Saulo Ribeiro lead a ten day training camp in preparation for the Masters / Seniors International Championships + Rio Open held in Rio de Janiero from July 16 - 25. The Ribeiro Association camp was held at Professor Rodrigo Pagani's new Dojo - which is beautiful - and had a real international feel with over 18 visitors from abroad and some twenty Ribeiro athletes from Brazil all training together. It was a FANTASTIC experience - with an all-star cast of instructors and athletes in the room.
Professor Pagani welcoming folks to his new Academy on his property in Niteroi - it is BEAUTIFUL!
Athletes came from all corners of the world - the United States, Germany, Russia, Japan, Ireland, and Brazil. It was simply fantastic. And the energy brought to the room by Professor Saulo, Professor Xande, Professor Fredson, and Professor Rodrigo was hard to describe. Such a treat!
GREAT room to train in - virtually the entire time ... in this practice we had 15 black belts, 4 brown belts, 3 purple belts, and 6 blue belts. A common occurance at the Ribeiro Training Camp. Oss!!!
A typical day consisted of a morning practice beginning at 10am. The first hour focused on warming up (gymnastica natural, breathing, and mobility drills), followed by some technique, then positional sparring, then rounds. The end of practice was devoted to mind-set and psychological prep. Usually ending around 1pm ... it was followed by an amazing lunch prepared by Fernanda Pagani (Rodrigo's wife who's in culinary school - the meals were GREAT!).
The afternoon was spent chilling and napping. Then, in the evening practice would start again around 7pm for drilling.
It was a super camp ... great energy, great training, great environment. It was truly a special experience.
Saulo runs a special seminar for his 1st generation black belts and Pagani's students on Thursday, July19. It went from 8 - 11:30pm. High energy and great technical presentation. It was a great room to be in!
Professor Rodrigo Pagani - a GREAT ambassador for Jiu Jitsu, Brazil, and Niteroi. Thumbs up.
Saulo Special Seminar for 1st Generation Black Belts and Pagani's Students - over 35 athletes strong!
The BEAUTIFUL view at the top of the cliff at Itacoataira beach. It was breath-taking. Awesome hike!
Samurai Spirit in FULL effect! ! !
Good times with good friends.
Professor Xande teaching the team. Great stuff. Beautiful Jiu Jitsu.
Saulo putting in work on the mat ... it was great to watch him do his thing.
Who says you can't battle hard and be friends ... everyone pushed each other ... but what resulted was great respect and admiration for everyone's heard and spirit. It was a room of brothers and sisters in training. Oss!
The camp made the Brazilian national media - with a TV crew doing a story on the Ribeiro training camp. Very cool!
Lots of smiles and hugs ... we are all brothers. Oss!
A dream come true - I get to train with my Jiu Jitsu idols
Professor Rodrigo, Professor Saulo, me, Professor Xande, and Professor Renato.
"Boa Coach Tom ... Boa!"
Brothers in Arms
Hard work ... but lots of smiles and fun! A beautiful life!
A new generation of "A Firma"
Saulo - more than just a Jiu Jitsu master - a BBQ master as well!
Tijuca Tennis Club - Legendary!
Coach Tom proudly displays his Vasco team shirt.
THANK YOU Professor Pagani!
Team Results from the Masters / Seniors International Championship and Rio Open tournaments:
BLUE | Middle | SECOND | Angelo Guerrero-Barden
BLACK | Rooster | FIRST | Ivaniel Cavalcante de Oliveira
Masters / Seniors International Championship
Master | PURPLE | Heavy | FIRST | Richard Lawrence Bolger
Master | PURPLE | Open Class | SECOND Richard Lawrence Bolger - Ribeiro Jiu-Jitsu
Master | BLACK | Light-Feather | THIRD Rodrigo Borges Pagani
Master | BLACK | Super-Heavy | FIRST Saulo Mendonça Ribeiro Filho
Master | BLACK | Open Class | FIRST Saulo Mendonça Ribeiro Filho
Senior 1 | BLUE | Heavy | SECOND Richard James Brady
Senior 1 | BROWN | Middle | THIRD Phillip Wayne Wyman Jr.
Senior 1 | BROWN | Medium-Heavy | SECOND Rodrigo Burlamaqui Saramago
Senior 2 | BROWN | Medium-Heavy | THIRD Oliver Helmut Maier
Senior 2 | BROWN | Open Class | FIRST Oliver Helmut Maier
Senior 3 | BROWN | Heavy | SECOND John E Bailey
Senior 3 | BROWN | Open Class | FIRST John E Bailey
Coach Eric and Jessica make it to Brazil to watch the tournament and get their train on! Sweet!
There's no question - Professor Saulo most certainly has a game face. Scary!
Professor Saulo puts on an impressive display of Jiu Jitsu and competitiveness ... 7 - 0 and two gold metals in the tournament. OSS! ! !
It's all about family!
Professor Saulo, Papa Ribeiro, and Professor Xande.
Full Album: HERE
Saulo Match 1: HERE
Saulo Match 2: HERE
Saulo Match 3: HERE
Saulo Match 4: HERE
Saulo Match 7: HERE
Personal thoughts and journal:
First - Thank you to my wife for all of her support. I couldn't live my dream without you.
Second - Thank you to Carole Kelly (my travel angel) ... I simply couldn't make the trip to Brazil without her support. For that matter, Five Rings Jiu Jitsu wouldn't exist if it weren't for people like Carole, Phil, and countless others who support the cause.
Third - that you to all my students and supporters ... you make it all worth it. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Here's my journal from the trip:
Day 1 - Amazing first day in Rio. Flight landed at 10am. On the mat from 11:30 - 3:30 training with a fantastic room. Pagani's new dojo is FANTASTIC!!! Saulo and Rodrigo Pagani's passion are inspiring. Day finished off with Saulo doing a seminar for his first generation of black belts and Pagani's club - over 40 people strong ... went from 8:30 - 11:30pm ... He was on fire. GREAT energy in the room. I'm in Jiu Jitsu paradise. Oss!!!!
Day 2 - Great stuff all around. Pics just posted. Excited for training tomorrow.
Day 5 - a great day!!! Over 15 black belts on the mat, an army of browns, purples, and blues. Tournament rounds and lots of good stuff. Awesome to have Saulo, Xande, Fredson, and Rodrigo Pagani. In Jiu Jitsu nirvana!!!
Day 9 - Friday - a quiet day of training and hanging out. Eager to hear how our fellow Ribeiro athletes did today at Tijuca. Neat to hang with Professor Rodrigo Pagani, Renato Lima Vieira, Ben Eaton, and Phillip Wyman. Also, I received the gifts of all gifts - Professor Pagani got be a Vasco shirt. It is FANTASTIC. Sorry Renato - I hope you'll still talk to me my friend. THANK YOU Professor Pagani. It is TERRIFIC!!!
Day 11 - I lost ... 2-0 in my first match. I trained hard all year. I had a great training camp. I thought I was ready. I lost. No excuses. What makes it worse is I lost to the same guy as last year ... and he did virtually the same thing to me. I'm beyond disappointed in my performance. But with that said - props to my opponent. Also, THANK YOU to everyone who has helped be to become better - Professor Saulo for being my North Star, Professor Xande for being so positive and supportive in my journey, Professor Rodrigo Pagani for embodying the spirit and passion of Jiu Jitsu to me, my triaining partners (Nathan Jeffers, Eric Dorsett, Greg Bangs, Aaron Sparling, Natan Pill-Kahan, Robert Wolfe, and everyone else at Five Rings), Ben Baxter for being a HUGE resource and influence on my game over the last year, and last, but not least, my wife - Coby Schneider - who's support I simply couldn't do this without. I lost a match today ... but Jiu Jitsu is far more than a match to me. It is what I do. It is a way of living. It is something that has brought me health, friends, happiness, and so much more. I will be back stronger than before. Oss