Report on the Polish winter camp January 2014
Izzy and Jeff Brider joined a party from ITF England to participate in the ITF Poland Winter Camp held between 24th and 29th January 2014 in Szyrck in Poland.
The party travelled from Stansted and was met at Katowice Airport for transfer to the training venue. Once rooms had been allocated and dinner served a meeting was held with Master Loboda, Master Jedut and Mr. Suska to brief the participants on the structure of the week. We learned that there would be two training sessions a day with consultations with Masters Loboda and Jedut and Mr. Suska each evening. The training sessions were split between juniors below the age of 15 and all others. We learned that there was a possibility to ski between training sessions but the limited amount of snow restricted the extent of the ski area. Nevertheless, we did get the opportunity to ski on a couple of occasions.
Training began in earnest on Friday morning. The structure of each day was the same in that the morning session involved fundamental exercises although these included many new techniques and variations on drills that we undertake in our classes. The afternoon sessions were devoted to many different sparring and related drills.
All sessions were mentally and physically taxing and challenged everybody, especially yours truly. Where possible a video record has been made of the sessions to enable their use in classes. Warm ups were largely Taekwon-do based and all the morning sessions used Saju jirugi, Saju magki and patterns up to and including Do-san as a key element of the warm up process. Partner work, involving kick shields, was extensively utilised and strengthening routines were also a key element. Master Jedut took all the sessions for those above 15 years of age. He kept us constantly on our toes and whilst there were opportunities for rehydration breaks, they were short. Spare doboks were essential unless time was spent washing them in the evening. It would be difficult and lengthy to enumerate all the drills in this brief report but I will be providing a detailed list of all the drills that were used in all the sessions.
The afternoon sessions followed the same format although no fundamental techniques and patterns were utilised. The afternoon session moved very swiftly to kick shield work using combination punching and/or kicking drills. These sessions were extremely fast paced with a demonstration of the drill to be performed with little or no break between each drill. After approximately 45 minutes sparring equipment was used; one session used only hand protection whilst the rest used all protection.
All sessions were held in a school hall some 2.5 kilometres from the hotel so we all had an opportunity to warm up on the way up to the venue. The afternoon sessions finished at 6:30 and we then wended our way back for a shower and dinner. As temperatures were in the region of -5 degrees centigrade we did not dawdle on the return journey.
After our meal those that wished to could take the opportunity to practice some of the routines learned during the day or seek private consultations with Masters Loboda and Jedut and Mr. Suska.
Izzy Brider managed to have a lengthy session with Master Jedut who went through Joong-gun tul in exacting detail. I filmed the entire consultation as so many matters were covered that it would have been impossible to remember. In addition, on a subsequent evening Izzy managed to arrange a similar session with Mr Suska to review Choong-chang. Once again, I was impressed by the attention that he and Master Jedut, gave to Izzy and all those who approached them for assistance. We thought that the consultation had ended upon completion of the analysis of Choong-chang and Izzy was relaxing when Mr. Suska asked her to perform Juche which was subjected to the same level of scrutiny. In all the consultation must have lasted over 30 minutes and given that the consultation period was limited to two hours this seemed, to me, to be an impressive allocation of time to one person.
As already mentioned the structure of the sessions were as set out above except for one session which was devoted entirely to strength exercises using what I can only describe as bungee cords.
The camp ended on Thursday evening and the ITF England group took the team leaders out for a meal, which had to be finished in time for the final consultation session that evening.
As will be imagined all taking part were aching at the end of the camp and some aggravated injuries that they were carrying before arriving in Poland but notwithstanding the aches and pains all left having learned so much and made new friends. Thanks are due to Master Tom Denis who coordinated the arrangements for the group from England.
Finally, I will long remember the warmth of the hospitality of the Polish participants and the efforts of Master Loboda, Master Jedut and Mr. Suska in making this, for Izzy and me, such a brilliant camp. The training met and exceeded all that I had been led to expect.