|Pizzas and Donating Gloves|
After leaving X-Gym, the team finished the day in Romanella. If Cummins won the all-you-can-eat barbecue challenge on day one, today was Miller’s time for payback. The funny man ate more than 10 slices of pizza, as well as some pasta.
“He tapped me out today,” Cummins conceded.
When the check came, the Americans couldn’t believe it only came to $12 U.S.
“Man, I can’t believe that, someone has to do something like this in U.S.,” said Miller. “This is very good, and so f--king easy to make money from.”
In the car, on the way to the hotel, the fighters couldn’t hide their anxiety for tomorrow, their first day of training at Nobre Arte, the boxing academy in a favela.
“Revgear gave us around 20 pairs of new gloves, and we’ll have the pleasure of donating those to the social project which helps all these guys who don’t have the support to keep training,” said an excited Parsons.
Right after visiting Nobre Arte and participating in boxing training, the Americans will go straight to Nova Uniao, to train with guys like Thales Leites, Jose Aldo, Marlon Sandro, Pedro Rizzo and Leo Santos. Check back here for all the details of that exciting day tomorrow.
After the hard training at Gracie Barra Academy in the morning, Cummins and Miller relaxed by eating some acai with lunch and walking on the beach, where, right in front of their hotel, a surfing championship was taking place.
By 7 p.m., the guys were ready to train again, this time at X-Gym, headquarters of Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante, Anderson Silva and Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza. Currently, all of them are out of town: Anderson is in Curitiba, “Jacare” is in San Jose, and “Feijao” is visiting his family in Cuiaba. As such, the MMA training which normally takes place at 10 a.m. was canceled, but the legendary jiu-jitsu teacher Sylvio Behring invited the Americans to participate in his night class, and showed them particular attention.
“This is easily the best academy we’ve visited here,” recognized an impressed Ryan Parsons, after stepping two floors down, passing through the excellent gym facilities, and reaching the fighting area. There was a boxing class for women taking place in the ring, a savate class in the cage, and 10 children having a judo lesson in the small dojo while Sylvio was leading his class in the larger area.
After welcoming Parsons, Miller and Cummins, the master of Fabricio Werdum -- Behring taught him from white to black belt -- interrupted the class and joined about 30 of his students in the middle of the dojo to introduce the Americans. After that, Behring asked one of the black belts to lead the gi class, and asked two other black belts to take their gis off and help him show some positions to Miller and Cummins.
Behring dedicated more than an hour to showing his guests some basic, but very important, details, like the best way to secure an arm-triangle choke, some sweeps, and even some tricky ways to apply the rear-naked choke.
“Since I started doing jiu-jitsu when I was 18 years old, I’ve always dreamed of coming to Brazil and learning the secret details from a real jiu-jitsu master,” said Miller. “That’s what I got today. It was such an amazing experience.”
“Man, this guy is a great master and a very nice person,” added Parsons, also enchanted by the way Sylvio received his guests. “Today, we learned many details that will be very important in their future MMA careers. What a great experience.”
At the end of the class, Sylvio thanked the visiting Americans and formed a long line, where all the students complimented each other. By that time, the showman Jason was already making everybody laugh, mixing up many words in his crazy Portuguese: “prazer em conhecer” (“nice to meet”), “bom treino” (“good training”), “porra” (“f--k”) and “caralho” (“d--k”).
When everybody was leaving the dojo, Mario Sperry, who works out in X-Gym, appeared to say hello to the guys.
“If I had to choose the highlight of my trip to Brazil, definitely I would choose meeting Mario Sperry. The ‘old man river’ is like my man crush. I wanna be like him when I grow up,” said Cummins, still beaming from the important tips Sperry gave him during their visit to Gordo Jiu-Jitsu.
|Eu Amo o Brasil!|
After showering and changing clothes, Miller started to speak his “crazy Portuguese” with the Brazilian guys. Besides bad words like “porra,” “caralho” and “porrada” (his favorite Portuguese words), Miller asked the Gracie Barra crew how he could say “I love Brazil.” They told him, and Miller began screaming “Eu amo o Brazil! Eu amo o Brazil!” and making everyone laugh.
Cummins also showed lots of excitement for the excellent training they’re receiving in Brazil.
“It’s been an amazing opportunity, everybody receives us so well,” said the wrestler, very anxious for Thursday, when they’ll train at Nobre Arte.
“I can’t wait to train in that academy in the favela and see all the children and how people live there. I’m really excited about that,” finished Cummins.
After two hours’ rest in the hotel, it’s time to head to X-Gym for the day’s second training session.
|Kata-Gatame and Wrestling Class|
At the end of training, Miller and Cummins asked Gustavo “Ximu” Machado to show them some tricks to using the kata-gatame (arm-triangle choke). After a couple of repetitions, Ryan Parsons offered to answer any wrestling-related questions that “Ximu” and the Gracie Barra guys might have. Parsons and Cummins demonstrated some nice takedown defense, then Parsons asked Miller to show the crew the position that helped him beat Kazushi Sakuraba the month before. Immediately, everybody formed a circle around Miller and observed the sequence.
After some hard training at Gordo Jiu-Jitsu Academy, plus five hours walking through Pedra da Gavea yesterday, Patrick Durkin Cummins and Jason “Mayhem” Miller woke up with only their toes aching -- something really impressive to a normal person like myself, who feels pain all over his body after the crazy climbing adventure. The pair are very excited to grapple today at perhaps the world’s most famous Brazilian jiu-jitsu academy.
Located three blocks away from Barra Beach, on the fourth floor of By Fit Academy, is Gracie Barra headquarters. The gym has existed in the same location since the early 90s. It was there where Carlos Gracie molded all of his top students: Renzo Gracie, Ryan Gracie, Marcio Feitosa, Roberto “Gordo,” Ricardo Almeida, and Alexandre “Soca,” to name just a few.
“Man, I feel like I’m in the Gracie house. This is the history of jiu-jitsu,” said the funny Miller, while looking at a picture of Carlos Gracie surrounded by his most important black belts. “Hey, this is the Gracie I love the most!” Miller screamed, pointing to the polemical Ryan Gracie.
During training, Pat and Jason rolled with five different guys, including MMA and jiu-jitsu fighters like Gustavo “Ximu” Machado, Eduardo Simoes, Paulo Samoa, Eduardo Simoes, Kleber Buiu and Diego Boxer.
Jason looked good in training, scoring a couple of taps with chokes and leglocks.
“I’m feeling really good today, much better than the first day, when I fell straight from the airplane into the cage,” said Miller.
Cummins also trained better today, much to the delight of his trainer and manager, Ryan Parsons.
“You’re training much better on the ground than two days ago,” praises Parsons. “You looked pretty comfortable on the ground.” He asked Cummins to get himself into tough positions, in order to get more comfortable on the ground.