I have now been here training BJJ in Rio for nine weeks and as I look back at my time here I realise how fast it has gone. It makes me realise that I should reflect on my trip so far and look ahead towards my last four weeks.
I have really enjoyed my time here in Rio and although my time here has flown by I have managed to do much of what I planned and achieve my goals training-wise.
One of the best things about my time here was the people I have met, here at the Connection Rio house I have made many great friends, from people that have come and gone in the blink of an eye, to people that were here long before I came and will be here until well after I am gone.
There are people from all over the world in the house but luckily we all have one thing that unites us, jiu-jitsu, so whilst we may come from different backgrounds we have more than enough in common to make friends. During my time here I have also made some great carioca friends from the academy. Like at the house, it was jiu-jitsu that initially united us, meaning that I’ve got to make friends with local whites belts, black belts, and every belt in between.
People in the gyms are super friendly and I’ve got to the stage where everyone in the gym knows my name so it feels even more welcoming. Luckily, now people know my name and got to now me, I’ve also had some great opportunities, such as being invited to train at times outside the normal hours, these sessions have included training before class with black belts for competition preparation, to training after class with Mario Sperry as he prepares for the ADCC.
Also in my time here I have got the know the local area of Barrinha and enjoy all It has to offer, from beaches and bars filled with locals to delicious restaurants and cafes serving authentic Brazilian food with acai’s of all sizes. In the time I have spent here so far I feel I have really settled into the Rio lifestyle. Meaning that with the knowledge of my surrounding and the friends I have acquired, along with some of the great opportunities I’ve had, means that I am set up for four weeks of great training ahead.
Training BJJ in Rio
For my final four weeks here in Rio I am looking to focus my training towards the IBJJF London International Open in October. My whole trip here could be seen as preparation for the tournament, but these last weeks can be seen as the final stages. My preparation will be to keep focused on training hard, but from now on just at Gordos.
Throughout my journey I have visited many other gyms and enjoyed all my visits, but now I feel that as the competition nears, that I should just focus on getting as many high quality sessions as possible at a gym that suits my needs, which is Gordos for sure. I will also be making more use of the house mats for drilling as a way to get extra sharp and get in extra mat time in-between sessions. I will be also cleaning up my diet a little to ensure I have much cardio as possible for when competition time comes. Luckily this is easy here in Rio, as fruits and vegetables are tasty and cheap.
At the moment I am happy to say I have never felt better or sharper and I am really enjoying training and my time here in Rio as a whole. Now is simply the time to consolidate all I have learnt during my final weeks.
Photo by Vito Photography