Nathiely De Jesus: From a Kid with Asthma to a Jiu Jitsu World Champion
You grew up watching the UFC on your old TV, cheering on the best fighters of the time. One day you walked into a jiu jitsu gym, so nervous you couldn’t feel your legs. Over time, you became friends with your training partners, and the mats began to feel like a second home.
This is probably not too far off from how you were introduced to jiu jitsu. It’s a tale as old as time, really. Many of the best people in the sport today are top competitors because something sparked their interest when they were young.
However, there are always exceptions. And Nathiely De Jesus is one of them.
When she was little, Nathiely struggled with asthma and frequent bouts of bronchitis. In an attempt to combat this, she took up sports. A doctor actually prescribed jiu jitsu to her! Recalling her initial experience with it, she says “I did my first class and I felt in love.”
Her investment in the sport quickly extended beyond health benefits. As competition became more enticing, she switched from Claudio Felix’s academy in São Paulo, to Cicero Costha’s Project Social Lutando Pelo Bem. This offered her a whole new level of training, among greats such as Manuel Ribamar (her future husband), Paulo and João Miyao, and Leandro Lo.
Over time, she developed her dominating lasso guard, which you can find broken down in her Jiu Jitsu X course, Lasso of Truth.
Amazingly, Nathiely is now asthma-free. So that doctor was really onto something! Not that we recommend jiu jitsu as a cure-all for your ailments - please see your doctor!
Perhaps more amazingly, she has proven herself time and time again as one of the top competitors of our time.
As a brown belt, she secured wins at Brazilian Nationals and Abu Dhabi World Pro. Earning double-golds at the IBJJF World Championships in both no-gi and gi, she was promoted to black belt on the podium of the latter. Now, she has an even more impressive collection of accomplishments as a black belt:
1st Place IBJJF World Championship (2017, 2018, 2019)
1st Place IBJJF World Championship No-Gi (2016, 2018)
1st Place IBJJF Pan Championship (2018)
1st Place IBJJF European Open (2019)
1st Place IBJJF American Nationals (2016)
1st Place UAEJJF Grand Slam – Rio de Janeiro (2016)
1st Place UAEJJF Grand Slam – Abu Dhabi (2017)
1st Place IBJJF Rio Fall International Open (2017)
Nathiely proved herself yet again by defeating the formidable Gabi Garcia at Fight2Win events in 2019 and 2021, becoming the first opponent to ever best her in both gi and no-gi.
A self-described guard player, Nathiely was able to defend and attack during both matches, despite being the smaller of the two competitors. Lasso of Truth is actually crafted specifically for a scenario like this, so you know it works! Focusing on lasso guard and inverted lasso guard, the course is perfect for you if you struggle with:
Dominating your opponent from guard
Attacking your opponent from guard
Maintaining your guard against an opponent
A current student of the course had this to say: ““I’ve watched many videos on other platforms by world renown male professors, but Natheily’s details far surpass theirs. I’m very happy to have this series in my arsenal.”
It wouldn’t be surprising at all if future competitors refer to Nathiely’s performances as sources of inspiration for when they were first getting started in jiu jitsu. The idea of this would delight Nathiely, who loves seeing and being part of “generation by generation of jiu jitsu being changed” as new athletes enter the sport.
Becoming a Teacher
“I love to teach jiu jitsu. Even if I don’t have a college degree, I can still teach a doctor. On the mats we are all the same. And I love to see people happy to be there. Sometimes they train as a way to escape their problems. When my students are training they have one hour to forget about everything and focus on something that’s going to help them mentally and physically. I love to see people asking questions about the techniques and see them so interested to learn. This makes my heart proud, and that’s why I love to share everything I’ve learned in all these years.” - Nathiely De Jesus
If you speak to Nathiely about jiu jitsu, you’ll become immediately aware of how much gratitude she has for the sport, the people she’s met through it, and for everything it’s done for her life. She teaches from this place of true love for it, saying “I feel that I’ve accomplished all my goals, but I still have this fire inside of me that makes me keep going. My goal is to help other people live their dream. I want to make my school grow and make a lot of world champions.”
Jiu jitsu has given her the opportunity to travel to new places and meet new people, help her family financially, and experience things in life that she wasn’t able to afford previously. She moved to Texas in 2017 with her husband, fellow champion and JJX instructor Manuel Ribamar. There, they both teach at Rodrigo Pinheiro BJJ in Boerne, TX. The pair welcomed a baby at the end of 2021.
Overall, Nathiely says: “I can say that I’m living a perfect life thanks to God and a lot of hard work.”