To help people understand what jiu-jitsu in Rio de Janeiro is really like, we’re going to highlight real life experiences of training BJJ in Rio from Connection Rio sponsored athletes and guests in a new series of posts called “Real Life BJJ in Rio”.
In this post, we get to hear from Brian Carlsen, a brown belt from Easton Training Center in Boulder, Colorado, USA. Brian is an active competitor and is here in Brazil on a return visit with the primary objective of competing as much as possible.
Take it away, Brian…
The Competitor Experience
“The competition scene here is intense, everybody loves doing it. In America you get a lot of recreational guys doing tournaments, it’s not like that here. Everybody is there to win – from white belt to black belt…
“Even when guys are training here, it’s more intense. They’re training to win. They’re not there to mess around, they’re there to work. It gives you a leg up in getting used to the competition mentality.
“It’s like playing in the NFL and then dropping back down to college. When you’ve competed at this high a level, going back to the States it’s a relief!
“Staying at the Connection Rio house, the amount of different academies you’re surrounded by, the different styles, the different people, the techniques you’re going to learn.
“For competition there’s nothing better – you’re going to see stuff here you’d never see until you got to the World Championships.
“Everybody at the house is here for jiu-jitsu. Everybody’s always watching video, messing around trying new techniques, and then we’ve got the training mats inside the house. I’ve been drilling every day. Just grab somebody and bust out an hour of technique!”
Interview by Hywel Teague