Camp Tukido 2012

August 2012

This year saw Camp Tukido return to its new venue at Wiston Lodge which had proved so popular last year. Around fifty students’ family and friends gathered for the Camp which had the usual mixture of Scottish weather.

This didn’t dampen the spirits of the students all of whom had a great time so read on for some of the student’s inspirational thoughts on this years Camp.

Scott Bannerman – Sixth Ji Pollokshaws

An oxymoron: The 32nd Annual Tukido Camp at Wiston Lodge was a fantastic experience which both burned our motors out yet recharged our batteries.

At first, the mere thought of lying down on the water-logged, soggy, muddy ground probably disgruntled many of us; but feeling the fresh dampness between my toes whilst the torrential Lanarkshire rain cooled the sweat from my tired brow was a welcome relief. The elements seemed to tame the groaning muscles, allowing us to train longer and harder.

It was not only the revitalising and peaceful location that eased the intensive training at Wiston Lodge, but the omni-presence of camaraderie shared with all of the students. I best experienced this whilst learning Sparring Form Three: The Wind. Throughout the entire camp, instructors and fellow students freely offered valued guidance and assistance allowing me to grade in relative confidence – even when I had to re-sit my new Sparring Form…twice!

Despite this challenge it was satisfying as it was the product of that week’s hard work and practice. I particularly feel that both the Sparring Form and Flying Side Kick competitions were also self – satisfying despite the fact that I did not earn any medals – all I earned was self-respect and lost nothing as I did my absolute best when I competed. Congratulations to all of those who competed and to those who won medals.

For me, the final bonfire was a perfect way to round off a great week as the atmosphere was relaxed and allowed a final opportunity to bond with others. A glowing fire embellished by warming company –pain (in the most part) was forgotten as our attention drew to Andy’s Glaswegian Lessons, Scott Ross’ awesome guitar playing and, of course, Master Toner’s beautiful singing.

Well done again to Jim and Maxi – Smashing!

Finally, I would like to personally thank everybody who was involved in the organisation of the camp and to Master Teh for his inspirational tuition and motivation. Xièxie!

See you all next year

Sharon Thompson – 1st Ji Pollokshaws

When booking time off work everyone always asks the same thing, ‘Ooohh, going anywhere nice?’ The faces on friends and colleagues when you tell them you plan to spend four days camped out in Lanarkshire, training morning and night in the mud and rain, is quite a picture! Tukido camp isn’t just a boot camp; it’s a fantastic experience bringing together all walks of life with one great thing in common, Tukido, and this year was no exception.

As is expected of the Scottish summertime the camp started wet, but we all rally together grabbing that first breakfast bar or cup of tea to fuel the 8:30am start. It may seem crazy but after the initial lethargy leaves you, you find yourself lying on a soggy ground with the rain coming down and a huge grin on your face!

This year was another brilliant event, as always made special by Master Teh’s anecdotes and energy. I love when we learn new techniques and moves, different combinations, and gain a fresh perspective on our sparring forms. The banter round the camp fire, the team camaraderie and getting to know those you don’t see very often all add to up to make camp a truly memorable experience.

The rain never dampens our spirits!

The highlights for me were Robert ‘Maxy’ Maxwell gaining his double promotion and grading award, and Jim Christie for finally crossing that milestone and achieving his black tags with indomitable spirit! Oh and of course Scot Ross for the epic sing- along on the last night!

Whether you win a medal or not, you pass your grading or not: it may be tough, it may be muddy but I honestly can’t imagine a summer without it to look forward to. I better clean off my wellies for next year!

William Lamond – 1st Ji Motherwell

For the second year, the annual Tukido Camp was held at the newer location of Wiston Lodge, near Biggar. Again, it was full of energy and some new techniques to think about, as well as catching up with fellow Tukido friends.

As everyone knows, this year has been an evolving sway of weather changes every hour, never mind every day. So, the weather check for the camp was to be expected – heavy rain, showers and sunshine.

The first night everyone settled in after the first bonfire with most people (well, in the tents anyway!) having little sleep due to rain playing percussion on our temporary homes – I’m sure someone was outside with a garden hose!

First whistle at 8am and most people are up and about, some having a light breakfast, most wandering around waiting for the 8:30am session to awake them. As always, Grand Master Teh gets the spirits raised through the rain, asking how many other people are out in the rain, lying in the grass, and training.

Everyone raises a smile, yes, that’s why we love it. There is an amazing feeling knowing you are training in the Scottish elements, though I’m sure everyone knew someone who was currently away on a sun summer holiday, but what is your preference?

With the grass a little slippery, maneuvering around especially for jumping kicks was a challenge, with a number of people tasting the mud.  Through the first session of basic movements and sparring forms, everyone then happily catches up with some refreshments and rest before the evening session. A large number of people managing their own sessions of football and rounders, with the experienced team showing the youngsters how to do it.

Over the next couple of days, Grand Master Teh illustrates so many moves with ease, many people look puzzled trying them out first time but eventually you get some rhythm and the understanding of their movement and flow, though not always immediately –a challenge of course.  There was also a high level of performances at the flying side kick and sparring forms competitions, which resulted in some friendly banter amongst the clubs. “Gon’ the ‘Well” was a popular one, well with some people!

The big moment on Friday was upon us all in no time, I was personally more relaxed as I wasn’t grading (for the first camp in 4 years I think) but was looking forward to seeing others perform on the day.

Some exceptional moments, especially for Motherwell’s Jim Christie and Robert Maxwell, having trained with them for a long time, it was amazing to hear them both pass on the day – well done.

Sometimes things don’t all come together on the day, but as Grand Master Teh quotes in Clouds, in the chapter How to do a Good Grading, “Be positive and enjoy the grading. If today is not a sunny day, tomorrow will be” that says it all.

So, the final bonfire and we are entertained by Scot Ross on guitar and vocals, with the help of some “singers”. A great ending, though I will need to give some music score to songs I know –ha ha. So, off to bed under a very starry night and early rise to pack up and head away from an amazing few days of training and puzzlement of Zen stories (answers on a postcard).

As always, an inspirational time and a privilege to train for so long under Grandmaster Teh in a short space of time.

Keep washing the bowl!

Nicola Perritt – 1st Dan Irvine

Wiston Lodge was rocking as yet another exhilarating and exuberating Tukido Summer Camp took place within the energetic back drop of Tinto hill. Not even the rain could dampen the spirits or the midges eat away at the upbeat atmosphere.

It was so great to see and socialise with everyone and enjoy the camaraderie and I particularly enjoyed the Golden Oldies defeat the young team at football. Grand Master Teh was again on top form providing very inspirational teachings and philosophies and by the end of the week we were all left although physically exhausted from the training enriched with positive energy and a great sense of achievement.

An additional highlight of this year’s very successful camp was Scot Ross playing guitar and everyone around the camp fire joining in singing having a great time enjoying each others company and also listening to Grand Master Teh’s inspirational talk of the initial setting up stages of Tukido and the philosophy behind the sparring forms. Everyone involved with CampTukido 2012 has been left with memories to treasure and anticipation moves to next year’s summer camp and Operation Monsoon to Malaysia 2013.

Robert McPhee – 2nd Dan Bellahouston

This year’s camp was very inspiring and I thoroughly enjoyed it. For the first time, I was sleeping in a cabin and although I initially felt a bit guilty for those pitching their tents in the rain, I soon got used to the fact that I would have a roof over my head for a change.

The fact that I had this luxury didn’t matter at all as we were all training as one in the rain the next morning. I had been looking forward to this camp and the idea of getting away from it all was very exciting. It was great to renew old friendships and also make new ones.

Although we normally train indoors a couple of times a week, there is no substitute for the intensive outdoor training we get at Camp Tukido –where students get the chance to focus on their training, have fun and fine tune their techniques and performances throughout the week.

I can appreciate all the effort that goes into planning Camp Tukido. It is well organised so that the students have a carefully worked out program. Grandmaster Teh has pre-designed the training to take the changeable weather into account and the warm ups always seem to hit the right spot to get us ready for our training session. The training is always fun and exciting and he even manages to introduce some humour at precisely the right moment – making us all laugh with his Glaswegian impersonations.

Grandmaster Teh is always approachable as are his instructors and this makes for a very inspired and hard working group of students. Their enthusiasm really rubs off on the students and the rain did not dampen our spirits at all throughout the week.

Some of the discussions after our training sessions sometimes take in a bit of philosophy and some humour – which I really enjoy. I still feel privileged that we students get the chance to spend so much time with the founder of this great art as not every martial artist has that luxury in other disciplines.

I also thoroughly enjoyed watching the competitions and the grading and it was good that the weather held out for these.

Those of us that were not grading even managed to climb Tinto Hill on the Friday after the final training session. I am really looking forward to next year where there is talk of another Camp Tukido. I have also already put my name down for Malaysia in 2013 and can’t wait to get back over there. So, get saving and planning folks for what will be another fantastic trip.

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