Monday, 11 October 2010

Carlson Gracie Academy, Copacabana

After training at DLR, we managed a quick rejuvenating drink of juice and headed off round the block to train at the 7pm class at Carlson Gracie's, no rest for the wicked. This was one of the places I really wanted to check out here in Brazil, train in a place that has produced so many fearsome BJJ and MMA athletes over the years.

The building is quite small and very hard core, loads of trophies on the shelves, covered in dust, a matted area and nothing else, just a hardcore Spartan like place to train. Awesome!

Carlson Gracie's wife was on the reception desk as we made our introductions to the instructor Saporito, one of the coolest dudes on the planet, he made us all feel very welcome and showed us where to get changed. The class started with the usual warm up exercises and Saporito showed some really cool ways to attack the arm, when the opponent has a hold of their own belt.

After drilling the techniques it was time for free training; my first roll was with a very technical brown belt and knowing of the fierceness of competition that comes from Carlson Gracie clubs, I was rather nervous on how they would roll with me. After the first minute rolling all my doubts were cast aside as we had a great roll and wasn't smashed up and left for dead, a real cool guy and the start of another night's fun and games.

My second roll was with another brown belt and had more of the same with him and two more rolls ended the night's training with a tough blue belt and a really tough black belt, all in all forty minutes of serious training. I found myself thinking 'Am I really here in Brazil?' when I was rolling with the guys, it was quite bizzare to be honest, trying to concentrate on my opponent and all these crazy thoughts came crashing in. To be in the heart of BJJ, training in such legendary academies gave me the biggest buzz ever and really fired me up when I was rolling, giving me an extra boost of energy, that was needed to finish the second training session of the day.

And so another session closes and our gi's were soaked through and practically walked themselves to the changing rooms; we returned to the juice bar and had an amazing banana and protein milk shake that picked us all up and we managed to muster up enough energy to grab a cab back to the house.

The training fee was R$25, the welcome and hospitality from the instructors and students is second to none, we were made to feel most welcome and I felt priviliged to train at such an infamous location; a photo of Carlson hangs on the wall, where he keeps a watchful eye on the training, so I hope I gave a good account of myself when I was rolling.

Address - Rua Figueiredo de Magalhaes #414 3rd Floor, Copacabana
Phone - + 55 (21) 2549-1465

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