The last couple of weeks were pretty chilled in terms of training; I was still recovering from a couple of small injuries so just took the time to enjoy the week off for Xmas and New Year.
My Mum and my Sister visited Brazil for Xmas which was awesome. It was great to get away from the mentality of just training all the time, at least for a few days!
I spent a lot of time on Ipanema and Copacabana beach over Xmas and I have to say it has a really different vibe to Barra, it is a lot livelier and if you’re keen to body board or surf then these are the beaches to go to, the waves are amazing. The good thing about both of these beaches is that you can take a bus right to them from the Connection Rio house for less than £1!
I also made time to visit Sugar Loaf Mountain, although it was a cloudy day it was still a great day out with my family. The view although not as good as on a clear day was still really impressive, for anyone visiting Rio this is one of the things you must see. Connection Rio can also arrange group trips to Sugar Loaf which is really good and can work out a little more cost effective.
New Year – the best firework display I have seen in my life! I went for the more chilled option of Barra Beach as I was with family, but it was still packed and a great atmosphere. Anyone who comes to Rio for New Year is in for a once in a lifetime experience.
When it comes to training I normally just train in the Brazilian classes but recently have had the opportunity to mix it up a little and train under Gordo black belt and Connection Rio founder Dennis Asche.
As soon as you walk through the door its straight into sports-specific drills that will benefit your BJJ. It is hard work but if you put the effort into these drills they will improve your movement and mental toughness in BJJ. I really like the intense style of Dennis and I will be looking to take some of his drills and techniques back to the UK with me!
We have 2 classes per week taught by Dennis and they are the perfect complement to Gordo’s classes. The benefits of doing these drills becomes clear when you get the chance to roll with Dennis, I consider myself to have good cardio but Dennis can always keep pushing the pace and I think drilling in this way has given him that edge in training.
Many people who come to Connection Rio will end up purchasing extra kimonos. The best place for this is Pride Fight Wear, you really can’t beat them in terms of price or quality and they look awesome! Add in the fact they do a special price of R$200 for Connection Rio guests and it is a good deal. The shop is a short walk from the Connection Rio houses, and they will even drop kimonos off to you at the house at no extra charge.