Claudio Calasans Jr during the bronze medal match with Tarsis, in Abu Dhabi. Photo: Dan Rod/ GRACIEMAG
On May 29, the eyes of fans, athletes and fighters will all be facing the Pyramid of Long Beach, California, which will host the great Jiu-Jitsu World Championship for its 18th edition.
Have you registered yet? Today is the last day! Do it here, at the IBJJF website.
GRACIEMAG promises live coverage in real time.
While we wait for the moment of truth, we investigated how the great gi stars are getting ready for it. In middleweight, for example, only the highly prepared ones will win.
The category will have the current champion Otavio Sousa, and also DJ Jackson, Victor Estima, Lucas Leite, Clark Gracie, Carlos Diego, Rafael Formiga, Davi Ramos, Victor Henrique, Ian McPherson, Eduardo Portuguese and, maybe the myth Marcelo Garcia.
Amongst all these tough ones, there is also Claudio Calasans, a submitter and owner of a complete game. The Atos professor in Sao Paulo is adjusting the details of his game at the camp of the Mendes brothers in Costa Mesa, California.
“When another training day is over, it seems like you already trained the whole week,” says Calasans, chatting with GRACIEMAG.
After the WPJJC Abu Dhabi and the ADCC trial in Rio de Janeiro, Calasans now wants the title that is missing on his career resume. To do so, he analyzed recent errors, reviewed the recent defeat to Otavio during the last moments at the 2012 Worlds and much more. Check it out:
GRACIEMAG: You faced a Jiu-Jitsu marathon, with the Abu Dhabi WPJJC, ADCC trial and the Brazilian Nationals. What was the final tally?
CLAUDIO CALASANS: In Abu Dhabi, the tally was two bronze, I was third in the weight and in the open class. I had won in my category for the past three years there, but in April, I made a mistake during the semifinals, and the black belt is like that, who misses first probably loses the fight. But it served to strengthen me for the next goal. In the ADCC trial, I had six fights and submitted in four of them. I did a good job and I played at my pace in every match, even without training much no-gi. At the Brazilian Nationals in Sao Paulo, everything was okay for me to fight, but I got hurt fighting the final of the ADCC trial and didn’t compete. I forgot the rules were different at the ADCC: when I was on the back of my opponent (Paulo Barauna), he made a move and I felt pain in my ribs. So I spared myself the fights to get to the Worlds in California well.
What have you learned in Abu Dhabi after all?
I learned that you have to enter in all competitions with a trick up your sleeve. Always train something new to surprise the opponents. Since now and then I get to the major championships strong, I think I’m always being studied.
How is the training with the Atos guys in California?
Great! When you finish a training day it seems that you’ve trained all week (laughs). It’s nice, I like to train with everyone gathered together, after the same goal. The goal is to get that title. I know I have to be at my best and prepare myself like I have never prepared before. I’m doing it and I’m sure I’ll have a great performance.
Last year you let the gold escape in the final against Otavio Sousa. What has changed for you since that Worlds?
I am coming experienced. Last year, I lost the final in the last 10 seconds. It made me grow a lot. I have to be focused on the fight the entire time. We can’t give the opponents a chance or leave it to the referees to decide. I’ve been trying to be more complete. I wasn’t training on top, for example, because I already had a good judoka base, but I reviewed it. Now I’ve been evolving to improve my timing and not miss the opportunity to takedown and score. I always train a lot of my guard and the guard passing. For each opponent, I will prepare a sharp strategy to make him feel him uncomfortable the whole time during the match.
So we will see new moves at the Pyramid?
Yeah, I’ve been training a few new things to surprise people. I am confident. And of course, respecting my opponents. However, I believe I’m the best of my weight today, and I’m going there to take the gold. Each fight will be a final. Everyone trains as much as I do, so it will be the little things, that something you have more than the opponent, which will make the difference between victory and defeat.
Are you fighting the open class this year too?
I always like to fight the absolute, I think I have a good base of takedowns, which is good against some heavy guys. But since the open class starts on Saturday, one day before the weight division, this year I’ll focus to get to the middleweight war.