I last posted about the Female Fighters Camp held in Kendal back in 2018 but thought I’d do a quick review again as that was three years ago plus this has been one of the first major women’s event in the UK since covid so it deserves a special shout out!
The Female Fighters Camp has been in existence since 2014 and other than the break from covid it has been an annual fixture ever since. This year saw the return of original coaches Sophie Cox and Rosi Sexton alongside, Lanchana Green, Jemima Yeats-Brown, Kelly Staddon (who delivered a nutrition seminar) and Me (yup I made my camp coaching debut helping with some beginners BJJ alongside being an uke!).
For those who don’t know where Kendal it’s basically in the Cumbrian Lake District. Despite it remote location its pretty well connect by train and is also the home to The Dojo. The Dojo is a permanent training venue for Kendal Judo Club and boasts the actual mats used at the 2012 Olympic Games. It also has various cabins and bunk beds onsite as well as lots of hotels and hostels nearby making a great location for visiting grapplers from across England, Scotland and Jersey this year!
As always I am not going to cover all the technical details of the camp as its not fair on the coaches / I would inevitable butcher some of the technical details but to give your a flavour –
Friday started with a nutrition seminar before heading onto the mats for judo (separate classes for beginners and advanced), then similar for BJJ both covering the close guard options. Then open mats which were a mixture of positional and open rolls and a well earned break before a choice of advanced judo or BJJ. Saturday was a No-Gi themed day with sessions split into beginners and advanced. MMA focused classes of various levels ran through the day with Lachana with Sophie covering Judo and Sam the BJJ. Rosi Sexton also taught a session re Neck strengthening as well as neck restriction via chokes! And if that wasn’t enough there was also two open mat session! Whilst Sunday was back to the comfort of the gi with some shallow lassos, sacrifice throws as well as a recap of the previous sessions of gi loveliness!
When I got home of the Sunday evening I was only fit for takeaway, a large Epsom salt bath, some anti-inflammatory and an early night! I have since learnt from previous years to make sure I have the Monday morning off work for a much needed lie-in!
Now for some honesty. At the start of the weekend I saw the camp as very much more a social weekend with some great training opportunities. After all female grappling has progressed a lot since the initial camp in 2014 with a lot more females training etc. And yes it still is that with lots of giggles, catching up with old friends and making some new ones. But after some of the conversations I’ve had this weekend it still serves a really important purpose – bringing women together who don’t have the chance to train with other females, providing a supportive atmosphere to chat and ask questions and to generally enable increased visibility of women both on the mats and in leadership roles without the egos and logos getting in the way (and yes this may be another blog if I can get my words together!).
I’d thoroughly recommend any female grappler to attend the camps whether you’re a complete beginner or more experienced. Not least because there are some really interest plans in the pipeline for next year already! If you want to attend a future camp you can sign up to the camp mailing list to get future updates and info.