Travel – Providence, RI

Providence, Rhode Island – During my trip to Boston, I thought I’d go visit a nearby state since I was so close. I woke up early and took the first train into Providence, RI from South Station. After arriving walked around the city briefly and explored the area around the Capitol since the building is just outside of the station. From there I headed to my main destination which was Tim Burrill’s Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy.

Travel Tips

  • Providence is a small city so I felt like a day trip was enough to explore. If you didn’t know, Rhode Island is the smallest state within the U.S.
  • Being one of the first states as well, the city is full of historic buildings and museums.
  • The city is walkable. Unless you’re going to the outer areas, you can easily walk throughout all of downtown.

Places to Visit as a Tourist

  • Roger Williams Park
  • Marble House
  • Touro Synagogue
  • Brown University
  • Slater Mill
  • School of Design Museum
  • John Brown House
  • State House
  • Providence Place Mall

The Food

American food is common here along with some small gems such as Peruvian or Greek spots.

  • Los Andes – Peruvian food that is located a bit outside of downtown. Locals highly recommend this place. Large portions.
  • Julians – A breakfast and brunch spot located in Federal Hill. They also serve vegan and vegetarian options.
  • East Side Pockets – Mediterranean/Greek food. Close to Brown University and a quick grab and go type of place.
Providence Place Mall

Mat Surfing

  • Tip for “Mat Surfing” is to always call or contact the school ahead of time to see if you are even allowed to take a drop-in class or come by for an open mat session.

For this trip, I reached out to the email listed on the Tim Burrill Academy’s website ( and was connected to the Alex Sliwa, the general manager. I was only doing a day trip on a Sunday and was informed there was a 10am-noon class at the school. They also had a “pay-it forward” class later that evening but I had to catch my train back to Boston.


Upon arrival, I had a hard time finding the entrance since Google Maps directed me towards the front of the building. After not seeing any signage I walked towards the back and found the entrance and sign. (Back left of the building if you’re facing it). Upon entering, I was greeted by Mike Barry, one of the brown belt instructors. He directed me to the changing room and told me to make myself at home.

Inside the Gym
Mat Area

We started off warming up on our own and grabbing a partner to do some flow rolls to get the blood moving. As many BJJ schools, students come a little late so we didn’t start techniques until half an hour in. The focus of the class I took was the Darce choke, learning variations, details, and escapes. After drilling with a few partners, we started “specific training” where we start off in a “bad” position (in this case turtle) and we would need to escape before our partner was able to submit us. It’s a really relaxed atmosphere and Mike is a very detailed instructor. I had a good time here and would definitely revisit if I’m ever in the area again.

Coach Mike


Capitol Building
Lots of City Parks
Historical Sites


This was probably the shortest trip I’ve ever taken to visit a state but since it was the smallest state I didn’t spend too much time there. It has a small city feel and historic vibe. It’s a nice getaway from the busy city life such as New York or even Boston. Great people here and a nice place to just stroll around to explore.

Providence, Rhode Island – October 2017

– BJJBug

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