Final Days in Rio de Janiero

Had my last training session at De La Riva’s academy on Friday night, followed by a trip out to the Churrascaria Palace (Yum!) Today I have been doing some packing and getting ready for the long, 26 hour trip back to the U.S.A.

I wanted to take just a moment to reflect on my time here in Rio. I remember, when I first arrived here I was disappointed at the lack of instruction in the gym and I was having a hard time communicating with people due to my lack of Portuguese. Now, as I am throwing all my gis and rashguards in a suitcase, I realize that I am just a little bit sad to be leaving.

Farewell to the crew at DLR, Rio de Janiero and thank you all for allowing me the honor of training under your guidance!

Farewell to the crew at DLR, Rio de Janiero and thank you all for allowing me the honor of training under your guidance!

Continue reading

“Gut Check” at De La Riva!

I went in to De La Riva’s last night at my usual 4 pm time, ready for the usual, stretching, technique and “open roll” type training we normally do. Things didn’t go as planned.

Professor De la Riva got us stretched out and went over a quick technique (a nice, single-leg takedown from bottom turtle). Then it all went sideways! Continue reading

Call Nat Geo! I’ve discovered a new BJJ species!

I went into De La Riva BJJ tonight, like any other night, expecting to encounter the usual suspects such as the black belt adder and the white belt spas monkey. But tonight, I found an entirely new species of BJJ’er, and since I discovered him, I get to name him! I hereby dub thee the Great Blue Belted Bear!

Blue Belted Bear spotted in the Copacabana!

Blue Belted Bear spotted in the Copacabana!

“What”?, you say in astonishment! That’s right, an entirely new and baffling species of BJJ’er. Sit back, grab a beverage and let me tell you this astonishing tale! Continue reading

Self-Directed Training and Breaking Through Barriers

If you are an consistent reader of my blog then you know that one of my biggest challenges since arriving here in Rio has been finding a new way to learn BJJ.

You see, here in Brazil, learning BJJ is much more self-directed than where I am from. In the U.S. we often spend half an hour or more learning technique and sometimes we will do 20 minutes of drilling the same move then move into another 20 minutes of drilling a different, but related move. After all that, we might roll for about 20 minutes.

Here in Brazil…well, not so much. In a one hour class we typically do about 5 minutes of stretching, 5 minutes of technique (one technique for 5 minutes) then 50 minutes rolling. Continue reading

Week two in Rio (or – The Mystery of the “over-packed mats: Solved”)

So, as I promised, I got up early this past Monday and hit the 7 am – 9 am class. My hope that it would be less crowded was dashed as I counted 42 people in the first class and 35 in the second. We once again started with static stretches and went straight into rolling. My “double-dose” asthma medicine seemed to be working well so, even though I was getting crushed from black belts I stuck around for both classes ( occasionally I would be getting crushed under someone and just stop struggling and try to count all the stripes on their black belt 🙂 I have to admit, it is pretty cool to have that many 4-stripe black belts on the mats with you. Continue reading