My stay in the imfamous Connection Rio house has recently come to an end. In the last six months I have had ridiculous levels of fun which is directly down to the people I have met and shared my time and space with. I have made some truly amazing friends from across the globe, I’ve even had my own (much maligned) pro-wrestling click. Thus one would envision that living in a house full of Jiu-Jitsu dudes or any space that is full of people who share the same hobbies and interests would be peace and love all the time. And for the most part that is exactly what it is, train hard then come home and make penis jokes with the homies. BUT during this time, I have met some weird ass people. I have come to realise that sharing a gaff full of twenty dudes means there’s a good chance that you will encounter people that you would enjoy slapping the piss out of on a daily basis.
I thought it worthy of documenting some highlights of these ‘special’ people, no names will be given in the interests of not being a complete bastard. I had intended to write this as one blog but I have decided to split it into two, as I think there’s is only so much dumb-assness one can take reading about in a single sitting.
I had the displeasure of meeting the inbred offspring of Lee Harvey Oswald. Whilst he appeared quiet, unassuming and introvert, Lee Harvey like guns, in fact he really liked guns. If you were unfortunate enough to mention anything associated with weaponry he would spring to life and inform tell you all about calibers and bullets and all sorts of other boring shit that no one cares about except for other maniacs who enjoy killing things. It also turned out that Lee Harvey wasn’t a big fan of the Jewish homies, a real recipe for disaster an anti-semetic, weird-ass gun nut.
We had another dude who had an interesting idea of what constituted acceptable clothing. Upon opening the front gate to the gaff one morning, I was presented with a seriously white ass Canadian dude returning from training in his boxers. This particular Jiu-Jitsu practitioner trained at Gracie Barra which was practically a mile away, he had walked the entire way in his grundies. Rio is a pretty liberal city, when your near the beach it’s not an uncommon site to see an old dude in the speedos proudly sporting his saggy nuts. BUT you don’t see gringos walking through residential areas naked save their duds and a pair of kicks. I politely enquired where his pants were, to which he informed me that he had asked the instructor whether it was ok and he’d said it was cool. If anyone asked he if it was acceptable to walk home in their bockers through the HUD I would be like ‘yeah sure, go for it dude’ but that doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do!
The spread of infection is unfortunately something that is bound to happen in a house full of dudes that train BJJ. This likelihood is multiplied by the fact there are mats in the gaff that people use to drill, roll, eat and sleep. These mats are also frequented housemate’s favourite feline ‘Permenta’ who uses them for snoozing and sneezing, if you have never seen a cat eject a greeny like a projectile missile straight out the nostril then you are really missing out. In light of this, it is in everyone’s best interests to be hygienic, unfortunately many people who come through the house didn’t appear to get this memo. During my time in the house the number one culprit for aids spreading was a gentlemen visiting Rio on his travels around South America. Dude didn’t like to wash his clothes, he complained it cost to much to use the washing and drying facilities, so rather than hand wash his business, better to just stink like ass instead. Funny enough within a week of his stay, he acquired full blown aids on his leg. Although he did stay off the mats which was than likely at the request of fellow housemates rather than his desire to keep others free from this terrible affliction. A further related issue was he liked to touch, I’m all for public displays of affection but the last thing you need is an aids spreader constantly putting their hands on you. The irony is, he was overheard doing his thing with a female housemate and he choose the shower of all places.
There has no shortage of interesting dudes during my stay at the Connection Rio gaff, one of my particular favourites was Australian pro-wrestler turned BJJ blue belt. Super nice guy but more Hacksaw Jim Duggan than Hulk Hogan. When homeboy said he used to be a pro-wrestler I kind of imagined some super backyard promotion in the outback. I couldn’t of been further from the truth when he proceeded to show us multiple matches including cage and ladder matches in front of 1,500 people. Apparently he had once asked Bret the Hitman Hart if he had any advice for him as an aspiring wrestler and Bret told him to watch videos of his matches, which I thought was inspiring advice from the best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be.
We had a random Brazilian dude come and stay on the mats, he was in Rio for the Ultimate Fighter trials the next day, after spending all afternoon just chilling with him we discovered it was actually Alexandro Ceconi, Abu Dhabi World Pro champion and all around bad ass heavyweight grappler. What most impressed me most wasn’t his willingness to give me and the homie a cheeky private on passing the guard but his ability to consume large quantities of Salgados. The salgado comes in many forms and guises but is essentially a Greggs pasty with added cheese and explosive deliciousness, any man that can consume their own bodyweight in them and then go and try out for a place in the world’s largest fighting organisation the next day, is already a champion in my eyes.
We had another Brazilian black belt who as well as being an absolute beast on the mats gaining international success this year was also a super cool guy. He had mentioned in passing conversation that he was in the process of a divorce from ‘crazy’ wife. It was quite the surprise then when said (soon to be) ex wife strolled down the path and shared the single bunk bed with him in a room full of 5 other dudes for the rest of his stay.
Part 2 coming…
My belt which is looking throughly ghetto fabulous these days became a bit more sexy when it gained two new stripes. Thank you very much to Professor Nogueira who felt like the belt needed this touch of pimping.