Draining Cauliflower Ears and Chilling at the Beach

It’s been a great week here in Rio, one full of fun both on and off the mats. Summer may be officially over but the temperatures are still in the low 30’s (mid to upper 80’s for those in the states) and sun filled.

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.

When not on the mat it’s been perfect for relaxing at the beach or getting acai. On Saturday the entire house went to one of the various nearby beaches. Nicole and I went with several other people to Pepe Point on Barra beach, named after a famous hanglider.

Where the beautiful people go

beachPepe is where you find the young beautiful people in Barra on sunny days. We went down in the late afternoon stay until the sunset. On Sunday Nicole and I went to a friends house for a BBQ. There was a ton of meat and I probably ate a bit more than I should have. As we got back to the house a few of the guys were throwing on kimonos, so I threw on my Senki kimono and got a few rounds of rolling in. The first round I was still full of steak and chicken. But after a roll, a few burps and a near puke I felt good and got in a few more solid rolls. It was a great way to work off all that food.

Having a house full of training partners

I have to say that having a house full of training partners is one of the great things about staying here at CR. On a relaxing Sunday night we had six or seven guys rotating in. The belt levels ranged from blue to black, and I rolled with people from all over the world. It was a great clash of styles with really entertaining rolls.

Rolling on Sunday was one of four sessions I got in this week on the CR mats alone. Throughout the week I drilled with several different partners. Some of the sessions were structured with exact techniques to be drilled and others were more exploratory flow rolls where the intent was finding ways into or out of certain positions.

Competition coming soon

Tough training means draining caulis!

Tough training means draining caulis!

Most of the house is gearing up for the SJJSAF Pan Americano this coming weekend, myself included. The officials of the tournament were nice enough to arrange transport for the guys who are competing to get to the tournament on Saturday. It’s nice because it is just one less thing to worry about on the day of the competition.

In addition Nabas, a great BJJ competitor and training partner, and I were led through training sessions by Dennis. For those of you who have never trained with Dennis, it’s an intense but great training. You get stronger not only technically but mentally as well. A big focus for me over the last couple of weeks has been working my takedowns in the gi and chaining my passes together. After not training in the gi for awhile it took me a bit to get used to breaking grips and the subtle differences, but after all the hard work things are feeling smooth and crisp.

On Saturday’s open mat at Gordo’s I had a great intense roll with one of the younger blackbelts there. It was one of those rolls that took us from one side of the mat to the other. There was face grinding, elbow in the neck and sternum, hard scrambles and harder submission attempts. In other words I absolutely loved it, at a couple of more intense moments I even smiled.

To people watching it may have looked like we hated each other or had some grudge, but we just both love to roll hard. Afterwords we shook hands talked and after open mat worked a couple of positions. Having rolls like that is exactly what I need to get me ready to compete. I have to say a week out from the tournament I am feeling great and can’t wait to step out onto the mat and bring home some gold!

Torryn Heffelfinger Connection Rio

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