As the summer approaches some of you might be thinking about taking a BJJ holiday. Combining visiting a new country with training somewhere new. I have had a couple of trips like this myself and these are my top 10 BJJ holiday tips.
1. Starting at home before you set off. Really consider the amount of clothes you need to take with you. You will be washing your gis daily so if needed you can wash some clothes too. Plus if you are only taking carry on luggage, you don’t want to be weighed down too much.
2. You should be able to get away with just packing two gis for the trip as you will be washing daily. When you are packing your gis you also might want to consider packing them in some large plastic bags. I have used a large type of zip lock bag when I travelled. Just in case something opens up in your bag and stains them. ( I have also had this experience too)You don’t to arrive at your destination and have to sort out the stains on your gi.
3. If where you are staying does not have a laundry of its own, you will need to try and find out where the nearest coin operated laundry is. You don’t want to be turning up to a strange academy and being the stinky guy. Maybe ask where you are staying or use Google before you get there.
4. Make sure you contact the academies you intend to visit before hand to make sure they are ok with visitors. Some places will welcome visitors and get them regularly. Others may limit the classes you can attend or may not really want visitors.
5. Remember you are a visitor so be respectful to your coach and your training partners, just like you would expect anyone who visited your home academy to be.
6. Be willing to tap quickly and often. This is for two reasons for this. The main one being you are on holiday, you don’t want to screw up your plans by getting injured so look after yourself. The other is another respect thing, you are not there to win a competition you are there to enjoy yourself.
7. Stay clean. No matter where you are in the world hygiene is still important. You don’t want to bring something nasty home with you.
8. Remember to consider your training volume. If you are used to training a couple of hours a few times a week. Don’t go trying to train 3 times a day for a week. This is a good way to burn yourself out. Try an match your training volume from back home initially and if you are feeling good after a few days, then consider increasing the amount.
9. You are on holiday so take some time to have a look around. Have a bit of tourist time and enjoy the sights.
10. Finally enjoy yourself. It’s a holiday and you have all the time in the world to enjoy the weather, food and BJJ.
I really have enjoyed travelling and training, it’s even better because I get to share it with my wife. You may not learn anything amazing or technical, but enjoy the experience and make some new friends.