Traveling and training can be tough. Finding welcoming places to train can sometimes be challenging, but the real stress can come from trying work out the rest of your logistics: transportation, lodging, and ideas for things to do when you are recovering from a great training session.
BJJ camps solve this problem and are becoming very popular as a result. A good camp takes care of accommodations for you, so all you have to worry about is enjoying your time on the mat. Who doesn’t want to travel to cool places, meet awesome people, and gets lots of training in? I have been very fortunate to take part in about 5 of these over the last year. As I type this, I am in Wagrain, Austria for the Globetrotters winter camp, and I will be attending at least three more in the coming months.
I cannot recommend traveling to train enough. It energizes your training and sets the stage for some once-in-a-lifetime adventures. If you are thinking of trying one of these camps, here’s a rundown of some of my favorites:
BJJ Globetrotters. Christian literally wrote the book on BJJ travel, and now has turned his attention to organizing awesome camps all over the world. I have been following his blog for years. In 2015, I finally got to attend one of his camps: the first USA camp in New Hampshire. It was an amazing weekend. 80 campers and about 16 instructors shared the mat the town. I got hooked, so when Christian invited me to be an instructor at the winter camp, I had to say yes. There are camps coming up in the UK, Italy, Belgium, and the US. If this sounds like your speed check out bjjglobetrotters.com/camps.
Groundswell Grappling. Emily, Hanette, and Valerie have been running camps for a long time. They originally ran a girl’s only operation, but luckily for me and all the other guys out there, they have started to run co-ed camps as swell. I cannot recommend these camps enough. Their camps are smaller, very well structured, and encompass more than just technique. Plus, they always have great guest instructors (like yours truly). You can check out their website at groundswellgrappling.com.
R Dojo Camp. Reilly runs camps where he teaches an entirely new approach to no-gi grappling. Reilly has a sambo background and is one of the best instructors I’ve had the privilege to work with. If you are interested in adding leglocks to your game, you owe it to yourself to make it to one of his camps. Reilly does a great job at structuring the camp so every session builds on the previous one, you will walk away with a much greater grasp of not only leglocks but takedowns and dynamic entries as well, which are big holes on most BJJ curriculums. If he invites you play Tekken, don’t do it. He cheats. Learn more about this camp at rdojo.com.
- Rollin’ in Costa Rica. This is a new camp that my friend Kevin is putting together, and I will be there as well. It will take place in beautiful Santa Teresa in Costa Rica. We will have 10 instructors and only 15 campers for our inaugural camp. If you are interested in hanging out beach side and picking the brain of some great black belts this camp is for you. Check out the site for more info: rollinincostarica.com.
Now these are just camps that I have personal experiences with. There are more options sprouting up every year. If you’ve attended a camp that I didn’t talk about, share your experience in the comments!