Last weekend was the annual British Shorinji Kempo Federation Summer Camp. This year it was held in Yorkshire, and it was excellent!
We arrived on Friday night for some socialising and settling in to our accommodation. The “dormitory style” accommodation turned out to be large, well equipped tents – each one could hold up to 20 people, in four bed compartments (and yes, there were beds), and they had proper bathrooms with showers. Easily the most luxurious tent I’ve ever slept in.
On both Saturday and Sunday mornings there was a run before breakfast, for those enthusiastic people who don’t think that 6 hours training is enough exercise for one day.
After breakfast we performed samu – that is, we cleaned the floor of the sports hall. Samu has several purposes, including putting you in the right frame of mind for training, but the most important one here was that we wanted to run around barefoot – and others had been wearing shoes in the hall. Many hands make light work, so soon we were ready for training to begin.
Summer Camp is always an excellent opportunity for training. Many senior instructors mean that you can learn from the best. Spending two whole days focusing on learning means that you don’t start forgetting so quickly, and you can take time to really learn techniques well.
Not to mention that training with people from all of the other dojo means that you experience a wider variety of body types and reactions than you get in your home dojo.
With a large open space available too, we did some training in shakujo – something that is difficult in some of our dojo because the ceilings are too low!
On Saturday evening we had social time in our very own yurt – complete with a roaring fire (and marshmallows to melt on it!), snacks, drinks, music and lots of hilarity.
Summer Camp was an excellent way to spend a weekend. If you didn’t make it this year, don’t worry – there is always next year. Plus there are many similar events coming up in the months in between.
And if you think it sounds fun, but you’re not yet doing Shorinji Kempo – well, just come along and join us!