This week I, along with other CR members, went to WOCS 25, a phenomenal MMA event here in Rio. Thinking about how much great stuff I’ve done here in Brazil, I decided to write about things to keep in mind for making the most out of a trip to Rio. These included things I have learned from personal experiences plus experiences from others whom have made the trip down.
This blog is written by Connection Rio team member Torryn Heffelfinger. He’ll be blogging weekly on life and training BJJ in Rio de Janeiro. In the following excerpt from his weekly blog “Training the Dream”, he shares some advice on making the most of your time in Rio.
1. Do your research– Rio is likely a much different place than home. As such it’s always good to get some info not only on the training but on customs, travel, daily life, climate, and attractions. You don’t want to come down here totally a miss from what there is to see and do.
2. Realize that in the end research doesn’t matter– I’m sure you’re saying “Wait, what?!?” Listen, for all your best laid plans and research there are going to be a great many things the travel guides and websites have not alluded to. You will be surprised by things you didn’t expect, and there will be opportunities that you never imagined. Do yourself a favor and just go with the flow, and enjoy the ride.
3. There is an adjustment period– Most likely you’re flying to Rio from some far off land, and after a huge trip it will take a couple of days to catch up on sleep, get your bearings, and to get used to the heat and humidity. Which leads me to my next point……
4. DRINK TONS OF WATER– The heat and humidity down here can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. Even just sitting at the beach and catching a tan can leave you a bit low on H2O. Make sure you drink more water than you think you need, and when given the chance to grab a drink during training do it. You are here to have a good time and get the most out of your training and staying hydrated will help you on your way.5. Go on CR Academy Visits and Outings– Here in Rio there is top level training in every nook and cranny of the city. Each place has its own personal twist on technique and theory. While on your stay make an effort to expose yourself to these concepts and ideas. I guarantee it will add flavor to your training and give you once and a lifetime stories. In the last four months here I have trained with Bellator Fighters, former ADCC competitors, BJJ World Champs, Red Belt Grandmasters, witnessed youth and social BJJ programs, gone surfing with a Coral Belt, Met UFC fighters, and got a tour and look inside the training of the BOPE. If you want to make the most out of your trip get out and visit the academies.
6. Ask questions– There are people who have been staying at CR for several months and as such they know the lay of the land fairly well, don’t be afraid to ask them any questions you have. Remember at one point they were just as green to Rio as you, so no matter how little the question may be just ask and they will be more than happy to help.
7. Get out and see things– The training is phenomenal here, and if you wanted you could step onto the mat 2-3 times a day 6 days a week. Even though that is a ton of mat time, there is still a lot of down time. Use this time to rest up, but also to experience Brazil. Getting off of your computer and out of your room can be more relaxing and recharging for your next session than watching an episode of ‘Two and a Half Men’.
8. HAVE FUN! Brazil is an amazing place and who knows, your trip here might be a once in a lifetime deal (hopefully not) so remember the key here is to have fun. Hang out, go to the beach, BBQ, and enjoy yourself. Having fun on and off the mat, in combination of hard training is really what will help raise your game to the next level and give you the trip of a lifetime.