GRACIEMAG.com confirmed Saulo Ribeiro’s participation at the International Masters and Seniors tournament set for this July 22 in Rio de Janeiro. Saulo, one of the greatest gentle art competitors of all times, heads into the event at the Tijuca Tennis Club with a solid team. His intention, aside from winning his weight group and the absolute, is to take the team trophy with him back to Gracie Humaita, as the team was beat by Gracie Barra at the last installment of the event.
How are preparations for this event going?
Training’s been going marvelously. We have a very well-structured team in the United States now after these 10 years Xande (Ribeiro) and I have been working here. We hand-picked a number of athletes to get this title back for us. We’re taking our first team.
Are you really going to compete?
I’m going to compete at weight and open weight. I’m taking a student of mine and we want to shut out the division.
What’s the main difference in competing in the masters division?
I’ve competed at several masters events here in the United States and I don’t feel too much is different. The difference is that we do more Jiu-Jitsu. There’s none of that self-affirmation business. Jiu-Jitsu is becoming ugly because of that; folks forget to fight. As we get older we value different things. These days you see Jiu-Jitsu of those who want to win and not those who want to fight. The masters division is keeping that tradition alive.
So you’re going to full-on compete?
I’m going balls to the wall. If we’re standing, I’m going for the takedown. If I’m on top, I’m going for the pass. If I’m on bottom, I’m going for the submission. We’re heading in there to pull out all the stops and show what we’ve been doing here in the United States. I’ll arrive in Brazil next week. We’re going to do some first-rate preparations with Rolker Gracie and all of us will be sharp. I haven’t competed in Tijuca since the Roger match. It will be really exciting to be back there.