Summer camp with Master Hwang Ho-yong
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Martin Svitek, 7.8.2009 – This year’s summer camp was 7th in history and also seventh I have visited. Sklárna u Žihle is becoming traditional place for camp with our Master because of many advantages. Think about it: rope center (damn, how to say it in English properly?), laser game, swimming pond (yes, really pond, not pool ;o), small swimming pool, 3 sport grounds, gymnasium and pub together with nearly zero signal of all mobile operators (I found some signal on fifth floor balcony and men toilet in 3rd floor) is ultimate combination how to enjoy your taekwondo holiday. I don’t want to just throw out all information about camp, I just want to share my feelings and opinions why did I enjoy it and why do I think that more Sonkal members should come next year.
The camp is organized partly as training and partly as holiday. This is idea of our Master Hwang Ho-yong. One training a day only was most common argument why not to visit camp. I have to say that I was also skeptic about this system, but finally I enjoy it. Not many people consider me as lazy person in training, but one training was enough. There are plenty of event during whole year when we just train, eat, sleep, train, eat, sleep…then there is enough time to say just hello and few complimentary sentences, but not enough to make our friendship stronger, to really create „Taekwondo family“ as is popular to say. Despite of this system no one got bored, because there were many possibilities what to do in the afternoon (laser game etc.– I got beaten by girls many times again; or trip outside (brewery – I’ve missed the bus :o(, monasteries – I was there in time, Korean dinner – came morning after :o( ). One evening was dedicated to funny theoretical-running-martial-blinded team games in which my team ended on honorary last place (at the other hand, someone told me that even master run away from me when I was blind ;o) ) . Two nights were in name of barbecue, talking, singing around fire – nice moments ;o) But if you want to train more, it is also no problem. Many trainers and instructors come every year and I cannot imagine any of them refusing polite request of training. Only Swiss taekwondoist uses this possibility this year and had pattern training with Martin Zámečník and sparring training with Peter Šindler (I just watch both of trainings because of antibiotics and have to say that it was interesting, really interesting).
Proper trainings are divided into groups, each group was led by instructor (IV. Dan+) and supervised by master Hwang. Training under other trainer or instructor is great experience and one of easy ways how to stay motivated after many years of practice. It is not question of better skills, but different skills, experiences and attitude. One than practice same pattern again and again million times, but with new approach it is a bit different practice with new goal, new view. The most useful part of camp trainings (for me) is possibility to practice with people from different schools and even countries. I meet people that are above my skills every year – motivation comes automatically.
Black belt tests I. –VI. Dan. ended the camp on Sunday. It was nice to see that higher belt = higher skills – as it should be. I would anticipate I. Dan applicants to be more compact, different techniques and disciplines had different quality even in one person. Master Hwang tested them from theory for a long time to see if their mistakes in techniques are based on lack of knowledge or practice. II. Dan applicants showed good and compact skills, thing I missed in I. Dan testing. I have passed my III. Dan grading that day, so it is not my job to talk about it, ask Ondra who came as international instructor of Sonkal. I hope that my appearance was no dishonor to Sonkal despite of problematic targeting in dolmyo techniques ;o)
It’s time to end my artless try of honoring the camp. The most important thing is that I had same sad feeling in me after returning from camp as I had 10+ years ago returning from children’s camp that I really loved. And it is ultimate praise :o) So I encourage Sonkal taekwondoists to come next year with open mind to extract the best from the camp. In my opinion it’s one of the easiest ways how to keep motivated, not conservative only in home dojang (and then after few years don’t know what to do during free training, because it is still the „same“).
Svíťa (Martin Svitek)
PS: I was not the only one from Sonkal. Lenka Dvořáková stayed, practiced and enjoyed whole camp.
I thank to Jirka Teslík and Zbyněk Bartoš for photos.