Kyra Gracie’s Womens’ BJJ Camp
I made a pack with myself in 2009 that I would leave the country and travel for a year on my own. I had never done any extensive traveling, let alone gone anywhere by myself so this was a big change for me. Training has always been a grounding point, and it became a compass for me during and after my travels. I was going to Thailand to do Muay Thai, Japan to train MMA and submission wrestling, and Rio de Janeiro to do Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I gave myself a deadline to leave by Feb 2010, enough time to wrap up my jobs, put my things in storage and say goodbye to everyone. As I was looking to buy my tickets to Thailand late one night, I stumbled upon an article for Kyra Gracie’s all women’s camp. Kinda like fate, I reversed the order of my travels and decided to begin in Rio. I signed up that night for the camp then spent the next couple of weeks getting my Brazilian Visa and plane tickets.
Rio was nothing short of spectacular and it’s one of the most beautiful and crazy places I have ever been. We trained are asses off day and night and in the afternoons Kyra took us sight seeing to all the major landmarks which was often combined with conditioning. Hiking at Pedra da Gavea, Ginástica Natural (wear your sunscreen even on cloudy days because doing gi with a sun burn is horrible), Sugar Loaf tour, Corcovado tour and some last night beach grappling with my fellow students. Never a dull moment, but when there is usually it’s a great opportunity to take a nap. Kyra is a phenomenal instructor and incredibly technical. If you are looking to up your game, seeking to win with technique over power, interested in meeting other women who love Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Kyra’s camp is definitely for you.
I highly recommend you bring at least 2 gis but preferably 3 since you will train frequently in this very hot and humid climate, where you will be hard pressed to find a dryer. Laundry is expensive and I tried to compensate buy washing my clothes in the sink. However washing your gi in the shower doesn’t work so well (running in the ocean with it on works a little better) and I promise you your clothes will NEVER smell the same. Also drink lots of water. I was averaging about 5 liters a day while I was there in the beginning. The camp lasts about a week but I ended up staying as long as my Visa would let me and was there for 3 months. Getting your Visa can be a pain in the ass so apply in advance and you will need your round trip ticket before you do this.
If you plan on staying longer, leave me a comment and I can give you some more personal tips. Also check out this book. Traveling alone as a female can be a bit tricky, but I did it for almost a year in several different countries and had the time of my life. I also recommend avoiding taxis. if you take the bus, you might get robbed, but if you take a taxi you WILL get scammed. Always ask for the paperwork when cabbies add “tax” to see the right percentage versus the percentage they will quote you.
In June, I will start to post images from Rio and the ADCC Pro Trials in the gallery.
With Love & Respect,
Shawn K Tamaribuchi