Text by Tyler Bishop
On May 2-4 GMA Gracie Humaita St. Louis played host to the first ever Women’s BJJ Camp Midwest. The event was orchestrated by Royler Gracie black belt and 2013 brown belt world champion, Jena Bishop. The camp was designed to bring the women in the area together in one place to learn and train Jiu-Jitsu. The camp featured 30 participants of all ages, sizes, and belt levels.
“I never had many opportunities to train with other females when I started learning Jiu-Jitsu, so I have always wanted to organize something in this area that would facilitate that for others. Now that there are so many more women doing Jiu-Jitsu, it seemed like this was something that I could lead and take charge of,” said Bishop. Camp participants came from across the United States and from over ten different affiliations. “There have already been a lot of requests for me to do it again soon. I would imagine that it is only going to grow. The feedback we have gotten has been very positive.”
The camp took place over three days (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) and featured warm-ups, instruction, drills, positional sparring, open training, and a mock tournament. Jena also made sure that she rolled with every female that attended the camp. “The first time I ever really got to train with a female black belt was at blue belt, the next time was at brown belt. I wanted to make sure every girl that attended got that experience, because it was something I always coveted,” Bishop added.
Jena is currently training for the 2014 World Championships – her first at black belt. She plans to host more camps in the future, and is currently scheduling seminars for the second half of the year.
To learn more about Gracie Humaita St. Louis visit www.grapplingconcepts.com