Training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is something you can’t just leave at home when you go traveling. Whether it is for a vacation, business trip or any other trip, grapplers can rarely go a few days without looking to train. Luckily, JIu-JItsu si so spread around the world that you can find an academy at pretty much every spot you go to. That doesn’t mean, however, that you can always get to it. OR that there is always one that will suit you, for that matter. In order to get your fix of BJJ, you might want to consider giving some other options ago as well. As long as you plan it all right, you will still be able to train no matter which destination you’re traveling to.
Whenver your traveling, whether it is work or leisure, you’ll have a certain schedule. Unless you really make time in your schedule to actually train, you probably won’t get yourself to an academy. Moreover, you need to make sure you’re actually scheduling to train when there’s a class. Moreover, do a bit of research, Make sure you know all the academies in the vicinity and choose one that’s to your liking. Remember that training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu on the road is never going to be like home. You won’t know the people, there’ll no teammates around and you won’t be on home turf. Moreover, sometimes, you won’t eve be able to find a suitable academy to train at. Or any academy at all!
Go With The Flow
First up, when you know you have to travel a lot, you need to understand that you won’t always have the time and opportunity to train. However, if it just so happens that something pops up, be ready to go with the flow. Having a Gi around at all times is not the easiest thing to pull off. However, there’s no way you can’t fit a pair of shorts and rashguard with you whenever you’re traveling. That way, you’re ready to jump in at any opportunity you get. IN fact, training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu while traveling is actually a big part of the BJJ culture.
Nowadays, there’s even a word for it: “traincation”. People often decide to go somewhere on a vacation where they can actually train. And by train, I mean train a lot. Imagine, for example, booking a trip to NYC for your time off. If you’re a BJJ nut like me, that means spending hours in Renzo Gracie’s gym and/or Marcelo Garcia’s academy. Traveling to actually train more is what people in the JIu-JItsu community refer to as a “traincation”. Another “traincation” example is going for a BJJ cruise or a multi-day camp run by some of the top BJJ instructors out there.
However, for those that actually travel for work, and do it often, a “traincation” is not really on their priority list. Sneaking the odd training session in is actually the most you can hope for. Sometimes, you might run into like-minded people (meaning every grappler alive)_ and you can sneak a drilling session or a short roll somewhere, Once again, go with the flow and try to get your fix outside of your schedule whenever you can. Apart from that, make sure you actually plan to train while on the road.
Challenges Of Training Brazilian Jiu-JItsu On The Road
Whenever you’re on the road, you’re faced with a few common challenges when it comes to training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Getting away to train means having to dedicate at least an hour and a half for the class/open mat, plus commuting time. For people working a lot, this might prove to be difficult on a regular basis. There’s also the choice of a gym. Sometimes, you’re left with options you don’t really like. For example, going to a notoriously tough gym when you’re just a recreational grappler might leave you, err, bruised and battered which might not be the best outcome when you’re actually working on your trip.
Let’s look at a couple of options you might face on your travels, and what to do. First up, the best-case scenario. Let’s say you made a plan to visit a certain academy. You contacted the instructors beforehand, telling them your coming (a sing of proper BJJ etiquette, by the way). There’s no drop-in fee or a really small lone, meaning you don’t have to worry too much about the finances. Moreover, it is an academy with a great instructor and it offers Gis to rent for people coming in. Plus they’re easy to find. Spots like this are a grappler’s dream come true. However, they are not always available.
The worst-case scenario, of course, would be that there’s no BJJ academy near your location. Now imagine you’re stuck somewhere for a month or so. Having no access to Jiu-Jitsu can drive you crazy. In that case, traveling toa nearby spot that has BJ Jis your best bet. Just remember, you can’t really be icky with academies in such a case. There’s also another solution to the worst-case scenario which you may want to consider – training something other than out-and-out grappling.
Get the Most Out Of It
To be honest, training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu on the road often requires you to figure out a middle ground. It means that you’ll most likely have access to an academy but you won’t have many to choose from. That means you might run into a spot that doesn’t really fit your needs. However, it is an option to train, and you’ll have to take it. If you do, make sure to stay safe, do not force anything and stick to regular classes as opposed to open mat. That way you get to learn something new instead of just getting smashed. Oh, and tap a lot. Because everyone is going to want a piece of the visting guy/girl. No need to get injured.
A key piece of advice I once got, and that I can now rally to you s to actually look for seminars rather than gyms. Regardless of where you’re traveling, you might just run into some of the top grapplers in the world giving a seminar. I’m not talking about going to 5-day camps like on “traincations”. Instead, if there’s a seminar you can attend, make sure it is your first option, rather than just visiting an academy. The same holds true for private lessons.
In the case that you can’t make ti to an academy, or there isn’t one, do not limit yourself to grappling. Most hotels often have gyms that have enough equipment to provides you with a challenging workout. And, even if you’re not really into lifting wight s or sprinting on a treadmill, simply do some solo BJJ drills! Or, if you’re really pressed for time or can’t get to a facility, consider doing hotel room workouts. Or, simply take your favorite BJ JDVDs with you and stay up to speed with BJJ theory!
There’s no need to take a break from BJJ when you have to travel a lot. However, you also do not have to to go training Brazilian Jiu-JItsu per se whenever you’re on the road. Sometimes, there’s just no way to train. Go with the flow and try to figure out different ways of getting your grappling fix. Remember that you don’t just have to participate, you can watch DVDs or go watch a live event if you happen to run into one. There are lots of ways to keep active in a grappling sense while on the road.