There are more BJJ black belts in Rio de Janeiro than probably anywhere else in the world, and if you train BJJ in Brazil you’ll get to roll with more than you could ever imagine.
Outside of Brazil, it’s uncommon to have more than a couple of black belts in the same club. Some teams in Brazil have more black belts in their ranks than entire countries elsewhere in the world!
Jamie Hughes, Connection Rio’s newest sponsored athlete, was already training with black belts in Brazil less than 24 hours after arriving. This is what he had to say about the experience.
“9 black belts, 8 brown belts and a lot of purple belts, got to roll lots of 10 minute rounds with the black and brown belts. Epic!”
Advice for Training with Black Belts in Brazil
No matter what belt you are, you’ll be given the opportunity to work with black belts who will help coach, develop and refine your jiu-jitsu.
For lower grades, black belts can feel like magicians with super powers, and sparring with them might seem futile. But simply having someone so experienced to help guide you and show you areas you need to work on is a very helpful experience.
Three Tips for Training with Black Belts in Brazil
• Roll at the pace they set – don’t go crazy
• Try to notice the things (grips, positions, etc) they do and work on these in your own time
• Ask lots of questions after you’ve finished: eg “how did you do this/that?”
This is how people develop so quickly in a short period of time in Rio – don’t roll against them, roll with them – and ask them a lot of questions. If your attitude is good they’ll be happy to help you out.