New people have arrived and some friends who I have had the pleasure of hanging out and training with over the last couple of months are getting ready to leave. It’s always a bit weird having to say goodbye to friends, but I know that at some point or paths will cross again.
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 takes us inside the famous Carlson Gracie academy in Copacabana.
The weather has shaped up to be beautiful as we get closer to Rio’s ‘winter’ months. The days are sunny and hot enough to enjoy the beach, and the nights are clear and warm creating the perfect atmosphere for relaxing outdoors at some of our favorite restaurants and beach-side stands.
On a very cool side note I would like to say congratulations to one of my training partners Leozada Nogueira for winning the Brazilian ADCC trials in the under 77kg weight class. It is a great accomplishment, made more impressive by the fact that he submitted all of his opponents. Leozada will now be competing later this year in China at the ADCC Championships.
Carlson Gracie Academy
Wednesday Night was the weekly CR academy visit; this weeks visit was at Carlson Gracie Academy in Copacabana. Carlson’s Academy is one of the oldest in Rio, having been in the same location for 40 years. As you walk up the steps to the third floor you come to a large wood door with the Carlson bulldog emblem on it.
The Academy, while simple, is filled with history – photos and trophies from over the years are throughout the gym. Class was led by Alan Moraes, a 3rd or 4th degree black belt (I couldn’t tell). Class started with your typical jogging and cals, finishing with arm bar drills from guard and mount positions. The technique he showed was a crazy choke off of rolling through your omoplata (think Clark Gracie in Pan Ams this year). The move was drilled extensively and then the switch was made to live sparring.
I rolled against several other high quality grapplers; each with there own specific grappling style, but everyone had the same mentality – attack! Whether it was sweeps, submissions, back takes, or guard passes, these guys were constantly on the offensive. The spirit and ideology of Master Carlson Gracie is alive and well in Copacabana and the academy continues to create and build future champions.