Tamara and Samantha Garces have won multiple title in BJJ and looking to follow fellow Australian fighters like Bec Hyatt and Alex Chambers to fight for major promotions like InvictaFC and the UFC.
We took time to talk to the pair about their training and their goals in MMA.
Wombat Sports: What got you interested in combat sports?
W.S.: What do you enjoy about it?
Tamara: What I enjoy about doing Jiu Jitsu and kickboxing is that I am constantly learning new things that could help me in all sorts of life threatening and dangerous situations. I also love the health benefits and the way that it has helped me stay healthy and fit.
Samantha: What I enjoy most about doing jiu jitsu is doing comps, coming first and bashing boys. what I like about kick boxing most is learning cool combos.
W.S.: How has your friends and classmates reacted to it?
T.G.: When I first started Jiu Jitsu and told my friends about it they started laughing and swinging their arms and legs everywhere ad started screaming words “hee-ya” and “wham”. That went on for a while but after I (constantly) explained to them what I actually do they don’t do that… as much. Now that I have won a few titles, they like to brag about me and tell basically everyone who meets me. My friends are really supportive about my Jiu Jitsu but just get a little frustrate that I can’t go out and do things with them because I’m at training. But that doesn’t really bother me because I know that all the hard work I’m doing now will pay off in the future… but then again it all ready has.
S.G.: I didn’t tell any of my friends [except for my best friend] because one day i may need or want to put them in a standing arm bar
W.S.: How about your family?
T.G.: As I mentioned earlier my Dad is really, really into Jiu Jitsu and any other form of martial arts. My Mum isn’t as into it as my Dad is but she is still really enthusiastic about it and it super proud of us. My younger sisters both really into it especially my baby sister… ufc is her favourite show.
S.G.: Both my parents are extremely supportive especially dad as my mum doesn’t really understand it, she just tells us to go hard and beat everyone.
W.S.: Who do you look up to in fighting?
T.G. : my parents are my biggest inspiration for everything but in fighting I really look up to a few Australian Jiu Jitsu girls who have really inspired me to chase my dreams. But Ronda Rousey is definitely my favourite fighter and my biggest inspiration in fighting.
S.G.: I look up to John Jones and Ronda Rousey they have both inspired me a lot.
W.S.: How do you feel about the future of females in fighting?
T.G.: I think the future is bright for females in fighting. We’re so lucky to have been able to start at such a young age and at the time we have. Other women never had that opportunity but we have them to thank for where female fighting is today. They’ve paved the way for younger female fighters and have given us an easier road to travel on in terms of achieving our goals.
S.G.: I feel it’s going to grow more and become much bigger especially because in the future I’m gonna be a professional fighter.
W.S.: What comes naturally to you in fighting? What have you found difficult?
T.G.: Most of the things I’ve done in Jiu Jitsu have come naturally to me except for when it comes to things that involve a lot of flexibility but I have improved. Kickboxing has been ok but I’ve only just started and don’t know much. I think one of the most difficult things for me was moving from gi to no gi and having to loose all of my grips but I think I’ve got the hang of things now.
S.G.: The main thing that comes natural to me in BJJ is winning and most difficult was changing from gi to no gi. in kick boxing I find a lot difficult because I’ve just started.
W.S.: Being from Australia, are you seeing more opportunity for females in fighting sports?
T.G.: From what I’ve seen, there isn’t very many female fighters here in Australia but I can definitely say that is improving.
S.G. : There aren’t many female fighters in Australia but don’t worry cause in the future i’ll be up there.
W.S.: It is popular for many girls here in the U.S. to take up high school wrestling. Is that something you are looking into?
T.G.: Unfortunately for us we do not have that opportunity. We both go to an all girls high school and don’t have wrestling as a choice of sport.
S.G.: We go to an all girls school that’s super annoying and they don’t do many sports there so we have basically no chance of doing wrestling:(
W.S.: Would you like to travel to different countries to compete? What countries would you like to go to?
T.G.: I would definitely love to travel to other countries to compete. In the near future, we both hope to travel to compete in Abu Dhabi and also in America.
S.G.: I would love to travel round the world places like america, Abu Dhabi and Brazil to compete.
W.S.: What are your aspirations in fighting?
T.G.: I aspire to one day be the world champion. I would also love to open up my own gyms all over the world and be able to travel the world teaching people the skills I learnt in martial arts.
S.G.: i hope to one day to become the world champion, and open up my own gym and of cause become a famous UFC fighter.
W.S.: Anything you want to add/thank?
T.G.: I would like to thank all my coaches and my parents. I would also like to thank Jesus for always giving strength and courage during my fights and for protecting me on and off the mats.
S.G.: I would like to thank my mum and dad for supporting me and all my instructors. I would also like to thank my heavenly Father the Lord Jesus Christ for always giving me the strength and courage I need during my fights.
Psalm 144:1 BLESSED be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight.