2017 Midwest Pan Ams Camp (Days 2 – 5) “The Grind”

2017 Midwest Pan Ams Camp is a third of the way done.  Every day has been phenomenal training.  I have also been reminded that grapplers that have only attended a single session are missing out on hidden depths of learning.

Cumulatively, Pans Camp utterly destroys my vitality, strength, and energy reserves.  Some people come in and try out a session of camp, or even a couple of sessions in a day and they miss this. (Read more about what a single day of camp is like here on my Day 1 Writeup).  (Edit: You can read about the last days of camp here)

Exhausted After Jiu Jitsu Training

Someone who has been coming to nearly all of the sessions doesn’t have any explosiveness left.  Their body is sore and gi burned and their muscles are feeling the effort.

Strategy and tactics to stay on my game plan and conserve energy are rewarded.  Playing someone else’s game is exhausting.  There is never enough time to eat, shower, and rest/fully recover between sessions.  Just enough to be able to make it THROUGH the next one.

An intensive camp like this is a wonderful way to build faith in my Jiu Jitsu.  I learn to trust it, because it saves me when mere will power or strength can’t. The more I trust my Jiu Jitsu the more I am reminded of how much I DON’T do that on a day to day basis.

2017 Midwest Pans Camp From Cub Scout To Rambo

Day 2 Saturday

On Saturday Javier Arroyo showed some great stand up grip fighting details.  I have been a guard puller for years, but this past year I have been focusing more on adding elements of a takedown game and this plugged right in.  Javier teaches Judo in a way that the movements can be practiced gently with finesse.  

Click The Video Above To Learn How To Deal With One Of The Most Common Grips In Jiu Jitsu

Javier has a unique ability to break down the standup dynamics.  He removes complexity and helps teach movement concepts first and foremost.  Every session after training with Javier I understand the takedown game better and better. These concepts mean that the next time I train with him I get even more out of it.

Saturday Training

More great training continued Saturday after the technique portion as we repeated Friday’s positional sparring (seated versus standing and half guard work) with new groups of partners.

Day 3 Sunday

Private Lesson

Nick Sanders Podium
Nick Sanders

All of the instructors during the Midwest Pan Ams Camp are available for private lessons.  Sunday morning I had the privilege to be an Uke in a private with one of my main training partners Mike Gerlach, taught by Nick Sanders.  Nick has great Jiu Jitsu and an especially solid spider guard game.

Nick Sanders has such comfort in his knowledge he is able to teach concepts with clarity.  My job in the private was to be thrown around and rack up frequent flier miles but I learned a ton.  I was even able to hit half of the moves he showed during live drilling the next few days.

Sunday Teaching

Brian Stuebner And Caio Terra
Brian Stuebner With His Professor Caio Terra

After the private lesson the training session started. Brian Stuebner showed some great De La Riva details.  I could look around the room and pretty much see people’s heads exploding from the realization that there are some deep details that greatly increase percentages from this position.  Like all of the other instructors he didn’t hold anything back.

I have trained with Brian since the beginning of my Jiu Jitsu journey and even I learned some new adjustments that tightened my game.  This sequence was the most complex sequence of the camp so far.


Sunday Training

Training Sunday was brutal.  We focused purely on escaping the clutches of death repeatedly.  One grappler stayed in for 5 minutes and a team of fresh attackers came in and started in dominant positions.  Once the grappler in the middle escaped or neutralized the position, someone new came in and set up in a bad spot.

How it works:

I was in the middle and someone started on mount on me.  Once I was able to elbow escape and get to half guard, instead of getting to recover there, someone else would come in and get on my back to replace the first grappler.  Once I escaped the back (or was submitted), someone else came in and picked side control or some other dominant position, and so on.  It was a long 5 minutes.

We finished the session off with a king of the mountain style “first to score” competition.

How it works:

One person starts in the middle. The first to score wins (takedown, guard pull and sweep, or guard pull and get passed, or submission). Fresh people rotate in and the winner stays.

This drill is a great way to let everyone train at their own pace and pick advantageous matchups after other intense training and keeps the takedown game very safe.


Day 4 Monday

Monday night I taught my regular two evening classes then stayed and trained.  We rolled at least 6 round that were 10 minutes a piece back to back.  I don’t remember anything else. It’s all a blur.

Day 5 Tuesday

During the technique portion Javier shared more of his Judo for Jiu Jitsu magic.  This was followed up by great “standing vs. seated” and “King of the Mountain” training.

The Black Belts from the first few days of the 2017 Midwest Pan Ams Camp were amazing.  My only regret is my schedule didn’t match up to get much training time learning from Josh Littleton before he had to leave.  He has great escapes, a fierce attacking style, and a very tricky guard and passing game.

Special thanks to all of the upper belts who have made this camp awesome too – brown, purple, blue and even white belts every day!

Pan Ams Camp Black Belt Instructors

Javier Arroyo on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/javier.arroyo.1042

Nick Sanders on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nick.sanders.3367

Brian Stuebner on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brian.stuebner

Josh Littleton on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/josh.littleton.14

From here on out most of the training at the 2017 Midwest Pan Ams Camp will be repetitively grinding. My next post will be instructor focused as camp wraps up next week.



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