Personalized version of heaven at:
Brazilian Black Belt Jiu-Jitsu CAMPPersonalized version of heaven at:
Brazilian Black Belt Jiu-Jitsu CAMP
The concept of heaven is highly subjective and yours might not involve somebody, probably a good 10 to 15 kilos heavier than you, sitting on your chest, sweating heavily and trying to choke you into unconsciousness. If it does, and it doesnÂ´t have to do with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, then I definitely donÂ´t want to hear any more about it.
As for me, I was pretty sure I had died and gone to some personalized version of heaven when I woke up in Buzios, at Felipe CostaÂ´s Brazilian Black Belt jiu jitsu camp.
I first got to know Felipe Costa in April. I had met his uncle at a conference in Bahia who mentioned that his nephew was a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and passed me his email.
Later, when I travelled to Rio for work, I sent Felipe a note, asking if he could take me to work out at his gym. Being the extraordinarily generous character that he is, Felipe showed up at my hotel and drove me out to Barra to RatinhoÂ´s gym, where Bezinho met us, and then they proceeded to give me a round-robin type lesson. Three black belts. I sparred with each of them and then they took a few minutes to give me pointers and tips and show me where I was screwing up. I have no idea what that is worth in dollar terms, and IÂ´m not going to ask because I canÂ´t afford it!
So my heaven looks like the following: wake up to the sound of the ocean outside. Breakfast is on the table. After basking in the glow of coffee and morning sunshine on the patio put on your kimono for morning practice. And this isnÂ´t just any practice. There are nearly as many black belts as students.
And not just any black belts: Felipe Costa, Ratinho, Bezinho, Comprido, Leozinho, Michelle, Demian Maia and Belem. They are creative and competitive fighters, good teachers, and wicked cool people.
A major highlight for me was training with Michelle. This was the first time in my three years of jiu jitsu that I have had the opportunity to work with a female black belt, and I came away from it humbled and inspired.
After the morning training, lunch is on the table. Then it is time to go sightseeing, rent kayaks, head into town or, for the really ambitious among us, nap on the beach or by the pool. In the evening, more training, dinner and then a trip to town for a little dancing, a few beers, some empanadas or key lime pie.
Each day I worked myself into a state of shaking exhaustion at least once, but it was worth in when I managed to retain enough of the techniques long enough to carry me to the gold at the International Masters Championship in Rio on the following weekend.
The only caveat I have is that Brazilians are fond of playing practical jokes so keep an eye on your belongings and your car. Also Penelope is prone to taking unguarded flip flops into her tender loving care.
I am very sad that I could only go for a weekend. My kindly employer, the great Uncle Sam, has a limited amount of sympathy for my jiu jitsu habit. But even after just two days, I left Buzios walking on air and dreaming of purple…
The Fifth BJJ CAMP will be April 2006,
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