As an enthusiast of the sport that we all hold so near and dear to us, it is exciting to see the expansion of jiu-jitsu through travel destination camps and events where the community is gaining information from some of the most knowledgeable coaches in the game. Many of these coaches are more willing to spread their wealth of knowledge to us for the benefit of jiu-jitsu because they know that after all, the more you give, the more you get back in this world.
Two of those leaders currently giving back are Pedro Sauer, and Europe’s Patrick Bittan, both influential practitioners who are doing their part to leave the proper legacy for their art by coordinating some historical venues that they anticipate the BJJ community will benefit from.
Few traditional BJJ getaway camps provide you with an in-depth look at the Gracie family heritage and lineage like Pedro Sauer’s summer training camp in Brazil provides, in addition to ensuring that Master Sauer has a good reason to get away from the cold for a few months each year and return to Brazil. Pedro’s seven to ten day retreat takes you directly into Petropolis, Brazil, where campers will stay on Master Sauer’s family property (which he turned into a BJJ bed and breakfast in 2001). It also takes you on private tours of Petroplus, and will escort you to the mats of the local BJJ schools in the city to train with the locals. Pedro transformed his Grandfather’s home into this BJJ compound so that he could provide high level training to guests in a private paradise safe from any inconveniences that so many gringos encounter while traveling to Brazil to train BJJ.
In addition to enjoying the tropical paradise by the mountains, waterfalls, and springs located around the property, Pedro has showcased a number of Gracie heritage memorabilia, such as Helio’s old renovated car, old carpets, the original Gracie family dinner table, Helio’s beds, and even the original Gracie academy washing machine, which is displayed in this private Gracie museum that Pedro is continuing to develop.
On a typical trip, you will meet people from all over the world, networking in the coolest way possible – on the mats! Campers can expect Pedro to spend a lot of time ‘’Polishing Mechanics’’ and helping campers fix day-to-day problems so they can take his techniques home and instantly utilize them at their own academies.
These camps do not only focus on tournament style BJJ. In fact, self defense and street applicable techniques are also covered right along with learning the training principles that will increase your longevity in the sport.
Brent Lillard, aka The Samurai Business Man, is a brown belt who has attended four of Pedro’s retreats and gives high praises to not only the atmosphere of the camp, but also acknowledges that the training philosophies that Pedro has passed on have certainly helped him fine tune his mindset, elevate his business strategies, and improve his personal goal setting skills both on and off the mats.
Pedro can accommodate up to 40 people per camp and has discussed opening up his camps to organizations or practitioners who are looking to host events in this historical setting that tells the story of the past jiu-jitsu generation practitioners to the future generation practitioners. Perdo’s camps are typically held two times a year, usually in January and June (next camp June 2017), and tickets can be purchased by going to his website.
As if eating Acai bowls on Master Helio’s kitchen table wouldn’t be a memorable enough getaway for any BJJ junkie, fourth-degree BJJ black-belt Patrick Bittan, the highest ranking non-Brazilian currently living in Europe, has his own ideas on how he wants to leave his legacy on the sport.
After meeting the BJJ4Change crew at an epic event in Punta Cana in 2016, Patrick partnered with this organization who is now working with him to host more events that will provide shots for their Netflix documentary currently in production.
The BJJ4Change camps are meant to showcase the many unique people, like Patrick Bittan, who are pioneering the growth of BJJ, promoting peace, promoting good causes, and bringing about awareness to larger audiences. Patrick is currently on a world tour teaching his special methods of tactical self-defense training, which combines traditional military and law enforcement training with pure Brazilian jiu-jitsu, a concept that most tactical instructors have failed to develop. While recently traveling to America in 2016 to instruct the US Marshals, Patrick was asked to consider a transition from Europe to America so that he can begin planning the opening of his North American training facilities, where he will continue to incorporate Brazilian jiu-jitsu into military and law enforcement training right along with his passion for teaching jiu-jitsu. Patrick takes jiu-jitsu very seriously, which is why he has partnered with BJJ4Change – he believes that their intentions to showcase the art of jiu-jitsu positively to the world also aligns with his visions.
Patrick wants to make sure that the bar is set high for this documentary, so on the recent BJJ4change Paris trip, Patrick logistically organized and rented a boat for the filming of the roll under the Eiffel Tower for the documentary film. The BJJ4change crew placed mats on the boat and as soon as the sun began to set in Paris, they begin filming Patrick and the 40 students rolling underneath the Eiffel Tower along with Braulio Estima and Robert Drysdale, who both participated in training in this beautiful display of art. As the participants shook hands, bumped fist, and begun to wrestle, it sent goosebumps up the backs of the many media sources who came to cover this event.
BJJ photographer William Burkhardt of BJJpix, Adidas (who donated GI’s to all the participants from the event), the Venum representatives, as well as Jits and Gracie Magazine also covered this historical camp. BJJ4Change is already known for organizing some pretty creative venues to roll at, such as when their campers rolled on the beach, under wedding terraces, and in the Dominican Republic.
Patrick Bittan is continuing to leave his legacy for future BJJers as he continues his televised journey with the BJJ4Change 2018 tour set to host events in Israel, another Paris adventure, and Singapore, just to name a few. Patrick is inviting you to come along with him on one of the upcoming trips, tell your story for the documentary, and leave your legacy on the sport There is more info BJJ4Change.com.
How are you going to leave your legacy on your sport? What would Helio think of the direction this sport is heading? There is more to jiu-jitsu than medals and podiums. The community is what brings people together and provides us with the sense of belonging and unity that we are so lacking in this global world being split down the middle by hate, fear, and greed. Pedro Sauer and Patrick Bittan are doing their part to spread their light and love so that future generations may never forget the legacies that the legends left for them to pass on.