Grappler’s Retreat – June 2010

Grappler’s Retreat – June 2010

Looking to Grapple away from it all, well Grappler’s Retreat will be hosting Grappler’s Retreat ( an Open Grappling Camp not affiliated with one family, team or style in June 2010.  With high powered instructors: Nic Gregoriades (Gracie Barra), Alex Aftandilians (Gokor’s Team Hayastan)  and Antonio Almeida (Brazilian Top Team) from Arraial d’Ajuda, Brazil.   Location, C.V. Starr Center, a brand new $13 million state-of-the-art facility located on the Mendocino coast.

When Alex first emailed us about the camp, it sounded interesting – but it looks like if you are interested in something beyond just a training camp – this may be for you.

The organization aims to create opportunities for grapplers of different backgrounds and affiliations to train and learn together under the same roof. In this effort to help foster greater camaraderie and openness in the grappling community.

Grapplers Retreat has linked itself with the Jiu Jitsu Brotherhood, an international forum established to bring grapplers together through shared experiences in training and teaching.

The camp has established itself on Northern California’s Mendocino coast. This area is best known for its incredible natural environment—namely its secluded rugged coastline and old-growth redwood forests.

Grapplers of all backgrounds, from beginners to world champions, are encouraged to visit the remote area in order to better appreciate the primal, spiritual aspect of their art while training in this amazing place.

According to the founders of Grapplers Retreat, Alex Aftandilians, “it’s all about community, fellowship, and nature… we honor our heritage and respect our individual affiliations, but in the end, we are all brought together by this beautiful art.”

[h2]About the World Class Instructors: [/h2]

Nic_Gregoriades_right_with_his_teacher_Roger_GracieNic Gregoriades, Gold medal wins in grappling tournaments including the Gracie Invitationals, the British No-Gi Open, the Paris Cup, South African Grappling Championships and the first ever black belt awarded by Roger Gracie, will be heading the inaugural training camp.  He is an Abu Dhabi World Pro Cup veteran and founder of Gracie-Barra South Africa plus creator of the popular BJJ site The Jiu-Jitsu Brotherhood.

Alex Aftandilians, who has trained extensively under Sambo/Judo legend Gokor Chivichyan, and whose achievements include taking Gold in the men’s no-gi advanced division of the 2009 United BJJ California Classic, will also be assisting with the instruction. He will be offering insights into some of his favorite approaches to leg locks, neck locks, and the kesa-gatame position.

Antonio Almeida, who has trained extensively under Brazilian Top Team founder Murilo Bustamante, will also be present to share his unique approach to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

[h2]About Grappler’s Retreat:[/h2]
Instruction and training will take place at the C.V. Starr Center, a brand new $13 million state-of-the-art facility located on the Mendocino coast.
The camp, however, is not limited to just training. The intensive training sessions will be followed by Brazilian-style barbecues and bonfire gatherings at the forested coastal headlands, located just minutes away from the training facility. Camp participants will have plenty of time to get to know the instructors and the other students, who are expected to come from over a dozen different schools and affiliations.

Russian_Gulch_-_Mendocino_Coast_2One of these post-training gatherings is planned at the heavily forested Russian Gulch Creek Canyon, a headland that features the Devil’s Punch Bowl (a large, collapsed sea cave with churning water), and a beach that offers swimming, tide pool exploring, skin diving and rock fishing. Inland, there is a 36-foot high waterfall and miles of hiking trails.

One of the most incredible features of the Russian Gulch headlands is the “blow hole.” Its formation was made by the incessant pounding of waves against the coastal headlands. A tunnel has been formed which comes inland about 200 feet, and at its end the earth has caved away forming a hole 100 feet across and 60 feet deep; one can look into this flower and plant-lined pit and watch the surging sea at high tide.

The entire weekend could be split between training and simply relaxing at the forested seaside camp. For the more restless, however, many hidden pockets of this rugged coastline will be explored, while ideas will be exchanged, philosophies shared, and friendships forged. This gathering of like-minded individuals—and the many gatherings to follow—is what Grapplers Retreat is all about.

We look forward to hearing how this innovative grappling camp goes off, if you attend, send us an email through our contact us page.  Alex and team will be sending post – camp photos and an update on how it all went.  Good luck and Keep Rolling!

For more information, please visit

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.