This past weekend we had the great pleasure of hosting Prof. Ricardo Liborio here in Bangkok, Thailand. For those who are not familiar with the man, he is one of the first BJJ Mundial champions and voted 'most technical' fighter of 1996. He took gold in his weight division and took silver in the absolute to another teammate. A Carlson Gracie black-belt, he co-founded Brazilian Top Team and is now the founder and head-instructor to American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Florida (USA).
In town on business, he took the time to hold a seminar with the gi. Coincidentally, our coach Adam Kayoom had trained under Liborio while living in Brazil 7 years ago. It was great to see their reunion and the many stories that followed. The techniques given were solid and tight. We were able to get into some of the smaller details of what we've been working on the past month which was great. At the end, a good number of us had a chance to roll with him and feel 'real' pressure. It's the kind of pressure where you find it hard to breathe and you invite him to pass your guard, just to get some relief. The funny thing is he kept saying that he's getting to be an old man but I tell you this. His cross-choke, his armbar and darce did not feel old what-so-ever. Watching him roll is like watching a clinic of basic but technically precise jiu-jitsu. My all time favorite is his knee-slide-pass.
Off the mat we had a great time hanging out and showing Liborio a bit of Bangkok. A very humble and easy going guy, you can sometimes forget that you're hanging out with someone who's had such a tremendous influence in both BJJ/MMA. Another thing that was great about the experience is that he never holds back. Throughout the entire time he was here, he was always down to share his thoughts, tips and experiences with us.
Even though he's left, he promises to be back with plans of a stronger ATT presence in Asia. So, we may potentially be hosting future seminars from some of the best in BJJ/MMA.
I want to give a special thanks to Pedro Schmall who made this possible. To my two organizational buddies, Mark 'Vesuvius' Simmerman and Niti, thank you. And of course to Prof. Liborio. We had a wonderful time hosting you and we hope to see you again soon. Thank you.