Connection Rio sponsored athlete Jamie Hughes, a purple belt from the UK, spent a number of months with us training BJJ in Rio de Janeiro. Upon returning home, and competing in competitions such as the European championships, Jamie decided to expand upon his dream of being a full-time jiu-jitsu athlete by travelling to the USA to train and compete.
Jamie is a student of Pedro Bessa, a black belt under Eduardo Telles and Fernando Terere, and after visiting Rio and training with Terere he decided to follow this up by going to the USA to train with some of the best grapplers in the game.Where are you right now, and what are you doing?
I’m currently in San Diego, California, I’m staying with ADCC world champ Dean Lister and training under one of my masters, Eduardo Telles, in preparation for the IBJJF Pan Jiu-Jitsu championships.
You’ve just arrived but what are your impressions so far?
So far, from what I’ve seen of San Diego I really like the vibe of the place, even though I brought the rain from Wales with me! haha
After travelling to Rio to live and train BJJ, did this make things easier for you to travel to the USA?
Definitely – travelling to Brazil was my first time out of Europe, and after all the combined experiences I had in Rio, it made coming to the US to train seem a little less daunting, people can understand me here – barely! Damn you Welsh accent…
So how does the BJJ compare? What are the big differences between training in the UK, the USA and Brazil?
The jiu-jitsu I have experienced here thus far at Telles’s academy has been great, lots of competition-focused guys, high belts and good athletes also. As far as differences between the UK, Brazil and the US, the differences are very subtle, but being able to train with my instructors all from the same lineage in all those countries, gives a similar sort of vibe in that I feel at home right away.
Do you plan to come back to Brazil?
Yes, I’m hoping to come back sometime towards the end of 2014, Brazil made a lasting impression on me and I’m eager to return to catch up with the friends I made there and to compete in Rio again.