2015 BJJ Globetrotters Summer Camp Review

BJJ Globetrotters Leuven Summer Camp

6 days of training, over 200 grapplers from all around the planet & a wide selection of Belgian beers. It certainly was one hell of a week. For me, getting to finally meet and greet the BJJ Globetrotters was a victory in itself after my earlier failure to do so in Copenhagen. Naturally, with all the dramatic build up, I had pretty high expectations. I had read the book, followed along on social media & was more than a little bit excited. I was not to be disappointed. Over the course of the week, I was choked out by people of different sizes, ages and personalities from all over the world. The variety of experience and styles was incredible. I rolled with belts of every color, Division One wrestlers, Lutra Livre specialists, UFC fighters, I even met a teenager who was having his very first day of BJJ (that’s parenting done right!). I spent a lot of time on the bottom…
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For me it was a combination of many of my passions; getting to share that & see it mirrored in such a huge group of (initially) complete strangers was incredible. I mean, I am a people person; for me interacting with new and unexpected humanoids is one of the best parts about traveling. And ordinarily, when by some twist of fate you happen to meet a new person & they also do BJJ, there’s always this kind of mini-celebration. You don’t have to awkwardly explain that you enjoy rolling around on the floor with people in strange positions trying to strangle each other. At this camp, everyone was there for the love of BJJ. Upon check in, we were given a camp shirt, which became the visual signal throughout the town for meeting a new friend. I met so many interesting and combatively terrifying people in such a short space of time, my head nearly exploded from all the awesomeness.

tinypeacesignsglobeThe only other times I have seen such a large gathering of BJJ folk is during competition; and as much as I have had great experiences and made new friends at comps, the vibe in the air is totally different. People are always tense before their matches & constantly searching for people of similar size. This was nothing like that.
Free hugs for everybody! And enjoy my example of how not to do side control defence.

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Everyone was just here to roll, learn things & make friends. The instructors included. Spending time with the higher belts, on & off the mats, realizing that even the Godlike Black Belts are people too…I learned a lot at this camp. Seeing people living the kind of life I long for, having BJJ as a intrinsic part of their lifestyle, & getting to know them as real people. Not some kind of genetic superheroes or rich playboys. But just normal people doing really cool shit with their lives. Attending the camp would have been worth it just for the social aspect alone…which is a pretty crazy thing to say about a sporting event.
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Training several hours everyday, trying to memorize dozens of names, a head full of crazy new techniques, and then nights of socialising on top was utterly exhausting. Classes ran from 10am to 7pm most days, even training mainly with no-gi, I was overwhelmed. So many interesting classes and instructors, that getting to do them all was just physically impossible. Especially with the effects of last nights tasty Belgian beers. My muscles and internal organs took an absolute beating that week. But it was so, so worth it. I was on such a euphoric high for those 6 days that I actually fell into a little depression post camp. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one. It seems like such a short period of time, but there was so much incredible shit crammed in. My own personal highlight reel of BJJ & life brilliance. I want my life to be more like those 6 days. More training, more human interaction, more love. Maybe less beer? There was an awful lot of beer, seriously, one night I only drank varieties of beer exclusively brewed by monks…
globecowboyIn short, if you ever get a chance to attend a BJJ Globetrotter camp, do it. Don’t hesitate. Don’t panic. Don’t rush. Just crush. I’ll explain that some other time, my point is; Just fucking do it. I will be going again the very next chance I get, doesn’t matter where it is, I’m going. My expectations were unreasonably high coming in and they were exceeded by everything that happened at the camp. Hopefully you take my advice & we can choke each other in some exotic place somewhere in the near future.

Until then, stay awesome boys & girls.

Peace, Love & Triangles.

Scotty

Week 3 Tiger Muay Thai

Week 3! Big week. Big, big week.

Well, The good news is…

After a visit to the hospital and having my skin checked by biopsy, I have been cleared of fungus and received the Dr’s green light for grappling, punching stuff and other super awesome activities! So naturally I was pretty pleased to be making a return to the mats.

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Yeah, check out my post training peace sign/ thumbs up combo.
I had the pleasure of meeting UFC veteran Roger Huerta during a BJJ class and to discuss the progress of my former training partner, rising star Alex Volkanovski. I am not ashamed to say, I was a little overwhelmed by being in the same place as one of the fighters who inspired my explorations into MMA. It was a bit of a fanboy moment for me & I regret nothing. This week I have been privileged to watch some epic local Muay Thai. Including Tiger’s BJJ Coach Alex Schild spectacular knock-out victory, which was a pleasure to watch. If you ever get the chance to see Muay Thai matches live in Thailand, I highly recommend the experience. Each night usually hosts about 10 or so fights, usually with varying skill levels through the night. It is common to see matches with foreigners or young children competing. Whilst savage at first glance, the sport is highly technical, with success often requiring a strong fit body and a cunning mind.AlexSchildpostfight

Tiger BJJ Coach Alex Schild post fight.
This week also saw the 86th Tiger Muay Thai BBQ beatdown, a monthly party in which guests BBQ, drink & socialise. Most people train pretty hard, so the night off & social atmosphere is a welcome change. Several guest provide entertainment in the form of Amateur Muay Thai or MMA matches, then followed by standard drunk dancing. This gave me the perfect opportunity to unleash my questionable dancing skills and cheer at my fellows beating each other senseless. UFC and Pride Legend Mark Hunt was the guest of the night, who provided me with even for fanboy excitement. This reached a climax when I literally bumped into him at the bar and immediately panicked, fleeing like a small child.

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Because, you know….Mark Hunt is kinda scary.
The bad news is, in classic ‘returning from a training layoff’ style, I have managed to acquire a minor injury during training. Last night, whilst my bear-like brother attempted to pass my guard I managed to strain some muscles in my core. A quick Dr visit confirmed no bone damage to the rib, estimated 2- 4 week recovery time. So training will be rather limited again for the near future. Which sucks of course, but could be much much worse. The rest of my time here at time is probably a training write off, so between all my medical disasters, I will only manage around 5 training sessions in a one month period. Abysmal, but better than none. This month has not gone to plan, but things rarely do. The way we deal with this, and every other problem we encounter, this is the true display of one’s character. Or for all you Sci-fi nerds, to put it a different way:

‘The success or failure of your deeds, does not add up to the sum of your life. Your spirit cannot be weighed. Judge yourself by the intentions of your actions and the strength with which you faced the challenges that have stood your way. The Universe is vast and we are small. There is only one thing we can truly ever control, whether we are good or evil.’

Oma Desala
Now, the terms ‘Good’ & ‘Evil’ are highly subjective, but nevertheless I love the spirit of this quote. So much of life truly is outside our control & this isn’t such a bad thing. It’s natural to wish to control everything, it happens to all of us, but in truth, we have so very little control over anything in life. People and circumstances will surprise us. Our bodies inevitably betray us. Our own thoughts wriggle and squirm through dark places we would rather not go. Don’t panic. Just do your best boys and girls. Do your best to be good. Love what you love, it is a much better use of your time than hating what you hate.

Peace. Love. Triangles.

Scotty

Time Distortion in Copenhagen

Let me just start by saying that this has been a rather strange week. Coming from the schedualed and somewhat socially isolated lifestyle of being a Live-in-Carer, to find myself loosed upon the streets of Copenhagen amidst the organised chaos of Distortion…it’s been an adjustment. Whilst originally intending to be busy rolling around with the BJJ Globetrotters, sadly I have remained ridden with Ringworm for the entire whole week.

So what was planned to be a week of this…

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(See how much fun choking each other is?)

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Turned into a week of this….

 

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Distorted Sunset

Scandinavian sunsets truly are a wonder to behold. This week I have managed to catch more sunrises that sunsets so far. In truth, these days of partying have done my body no favours for the impending month at Tiger Muay Thai. But you know, to be happiest in life, we must be willing to adapt. To play the cards that we are given and to make our own fun. So, unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance to try and choke anybody this week. But I did have all manner of unpredictable and wacky adventures. Including but not limited to:
I used my (terrible!) Russian language skills to meet new friends.
I wove my way through the thronging mass-human street partys of Distortion, hugging strangers and sharing sweat/drinks/laughter in the streets of Copenhagen.
I got myself lost and overwhelmed by the Danish public transport system, so much so that I had to be rescued by a lovely Viking lady after visiting the free city of Christiania.
I danced my way through pubs, clubs, streets, festivals, islands, tunnels, bridges, buses, tents and shipping containers.
I meet celebrity tattoo artists and watched a Danish cage-fighter DJ in a neon chicken suit.I meditated in the sunshine amongst Copenhagens beautiful greenery .

Scotty-down!

I raved all night and slept all day, waking up in time for hostel ‘happy hour’  (chocolates courtesy of my Irish bunkmates).

I met Hungarians, Russians, Estonians, French, Canadians, Finns, Dutch, Danish, Swedes, Irish, Scottish, Americans, Polish, Kiwis, English and of course; bloody Australians. In doing so, I gained drunken glimpses into different cultures and many different peoples. Explored dreams, learnt some history and discussed desires for the future. I became part of a drunken Danish belly wrestling group, losing woefully. I caved to inexplicable social pressure and licked a strange man’s nipples. I was accosted by Danish students who insisted I was blessed by Unicorns and reverantly garbed me in flowers. I had a beautician/scientist inexplicably yet forcefully wash my hair at 5am, for no reason at all. I even won a game of pool, that’s been awhile! I drank, I danced, I made my ancestors proud.

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The entire week has been a blur of madness and misadventures of a social, solo-traveling drunk white guy. As I type this however, the BJJ Globetrotters will be involved in a friendly Jiu Jitsu tournament to wrap up the party camp, which I have been eagerly anticipating for months. If I could choose, I would much rather be there than here typing of my drunken antics on a keyboard. But sadly, we don’t always get to choose in life. And since I am here, in this situation, I am going to do my best to enjoy it. And you know what? Lying here in the hostel common room, with my Danish beer and my tasty Danish pastry….things aren’t so bad. Not my first choice, but fuck it, today is still a really good day to be alive.
Tomorrow I fly for Thailand, with a brief yet exciting stop-over in Moscow airport (time for more shamefully bad Russian practice). Stay tuned for more stangeness and bad grammar.

Peace. Love. Triangles. (And drunk hugs)

Scotty