Hey, Grapplers. We're super pleased to announce another terrific joint effort between DSTRYR/SG and our good friends, BJJ Hacks. Below is the first article from a new soon-to-be-regular feature written by the man behind BJJ Hacks, Hywel Teague about the BJJ lifestyle in Brazil (told from his perspective as a Brit living and training in Rio). So, check it out!
If you already follow BJJ Hacks on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, then you'll probably have seen we get around a fair bit.
Barely a day or two goes by that we're not visiting a gym or interviewing a Grand Master. Between making regular videos for the website (as well as for our friends Connection Rio) and working on the Red Belts documentary, we've got our hands pretty darn full.
The problem is, looking at our pics on Facebook doesn't really give you an idea of what we really see in these places, what we hear from these people, and what the jiu-jitsu lifestyle in Rio is really like. The videos help, but we see so much sometimes it's hard to include everything. So with these blogs we will update you all on where we've been and what we've been doing.
Last weekend we ventured down to Sao Paulo to do some filming for the Red Belts doc. For the last few weeks the news here has been pretty much non-stop coverage about the ongoing gang wars there, with helpful statistics like how there were over 200 murders in the city between September and November.
Putting our concerns aside (nothing must stop this film from being made after all) we packed up our cameras and headed down there to film a very special gathering.
Every november, GM Flavio Behring brings together his students from around the world for an end-of-year seminar / grading. What made this one super special was that he would be presenting his grandson Ian with the back belt – as far as we can tell, this was the first time a Red Belt has promoted a grandson to black belt outside of the Gracie family.
PICS FROM GATHERING
PICS FROM GATHERING
We weren't sure what to expect when Flavio took to the mat to teach. Many older jiu-jitsu teachers move toward the 'traditional' self-defense type stuff, but we were treated to a very nice little clinic on butterfly guard. As Flavio told me, his body simply doesn't work the way it used to, so he needs to make sure his technique is extra-efficient. And it is: every move he taught was greeted by gasps from the crowd, the techniques were so slick yet almost painfully obvious. This was 65 years of experience at work. It was awesome.
Back in Rio and it has been a busy week. Between training at De La Riva's in Copacabana (gotta keep those ground skills sharp) we've managed to film a few other places.
We attended an event in a very swish hotel where Rorion Gracie gave a talk about the Gracie Diet. It was pretty interesting, and there were more than a few BJJ bigwigs in attendance, inc GM Joao Alberto Barreto, Relson Gracie and his son Rhalan, and Gracie Tijuca head instructor Vinny Aieta. They actually served up some dishes from the Gracie Diet, which looked and smelled delicious. Unfortunately, we didn't get to eat any and went home very, very hungry.
CARLSON GRACIE ACADEMY PICS
We also finally got to cross one of the gyms we've always wanted to visit off our list, the famed Carlson Gracie academy in Copacabana. This is the original academy Carlson trained out of for roughly five decades, and where many of today's top trainers came from. Though we expected to see a bunch of aggressive top players smashing each other, what we actually saw was some pretty nifty guard players, inc a 130kg brown belt who played deep half and X-guard. Mind. Blown.
So what's next? More filming, more interviews, more training … We'll report back in a few weeks and let you know all about it.