Connection Rio sponsored athlete Lee Wright is back training BJJ in Rio for the third time, and he’s decided he’s going to compete as much as possible.
Like the saying goes, you can’t win them all. Two recent tournaments saw Lee taste defeat but in this blog he explains how he used the experiences to learn and plan for there future.
Take it away, Lee.
During my time in Brazil I have a goal to compete as much as I can while I am training at Gordo Jiujitsu. I think to improve in BJJ you have to step out of your comfort zone on a regular basis and test yourself.
My first tournament was the SJJSAF PanAmericano, about 1 hour from Barra on the free bus which they provided. I was pretty relaxed at the venue but the atmosphere is definitely a lot more intense than the competitions I am used to in the UK.
The standard at tournaments here in Brazil is very high, one of the main differences is many of the guys have trained since they were kids or early teens, so the fights are always tough battles. (Ed: Add to this the fact that Brazilians hate losing to a gringo on home turf!)
After some tough fights I got bronze in my division, I was happy with my fights but still felt I could have done better and I took away some small details to work on so hopefully next time I can win my division.
Last weekend I competed at the Copa Arnold, I fought one of the best purple belts around in the first round and got caught with a choke. I was very disappointed but also feeling inspired to be fighting high-level guys, and was keen to be back in the gym Monday morning!
The lessons I learned are as follows. After my third place result at the SJJSAF, I learnt not to leave fights to the referee, especially in Brazil! You should always try to finish. The Copa Arnold – well sometimes you just lose to a better guy, it’s all part of competing and jiu-jitsu.
With the IBJJF Rio Open fast approaching, now is a good time to be in Rio training BJJ.