Officially Summer in Rio!

It is officially summer here in Rio! Most of the house has been enjoying the warm weather by heading to the beach, hiking, or swimming in the pool. We even have a few people who started to take up surfing while they are here in Rio (something I wouldn’t mind trying again).

This post was written by Connection Rio team member Torryn Heffelfinger. He blogs weekly on life and training BJJ, wrestling and MMA in Rio de Janeiro. This is an excerpt from his weekly blog “Training the Dream”. Click the link to read the full post.

photo 1Last weekend we had the CR end of the year BBQ, which was a great time. There was belly stretching amounts of steak, sausages, cheese on a stick, and much more. You would think that it would have given us our fill of the Brazilian churrasco but a few days later a group of us lighted up the BBQ and cooked – just goes to show you can never have to much grilled food.

I also spent a good deal of this week working to develop and improve my guard game. I have had a bit of trouble trying to find a game that really fits well with my aggressive style and more importantly I can carry over to nogi and MMA. I have a ton a respect for more sport specific techniques and positions but they just don’t carry over. I am not saying I refuse to train them or acknowledge their value, it’s just that at this time my focus isn’t on learning the latest and greatest techniques in BJJ. Rather I started working a couple basic series from closed guard, half-guard, and reversal or escaping side control. With some experimenting and a lot of reps I think I have finally found a good fit for my style

Teaching Wrestling Class
I also explored a few new ways I can incorporate my wrestling for BJJ. While teaching my wrestling class at CR, I trouble shot a few positions that guys wanted to work from. At first some of the positions I didn’t have an immediate answer for so I started to play around and experiment. Soon my creative juices were flowing and I started to see new ways that I integrate wrestling for BJJ. We explored options from half guard, open guard and various other positions. I was seriously smiling with excitement. After the training we rolled some nogi and I felt more inspired than have in a while. I was trying new things and snapping into attacks faster. I can’t wait to start the week of training and experiment more.


While I may not have gotten in much training, what I did get was some enlightenment on how to move forward with my training. It was nice to be able to relax a bit and enjoy Rio during the week. While not training I have spent time swimming, exploring, and longboarding. It was good for the body and the mind. I think being able to chill helped me to make some of the technical discoveries that I made this past week. I am excited to see what this next week brings and what new discoveries both on and off the mat I will make.


Torryn Heffelfinger Connection Rio

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