Switching from no-gi to training BJJ in the gi

Another week down here in beautiful Rio de Janiero, it’s hard to believe that we are coming up on six months in Rio already. The time has flown by, I have a had a great time training, hitting the beach, and exploring what Rio offers. While I still trained striking and wrestling the main focus this week was training BJJ in the gi.

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 a week of training in the gi.

Week in Training
Monday afternoon was Gringo Class taught by Dennis. Dennis runs a great class with heavy emphasis on hard drilling and hard rolling. We started with guard passing drills, performing a number of movements and sequences to help create more flow in our passing. Dennis then showed a couple of ways to pass the spider guard.

We then moved into live situational sparring. To start Dennis had one guy shoot takedown entries for 30 seconds non-stop, after 30 seconds the guy would finish his takedown and then we would spar from open guard. After 2 and a half minutes the cycle would be repeated, and then again it was the other guys turn.

I was working with Nabas, a great purple belt from Jordan who is the CR house manager for HQ and Premiere. Nabas is incredibly technical and flexible and offers a good style to counteract by grinding game. Our roll was filled with scrambles and positional changes with both of us battling hard. The free training went good as well, there are some great grapplers in the houses right now and the level of training is high.
dennis asche bjj class connection rio

Dennis Asche’s afternoon ‘gringo’ class

On both Wednesday and Thursday I got some great nogi work in with Dennis. He was doing a technique shoot for a BJJ magazine and wanted to sharpen it up so on both days we spent an hour + drilling.

For anyone staying at CR if you have the opportunity to be taught by or work with Dennis do so. His techniques are incredibly solid and he thinks about little details most people over look. He also has the great ability to see the areas in peoples games where improvement can be made and help you to correct them.

In Friday’s class the drilling was fast paced, and flowed good, we spent time doing guard replacement and sit-out drills, and then repped out the techniques we learned throughout the week. As a competitor, having an instructor there who is pushing me mentally and physically is phenomenal. It really helps to bring out the best not only in myself but everyone else as well.

The weekend was, as always, a nice and relaxing way to round out the week. My time consisted of drilling some technique, eating good food, watching UFC with friends, and relaxing at the beach. Life in Rio consists training hard, playing hard, and enjoying life – and that’s what it’s all about.

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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