By Dorien Boxhoorn, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Since the beginning of March 2011, director Denis Asche has been producing a media project about jiu-jitsu training in Rio de Janeiro. On April 5th, the first episode of this project, named Real Rio Show, or RRS, was released and it gained popularity in a rapid pace. The video project shows martial artists from all over the world who come to visit Rio de Janeiro to improve their skills in jiu-jitsu.
Since Brazilian jiu-jitsu has gained in popularity all around the world, Rio has become a true mecca for martial arts athletes. With a ‘fly on the wall’ view, each episode of RRS gives an inside view into the world of the athletes who practice jiu-jitsu in Rio.
The documentary makers focus largely on the sport, but they also show the way the athletes deal with everyday life in Rio de Janeiro. Denis Asche explains about the project, “RRS has a primary focus that surrounds foreigners who live together and share the same interest of training [Brazilian jiu-jitsu] in the motherland.”
Asche also explains: “In addition, to these foreigners the show sheds light on Brazilian athletes as well … this series is a guide to help those who are interested in visiting or moving to Rio de Janeiro learn how to navigate the city and discover that the culture and qualities of this land run deep.”
The mixture of sport and footage of life in Rio proves to be a good combination. The documentary is easily accessible through Youtube web site, and every week a new episode is posted. Different settings are chosen and the practice runs take place in everywhere from fancy neighborhoods such Barra de Tijuca and Leblon to the favelas within the city.
Asche, who once ‘took the leap of faith’ and moved to Rio to live his dreams, hopes he can inspire people to do the same and visit the marvelous city. “There are many misconceptions of what the city is actually like. Breaking these fables down is also one of the larger motivational factors in the show’s creation.”
Since Asche moved to Rio he has received the black belt from Roberto ‘Gordo’ Correa de Lima, a well-known name in the world of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, founded ‘Connection Rio,’ an organization that provides training and accommodation services for martial artists and travelers visiting Rio de Janeiro, and has taught at ‘Gordo jiu-jitsu Academia’ in Barra de Tijuca.
RRS will continue to be produced, and the final episode of the pilot series is shot this week. In the future an extended-length bonus episode, featuring the famous Gracie Barra flagship academy in Barra de Tijuca, is being released.
Asche explains: “The first season, our pilot has been a learning experience where the show has developed into a better produced product. Following this [season] there will be many more academies and places of interest visited throughout the city and beyond.”