Tuesday was a day full of training. In the late morning I went in and worked boxing and muay thai, finishing off with hitting thai pads. I then quickly ran back to the apartment (literally) changed my clothes, grabbed my wrestling shoes and met Antoine down the street.
This blog is written by Connection Rio team member Torryn Heffelfinger. He’ll be blogging weekly on life and training BJJ in Rio de Janeiro. In the following excerpt from his weekly blog “Training the Dream”, he talks about training with the pros at Brazilian Top Team.
Twice a week Antoine goes in and trains Brazils elite BOPE and then heads to Brazilian Top Team to teach wrestling. Originally I was supposed to go with him help train the BOPE, but due unfortunately a bad traffic accident (and that some of the BOPE were on a mission) we were not able to. We did however go to BTT to work with some of their MMA team.
BTT is a large gym, they have a large mat space, a boxing ring, and multiple heavy bags. I ran the warm up then Antoine ran the technique. He showed more MMA oriented technique. In addition to being an Olympian Antoine also has multiple MMA fights so he knows how to change the technique to better suit MMA. We went over several single leg takedowns (making sure to bypass our opponents guard) and then worked countering the single.
To finish the session out I had a seven minute match with a member BOPE who trains at BTT. The guy was really strong and held great position, but as time wore on and I kept the pressure up I was able to open up scoring opportunities when he stopped moving his feet. Seeing the high athletic ability of one single BOPE member really makes me want to head to the BOPE training site and work more with the elite soldiers.
Wednesday morning I woke up sore (as expected) and headed to sparring. There were a ton of guys there, including former UFC featherweight and ADCC competitor Milton Viera. For the first of my three rounds of shark tank sparring (where I stayed in for 3×5 min rounds with new fresh opponents each round) I sparred Milton. Milton is a top tier fighter and I was a little slow to start, so I got it put to me. My shots got stuff and he out landed me on the feet (including a head kick that if I hadn’t halfway blocked would have put me out). Nevertheless I kept coming and trying to work, I may have gotten a choked, battered and taken down but I never stopped working.