Train Hard, Play Hard: The BJJ Lifestyle in Rio

Every week I seem to comment on how great the BJJ lifestyle in Rio is, how awesome the training has been, or some new opportunity I have had here in Rio. I know it can get a little repetitious, but that’s just the kind of place Rio is. With top-notch gyms and world class fighters seemingly around every corner you never know what opportunity will pop up. Back home in the U.S. promoters will bring in UFC fighters/World Champions to make guest appearances, but here you train alongside members of the UFC/BJJ World Champions, or you talk to them briefly as you both enjoy an Acai in a local restaurant.

This post was written by Connection Rio team member Torryn Heffelfinger. He blogs weekly on life and training BJJ, wrestling and MMA in Rio de Janeiro. This is an excerpt from his weekly blog “Training the Dream”. Click the link to read the full post.

Training BJJ in Rio

With the start of the new month, came a start of a new focus for BJJ technique. For the next month or so anytime I am drilling technique the focus will be on 100 kilos (side control) and knee mount attacks. For the last week or so I have been working various techniques and drills with Dennis and Nabas.

One of the more common drills we do is a knee mount flow drill where we are constantly moving and shifting our weight on our opponent for a set time. It’s an exhausting (and sometimes frustrating) drill, but I am already beginning to see benefits from it. When

One of the more memorable rolls of the week came on Wednesday at Nova Uniao against one of the many talented purple belts who train there. We started rolling and he quickly pulled me into his closed guard. I went for a standing guard pass, he switched his grips to spyder guard and hit a nice sweep. He pounced on me and during a scramble he took my back; I spent the next few minutes moving and defending RNC’s and bow and arrow choke attempts. When he switched his positioning to try to use his lapel for a choke I was able to scoot underneath him and come out the back door. I quickly scrambled up, hit a spiral ride to break down his four point positioning, and stepped in a hook. I faked trying to get the second hook in and as he lowered his hand to defend I was able to hit an Ezekiel choke for the submission.

I have been drilling the Ezekiel from the back a lot over the course of the last few months and it felt great to be able to apply it while rolling.

BBQ at the Connection Rio house

BBQ at the Connection Rio house

The BJJ Lifestyle

We at CR do what we do best on a sunny day in Rio- beach, BJJ, and BBQ. Some of the guys got some great no-gi work in on the house mats in preparation for the upcoming no-gi national championships coming up this month. Others spent the day at the beach soaking up the sun and trying to surf. In the evening we all got together chipped in and had a massive house BBQ. Nothing is more relaxing than eating delicious food pool side, listening to reggae, and having fun with friends.


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!

Take a look at our brochure – we’ve got houses with pools, huge gardens, and apartments next to the beach: all within 30 seconds walk of top BJJ gyms in Rio!

Connection Rio is the best combination of accommodation and BJJ training in Rio de Janeiro. Contact us today and plan your trip to train BJJ in Rio!

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