Ontario woman takes home gold in jiu-jitsu world championship in Abu Dhabi

Rain Pfaff rolled through the competition last week at the 2022 world championships in Abu Dhabi, winning gold in the over 70 kilogram division. (Provided by Rain Pfaff - image credit)
Rain Pfaff rolled through the competition last week at the 2022 world championships in Abu Dhabi, winning gold in the over 70 kilogram division. (Provided by Rain Pfaff - image credit)

By day, Rain Pfaff is a registered massage therapist in Blenheim, Ont. and in her off hours, she has become a high-level jiu-jitsu fighter.

Pfaff rolled through the competition last week at the 2022 world championships in Abu Dhabi, winning gold in the over 70 kilogram division.

"I'm still pretty stoked about the whole experience," Pfaff said on CBC's Windsor Morning Wednesday. "It's just been a really a dream come true of mine to get to perform on that stage, let alone bring home a gold medal."

She said she first got into the sport in 2015, after starting out in karate.

Pfaff prevailed over a Colombian woman in the final of her division, but won each of her matches in the championship.

LISTEN | Rain Pfaff talks about how she make her way to the gold medal at the world championship: 

She credits her training and preparation for her performance.

"I've been spending a lot of time with my coach one-on-one, other higher level guys at my club, and really just sticking to my game plan, sticking to what I know I'm good at and then trying to execute that at the performance level," she said.

"So making them play my game. So that way, you know, they're kind of playing catch up to me and I'm not trying to figure out what they want to do."

Pfaff trains at Armstrong Academy of Martial Arts in Chatham, Ont. with Thomas Armstrong, the owner and head instructor.

"I was actually watching it live, so it was, it was edge of the seat. It was very exciting," he said. "She won every match and she didn't get a point scored on her in any match — that's like super impressive."

Armstrong said Pfaff is a hard-worker and dedicated to her training.

Ju-Jitsu International Federation/YOUTUBE
Ju-Jitsu International Federation/YOUTUBE

"In Canada there's like really been no one able to touch her since she's been a purple belt, she's just grown so so fast," said Armstrong.

Next, Pfaff hopes to compete in the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation circuit in North America more.

She's also not ruling out a career in mixed-martial arts.

"I've considered it," she said. "I kickbox from time to time just as a good cardio and skill, but right now I'm pretty focused on jiu-jitsu and I like not getting punched."