Training Day 1:
Gerson took us to the main academy that we will be training at during our trip, Gordo Jiu Jitsu in Novo Leblon. The head black belt here is name “Rabicoa” and was actually a blue belt under Gerson before he came to the States. Class was run way differently than I expected. Maybe I was expecting a more structured class or a class that demystified the half guard (it is Gordos School! The half guard king!). This how the class went:
30 Minutes of King of the Hill essentially. You and a partner start standing and first to score wins – you can take down, pull guard sweep, etc. Winner stays in. Pretty cool concept, enjoyed it, a little hard to do as a warm up though! Needless to say I pulled guard each time! =)
Next was 30 Minutes of King of the Hill again, but this time it was passing guard.
We ended with rolling of 10 minutes rounds. Talk about exhausting! But it was extremely fun.
My takeaway’s from Gordo’s school:
These guys are EXTREMELY TECHNICAL! Just blew my mind. But they don’t push the pace the way we do in the states. This is probably due to the endless amounts of 10 minute rounds. Also these guys are very methodical. Due to their superior technique it seems that they have blue print to what they want to do.
Everyone here loved the deep half guard (think Sam on Steroids!). They were pulling it from everywhere.
These guys were a great group of guys and I am looking forward to training with them further.
Training Day 2:
Tonight Gerson took us to the main Gracie Barra. I was awed and humbled to have trained here. There is a lot of history and many champions that have gone through those mats. The class was HUGE! Easily 40 on the mat at once, we had to take turns rolling. Now Gracie Barra is more structured than Gordos, we actually did a positional technique here! But just one and then it was on to what seemed like an infinite amount of rolling for 10 minute rounds.
The head instructor here is Jefferson Moura. This man is an old school champion. He had success in the earlier editions of the mundials. Really good guard, in fact I think he recently did the positions section in Gracie Mag Magazine, I think a couple months back. Very very nice guy.
My takeaway’s from Gracie Barra:
More structured and intense! There was a larger sense of competition here. People rolled hard and fast, but no one was out to get you hurt. This was a great experience as it allowed me to test myself against peers and people above me.
Sorry so short, but I am tired. Would like to discuss more the rolling and positions, but my mind is gone! We are waking up early to see some museums in downtown Rio. Then in the afternoon we will be training at Tata’s school. We then end the day watching the Flamengo vs Flumenese game.