New Connection Rio House, Carnival 2013, and MMA Training in Rio

Looking back on the two weeks I am not sure where to even begin, so I guess I’ll just dive right into it.

New Connection Rio House
First off one of the biggest changes in the last two weeks is that Nicole and I moved into the large flat that I am going to be house manager for here with Connection Rio. Our flat is off of one of the nicest streets in Barra only about a blocks away from the ocean.

Bar 399, opposite the new place

Bar 399, opposite the new place

Being close to the beach has made it nice to get early morning workouts, whether its running, swimming, or doing body weight exercises at the various workout stations along the beach. The flat is above the oldest bakery in Barra, and is right across from 399 (one of the most popular patio bars in Barra). It’s a great place to have a couple caipirinhas and watch the UFC on TV.

Carnival Happens
Last weekend brought the arrival of Carnival. I had heard before that the city shuts down, but I didn’t realize that the city literally shuts down. Everything is closed or on holiday hours and the streets fill with people eating, drinking, and dancing.

A large group of us went to a bloco on Ipenema Beach; while New Years in Copa was busy, this was insane. The crowd was huge and densely packed in with everyone laughing and singing away. There are hundreds off these blocos throughout the weekend and in total the CR made a pretty strong appearance at them. One of the more interesting things about Carnival is the attire at the blocos. The women dress up in various costumes, while a lot of the guys dress in womens clothing. It’s an interesting sight seeing a 230lb jacked Brazilian, with cauliflower ears wearing a tu-tu.

MMA Training in Rio
Perhaps one of the biggest changes in the last couple of weeks has been with my training. Andre Benkei is starting up a new MMA camp down here in Rio. Benkei has been a trainer at camps such as American Top Team and Hit Squad. He is running these camps in cycles for people to come in, have a training camp, and if desired fight at the end of the camp.

The MMA training camp from the North East of Brazil

The MMA training camp from the North East of Brazil

I have been helping Jeremy Denardo, a former Div. 1 and 2 wrestler, teach wrestling for the camp and have started training with them full time. Right now there is a large group of Brazilians from the North down here to training for Jungle Fight, one of Brazils largest promotions. The training is tough, but it’s excellent.

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