Finishing up training and leaving Rio

Don't like leaving like I don't like orange gatorade

Some techniques I've just learnt (done poorly) when your opponent breaks the far sleeve grip in single leg guard. Notice that I am gripping thumb down which makes the grip on the lapel harder to break. Also the leg that is pushing the guy should be straight at all times until rolling under

Technique 1:

Technique 2:

Overall, it was a really nice stay. In addition to a few techniques, one thing I will sometimes try to incorporate into my training is doing longer rounds every once in a while. I feel that in Finland, rounds tend to be 5 or 6 minutes while in Rio the majority we did were 8 minutes. Sometimes I get too used in doing 6 minutes so I never push myself over that limit.

High level rolling and body breaking down

Intensive training is continuing here in Rio. We just had the best class in a while when Victor Genovesi (Mundial brown belt champion, now a black belt) run a midday class for a small number of people including Sebi and I. Usually there can be close to 30 students on midday alone so this was nice.

The class started with De La Riva to single leg guard sweep drills. Each of us drilled the technique on our partner for 5 minutes and then switched. There were 3 variations around using the far sleeve to sweep or the lapel in case you lost the sleeve. I have poor videos of these for myself which I will post here as well.

After this it was rolling for 5 times 8 minutes. I went 3 rounds with Victor which was really tough as my body has felt better. Sebi managed to film to roll where I suck the most

Here are some other "rolls" of Victor

Him beating Gianni Grippo:


It is really demanding on the body to suddendly increase the training load so much. Luckily my roommate has stacks of glucosamine, protein and fish oil. I also like to add some protein to the local juices or "sucos" here.


First days training at Alliance Rio

Along with all the other activities we trained twice a day for the first couple of days here in Rio. We did the competition classes at one and the night intermediate classes at 7.30. The new Alliance academy has just opened and it is probably the best facility in Rio or at least that is what all the locals say here. The most significant thing is that it has proper air conditioining

The professors here oftentimes pair you up. Which in my case meant that I do not get get any easy rolls. There are some athletes here sponsored by Alliance that really train hard so you need to prepare yourself for a beating. Here is my friend Sebi taking a friendly beating from a world class purple

Supplements to help with the recovery are expensive so I have mostly opted for eating acai and things that just generally taste good here. I highly recommend Bibi Sucos for snacks, breakfast, lunch and dinner.

My favourite breakfast (protein added to acai)

My lunch (same place)

Brazil has some healthy options as well (in Leblon)

 Waiting for my addition to the black belt world champ wall

Chilling at the beach between training sessions:

Although I have mostly out here for some good sparring I have to say we did a sweet concept drill that stuck with me. It was all about maintaining sitting guard against pant grip toreanda and sweeping from it whether the guy is standing or down on his knees. The movement was to simply stiff arm him on the side he was trying to pass to and opening up his elbow from the other side allowing for a hook sweep either on the ankle or higher if he is sitting down. I will go through this next time I will be teaching.


Arriving in Rio and the first day here

Got lucky and was upgraded to business class for my flight from London to Rio. This means I got a decent rest on the plane. Also had a taxi booked and waiting for me so everything went smooth on arrival.

Sunday was spent mostly  recovering from the trip at the Connection Rio house and the beach at Barra Da Tijuca. There are almost 20 guys staying at the house all looking to train. It can be chaotic and messy at times but it does not bother me much. In fact, I slept like a baby.

We did no training on Sunday. Some guys wanted to go and see Cristo Rei (the big Jesus) but we stayed cool and said no. I am here to chill, not to walk to sights.

Our clothes mostly consist of gis

There were monkeys on the yard but I could not get them to pose

Barra Beach near Posto 2.

A nice Sunday on the beach

Apparently the Formula1 driver is still alive and teaching jiu jitsu


 My Austrian roommate is trying to be cool but he can not help himself being almost German and preparing for everything. This means he has brought everything including his favourite candy from his childhood.


Going to Rio de Janeiro

It is finally here. I will be flying to Rio for a week of training. I am going to be staying at Connection Rio in Barra da Tijuca because my friend Sebi had booked a room there and asked my to join.

It is going to be a huge change in temperature as we have had it below zero here in Helsinki and Rio. It seems to be mostly sunny and in the thirties next week in Rio. I really have to learn to hydrate myself properly in these conditions as this is a weak point of mine.

The flight from London to Rio is over 11 hours, but after weeks of stress from work it feels like a nice idea to just sit still and do nothing for a long period of time.

I am going to be training mostly at Alliance Rio with Alexande Paiva and his students. They actually just recently opened a new gym in Rio which is nice. They offer 5 classes per day during the week (7am, 1pm, 4.30 pm, 7pm and 8.30 pm), so I am really pumped. The target is 2 daily sessions for 6 days and just rolling at the Connection Rio house on Sunday. I don't know how my body can handle this so I would probably need to buy some supplements while down there. Especially since I would like to surf there at least once. Man, I will be sore.

It's also funny to notice how I mostly wait for the opportunity to roll with high level guys and see how classes are structured instead of picking up new techniques. This is a very different to what it was a few years ago, and probably because I teach more nowadays. Usually I integrate maybe 2 new moves to be game each year :) EDIT: Ok, maybe a little more as last year it was 4 (armbar wrench break, long step pass, kouchi gake and the russian 2-on-1 in nogi)

Packing is really a burden as I have to take as many gis as I can. 5 gi tops and 3 pants are in the luggage along with some rash guards and shorts for nogi training. Taking less pants than jackets is a good way to save space in yout luggage if you are squeezed. Training more nogi would help but there aren't many nogi classes available as academies in Rio tend to gravite heavily towards the gi in their training. If I have understood correctly this is mostly because the majority of competitions there are gi competitions.

I just charged my camera so I am looking to get as much material from there for this blog.