From a tenant of Taekwon-Do – Summer Camp 2018
by Mrs Denise Smith; 1st Degree Taekwon-Do from Yate
Arguably this being my 10th Camp you could say I had ‘been there, done that & got the (many) tee shirts’ I was keen to see how the new style schedule would impact on my ability to participate given that I am one of the more mature students.
Heavy traffic and inclement weather meant I arrived too late to attend Saturday afternoon training but was raring to go on Sunday. Training on Croyde beach was novel but made sense as a shorter, safer route for junior students especially as everyone had to go to Barnstaple Leisure Centre.
The ‘pick & mix’ training format was akin to PUMA Day where students could take part in as many sessions as they had the stamina for and I confess I did all but one. A variety of topics lead by experience instructors made for intense, but immensely satisfying and fun seminars. During one I started to overcome my fear of incorporating takedowns in set sparring by learning an effective technique I actually felt competent to try later in the week.
Monday was ‘change over’ day for those only doing part of the week ‘ which provided those staying the whole week a complete day off to venture further afield without the fear of missing a session to letting one’s team down.
The weather perked up by Tuesday thus negating the need to travel to Barnstaple leisure centre, so training followed the traditional camp format starting with a run to Putsborough Beach with training in and out of the water and a late afternoon sessions on the grass dojang. The rescheduled BBQ was combined with the team Quiz & proved to be a very relaxed social start to the evening followed by a sojourn to one of Croydes’ many hostelries.
Wednesday & Thursday consisted of two half days with runs to either Croyde or Putsborough plus beach training & seminars. Thus providing two afternoon / evenings of free time to spend as one wished which for me was reading, listening to music and chatting to fellow campers.
On Friday given I probably was the oldest runner taking part in the timed run to Putsborough Beach, I did hesitate momentarily whether to participate given we hadn’t run there as frequently as in the past. However, in a moment of madness I decided to give it a try and was satisfied with how I ran it (me & the hill have history!!). I suspect the post exercise stretching sessions with instructors with a Physiotherapy background had kept me flexible that enabled me to maximise my participation throughout the week.
Rapidly changing weather from calm and balmy to storm force 10 might have initially presented a challenging start but undaunted the organising team responded brilliantly to deliver the new style training programme. Whether attending alone (like me) or as part of a family group I felt the new format to be very inclusive and the training sessions of consistently good quality learning opportunities.
Will I be back? Yes! For me you haven’t lived until you have tried side kicking in the sea or crawling across the sand with a sandcastle on your back! From Crab football to zen archery you can explore new and interesting ways to develop as a martial artist. If you haven’t been to a camp before then why not take the plunge next year?