Yara Soares is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under Luiz Guilherme (Guigo), who worked extensively with Lloyd Irvin, having represented both the Guigo JJ and Team Lloyd Irvin academies. Soares became widely recognized as one of the top athletes in the super-heavyweight division of the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) after conquering consecutive world titles in the purple and brown belt divisions (2018, 2019).
Yara Soares Jiu-Jitsu
Full Name: Yara Soares do Nascimento
- 1st Place IBJJF World Championship (2018 purple, 2019* brown)
- 1st Place IBJJF Pans Championship (2019** purple)
- 1st Place IBJJF European Open (2019** brown)
- 1st Place IBJJF South American Championship (2016/2017 blue)
- 1st Place IBJJF São Paulo Open (2019 brown, 2018** purple)
- 1st Place IBJJF São Paulo BJJ Pro (2019 brown)
- 1st Place IBJJF Rio Open (2018** purple)
- 1st Place UAEJJF Grand Slam, RJ (2018 purple)
- 1st Place CBJJE World Championship (2018** purple)
- 2nd Place IBJJF World Championship (2016 blue)
- 2nd Place CBJJ Brazilian Nationals (2016 blue)
- 3rd Place IBJJF World Championship (2017 blue, 2019 brown)
- 3rd Place IBJJF World Championship (2019 brown)
- 3rd Place IBJJF South American Championship (2016* blue)
- 3rd Place UAEJJF Grand Slam, RJ (2019 brown)
Favorite Position/Technique: Lasso Guard
Weight Division: Super-Pesado (over 175.0 lbs
Team/Association: Guigo JJ
Yara Soares Biography
Yara Soares was born on November 07, 1995, in Guarapari, a coastal town located in the Brazilian state of Espírito Santo.
Soares derived from a long line of athletes, particularly long-distance runners, and it was in athletics that Yara first engaged with sports, with her first podium being conquered after her 8th birthday. It was also while competing in sports athletics and handball (which she played for a number of years also) that the young Brazilian learned the work ethics she would carry on to combat sports at a later age.
At the age of 18, Yara realized that there was no financial future in her handball career, even though she was playing at a decent level in that sport. Disheartened and suffering from a bit of fatigue from team sports, Soares decided to try something different. Then joining her first jiu-jitsu class, in April 2014, with coach Tony Bergamo.
In her first month, Yara stated competing in jiu-jitsu and as a result, immediately fell in love with grappling. With her eyes on a future BJJ career, Soares decided to look for a more competition focussed gym to continue her progression, finding what she was looking for at the famous Striker Academy, of coach Thiago Oliveira. The gym that produced one of the most accomplished female athletes of all time, Fernanda Mazzelli.
Yara Soares earned her blue belt from Thiago Oliveira and spent 18 months with the well-known coach at Striker before being offered a scholarship by Luiz Guilherme, also known as Guigo, to come to São Paulo and train at his Academy. A former IBJJF World Champion, Guigo was equally respected as a coach, he who formed countless high-end athletes. This added to the fact that the State of São Paulo was regarded as the Mecca of grappling in Brazil, made Yara’s decision an easy one to make.
Under Luiz Guigo’s guidance, Yara became one of the biggest names in the colored belt divisions, making the most of Guilherme’s coalition with Lloyd Irvin to train and compete in the United States under Team LI’s banner.
In 2019, after conquering double gold at the Pan American Jiu-Jitsu Championship, Yara Soares was promoted to brown belt (March) by Lloyd Irvin, at Guigo’s request. Only 2 months later she won the World Championship as a brown belt, subsequently achieving victories at the São Paulo BJJ Pro and São Paulo Open. Her fantastic run would lead to her black belt promotion in December, an unusual occurrence given that it did not fall in line with the timeframes imposed by the IBJJF for a belt rank upgrade. For this reason, Yara was blocked from competing in tournaments organized by this particular federation during the early months of her black belt career.