Tag Archives: camp

Funakoshi Karate Camp Edwin Martial Arts | My Life 11 FEB 2010

A weekend right at the start of January this year saw me scurrying back home late Friday afternoon from work in order to quickly throw together all the necessary items and then take to the coastal road in a fair rush in order to reach Betty’s Bay, Mooihawens campsite by 19:30. Why? Well this was to be the weekend of “Camp Edwin”, Funakoshi Karate International South Africa’s first ever karate camp since having broken away from Funakoshi South Africa literally a month or three ago!

Although not a hard-working karate gashuku that most people are quite familar with already, the camp was still designed with karate in mind and had thus been set up to maximise lessons surrounding the concepts behind karate but lessons not necessarily delivered through karate sessions alone. Indeed, each of the current senior black belt students were tasked with coming up with a particular bit of knowledge and then a particular way to demonstrate and pass on this nugget of information, leading to quite a few rather surprising sessions indeed! :)

From your standard karate kata and basics sessions you found us over the course of the weekend taking part in classes that included things like reflexology, origami, Japanese karate terminology bingo, communication, broken telephone in mime mode, knife and gun disarmament training and of course the infamous beach training which of course is always tougher than what you can imagine thanks to the giving sand (and the fact we first needed to clear a huge swathe of beach from all the seaweed and muck before we could actually train there!)

Apart from the copious amount of aggressive volleyball games played, one of the methods of injecting some fun and trying to open up communication between all the attendees was to assign everyone a brightly painted red egg at the start of the weekend, each tasked with naming the egg and protecting it from harm, meaning that this poor raw egg was to accompany you EVERYWHERE, lest someone spirit it away and replace it with a rock when you weren’t looking. Of course, the other requirement was that you were to learn the names and personalities of every other egg spending the weekend there with you, meaning an additional task in memory and communication – which surprisingly one lady actually managed to win by correctly identifying each and every attendee’s egg’s name come the end of the weekend! Needless to say, most of us couldn’t get past 5 or 6!

Oh and as and added incentive to look after your egg, if you lost it and you got caught out, it was the “bum dance” for you, which basically had you humiliate yourself by bending over and writing your name by wiggling your bum in front of the rest of the group. Needless to say, my egg was in fact kidnapped during the course of the weekend and as such I did a bum dance – though that said my egg was promptly returned and I never needed to do another one again. Not exactly sure what that says about my ass in the air then! :P

I must admit, this sort of more informal karate camp was something I have yet to experience and one of the factors that surprised me the most of the whole event was the quality of food that we received. Now normally these kind of things serve up dry hotdogs and some cold cereal for breakfast but this particular camp saw us literally eating like kings, with proper full on braais in the evenings, pancakes and what not for breakfast and even cold meats like chicken for lunch! Heck, we even had french toast if I remember correctly! :)

Because such a large number of the people making up the Gordon’s Bay dojo are in family units, i.e. mom, dad and kids all doing karate, a lot of the families hired out some of the chalets that were in offer while the rest of us found ourselves bedding down in dormitory style rooms, complete with creaky bunk beds and everything that comes with sleeping in dorms – particularly for the kids if you know what I mean – don’t think they got a stitch of sleep during night one!

Blessed with fantastic, sun-drenched weather and a fantastic vibe, we all got through the training and classes with a lot of good humour and smiles all around, and while sharing a beer around the fire late at night, Camp Edwin proved an absolute success in strengthening Funakoshi International South Africa’s core and more importantly fostering that all important sense of family that is so critical for a small dojo like ours to keep functioning smoothly and ensure that together we take our art even further than what we might ourselves imagine impossible.


Learning to take down a knife or gun-wielding attacker...

Even with harsh gravel underfoot, we trained...

Even sensei Birgitt tried her hand at some simple origami

We all survived the final session of the weekend as proved by this photo (the unconscious bodies have been dumped in the sea behind us...)

Stomach versus Sunset Spur My Life 12 JAN 2010

I had a good week last week, that I did. Had a good start to work for Touchwork 2010, caught Cats at the Artscape with the Montgomery Clan on Thursday evening and then spent the weekend in Betty’s Bay on a Karate Camp with my fellow Funakoshi karateka, before finally returning on Sunday afternoon to join Chantelle in her quest to spring clean our pad for good, 2010 style.

However, I did make one short pitstop in between.

You see, the weather was perfect on my arrival back to Sunny Gordon’s Bay, and wanting specifically to spend some time with Chantelle who had knocked off work a little early on the day, I suggested we either go to supper, catch a movie or even just do lunch as a treat from me to her. Eagerly agreeing to the lunch idea (because she didn’t really want to break the spring cleaning flow later the evening), Chantelle suggested we head out to our old nemesis the Sunset Spur in Gordon’s Bay on the beachfront in order to enjoy some friendly cuisine while sitting in the outside area and enjoying the sun and all the people milling around the beach for a change.

Surprised at her choice, based on our bad experiences with that particular branch of Spur in the past, I nevertheless agreed, and off we hopped and hit the busy Gordon’s Bay beach road in search of parking or at least a place we could leave the car without the fear of returning to find one of those much maligned pink tickets that seem to always appear on your car’s windscreen when you aren’t looking (and are parked in an area surrounded by red lines).

Eventually we did find a spot (up in the narrow streets far removed from the beach I’ll add), and off we toddled to the Spur, who wasn’t doing too bad business on a fairly late Sunday afternoon after all. Our waiter was friendly and for a change we even ordered starters, kicking off our dining experience with some buffalo wings and then followed up with mains, this time taking me back to an old favourite classic of mine, Spur’s usually delicious bacon and guacamole burger.

Surprisingly enough though, the food was actually really good for a change, arrived on time and came with absolutely no complaints attached, and so sated from an excellent meal in a good location, Chantelle and I bid farewell to the beach crowds and headed off home.

Which is exactly when it hit me.

All of a sudden my well functioning stomache which had played its part so perfectly over the rest of the weekend, was reduced to a quivering, liquidity mess, coupled with headaches and a seemingly malicious intent to drain all the blood out of my face and rob me of my strength while at it!

Now I’m not saying it was necessarily Sunset Spur’s fault (though the Spur has hit both Chantelle and I before), but what I do know is this little bug completely knocked me for a six and had me curled up in a little ball, so much so that yesterday I opted to stay and attempt to work from home – rather than risk facing the wrath of my fellow colleagues for spoiling the clean-smelling and usable office space environment! :)

(Though unfortunately in the process Chantelle was somewhat affected by the unpleasantness of the situation as she had the misfortune of also being at home thanks to an unexpected off day granted by her bosses. Sorry love, I didn’t mean to make the flat that uninhabitable for you after all…)

P.S. Well at least I’m feeling a little better now. Been back at work for two hours now so far, and have yet to run for the bathroom! A good sign, I’m sure! ;)