It’s been a couple of weeks since my last blog. Last weekend I didn’t get a chance to sit down and write because after competing in the SJJSAF Panamericano on Saturday I just wanted to relax for the rest of the weekend. The tournament was ran extremely well, especially considering it was the SJJSAF’s first tournament.
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.
It was also really cool (and a surprise) to watch multi-time World Champ Felipe Costa compete. Everyone one from CR happened to look up to see Felipe stepping on the mats directly in front of where we were sitting. It’s always great to be able to watch a renowned athlete compete. He did nothing flashy and didn’t come out overly strong, but he just kept a constant grinding pace that wore down his opponent and racked up the points.
The day was so-so for me. After starting the day strong with a 10-0 win, I may a few key errors in the Semi-finals and in my third place match, and took 4th overall. While is SUCKS losing (especially when I feel like I didn’t perform to the best of my ability) the lessons I learned from those loses will help me to improve more than any training session. When you loose a match or a fight by making a mistake or not executing a technique properly it really burns it into your memory. I am looking forward to competing again and most importantly continuing to improve and get better.
I do want to give a big thank you to my sponsors Connection Rio and Senki Kimonos for all their support. I would also like to thank Professor John Machado for allowing me to compete under his team RCJ Machado, all my teamates and coaches at Rio Fighters, and to Dennis Asche for making me better both on and off the mat.
This week was a bit lighter in training due to the holiday and a case of the flu. With the flu the timing couldn’t have been worse. Nicole and I went over to a friends for his wife’s birthday. He had spent all day preparing a TABLE full of traditional Korean dishes, and about 20 minutes before eating I started to get horribly ill. I ended up having to go back to the house, but don’t worry, Nicole stayed behind to stuff herself and came back to CR and told me how delicious it all was.
I spent a lot of time this week looking back over my matches, making notes, and fine tuning some technique. I was also a good time to reflect back on some goals and have some fun. That said I can’t wait for the week to start on Monday with some hard training.
Like I said above because of Easter weekend a lot of the gyms were closed, but we had guys training here on the mats. I even got the chance to do some mitt and pad work with Nicole. I think she kind of threw off Adriano, the handyman, when he came by and she was hammering the mitts and throwing kicks to my body.
For Easter we went to breakfast at Cafe Du Lage, in Rio’s Parque de Lage. When we got there the line and wait was huge. Luckily we ran into one of my friends and training partners, Daniel, who was finishing eating with his mom and girlfriend. We sat down with them and he explained to the waitress that we were late to meet them, so as they closed the bill we ordered and had the table to ourselves when they left. Sure is nice having Brazilian friends.
The Cafe is situated around a large marble pool in the middle of a mansion. Looking like a scene strait out of the Great Gatsby, you are surrounded by large archways and beautiful paintings. With the cafe being open air you can look up and get a view of Christ the Redeemer while enjoying your food or coffee. We had a delicious (and huge) breakfast of fresh breads, cheeses, jams, fresh fruit and juice, mini sandwiches, coffee and yogurt with honey and granola. Afterwards we walked all through the parks grounds, which included a waterfall, a large koi pond, and a castle tower. It made for a great Easter and a relaxing day.