Calasans is the “little guy” who qualified for the ADCC

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Calasans at ADCC tryouts / Photo:

The winner of the under-88 kg division at the Brazilian ADCC qualifiers, this year’s champion of the European Open, Pan and World Pro, Claudio Calasans has fulfilled a dream: he will enter the world’s most traditional no-gi grappling tournament this September in England.

Check out the conversation he had with

How did everything go at the ADCC tryouts? I thought you’d be in the under-77 kg division, but you won the category above…

I had six matches, was well below the weight limit, at 82 kg. I thought it would made things hard on me, but it even felt better, because I was much quicker than my opponents. I won my first match, against Felipe Sagat (Alliance), by kneebar; my second was against Wesley Salatie, which I won by wrist lock; the third I won on points (4-0), against Bruno Alves (Gracie Barra); I beat Hilton Manoel (Check Mat) with a guillotine in the quarterfinals, then Cristiano Titi (Gracie Barra) by 1 to 0 in the semifinal; and in the final I beat Davi Vieira (Gordo) on points (10-2).

What did you make of your first time at an ADCC event?

I always dreamed of competing at the ADCC. I was overjoyed to have won the tryouts. It was a career goal and now I can go on to the next goal, winning the main event.

The World Championship is coming up. How are you preparing to compete both in and out of the gi, now that you’ve qualified for the ADCC?

Now my thoughts are only on the Worlds. After the Worlds, then I’ll talk to my team about how we’re going to train for the ADCC, but only after the Worlds will my mind be 100% on the ADCC. I’m going to do what I always do to get ready for competition: train a lot and be in the best shape possible – technically, tactically and physically. I also have to be keen to the rules, which are different from Jiu-Jitsu’s. There are holds you can’t do in Jiu-Jitsu. The scoring is different as well – meaning, I ‘ll have to study what I can or can’t do during a match.

As your priority is now the Worlds, how is training at your team going for this event?

The work we’re doing for the Worlds didn’t just start now, we’ve been at it for months now. Ever since the tryouts, I’ve been training at my academy in São José dos Campos with my training partners and students. Next week, on Monday, I’ll head to Atos headquarters in Rio Claro to join the rest of the team that will be competing at the Worlds, and our teacher, Ramon Lemos, and physical conditioning coach, Thiago Mendes. There’s also the folks that won’t be going to California but who will be training with us and helping us. I’ll train there for three weeks and then I fly to Long Beach. We’re training intense as always – that’s what sets us apart at events. We always get together to train, to help one another, everybody always together. One’s goal ends up being everybody’s, which is to give our best and win.

Do as Calasans and the Atos folks do, sign up for the Jiu-Jitsu Worlds. Click here to register. And in the meantime, pick up on some of Calasans’s tricks in the video below:

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