Vet’s Camp 2019

Self defence instruction from Mr Campbell, one of many highlights of the Camp

Held again at the great little camp ‘Aongatete’, and here is an account of my experience this year.

Obliged to fulfill a promise and improve my culture, the weekend started on Friday night with a good dose of Shakespeare, and a performance of ‘Measure for Measure’. Saturday morning I woke at 0425, and dressed. One coffee later and I was on the road, predicted travel time 2 hours and 11 minutes. So that beats 3 hours and 20 of Friday evening!

So, after an uneventful and pleasant drive I drove in through the electric gate using a ‘secret’ code.

Within the dining hall, breakfast seemed to be winding down but with good people such as Nik on my case, breakfast was saved for me. What a great welcome and way to start the weekend!

Next, I went looking for a bunk and was directed to the last remaining ‘Lower bunk’, which I suspected was the desirable option. Saturday night demonstrated the wisdom in this.

Dobok on, and away to the Do Jang, matts all laid, the camp team having been hard at work.

A Welcome from Andy, then a warm up to music which was an interesting experience.

Some confidence work, then we broke off into our different groups. Our group of 2nd, 1st Dan and 1st gup started classes with Master Banicevich concentrating on Step sparing. Practising response to un arranged attack culminated this session. A display of Team pattern from the Blue belts was presented. A sharp effort after minimal preperation.

After a sizable morning tea we enjoyed the pleasure of Master Rimmer’s attention. We received drilling and lecturing on a range of techniques found in patterns such as Jung Gun, Toi Gae and Hwa Rang.

More food at lunch and back into Ground-work with Mr Kimberly. He gave us some enjoyable warmup exercises which tested alertness and observational powers, then the ground-work began. The situation of desperate molestation was tastefully discussed, if that is possible, and we practiced throwing assailants off while lying on our back. Effective…throw in some adrenalin and anything would be possible.

Another tea break and Master Campbell had us practising self defence, using many of the moves found in the gup patterns.

Next minnit it was 5 oclock. Shower time, and predinner socialising in the mess hall. Dinner was a superlative presentation of  roast vegetables chicken lamb or pork, and cauliflower with cheese sauce. Followed by a wonderful cheesecake style desert.

Serious discussion followed with happy camaraderie all round. Some smart people went off to bed around 8.30, this is a ‘vet’ camp remember, while a few optimists stayed to watch the footy.

History shows this was a serious mistake, and I saw quite a few long faces on Sunday morning.

This may well have had something to do with the game, or the rumour I heard of card games and 2.30 am bedtimes. Only a rumour mind…….

Sunday morning breakfast and some tidying/packing.

Then another session with Master Campbell on Dallyon, see page 725 of the ITF manual. Maintenance of the equipment. Forging, mental approach, mental-physical co-ordination, intensity of effort, and more. A most productive hour and a half.

And like that! It was over. Time to pack up, clean up, try and eat all the food remaining, and a final address from MC Andy.

As he said, ‘A big thanks to,

     1)  The Masters and instructors who gave us their time and shared a small part of their knowledge.

  • The battlers in the kitchen who produced the wonderful sustenance.
  • The people supplying and transporting the matts and other stuff I did not know about.
  • All participants of the camp for their efforts and fellowship over the weekend.’

His final word of wisdom was, Take plenty of notes…

‘A blunt pencil has a better memory than a sharp mind.’

I say ‘Thank you organisers for another excellent weekend. I’ll be back.’

Mike Renner, 2nd Dan

Mt Albert Taekwon-do