ADCC Finland Competitor James Brasco Shares His Struggles Training Through Hurricane Irma

ADCC Finland 2017
ADCC Finland 2017

For most competitors preparing for ADCC Finland this upcoming weekend, the biggest concerns of training camp were proper nutrition and avoiding injury while still training hard.  For some, though, inclement weather became a major source of distraction and hardship in the weeks leading up to what is arguably the biggest and most important no gi grappling tournament in the world.

I had an opportunity to chat with James Brasco, a Florida resident and a North American Trials winner who was winding down his training for the major event in the middle of Hurricane Irma.

“I have been prepping for ADCC for four months,” James said told me.  “Some weeks I go heavy on mat time and grinding and sometimes I have periods of time where I am flowing more and focusing on technique. I mix up my training a lot with hills and sprints as well. As it got closer the last 5 weeks of my training were 60% percent wrestling because it builds the best cardio overall. I was at fight sports three times a week and we split the training up.  We do an hour of wrestling then we go into our ADCC live rounds. Always preparing for the worst scenario.  I also visit Moncaio brothers at least once a wk. This is all an hour or more from West Palm so I also run and lift on my own in my area…  I spent a month in Pennsylvania also training with top college wrestlers gaining the physicality I wanted.

I live in south Florida so the training options are many. I primarily train with Jay Moncaio and the team. I also have visited Vagner Rocha and at Fight Sports-Cborg and the head wrestling coach Manuel. There is a ton of talent there and they are ready to push you to limit.”

Related: Check Out The Most Stacked Bracket At ADCC 2017 Finland, The -88kg

Brasco found Irma to be extremely disruptive to his training regime.

There are only four men in the ADCC from Florida this year. Three of them all live near Miami. I am the lone wolf up here and I do not have a school with students to feed from.  So as the hurricane was coming every school started shutting down. They were not worried about Brasco’s training for ADCC and the crucial point I was at. The news was scaring the hell out of everyone at that time. Most people started leaving the state driving north and gas stations were closing and empty by mid week… So it was not smart for me to drive south wasting gas I was not sure I could even replace.  Plus I decided to go to the west coast of Florida and was stressing on where I was gonna train. Which by the way we drove back to the east coast when Irma changed course again no gyms open etc.  We also had curfews… So we had to be in house by 3 pm sat No one allowed on road.

So from Saturday through Monday I was trapped. We lost power Sunday at 6 pm and were without power until Thursday at noon.  I had a small group in Jupiter that got together daily that week to train. A good friend opened.  I couldn’t cook. Stores weren’t open I was sweating bullets at night.  The storm was Saturday through Monday but the aftermath (No power) was until Thursday.  The aftermath is the worst.  No power.  The hurricane really is not a big deal and can be fun. But once you lose power and water. No fun.  Cold showers were the only thing that worked.  If you have weight to lose not easy. Luckily I am ok. Now that’s my experience.  Vagner still does not have power in gym, he is using fans.  For him it sucks because he has gym to run and students so he can’t just go run too other gyms like me. But on other hand he has guys.  The hurricane affected two weeks of training the week of it “coming”.  So you’re told to prepare and the week after.  Friday through Sunday I sat in house and did push-ups and sit ups. Then I tried yoga for first time with candles. I had no other option. I was crawling out of skin so I did what I could.  No power. I am doing push-ups in the dark and Yoga poses.  Just trying to stay fit and loose.  I was at Fight Sports the Tuesday before the hurricane and never made it back like I said due to gas and traffic and curfews.

Related: Heavy Hitters at ADCC WORLDS 2017 -77kg Bracket

Training during any sort of natural disaster is bound to be difficult!

James Brasco had the following shout outs

“My training partners! Captain Steve and the crew in Jupiter, Jay and Fred Moncaio”



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