How Much Portuguese You Really Need to Train BJJ in Rio

Most people think that when you come to Train BJJ in Rio you need to be fluent in Portuguese to get by, which isn’t true at all. Most people, including me, come here without being able to speak any Portuguese and get by fine through a combination of pointing and having a good demeanour!

This blog is written by Connection Rio sponsored athlete Sean Coates. He’ll be blogging weekly about training and life in Rio. Check out his website and Facebook

This also works the other way, as it is easy to understand people here that speak no English through their body language and gesturing. This definitely applies during classes, for example when an instructor who doesn’t speak English is teaching it is always obvious what he is saying and pointing out, and if you don’t understand the move they are always more than happy to guide you or re-demonstrate it.

This often isn’t an issue as there is often someone translating the class into English.

Although you don’t need any Portuguese to come here, you will no doubt pick some up. Chances are if you are training enough these three phrases will be the first you learn;

1. Thank you (Obrigado)


Connection Rio sponsored athlete and guest blogger Sean Coates

This will of course be very useful to you in all situations whilst in Brazil but it’s good to know during training when you shake hands at the end of class or for when an instructor has come over to help you with a move.

2. 1-10

(um, dois, três, quatro, cinco, seis, sete, oito, nove, dez). Knowing this is useful when counting drills or exercises out loud during class. It’s ok to count in English at first, but it shows that you’re making an effort if you try and learn the Portuguese during your trip. This is actually surprisingly easy to learn as all your class mates will be chanting it out loud so you will get to hear what it sounds like many times.

3. Here (Aqui – pronounced ak-ee).

This is often used by the professor to highlight and important part of a move such as a particular grip or movement.

Overall, whilst I would say that Portuguese is definitely not necessary at all, Brazilians will still appreciate the odd ”obrigado” here and there.

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!

No Comments Yet.

Leave a comment