Rico Bastos and the absolute gold: “It’s possible to be a world champion with basic Jiu-Jitsu”

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Ricardo Bastos wa sthe master open class champion

Ricardo Bastos wa sthe master open class champion

A black-belt from Nova União, professor Ricardo Bastos went back to shining at the Worlds Masters and Seniors last weekend in Long Beach, Calif. An absolute champion in the Pyramid, Bruno Bastos’s brother had no easy task– which does sound like a cliché, but in fact he only took bronze in the heavyweight division. In the semifinal of the open, Rico eliminated Flávio Almeida by two penalties. Then he had a close match versus Roberto “Tussa” Alencar, in a final decided by the jurors. Bastos analyzed his path to the gold for GRACIEMAG.com:

GRACIEMAG.com: What lesson did you learn from your first match against Flávio “Cachorrinho” Almeida at weight, and how did it influence your triumph in the absolute?

RICO BASTOS: I learned that the secret is control. I started out losing by points and didn’t have enough time to come back. I wound up with bronze at heavyweight and Flávio closed it out with Tussa. But in the open’s semifinal, I met Flávio again and things were different. I attacked first and pulled him to my guard game, where I feel safest. I stayed in half-guard and sought the game. On the bottom, I give my opponent the option to squash me, but I’m still able to have great control to come out for underneath. Flávio took two penalties and I won.

Soon afterward you faced Roberto Tussa at the absolute final. How was it?

A tough match as always, Tussa has some great positions. But I managed good sleeve control and restrained his attacks – control makes all the difference. The fight ended in a draw and the jurors gave it to me. I sought the fight more, I kept Tussa in my guard, but always looking for attacking positions to sweep and try to finish. I didn’t give him a chance to score points or advantages by trying to pass; I worked my grips to use my hook sweep, but couldn’t score.

And your hook sweep worked very well once again at the Masters’ Worlds. What was the reason?

Because there are a lot of athletes worried about the berimbolo and the like,so they forget about basic, efficient BJJ. They’re trying to do the consonants before the vowels [laughs]. I think I proved that you can be a world champion by getting the basics right.

What are the main points to a good hook sweep?

Practice the same sweep for 300 times, or more. Put your training partner between your hooks and lift him – that works your hips and makes your legs strong. Another detail is the grip: always keep one sleeve under firm control.

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