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Sunday, 3 November 2013

Rebooting the blog, plans for the end of the year and beyond

So since I've been back in the UK I somewhat neglected this blog(well forgot about it), so from now on i will be making some posts on what i get up to in the next few months, got a lot of cool stuff planned, trips to Munich, Lisbon and the USA planned, lots of competitions to compete in and training hard to improve myself as much as I can, and also helping everyone I can with jiu jitsu from my team mates, to my students, and looking to help kids in our jiu jitsu programme benefit from jiu jitsu and make their first forays in competition.

So in short, travel,train,compete,improve,help.

Connection Rio Sponsored Jamie Hughes, Back on the UK Circuit

Well its been almost exactly a month since I returned home from my 3 month stay in Rio De Janeiro at Connection Rio , getting back to the UK was both a happy and sad moment for me personally, returning home to my comforts of home and getting to see all my friends and training partners at Celtic pride martial arts and Pedro Bessa BJJ was great but on the other side i was also sad to leave behind my friends , the sunshine  and the lifestyle of Rio.
Jamie Hughes is from Wales, UK, and is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu purple belt under Pedro Bessa. Jamie lived and trained in Rio De Janeiro for 3 months as part of the Connection Rio sponsored athlete programme. You canread his blog “Espanthalo BJJ” here.
But since coming back I have not kicked back and day dreamed about sunny Rio, i have been hard at work work putting in the hours on the mat and hitting the UK competition scene, since returning I have competed in the IBJJF London international nogi and Welsh open nogi championships , gaining a silver medal in London and a gold medal in the welsh open. And I also have a busy finish to the year competing over Europe in preparation for the 2014 IBJJF European championships
Since being back I have had a lot of time to put into practice the many great things and ideas I learned in my time at Connection Rio , not just in training and competition but also in what I want to do with my life as a whole, which is pretty simple, to live the jiu jitsu lifestyle to its fullest,achieve my goals and help as many people as possible through jiu jitsu., and i know this will be made possible by the continued support of my coaches Greg Creel and Pedro Bessa, my great sponsors and team mates I have around me at Celtic Pride martial arts and all of the Pedro Bessa clubs around the UK.
Here is what my coach Greg Creel had to say about the impact my time in Rio
“Since retuning from Connection Rio Jamie has continued to train with the same intensity and focus has he did in Brazil.
Connection Rio gave Jamie a massive opportunity not many people get in our area , and since his return not only has his game improved but he has matured as a person too, under the guidance of me and Pedro Bessa hopefully Jamie can continue to improve along with the small but focused team we have here to reach some of the goals he has set him self for the end of 2013 and 2014
Celtic Pride Martial Arts Greg Creel wtih Jamie
Celtic Pride Martial Arts Greg Creel wtih Jamie
I personally would like to thank Connection Rio for giving Jamie the opportunity to go and live the Bjj lifestyle and for all the training he received under Dennis Asche and all of the team at Gordo jiu jitsu.”
I would also like to thank Connection Rio for giving me the experience of a life time and helping to reaffirm that jiu jitsu is what I want to do with my life.
I look forward to returning in the very near future.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Training in the Rio Climate: What to Expect, Tips and How it Will Improve your Jiu-Jitsu

The #1 Tip For Training BJJ in Rio Climate

The most useful tip when training here in Rio’s climate is to stay hydrated! You won’t believe the amount of people who arrive and don’t keep themselves adequately hydrated, and their training suffers as a result. Make sure during the day you always have a bottle of water at hand and you are constantly rehydrating yourself, this will be particularly important during and post training. Be sure to drink plenty of water during a tough training sessions and also supplement your water intake by having some agua de coco or Gatorade to ensure you leave yourself hydrated after training.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Copa Podio Review

"Within seconds of walking in the door there were easily recognizable faces from the world of jiu jitsu, including Rodolfo Vieira, Cicero Costha ,Ary Farias,Rodrigo Cavaca and all of the participants of the GP and superfights.
All of us from the Connection Rio house were supporting Australian grappling sensation Kit Dale who had been staying and training with us at the Connection Rio house and also Olympian Travis Stevens who I was lucky enough to train with a few times at Gordo’s in the week building up to Copa Podio."

Friday, 6 September 2013

Copa Cyclone,Nogi with Mario Sperry and training with Copa Podio's Kit Dale and Travis Stevens

So its been a little while since my last blog update, been busy here training hard here at Gordo's and around Rio and the past week and half has been some of my best time in Rio so far.

I got to compete at the Copa Cyclone here in Rio, i competed one weight class higher than my normal weight, so i was in the heavyweight purple belt division, the atmosphere and vibe of the competition was incredible, teams from all the powerhouses of brazil under one roof cheering on their team.

I fought hard and managed to take the bronze medal in my division, not the gold i wanted but still fairly happy to pick up my first medal in brazil.

 Also this week we have been lucky enough to have Copa Podio competitor and all round good guy Kit Dale staying with us at the Connection Rio in preparation for this sunday's event, so it been cool to hang out and pick Kit's brain on all things jiu jitsu.

Also got to train a few times with Olympian and Copa Podio Competitor Travis Stevens at Gordo's, a very skilled grappler and judoka its been a blast to get to train with him.

 And finally this week i got an invite by Gordo to train some nogi with none other than ADCC and multiple time world champion Mario Sperry, it was a truly amazing experience to be able to train and spar with someone of such a standing in the jiu jitsu world, not often you get to train with an icon of jiu jitsu. one of my best moments of training her so far, and a big thanks to Gordo for the invite.

So this weekend i will be attending the Copa Podio to support Kit and Travis in their attempts to win the Copa Podio

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Nova Uniao, Fightzone and Copacabana beach!

So im into my 8th week here and this past week was a very good week of training, i have been getting a lot of training in at Gordo's including extra 7am sparring sessions with the blackbelts before the 8am class which has been brilliant.

Also this week i was luck enough to get to visit two of the powerhouses of world jiu jitsu and MMA in Nova Uniao and Fightzone. First up was the evening sparring class at Nova Uniao, the journey from Barra to Flamnego to train at Nova was a long one but totally worth it, close to 50 guys on the mats, including Yan Cabral,Thales Leites,Leo Santos, the structure and sparring in the class was top notch, i got some really good training in and got to watch some beautiful jiu jitsu by all the blackbelts there(close to 25 on the mat).

Then this past friday morning me and some of my Connection Rio housemates travelled to Copacabana to train at the competition class at Fightzone, the gym itself has a very cool set up, we were warmly welcomed by all the guys there and trained for close to 2 hours, with lots of cool concepts on positional sparring and lots of other great sparring rounds. Again so many high level guys to train with there, i was very impressed with Fightzone and then afterwards we all chilled on Copacabana beach and soaked up the sun and sights.

Another fantastic week in the books, ive got 5 weeks left and im planning on making the absolute most of it, thanks for reading all.


Thursday, 15 August 2013

Nothing but hard training

training has been going really well, i am feeling improvements in many areas of my game, i'm averaging around 10-12 sessions a week the past few weeks, every session is tough but very rewarding, this past week has probably been my best week since i arrived in terms of sparring. 

Only downside has been a lot of my good friends i made here at CR HQ have departed the house and gone back to their respective countries, so the house is a little quieter than usual for the meantime but still a lot of great people here.

sorry for the shorter post this week, most of my energy is being reserved for training, nothing but 100% effort and hard training

here is a video of me training at Terere's academy in Ipanema, getting to learn from one of my masters once again.


Monday, 5 August 2013

UFC 163, Terere and Teixeira's

This last week in Rio has arguably been my best since i have got here, this past week I have been training really hard with all the beasts at Gordo jiu jitsu and also got to visit Terere's gym now he is back from his seminar tour of mexico, walking into terere's was a great experience, i was instantly greeted by terere and warmly welcomed by the rest of his team, ive been lucky enough to train and spend lots of time with terere during his visits to wales and the UK.

It really felt like being at home as the training was very tough and everyone was in great spirits on the mats at FT academy, training there was one of the very best experiences in rio so far and i am looking forward to continuing to learn under terere in my remaining few months.

Also this week i was able to visit escola de jiu jitsu which is ran by 6th degree blackbelt Jose Henrique ‘Leão’ Teixeira, the class was a sparring class and i was very fortunate to roll with all blackbelts during the class and had some very fun rolling with them due to their very open and flowing jiu jitsu, Teixeira was agreat host and gave me some very good comments on my jiu jitsu after class, a really welcoming place to train i will be heading back many times during my time here.

And to round off a great week me and a few guys from connection rio headed to the HSBC Arena in rio to watch the ufc 163 event, and what an event it was, a crazy atmosphere, KO's, submissions and epic back and fort wars, made it a brilliant experience and my favourite ufc event i have attended.

This week im looking forward to training very hard and prepping for my upcoming competitions this month.


Sunday, 28 July 2013

Rio international Open and Birthday celebrations

This week in brazil training was slightly more scaled back as a i prepared for the Rio international open, took a day off before competing on the Thursday to make sure i was completely fresh for the competition, then competition itself was amazing the atmosphere was like nothing ive ever experienced while competing in Europe, the crowd were electric and this was just the blue and purple belts.

I fought at heavyweight purple belt adult, and had some stiff competition in my division, i weighed in about 3.5kg underweight, and fought my first match against a guy from Nova Uniao, who is also the current south american jiu jitsu champion, in a really tight match of him trying to pass guard and me trying to sweep from the bottom, i unfortunately lost by 1 advantage after the scores finished 0-0, i was very disappointed not to make the podium and have a first round loss(my first for a while) but the experience of competing at this high level and at the tijuca tennis club with be a memory i will have forever.

Also celebrated my birthday here in Rio out on the town with all my friends here at the CR HQ house, we went out in barra watched some ufc fights and then had some great laughs out on the town. im now the ripe old age of 23 and truly starting to appreciate what a good life jiu jitsu is bringing me and how much more hardwork i need to put in to fulfil my goals and dreams.


Sunday, 21 July 2013

Tough training,video blogging and meeting world champs

Its been a really tough week of training this past week, been gearing up for this weeks upcoming Rio International Open, and after 11 punishing sessions im feeling in great shape to fight to my full potential, in addition to training, i had the pleasure of doing a little video blog and photoshoot for connection rio which was a really cool experience.

Also got to meet and train alongside BJJ world champion and UFC fighter Antonio Braga Neto at open mat training on saturday which was a great honour, and then finished off saturday by chilling at the beach and enjoying the sun.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Great training, Redbelts and Babalu!

So this last week of training has gone really well, got in 11 sessions, and the vast majority of my sparring has been with blackbelts, which is really tough and rewarding, getting lots of good tips and feedback from the blackbelts at gordos.

This week we also paid a visit to Paulo Mauricio Strauch's gym in Copacabana, he is a 9th degree redbelt and still teaches every day, the academy itself is only small but with about 12 of us visiting and all the local students on the mat, it was a really good vibe.

Master Strauch did a little demonstration of technique which was very very impressive, and we drilled a new armlock escape for a few reps, then he decided it was too busy so we were going to spar, so we all rolled for at least an hour, got some really tough rounds in with his students.

Strauch himself as a person is really friendly, welcoming and mischievous, he would do funny little things like try to ankle tap you or try to trick you into doing push ups. He showed how much of a nice guys he is by offering us too stay in the gym if we didn't have a place to stay that night.

A highly recommended visit for anyone heading to Rio.

Also on the last session of the week,open mat at Gordos, we were around half way through the session and who walks in fresh off the plane, none other than MMA legend Renato Babalu Sobral, he opened up his suitcase and threw on a gi and got into rolling, must admit i was pretty star struck seeing a fighter of his calibre training in front of my eyes.

Another week of awesome training and experiences here in Rio, hoping for much more.


Monday, 8 July 2013

UFC, Christ the Redeemer and a great week of training

So i managed to get around 12 sessions in my first week in Rio, we worked all closed guard attacks in Gordos classes and some really nice backt akes and armlocks in Dennis's classes, really good tough training.

Over the weekend, we all headed over to CR HQ house to watch UFC 162, we had a lot of fun and the ending of the main event may have resulted in us waking up the neighbourhood due to our cheers and gasps at what we had just witnessed.

Then on the sunday, a group of us from the premier house headed out exploring copacabana and we visited christ the redeemer, probably the most famous landmark in Rio and brazil, the journey there was good fun and the the view from the top was breathtaking, a perfectly clear and sunny day to get to see the great statue and all the amazing views from the top of the mountain. really was one of the best experiences i've had.

Really looking forward to this week of training.

 Kareem,Laurino,Nathan,Mike,Me and Patrick chilling at the summit.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Settling in to life in Rio

Settling in to life in Rio

So i've been here in Rio nearly a week, so far it been a pretty eventful week, been getting lots of good training in at Dennis's classes and Gordo's classes and also picking up lots of good tips from my fellow CR house mates.. Had a major issue with one of my prepaid travellers cards not working, so i have been introduced to waiting around a Brazilian bank to collect some wired money(so much fun....).

Got to see quite a bit of Barra so far, and now i've got my money issues sorted i'm looking forward to exploring all around the city and seeking out all the best experiences and training I can, got a few more tough sessions left this week, then looking forward to hitting the beach and watching the UFC at the connection rio house with all my newly made friends at CR.

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Sundays are pretty relaxed here in Rio, so i had a good sleep until about 9am, then went out and explored a bit a Barra with Feroz from the house i'm staying in, Barra is a nice area, but looking forward to exploring the other parts of rio aswell.

A few of us from the house hit Gordos gym for some evening training, open mat sparring, all the guys in the house are very technical and tough so we got some good rounds in. Looking forward to my first full week of classes tomorrow.

here are some pics of Gordos and the view from the CR premier house.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Finally Here!!

So after 16 hours of travelling, i made it to Rio safe and sound, surprisingly the travelling over wasn't as bad as i was expecting, went by pretty painlessly. i got picked up from the airport by one of gordo's brownbelts, and driven through rio towards barra where i'm staying, all the city was lit up as it was night, really a unique sight.

So i got the house and was shown my room and got introduced to everybody at the house, they were all really friendly and welcoming, i decided to head to bed to catch up on some sleep.

awoke to beautiful sunshine early this morning, and headed out to get some breakfast before my first class, gordo's is literally 30 seconds down the road, so i got my kit together and headed down there.

The mat was full to the brim with all blackbelts,brownbelts and purples and this was a quiet open mat, got lots of 10 minute rounds in with all black and brown belts, really high level training and was great to have so many diverse games to go against. the heat wasn't as bad as i was anticipating, made sure i kept myself hydrated throughout the session.

So ive just got back to my room, going to grab a bite to eat, then go and check out some of the local area.

think i'm gonna like it here

Monday, 24 June 2013

Premier BJJ championships Cork,Ireland!

Travelled over to Cork this past weekend to compete at the premier bjj championships in cork city, the event itself was in a really cool venue in the neptune stadium usually a basketball arena its was a great setting for a jiu jiitsu competition. the event was expertly ran by pedro bessa,liam beechinor and all the members of the irish bjj community who helped out.

The standard of competitor was very high with all of the top irish talent on show, including Darrag O'Conaill,Joey Breslin,Brendan McGarry, Piotr Wisniewski and a whole host of tough guys and girls from the Irish academies.

I competed in the purple belt medium heavy division and also in the Premier BJJ purple belt division.
In my weight class in round 1 i took on a good guy from bjj revolution team, i managed to pick up a quick triangle win, then on to the semi final against a very tough competitor from SBG Richie Crosdale, one of the top medium heavies in ireland, got the win by triangle from tornado guard after about 2 mins. then in the final i fough Brandan McGarry from BJJ cork, we are both under pedro bessa and team mates but we fought it out in really tough match, I was 2 advantages down with 20 seconds to go i managed to sweep and climb on to the back and take the gold! 

Then on to the Purple belt absolute, $200 for the winner, all of the toughest purple belts in ireland in the mix, in Round one i fought a super heavyweight, got the win by armabar after the 4 minute mark, then in the quarter final i fought another massive ulta heavyweight from SBG , a really tough match i lost 3-0, tried everything i could but he was better on the day and rightfully went on and won the absolute division with ease.

Also Pedro Bessa stepped up on 5 mins notice and won a blackbelt superfight in amazing fashion and Pedro Bessa BJJ team won the team title by a big margin, huge well done to all of our team.

Overall an amazing competition, and the night out and after party in Cork city was equally as good, thanks to all of the Irish BJJ community and the guys at BJJ cork for making us really welcome.