Our friend Stephane from the excellent French website planetejjb.com had the chance to train in Manaus while on a business trip there. Here is his story:
On my last business trip, I had the chance and opportunity to go for the first time to Brazil.
I will make you discover through this article, my training in a particular in a city in the middle of the Amazon: MANAUS .
When I arrived at the hotel, the first thing I did was to go on the internet to find the club nearest BJJ academy in my temporary residence. Bingo, the club is located less than 2kms away: CIA . Amazonense Jiu Jitsu Manaus, located at 45 Praça Santo Dumont, bairro centro de Manaus, Amazonia www.ciaamazonensejj.com
I prepare my bag and it’s close 7pm. The weather is heavy, about 34 ° and rainy. Note that during this time of year (July 2013), the water can rise more than 12 meters in the Amazon rainforest.
My taxi dropped me off in a small street where the academy is located. I go upstairs and I can see the club.
Several people welcomed me warmly and they offered me to train in their club for free tonight. I did know that and thanked me while hurrying to go change =).
The training costs about 50 Reals (a little less than 20 euros) for a month of training in this academy in Brazil.
The course is provided by Rigomel Costa Jr, 3rd degree black belt under Royler Gracie.
Approximately 20-22 people were crammed in this little room: five black belts, 2 brown belts, 2 purple belts and a lot of blue and whites. I’m here to share my passion for BJJ with my future Amazonians friends.
The training lasts an hour and a half. it begins with a warm up about 15 minutes and then some drills and a lot of sparring. I’ affected by the time difference (-6 hours, compared to France) but another symptom watching me: the intense humidity in the room (95% humidity).
After only two rolls of 7 minutes, my kimono is soaked. The rolls go on, Rigomel asks me if I want to take some fresh air, I tell him no, and I continue, even though it’s really hard, I’m all wet … The level is high, the Brazilians have Jiu Jitsu in their blood really.
I’ve never experienced this before, training under intense heat without air and maximum humidity, I guarantee you will feel weird…. Romulo Barbosa, a brown belt, told me that the Amazon is the number 2 state in terms of results in Jiu Jitsu Championships after Rio. This is partly due to heavy weather conditions present here and I understand better
how the amazon, mainly Manaus, is a land of champions, among them: Saulo and Xande Ribeiro, Jose Aldo, Bibianno Fernandes Jacare …
8:30 p.m. end of the training, we discuss on the mat just like in all schools in the world: we go over the matches again, talking about the champions … The level English is correct and I’m having fun.
It’s time to leave the room and three guys: Romulo, Rigomel and Wilson offer me to eat a acai in a bar in Manaus. The acai fruit is appreciated in the Jiu Jitsu and surfing communities. It has many virtues: a lot of vitamins and especially a strong anti-oxidant, and is grown mainly in the Amazon and is widespread in Manaus and there at every corner. My Jiu Jitsu friends take me by car to Waku Sese, a bar in the city center, and we enjoy the well deserved acai. An acai costs about 9 reais a little less than 3 euros.
What a great experience to be able to roll in Manaus and have been well received. Romulo to thank you for his extreme kindness, thanks to Rigomel for his hospitality in the club and all its students. Thank you to the large family of Jiu Jitsu to allow us to share moments like this one at the 4 corners of the globe.