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Martial Arts Training Camp Experiences?

Im a blue belt in BJJ. Im more of a hobbyist and I don’t plan to compete in any serious competitions, but I am keen to get better. As I lean more and get better, Im actually enjoying the art more and more.

Lately I have been frustrated with my progress, and I know this is normal. However I am seriously thinking about attending a training camp for 2-3 weeks where I intensely train BJJ. I think a short intense period of training will benefit my game and get me over my current plateau.

Anyone here that has attended such camps? What was it like? Where was it? How often did you train? Did you benefit much from it? Any suggestions on particular camps?


Jocko runs the Origin camp here in Maine. I don’t know anyone who has done it but it sure sounds fun.

You can’t beat summer in Maine. Especially when you’re going to Jiu Jitsu summer camp.

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If you are looking to make a lasting improvement and going to regular classes isn’t doing it, then privates, where you can work on specific issues are your best bet. At a camp you won’t get the same individual attention. Not that a camp would be a bad idea but it might not focus as much on your personal needs.

I personally hate seminars and other large group learning environments. I feel like being shown a bunch of techniques for a couple of hours doesn’t do the individual techniques justice. In a private you can work on one thing for an hour and be more assured you can apply it well. You’re more likely to have an aha moment in a private where suddenly you realize what you were doing wrong.

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I have to disagree and agree with zecarlo on this one. I agree that a large group environment is not always conducive to learning. I did a Erik Paulson 2 day when I was training in Va Beach, and he kept the numbers small (constrained at least partially by the size of the training area we had) so that helps. Biggest issue with a seminar like that is you don’t know who you’re going to get as a training partner to practice the techniques - might be someone your level so you are both getting a good benefit, might be a rank beginner who can barely follow instructions and is still trying to prove how awesome he is at everything. Along the same lines, while I agree private lessons are an excellent choice if you have the time and money, there’s a part of me that says you should go into a private with a training partner (who is also learning obviously) so the instructor can observe and critique you with another partner in addition to rolling directly with you. Just my .02 on that.

As for intensive training camps, I was in a lucky position in summer of 2000 and spent two weeks at a fly in camp at Fairtex in San Fran. Great school, great group of guys (and gals for that matter). I had zero stand up skills at the time, so I progressed by leaps and bounds in that period. The camp was set up where we did two-a-days (forget how long they were, at least an hour), and since it was a continuously operating gym/school, I had plenty of training partners in addition to the other fly-in guys. Each of us fly-in guys just happened to overlap with each other, it wasn’t a scheduled ‘camp’ or anything. Since I was a fly-in student, I had a dedicated instructor for each session. Mostly Ganyao since he was actually very close to my size, but also Bunkerd a fair bit, a couple with Jongsanon, and I was even lucky enough to do one session with Alex Gong (RIP).

If you have the opportunity to do one, I would definitely say go for it. I would recommend though, contact the schools you are thinking of attending and see how they set theirs up, and I would go so far as to try and find reviews or other people who have done the same thing with them to see what they thought of those specific places. I personally got lucky with Fairtex because I did very little research before pulling the trigger. But come on, it’s Fairtex. They have a solid reputation for a reason (or at least did back then - been out of the fight game for years so I don’t keep up with the gossip).

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