Brazilian veteran freestyler Thiago Saltori is a true original. Whether it’s his unorthodox style or his vast knowledge in Chinese medicine, Saltori has always gone against the grain — even for a freestyler.
Thiago Saltori is far from your typical freestyler. At 32 years old, he is considered a senior citizen to his peers, yet he has remained competitive and in tremendous shape.
His secret? Traditional Chinese medicine. Saltori began to study alternative forms of medicine during and after his college studies, and he has become an expert in the field — one could call him a guru.
On top of all that, the guy can freestyle too. Saltori has been to multiple Super Ball competitions and was recently crowned the Show Flow champion at the 2017 Latin American Championships.
Saltori has been freestyling since 2005, making him one of the more experienced freestylers in the game today. He still pushes himself as much as possible, while staying true to his unique style which features the use of off-balanced combos and an incredible, energetic flow.
We had the chance to sit down with Saltori and gain a little more insight on the “freestyle guru” himself.
You started freestyling back in 2005, when a simple ATW would leave a crowd in awe. How did you discover freestyle before it blew up?
I saw a video of Japanese freestyler Tatsulow!, which is one of my earliest freestyle memories. So I decided to start practicing myself, and I’ve been at it ever since.
What do you think of the new generation of freestylers and how freestylers have evolved?
I think that the new generation has an incredible level of talent. Some of them are already pushing the boundaries of freestyle even further. Some of the stuff they do is amazing.
But that is not enough. I think that people like us with a certain level of skill and intelligence, should use our gifts more wisely. We should try to make the world a better place, instead of only trying to be the most dope and amazing person ever.
So I think that some of the young guys, just like some of us older and more experienced freestylers, should be more active in their work outside of freestyle, to make the biggest impact that we can.
Are you a religious person? I understand that you are quite a spiritual kind of guy. I also heard rumors about you using crystals to heal people’s ailments?
Well, I’m not a religious person, but I do not have the absolute certainty that we are part of a life structure bigger than we are supposed to understand.
And yes — I can help to heal people through radionic crystals. These crystals are able to change the frequency of the body. It’s actually part of my studies in traditional Chinese medicine.
Can you give us a basic breakdown of what you studied in Chinese medicine?
Ok, think of it like this: Your fingers move, but they don’t think. They move because they receive a stimulus from the central nervous system. They are connected by a bioenergetical neural chain.
Imagine that we have chains like this one running all over our body, connecting everything in places like ears, feet and hands. By stabilizing the bioenergetical pulse in all of these chains, you are able to heal them.
The magnetic field of the atoms and molecules will start to change the composition of the cells, and that’s where the magic happens!
That is some wild stuff. How did you get into practicing and studying Chinese medicine and what have you gotten out of it?
It all started when I was working towards a Physical Education degree at my University. I was very interested with human body’s physiology. After a while, I started to study alternative methods to what I was learning.
In 2012, I had the chance to go to China to study traditional Chinese medicine for six months, so I did. I benefited from this as a freestyler, as I could heal various injuries and illnesses when they came up!
I’m qualified in auriculotherapy (ear acupuncture), bioenergetic therapy, and basic acupuncture and massage therapy.
Your freestyle is also incredibly unique! I don’t think there is anyone else out there doing the kind of combinations of tricks and in your type of flow. How were you able to develop such an original style?
It was my intention to avoid using too much of the tricks from other freestylers. I wanted to bring my own personal contribution to the sport, rather than following the river of most people before me. That was really important to me, so I chose to pursue less popular moves.
In the first years, I avoided watching too many videos, this way I could develop my style without any interference. After I got the initial base, I finally started pursuing the execution of my stuff at a much higher level.
Besides freestyle and traveling, is there anything else in particular you dedicate your time to?
I do like to write from time to time! So hopefully after dedicating the years following my retirement from freestyle (which is still yet to come), I might become a unique writer too!
You are probably one of the wisest freestylers I have ever met. What advice would you give to those starting out?
My main advice is quite simple. There are many opportunities to become a regular person, which is fine. But there are a few ways to do extraordinary things to get what you really want and need in life. Freestyle is definitely one of them.
I didn’t need to become a world champion or the best freestyler in the world, but for sure I used freestyle in the best possible way. I swear that every single training session, every day, week, month and year is worthwhile. Keep at it and you will feel better for it.
Will we be seeing you at Superball again this year?
Of course! This year I expect to surprise you with my style with much harder and intense tricks and variations. Also to really take the flow to the next level.
You can also check out more from Thiago Saltori on his Instagram here.