No Holds Barred: Ricardo Liborio on 2015 ADCC North America Trials and Grappling for the Visually Impaired

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On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and grappling legend Ricardo Liborio, who is the co-founder and head instructor of American Top Team (

Our main topic was the 2015 ADCC North America Trials (

This event will be held Saturday, May 9, at Monarch High School, 5050 Wiles Road, Coconut Creek, Florida 33073, not far from the headquarters of American Top Team. The winners in each weight class at the 2015 ADCC North America Trials will earn a spot in the 2015 ADCC Submission Fighting World Championship, which will be held August 28-30 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The ADCC Submission Fighting World Championship is the most important and prestigious grappling tournament in the world, and as always will feature competition in no-gi grappling.

The 2015 ADCC North America Trials also has a Facebook page at

We spoke with Ricardo Liborio by phone Saturday.

"We just had one month to prepare for these trials, for the qualifiers for the ADCC in Sao Paulo, Brazil," he said. The winners will be "flown in and all expenses in terms of lodging and food going to Brazil" will be paid, he noted.

"You're really actually competing in a world championships. It is just an amazing opportunity for all North Americans," which for this event includes all citizens of the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, he said.

"I think this is incredible. This is an amazing opportunity," he added.

We also discussed his own upcoming match at the ADCC Worlds where he will face another Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and grappling legend, Zé Mario Sperry. "I'm happier that I'm doing this," he said, noting the many benefits of returning to training for competition after a hiatus of many years and the needed "lifestyle changes" he has undertaken.

Another key issue we discussed was grappling for the visually impaired. This has become a major focus of his work, as his daughter, Bella, is blind.

"One of the biggest missions" of his life is to work to improve the quality of life for the visually impaired, he said. He thus is working to expand opportunities in various styles of grappling for visually impaired people.

There is "nothing more custom-made for the visually impaired than grappling and jiu-jitsu," he said.

We thus discussed how he is doing that, and much more.

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