• Johnny

Grappler's Retreat 2022 Day Five


This is it.


This is the last day.


We're going to have a "marathon" training session with Mason Fowler, hike, then eat and talk into the night. Ed, John and I are leaving around midnight to get to the airport, which means it will be a tiring trip home.


This week has been healing for me. I'm sore, well fed, and rested. A feeling I haven't had in a long time. Mentally I've been challenged, trying to understand the world of BJJ and it's complex techniques. Also, trying to listen to others and understand how they got to be where they are at. Saying that, one of the best things for me was the chance to get away from so many people. And sleep.


Looking at myself in the mirror here has made me realize I've aged quite a bit in the two years in Minnesota. Working, training, little sleep, bad habits, and poor schedule have been rough on me. More rest, more fun, and less stress are what I need.


Training wise, I've been able to actually use some moves i've learned in ATT Savage during our rolling sessions. My time hasn't been a complete waste. I'll have to play around with these new concepts that Mason has taught us.


As the last morning of the camp ends. My belly full from breakfast and belongings already packed away, I'm ready to train. Ready to soak up the last bit of knowledge I can. Lastly, I'm ready to go home. This beautiful camp has done much for me. Sure, I still have bad habits to squash but I think that this trip has helped me be reinvigorated. I have a list of things to do when I get home:

  • Find a new gym.

  • Buy a heavier kettlebell

  • Plan my next trip

  • Relax more

Last Lessons

To be honest, I'm having trouble remembering all that we learned today. One move was how to stay on your opponent's back by controlling their shoulders, hip escaping, and rolling them. The other move was escaping a body lock that was on you and then going into 50/50 for a heel hook. Even though I don't remember the details, training was amazing. So many talented people to learn from. Lucas even gave me advice on what to focus on as a beginner.

Control, Movement, Escaping, Defending

If I can do these things really well. My game will go to another level and submissions will open themselves up to me.


Mason did a Q&A as well after the training session. One thing that he mentioned was how to train at different stages. He admitted that he goes through phases while training but in the beginning you should just focus on techniques, moves, and basics. Once you reach the purple, brown or black belt levels of training then it is time to add strength and conditioning. Shoot, he has a nutritionist, psychologist, and a personal training to help him. Something that he mentioned was "Wendler 531", a kind of training plan out there to build strength. I think I'll try it with kettlebells (if I can).


Another thing I had to admit to myself was I need to go to class more. All the best people train 6-7 times a week. If I want to be the best, then I need to do the same. I'm starting late in age as well which means I need to put even more work in to get to competition level. For the remainder of this year, I need to have "Go to Class" as my training goal. Once I have the habit of going to class, then next year I can confidently go to competitions.


Before, I was lying to myself. I'm not ready to fight, I'm not at competition level. It takes a lot to be a competitor. It is a commitment.


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