Jiu-jitsu in Rio de Janeiro – Training Smart

Jiu-jitsu in Rio de Janeiro – Training Smart

Jiu-jitsu in Rio de Janeiro is where it is at and training in Rio will undoubtedly raise your game to another level if you train smart. Many practitioners/athletes who train in Rio for the first time jump into training head first, attending every class on the board. More often than not this leads to over-training, resulting in injury or mental fatigue shortly after arrival. An injury or mental burn out on the first leg of your  trip to Rio de Janeiro can have a devastating effect on one’s ability to achieve maximum results for time spent here.

First if you are not a professional athlete or avid practitioner accustomed to training multiple times a day, ease your way in. I have personally seen many visitors to Rio who have every intention of making the most of their time sustain an injury shortly after arrival, during an attempt to cram every hour of training possible without first building up to the workload or adjusting to Rio’s tropical climate. For the average visitor training in Rio, I recommend training one to two times daily during week one. *Combining the level of intensity with hot, humid climate takes a toll on most at the beginning.

After adjusting to the Southern Hemisphere’s climate, you will notice some very positive effects that this tropical climate has on your body, primarily a decrease of aches and pains from stiffness, with an increase in flexibility. Rio’s climate also allows for cutting weight, flushing out toxins and maintaining lean body mass with less effort as a direct effect of the heat.

*Be sure and drink plenty of water, eat your potassium (bananas & “agua de coco” are great for this) and keep your electrolytes replenished eating a little salt in your diet.

Organising a schedule of how you train in Rio is essential to making the most of your time here. There are three basic elements to a successful training regiment in Jiu-jitsu: Technical training sessions – Focusing on the development of technical aspects through repetition, isolation of movement and refinement. This is done without resistance, in a setting where practitioners truly learn the mechanics behind techniques, allowing application without thought; Specific or Positional training – where the techniques and mechanics developed in technical training sessions are applied in a controlled setting. Positional sparring develops specific aspects of the game while eliminating the fear of loosing position (with resistance); Free or Live Training – application of technique in an environment that is not controlled or confined (with varying degrees), allowing application of technique with resistance and counter attacks.

With the breakdown of training specifics now it is a matter of programming this into a routine in your daily and weekly schedule. Each session can include all three of the aspects from above and will work well for development. My preference is taking the training one step further by breaking sessions down into concentrated training. As an example your am can be dedicated to technique, afternoon drills and specific training, followed by a complete class at night including all of the aspects. Dividing training sessions into specific focuses allows for more functional time on the mat with less fatigue. If you begin to feel an excess of fatigue, ease back on the training as training consistently once a day throughout the duration of your trip is much more beneficial than one week of three times a day until getting injured and retiring for the remainder of your trip.

*Additional factors to consider are: recovery time between workouts, nightly sleep; and if alcohol consumption is a part of your routine. These factors along with over training can contribute to a weakened immune system and susceptibility to getting colds, healing slowly, longer recovery time, etc.

Good training, enjoy your time in Rio and remember to make the most of it by training smart.

– Dennis A. Asche


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