This past week has been a busy one. Nicole and I moved over to the Connection Rio(CR) HQ. So, the first part of the week was spent packing and unpacking, and the start of many small projects around the Connection Rio hostels. One thing is for certain in Brazil, it’s never all work and no play; I got some great training in this week along with some BBQing and a night of athletic challenges.
Wrestling and Nogi at HQ
This week Connection Rio started up a weekly wrestling gringo class aimed to help people grappling from the feet. Every match starts on the feet, you have to dictate the pace, and put the your oponent where you want them. The class went great, everyone seemed to enjoy it.
Also, with the sun out it made for some great open air no-gi training. On Thursday afternoon, I came back from wrestling and guys were setting up the mats for some no-gi training. We spent the next hour or so rolling, showing techniques and finished it off with a swim in the pool.
BJJ at Nova Uniao
On Friday afternoon I went into Flamengo to train at Nova Uniao. I caught their afternoon class, which while smaller in size, was not less in quality. I was working with a tall lanky blue belt, who durring drills and technique felt clumsy and awkward, but as soon as we started rolling live broke out with a slick and skilled open guard game. I was not expecting that and quickly had to turn up the pace. We spent the rest of the roll battling for position, with both of us attacking then countering. It was a great lesson in not judging a book by its cover in the BJJ world. I was a bit drained from the long week (which was frustrating), but I still had a good training. While not as offensive as I would have like my defense and countering felt good. I’m starting to work my bottom half guard more, I have been using it to create scrambles and escapes which favor my hard wrestling style of BJJ.
The competitive rolls and world class instruction is top-notch at NU. While it is a bit of a trip to get there from Barra, I am going to make more of an effort to head to NU to get some Gi training in at least once a week.
After a long week of training, it was nice to relax and have a day to just sit back, throw some meat on the grill and relax with friends. There was a ton of food on the grill including ribs, burgers, sausages, and steak. The grill was full for hours and everyone was stuffed by the end of the evening.
As happens when you get a group of athletes a lot of talking and some boasting starts, which still turns into challenges. First they started off easier, 10 second hand stands or 10 wall press-ups, but quickly is escalated to 30 submission challenges or fighting off chokes for time. It was a ton of fun, and the atmosphere in the house was one of friendship and hilarity. That’s one of the great things about being here at CR, not only am I getting phenomenal training, but I am making friendships that will span the globe.