I would start this short write up with an apology but given the cause (which I am shameless in promoting) I won’t.
I have quite boldly stated in the past that I’m not trying to sell anything but once a year I make an exception to this as I run a Karate camp in aid of the children’s cancer charity “Christopher’s Smile” which directly funds research into specific treatments for childhood cancers. (If anybody wants any more information on this you can find it at http://christopherssmile.org.uk/
I normally promote this annual event (now our 4th year) elsewhere but given that I’ve been banging on about bunkai a bit lately and particularly about how to get involved if it is something that you are new to I thought I’d add a short write up here as well.
The event runs over the 3 days of the early May bank holiday weekend in South West Herts (UK) from 29th April to May 1st. It runs as a camp and people are encouraged (although not compelled) to stay over as it’s as much about the social and making new friends, networking and swapping ideas as the training itself.
If you are camping we provide everything apart from the tents. All meals are included from Saturday breakfast to close of training lunch on the Monday. You do need to be prepared for the catering as we do try and fit in 5 meals a day during training (I have had some returners tell me “**** the training, I just come for the food!”).
Having said that this is an ideal opportunity for anyone looking to be exposed to the world of applied Karate all in one hit (if you’ll pardon the expression) as we have a number of the country’s top applied instructors all under the same roof for one weekend.
In recent years I have run this event as a more eclectic mix so that karate-ka could be exposed to other arts and other ways of thinking and to that end we’ve had sessions on Boxing, Gracie JJ, Judo, Aiki-jitsu, Iaido and Jujitsu on top of both classic and pragmatic karate training.
This year’s event seems to have worked out far more karate based and predominantly from the applied side (although we will still have a bit of other stuff thrown in).
The instructors this year include a number of published authors on the subject and instructors from the international seminar circuit. They are John Titchen, Andi Kidd, Paul Herbert, John Burke, Jim Dart, Malcolm Bates and myself (for whatever that’s worth) and will cover many different aspects of applied karate from a number of different viewpoints.
The event is not style specific (we have Shotokan, Wado-Ryu and Goju-ryu practitioners attending) and anyone with a measure of traditional training should be able to cope quite adequately with the content, We had 3 Aiki guys there last year who, I believe, sat out for about 30 minutes of the weekends content. The age range last year ran from 16 to 69 so there is something for everyone.
Everybody gives up their time without charge for the cause so all profits from the camp (after venue hire and food) go directly to the charity.
There are many good seminars out there but very rarely will you get the chance to try this much quality tuition all in one go, and particularly at the price (£90 for the entire weekend, 15+ hours of training). Day tickets are also available.
Personally I think this is one of the premier events of the year (but then I must admit to a bit of bias) and is all in a good cause.