This September, we were happy to organize the second edition of the Ladies Only BJJ Camp. We were thrilled to host a total of 35 girls, coming from all over Europe: Italy, Portugal, Ireland, United Kingdom, Croatia, Norway, Sweden, Belgium and the Netherlands. Our guest trainer was no one less than Frontline’s black belt Eirin Nygren, a previous double gold brown belt European Champion, Copa Podio winner and most recently the runner-up World Champion at black belt Master’s this year.
If you’ve missed all the fun, don’t worry: here is a recap of all the events!
Outside autumn had started with stormy weather and heavy rainfall, but we were ready to kick off the Friday evening session at Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy Amsterdam! At 20:00 sharp, Eirin started off with a light warming-up, and then went straight on to the techniques. Since the training was with gi, she showed us some excellent guard passes, followed up by a choke from mount. Once everyone had practiced and Eirin helped everyone with the details, we rounded the session off with specific sparring.
Starting fresh on Saturday morning, it was time for the first no-gi class. Beginning from bottom this time, Eirin showed us a very basic though extremely useful way to handle an opponent who “pushes you down” in the closed guard, preventing you from moving. After this, it was time for one of her (and our) favourite submissions: the omo-plata. We learned a nice set-up for the regular omoplata, but also how to use it as a transition movement to a sweep. As a bonus, Eirin also showed us how to attack the other arm, making us feel like Michelle Nicolini at the Worlds 2014. Once techniques were done, it was time for some specific sparring from guard.
Before the break started, we had a little surprise for everyone. With help of Rainha Fightwear and BJJ Fightgear, two of our lovely sponsors, we had a goodiebag for everyone who attended the camp. They were filled with discount coupons, stickers, wristbands, soap and more. Double surprise: Rainha Fightwear put a little extra in some of the “lucky” goodiebags; such as a cool beanie, bright yellow tape and 1 girl was very lucky to receive a coupon for a free rashguard by Rainha! Happy with all the treats, everyone went for lunch and returned back for the gi session in the afternoon.
During the afternoon session, Eirin showed us her signature pass: the over-under pass. Being a featherweight herself, and the over-under pass being a “heavyweight type of pass”, it was very interesting to see how she was able to use this technique to work for her. We had a lot of practice with this pass and were able to use it when we finished the training with regular sparring. Eirin made sure to stay on the mat all the time and get in rolls with as many girls as possible.
Another surprise came after this session: Laurent Martroye from Ataste Açai came all the way from Belgium to bring us the most delicious treat after training! Delighted with this sweet and healthy açai smoothie, everyone had a seat and took a moment to enjoy.
In the evening, we explored a bit of Amsterdam and then took a boat across the water to the restaurant THT in the north of the city. Most of the girls joined us for dinner, and we had lovely food, some drinks and enjoyed the evening and each other’s company. Before we knew it, it was late and time to get some sleep for the last day of the camp.
We were a little bit sleepy-eyed in the morning, so Eirin decided to show some passing during this no-gi session as well. This way, we were able to fine-tune what we learned on Saturday, and got the chance to use these techniques in a no-gi setting as well. We did X-passes, windshieldwipers and of course the over-under pass. The class was finished with some specific sparring, before we headed for food after training.
The last gi session Eirin gave us 30 minutes to rehearse everything we learned that weekend. We could pick whatever we wanted to drill, whether it was one technique or everything we did. After the timer went off, she called everybody to the centre of the mat and gave us time to ask questions. Questions about the passes, sweeps and submissions we had learned, but also questions about other techniques we had. How to kill the lasso guard? How to pull guard? And also: did she have tips to prepare for a competition? How does she get her focus before and match and how does she keep it during the entire competition?
It was quiet as everyone listened to her stories and experiences, and it was great to hear and learn these experiences from her. When all was asked and done, we all got up and got ready for one last session of free sparring. The music was turned up, RibeiroPhoto – our cameraman – was walking around taking some last cool action shots, and we gave our all for one last time.
Then it was time to say goodbye. Hugs were given, selfies were taken and bags were packed. We had an amazing weekend and would like to thank everyone who attended the camp for helping it be so great. Also, we’d like to thank our sponsors for supporting this event: BJJ Academy Amsterdam, Rainha Fightwear, BJJ Fightgear, Ataste Acai and RibeiroPhoto; without your help this camp wouldn’t have been half as great. A massive thank you and a big round of applause: see you all back next year!
Check out this short highlight we made of the camp!