplishment?
Abu Dhabi Trial champion weight and absolute, and the Pans 2017.
I think most people recognize you by two things: your beautiful smile, and your hair! Does your hair ever get in the way when you’re competing or training?
Thank you! No, because I always tie it well. When it falls out in competition, I always ask the referee if I can tie it.
Do you have any hobbies outside of Jiu-Jitsu?
I like to skateboard, go to the beach, and ride my bike. I can hardly do anything else because, when I’m not going to compete, my students are competing. When I have free time during the week, I usually want to rest and stay at home. I lack time in my days!. Lol
What is some advice you would give to other girls (or guys) who want to be competitors?
Never give up on your dreams!
Anything else you want us to know about you?
I am a simple person of easy and very pleasant laughter to all the people who believe in my potential and do what they can to contribute to my evolution. Surely, I would not be who I am today without help from everyone who has contributed to my dream come true!
I am very grateful to the universe for introducing me to the world of Jiu-Jitsu. I honestly do not know where I would be today without this lifestyle.