Train Hard Play Hard: After training BJJ in Rio, this is how you relax

Yesterday may have been the most relaxing/fun day so far of the new year so far. After a week of training BJJ in Rio we had a beautiful sunny day here in Rio and Nicole and I decided to make the most of it.

This post was written by Connection Rio team member Torryn Heffelfinger. He blogs weekly on life and training BJJ, wrestling and MMA in Rio de Janeiro. This is an excerpt from his weekly blog “Training the Dream”. Click the link to read the full post.

torryn-ipanemaAfter our normal Sunday breakfast and trip to the farmers market, we headed into Ipanema for the day. On Sundays (and holidays) they close a large stretch of the road going along the beach for people to bike, skate, or board along. It is a smooth road perfect for cruising along on our Bossa Boards.

We skated all the way down to Aporoador where I grabbed a quick lift at the outdoor “Flintstones” gym and then headed back along the beach. We cut into Ipanema grabbed some acai and went into the “hippie fair” that takes place every Sunday. The fair has a mixture of paintings, carvings, jewelery, clothing, and other nicknacks (I was VERY tempted to by a small blow gun).

From there we skated back to the beach and headed to Post 10 where every weekend until February 9th they have free concerts on the beach. We relaxed and took a nap in the shade of the stage until the music started. There was a DJ playing a mix of songs and then a Brazilian rock band (no idea who) played. The beach was packed with a few thousand people everyone having a great time dancing and enjoying the music. Rio does a great job with putting on free to the public events like this and Nicole and I are definitely going to try to make it again next week.

Early Morning Training at X-Gym

It’s been a busy week on the mats training BJJ in Rio – filled with wrestling, MMA, no-gi, and drilling. On Wednesday a group of us got up early and visited X-gym for their morning class. When I say got up early I mean we were all up around 6 am to eat and pack for the 7:30 class. The warm up was an extensive calisthenics and ginastica natural movements and by the time we were down I was finally fully awake.

We covered a nice butterfly sweep into an arm triangle, really focusing on the little details. When the class first started it was a very small class (composed of mostly the guys from the house) but they quickly started to file in. Soon we started rolling. As the rounds went on more and more blackbelts stepped onto the mats….and we just kept rolling.

After a roll almost every blackbelt I rolled with stopped to take a minute (or more) to explain to me something that they noticed I had to work on or correct. It was awesome that they would take the extra time helping someone they just met to make improvements. There was an older 3rd degree black belt, whom after thoroughly destroying me took about 10 minutes to give me some technique advice.

Round after round ticked by and soon we looked up and saw it was 10 a.m.— we had been on the mats for 2 ½ hours! Class ended shortly afterwords and after a quick acai headed back to CR.


Planning for Success in 2014

I also spent a lot of time drilling my takedowns this week. My timing has been a bit off on my offense, which has made me play a more conservative game. I don’t like that. It’s frustrating seeing openings and missing them, so I have been drilling my setups and timing for my attacks. I still have a ways to go to get back to form, but things are already feeling better and smoother.

I have high expectations for 2014, but I can’t sit back and hope to hit my goals. I have to MAKE them happen; it’s a long road, but one I am happy to be going down.


Torryn Heffelfinger Connection Rio

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