It was the best bathing weather when the Arnisadores Torsten, Martin, Manuel and Alexander from Leipzig met on the 3rd of June in the dusty backyard of a car rental company to be active for the next 4 days (4th - 7th of June 2015) for 6 hours each at about 30°C in the open air; not knowing that the most strenuous unit would take place at the end and in a hall. But more about that later.
At first there was a ten-hour car ride on the agenda, which should bring us to the goal, the Austrian Hapkido and Kombatan Summer Camp 2015 in Bleiburg/Pliberk in Carinthia. This trip went uneventful except for the mounting of the Austrian vignette and several tunnel trips.
Finally arrived, we were greeted by the members of the Dojos Königslutter, Braunschweig/Rautheim and Penzberg, who also came from Germany, as well as the Austrian hosts we knew from Milan (2014) and the Leipzig Ascencion Camp 2014.
Since it had become quite late due to the long journey, we moved into our room, ate the leftovers of the dinner and went to sleep relatively fast, because for the next morning an exhausting and hopefully instructive program was expected, for which all could well use their strength.
The following day, after a good breakfast on a large meadow and in bright sunshine, the welcoming ceremony and the introduction of the teachers for the camp as well as the representatives of the individual countries by Grand Master Walter Hubmann began.
This was followed by the warm-up training of Michele, who has been famous since the Milan camp. But it turned out to be quite relaxed, albeit no less sweat-inducing than expected.
One or two grass stains richer on the clothes followed then the first unit double stick, with which some had learned from the mistakes of Milan and now as a precaution bandaged their hands, or immediately with gloves started. GM Ernesto Presas Junior, called Jan-Jan, showed different variants of the Sinawalis, which offered an insight into the variety of this training method and afterwards it went on with the double pole system and different counters. After that there was a short break before Senior Master Randy continued with the Philippine knife fight. The most important thing was the maintenance of the flow of movement, or "feel the flow", which didn't allow to stall or become stiff and should lead to some remarkable results in the 4 days with the Leipzigers.
Afterwards there was a two-hour lunch break to eat, regenerate a bit and wait for the hottest hours of the day before continuing with one unit each of Espada y Daga and Mano Mano. This laid the groundwork for the next few days and subsequent exercises would build on it.
In view of the good weather, most of the evening was spent outside, albeit still within the individual language groups, which was not to change until the following days.
New day, new training, the next morning it was time for the next morning and all of them continued, reasonably well recovered from the strains of the previous day.
After the warm-up training we continued with a unit Espada y Daga, which this time thematized the 15 attack sequences of Espada y Daga, which demanded fast learning, you could see them like some of the participants for the first time ever. But even if this was too much for you, you could at least get a glimpse into another style of Kombatan and in due time you will be shown this in your own dojo.
The next unit continued with the double stick, where advanced techniques were thematized, which already required some stick feeling and opponent control, if you didn't want to knot your arms yourself. If you wanted, you could take plenty of suggestions for your training at home with you.
Also the units after the lunch break followed this pattern, knife fight and single stick demanded now already everything from many and showed what so everything is possible.
The evening was surprisingly lively and at a Philippine drinking game, in which it was about hitting the tip of the other stick with a strong blow of one's own stick, the international fraternization was initiated. Some of the participants are said to have drunk water instead of alcohol, but this did not stop the joy.
The next morning saw a series of sleepless faces, but the warming then made the last one cheerful again and ready for the first Bo unit, Filipino Bankaw. Under the guidance of GM Walter Hubmann, the participants learned to elegantly circle the long pole around themselves and move at the same time. GM Jan-Jan then showed different attack systems and the blocks on them.
Then it went on with the units Espada y Daga, double and single stick, which similar to the day before were meant again for the advanced among the participants and allowed all others a view on their further way.
At the end of the training session Grand Master Ernesto Presas Jr. called a representative of the participants from Germany to the front and handed him two plaques for Grand Master Wolfgang Schnur, who unfortunately could not be at the camp. You can read what these plaques are all about here.
The evening brought a repetition of the drinking game of the day before and for some a nice cooling down, they used the opportunity and the still beautiful weather for an excursion to the nearby outdoor pool.
On the last day some of them had to pack their suitcases early because they were about to leave. The rest of the group had the opportunity to get to know the style of the Espada y Daga before they finally got down to business again. An exam according to Filipino custom was scheduled to check that something had actually been learned at the camp. For this purpose, everyone gathered in the gym, in the shadow of which they had often stood for the afternoon sessions, and were initially divided into two groups. The ones from second Dan up and everyone else. Then it started and different single and partner exercises had to be shown. They were only interrupted by urgently needed breaks before they reached for the sticks again. Even if some had claimed in advance that he had only 10 seconds left in him to fight, but all held out the 80 minutes of testing and were exhausted but happy to receive the congratulations of the examining masters and grandmasters have watched happily.
After that we had lunch and finally said goodbye, because for us four people from Leipzig we had to drive home for ten hours, freshly showered after this sweaty test of course.
One hour after midnight we arrived in Leipzig and after all the sun and effort we were immune to the heat for the rest of the summer.