Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer)
DanHunt's Tuesday June 12th, 2012
Beto and I woke up early to attend the morning class at Gordo's gym, which starts promptly at 8am. In order to make it on time to this class, it's vital that we leave the house NO LATER THAN 7:59am, to leave plenty of time for the grueling 80 meter walk down the street.
On our way out the door we saw a troop (flock, herd, platoon?) of monkeys in the tree in front of the house. They are likely the cutest animals I've seen since I saw the baby panda scare its mother by sneezing on YouTube. They look a bit like a mix between a squirrel, a chihuahua, and Katie Holmes. Based on the fact that the number of barking dogs in the morning has only ever been rivaled by a Cesar Millan nightmare, it's safe to assume we reside in one of the VERY few properties without canine roommates, which I'm sure is very attractive to the little Katie Holmes monkeys. After verbally demeaning the monkeys to discourage a self-empowered uprising (like in Planet of the Apes), we headed over to the gym.
Having paid for the month of training at Gordo's, we received our attendance cards, which are presented to Gordo at the beginning of class so he can tally the number of times we looked like Taser victims on the mats of his gym.
Warm up consisted of laps around the mats, shrimping, sit ups, pushups, planks, and other repetitious movements that afforded me the opportunity to count to ten in Portuguese when the rounds made their way to me (each guy counts to ten: # of students x 10 = number of reps). Fumbling through, I managed to make ten mildly coherent noises every time the spotlight was turned my way, and began to feel like a local. On a side note, I have been told by 3 black belts that they thought I was Brazilian. It could be my cocoa brown toe hair, or my very careful pronunciation of "bom dia" (good day, used commonly as good morning) and "bom treino" (good training, said before each roll as a sign of respect, and a ploy to blend in and keep from being the American bullseye) that led them to that conclusion, but regardless, I was flattered.
Today's technique was a half guard sweep/back take that had enough detail in it to allow me to forget a piece on every rep, causing Gordo to shake his head in disappointment and make corrections in fluent English. Truth be told, this blog is very self effacing for comedy's sake, but I feel well prepared by all of the jiu jitsu coaches I have had to represent them well and absorb information comfortably. Back to the technique. As I said in a previous post, the techniques here are very detail oriented, but you only get a couple chances to watch the technique as you're expected to pay enough attention to grasp most of the details quickly (and I don't know how to say "does anyone want to see this again?" in Portuguese, so it's possible I've been overlooking that part). Staring at the instruction like a toddler stopping mid-run to gaze blankly through you while he fills his diaper been my go to learning strategy.
I have been lucky in that I have already rolled with Gordo (someone with 3 months in Rio is still waiting for the opportunity), I have been shown several techniques that tie directly into my game, I haven't had diarrhea yet, and have avoided being imprisoned for an unknown social infraction... So I'm feeling fortunate at this point.
I'll make it a point to read this blog before coming back, if that ever happens to be in the cards, so I'm going make a list for myself of things to remember before my trip.
1. Bring protein. R$150 ($75) for a small container here. Probably cheaper to buy steroids and acai.
2. Bring clippers for my beard. I look like Kenny Loggins.
3. Bring a computer. Writing a blog on a phone is ridiculous.