So I’ve been here 5 days thus far, got lots of great training in under Gordo and Dennis Asche and already made some great friends at the Connection Rio house, I am really looking forward to exploring more of the city and experiencing a lot of the different schools and training on offer here in Rio and generally making the absolute best of my time here.
Jamie Hughes is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu purple belt under Pedro Bessa, and is currently living and training in Rio De Janeiro for 3 months as part of the Connection Rio sponsored athlete programme. You can read his blog here.
I arrived in Rio about 5 days ago, the flight over was my first time travelling outside of Europe so was a bit daunting but a good experience, I was promptly picked up and driven to the connection rio house, which saved me a lot of hassle of trying to find a taxi. I arrived in the night so got to see Rio all lit up on my journey from the airport to Barra and as first impressions go it was pretty amazing. After arriving and being greeted by the house manager Nabbas and then got to meet all the cool guys and girls in the house, all of whom were very welcoming. I then headed off to catch a few hours sleep.
I woke up ready for the Saturday open mat at Gordo’s, I went to the gym pretty early and was greeted by Gordo himself and he showed me in to the gym, as I was warming it seemed like an endless flood of black belts and brown belts walking on to the mat, probably more than I have ever seen back home in the UK.
As first training session go It was a pretty incredible experience, I was able enough to roll with all black and brown belts during my first session and also learn some great guard techniques from Gordo, it was a really friendly and welcoming atmosphere which made me feel right at home straight away and also everyone was there to train hard which is what I’m here in Rio to do.