Wearing team patches while training in Brazil, is it disrespectful or acceptable? Many people ask this before coming to train BJJ in Rio.
This is a guest post by BJJ black belt Dennis Asche of Connection Rio.
Nobody wants to offend the locals upon arriving, so the subject of team patches is one that many people worry about. From my experience here training jiu-jitsu in gyms across Rio, wearing patches from your home academy makes little difference when visiting local academies.
Being proud of your school and what you have been taught is important; if you don’t believe in your professor or what he teaches, why would you train with him in the first place? There is nothing wrong in wearing your patches to another school as a visitor, what it really comes down to is your attitude and how you interact with the other practitioners at the academy you are visiting.
In Rio de Janeiro I know for a fact that De la Riva, Brazilian Top Team, Gordo Jiu-jitsu, Oswaldo Alves, RFT, Nova Uniao, Nova Geração and many other academies have a open door policy to all who would like to train.
Through first hand experience I have witnessed how visitors are treated at the academies and can honestly tell you that there is little or no difference in how they are received in relation to what patches they are wearing on their kimonos.
On the same note, if you are an affiliate from another part of the world visiting your flagship academy in Rio, wearing your team patch is likely to get you a warm welcome.
If you’re training at more than one academy to experience different games, or just to find more people to roll with… Whatever the reason, there is nothing wrong in visiting other academies with your patches. Remember where you came from and be proud of your home academy.
For those spending extended periods of training BJJ in Rio, if you’re training for competition it is a sign of respect to represent the academy you are currently training at by wearing a patch or representing their team in whatever event you may enter.
Again, training as a visitor at an academy here wearing patches from your home academy is acceptable. What will really make the difference of how you are treated is your attitude and respectfulness during the visit.
– Dennis Asche, BJJ black belt, Connection Rio
This was originally posted on the Connection Rio blog in early 2012, and was refreshed and updated for our site in September 2012. Our thanks to our friends at Connection Rio for the guest post.
Dennis is the man to consult on this kind of thing – he’s taken people to and even trained himself at multiple academies across Rio, so he really knows his stuff. His advice is solid and comes from extensive experience, but if you’re STILL worried about getting your arms torn off and sent back home in disgrace then we suggest packing a plain kimono without any kind of team patches just in case.