The presence of Saulo Ribeiro at the International Master and Senior tournament bolstered the team of accomplished veterans in the competition. Saulo lived up to the expectations of the crowd in the Tijuca Tennis Club and satisfied the curiosity of the younger practitioners, who hadn’t had the opportunity to see him before. The black belt managed tapouts in all four matches he partook in in his weight group, which he won, and the absolute, which was dominated by him and his Gracie Humaitá teammate Rodrigo Munduruca, and where he only didn’t get the tapout on one occasion. After receiving his absolute gold medal, Saulo had a chat with GRACIEMAG.com.
“I feel this championship needs to be given its due importance because this is where everyone reaches maturity as a fighter, teacher and good person. We came here without concern for winning, but for competing. I feel that that is where one begins to demonstrate excellent Jiu-Jitsu, without worrying about self-affirmation, which is the case with a lot of folks in the adult division. We compete carefree and don’t pull the handbrake.”
“The Tijuca Tennis Club is a place that should be preserved. It’s where it all started. It’s a place without classes, it’s the Brazilian people’s. This is where Jiu-Jitsu was born to the world and to me it is a great pleasure and feeling to be back here and see a crowd that has never seen me compete. I’m happy about being a good role model to this group that’s coming up and that loves this sport.”
“I’m a Jiu-Jitsu employee and my greater mission now is to spread it throughout the world. The Ribeiro Jiu-Jitsu Association is conquering Europe. We’ve produced several champions in Germany, we’re heading to France, Australia, New Zealand… These days I serve a more ideological function. I want to pass on to the world a bit of what I’ve learnt and give back to Jiu-Jitsu for what Jiu-Jitsu has given me. University of Jiu-Jitsu is there as a place of the people, an institution of martial arts teaching that is open to teams from around the world. Ribeiro Jiu-Jitsu is doing fine, with 20 affiliates across the planet. The team I brought with me from the United States, for example, had an excellent performance. Wherever Jiu-Jitsu needs me, I’ll be there. But these days I would rather focus on my students and the projects I have going with my academy than to compete.”
“All I can do is thank the Confederations, my friends from training and Gracie Humaitá, which made it to the top of the podium again this year. I thank God for the efforts of the press, like GRACIEMAG. It was one big Jiu-Jitsu party.”