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2016 Atlantic-Pacific Tang Soo Do Federation
New England Regional Black Belt Camp

by Master Anil Mathew
 

Against the backdrop of the beautiful campus at Springfield College, the 2016 New England Regional Black Belt Camp and Regional Dan Shim Sa took place with attendees traveling from all parts of the region, from New Hampshire to Maryland. This was the 4th APTSDF function of this kind at the college and our hosts provided us with a fabulous environment to learn, train, and engage in fellowship. The New England region has undergone some transition over the past year, but with the significant growth in attendance at this year's camp compared to prior years, we look forward to a flourishing presence of talented martial artists in the Northeast.

Immediately after check-in, dinner, and a brief orientation on Friday, we started the weekend activities strong with group hyung on the grass to the beat of the drum, led by Kwan Jang Nim. This definitely set the expectation of a meaningful and instructional experience over the course of the weekend. Friday evening's training sessions included flow set sequences led by International Master Rivera, take down techniques led by International Master Klacko, footwork drills led by Master Khodko, and techniques of rolls, falls, and simple self-defense led by Masters Mathew and Zawisza.

 

Following an early wake-up and breakfast on Saturday morning, the traditional group photo was directed by Kuktche Rivera on the college steps. Immediately after, some 15 candidates for Dan testing and review reported to the training hall. The testing panel consisted of Kwan Jang Nim St. James and all of the Senior Masters. Master Drewicz and Miss McClure were the instructors on the floor and skillfully guided the candidates through a comprehensive workout. Concurrently, group training with an emphasis on hyung was led by Master Khodko, Master Mathew, Master Zawisza, and Mr. Maibor. The remainder of the day proved to be filled with valuable instructional sessions led by our Masters including advanced hyung requirements, weapons requirements, and a special kids demo creation session supervised by Master Drewicz. An instructor training symposium was led by KJN St. James while round robin weapons self defense seminars ran concurrently. A wealth of training and instruction occurred in what proved to be an efficient and seamless fashion. After dinner, the children were treated to games and a movie while the teens and adults were privileged to attend lectures on Respect & Dignity in the martial arts presented by Senior Master Duva, and Neh Gong - leadership presented by Kwan Jang Nim St. James. It was quite obvious after these presentations that the spirit of Tang Soo Do must go beyond merely the physical aspects of training.

Healing warrior morning workouts on Sunday were led by Masters Khodko, Mathew, and Zawisza. After breakfast, Master Drewicz led a session on kicking mechanics. The final breakout sessions of Kali, focus mitts, and nunchaku were led by Kuktche Rivera, Master Mathew, and Master Zawisza. An enthralling sword session was led by Senior Master Duva and our camp finale was a group hyung to the beat of the drum, finishing with heart and intensity, led again by Grandmaster St. James. We were all treated then to the children's demo which was very creative and entertaining, and the presentation of rank to several of our members.

This year's New England Regional Black Belt Camp proved to be a truly memorable experience. As always the instruction and teaching from our high rank was well received and greatly appreciated. Special thanks to our camp Manager, Kutchke Klacko, and our Regional Director, Senior Master Duva for ensuring a well run event. Thanks to Master Drewicz for organizing a seamless agenda. Thanks to all of our Masters and instructors for their time and commitment, and very special thanks go out to Grandmaster St. James for again joining us and giving us his invaluable insight. We look forward to our next Federation function and continued growth in our region.

Tang Soo!!

   
     

 

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