#53 Rio Training, Xande Ribeiro, Royler Gracie & Kid Peligro

On February 10th we headed over to the opening of Saulo Ribeiro’s University of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and caught up with our first three guests on today’s show. You can check out a conversation from last week with Saulo about his newest endeavor here, and Alicia has posted UNIJJ photos as well.

  • Xande Ribeiro gives us a recap of his time in Portugal at the European BJJ Championships. Xande shares his take on the state of jiu-jitsu in Europe, and the status of the knee injury he sustained in his match against Braulio Estima.
  • Royler Gracie shares with us about the ADCC trials in Brazil, and discusses the final match between Daniel Moraes and Andre Galvao, where Galvao defeated Moraes by a score of 16×2.
  • Kid Peligro gives us some background the move of the BJJ Mundials to the United States for the first time. Kid discusses why it will be located here this year and the likelihood that it will be held outside Brazil in the future.
  • And finally, RollsRoyce from the Jiu-Jitsu Gear Forums joins us to discuss his recent trip to Rio, where he stayed with our friend Breno Sivak. Breno hooked RollsRoyce up with Gracie Humaita, one of the original schools of Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

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Excerpt of the audio from the show:

Caleb: Okay we’re here with Kid Peligro in San Diego, and Kid, there’s a big topic going around these days because it was announced – I think you broke the story originally – that the Mundials for Brazilian jiu-jitsu are not actually going to be held in Brazil this year. Can you tell folks who don’t know about that the background, and then I have a couple of questions about it.

Kid Peligro: Okay the Mundials started in 1996 in Rio de Janeiro. This was the first major international tournament that the Brazilian jiu-jitsu federation ever had. And every year since then it’s been held in Brazil. The first year it was held in the summer but every year since then it’s been held in Rio in July. And for the first time ever the event is going to be outside of Brazil, in this case in Los Angeles at the Long Beach Pyramid.

Caleb: Okay well the first question that probably everyone is asking is probably, “why”?

Kid Peligro: A variety of reasons, some of which are conflicts of dates but Carlos Gracie and the heads of the federation want to expand and have the event go in different directions. They consulted with a bunch of people, myself included, and I thought it was the greatest single step. I think there are three big marks in the history of competition jiu-jitsu. The first one is the first Pan-Ams held in LA. It was the first international competition. It was a major thing because nobody, because very few people competed, but it was the first mark that something was happening and it was outside of Brazil. Then the second big mark was the first Worlds in 1996. That was the first really large [event] where somebody could compete and it would be a world title. And I think this is going to be the next step, because it’s the Worlds outside of Brazil, it’s a chance for all the Americans to compete, it’s a chance for all the Europeans to come, it’s a chance for the Japanese. If you think about the Japanese to go to Brazil, it’s like a twenty-four hour flight. [For] the Europeans it’s probably half the cost to come here. And the Americans you know, it’s hard to go to Brazil, to a country they don’t know, and everything, so it’s their chance to compete and I think it’s just going to be incredible. Actually I think it’s a huge step.

Caleb: Some of the immediate reactions online and elsewhere have been well, “What does it mean if the guys from Brazil who might be the top competition down there can’t make it here, because it either costs too much or visa reasons, does it put into question maybe the talent that does arrive, you know what I mean? Some people were concerned about that.

Kid Peligro: No! Of course not. You have a tournament, the best show up. If they can’t show up for whatever reason, you can’t talk about what could have happened: “Oh he was injured, oh he didn’t show up because he was sick!” No, no, no. There’s a Worlds. Anybody that comes and wins a medal is a world champion. It doesn’t matter if the guy from the middle of the Amazon cannot compete. Maybe the guy from Wisconsin couldn’t compete and he was the world champion, you know? So the chance is here, show up, win the medal. It’s not going to be easy. If you think it’s gonna be easy you’re in the wrong sport.

Caleb: The other thing that came up is people say, “Wow, it’s finally not in Brazil, it’s come to the United States. Does that mean it could be in Europe or somewhere else? People are already saying, “Will it alternate, where’s it going to go next?”

Kid Peligro: Absolutely. The idea is to make it move around the world. Europe, Asia… I don’t know the frequency, and how they’re going to alternate, but the idea eventually is to be like World Cup soccer, that everytime it’s in a different region or a different country. I think Brazil had a huge critical mass. Now the U.S. has a critical mass of fighters. Europe is just behind us, I mean it’s just following up. It’s exploding over there. So that’s a natural transition. And the Asian countries, you know, Japan, everywhere else, they’re growing and every time you have a large competition like that it creates a humongous buzz. You know before the first Pan-Ams, there were like four, five, or six academies. Nobody knew each other, they had a competition. You go and you see guys on bicycles showing up. The first Pan-Ams was the first time that brought people together, and after that, jiu-jitsu exploded in the U.S., you know? And the same thing is going to happen, in a different way because jiu-jitsu is already way established, but you know you’re going to watch Roger Gracie and Xande Ribeiro go at it again. You’re going to see Braulio Estima… People pay a lot of money, they travel that far, you know I go to Brazil every time to watch that thing! You know it’s the wrong time of the year to go to Brazil and I go for that, so I mean, you’re crazy, you know! You gotta come here and you gotta watch the best compete to be world champions, that’s all there is to it.

Caleb: Great, thank you very much Kid, that’s very enlightening, and I hope it clears up a lot of questions that people had, so we appreciate it.

Kid Peligro: Thanks, my pleasure, and I hope to see everybody at the Worlds. Look – I can not explain to you what it is to watch the absolute [division], what it is to watch the best go at it. You have to come see for yourself, so be there, or… miss it.

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