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Swiss summer camp and perseverance of Peter Regan

TTT
  28
Swiss summer camp
Martin Svitek, 5.9.2014 – It is Sunday morning and I drink tea before breakfast and try to recollect how it was in Switzerland. It is few weeks after our return, so it is hard work.

Swiss taekwondists kept inviting me to their camp for years and I kept promising (honestly) that I will come one day. And that day finally came this year for few reasons. I don´t want to robotically describe whole camp, I want to share what touched me deeply through whole stay. And it was perseverance of Peter Regan. I met Peter on our Sonkal camp sometime in past (I believe in 2002). He came with one of his daughters. Irish (now I found out he feel to be english as his father was Irish and he lived in Scotland for 10 years before moving to Switzerland) daddy with tight hips, joke (or cigarette) always on his lips. He knew nothing extra, but he tried hard and it was nice to spent time with him. He came again alone and shared room with me and my good friend Martin. We saw that he stretches in the morning when me and my friend Hlůža had enough energy only to roll in the bed and think about if it is worthy of going for breakfast. I introduced him to Martin Zámečník with whom I trained a lot in that days and he started to visit their camps, as traditional approach of that-day Hosinsool school was more likable to him that sport approach of that-day Sonkal.
But we kept in contact and saw each other on camps, summer camps with Master Hwang, I visited him twice in Switzerland. I remember me and Peter sitting at our home, both watching video from his I. Dan test before Master Hwang day before - humbly even with contempt he talked about his skills, but I saw how much he improved thank to his perseverance. Few years later I saw personally his II. Dan exam and I was impressed how skillful he is, still not kicking high, but I still see his dolmyo yop chagi - it should look like this, fluent and elegant movement, energy without unnecessary movements, like shot from the cannon.
And after so many years of friendship as we had met as 3.(Peter) and 1. (me) grade, both with passion to become good sometime, I stand by his side as he is introducing me to his students as a guest instructor. I rememeber few people in small gym in Basel, now more than 150 people practices under few motivated teacher in few places. They regularly organize international seminars, travel abroad to train, have national team, have summer camps, are hopefully finishing work on their Taekwon-do training center. But it is not so important to be sincere, important is that I saw big group of people from children to older than I am connected by effort, passion and joint friendship and politeness. Swiss taekwondist were always characterized by effort and passion, but they lacked that mature quality you get after many years of practice. Nowadays the most advanced students added deep quality still spiced by old-days passion and effort. And to teach such a "material" is pleasure and time passes as it do not exists at all.
I believe this all originates from one thing and it is perseverance of Peter Regan. The strongest impression I took from camp is feeling that to try hard and persevere is worth of trying and it brings good things to you. Not talking about money or position, but about quality both in Taekwon-do skills and human virtues.
And this is how this Irish daddy still keeps to impress and motivate me even after 12 year when I met him as 3. kup.


And how was camp itself? Great! I taught 2 trainings a day, together about 4-5 hours. I was allowed to teach what I want, but with some clever system. So I taught traditional Taekwon-do syllabus in mornings to group of white belts up to I. Dan and every day the lowest belts left us, so I ended with only red and black belts the last day. In evenings I was free in what I want to teach so I focused on alternative self-defence and some deeper body-work, progressively with one training connected to the other to let people really remember something. This system also inspired me and I am thankful to Brian Cox for it (by the way he was morning yoga teacher for everyone - also interesting inspiration). Brian know that I like to practice also so I had about 4 hours of V. Dan patterns under Master Knighton from UK only for me and 1-3 more students. Great experience and something really rare for me. Thanks Brian and Master Knighton. Despite of all this trainings I had enough time to be with my family, to spent few nights with fellow taekwondists (with "automatic" tkd bar that took lot of indomitable spirit to go to bed at all), to do some archery, spent time in thermal bad, hike to glacier.......I hope that photos will describe everything better.

So thank to all Swiss taekwondists for wonderful and intensive week and to Peter for his inspiring perseverance and friendship.

Martin Svitek, IV. Dan, Sonkal
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