Winter Camp 2011
March 18-20, 2011
Silver Lake Forestry Centre, Peachland,  BC


Winter camp 2011 had excellent training and amazing instructors. I would like to thank Shihan Stuart, Sensei Larry, Sensei Brad, Sensei Leo, Sensei Dean, and Sempai Steve. I learned a lot this weekend! 

            The first training session consisted of Kihon and Kata and was a nice way to start the weekend. We focused on the most important part of Karate, the basics. We also worked on the Tonfa Kata which is a fun new challenge. 

            Tameshiwari is definitely a challenge for me, I have been working on it since December. My board breaking has been very inconsistent, some days I bust through them all, other days I can't even break one board.... 

            Karate is about perseverance and I will persevere so I can accomplish my goal. As always this winter camp was fun as well as inspiring. I think it was enjoyed by all!


Osu, Sherry Bawtinheimer – PoCo Dojo



Once again, I loaded my van with people and gear, and headed to Peachland for this yearfs Winter Camp.  Being a dan candidate, I was feeling a little nervous, but also anxious to begin the next phase of my grading.  There were two other dan candidates along for the ride, Mike Sanford and Baki Cvijetinovic.  The entire ride up was filled with study games, questions about different aspects of Kyokushin Karate and discussions on what to expect during the weekend training sessions.


There were many highlights of the training sessions for me.  Sensei Larryfs explanations of some of the bunkai in our katas, and learning the Tonfa Kata, are just two that quickly come to mind.  Even though I was trying to focus as much as I could on each training session, I was finding my mind wandering to the different tasks that I had to perform as a dan candidate. 

After lunch on Saturday, all of the dan candidates gathered in the hall to complete our breaking requirement.  I watched, as many of the candidates were successful in completing all of their breaks.  The spirit in the room dropped as we all watched Sempai Mike break his hand while attempting to break 3 boards with his seiken.  I was the last to go up, and was unfortunately unable to complete all of my breaks. 

The next training session was very difficult for me.  My focus keep going away from what I was doing and kept going back to what I did wrong during the breaking, and what I probably should have done differently.   

Saturday night saw the dan candidates complete our written exams, and interviews.  Afterwards, we had time to relax a little.  With all of our requirements for this weekend behind us, there were more than a few discussions about what was still ahead for us over the next few months.   

I would like to thank Shihan Stuart, and Sensei Kathy for organizing the camp this year, as well as the other instructors for their help in putting on such an informative and enjoyable camp. 

Osu, Jeremy Russell - North Richmond Dojo



            The 2011 IKOK-C Winter Camp was held on the weekend of March 18-20 at the great Silver Lake Forestry Center in Peachland BC. Every year, one who attends this camp can expect to train hard, learn a lot, and most importantly have fun, and this year was no exception. And while many in attendance come to camp for their own varying reasons, for 10 of us this was the first step in our Black Belt testing, with the weekend including a written test, interview process, and Tameshiwari. Try as I might, I couldn't help but feel both nervous and excited on the trip in from Calgary. My mind was flooded with terminology and board breaking, imagining best as I could as to what might be in store for myself and my fellow testers and getting more nervous and antsy as I did. As we arrived at camp and started to unpack and help with setting up, I found I relaxed a bit more. Once the first of 6 classes began Friday night, my mind switched into learning mode, and the first of many exhilarating and exhausting classes plunged myself and the room full of fellow karate-ka fist first into action! We all worked up a sweat and learned that although we may not all do things the same, we can always broaden our knowledge of how we do even simple Kihon and Ido Geiko by learning from other instructors. It was a great first class and set a fine tempo for the weekend ahead.

            Saturday began with an early morning alarm, waking up myself and my fellow campers for a 6 am training session. And although it's usually customary to begin Saturday with an intense warm-up on the lake, due to the warmer than usual temperatures we were forced to train on the service road for safety reasons. This didn't hamper spirits though, as everyone did their best to train hard and keep their balance on the icy road surface! After warm-up we moved indoors for more training, and suddenly the impact of the day struck me and my nervousness came back. But rather than dwell on the inevitability of what was to come, I simply kept telling myself to find Mushin (the state of perfect calm), and that when the time came I needed to be in zanshin (the state of perfect awareness). These mantras served me well as I indeed calmed down, and when 2:30 rolled around and it was time to board breaking, I was focused and ready. When Shihan was finished his explanation of what it was that we were expected to do and indicated it was my turn to go, all my worries and doubts left me and it was just me and the boards. I powered through my seiken, and thankfully the boards broke! After that my mae geri and mawashi geri breaks seemed easy and before I knew it I was done. A wave of relief hit me and now it was time to cheer on my friends as they were all next. Although not all were successful, the spirit and camaraderie of those of us testing showed, and many words of encouragement were given to those who get another shot at Summer Camp as we know they can do it!

           After one more training session involving bo and tonfa work, we were all treated to another great camp meal, and then the Dan candidates had a bit of down time to prepare for the written exam and interviews still to come. It was now time to get to that state of perfect awareness, and thanks to my success earlier it felt much easier to achieve. The written exam went by smoothly, with only a few questions holding me up, and the interview, although a bit intimidating was fun and I felt it went well. A few relaxing beverages and some great conversation followed, and then it was off to bed for one more short night of sleep and more time to reflect on the day that passed.

            Sunday arrived with the same alarm as Saturday, and we all awoke and prepared for 2 more training sessions to finish camp. A great review of tonfa kata and a very spirited class lead by Sensei Brad, Sensei Dean, and Sensei Leo finished off what is sure to be a very memorable camp for myself and many others. All the nerves had passed and the questions I had for the weekend had been answered and now it was time to focus my new knowledge and reflect on a great weekend on the trip home. A great big thanks needs to go out to the camp staff of Silver Lake for providing us all with great meals and hospitality that was second to none. And a huge thanks to Shihan Stuart, Sensei Larry, Sensei Brad, Sensei Leo, Sensei Dean, Sensei Lyle, and all the Sempais for their great instruction, support and encouragement throughout the camp. And to all my fellow Dan candidate, I wish to extend my congratulations for being true warriors this weekend and for getting through the first part of this long and rewarding journey we're on. It was a true pleasure working hard with you all this weekend. Winter Camp is a truly great experience for all involved, regardless of your level and experience, and if you get the chance to participate in the future you should!

OSU, Richard Barkman - Calgary Dojo


Winter Camp March 18, 19, 20, 2011 – Silver Lake Camp, Peachland, BC

             Once again we, along with others who travelled from all over BC and AB, journeyed to the Okanagan to attend another Kyokushin Karate Training Camp; and for 2011 it marked the 23rd year for  winter camps, the 10th year at Silver Lake Forestry Camp  (6th year in the new lodge).  For the most part the weather cooperated for all our travelers (except for some fog on the return portion) and activities during the weekend. We checked in and then found our bunks in the rustic log cabins, started fires to build up some heat in the wood stoves. We quickly acquainted ourselves with one another and as time permitted throughout the weekend we were able to enjoy some good interchanges. Later we returned to the Lodge to meet new people and renew friendships and warm up for what was to come.  Of the approximately 65 people in attendance, there were 11 who were grading for Shodan and Sandan and Godan.

             The 1st training session began with various Sensei s leading us through some long and fast sets of Kihon, and a number of involved Ido Geiko combinations.  Sensei Larry led us through Seienchin Kata , stressing the vital points during execution of  various techniques. A number of Kyokushin scarves/bandanas were placed on the mantle and were awarded after each training session to an individual who exhibited extra ordinary performance.  During the dinner that followed, Sensei Larry, set the deportment for the weekend. 

             Some free time to relax and exchange small talk, study for some, and then off to bed.  Judging from some of the feedback the following day, sleep was a mixed event.

The 2nd training session began early and outdoors on the icy road under snowing conditions. The lake was full of slushy layers this year and not deemed safe.  Our leaders led us through basic Kihon. Back into the lodge groups were split up to perform various combinations of Ido Geiko. Circle and Point was progressively reinforced. A brief Q & A followed.  Our caterers provided great meals for our weekend retreat.

            The 3rd training session began with splitting up the groups for Bo/Taisan (Tonfa)Katas and fight training.  Upstairs we spent the majority of time learning the Taisan Kata and physically handling the Tonfas through the various movements led by Shihan Stuart and Sensei Brad. Downstairs Sensei Dean and Sempai Steve led us through a variety of Kumite combinations and finished with eMountain Climbingf. A brief Q & A followed.  Lunch at last.

Shihan Stuart informed everyone that Dan candidates would have two opportunities to break the required number of boards by attending winter and/or summer camps in the same year. It was an interesting dynamic in terms of  ekimef and etameshiwarif execution by the Dan candidates when they were breaking the number of boards. Some succeeded – some need some more work. Group photo outside.

                        The 4th training session led off with a brief warm-up, followed by an Instructors class. Shihan Stuart and the various Senseis led us through the Kihon structure to be revised in a soon to be released syllabus/handbook, and various combinations of Ido Geiko. Sempai/Kohai relationship was constantly stressed throughout the weekend in terms on ensuring standardization and consistency.

            During dinner Shihan Stuart showed some videos of historic tournaments, Taisan Kata introduced during the Banff 2010 training, and  Shihan Bobby Lowe in recognition of how much his support has meant to our Canadian Kyokushin Karate. Following dinner each person shared something enlightening and often amusing about themselves.  We had the evening to relax in camaraderie and connect with others to discuss our challenges, successes, as well as learning and sharing solutions, which is invaluable. There was Dan Grade/Club Instructors meeting followed by Dan Grading Candidate written exam and interviews, all concluding by 10pm. Many were simply tired and sleep was a welcome reprieve. 

            The 5th training session began early and outdoors under a clear sky, and again on the icy roadway. Again our leaders led us through basic Kihon to warm up our stiff joints. Back into the lodge we performed a combination of Bo/Tonfa strike and defense tactics.  Then additional time was spent reinforcing the Taisan Kata.  Sensei Dean finished the class with a spirited exercise routine in which everyone worked very hard to complete with intensity to bring our event to a positive conclusion. A brief Q & A followed.  Breakfast was fulfilling. 

            We then broke camp, cleaned up, said our farewells, wished Dan candidates continued success towards their goals, and hit the road for our journey back home.

Training camps are an invaluable experience to continue onefs personal quests, to expand onefs mental and physical capabilities (often outside onefs comfort zone), while sharing with their Kyokushin family. They continue to inspire one to learn and improve. Thanks are extended to the organizers, the instructors for imparting their expertise, and participants for another memorable training camp.  

Osu, Bruce Laffling – Richmond Dojo


            This was my third winter camp.  On our way to the camp it became apparent that this year the region got it's fair share of snow even though it was not very cold. This made the outdoor training interesting and challenging for all participants given the amount of snow and ice.           

            The first training of the camp held, was a 2-hour session on Friday.  Friday evening training set the tone and flow, for the entire camp.  The gbottom lineh - BASICS. 

            Saturday morning, 5:45 AM, saw all the participants outside in the snow but the attempt to train on the frozen lake failed.  As it turned out, below two feet of snow there was icy slush. The second class on Saturday focused on Bo & Tonfa training.  While Bo has been around for few years now, the tonfas are definitely going to be a challenge and very interesting for many of us.      After lunch all dan candidates had to break the required number of boards: shodan ˆ 7 ˆ with three techniques. It became obvious that having a ggame planh in place or not  almost predetermines the outcome of this exercise. 

            Next followed another two-hour training session for dojo operators and black/brown belts.  The focus was on the recently released new modified curriculum of the IKO and was introduced by Shihan Stuart.  Fighting combinations and techniques for the rest of the camp participants was led downstairs by Sensei Dean and Sempai Steve. 

            After dinner on Saturday, the Written exam took place ˆ personally I think that I should have done much better on the test, followed by traditional Black Belt meeting and Dan Candidate interviews. 

            Now when this part is passed, I can see why tameshiwari and interview with Shihan and  all black belts might be a bit of an overwhelming experience, but on the bright side, at the end you learn something about yourself as each event stretches the boundaries of onefs comfort zone... 

            The lodge has a great open area with a big fireplace, which gave  the camp participantfs a chance to socialize for the evening and renew old friendships.

             Training on the final morning of the camp began outside (6 AM) in the dark, then moved inside with more Bo/Tonfa training.  I would like to thank to the Camp organizers for the productive schedule and especially to Camp instructors for their dedication and willingness to pass their knowledge to all of us.  A great weekend of training! 

Osu – Chav Paskov – Richmond Dojo

            Looking back on last weekend, I can recall sweating hard alongside my fellow Karate-ka as we all pushed to master our bodies and minds. Yes, it was that time of year when the spirit of Kyokushin gathered in the heart of Peachland, BC to bring to life another exhilarating Winter Camp weekend. For most, this was like many other camps where you train hard and rest hard as well. For a few of us however, things were a little more special this year as we took the first steps in our journey as Dan Candidates. 

            The camp started on Friday night with a class of Kihon and Kata. It was a great refresher and a good way to get everyone warmed up for the training sessions to follow. It was also an excellent way to work up a Kyokushin sized appetite, which in turn was provided by the dedicated staff of the Silver Lake Forestry Center. Bedtime quickly arrived that night, for it was a long day of travel for most. 

            Saturday morning began early, but alas there was to be no training on the frozen lake due to unsafe conditions. A disappointing start to the day but one that was quickly turned around by Sensei Bradfs upbeat Kihon and Ido Geiko. The morning continued with a Fighting Training and Bo/Tonfa Kata class followed quickly by the Dan Candidate board breaking. For some, the wall of fear came crashing down with every broken board and for others it remained unscathed waiting for the next opportunity to crumble. For those who still have yet to complete this portion of the test, I wish you good luck. I would also like to thank the individuals who volunteered their time and strength in order to hold up the boards. 

            Saturday training concluded with an intense class of Ido Geiko for Brown and Black Belts led by Shihan Stuart. The rest of the night was comprised of a written test, an interview, and a good time around the main fireplace. 

            Sunday morning began with a slippery warm up on the icy grounds of Silver Lake. A Bo and Tonfa application class quickly followed. I believe this class was very worthwhile for all. Personally, it gave me the sense of what it feels to strike something solid with either of the two weapons we use in Karate. As this was the final class for some, a few words were presented in the end. I personally hope everyone enjoyed themselves as much as I did this Winter Camp. I would like to thank all the instructors for the great lessons and for pushing us all as hard as you did. I would also like to say good luck to the rest of the Dan Candidates until the next time we meet. 

Osu - Bak Cvijetinovic – North Richmond Dojo


            This would prove to be a very different karate camp for me and nine others from our Kyokushin family.

             Attending karate camps in the past has always meant hard training, trying to glean new techniques and perspectives on gthe wayh from different instructors and as always maintaining our social network.  As an applicant for Dan grading, I knew we were not blending into a sea of white dogis merely practicing and learning. This time we were being evaluated and by the end of the first session all would know who the Dan candidates were.  

            Prior to leaving for camp I put a lot of pressure on myself knowing that I would be evaluated and had to complete a written test and an interview with all of the black belts. The most pressure came from the understanding that a mere loss of focus, a slip with a technique or not being in the game mentally could spell failure in the mandatory tameshawari. 

            On the way to Peachland, my son Scott, Dan Geisenger, Richard Barkman and I grilled each other with questions on terminology, techniques and Kyokushin history. It seemed the more we talked about it the more the pressure seemed to lessen, but there was still tameshewari. 

            We arrived at camp and moved into a cabin with a bunch, who from the get go, were carrying on with light hearted banter and insults of varying degree. Great group!

                        Starting with the first training session, it became apparent the theme was accepting different teaching styles as we all face contrasting instruction throughout our training.    

            Friday night set a tone for hard training the rest of the camp. As usual, I completely focused on training and I left my other life behind. 

            Saturday at 06:00, saw an enthusiastic group ready to train outside. We were relegated to train on one of the access roads due to the poor condition of the ice (water) on the lake. The icy surface proved to be very challenging and in a practical fighting sense very educational as I imagined having to defend myself with this kind of footing. (note to self: gotta work on balance and technique). 

            After a great breakfast, more training and I found my mind drifting toward the tameshewari and to many, what ifs: gWhat if I donft punch straight? What if I really hurt my hand/foot /leg? What if my targeting is off?h

Upon realizing this was negative self talk, I refocused and immersed myself in the training at hand. 

            Following training we were set for lunch and some down timectime to think. Thatfs not what I needed. 

            14:30 Saturday 19 March 2011 TAMESHEWARI 

            Sometimes inspiration can come from an odd place. As I sat on the floor waiting for my turn at board breaking a scene from the movie, Last Samurai, popped into my head;  

            Young Samurai to Algren when learning the way of the sword: 

            gPlease forgivec. too many mindc mind the swordc mind the people watchingc mind your enemycctoo many mindccNO MIND!  

            At that moment I had clarity! Everything went into slow motion. There was only the boards and me in the room and only one possible outcome. Three kiais later it was done!    

            As I sat back down my thoughts turned to my fellow candidates and I cheered them on and congratulated Rich who broke first. Lisa Forget gave us her rendition of Kyokushin spirit by breaking her five boards with only two techniques! All of us from Calgary were successful! What a great feeling! Everyone watching produced an enormous amount of positive energy. In the end some were not successful and they will have a second opportunity to make kindling at summer camp. I know they will do well!  

            Late afternoon took us to weapons training with the bo and tonfa. This is always fun and challenging and demonstrates a different side of the gmartial wayh.  

            Following another great supper we Dan candidates had time to do last minute cramming for the written test. Both the written test and the interview seemed to go well. Once over, I think we all were breathing a little easier and spent the rest of the evening watching old tournament videos and socializing the Kyokushin way.  

            Kihon outside at 06:00cwhat a great day starter. I found out how fast fifty push ups can be done as my hands were quickly melting into the ice. Inside, training went over the bo and tonfa again. We then had our final meal put on by the Silver Lake staff. Then last training session with a much smaller group. The intensity was cranked up by Senseis Brad, Leo, and Dean.            

            Many thanks to the Silver Lake Staff for great food and hospitality. Also thank you to all the instructors who made for a challenging and informative weekend.  

            To my fellow Dan candidates: May the strength of the samurai be with you! 

OSU - Doug Potter  - Calgary Dojo

            Winter Camp is always a challenge, physically and mentally, this year for me was even more so as a dan candidate. I was very nervous in anticipation of the tests that awaited me, but found some comfort in the other candidates as we talked about our training and encouragement from those that have gone before. 

            The weekend was filled with excellent training sessions, and although we could not go out onto the lake we lined up on the road for first trainings of the day. 

            Our sessions were kihon, reviewed kata, ido geiko, fighting training and self defense. There was bo/tonfa kata that was a good review as many of us have forgotten a lot since Banff, and a session of using the bo and tonfa as weapons and as defense. 

            One of the points that hit home for me was the need for us to be consistent in our basics throughout all of our dojos. Every instructor is responsible for the quality of their teaching and must lead by example. If we want students to do their technique correctly we must always be consistent and correct in our own. We in Cranbrook are very fortunate that Shihan Don and our instructors are excellent role models. 

            The Sempai/Kohai relationship was discussed often in class and question period in relation to the consistency of training. The sempais responsibility to be the best they can be and teach consistently and correctly, the kohais responsibility to train to the best if their ability. 

            There was an emphasis on being creative in our training and to challenge ourselves, for example, the ido geiko class with Sensei Brad in which we moved in a sort of square instead of forward and back, challenging us to think outside the box and to pay attention. I was challenged by Shihan to keep mindful of the count not to jump into movement before and to be aware of the count how many techniques have we done not just mindlessly going. Helping me to understand what, why, and how to use the techniques and to be in the moment. 

            There is always so much to learn, and so many things to try to remember, I started some years ago to use a journal and it has been invaluable at camps and weekly training

To write it all down for future review. 

            Besides the camp was the trip to and from, I was fortunate to travel with Sempai Bill from my dojo, and he was kind enough to drive. He questioned me on the way helping me study, and we had some excellent discussions on training, grading, our club and life in general.  It was a great opportunity to get to know him better. 

            I would like to thank Shihan Stuart, the instructors and organizers for the camp, for sharing their time, experience and knowledge with us and for challenging us to train harder and smarter and to continue to challenge us. 

            It was an excellent camp. 

OSU – Trudy Larsen – Cranbrook Dojo


The trip to winter camp had a different feel to it this year, as it was the year that I would begin grading for my shodan. I was feeling nervous about the testing and all of the different aspects that I would have to perform during the weekend.  My goal was to stay calm, focus on my training and do my best. Everyone that I met, new friends and old, were very helpful and encouraging. 

The camp opened with a Friday night training that focused on basics, their application and how to do them properly. Saturday morning we planned to do our training on the lake but it was not frozen enough for us to do so safely, so we trained on the roadway instead. Snow had also begun to fall that morning, making our outdoor session all the more unique. This was a new experience for me and I found it very interesting. Once we moved inside for additional training we continued with moving basics. Sensei Brad taught more complex basics and introduced us to a new way of moving. He demonstrated that not all moving basics had to be done in a straight line, but they could also be practiced in a more circular pattern.  

Shortly after our first training we had our breakfast, which was very good, as were all the meals prepared by the Silver Lake Forestry Center staff. The next training involved the use of tonfas. With there being so many of us we had to split everyone up; half went downstairs to do fight training with Sensei Dean and the other half learned the first tonfa kata. Half way through the class we all switched to ensure that everyone had a chance to try both. 

After lunch the board-breaking portion of our test was to begin. Again I was trying to stay calm and just focus on what I had to do. I missed my first board with seiken, so I had to go to plan B and add an additional board to my mawashi geri break. It worked and I broke all my required boards. 

After dinner came the written test and then the interviews.  After both were completed it was time to relax for a minute and just visit with everyone. I finally had a chance to catch up on what had been happening with everyone since last time we met. 

Sunday morning came early as we got ready to do our training outside again. Our first training in the morning included the tonfas and bofs as well. We also went over how to defend an attack from a bo using our tonfas. Once again we reviewed the tonfa kata. Shortly after breakfast we had our last training class of the camp which consisted mainly of basics and some kicking drills. 

We then did a clean up and said goodbye to our Kyokushin family and packed up for our long drive home. It was a great weekend and I am happy that I have completed the first step of my test. And I would like to thank everyone who was there to support and encourage me along the way. 

            An additional, Thank-you to the staff of the Silver Lake Lodge for everything you did to look after us and feed us.

 OSU - Lisa Forget – Calgary Dojo