[social][/social]Ribeiro did not travel lightly (as if her own mental arsenal of knowledge wasn’t enough). Ribeiro arrived with two black-belt grapplers in tow: Beatriz Mesquita and Carol Vidal. The camp featured three days of world class GI and no GI technique, drilling and rolling. Camp goers gained an inside look at what it takes to be a world champion and train like one.
With fellow teammate Penny Thomas, Ribeiro and Mesquita came up with the idea to start doing women’s grappling camps. Mesquita has been a part of Leticia’s seminar and camp tours since its inception. She has seen firsthand the impact that these camps have had on women and girls around the world. The Leticia Ribeiro Women’s Grappling Camp in Arlington Texas wasn’t Vidal’s first experience of this kind either.
(Interview with Leticia Ribeiro)
Ribeiro: To be honest I knew it could be a success. Texas has big potential in our sport. Myself, Bia and Carol were so excited to teach and it was a great experience for us to have young girls at the camp as well. We had girls of all ages. It was so cool to see so many generations together sharing the mat-60 girls in total. I should be happy...I am so happy!!!You just wrapped up your first camp in Texas. How did things go? Were you happy with the outcome?
Some men and women may not understand the importance of women’s camps. Why do you think women’s camps like yours are important for women?
Ribeiro: Training with men is good, but training with women is MUCH BETTER. It can't compare. The training is real and dynamic all the time.
How do you think your camps benefit the jiu-jitsu community of women and girls?
Ribeiro: Women’s presence in the Jiu Jitsu community is growing a lot. I can see the progress every day. But one important thing that helps a lot, not just in Jiu Jitsu , but in all sports are the IDOLS and ROLE MODELS. And I think at these camps and seminars everybody has a chance to learn and train with someone that they admire. Plus it helps in developing their technique and they gain more experience.
[bjjad][/bjjad]How can we grow the sport more for women and the future generations to come?
Ribeiro: It just has to grow like that. The future champions are coming and the new generation is more professional than before. I can look ahead and see the women’s divisions being as big as the men’s divisions. It will be great !!!
Your camps are not only a training ground for participates, but also for your student (i.e. Bia and Carol). You said you’d like for them to host their own camps/seminars in the future. What do you hope to pass on to your students through your camps?
Ribeiro: I try to bring them with me everywhere. Especially Bia and Carol-my only black belts. I talk with them all the time and tell them, "You girls have just to continue my work, just keep going." I think competing is so important for them, but they have to learn how to teach too. They are already good teachers. I’m so proud and happy to have great fighters in my team. Lucky me!!!
(Interview with Carol Vidal)
You’ve traveled with to other Leticia Ribeiro Women’s Grappling Camps. Before that had you ever trained with so many women?
Vidal: Yes, I participated in two camps with Leticia before that were similar to the one in Texas. Both were a success. That was the first time I saw so many women training together.
What have you taken away from these experiences?
Vidal: It is so great to see the number of women in Jiu-Jitsu growing. Seeing so many women together on the mat dedicating themselves to learn with my teacher is a big motivation for me.
What makes Leticia such a good role model and mentor for women in Jiu-Jitsu?
Vidal: This is the result of her hard work, years of love and dedication for the sport. She is a nine time world champion and a great teacher.
(Interview with Beatriz Mesquita)
You’ve been accompanying Leticia on her camps and seminars since the start. What have you learned from going to these camps and seminars?
Mesquita: Each camp and seminar that I went with Leticia to I learned a lot-especially more details. That’s what makes the difference for us.
In the future, would you like to conduct your own camps and seminars?
Mesquita: For sure. Leticia is teaching and introducing us. Me and some of the girls on our team will continue her work. It’s a big responsibility, but we are going to work hard to make her proud. Soon we will be doing our own camps.
What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned from Leticia that you hope to pass on to your future students?
Mesquita: That you can never quit. In Jiu-Jitsu and in your life. Always try and fight for your dreams and your objectives. Jiu-Jitsu is our life style! The way we like to live. Fighting and teaching. You have to do everything with love and enjoy being there on the mat sharing the good vibration with your friends, partners and students. Feel good when you finish each class, leave your problems outside and have fun every day.