Becoming One with Nature: The 1st Annual Region 1 Dan Camp Held in Rockaway Beach, OR

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The first-ever Region 1 Dan Camp was held from June 28th-30th at Camp Magruder located in Rockaway Beach, OR. This unique event brought WTSDA members from all over Region 1, and even some from Region 5, to the sleepy coastal town of Rockaway Beach. Our small group of 31 kids and adults ranged in rank from red belts to 6th degree Masters. The location, Camp Magruder, was a perfect hideaway for our group to train together, learn new skills, socialize, and become one with nature.

The Dan Camp started Friday evening with a short team building game lead my Mrs. Gena Eiseman. This game helped us all to reaquaint ourselves with each other and loosen up after a long day of travel. Following dinner, a score keeping clinic where we all discussed proper score keeping procedures and tested our knowledge on common, and not so common, examples. At the end, everyone who passed the test (which they unknowingly took), was awarded with an official certificate to validate their new skills. After everyone got settle, we gathered around the campfire pit for s’mores and socializing. Before bed, Master Becky Wolverton led the group through a night time “Jedi training”. This was a special sessions in which we practiced our sword techniques using light up swords!

Saturday started bright and early with a peaceful walk through the meditation labyrinth followed by a short Ki Gong session. After filling our bellies with a hearty breakfast, opening ceremonies, and a great warm-up the training came at us like a firehose! We started the day warming up with Pyung Ahn forms lead by Master Juanya Williams, this was followed by a focus on Tang Soo Do fundamentals lead by Master John Auer. We closed out the morning with session lead by Mrs. Leslie Flaum called “Conducting with Confidence.” We got to flex our teacher and conductor voices by leading the group using techniques in confidence and voice projection by Ms. Flaum.

After a quick lunch, attendees were give a variety of activies to choose from for the rest of the afternoon. These included, Sparring Drills (Master John Auer), Wushu Staff Form (Master Sue Helsdon), Tricking (Ms. Maria Thomas), Practical Hyung Applications (Mr. Jon Chandler), Haidong Gumdo (Master Becky Wolverton), and Staff One Steps (Master Sue Helsdon)

Dinner brought with it a presentation on martial arts photography by Ms. Leslie Flaum followed by and interactive lecture about Storytelling in Demos presented and lead by Mrs. Kisa Whipkey.

To close out the long day of training, Master Robert Nelson lead the group to beach to watch the sun go down as we practiced forms, basics, and a little goofing off. The sun and the weather provided us with a perfect show as we were lucky enough to see that “green flash” as the sun ducked behind the horizon. Once we brushed the sand from our dobohks and changed into dry clothes, we all met around the campfire again for social time and s’mores.

On the last day of the camp we were greeted by a beautiful beach that had now been exposed by the low tide. The sand, the waves, and the incredible view was our dojang. Mrs. Gena Eiseman lead us through Ki Gong to get our blood flowing and wake our bodies. This was followed by Sam Soo Sik drills (Master Robert Nelson) in which the sand showed us if we were moving our feet correctly.  To wrap up the entire weekend, the attending Masters each took a rank group to fine tune each groups’ hyung requirements.

After changing, clean-up, and moving out of our bunks, we all wish each other safe travels and well wishes. Many left this event with a determination to be back the next year.

See you all next year!

Check out the slideshow or view the album on Flickr

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