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

Tiger Muay Thai Thailand week 2

Two weeks in the sun and rain of tropical Thailand. Two weeks living on-site at Tiger Muay Thai , the largest Muay Thai gym in the country, possibly the world. Yet sadly I STILL have not managed to set foot on the mats or even lace up a glove. My cursed Ringworm clings on, stubbornly refusing to die, leaving me unable to participate in training or join in any Reindeer games. I have managed to acquire some peeling skin from too much sun though. Might even get a tan yet? Other than that it would be fair to say that thing are not going to plan. Having a contagious skin condition whilst living at a martial arts camp is not a fun situation. I feel unclean, a bit like a leper.

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I find myself extremely reluctant to socialise under the circumstances, which is a shame as I am undoubtedly surrounded by fascinating people. The camp, though obviously male dominated, also hosts a surprising number of females. Most of whom could beat me senseless and take my lunch money.
The past two weeks have been plagued by notions of being ready to train and repetitious thoughts of how long recovery will take. In a few days I should be ready. Hopefully by the weekend. Maybe next week?

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Setting imaginary deadlines in my mind and failing to reach them over and over again. This has been going on in my mind since the beginning of May, when this whole fiasco started. Will I heal in time to train before the BJJ Globetrotters camp? Will I recover before Denmark? Before Thailand? Frankly, it’s exhausting. Just like worrying over anything outside of your control, a thorough misuse of mental energy. And although I feel I have realised that fact from the beginning, knowing and doing are two completely different things. But everyday I seek to make peace with my situation, knowing it is temporary. Knowing I am doing everything I can. And knowing, that with any perspective even slightly removed from my own little world….that it really isn’t a big deal. Maybe I won’t actually get to train at Tiger this time around. That would be a shame. A disappointment. But that’s all. Life is full of disappointment. It’s easy to be happy when things are going your way. Easier to be kind or friendly or generous. But why should happiness depend on external sources? Isn’t there so much to be happy about in just being here? Just being on Earth with all the rainbows, sunshine and sea creatures? Sunsets every day, sleeping every night. Everyday another wacky adventure amongst the crazy people of Earth.
Undoubtedly amazing stuff, but not always so easy to appreciate. All too often we get bogged down in thoughts of the future or past and completely miss the present, where you know, we actually live. All too often we get caught up in the ‘normal’ routine and forget about the sunsets. I am as guilty as any for this, which is a shame because I love sunshine and rainbows.
Yet I promise I will try not to whine too much more about my shitty little first world problem. I have 2 weeks left in this fascinating country & I aim not to spend them moaning.
So enjoy the sunsets boys and girls. Enjoy the stars or the Moon. Or your sexy sexy lover. Just enjoy something. Enjoy today and I will do the same.

 

Peace. Love. Triangles. (and just a little bit of Ringworm)
Scotty