Monday, 25 June 2012

3 days to go - Packing for Brasil

I'm writing this on my way to Hereford where I will be working at the Hereford Open tomorrow, although I love reffing it's a great feeling that after this the next time I will be stepping on the mats will be as a competitor. While I'm running around trying to get everything done before my trip I thought I'd blog my own guide of what to pack for a trip to Brasil based on my experience from my last visit.


A fairly obvious one you'd think if you are going there to train but last time I met quite a few people who had decided to 'pick up a cheap gi' while they were there to train in.
 Unfortunately the days of bringing an empty suitcase and stocking up on gis to sell back home are long gone. Due to getting alot less Brazilian Reais for your pound and the rise in good quality British Brands ,the gi's in Brasil are actually quite alot more expensive. I saw gis on sale at academies, at competitions and even in a couple of jiujitsu shops in a small shopping centre in Copacabana and didn't see anything under £100. Another misconception is that your gi's will dry quicker due to the heat, as Rio is very humid I actually found my kit took longer to dry. How many gis you take depends on how often you are planning to train but I would recommend taking 2 days worth to be on the safe side.


If you are a supplement groupie I'd recommend you bring your own supply, supplements in Brasil are stupidly expensive! Just remember to bring them in their original packaging.. noone wants to get delayed as the authorities think you're smuggling drugs! ;)

Electrical items

Anything electrical is literally 5 times the price (something to do with their taxes) and for the same reason some of the items on sale will make you feel like you've stepped back in time (though to be fair I was looking in smaller local shops), if there is anything you can't live without I'd recommend buying it before you leave. Similarly if you are planning on getting a Brazilian number while you're out there to give to the local Brasileiras, buying a cheap £10 unlocked phone before you go would be a good investment.


If you still have room in your case by now and you like to read, books in English are very hard to come by bring your own and give them to a friend before you leave.

The above is based on what I saw on my last (and only) trip to Rio, if you've been before and have found any bargains I didn't, please comment and share!

Guys can look away now, the following is just for the girls... ;)


Fairly obvious one with Brazil's reputation but if a piece of string hidden somewhere between your butt cheeks isn't for you... buy before you go! Even their 'bigger bikini bottoms' were way to small for my taste.


Although I would def recommend clothes shopping in Brasil, unless you are an 'average size' in Brassieres you're gonna have problems, they have a strange single number measurement for Bras which I personally found impossible. I saw a great range of sexy sports bras but if you prefer to keep your puppies on a tighter rein and outta sight yet again buy before you go.

Sanitary Products

Yet again I was looking in local shops, supermarkets and pharmacies rather than big shopping centres but the products available was like stepping back into the early 90s.. enough said.

See guys, you really should have stopped reading earlier! LOL ;P Next time I'll be blogging from Brasil! :D

Sunday, 17 June 2012

9 days until Brasil – Caio Terra Seminar.

I had a very busy BJJ filled weekend. On the Saturday I reffed at the Bournemouth Open, another well organised competition by the De Souza Family and saw some great fights on the day.


Although tired from the previous day, Sunday saw me making a 3 ½ hour trip each way to Eclipse Martial Arts in Walsall for the Caio Terra seminar organised by Peter Adams. The seminar was very well attended with a mixture of white to black belts and a couple of kids.

The way Caio teaches a seminar is quite different from other seminars I have attended. He began by giving us 6 topics or seminars that we had to vote on, the winner was Berimbolo which is Portuguese for Scramble. My Berimbolo knowledge being pretty much Zero it was a steep learning curve for myself.


The format for the seminar consisted of him teaching a technique letting us drill it for a few reps while he watched and then showing the technique again pointing out the common mistakes or answering any questions for the whole group rather than going around answering individuals (although he did do a little bit of that as well). This was good as we could all learn from the other’s problems. After stopping each time he would also get us to swap partners so each technique you would drill with maybe 3 or 4 partners, great for practising the moves on different body types. Caio gave a lot of detail for each position including variations of the position you could do when suffering from bad knees so common to BJJ players! He also really encouraged as many questions as possible not only about the positions that he was teaching but also in a general question session at the end.


Once the seminar had officially finished and the obligatory photos taken, Caio opened the mat up for sparring. Some people left at this point but a large number stayed on. Despite being jetlagged he tried to spend a few mins rolling with as many people as possible. He made a point of rolling with everyone who was under 70kg as there are not many chances to roll with someone of his size who is on a world class level. He also rolled with approximately half of the guys over 70kg as well. So many seminars do not include sparring or if they do the person teaching doesn’t spar it was great to see Caio giving everyone that experience and was the icing on the cake to a fantastic day. Overall I would say that higher grades probably get the most benefit out of Caio’s seminar’s but I think everyone there came away with plenty of useful tips and positions to work on.


Big thank you to Peter Adams for organising a great event and the hospitality of Eclipse Martial Arts and of Course Thank you to Caio for a brilliant seminar and roll! :)


Thursday, 14 June 2012

Hello World! Or should I say more precisely Hello Brasssiilllllll!!!!! ;)