“I want to go and train BJJ in Rio, but….”
There is almost always a ‘but’. People want to go to Rio and train Brazilian jiu-jitsu only there is always something stopping them. Here are the three most common doubts people have about travelling to train in Brazil.
1: I’ll get my ass kicked
Yeah, probably. So what? A bruised ego never hurt anybody. And let’s face it, getting your ass kicked is easier to swallow when you learn some sick stuff from veteran black belts, and can head straight to the beach after training.
Unless you’re Roger Gracie or Marcelo Garcia, everyone taps; it’s part of life. But nobody’s going to beat you up just because you’re a gringo.
Guys respect people who come to Brazil to learn jiu-jitsu, it shows a willingness to really learn about where the arte suave came from and how it was developed. Plus, they’ll love practising their English with you.
2: I’ll get robbed / kidnapped / lost in a favela
Rio suffers a bad rep from films like the Elite Troop series and City of God. While all excellent films, they portray Rio as lawless, ruled by machine-gun toting kids in flip flops who would shoot you as soon as look at you.
A few years ago the city had some trouble with street and drug crime, it’s true. But a wide-ranging and well co-ordinated government program has seen crime rates drop, the streets become much safer and life become easier all round.
The truth is you’d be more at risk in areas of London, New York or LA than you would in most places in Rio de Janeiro.
3: I struggle because I don’t speak Portuguese
Portuguese is a difficult language to learn, but its not necessary to have more than a few words of courtesy if you’re visiting Rio. At the gyms, lots of people will speak English with you and they love every chance to practice their skills.
While out and about, you’ll find that not too many people speak English in restaurants or cafes, but many places will have English-language menus which makes ordering a lot easier.
Don’t stress about not knowing the lingo, just smile a lot and you’ll be fine.
Now the doubts have been dispelled, there’s nothing stopping you. Contact us today to find out how we can help you train BJJ in Rio!
From training and accommodation to academy visits and special tours, and even small group classes with the best teachers Rio has to offer, Connection Rio offers everything you need for the perfect jiu-jitsu holiday!