During the first six months of my original long term stay in Rio de Janeiro, while living at OTM’s apartment in Barra da Tijuca, is where it all began. Scotty Nelson (Owner of OTM) with his busy schedule was traveling back and forth between Brazil and the US covering events. While out of the country he began leaving me in charge of OTM’s apartment. It was in this same year, 2003 that both Scotty and Danny “do nothing” encouraged me to venture out and start a guest house of my own in Rio to help foreigners come to Brazil for training.
At the end of 2003, that is when the first Connection Rio house began (before it was called Connection Rio). In the beginning, there were athletes from all around the World who visited the house guys like Travis Tooke, Max Masuzawa, and “Mad” Jack Magee along with his brother Adam Magee, just to name a few.
While spending a little over a year back in North America, during mid 2005-mid 2006 I continued helping visitors find places to stay in the city of Rio by corresponding with my contacts in Brazil. Upon returning to Rio, in the end of 2006, I slowly but surely started organizing trips to Rio to train with the best instructors in the world. This is how Connection Rio was born. It took almost a year for Connection Rio to get off the ground, nearly two and a half years for the Connection Rio HQ to be founded in May of 2009, thanks to the help of friend Prof. Rommel Cardoso it is now the premier place in Brazil for gringos to come and train.
Since May of 2009, Connection Rio has exploded attracting Jiu-Jitsu practitioners and professional athletes from across the entire World. Connection Rio is a part of me, I have invested and continue to invest a lot of myself into this ever growing project and the people that come here to train.
Having experienced visiting this great city and then eventually moving here from another country, I have something unique to offer people who are visiting Rio. I change my whole life by coming to Brazil and living the real Jiu-Jitsu lifestyle. It was a dream that it is now a reality. I would like to share this great city, the great training and the Carioca life style with you.
My timer here been invested in helping others get better but also time in the academy earned me the right to be the first foreign black belt under Professor Roberto Correa, and a professor in the Gordo Jiu-Jitsu academy. I take a lot of personal interest in all who stay in the city of Rio at Connection Rio, to ensure that their training is going well and they are in fact making the most out of the time spent here. As a professor at Gordo Jiu-Jitsu I even teach and train with the guests who stay here.
For those who have not yet met me, here is an important fact about Connection Rio’s slogan “Live your Dreams”. Although it very well might be your dream, Connection Rio’s slogan “Live your dreams” is meant not as in, if you stay at the one of CR’s Jiu-jitsu hostels or go through Connection Rio for your visit that you will necessarily be living your own dreams. Instead, it is a message to all as to the importance in life of actually going out and making your dreams a reality. What ever your dream or goal may be, take the initiative and make it reality!
Live your Dreams – Dennis Asche