Copa Cyclone: How It Felt To Compete BJJ Against Brazilians

This past weekend I attended and competed here in Rio at the Copa Novo Leblon or Copa Cyclone as it is better known, so here is a brief review of the competition and some of the highlights that I got to see.

Jamie Hughes is from Wales, UK, and is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu purple belt under Pedro Bessa. Jamie 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 “Espanthalo BJJ” here.

Firstly the results of the Connection Rio house mates, 3 of us competed, myself at purple belt heavyweight, and two at blue belt medium heavy, I took 3rd in my division and my other two house mates Sean and Stefan took 3rd and 2nd place in their division, so a pretty decent set of results between us.

Now on to the atmosphere of the competition the crowd was filled with representatives from all the powerhouse schools from across Rio, so much passion and energy in the crowd made it a very unique and inspiring atmosphere to compete in. Also the overall standard of competitor at the competition was very high, right from white to black belt I was able to watch some fantastic jiu-jitsu.

Some of the stand out performers for me were Victor Silverio of GF Team, winning the brown belt medium heavy division and heavyweight absolute division, all of this despite being a lightweight competitor as most recently as the World Championships. Also world brown belt champion Rafael Henrique Pereira of Gordo jiu jitsu was very impressive on his way to winning the lightweight division, this was no surprise having been able to experience his abilities first hand in training.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the competition, high standard of competitors, well organized, great venue and an amazing atmosphere I highly recommend attending this competition if it coincides with your trip to Rio.

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