This is happening

Deal with it.

Lots o' Stuff

It's been so long since I've done an update that the only way I can remind myself of what I've been up to is to just go back through the pictures and just comment a little bit on all of em.


Sometimes even a pretty girl can't steal away the gaze of the nerds...


This was before we all started drinking and headed out to 399, which is a local street bar about a block away from the beach.  There are like 4 bars smushed right up next to each other and they just all spill out into the street and it's impossible to tell the clientelle apart.  It's a good time and a favorite local hangout.  People will usually hit it up before heading into Ipanema/Copacabana for the crazy night life.  Plus there are cool people there.


The VERY next night we headed out to the local SporTV to watch the fights.  Guess who showed up AGAIN? (and brought a huge ass crowd with them)


Both Nogs, bigfoot, Cavalcante, Feijao, and others whom Pat probably knows.  They were sitting right next to us in a private area while we were at the bar the entire time.  Was pretty neat.


The next day I headed out to the hippie fair at General Ossorio square in Ipanema.  It's been around since the 60's and has slowly grown and become a little bit of a tourist destination.  I heard an incredible amount of English from all of the toursists walking around.  Made me appreciate the little known non-touristy area in which I was staying.  We saw a cool road-warrior dude.


I bought some souveniers and then headed out with some of the guys to Ipanema beach where we witnessed a cool helicopter water rescue.



The following week was a bit interesting.  We all gathered together on Tuesday night...


And went here (in Leblon).


It was definitely an interesting experience but didn't exactly go how we wanted to.  People were running late, instructors included.  It took forever for 15 of us to change.  The mat space definitely couldn't accommodate the extra amount of people and in addition, they ended class early to celebrate a birthday.  It was definitely an experience and fun but I barely got to train at all.  Their will be some good footage hopefully in an upcoming Real Rio Show.


But then came this weekend, and we got a bit Jersey Shored up (as we're now watching it as a family on Friday nights).


We 399'd it again and played the ole' "how bad is Jamal's eyesight" game.









Damned angry Belgian.


And finally, there was an awesome MMA event last night that a bunch of us went to.  Free VIP entry and free booze (which was not something we knew of previously).


Paul I didn't know you were black and in Rio.


He didn't do too well.


We got drunk and danced on chairs (which we got told not to do in Portuguese...I think).


Their are plenty of stories but I don't have the energy to tell them at the moment.  I leave with this.  Dennis got some swag (a Yank, t-shirt's, a hoodie) from Shoyoroll and got a buncha these, one of which he passed on to me.  I'll look all baller once I've got it on my gi.


Black Belt Sunday, Pedra da Gavea, Sugarloaf

Time for a gigantic update.  I'm not sure how I've managed to fit so much in over the last few days but it's definitely been fun.


Pretty much everyone in the house headed back to Tijuca on Sunday to catch the black belt finals.  The atmosphere wasn't nearly as crazy as I thought it was going to be unfortunately.  Don't get me wrong, it was amazingly fun to see some ridiculous matches from just a few feet away, but I think I had worked it up as something more than it was in my head.  I got to see Felipe Costa fight (and lose) and also a black belt who we train with at Gordo's academy made it into the lightweight finals (he also lost).  I managed to run into David Jacobs and crew from Fairfax Jiu-Jitsu as well.  




Unfortunately that weekend I noticed that I had a pretty gnarly case of ringworm developing on my face.  It kept me out of training until, well, tomorrow.  Some of the over the counter stuff you can get in this country is amazingly strong and has worked tremendously well.  In the absence of this I've taken to hitting up some touristy things that people should do when they're out here.  First on the list was Pedra da Gavea.

Pedra da Gavea ( is one of the highest accessible peaks in Rio.  It dwarfs both Sugarloaf mountain and Cristo Redentor.  The beginning of the trail is also about a 500 foot walk from the Connection Rio house.  The only downside is you have to walk up the whole thing and boy is it tiring.  The trail is immensely steep.  Adding to this is the fact that their is a somewhat intense climbing section near the top that, while not too difficult, has definitely defeated a bunch of "height-shaken" individuals.  I honestly wasn't sure if I was going to make it all the way up but low and behold I did.  To the top and back is about 5 hours, but that includes the amount of time we spent dilly-dallying at the top.






Here is the highest point on the mountain.  Although "technically" it isn't a mountain, but a large coastal boulder.



This little area here is Barrinha, or "little Barra".  It's the part of Barra da Tijuca where I've been living.  The part you can see there is the roundabout, where pretty much anything we need resides.  The market, the bakery, a few restaurants, etc.  Nice little place ain't it?


Unfortunately that evening I came down with a weird, crazy, and strong 24-hour style stomach bug.  I literally couldn't keep any food down even though I hadn't eaten anything all day.  Thankfully every Belgian in the house (don't know why) seems to have brought medicine for the occasion.  I woke up right as rain.  That's when someone asked me if I wanted to head over to Sugarloaf mountain.  Well then, guess I do.  Sugarloaf is famous in popular culture for the iconic cable cars which ferry people up and down the mountain.




The view definitely isn't as good as from the top of Pedra da Gavea, but I guess not everyone can climb that monster mountain.  It definitely offers a different perspective of the city though, which is nice.  Also you can take helicopter tours (we didn't, they're retarded expensive).




We were told multiple times to not feed the animals.


Yeah that wasn't gonna happen.



Back to training tomorrow! (hopefully)

New Digs, Cristo


It's been way too long (somehow) since I've done a good blog update.  I've got a few reasons, but most of them are related to me being beaten up and lazy, which are frankly things I just need to toughen up about.


So the other day I decided to switch Connection Rio houses.  The main house that I've posted pictures of before is the Connection Rio HQ.  It was the first house and was, for a time, the only house.  As word on Connection Rio spread, Dennis managed to get another house, this one directly across the street.  It's much nicer and just seems to have a cooler atmosphere.  This is the Connection Rio Premiere house.  Things over here move at a much slower pace, and it's generally quieter, which is much more my speed.  Don't get me wrong, we definitely do stuff, but it's more my style.


One of the nice things over here is definitely the kitchen.  it's huge, organized, and most importantly clean.  I've managed to cook up a few tasty meals since I've been over here which is a lot better than simply having cereal, toast, and sandwiches.  



We have dance parties over here.  Also random couch jiu-jitsu.  Also monkeys.






Aside from a good smattering of classes and heading out to random places, the other day I finally ticked off another major tourist landmark and went with a bunch of the people from the house to see Cristo Redentor, Christ the Redeemer, the giant "who knows how tall" statue that lords over the entire city of Rio de Janeiro.

We decided to try our hands at taking public transportation the entire way.  This proved to be long, but fun.  We got a good tour of everything.  We took one public transport mini-van thing to almost Leblon and then hopped another one to General Ossorio square in Ipanema.  From there we hopped on the underground railway system to Largo do Machado.  From there we were getting antsy so we took a quick (and I do mean quick) cab ride to Corovado where there's a tram that takes you up to see the statue.  The tram ride was awesome and also extremely steep.  Here's a picture of me doing the best "smooth criminal" lean I'll ever do.  No I'm not supporting myself with my hands at all.  No one is holding me up.  That's how steep the tram is.

It was kind of an overcast day at Cristo but that made for not a lot of tourists, a smooth ride, and some pictures that people probably don't get.  The city looks pretty neat with a bit of cloud cover and some fog rolling across it (at least I think so).


I got some pretty "bomb-diggidy" photos of the man himself as well.



Also I apologize Jesus, but we had to.

For now I'm a bit beat up.  I'm gonna try and hit up Niteroi to check out the bridge and the contemporary art museum over there that's famous.  Also maybe find some local beer places.  I re-watched the Three Sheets episode on Rio and he heads to a Devassa and a Cachaca bar both in Ipanema that I could totally hit up.  Maybe pictures will be crazy.  Maybe I'll lose my camera.  Who knows.  

Sights and Sounds of Rio

It's a lazy Sunday here in Rio.  One that I'm using to cut a bit more weight by running and jump roping in the sun (isn't as awesome as it sounds).  I've collected a few random pictures of the sights and scenes around Rio and I figured I'd share.  Got nothing else to do today.


Up first is the bum passed out next to his wheel chair.  It was like high noon and everyone was sitting in the cafe next to him just going about their business.  When we walked back from the beach he was up, in his wheelchair, and eating so good on him.


2nd up we have Gordo playing volleyball with some of the other black belts at the gym.  This one was just plain funny.


Next up is the moderately famous Pepe's (Barra) Beach party camel.  This Arab guy walks around the beach each day dressed in full Arab sheik attire wheeling around a plastic camel that blasts crazy music and sells grilled falafel thingies out of its butt.  No joke.


We follow that with the pink electrified fence house in our neck of the woods.  Yeah...


You think America does bacon good.  Pft, pansies (yes this is an actual "piece" of bacon we picked up at the market).



And that concludes the series' of random pictures not worthy of their own post.  I'm sure I'll have a ton of good ones forthcoming since the Rio Open is on Thursday (yipes!).