Over the spring break, the CBA Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) team visited Costa Rica for the second time in their program’s history, this time with added service elements, unique training, and adventures.
The team stayed in Costa Rica’s Playa Hermosa for six days. Throughout their stay, the students engaged in both 6:00 a.m. and evening beach fitness and Jiu-Jitsu training sessions with the BJJ Jaco team, led by coach Mike Tomaino and locals Leonidas Ruaro and Nixon Anguila. BJJ is a martial art and combat sport system that focuses on grappling and ground fighting.
As for the service element, the team put in two days of work to paint the interior of the local Cruz Roja (Red Cross) building. The building, which was still painted with the original paint from decades ago, desperately needed to be freshened up. Just as in the United States, their Cruz Roja organization saves thousands of lives per year, but is even more critical to the success of this area. Locally, many of the roads are not well developed or well patrolled, the oceanfront is plagued with numerous treacherous rip currents, and there is a deficit of qualified and trained first responders.
The students also enjoyed touring and seeing Crocodiles, hiking through Manual Antonio national park and rain forest, zip-lining along the jungle canopy, surfing, and seeing exotic wildlife such as scarlet macaws, toucans, and Capuchin monkeys.
The eight members of the team were accompanied by Coach Tomaino and faculty member Jeanne O’Connor-Lynch, as well as a parent chaperone.
With service, exercise and adventure all rolled into one trip, it proved to be a great opportunity for the CBA students to experience a different culture during their break.