Sometimes I don't real realise how much has happened here in Rio until I start to write this blog. The last couple of weeks have been pretty interesting to say the least.
In summary, my most recent BJJ adventures in Rio de Janeiro included:
Training at Delfin Academy in Tijuca, home of the Soul Fighters team.
I filmed a no-gi session with Daniel 'Pirata' for Connection Rio, a guy who is a black belt in both BJJ & luta livre as well as being a PanAm medallist in freestyle wrestling. He's also a coach at Nova Uniao and works with guys like UFC champion Jose Aldo. While there I jumped in for a few rounds and rolled with Pirata himself (that was fun!) and Diogo Araujo, 2012 IBJJF medium heavy silver medallist. That was a tough round, and I'm sure I didn't even get to feel 20% of his pressure.
Meeting & Filming with Tanquinho and Mackenzie Dern.
While at Soul Fighters, I quite literally bumped into BJJ's hottest couple. They're in Rio training for their 'couples fight' on the upcoming Copa Podio event, which puts them against Leandro Lo and Luiza Monteiro. Doing something with them for BJJ Hacks was a no-brainer, and I got to see them in full competition-training mode. Look for that video soon!
Visiting 7th Degree Master Fabricio Martins.
Another Connection Rio academy visit took me to a little-known gym headed up by Fabricio Martins. It's right on the main strip in Copacabana and I've passed it hundreds of times on my way to the gym, but I never even knew it was there and knew even less about Martins. His gym was chock-full of black belts and the rolling was entertaining if a little 'spirited' – maybe they were going a little harder because they had visitors and wanted to impress, but two of their guys broke their noses during sparring! However our guys were given a warm welcome and were treated like gentlemen.
The Updated Red Belts Site.
Something I had been planning and working on for a while was an updated version of the Red Belts website. The idea was to show people something of what we'd been working on, with profiles of each of the grand masters and video previews of the interviews we've done so far.
2013 looks like it's going to be exciting for sure. There is a tonne of interesting content on the horizon for BJJ Hacks and production of the Red Belts movie is picking up steam. You'll definitely like what we've got in store.