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Snow, ice, fun & taekwondo

Christmas camp of higher belts

Tomáš Vodička, 31.12.2010 – Time of rest, lounging, eating Christmas desserts connected with gaining weight are away and group of Sonkal’s tried to spice Christmas mood with some taekwondo.

Nine red and black belts left Prague slightly after 9 A.M. on December 27. Two cars consisted of Ondra, Vláďa, Svíťa, Pavel Bareš, Petr Legner, Michal Zacharuk, Pavel Šnábl, Veronika Holečková and me. Our way led to, well known (for us), Malé Svatoňovice. Everyone is able to imagine this village in summertime, because we spent many summer camps here, but no one is able to imagine it covered by snow. We got there just at lunch-time and were enchanted by how winter changed the place .... we were hardly able to recognize it at all. I said: „we ran here during morning warm-up“ and Pavel Šnábl replied: “It cannot be.“ Landscape looked really different.

Next and also nice surprise was pasta salad with chicken that Ondra prepared at home to save time for training. Everyone enjoyed it („fast sugar“), not even a bit remained on plates.

First training started at 3 P.M. and Ondra was the instructor. It was focused on patterns and techniques application. After training there were dinner prepared by local cousin – chicken and pasta, I don´t know the feelings of rest of us, but it was too much pasta in one day for me. Everyone except trainers met in „players´ den“ and played new upgraded Bang! and Peter´s new game Royal castlings (sorry, cannot find original English name, if it exists – translator) which got to be very popular among us. Then trainers came with Christmas present – T-shirts dedicated to this Christmas event. Then we analyzed some videos from Czech national championship trying to find out what we have to improve, what to focus on. We watched kung-fu movie Ip Man afterwards – nice motivation for coming trainings. Because there was no lights-out time we played Royal castlings again, now with Svíťa.

Second day started with breakfast prepared by trainers and then hard training and trip to Adršpach rocks. This training was led by Svíťa and he dedicated it to different approach to matsogi then we are used to. We warmed-up intensively, then few boxing rounds, ground fighting with punches and then connecting it together in matsogi nearly with no rules. Important thing was not to win, but to learn something, to get some new ideas. Exhausted we were looking forward to lunch which we went for to local restaurant Salamandr.

The food was great, after garlic soup, have to say „kettle“ of garlic soup, nearly no one had enough space in stomach for second meal. After lunch which took about hour and half („All things come to him who waits“) we went to Adršpach rocks. Journey was full of surprises, literally confused us…hills were slippery, we had to push the cars. But we managed to reach rocks and….who never saw Adršpach in winter I have to say it is The Beauty (really with B), check photos we made. Sunset came quickly so we went back to Svatoňovice. After dinner Svíťa showed us few videos of martial arts different than taekwondo and talk about it a bit. It is good to know one martial arts perfectly (or try to), but to also have some knowledge about different styles. We really liked this Svíťa´s idea. Then we watched second part of Ip Man and again spent some time thinking how to defeat rest of us in Royal castlings.

Last day of our trip, Wednesday: Vláďa led training focused on special techniques and we also did some patterns because we did not practiced patterns of our trainers on Monday. Maybe when I say special techniques you imagine techniques done on competitions, but we did much harder and not so often practiced ones. We had hard time again. We also tried power breaking corridor.

We packed our stuff after training, forgot the lunch and went to Teplice rocks. Again it was slippery, we had to change road even with many pushing hands, but we again made it and enjoyed beautiful sceneries. Me, Svíťa, Petr and Pavel found enough strength to climb to watch point (at ruin of castle) and enjoyed sceneries like from fairytale. This trip was great and I think that everyone was happy. On our way back home we plundered one McDonald to take late lunch and arrived to Prague around 7 P.M.

Christmas action event was great idea worth of repetition. We trained stuff we normally doesn´t have enough time to, we visited wonderful places and had fun.

Tomáš Vodička

Participants´ commentaries:

Martin Svitek - I was afraid how many people will apologize/ignore/alibi from Christmas event and maybe even my normal optimism was fading away, but how it went replenished it greatly. Perfect event considering both training and enthusiasm everyone showed. I also got some road adrenalin skating (in car) on ice and I won´t forget sentence of Pavel Šnábl Lecter "You cannot turn back, you have the indomitable spirit, don´t you?" that stopped me from giving up.

Pavel Šnábl – I liked Christmas event, especially the fact that we did some hiking together, watched some movies and spent more time in „nontaekwondo“ way. I will be happy if this kind of events will continue to exist and hope that more people will come. I would also prefer if it would be longer to have time for more trainings. I thank our three trainers to making this idea true.

Michal Zacharuk – I enjoyed most analyzing videos from different styles than taekwondo and I also think that it was eye-opening. Trainings were interesting and freshening, I have learned new pattern on first one, practiced ground fighting on the second and during third one found out that if I would train 360 degree kick more I would be as good as Vláďa (Vláďa Švanda) :o) I think Christmas event went well and everyone enjoyed it. I am looking forward to next one :o)

Petr Legner – This event? Different from normal training camps. Motto was to do together also something else than train. And we did it. I was thinking about proposing such an event to our trainers for few years – going for a trip, playing few games, chatting …to spent some time with friends. But I was just thinking about it a never proposed it. It doesn´t matter now, because event was really great. Shiny event spiced with taekwondo, especially with Svíťa’s (Martin Svitek) training.

Vladimír Švanda – I had confusing thoughts before this event. How will participants react? But it went in great manner, relaxed atmosphere, friendship, taekwondo and „DO“. I really appreciate time spent together while we discussed, exchanged opinions and spent time in snow covered rocks. This camp was a gift for people practicing for a long time and I hope we will appreciate ourselves more often.

Ondřej Vrábel – I am happy that we managed to make this idea come true and in reality it exceeded all my hopes. Despite of fact that I visited Adršpach three times in past, snow passages whole new perspective. And adrenalin road trips from Svatoňovice to Adšpach were also special :o) In the end I said to myself „Damn, it is over to fast“. But for sure there will be such event in 2011 and I hope that more of Sonkal high belts will come, even though 9 participants are nice taekwondo symbol.

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