In the hottest month in Europe, most people are just chilling out and enjoying the weather, but for us grapplers the idea is to chill out, enjoy the weather and also train! That is why on each year we get more people joining our BJJ/Grappling Camp. From 12 people in 2009 to 32 on our third edition, the group is growing steadily and the fact that most participants returned shows that we are going in the right path.
Camp started on Saturday, 13th of August and we ran technical, drills and sparring sessions for 8 days, consuming lots of Italian food to keep our engines running. The atmosphere in the Due Laghi Hotel is perfect as the place is near beaches and cities but isolated enough to keep us focused on training and getting to know better our group. Having the meals together is great too as we feel as an extended family. The weeklong is great as we develop our games, measure against each other in a relaxed environment and become more integrated into the Rio Grappling Club. So it is about the training but not only that, is also about forging friendships. Hard to explain in words but feel invited to come and join us next year to experience a week not to be forgotten.
The training schedule has improved and now we have 3 classes on most days. The morning session is about specific and general sparring, the afternoon class focus on drills and at night we rehearse techniques. This year the focus was on guard, and we expect to see the progress in our students and their students (the fact that many RGC instructors take part helps to spread the knowledge beyond them).
We had participants from Italy (RGC Livorno, RGC Firenze, RGC Sestri Levante, RGC Bologna, RGC Ferrara, RGC Cesena, RGC Molfetta and the Brothers Leteri from Verona), Poland (RGC Wroclaw and Copacabana), Serbia (our newest member, Nenad Latincic, now responsible for the RGC in Belgrade), Czech Republic, Spain, Sweden and Brasil.
On the last day we had the belt ceremony, promoting Matteo Menna to the brown belt, Matteo Tugnoli, Valerio Mori Ubaldini and Fabio Battelli to the purple, Sara Giachetti to blue belt and giving Mariusz Koziej his first stripe on the black belt as well as a few stripes to many participants who had to go through the belt whipping.
Special thanks to all RGC instructors and students, our guests, and to Mariusz Koziej who did a brilliant job taking the drills to another level. I feel that our mission was well accomplished and we are planning the next one, possibly in the same place and probably extending it to 10 days. Many participants already posted their photos on Facebook, but I will select a few to publish on our blog this week. Stay tuned!