“In life we have many defining moments. For me, worlds 2016 was one of them.
In 2013, I felt better than ever. My game was sharp and I was in the best shape of my life. Earlier that year I won Pan Am’s for the third time in a row, beating HOF Bruno Malafacine once again, in the finals.
Going into World’s camp I even contemplated competing in the Open Class because I honestly felt my Jiu-Jitsu was at a level to be competitive.
One week out, however, something changed. I started having very serious head aches and vertigo while training. I thought it was from over training as all athletes suffer when training too hard, but even after I took a day to rest it was still there when I trained. The pain was so bad it kept me up at nights. I won World’s that year but it wasn’t nearly as easy as I thought it would be.
After the tournament, I took it easy and had no further symptoms. I thought it had to do with my diet, over training and nerves. In December of that year it came back. The harder I pushed the worse it got. It felt like I was getting worse with each training instead of getting better.
This kept me out of competitions in 2014, when I saw more doctors in one year than most people see in their lifetime. They each had their own diagnosis and treatments, but none of them were truly effective.
I still trained, kept trying to get better and hoped to return.
In 2015, I thought I found a solution that was a combination of things but the main ingredient was training way less.
That worked for me until I lost Pan Am’s and realized I had to train hard to win.
Getting ready for worlds I gave up on trying to make it go away and instead tried ways to cope with the pain and to push. After one week and a half I ended up back in the hospital and I would miss my second World’s in a row.
Also during this time I kept reading things on social media, like “Caio is scared of the Miyao’s”, “Caio is scared of Bruno”, “Caio is finished”.
None of this was true, but people talking shouldn’t have bothered me. The fact that it did, actualy bothered me more than what people were saying.
After taking some time, I decided this year I would compete, regardless of the outcome. 2016 world’s wasn’t for my sponsors, my fans or my students. It was for myself.
It was my first worlds in three years and, despite losing in the final, just competing and battling my demons was a victory for me.
I would like to thank everyone who continued to believe in me throughout this hard time. Jiu Jitsu is an amazing journey and I feel blessed to have so many people in my life that make it even more special.
Train to get healthy, train because you love it, train for you, train for life!”