Being a jiu-jitsu athlete and a mother is the hardest thing I've done, but also amazing. I heard that kids will learn by following what they see from their parents and I’m very happy with that because I get to show my daughters that it’s worth working hard on our dreams. I have the opportunity to show them that I live my dream life after many years of hard work. I have a chance to show them that they can do or be whatever they want, and chase their dreams if they really want something. And it’s not just happy days, they are really young and already see me dealing with injuries, frustration, tears…. but at the end of the day they won’t see me giving up, either on the mats or in life.


Athlete Karen Antunes with her two children in Gis.

I love jiu-jitsu as much as I love being a mother and it’s probably why I’m not quite ready to stop my athletic career yet, maybe I still can win one more world title, I'm working to accomplish it for my girls, and for myself. Motherhood made me stronger than ever!


Karen Antunes at a Jiu Jitsu competition.


It’s really hard to focus on my Jiu Jitsu career but it’s also what makes me happy and I can’t give up, it is the same as giving up on who I am as a person and being a good mother, wife, coach. I have to be happy with myself. Life can get really hard some days, I’m overwhelmed but I wouldn’t trade my life for anything, I live the life that I dreamed of having one day and I’m so thankful for my busy days (and nights) with my 2 babies. I can't wait to feel ready to return to competition and feel that adrenaline again.


Karen Antunes and her daughter holding hands in the Valentine's day Gis.