Hot Weather, Hard Sparring and Rolling with Rani Yahya

It’s been another fun and exciting week here in Rio. On Sunday we hit up the Dia da Rua in Ipanema, a music festival with various local artists who played 20-30 minute sets before the next group would start a block or two down the road. It made for a fun afternoon walking along the beach listening to Brazilian music.

This blog is written by Connection Rio team member Torryn Heffelfinger. He’ll be blogging weekly on life and training BJJ in Rio de Janeiro. In the following excerpt from his weekly blog “Training the Dream”, he talks about how the amazing life style of Rio balances out his hard training with pro athletes.

Free live music on the streets of Rio de Janeiro

Free live music on the streets of Rio de Janeiro

Also this week marked the start of Nicole’s BJJ training. She started training at Gracie Barra on Monday, and she absolutely loves it. She was nervous at first, but I am proud of here for getting out of her comfort zone and trying something new.

I am happy to say that one of my friends and training partners Reyzinho Duarte fought this past weekend and won the Ring of Fire Bantamweight Title down in Sao Paulo, he faught a game opponent but Reyzinho’s pressure and aggression was to much for him. Congrats!

Torryn and sponsored athlete Michael with Rani Yahya and the rest of the guys at Rio's American Top Team gym

Torryn and sponsored athlete Michael with Rani Yahya and the rest of the guys at Rio’s American Top Team gym

Weekly Training Review
Wednesday was another holiday down here in Rio (learning more and more how much Carioca’s love to find a reason to celebrate). While most gyms were closed or had open mat we were sparring hard. The great thing about having a large group of talented fighters is afterwards I was able to identify what areas I did well and what areas I needed to work on. The rest of the day was spent like any other holiday here, a large post workout acai and then the afternoon sitting at the beach and doing a little body surfing.

Thursday morning we worked wrestling against the cage and fighting the out of the clinch. Thursday evening I got in a great kettlebell workout and beach sprint workout, and Friday morning’s striking session was focused on muay thai.

In the afternoons nogi / luta livre UFC Batamweight and ADCC Champion Rani Yahya came in to roll with us. I had the opportunity to roll with Rani, the man reminds me of an anaconda. Starting from our knees I was able to counter with arm drag attempts and tried to keep him at bay with my own attack. There were several times he submitted me, each time started with what felt like a relatively weak attempt but as I moved to counter the move would get tighter. The harder I worked to escape the tighter to submissions got. One of the submissions he caught me in may have been one of the tightest triangles I have ever felt. It was interesting going from a submission artist like that to Pequeno and Leozada Nog., who snap on their submissions with lighting fast speed and a ton of power. After training Rani came up and said he really liked the takedown work that we did and that he was impressed by my technique… those simple little comments made my day.

Friends from around the world
After training a small group of us from all of the CR houses went out and grabbed a bite to eat and spent a couple of hours discussing training, Brazil, life, and just joking around. The training is phenomenal here in Rio, but one of the things I enjoy most about the life here at CR is all the people you get to meet from all over the world, the friendships that get built and the discussions that take place.

The weather the past week has been simply amazing! During the day the sun is hot and it has been perfect for spending the afternoon at the beach, in the evenings the weather cools enough to make it extremely comfortable to sit out with friends spending the evening talking and laughing. Rio truly is a paradise.

From training and accommodation to academy visits and special tours, and even small group classes with the best teachers Rio has to offer, Connection Rio offers everything you need for the perfect jiu-jitsu holiday!

Take a look at our brochure – we’ve got houses with pools, huge gardens, and apartments next to the beach: all within 30 seconds walk of top BJJ gyms in Rio!

Connection Rio is the best combination of accommodation and BJJ training in Rio de Janeiro. Contact us today and plan your trip to train BJJ in Rio!

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