One of the things we are asked about most by guests staying with us at the Connection Rio house is how and where they can compete in jiu-jitsu tournaments in Rio de Janeiro.
There are a number of federations in Rio de Janeiro, including the FJJ Rio headed by Robson Gracie, the FJJD Rio which has a number of red belt rand masters on it’s board and works closely with the ‘UPP’ by taking jiu-jitsu into favelas and offering competitions for kids as well as adults. Then there is the IBJJF-recognized Brazilian national federation the CBJJ, and then their is the FJJO-affiliated CBJJO, which holds the majority of it’s tournaments in nearby Niteroi. All of the federations hold regular competitions in and around Rio de Janeiro, and there are also other smaller tournaments to be found.
To compete in a local tournament you will ned to register with the relevant federation, which will require filling out a membership application (downloaded from their websites) and submitted a doctor’s form. Usually, your form will need to be countersigned by the head professor of the team you plan to represent. Ask at your gym you will be training at in Rio and they will help you out. Note that you will represent the team you register for the competition under, and not necessarily the team you represent back home.
Check the calendars on the respective federation websites for details of upcoming tournaments. if you do wish to compete, you will need to factor in the closing dates for membership, which is usually a week or two before the date of the tournament.
If you just want to watch a tournament to get an idea of the level, then you can enter as a spectator and it is rare you will ever need to pay for entry. The atmosphere even at small tournaments is something special and definitely an experience to enjoy before you return home.
To find out what it is like to compete in a BJJ tournament as a foreigner in Rio de Janeiro, check out the following videos. The first details the experiences of three visitors to Rio, all fighting the same weekend back in 2011. The second video, from late 2012, tells the story of a young blue belt who exceeded his goals by going home with a medal.
Rio Open 2011 & International Masters and Seniors
Fighting BJJ as a Gringo in Rio de Janeiro: Taking Home a Medal
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!