Sunday, February 12, 2012

2012 Winter Camp, Day 2

Rise and shine sleepy head, there's some sand that needs punching out there.

After breakfast and set up, we were called to line up. Jamie & Ken were assigned the kids group this year. That was a little surreal for me, as that was my Sensei's task at camps; what started out as me helping Jamie line up the little ones, turned into a day of fun that helped my heart in many ways.

Jamie, Ken B and I ran the kids down the beach and did basics, played a few games and threw in some burpees for good measure. To end the warm up, we played a game I learned in little league football called Fox and the Hound. Short explanation: You have several foxes run from point A to point B, with a head start  at some point in between; once the first fox reaches that point, the hound then runs after them. Every fox that gets passed loses. Loser owes pushups. I'm not so sure sprinting on the beach the morning after testing was the best idea, but it was fun and the kids enjoyed it. That said, most of them still owe me pushups...

Later, we took the kids inside and worked on some simple sparring combinations and other fun drills. I was particularly impressed with one white belt from the Hueytown dojo. During the sparring combinations, Jamie and I would let the kids hit us to demonstrate its effectiveness when fighting; Jamie told the kids they could hit me as hard as they wanted. I chimed in with "There is a prize if you can break me...", which made all of the parents in the room chuckle. As I moved from child to child, I got a little lax with tightening up, especially with the little-little kids. Well, this particular white belt, who was on the older side of the age scale for the group, packed a wallop! By the time I realized I was getting hit hard, she'd finished the combination...and I wanted to go lie down in the corner! I tried to take a breath and realized that breath kinda hurt; I couldn't help but to chuckle because some of the parents in the room had realized what just happened. "I've gotta admit...I wasn't prepared for that. Ow.". Everyone in the room busted out laughing, me and the student included.

Mr. Cruz, you've got a gem with this fine young martial artist.

After lunch Ken led the group in a beginner Judo lesson, which was fun.After a few more games, we moved on to the more-fun-than-you-can-shake-a-stick-at fun stuff: Tug o' War, Sumo, and the one-legged chicken fight. I performed well in sumo, but once again a bridesmaid not quite a bride. I was in the final two for the one-legged chicken fight and, well, I didn't have enough spark left in my cluck to pull out the win.

Jamie, Jon and I took the kids into the water. At first, I wasn't too keen on the idea of the ocean, but come on --can't go to Winter Camp and NOT get into the water, right! The kids had a blast, as did I. In fact, we were in there longer than a majority of the adults. From basics, to sparring while I splashed water unnecessarily, to getting very gently dunked in the water, the kids seemed to not get enough.

The workout was over and another stellar camp in the books. One parent from my home dojo thanked me for helping provide a great camp for the kids. Sensei would never fess up to enjoying working with the kids, but doing it out of duty. I knew better, of course, as Sensei was a big kid himself. I could see it in his eyes as he played with them. After spending a day with them, I totally get it. Like I said, it did my heart a lot of good and I'm glad I was able to help with them.

Now, time to start training for our home tournament; the Atlanta Traditional Tournament. Hoping for some good news on that day ;-)



  1. It's nice to see a group of kids training for karate or martial arts. I'm so fond of watching my child in his gymnastics for toddlers class.

  2. Thanks for commenting, Maia. I agree, seeing little ones putting their all into martial arts is very cool. I've been lucky to see a number of young children blossom in martial arts. Seeing something "click" for them is the best.