Subject: [Newsletter April 2015] Gianni Grippo at USA camp, The Permanent Campers, White Belt Abroad, photos from the Beach Camp, free travel offers

BJJ Globetrotters Newsletter // April 2015
Dear Globetrotters, 

I'm back home after a super intense month of traveling. Our second Beach Camp in El Salvador was as amazing as it looks in the photos. I did 15 days in a row of training, surfing, rolling, teaching, paddle boarding, eating and sleeping in hammocks. Needless to say, I was exhausted when I finally got home, but tanned, happy and with many new, fantastic friendships and experiences in my backpack.

At the camp, I did an interview for Jiu Jitsu After Dark podcast, that you can listen to here, if you want to hear more about the experience there:
For any stories of people traveling to interesting places to train BJJ, send a mail to and we'll include it in the next newsletter!

Have a fantastic day,

What you'll find in this month's newsletter:

  • Gianni Grippo confirmed for USA camp in August

  • The permanent campers: Dan and Sam are doing every class at every camp!

  • Mason Coriell on his experiences at the Beach Camp (and how his BJJ journey started because of ice cream)

  • Photos from the Beach Camp in El Salvador

  • - Craig travels the world for a whole year!

  • Free travel offers from
Gianni Grippo confirmed for USA camp in August
Marcelo Garcia black belt Gianni Grippo doesn't need much of an introduction. 4x IBJJF World Champion, 2x IBJJF no-gi World Champion and 10x IBJJF Pan Am Champion, this guy knows what he is doing and will be teaching at the BJJ Globetrotters USA camp along side many other top instructors.

Come join us in New Hampshire in August! Spots are selling out quickly, but you can reserve yours for $299 and pay the rest in July. 
The permanent campers: Ryan and Sam are doing every class at every camp!
Sam and Ryan rewarded for being maniacs and attending every single class during last years Summercamp
Sam Tweed and Ryan Maxwell from England have attended quite a few camps recently. They've gotten quite the reputation since they have managed the amazing feat of attending every class at every camp they've been to. We sat down with Ryan and Sam and asked them where this ambition/madness stemmed from.

Hey Ryan and Sam! Could you tell us a bit about yourselves?

RYAN: "Hi my names Ryan, I’m 28 years old and I live in Scunthorpe, England. I have been doing BJJ for 5 years and I’m a purple belt.
I first knew I wanted to learn BJJ when I was at a Christmas party one year and a friend of mine said “hey, let me show you this move I learnt today!”. So I agreed (what was I thinking!). He put me in a stood up guillotine. Instantly I thought, this is bad. I couldn’t breathe and I had no idea what to do. I tried to push away. It didn’t work. I tried to pull his arm away from my throat, and again it didn’t work. At this point my heart was racing and I could feel my face going red. It felt like minutes had passed, but in fact it was only a few seconds. I thought that maybe if I pretended to pass out he might let go. Then I had an idea. I had seen a few UFC fights at that point and I remembered that they tapped when they were being choked. The referee would step in and the other guy would let go. I tapped on his arm, and the pressure on my throat was gone. I could breathe again. This was my first tap and from that point on I knew I wanted to learn BJJ. About a year and a half later a friend who I work with mentioned that A BJJ club had opened near where I work. The next night we went to our first lesson, and ever since then I have been hooked. 

SAM: "I'm Sam, from the East Midlands in England. I started training about 5 years ago at a local gym. I really fell into BJJ by chance as I was looking at getting into some form of combat sport mainly for fitness. A work colleague at the time said there was a boxing gym close to our workplace so I just turned up one evening. It turned out to be a BJJ gym, I bought a gi the next day and trained pretty much every evening there after."

Which camps have you been to so far and do you have any plans to visit future camps?

RYAN: "I have been to the Summer Camp 2013, Summer Camp 2014 and Fall Camp 2014. This year I will be at the Party, Summer and USA camps. If there’s a fall camp I’ll be at that too."

SAM: "'I've attended the Summer Camp 2013 & 2014 and also the Fall Camp 2014. I've currently booked the Party Camp and Summer Camp for this year and will also be booking the USA Camp shortly."

You guys have attended every single class at every single event. Was this a conscious decision or did it just work out that way?

RYAN: "I guess at the first camp it just happened. Myself and Sam didn’t want to miss anything. After that we just wanted to get the most out of each week. My main focus was the techniques and drills of each lesson. Sparring came second for me. It is hard but I pace myself and make sure I eat well throughout the week. I mean you have these awesome instructors coming from all over the world to teach us. You have to make the most of it. Even when I’m at training back home I make an effort to go to every class.

SAM: "Yeah, it really wasn't planned. It was just a case of "Hey, we are doing the next class right?", "yeah sure" then after that it was "Shall we do this one also?" so it kind of just snowballed and we ended up doing all the classes. At the time a few of the guys kept saying hey you're the guys who are doing all the classes aren't you?. Our reputation proceeds us now so we will have to continue with the tradition.

What have been some of the highlights during your BJJ travels?

RYAN: "Top of the list has to be watching Keenan roll with all the black and brown belts at the camp last year. Just being there a few feet away was totally amazing. My favourite lesson of all the camps has to be Chiu’s Spider guard lesson. If anyone filmed this lesson please get in touch. I would love to get a copy of that. Other highlights include Kári’s lesson on high leverage chokes and Daniel Márquez’s lesson on turtle escapes."

SAM: "There have been loads of highlights but to name a few I guess just having the opportunity to train with so many great instructors and meeting lots of friendly people at the camps"
Ryan's permanent home during the camp - on the mat
What do you have planned in the near future?
RYAN: "Myself and Sam were planning on going to see Joey Carta the week before the USA camp. He has invited us over to stay with him so I’m really looking forward to that. We also talked about staying in the US for a bit after the USA camp too. Joey is also coming over to the UK the week before the Party Camp so hopefully I’ll get some training in with him. I would also like to get over to Birmingham soon to train with Chiu Kwon Man."

Anything you guys want to add?
RYAN: "I want to thank Christian and the team for organising these events. They make us feel so welcome while we are there. I have met many new friends at the camp and I hope to meet many more. See you at the camps!"

SAM: "A big thanks to Christian, the CSA staff and all the instructors who put on awesome camps each year, keep putting them on and I'll keep attending. Also to those that know me from the camps and those reading this I'll look forward to seeing you later this year."
Mason Coriell on his experiences at the Beach Camp (and how his BJJ journey started because of ice cream)
Mason Coriell from Orlando was at the Beach Camp in El Salvador recently. We talked to him about the camp, BJJ and defending the honor of ice-cream lovers.
Thanks for talking to us Mason. Tell us a bit about yourself - why did you start doing BJJ?

"We all have those friends that get wasted, call you out, eat your food and slap a hand full of ice cream in your room mates face and ear. Well at least I did. 
This friend was causing a stir in my house and had to be put down. Again he is a friend so happy violence was ok. This was back in 2005. Any training i had at the time was wrestling and muay thai, no BJJ so speak of. 

The situation played out like this… Me, "HEY!? What the hell?" Him, " HAHAHAHA! What?" Then boom, attempted face slap again with the Chocolate flavor of the Neapolitan ice-cream. Unlike my roommate, I was able to block it. My roommate got the strawberry on the side of his face and  wasn't very happy. Two reasons, one he got it deep in his ear and second that was his favorite flavor and it was all over him and the floor. 

So for the honor of the my house my roommate and all strawberry ice-cream lovers everywhere, something needed to be done. I went with the Muay Thai clinch, and a wrestling hip throw. It was pretty easy considering how drunk he was. As we fell, without even thinking about it, he put me into a triangle. I was shocked and pissed! I had no idea that he knew this "ninjitsu" as i thought it was called. How could this be? 

How could this drunk in such a short instant be able to catch me? I tried wrestling out of it, smashing him and stupid aggressive arm in throat newbie stuff I bloodied his lip,he bloodied mine as i slipped out, but then he caught in a arm bar, luckily sneaked out of it because his hands were covered in ice-cream, but that might have been my only saving grace. I truly saw what I come to know now as Jiujitsu had to offer. We stood up, laughed, and hugged covered in ice-cream and blood. Next day, hung over and signed up for class and never stopped.
Do you have any favorite experiences through BJJ travelling?
I have had many Incredible experiences training mixed martial arts all over the world the past ten years. Strangely, most of them just coming from the familiar family aspect of training at my home gym in Orlando. I love seeing my crew everyday with friendly rolls to get warmed up and then competitive ones when i think i might finally edge someone you have been gunning for. The type of atmosphere that takes years to earn and be apart of. 

You recently attended the Beach Camp in El Salvador. How was that?
Yes, this spring i attended a Globetrotter camp in El Salvador. The surf and bjj beach camp. I knew no one. Slightly nervous about the situation, wondering how different it was going to be. I still went with it and expected nothing other than surf and relaxation. Within a day or two, instant family and same situation as at home, light goofy rolls to warm up and tough respectful technical battles with my new family. I wanted to just relax and do little of nothing there, that was impossible. I had every physical and movement specific activity there. Paddle boards, WakeBoards, Surfboards, and Slack-line. If that wasn't enough we challenged each other to better belly flops and crazier human tricks.
Could you describe a regular day at the camp in El Salvador for us?
The day went like this. Wake up to see the sun rise with a local grown cup of coffee in your hand. Check the wetness of the swim suit on the line from the past late night pool session. Didn't matter wet or dry tho, just a lil cold when putting it on over the bare ass and the bits and pieces down below. Finish coffee while running to catch the surf truck headed to the beach. Surf and laugh in the ocean for about 3 hours. Return in time for Breakfast and another warm cup of coffee. Make fun of those for not waking up early with you and tease about how good the surf was. Embellish the size of the waves you caught.

Move on to the slack line challenge, tricks weren't a necessity. Stick your tongue out and tease the next guy. Careful though, too much taunting while on the line will leave you to get hit by the yoga ball in the face. Quick relaxing swim in the pool to cool off, which turned into who could hold the most yoga balls while belly flopping into the pool. And it still isn't ever lunch time yet. Nap under any palm tree you wanted or on the boat dock in the shade. Wake up to your turn to get a massage, finish that by the lunch call. Finish lunch with a fresh coconut to drink.

Walk around the property looking for a no gi partner to roll with. Go for a paddle board ride down the estuary against the wind and then just sit and steer your way back after turning around. Get back to the dock, put the boards away and get out the ultra light gi for some sunset training. Train for several hours, laughing thru much of it. And then get serious because its diner time. Eat as a family on long picnic benches under the stars. If the mood was right which it was, another late night dip in the pool to bring the day to a close. Go to sleep in where ever the heavy eye lids fell shut. Wake up and repeat
Anything you want to add?
I want to give a shoutout to my new company that supports this style of life. Its an clothing company with traveling and training in mind, with creative and thoughtful graphics. Its facebook page is the same name.
Photos from the Beach Camp in El Salvador
The Beach Camp is over, but don't worry, we are in the final stages of confirming the dates for next year :) - Craig travels the world for a whole year!
Craig Mcloughlin is travelling the world, doing BJJ and blogging about it at The rough plan is to travel for 12 months, although that plan might change, depending on a variety of factors. He's been to New Zealand and is currently in Australia. Be sure to check out the blog, it's both funny and interesting!

Tell us a bit about your project 'White Belt Abroad'. Where did idea come from?
The idea to take some time off and travel came first. It had always been something that I had wanted to do and had just been lurking around in the back of my head for a long time. It just kind of hit home last summer for both me and my partner (Rachael) - “If we don’t actually just make a plan to do this and make this happen now, then when?” The next day I handed in my notice.

By the time it came to take the first flight out, I’d been training BJJ for around 16 months at ‘Fighting Fit Martial Arts’, Manchester (although I had to take 3 of these months out due to a knee injury). 
As I was walking to my final class before my first flight to say goodbye (and train), I just decided, “I don’t really want to give this up while I travel”.
That thought, along with the idea of, as a beginner, travelling around and trying to get the world to teach me Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (both physically in gyms I could drop in, people I could meet, and online via a blog) became really exciting.

Craig at Dynamic Martial Arts in New Zealand
So far you have a rough travel plan. What dictated which locations you chose (apart from the weather obviously!)?
I’ve felt really lucky living in the UK, as we have so many destinations in Europe that have been accessible to travel to. For this trip I definitely wanted to visit places which, a) I had never visited before and b) were not as easy to get to once/if I return to the UK.
So, the first flight was literally to the other side of the world to start (New Zealand), with the plan to take it from there. The rough idea is to go up through South East Asia and into Japan for the first half of the year before cutting across to South America and travelling south for the latter half. But I’m not setting any plans in stone yet - I like the idea of being flexible and being able to modify the route based on time, money and people’s advice that I get along the journey……..And of course, after living in Manchester for the past 4 years, the better weather definitely doesn’t hurt! 

How much planning goes into a trip like this?
Probably, it should have been a lot more than what I did! The surprising thing to me, was how much effort it is to close down your day-to-day routine before being able to get to the good stuff. Moving out of the flat, transitioning out of work, sorting bank accounts, subscriptions, pensions, storage, vaccinations etc. By the time that was all done I was happy to just buy the first plane ticket, and get a few nights of accommodation sorted and to take it from there! 

Skydiving in Queenstown, New Zealand
Has it been easy to get in touch with people to train BJJ with? How about accommodation?
It has been really, really brilliant up to now. Nearly all of gyms and people I’ve been in contact with have been super-helpful, supportive and welcoming!
It’s only been a matter of weeks and I think I’ve already run out of words to describe how friendly and brilliant the BJJ community is in my blog posts!
And something which took me by surprise; More recently, people either through the blog or social media, have been reaching out and contacting me - inviting me to train and providing recommendations for the trip - that was a very cool feeling when that happened :-)
In terms of accommodation, up until now it’s been a mixture of hostels, stopping with friends, and volunteering work accommodation (working a few hours per day on projects for food/board).

What do you hope to achieve from your trip?
A lot of the normal cheesy stuff that comes along with travelling. New places, new experiences, meeting new people, learning new things………and if I can start to defend slightly better against a clock choke, then I’ll be a happy man :)
Invercargill, New Zealand
Were you aware of the BJJ Globetrotters team before you started your journey? Do you intend to visit any fellow Globetrotters during your trip?
I’m slightly embarrassed to say, although I’d heard of the name, I didn’t have too much background before beginning my trip. Not to use this as an excuse, but the majority of my online searches for similar experiences were based on a beginner’s perspective. It was only after posting on Reddit, I got a gentle (but well deserved) scolding from the r/BJJ community for not doing my research properly….as well as a bunch of helpful tips and gym recommendations/invites along the way.

However, it did turn out to be a bit of a blessing in disguise, as Christian got in touch with me via the same forum and since then I’ve been catching up on the amazing resources that BJJGlobetrotters and offer for a trip like this.
I will definitely be reaching out to fellow BJJGlobeTrotters for the next few legs of this trip. I also really want to tick off the ‘Staying at a gym and sleeping on the gym mats’ item from my bucket-list at some point along the way! 

12 months is really ambitious, do you worry it's going to be too taxing at some point?
There are no plans set in stone at the moment. 12 months was the rough plan but it may all change depending on time, money, experience, people I meet etc.
All I can say is, that at the moment I’ve been loving it. Who knows? If I can stretch the journey out further than the 12 months then that might be the move instead!

Anything you want to add? 
Nothing much, but if anyone has the time to drop in and check on the blog ( it’d be greatly appreciated! Any advice (BJJ, Travel, Gym recommendations) will be welcomed - just get in touch.
Craig at Gracie Sharks in Australia
Free travel offers from
Every month in this newsletter, we'll be bringing a few of the interesting travel destinations offered by The rest will be published seperately in the monthly Matsurfing email. If you are interested in opening up your own home and/or academy to BJJ travelers, sign up on!

Pharr, Texas, United States
Host: Robert "Bobby" McMasters
Contact email:
Can host: 4

The host: Very seasoned blue belt, who has been training since 2004 where he started doing BJJ under Saulo and Xande Ribeiro in Detroit. Has lived/trained in Moldovia and Bucharest.

The place: Pharr is located in the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas. Close to the Mexican border. I live in an RV park with 2 pools and hot tubs, a tennis court and lots of other cool stuff to do here on site. There's also tons of really great Mexican food and BBQ in town for those of you who don't care about their weight.

The training: I train with Carlos Diego Ferreira, a 3rd degree black belt and UFC fighter. The gym offers BJJ, MMA, wrestling and a bunch of other stuff
Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines 
Host: Robert Frank
Contact email:
Can accommodate: 1

The host: Australian expat living in the Philippines. Used to train in Lima, Peru where he got a blue belt. Has 4x5m matspace in his apartment.

The place: The best way to explore the beauty of the Philippines is to snorkel and dive at coral reefs, to start a nice swim from one of the many paradisiac beaches, to enjoy island hopping on a local outrigger boat, to experience the power of the wind by kitesurfing and the one of the waves by surfing, to hike volcanos and much more!

The training: There are a few gyms in Makati, the biggest ones being Deftac Makati and New Breed Academy Makati at the Rockwell Club. Host is not currently affiliated.
Karachi, Pakistan
Host: Momin Saidi
Contact email:
Can accommodate: 3

The host: A Project Manager, Renewable Energy Consultant, PADI DMT (diving certificate)
and Jiu Jitsu enthusiast. Loves having fun and scuba diving.

The place: Karachi has several landmarks and park to see, from the Mausoleum of Qaid-e-Azam to the Benazir Bhutto Park & Gardens.

The training: Approximately 500 sqft of training space available for cozy training. Matted wall to wall and with good ventilation.

Powered by: