Ellis and Andrew, who are originally from the UK, seeked out the best possible jiu-jitsu training out there and are also looking for “real” jiu-jitsu lifestyle…
So they made the dream of most of us come true and took a plane to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where they stayed for one month at the well-known ConnectionRio house, near beautiful Barra da Tijcua. Living with like-minded people in the CR house, you will always find people willing to roll, drill or just simply talk jiu-jitsu. This certainly seems like a dream for all of us who can’t get enough of training.
During their stay Ellis and Andrew mainly trained at Ricardo De La Rivas’ Academy and Rico Vieira’s Fightzone, which is home of the Checkmat team in Rio, feeling that De La Rivas was the place where they felt most welcome. But, be aware if you like to do the same, Copacabana beach, where a lot of gyms are situated, is a good hour bus ride away from the CR house and these bus rides can be sheer madness, with bus drivers getting out of busses and kicking other cars bumpers off or cars chasing busses because of doing so.
Never the less, it seems that the ride was worth it, as the level of the guys in both gyms was crazy, as they witnessed more black belts on the mat in one single class, than there are in the whole north east of England.
Besides spending their time training and riding the bus Ellis and Andrew did a bit of sightseeing and also tried surfing for the first time which is a must if you are in Rio.
Stay tuned for some more news about Ellis and Andrew as their journey has not ended in Rio!
Gym Report: BJJ Athletic, Chisinau, Moldova
The BJJ Athletic gym was founded by Kiril and Ion and is now up and running since the 27th of January 2013. They both decided to get involved a bit more in our beloved sport and provide the Moldavian BJJ society with a nice state of the art gym, in comparison to the other sweaty and bad smelling basement gyms which we all know.
The cool logo which shows a shrimp, was invented by Kiril who is the creative head of BJJ Athletic. They’re trying to set theirselves a bit apart form the other fierce and super-tough logos, to promote their idea, that our sport should be fun in the first plan, Ion says.
Ion, is BJJ Blue belt at moment, which he got promoted to from Christian at the first BJJ Globetrotter Camp in November 2012. He also has some history in other martial arts, as he is a black belt in traditional Jiu-Jitsu, but during a visit of Christian in early 2011, he and the other guys got sold on BJJ due to seeing the endless possibilities in terms of technique.
At the moment about 150 guys (half of them are kids) are training at the gym, which is quite a sustainable number for a fairly new gym. BJJ Athletic is also focusing on the future of our sport as they have their designated kids program, which is divided into three groups (4-6, 7-11 and 12-14 year old kids). The main focus is to show the kids discipline, respect and teaching them how to grapple properly. But along those traditional lines, the fun is not lacking, as crazy and funny games are played to warm up and after the rolling part. It seems that the kids love the structure of the classes at BJJ Athletic as more and more are joining and spreading the word about this funny but yet tough training.
At the moment BJJ Athletic is offering 22 classes from Monday to Saturday both in Gi and No-Gi. This is around 3-4 classes per day which is a lot, if you want to know more check out the schedule on www.bjj.md/#schedule
Not having a regular black belt at hand, might seem a tough task, when it comes to structuring the trainings and learning new techniques, but the boys at BJJ Athletic cope with this stumbling block by bringing in higher belts for training and organizing seminar weeks. This year they had resident BJJ Globetrotter Camp teacher Robson Barbosa for one week at their gym and right when this report is being published, they will have Pritt Mihkelson an Estonian black belt at their gym to brush them up with the latest techniques. Ion also told us, that they have big plans for 2014 so stay tuned for the upcoming newsletters to hear more about it.
Strong showing of the BJJ Globetrotters at NAGA Paris
After the last IBJJF Tournaments the Globetrotters flew out for another big tournament in the heart of Europe. More than fifteen Globetrotters including seven kids where present at the tournament and did more than well to say the least.
The kids team almost swept its competition, gaining six championship belts, two gold medals and a silver. All of them but one were competing in the expert division.
Overall the Globetrotters took home 10 gold (including 7 Belts), 3 silvers and one bronze medal. Remarkable was Kari Gunnarsson’s showing, as he took home the belt in the brown & black belt no-gi category with three wins – all three coming by submission (2 x toeholds and one armbar).
Have you been competing lately? If yes let us know how it went down and send us a pic of yours showing them guns and medals to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Quite a few well deserved belts have been given out recently at globetrotters seminars around the world.
Three guys were promoted to blue belts on the small Caribbean island of St. Barts. These guys have no instructors, but are training hard and are really developing in the right direction.
Bergen Grappling in Norway has a ton of tough guys on the mats, and it was a big pleasure to give out five blue belts, one purple and one brown belt there. One of the mail coaches of the team, Eivind Windsrygg, has been a purple belt forever and has a wicked game on the mat – even with only one functioning hand :)