No excuses, Calasans admits: “I made a mistake in the absolute final”

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Calasans jubilant, in striking moment captured by Ivan Trindade

Claudio Calasans Junior was one of the big names of the 2011 European Open that kicks off the elite Jiu-Jitsu season, in Lisbon, Portugal.

The Atos black belt conquered the middleweight division (watch final below) and took silver in the absolute after losing to Alliance’s Sérgio Moraes. Check out the analysis of the event below.

What’s your assessment of your performance in Lisbon?

I was happy with it. I had nine matches in all, five of them in the absolute and four in my weight division. Of course, I was really confident I could win both titles, that’s what I wanted, but unfortunately I made a mistake in the final and lost by an advantage point.

It was excellent because at the end of October I suffered a neck injury and went three months without training and the doctor had told me I’d only be back competing in June!

With a lot of faith and the help of an osteopath, Fernando from Equality, I improved well before expected and in January I returned to training. I wasn’t supposed to have entered the absolute but the Atos gang egged me on and it was cool. I felt a bit lacking in physical conditioning, I wore out in both finals, but that’s not going to happen anymore. I’m already training again with my mind on the upcoming objectives.

What did you think of your trajectory in the absolute?

It was the second time I competed in an IBJJF absolute and again it was a rough bracket. In my first match I submitted a superheavyweight with an armbar, the second I beat Augusto “Tanquinho” Mendes on points, and the third I beat Lucio Rodrigues, “Lagarto”. In the semifinal I beat Bernando Farias, also on points. I’m excited about competing in the open class more but I have to be in better shape, I end up doing double the number of matches and most of the time against much heavier guys.

What’s your assessment of the absolute final, against Sérgio?

The fight was really tough, it came down to an advantage point. I watched it several time already looking for where I messed up so next time I won’t do it again. Credit to him for wining, I don’t think there’s much to say about it. In tough matches ou have to be really focused not to make mistakes. Confidence counts too.

What do you intend to improve on?

Win or lose, I always try to fix what I did wrong. When it’s time to fight I give it my all, doing everything within my power to do, but we always make mistakes. So I try to figure out what they are and not repeat them and thus raise the level of my Jiu-Jitsu more and more.

What are your upcoming challenges?

Atos will have a training camp in San Diego, California, which starts the first week of March and will go till the Pan. I’m not going to miss that. The first commitment is the Pan, and it will be my first Pan. As always, I’m going for first place.

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