Sun, Sparring and a House Full of Competitors

The season is changing here in Rio. The weather in the city is moving away from the cooler winter temperatures towards the hot summer climate. This past week we have had almost no clouds in the sky and temperatures in the 30’s all week.

The great weather has been perfect for heading to the beach to enjoy a fresh agua de coco or hanging out around the pool in between training sessions.

This blog is written by Connection Rio team member Torryn Heffelfinger. He blogs weekly on his site “Training the Dream”. Click the link to read the full post.

BJJ in Rio

I made it in to Nova Uniao several times this past week for more awesome training. I have been opening up my game, attempting more techniques and not being afraid to try something new.

For instance, there is a really nice submission I learned from Leo Santos from top half that I have been drilling a lot. While its not difficult technically it is a much different style of attack than I normally go for.

Torryn and the othr blue belts at Leo Santos's seminar at Nova Uniao last month

Torryn and the othr blue belts at Leo Santos’s seminar at Nova Uniao last month

While rolling I saw an opening and went for the submission; the guy I was rolling against defended the choke but as he did he opened himself up for the pass and cross side armbar. As I am adding these “new tools to the tool box” it is opening up my ability to go for my normal attacks.

Sparring with Columbia’s #1 MMA fighter

On Saturday I returned to full MMA sparring for the first time since I hurt my ankle in mid-June. For my first session back I didn’t take the easy route.

First I sparred with Carlos, a new arrival from Columbia. Carlos is considered one of the top fighters in Columbia, currently 12-0 professionally in MMA (and most of those by KO).

He is solid on the ground but where he shines in on the feet. I have never sparred against someone who moved and mixed their strikes like him. He is constantly changing angles and directions only stopping to unleash lightning fast shots.

Talking with him after I learned his boxing coach used to be one of Muhammad Ali’s regular sparring partners, which explains the way he moves.

It was a great first day back to sparring and I am already looking forward to getting in more good work next week.

Life in the house

With the return of the hot weather has also brought the return of another famous past time here at Connection Rio—pool surfing. I will never get tired of watching people trying to ride the surf board from one side of the pool to the other…about 95% of the time they fail miserably.

Currently we also have a large number of active competitors in the house, so the house mats have been almost in constant use, with guys either sharing techniques, drilling, or rolling live.

Torryn drilling in the Connection Rio HQ house with Australian black belt Kit Dale

Torryn drilling in the Connection Rio HQ house with Australian black belt Kit Dale

From training and accommodation to academy visits and special tours, and even small group classes with the best teachers Rio has to offer, Connection Rio offers everything you need for the perfect jiu-jitsu holiday!

Take a look at our brochure – we’ve got houses with pools, huge gardens, and apartments next to the beach: all within 30 seconds walk of top BJJ gyms in Rio!

Connection Rio is the best combination of accommodation and BJJ training in Rio de Janeiro. Contact us today and plan your trip to train BJJ in Rio!

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