Six-time world Jiu-Jitsu champion Xande Ribeiro is one of the great names signed up for the World Master, which is set to take place Aug. 25 through 27 in Las Vegas, Nevada. At 35, Xande still competes among adults, but that doesn’t mean he won’t take the Master seriously. “Many people look at the World Master as the end of their careers, but I see it as another challenge. After all, it’s between the ages of 30 and 40 that we reach the height of our physical vigor,” explains the black-belt under Royler Gracie. In an exclusive interview with Graciemag, he talks about his expectations, reveals the secret to continuing competing at the top level and makes it clear he is ready to face “anyone, at any time and at any weight.”
Check out the entire chat below.
What do you expect from this World Master? What motivated you to take part in this championship?
The expectation is incredible! I fought in the first year at the pyramid, and it was very cool. Many people see the Master as the end of their careers, but I see it as another challenge. After all, it’s between the ages of 30 and 40 that we reach the height of our physical vigor. Besides, it will be an opportunity to fight alongside a good part of my team.
The World Master is an event that stands out for the atmosphere of a coming together. What is the mindset with which you go into this tournament? Are you focused on the title, or do you just want to have fun on the mat?
It’s a coming together, but everyone will be there to win. And, with each passing year, the category is getting tougher. Like in every tournament — be it the worlds, adults’, a superfight or whatnot, — you have to have fun, but with a lot of focus and tenacity.
You are 35 and won a world title last year. What is your secret for competing at the top for so long?
I fully believe in the efficiency of my Jiu-Jitsu. Of course, having been competing since I was ten, at one point you can feel tired. But I feel very good, I take advantage of physical therapy, I surround myself from the right people, and I’m always training. Training is training — I attempt different things, I push myself, I strain, but always very carefully, because what really counts is when the referee says, “Combate!” I’m ready to face anyone, at any time and at any weight.
Is it still in your plans to fight among adults, or will you now be focused on just superfights and masters’ competitions?
I fight in what’s interesting and respects the athlete. I took part in the Pan and World Pro because I was bouncing off of an injury, but the Worlds was already ruled out. I had the opportunity to fight in the IBJJF GP as well. The World Master, as I said, is a unique opportunity for my team, and, because of that, I can’t miss out on it. If they respect me and the adversary makes sense, I’ll always be ready to take on the challenge.
You certainly follow a mantra to be able to wake up every day motivated to train, teach and compete. What advice do you offer somebody interested in having a successful career like yours?
I get motivated by the will to be alive, to be with my family, to be positive and inspire people. That motivates me every day. My daughter, my brother, my students; being alive, healthy and doing BJJ is already enough for me. It’s essential to surround yourself with people who are with for what you are, and who have the same goal as you.