There are dozens of BJJ training camps that take place all around the world every year, but are they actually worth going to? It can seem tempting at first, just on the face of it. After all, if hundreds of grapplers gather together in one area to share knowledge and get some sparring in, what could be better? The truth is a little more nuanced though, because not everyone is going to be capable of absorbing so much information in such a little space of time. Not just that, but more advanced practitioners might be concerned that they won’t get enough out of it to make it worthwhile. They’ve seen a lot more and trained a lot more, so it’s possible that a lot of the technical instruction they get will be something they’ve already seen before.
Are BJJ Training Camps Worth It Or Not?
It can be tough to decide whether BJJ training camps will actually be worth it and this is a personal decision first and foremost. If you’re considering attending a training camp for the first time though, it is definitely worth weighing up some of these pros and cons and considering whether or not it’s worth the money you’ll spend. After all, this won’t be just another holiday and you’ll want to make sure that you get something worthwhile out of the experience. One of the biggest concerns that people often have about attending a training camp is making sure they don’t do so alone. While going with regular training partners is great, there’s nothing wrong with attending one alone either and you’ll always be able to find someone to train with.
How Much Does A Training Camp Cost?
This really depends on which of the many companies organizing BJJ training camps that you choose to go with, and which of their specific camps you visit. BJJ Globetrotters is the biggest organizer there is, and they stage different camps with different prices all around the world. Outside of them, there’s other companies that do the same thing on a smaller, more local level and some that organize gigantic annual training camps. The price will vary quite widely depending on the name-value of the instructors that are teaching at the camp, how long the camp is for, and on what services are actually included within the price.
Some BJJ training camps will only include the cost of the instruction and open mats that are available, while others will include accommodation and potentially even food as well. It’s important to understand what you’re actually paying for first, and then allocate a budget for everything else you’ll need that isn’t included in the price. Once that’s done you can find out how much the flights and transport to the location is going to cost as well, and factor that in to get the total cost of the training camp. That’s what allows you to weigh up your options and decide if the cost of the camp is affordable first, followed by figuring out if it’s actually worth it.
What Is A Training Camp Like?
While each training camp is different to the next in some aspects, they all follow the same rough structure really. The whole idea behind BJJ training camps is to condense a long period of training into a relatively short space of time, and that’s exactly what they do. There’ll be several hours of technical sessions with the camp instructors each day, with the goal being to focus on one particular sequence or concept during each session. Some training camps will have an overall theme or area of focus throughout the entire experience, but the majority are relatively disconnected and unless they explicitly say so, it’s unlikely that these technical sessions will connect with one another.
While the technical sessions are what might attract most people to begin with, there’s a lot more to BJJ training camps than just that. Every camp will also have designated times for open mats, potentially at multiple different times each day. This allows people to start working on the techniques and concepts they’ve learned immediately, or even just get some sparring in with dozens of grapplers they’ve never met before. Many of these training camps will also offer morning Yoga as a way to prepare for a hard day’s training, alongside other activities outside of BJJ too. These activities could range from organized meals with other attendees to visits to local waterparks, and these will usually be outlined before you go.
How To Make The Most Of BJJ Training Camps
As long as you can afford to go on one of these BJJ training camps without struggling in your everyday life, they’re definitely worth visiting. Once you’ve made that decision though, you really need to make sure that you do everything you can to maximize what you get out of the experience. It might not feel physically possible to go to every technical session and every open mat on offer, but making good use of the morning Yoga on offer will help that. If you can’t make every single one, at least try to make sure you attend as many as possible and prioritize your time so that you attend the technical sessions that are most applicable to your personal game.
While it can be fun to use the open mat time to test your skills against other grapplers, you should at least use some of that time with them to practice the techniques you’ve just started learning. Waiting until you get home to start putting it into practice isn’t likely to work, and you’ll have missed the opportunity to ask the instructors any questions that arise. Make sure you take notes after every technical session to help you remember what to do, and don’t miss out on the chance to have fun off the mats too because you’ll build lasting friendships. You might feel physically exhausted and mentally drained at the end of BJJ training camps, but you won’t get another opportunity for rapid development and making connections quite like them.
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