My name is Camilo Porto, I am a senior software engineer at Atlassian, and I am married with two kids. I am currently moving from Brazil to Sydney to join a development team at Atlassian. I was inspired mostly by the Atlassian’s work culture and Australian lifestyle. I was looking for a good company with good software engineering challenges and a beautiful and peaceful city to grow my family. I think I have found my place.

Outside of my job, I love martial arts. When I was younger, I practiced Capoeira (the “Brazilian Martial Art”) for almost 4 years. Currently, I have fallen in love with Muay Thai. When I moved from João Pessoa, Brazil to Natal, Brazil, I was looking to take Capoeira classes, but I didn’t find any schedule that could fit my workday. So, I found I place that offered Muay Thai classes. And I just started because it was an art that included a lot with kicks. And I love kicks!

When I was starting Muay Thai, I went to a gym named ‘Extreme Kombat’, in Natal, RN-Brazil, which was led by Master Nino Bezerra. The most important thing I learned through the almost six years practicing Muay Thai was to push my limits and to never give up or to freeze when facing something that seems impossible or fears you. My master used to say that in Muay Thai, the winner is those that can hold the most when getting beaten. But this is for professional ones. For me, the hardest part is to keep my guard up when fighting and to defend myself. Good physical preparation helps a lot on that.

When I talk about Muay Thai with friends, they always mention Jean Claude Van Damme, due to his movie “Kickboxer” and the epic fight against Tong Po. Maybe Van Damme turned out to be one of my role models. But currently, I love to see the way Jon Jones uses his Muay Thai in UFC.

I strive to be physically prepared for Muay Thai by regularly attending the training sessions and, on the day of the exam, I eat light foods rich on carbohydrates, thus, I take in fruits, grains, oats, and, of course, water. Also, I aim to keep myself in a quiet place with my thoughts. My current goal is to keep practicing the Art of Eight Limbs.

With Muay Thai, you learn a lot about yourself. You realise you’re doing things that you never imagined that you could do. Muay Thai is my escape from the daily stress. Always, after a good Muay Thai session, I feel that my mind is empty, no stress, no problems and I’m ready for the next day. It’s really recharging. Also, Muay Thai teaches me to not fear, give up or freeze when faced with a huge challenge or near impossible task.

My advice to Muay Thai beginners is don’t think it is too hard. Don’t give up due to muscle pains in the day after a training session. Keep training! Forget what your mind will keep telling you (it will command you to stop. It will say that you can’t do it). Just listen to your Master’s voice and do it!

I think that those old days, where software engineers were seen like a nerd that spent the whole day in front of a computer eating junk food, are gone. Today there is really much more than tech. Everyone I know in my company does some sports activity like cycling, surfing, rock climbing, etc. At the end of the day, we are human beings as well 🙂

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