BJJ Camps: Travel and Train

Love to travel? All you want to do is train BJJ? Then you should consider a BJJ training camp for your next vacation or getaway.

Training jiu jitsu internationally has never been simpler. Destination travel camps have propped up all over the globe. It is now easier than ever to go train in any country of your choice. 

Our guide explains how to choose the best BJJ training camp for you. 

Where to find BJJ Camps

Finding a BJJ camp can be a little tricky sometimes. Fortunately, there are travel vendors out there that make planning a trip a cinch. Here are some of the best travel resources we’ve found.

1. BookMartialArts

BookMartialArts.com is the market leader in martial arts travel. They offer several unique BJJ travel experiences to choose from. The diversity of their listings is impressive: from retreat style to BJJ + surfing you can find a BJJ camp that fits your needs.

Their system for booking is super clean and easy to use. From selection, booking and service, you won’t be disappointed. BookMartialArts is hands down the #1 place to find a BJJ training camp.

Check out some of their offerings below.

2. BJJ Camp Finder

BjjCampFinder.com is a place where you can find the best Jiu Jitsu camps around the world. The platform is being developed by a team of BJJ enthusiasts, who want to help the camp organizers present their camp, as well as for the potential participants to have one place to choose from to which camp they would like to go. 

The site allows for direct booking to some of the best BJJ camps internationally. At the moment the platform is in the very early phase, however they have big plans and are putting their time and souls into this! They have very exciting features planned, like paying on installments and travel assistance to make your bjj trip planning a breeze. 

3. Evolve Vacation

Evolve Vacation offers amazing training opportunities for BJJ, grappling, wrestling and many  other martial arts in Thailand. Founded by legendary Muy Thai fighter and entrepreneur Chatri Sityodtong, Evolve Vacation provides all-inclusive camps for training jiu jitsu in beautiful Thailand.

Evolve offers monthly vacation passes so you can try all the martial arts they offer. They offer classes for beginners, intermediate and advanced students. Just look at their training schedule and you will see why the Evolve family of martial arts programs is one of the top providers of MMA in Asia. 

4. StudyMartialArts.Org

StudyMartialArts.org offers BJJ camp packages across Asia (especially Thailand). As a premier martial arts booking company, they give expert advice and free consultations on training options.

Their team is committed to connecting their clients to the right, camp, dojo or school. To do that they offer in depth knowledge and independent advice. They provide pre-trip, during and post trip support.

5. BJJ GlobeTrotters

BJJ GlobeTrotters is one of the founders of the BJJ travel movement. BJJ Globetrotters is a great place to find various camps throughout the year. Just join their mailing list and you are off to find awesome seminars. Perfect for the consummate BJJ traveler. 

How to find BJJ camps on social media

You can find random BJJ camps through social media and web forums. While this is basically a hunt and peck method it does work. The best way seems to be to type in “BJJ camp” or “Bjj Seminar” into Facebook and then sort the posts by most recent publication date to see what camps are upcoming. 

BJJ Camp Destinations and Locations

Where you should go to train BJJ abroad?

There are now bjj training camps all across Europe, Asia, and the United States. Here are some popular destination/camps: 

Brazil

As the motherland of jiu jitsu, Brazil is the natural choice to train jiu jitsu. There are so many camps that its hard to identify them all, especially in places like Rio De Janeiro.

If you want to visit somewhere else than Rio, check out the training camps in Florianopolis in Southern Brazil. The city has beautiful beaches and its a amazing lifestyle activities. For more information, check out our in depth review of why this camp may be the best bjj camp in Brazil!

Whats its like to train BJJ in Brazil

Europe

Greece is a great destination for BJJ. Train BJJ and surf at the same time at the Zante Fitness camp in beautiful Zakynthos, Greece.

Thailand

Thailand is not just about Muy Thai. Thailand’s jiujitsu camps are second to none. Be sure to check out Combat360x, a great choice if you want to train BJJ in Thailand.

How to choose a BJJ camp

BJJ camps come in all shapes and sizes. It’s important that you choose the one best suited to your needs. You should consider a few factors in deciding where to train.

Skill

Most camps are open to all skill levels and offer something for everyone: casual player to competitors. However, if you have only been training a few weeks, you should probably wait until you have more experience before you try a training camp.

If you are a high level brown or black, check the skill level and rank of your instructors. Check out reviews or videos of the camp to get a sense of the skill level. 

Instructional language

Most camps and locations are in English. However, if you are mat surfing across the globe, this might not always be the case. Martial arts can be a great way to learn a foreign language. However, if you just want to train, confirm that your language is the one that is used on the mat. 

Class size and type

How big is the class size? If you are looking for hands on instruction, you may want to avoid some camps. Private lessons are usually offered as an extra, but you should double check before making your plans.

Some camps like to make the environment relaxing and retreat like, others will want to cram in as many students as possible. You should ask the organizer the following questions: 

  1. What is the typical class size?
  2. Is registration limited?
  3. What is the expected student to teacher ratio? 
  4. Who are the teachers?

Budget

Budget setting is important. Are meals and lodging included in your stay? What about tours or excursion when you are not on the mat? Make sure you set a budget and try to stick to it. 

Types of BJJ Camps

Camps can come in many sizes. These are multi-day affairs that will feature guest or celebrity instructors. They might have a particular focus but usually they are open to all skill levels. 

Competition

BJJ Competition camps are meant for training BJJ in advance of a tournament of other competition. They are intense workouts focusing on strength conditioning and strategy.  They are strictly BJJ focused and will usually not feature non-BJJ activities. 

Gym Destination Camps

Many gyms are frequented by travelers often and are known for their hospitality. These destination gyms and cities are great places to train because of their storied history or their instructor’s pedigree.  

Marcelo Gr ’s Academy in New York is one such BJJ gym. In Brazil, the Gracie Academy is a well-known destination spot. 

Retreats/Leisure

Many training camps are set up to be peaceful and calm. They are typically small sized and set in tranquil getaway locations. If you are looking to combine peace and rest with your jiu jitsu check out this style of camp. These camps will usually feature leisure activities besides training.

Cruises

Cruises now feature jiu jitsu training camps. You get to tour exotic locations while training both on the cruise and at port. These can be a great option to see a lot of cool destinations while still enjoying travel and other aspects of tourism. 

Family Friendly

Family BJJ camps are propping up. Like a leisure camp, the host will feature multiple non-BJJ activities in a setting that are appropriate for the family crowd. This way kids and parents can all train together and still have things to do afterwards. 

Travel Checklist for your First BJJ Camp

Tickets and Travel Requirements

Make sure you review your travel requirement to your destination country.  Make sure you meet the visa requirements of each company.  Use a website like TryIndigo to review visa travel requirements

Travel insurance

An injury or other health concern is a real possibility. Make sure you have adequate travel insurance to cover unexpected visits to the doctor or hospital. This is worth its weight in gold. Use a reputable travel insurance company such as World Nomads. 

Local transportation

Make sure you know where you camp is located and how to get there from the airport. Uber will usually work, but double check before you go. 

Housing and Accommodations

Always confirm if housing is provided at your bjj camp.  If not, you still may want to ask the camp if there is a typical place or area that students go to nearby.  Use a site like VRBO.com or homeaway.com to find accommodations in the local area. You can always go the traditional hotel route as well.

If you are adventurous, You can always find a place by trying to matsurf or use a website like couchsurfing.com to stay with locals at their house.

Frequently Asked Questions about BJJ Camps

What is the typical cost?

The cost of a camp can vary significantly depending on location and offerings. On the low end you can expect to pay a few hundred dollars for you trip. More typically the cost will approach a thousand dollars USD and can go up depending on the number of days of training, accommodations and extra activities. 

What is mat surfing?

Mat surfing combines travel that focuses on training jiujitsu. Instead of tours, you train on the mat.  Mat Surfing also refers to the idea where travelers make visiting different jiujitsu gyms and locations the focus their trip.

BJJ Globetrotters made the concept of mat surfing well known in the BJJ community. Their team has created a network of associated gyms that accepts travelers from around the world looking to train jiu jitsu and enjoy great hospitality.

Why travel and train jiu jitsu?

Learning jiu jitsu abroad is an excellent way to make friends, see the world, and improve your jiu jitsu.

Martial arts training is so much more than learning techniques. It can be a great way to socialize and make new connections. You will learn about new cultures and gain confidence in your BJJ at the same time. 

Experience trips are growing in popularity. This trend has included BJJ. You can combine the benefits of traveling with the jiu jitsu. Instead of just lounging on the beach, you can get exercise and meet new people from all over the world. Learning jiujitsus from a world renowned instructors in a exoctic location is an opportunity of a lifetime. 

What is the difference between a camp and a seminar?

Seminars typically last a few hours on a single day. They are a great way to meet a new instructor and hopefully pick up a few techniques. Seminars typically attract a more local crowd while a camp will host participants from out of town or internationally. 

The difference between a camp and a seminar is that a bjj camp will usually feature multiple seminars a day and the entire camp will last several days long (often 2-10 days). A camp is also a great way to spend your entire day talking and training jiujitsu. 

Last, a seminar might also be closed to an affiliation (no always) while a camp is usually open to all affiliations. 

What should I pack for a BJJ training camp?

Keep your packing list simple. The more you bring the heavy your luggage. Keep it simple.  Here is what we recommend. 

Gis

Anything over two will be overkill. A lightweight gi is ideal for travel. If you can bring two, make it a regular and an ultralight. The light gis are nice because they dry quick and reduce the weight of your luggage.

Towels

Make sure you bring a few. A microfiber is nice. Your location might have them, but it’s always good to have your own.

Rashguards

Even if you are not training no-gi, a rash guard is great to include to keep you cool.

Flip Flops/Sandals

Flip-flops are a most for getting around, especially if the destination is near a beach. They also make showering a bit more comfortable.

Have you trained at BJJ camp before? Or is there a camp we should know about? Let us know!


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