Wow, where do I start?
I'm glad I went to Winterfest. Even when things are a bit strange, camp is generally a good thing to experience. If you don't get out of your dojo and mix it up with people who think differently, then your training and your ideas get stale. That's a recipe for plateauing and eventual quitting. Somebody out there sees things differently and is going in a new direction. It's good to stay in touch with that. And I mean LITERALLY in touch.
George asked me (among other things) to teach the Fuzhou Suparinpei at this camp. For those who don't know, this is a long-assed form that requires a modicum of athleticism. That's a good thing except... Just before camp I came down with a case of plantar fasciitis. I very well may have a bone spur to boot. (See this thread
.) Coming right up to the day before camp I couldn't jump on my foot (for a month) and yet this form has two jumps in it that I must do again and again and again to teach it.
Like a professional athlete who gets hurt but is paid to play or a parent who has a family crisis but is paid to work, sometimes you just have to suk it up and find a way to "just do it." Give me credit for having the knowledge and the tenacity to know I could do it. But I am indebted to Dana Krolick (RN). I arranged to fly in first to Tampa where she picked me up, and she drove me to camp. Between the two of us we figured out how to keep me on the playing field. Many NSAIDs, ice baths, massages, exercises, and orthotics later, I had managed to get a few people all the way through this (3-minute long) form AND be better after the camp than before.
I caught a lot of sheet not attending parties while Dana, John Spencer and I were in the hotel room either helping me or cheering me on with my therapy. But the job got done. And I owe Dana for the help and thank John for the story-telling audience. (Long story... Let's just say you had to have been there.)
Thanks also go to Crystal McKinney (CNA and athletic trainer) who gave me some toys to work with before camp. That set me up to the point where I at least had the confidence to go forward.
Roy Bedard is a great martial artist, fantastic teacher, and great human being. For ME personally, he was the highlight of my camp. He was my partner Saturday morning while a Wado Ryu master had us going through his partner exercises. What a treat! And later on he gave some entertaining AND informative classes both in traditional and sport karate.
Roy manages to do what many cannot do - entertain AND get people actually to DO something.
Dana warmed us all up both Friday and Saturday morning with some Pilates. Personally I've been working a lot on my core strength, so had little problem except for doing some exercises on the hard floor were my hip bone was talking to me. Other than that, my core was burning and very happy.
And Dana managed to make a couple of "karate masters" look very mortal. And you know what? That isn't such a bad thing.
When you've been in this business long enough, you can get set in your ways. In the case of having done your homework and having done the time, that is NOT a bad thing. It's fair to say that I listen to what others have to say and don't necessarily buy it all. Some things said are downright infuriating. But... As they say you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince. And you have to do a lot of "shut up and listen" time to pick up a good idea. And so... I shut up and listen. And now and then I learn something.
Of course George ran a good camp - in spite of all the hiccups. He's still got it as a teacher and uber organizer. Kudos to "the man."