I have nothing but positive things to say about Dennis. He is humble, friendly, supportive, a phenomenal instructor AND super easy to get along with. His love for Rio and passion for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu are so apparent, as he has brought to life one of the world's most incredible training spots to be found!
As a wildly unorganized, sporadic, young traveller, I was sending Dennis e-mail after e-mail to sort out my stay with CR. He was extremely understanding and helpful, giving me a lot of information on room rates, training, and even offered to send a vehicle to pick me up from the airport. I was alone on my travels through Central and South America and by this time was feeling pretty fearless as I grabbed a taxi straight out of the airport at 2am in Rio de Janeiro. In hindsight it's better to be organized, prepared and likely to have sorted out the ride!
I try and reach out at least once a year to wish him well. Even up until two days ago, when I contacted him about having started this website, he basically just asked me how he could help and said that when I was ready with the link he'd be happy to share it.
My time was short in Rio, about 2 weeks, but the memories I created will never be forgotten.
A big thanks to Dennis and all staff at Connection Rio for keeping the dream alive for the world to experience.
This next entry I wrote after my stay in 2012. More about my experience at CR.
Connection Rio really hit home for me. I was explaining to Dennis how appreciative I am to him. He created a place where all of us crazy travelling nomads could join together and make amazing memories together, both on and off the mats. Not only did I get to enjoy rolling with "family" on the mats, which are just around the corner - Gordo's Jiu Jitsu Academy, I also got to come home and spend more time bonding with everyone all over again.
Whether it be cooking meals together, checking out funny videos or fighting footage on youtube, taking walks to local acai restaurants, visiting the beaches, going out at night, exploring Christ the Redeemer statue, relaxing by the pool or climbing Pedra de Gavea, there are a 1001 ways to spend your time at Connection Rio with the best of company.
I had my fair share of crazy fun with Joey Kuna. We made up this BJJ game where we'd throw our belts across the main beam, hanging by our arm pits or just having a firm grip, and we'd try to make each other fall off by latching our legs around the other. We all had a good laugh; a was a good form of entertainment for everyone. We would go for walks, cook together and basically just hung out, side by side for 10 days straight laughing our heads off and doing the most ridiculous and simple activities to get a rise out of one another.
To have such a talented film maker at your side to make fantastic memories was just incredible. It also helped that he was an amazing guy, and really good on the mats - a strong purple belt in the competition scene. Thank you again Stuart Cooper for those videos you made. They'll be with us forever! Also thank you for dragging me out for tooooo many bowls of Acai, I am officially addicted. I'm sure we'll cross paths at some competitions in the future.
One of the most beautiful things about traveling is you meet amazing people from all over the world, from all walks of life. Dennis Asche has created a beautiful home for anyone looking to experience the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro, as you stay in one of the smaller regions within the city Barra da Tijuca.
To be able to find a place where you can walk one block to go relax with your hostel mates is rare. Whatever your reason for visiting Connection Rio - to improve your BJJ game, or just starting out it doesn't matter! Some people are even just there to chill and meet people new people, learn Portuguese, take dance classes or just to get an up close and person taste of this vibrant and lively city.
If you're looking for an amazing way to connect with great people and have the experience of a lifetime; no matter what your goals are for your stay in Rio de Janeiro, this is the way to go! Contact Dennis Asche and start planning your next adventure right now! You can make this trip happen, no matter where you're currently located in the world, it's up to you if you want to CONNECT!
Leon, Stuart, Corey, Dennis, Niall, Hywel, Matt
Camron, Jess, Toly, (need a reminder!?)
Camron, Jess, Toly, (need a reminder!?)