Bruno Bastos Fights at Houston Open in “Off-Season” Shape, Slams Pan Antidoping

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Bruno Bastos (personal archive photo)

The IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu calendar rolls on, and next weekend it’s time for the Houston Open to heat things up at the Jerabeck Activity and Athletic Center. Some noteworthy world champions have already assured their places in the mix, like Rafael and Guilherme Mendes, Rafael Lovato Jr., Stephen Hall, Ulpiano Malachias and Ricardo Bastos.

One of the favorites to win gold has brought down the pace, though. Bruno Bastos of Nova União Texas, who has already won the black belt absolute in Houston before, explained what this “non-training” phase of his is all about.

“Obviously what I expect is to represent my team, as well as to watch some of the students who have excellent chances of medaling. But the truth is that now I’m in a non-training phase. I’ve been letting my body rest a lot since last year I suffered a bunch of injuries, so after Copa Pódio I decelerated. After the Houston Open I’ll ramp up my training again, to get in shape for the major tournaments on the competition calendar,” Bruno tells To return to his winning ways, the Jiu-Jitsu professor already has his game plan in place.

“My strategy is to always keep ahead on points so as to save energy and use my experience to play it as it lays. I can trade grips playing judo, pull and play guard, or go for the pass. That’s always an advantage,” he adds.

Bruno will also be trying his hand at the Pan again this coming March, the first time testing for banned substances will be carried out on medal winners. However, unlike other fans and athletes, Bruno isn’t taking too kindly to the change.

“To me the testing shouldn’t change much when it comes to results. These days people have this notion that a lot of folks are winning in Jiu-Jitsu just because they’re on performance enhancers. Wrong! Everybody trains like mad. Of course if you’re using some substance you’ll be having some extra help; but ultimately if you’re not good at Jiu-Jitsu, you’re not going to win,” opines Bastos.

“Furthermore, I feel a lot of folks are uninformed. People think it’s cool to do testing to make it look like the sport’s clean, but what if you’ve got a fever one day before competing and can’t take the proper medication? Do you know what you can take? Everyone knows that taking the wrong medication will come up as doping. What if a woman’s got cramps? Does she or doesn’t she take anything for it? Will she not take it and suffer because she doesn’t know if it’s okay to take or not? In other words, they think it’s great to ask for testing but not a lot of people are informed about the details; it’s not part of their culture. What about supplements? Guys take them all the time… Is it doping or isn’t it? And I’m not going to even get into those who smoke and are asking for testing. So, let’s see what happens starting with the Pan,” he says in closing.

Check out who all will be competing at the Houston Open by clicking here.

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There are 14 comments for this article
  1. Claude Patrick at 3:47 am

    that's nuts.. BJJ at the elite level is very dopped up. Even regional level competitiors are taking all types of steriods to get a certain type of look and recovery from training to get bakc harder. The issue here isn't the pros getting paid and knowing the risks ect but these 20 something year old's that mess up thier systems long term be able to compete on level playing field for a medal? madness.

    i guess this shows where the "martial art" and the "sport" of Jiu-jitsu go seperate ways.

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