Last weekend the IBJJF held the Houston Open at the eponymous city in Texas, with Jerabaeck Activity and Athletic Center as the venue.
The joint winner of the ultraheavyweight division alongside his brother Bruno, Ricardo Bastos of Nova União carries on training hard with his sibling in Texas.
Ricardo, a well-known entity in the Jiu-Jitsu scene in Brazil, went a long spell without competing, but now he’s back to pick up where he left off.
“I’m a stickler when it comes to training, which means I always train a lot, and that often results in injury. But now I’m putting an effort into prevention, and I feel that that is what’s determined the moment I’m in right now,” Rico tells GRACIEMAG.com.
Check out what else he has to say, in the following interview:
GRACIEMAG: How’s your training for Saturday’s Houston Open going?
RICARDO BASTOS: I’m training hard, ironing out my conditioning and technique with lots of drills and circuits. And with Bruno [Bastos] not training, I get to train more while he teaches class. I practice a lot on bottom and top, since you never know where a fight’s going to end up.
What’s your assessment of your weight class?
I expect to go out there and do my homework, put all my training to practice and become champion. If you get hung up on some opponent or another you tend to lose concentration, and that’s not a good option to take.
What’s your recipe for returning to competition so well after all those years on the sidelines?
I’m really a stickler when it comes to training, a perfectionist, which means I always train a lot, and that often results in injury. But now I’m even more focused and doing a good job of injury prevention, and I think that that is what’s determined the moment I’m in right now.
You’ve got a really slick hook guard. What details should our readers focus on to get up to speed on the position?
It’s a guard I started doing when I was 12, still an orange belt. You have to grab hold of at least one sleeve—the other grip can be on the belt, the pants or on the other sleeve, depending on the variation you’re after—and always use your hooks for leverage. Keep your hip moving freely, and having strong legs and belly helps a lot. You have to do a lot of repetitions to get good at the hook guard.