Ricardo Liborio On The Black Belt

“…in my opinion it’s a package: technique, knowledge of the sport and character”
Ricardo Liborio

Jiu-jitsu Times features many articles about white and blue belt jiu-jitsu tips.

But what about the training of a black belt?

The learning doesn’t stop once you have a black belt around you waist.

This week, we spoke with Master Ricardo Liborio, who is a Carlson Gracie black belt and founder of the world famous American Top Team in Florida. Master Liborio is one of the top trainers in the world and was recently victorious in his 2015 ADCC Superfight against another jiu-jitsu legend Mario Sperry.

Jiu-jitsu Times: Prof. Ricardo, you have awarded many different black belts and oversaw the training of many top level fighters at ATT. Let’s start by asking “What is a jiu-jitsu black belt? When do you think a student is ready to wear the black belt?” What are the responsibilities of a black belt in the academy?

Ricardo Liborio: First of all , Thank you for the interview .

Well…that’s a question that the sport of jiu-jitsu is still trying to answer. There are no primary standards to classified who’s able to wear a black belt around their waist . Of course, being technically sound is of utmost importance, but in my opinion it’s a package: technique, knowledge of the sport, and character.

I believe you can’t be a black belt if you’re not contributing to the growth of the sport in a healthy and positive way. Giving it back is just as important as to receive.

Jiu-jitsu Times: When you are coaching black belts at ATT, do you coach them differently than the blue and purple belts? Should the training of a black belt change after they graduate to black belt?

Ricardo Liborio

Ricardo Liborio: It all depend what’s the goal is. We can’t treat a recreational black belt the same as a blue belt competitor. There are many roles in the industry of jiu-jitsu . Some will be great competitors and the terrible coaches, others will be terrible competitors and great coaches.

It’s great when you are able to identify the role of the practitioner. Some have the capacity to do it all! Black belts have different needs .

When you step into competition at the black belt level, other athletes have been competing in that category for years. You must be ready to face tons of experienced veterans .

The bottom line is that you have to target your goals and work hard for them. It doesn’t matter where you are; it’s about finding your goal and trying to continuously evolve and reach them.

Jiu-jitsu Times: If a new black belt asks you “What should I be working on in my jiu-jitsu now?” what kind of answer do you give them? Do you see any jiu-jitsu guys make certain training mistakes after achieving black belt? (ex. becoming lazy, close their minds to new information)

Ricardo Liborio: Again, it’s hard to get to a place if you don’t have a clear idea of where it is that you want to go. Find your goals and get ready physically, mentally, and technically for it. Countless hours of training and learning.

If you stop learning you stop evolving. It’s as simple as that.

Jiu-jitsu Times: When jiu-jitsu guys are over the age of 40, how do you recommend that they adjust their training, diet, and approach to jiu-jitsu? What tips do you have for older jiu-jitsu guys to stay healthy and keep training?

Ricardo Liborio: You have to take care of yourself and do it for the love of the sport. We’re just leaving the world with our memories.

Jiu-jitsu Times: What mentality should BJJ students have when they are rolling? Some people say you should train like you fight. Some say train light to prevent injuries. What is your philosophy of how to roll productively?

Ricardo Liborio: First of all, find a perfect fit for your needs . A great coach will take you where you want to go. Whenever you train, train with passion. It’s never a waste of time.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eE1IEgQhWEg


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here