Training BJJ in Rio will have a huge impact on your game, but follow these tips to ensure you come back from Brazil a better grappler.
1. Ask Questions
No instructor expects you to get a technique straight away so if you don’t the best thing to do is to ask for help. Any instructor wants their students to improve so if you can’t quite work something out then make sure you ask the teacher so you get it right. Quite a few BJJ instructors here in Rio speak English and there is always someone in a class who can, so often the language barrier is not an issue, but luckily jiu-jitsu is a physical art so it is easy to show whats going on through gesturing or demonstrating the move.
Coming to Rio is a opportunity to come to the home of the BJJ, not just historically. Many of the most modern techniques in the game today are coming from here. Since I have been here I have seen a huge range of techniques that I have never seen before, from variations on classics from closed guard, right up to brand new sweeps from lapel reverse de la riva guard. It would be easy to forget these moves if I didn’t make note of them.
3. Don’t Over Train
When people first arrive here in Rio there is a big temptation to over-train. Many academies offer 3-4 sessions a day, which means although some people could train every session that there home academy does, it is unlikely they could here. Making the most out of training in Rio doesn’t just mean training as much as possible, its also means training as well as possible and that cant happen if you are feeling run down or tired. There are many fun ways to relax and rest here in Rio, from swimming in the pool to lying on the beach with an acai, and it would be a shame not to get into every aspect of the jiu-jitsu lifestyle, not to mention help your training.
4. Tap Early
Here in Rio there are a lot of black belts in every class and, unless you are Roger Gracie or maybe Buchecha, you are going to get tapped, a lot. There is no shame in getting tapped as it is part of the learning experience so it is best to accept it is going to happen and tap early. There is no point hanging your pride on every roll and resisting every submission to the very last second only to get injured and miss many more rolls. To be able to get the most out of training its important to feel the best you can, so it would be silly to get injured when you can just tap.
5. Train Around
There are so many academies here in Rio that it’s a hard choice where to train, luckily you don’t have to choose just one. Visiting academies is a great way to see how others train not to mention see new styles and techniques that you wouldn’t see elsewhere.
Getting to train BJJ in Rio is such a great opportunity that it is super important to make the most out of every moment of it. It’s easier to improve in Rio, more than anywhere else in world, no where else has a comparable amount of black belts and academies, but if you follow these 5 tips it should become even easier.