Celebrating in Style

Myself and some of the homies had the pleasure of being invited to Professor Terere’s birthday, this past Saturday. I still haven’t got over my total fanboyness, so this was definitely a pee myself with excitement kind of event!

The first part of the celebrations involved a spot of Jiu-Jitsu. This training session was slightly different as the adults and children all trained together. We had a technique section with guest black belt Eduardo Castro from Barbosa Jiu-Jitsu, looking at some dope details on the leg-drag. Then we rolled, I was paired up with this little dude, now he can have been no older than five and about three-foot something in his massive Gi and white belt. It was truly a humbling experience, we were rolling, he was putting me in arm-bars and throwing up triangles. He had an incredible level of natural movement, imagine just how good this little guy will be in ten years, just hope he sticks with it. Really sucks that I didn’t get any pictures. I was matched up with a variety of different people who I wouldn’t normally have a chance to roll with, it was hella interesting to see Jiu-Jitsu in a variety of different forms across age, gender and body type. I also had the opportunity to see two black belt who were arguably already steaming, go to war with one other and I mean WAR!

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Then it was BBQ time, there is a serious love of meat in Brazil and maaaaaaan was there some meat put away over the day. During the course of a four-hour session, that’s four hours of continuous eating, I consumed mass quantities of steak, chicken and fish. It’s crazy, meat is so good that over here even the liver was mad delish. Red meat combined with the sweltering heat of the Rio afternoon ensured that I was literally leaking protein! Convention was thrown out of the window too, why bother with the main course then dessert. The birthday cake was cut and there was a whole host of other crazy delicious dessert business going on but there’s still steak flying round and being forced onto your plate. I was eating an amazing chocolate fudge type birthday cake which was plonked next to thick slices of steak oozing blood, I thought to myself ‘this is some real man shit!’I eventually had to give up when I had the sensation that my belly button was about to force itself outwards.

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Aside from the abundance of food there was dancing and singing, fortunately I managed not to get involved in either. At the risk of propagating a stereotype, everyone can dance, I was witness to some serious hip based moves which have made me reconsider my own poke my fingers in the air and nod my head technique. One of the major highlights of the day was singing happy birthday to Terere. Now this was on some dope-ass remix shit, first the gringos sang happy birthday in English, which was cut into by happy birthday Brazilian stylee which is definitely the more hype version! This then led straight into a chorus ‘whoop whoop Terere’ from the 50 of so guests at the party, it was seriously awesome!

Aside from how badass it was to actually be at Terere’s birthday we got a chance of check out his medals. It was amazing to see so much Jiu-Jitsu history in front of my eyes. I had so many questions to ask the professor about all of these great achievements, ‘How did it feel to win the mundials at black belt?’ or ‘which championship win are you most proud of?’, pretty much all I could muster was ‘please can I have a picture?’ and ‘your a beast’!

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It was such a sweet day and a serious pleasure to even be there, there is this incredible sense of family around everyone connected to the academy and I feel very privileged to be part of it.

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I also competed again last weekend, fought and won three tough matches and took the gold. Whilst it wasn’t a big a competition as the No-Gi Nationals, it felt super awesome to win in the Gi here in Brazil. I’ve included the video of my final, although I wouldn’t advise anyone to really watch it unless you are a family member and then are compelled or you have a particular interest in incredibly dull Gi matches which have very little action. The match itself which ended 2-2 points, 1-1 advantage, 1-1 penalty. The highlight of rewatching the match was seeing the referee’s face as he was forced to give me the decision based on a last-minute attempted brabo choke, there is a definite begrudging look as he holds up my arm, read into that what you will! Learnt some valuable lessons from the comp, as the atypical blue belt guard player, I pull guard and managed to mess up three guard pulls out of three, so there’s something that needs a bit of work.

Got a new technique for you this week, being berimboloed sucks serious ass! Thus my homeslice Vlademir Alves is showing some slick defence to counter it.

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