You’ve booked your flights and your stay at the Connection Rio house, and you can’t wait to train BJJ in Rio! But what do you need to bring? Here’s some advice…
1: At least three gis
Planning on training twice a day? Four might be better. We’ve got onsite laundry facilities at the Connection Rio house (and cheaper than anywhere else in Rio) which makes rotating your gis easier. Training in a dirty or wet gi is absolutely unacceptable and you will be asked to leave the mat if you arrive to train in a gi that isn’t clean.
Getting your tan on is a popular activity between training sessions, but be aware that even in the winter the sun can be strong and you can get burned. Sunburn and damaged skin can prevent you from training, not only because wearing a gi with sunburnt skin is extremely painful, but because it’s an open door to infection. Also, Cariocas (people from Rio) consider sunburn to be one of the dorkiest, uncool things you can possibly have. The sight of a red and pink gringo with T-shirt / vest tan lines is an instant romance killer if you’re looking for love, as ladies will run a mile if you look like a piece of grilled salmon. Also, sunscreen isn’t cheap here and you can usually buy it much cheaper back home.
Due to high import taxes, protein and other supplements are very expensive, so save shelling out up to 3x the price you are used to by bringing your favourite supplements with you.
4: Cash (just enough to last for a little bit)
Many banks, even those with international branches, will automatically suspend an ATM or debit card when you try to use it for the first time in Brazil. Even if you tell your bank you plan to travel, there is no guarantee that you will be able to withdraw cash from an ATM until you call them to get it unblocked. Don’t get caught without cash like some people, bring a few hundred reais (BRL$) for a meal or two and to get you from the airport to the Connection Rio house in a taxi, where you will be able to call your bank to access your cash.
5: An Open Mind
Rio is a special place, for many reasons. Things work differently here, and that’s part of the charm. It’s probably very different to anything you’ve experienced, and so the best thing is to keep an open mind and enjoy yourself as much as possible. You’ll have more fun that way and you’ll get the most from your training too.
Article written by Hywel Teague