Grappling Greats: Saulo Ribeiro

“If you worry about the time and speed of your promotions, you lose yourself. Remember, before you are a blue, purple, or brown belt, you want to feel like one. You must feel that your skills are there. You cannot fool yourself. Attaining a belt is just proof that your teacher is connected with you. You will know when you deserve it. My role as a instructor is to be there and say “Its time.” But you should already realize this on your own.

Jiu Jitsu Is not math, and promotion is not based on attendance or calendar dates. A regimented promotion schedule based on dates or attendance is the worst way to gauge development. Jiu Jitsu is more complex than this.

There is no sense in chasing a belt and getting it as fast as possible. Often, people do not see that black belt will be their longest belt. Remember, it doesn’t matter if you get it in four years or fifteen. Either way, you will have the rest of your life with a black belt around your waist. Building the belt is what matters.

-Saulo Ribeiro

In the past year I’ve transformed into a grappler.  My life used to revolve around mundane college happenings.  Chasing the unattainable and constantly hoping to stumble upon my calling.  Now everything I do, think, or consider in some way relates back to brazilian jiu jitsu.  Life has purpose and actions have cause.  I’ve hit rock bottom before and through bjj and my family at my gym I couldn’t even imagine throwing all that away like I would have years ago.  Just yesterday I found myself thinking, “I love children, but I don’t think I want to have any at least until I have my purple belt.” Wishful thinking, yes (and slightly insane) but you catch my drift.

I’ve been enjoying Saulo Ribierio’s “Jiu Jitsu University” and decided to do a spotlight on this grappling great 🙂 .

If there’s one thing I love, it’s passion.  I love passionate people, because they go above and beyond.  They invest their all.  I found an interview Ribeiro did with Fightworks Podcast in 2008 after he won the gold medal in the back belt division at the 2008 BJJ No Gi World Championships.  One thing that struck a cord with me was his passion for the sport.  You can tell by his answers that not only does he have enormous respect for the art but it’s funny how he refers to other competitors in his division as “kids”.  I didn’t take it as a comment said in a disrespectful tone, quite the contrary.  It seemed to me that he’s invested his life in the sport and is happy to carry the torch over.  His perspective on competiting and taking a little something from the person one competes against is interesting as well. Saulo received his black belt in November of 1995.

excerpt from interview:

“We always respect everybody. We never put anybody down. And Roger Gracie has all our respect. He is like an idol for all of us. We love to fight him because we know that we’re going to become better if we fight him. I think that when you fight somebody at that caliber you become him a little bit, you steal a little bit of his toughness and his skills.

That’s why the best have to fight against each other, have to train against each other, because we want to see the best jiu-jitsu in the world.” S. Ribeiro

Saulo on Guard Passing:

“You have to find the right spot to save your energy and be able to open the guard…”

I want to pass guards like he does…

One of his losses…but the sweep was so SWEET i just had to share it with you…

The following interview is wonderful and as a journalist i could pull quotes for days…. “WHO ARE YOU? What do you bring to the table when we talk about jiu jitsu?”


“If you think, you’re late.  If you’re late, you muscle.  If you muscle you tire, and if you tire you die.”
-THE Saulo Ribeiro

p.s. I have a crush on Saulo and his wonderful accent. Don’t judge me 🙂

double p.s. If anyone would like to sponsor an up and coming female grappler…me to be exact that would me much appreciated 🙂 Boston International Open here I come…

2 Responses to “Grappling Greats: Saulo Ribeiro”
  1. Megan says:

    “Just yesterday I found myself thinking, “I love children, but I don’t think I want to have any at least until I have my purple belt.””

    I hope that’s not too crazy because I’ve thought that exact same thing. Though lately, considering I’ve chilled some regarding belt progressions and my blue’s pretty close, I’ve modified that to blue;)

    I was just telling one of the guys at the gym how I have HORRIBLE jiu jitsu crushes on Saulo and Roy Dean…it’s bad.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: