Six months living in the mecca of gringo Jiu-Jitsu in Rio; The Connection Rio house. Part two of my experience at the gaff, we have more delicious tales of random ass dudes doing random ass shit.
In my time in the house I noticed a strong correlation between being Irish and spending a large percentage of time lying in bed. Maybe this was due to the intense climate that isn’t conducive for their skin, my Irish homies are some of the whitest dudes I have ever met. There was one particular young, Irish blue belt, he was a little quiet but a nice dude with an amazing level of Jiu-Jitsu knowledge. He was a little unlucky when he first arrived, first getting ill and then suffering from some of the world’s worst mosquito bites, mosquitos also seem to love the Irish more than most. This run of bad luck then prompted him to just give up training completely and spend, practically the entirely of a three-month stay lying in bed and eating M&Ms. We are talking bunk beds in a room full of dudes that smells like a rotten ass sandwiches a large portion of the time, defo not the ideal place to spend your holiday.
Then we have the strange case of Stretch Armstrong. Homeboy had a three-month stay at Connection Rio, he decided in advance that he would train his entire time at renowned Jiu-Jitsu academy Gordos which is conveniently located two minutes out of the front door. Things didn’t go according to his original plan, after a number of sessions he decided that he didn’t enjoy warming up, drilling techniques that he had no interest in or even getting there on time because “the black belts don’t have to”. The simple solution to this, he resolved, was to give up training Jiu-Jitsu in its entirety. In fact the most effective course of action would be to stop leaving the house completely and instead spend a minimum of 12 hours a day stretching on the mats. No matter the time of day or night, no matter if there is people on the mats drilling techniques, he knew no boundaries of personal space and would quite happily stick his cock in your face as you eat some spaghetti.
We had the man affectionately known as ‘Meat-head’, now Meat-head was about 6 foot 2′ of Chilean muscle, not a shred of fat on his cut frame but also barely a brain cell in his whopping head. There was one particular incident where I was sure that this guy was messing with me, I was sat on the sofa and got up to make some food. Upon returning from the creation of some hotdog delicious I find homeboy in my seat, all the rest of the seats free but he decides to sit in mine. I was like fine, whatever, so I then go and sit on the mats. After finishing the delish, I get up again and go and make a coffee. When I got back the meat-head had plonked himself down exactly where I was in front of my Macbook and all my stuff. I was thinking this dude is actually fucking with me here, so I went and sat next to him so close that we were practically snuggling, it only took a few seconds before his discomfort showed and he gave me a bemused look and got up. I instantly realised it wasn’t intentional, dumbass just kept getting lost walking around the living room.
I also encountered a lot of question askers – don’t get me wrong asking questions is perfectly acceptable and indeed the most sensible course of action when you arrive somewhere new. But there is definitely a limit to how many of the same question a person can ask without receiving an inverted atomic drop. We had one Street Fighter 2 character who was the archetypal Russian bearded wrestler. Aside from spending his time drilling spinning pile drivers, homeboy would ask question after question to the point where dick slaps were about to be distributed then he would wander off and ask the same questions to someone else. The mundane line of questioning would usually go something like this, “are you training tonight” to which I reply “yes, you know I train every day dude” followed by “what time are you training at?” to which my response would be “the same time as when you asked me yesterday 8 o’clock bro’. Finally “what time are we leaving for training” to which I reply “THE SAME TIME I TOLD YOU TWENTY MINUTES AGO PENIS HOLE!”
Aside from these random individuals who without doubt added to the experience, it has been amazing spending six months day in and day out around so many people who share the same passion as me. If you’re looking at coming to Rio to get your train on, I would no doubt recommend staying at Connection Rio. I would like to thank house managers Torryn and Nicole for holding it down and being real good people’s. Also the benevolent God of gringo Jiu-Jitsu Dennis Asche for making it all possible. To all my dudes who I shared the space with and got to kick it, thank you all for being awesome.
Oh and on the Jiu-Jitsu tip, I was recently choked out cold for the first time. What really made this noteworthy was the fact that I was put to sleep by 15-year-old yellow belt and new house mate; Gabriel. Whilst rolling, he got the bow and arrow choke but I had my hand in and thought I’d be able to defend and more foolishly thought he wouldn’t even be strong enough to get the choke anyway. How wrong I was! Sounds from the academy began to encircle themselves around me and then suddenly drown out. Then I’m somewhere else, I have no idea where but I had this feeling that I shouldn’t be there. The next thing I know, I was being stood over by a very worried looking teenager, whose face read ‘how am I going to tell everyone I just killed Moz?’ It was awesome, I was only out for a few seconds but it felt like a full on psychedelic experience. My biggest fear of being choked out was waking up rocking that morning-glory, which would be the cause of some serious embarrassment, so I was relieved to find this hadn’t occurred upon regaining consciousness.