The official Summer Camp for the World Taiji Boxing Association took place in August 2007 again at Schnattermann in the village of Stuthof near Rostock Germany. 17 countries were represented by the 50 or so attendees to camp 2007.
This year, as with other years, the main thrust was on the training and friendship, either renewed or forged. People began to arrive on the Wednesday evening or Thursday ready for the official start on the Friday. However, Erle Montaigue couldn't just 'stand around' so after dinner on Thursday, he held the first lesson on advanced Pauchui/Large San-Sau training. These 'extra' classes became a set session after each evening meal with different areas begin covered at each session. Sometimes Pauchui, then push hands or da-lu or Chee-sau or fighting applications etc.
Our 'Venue' host again was Stefan who owns the training camp called 'Schnattermann'. Stefan also provided his large yacht for trips out into the Baltic sea and across to other areas of Northern Germany. And his very large horses were always on hand for horsie rides for those so inclined. And as usual, the Hotel in situ at Schnattermann was put to great use by the attendees after training ceased and carried on well into the evening with much laughter, friendship and merriment.
8 am on Friday morning and the official training began with a special area of Tai Chi called The Yin/Yang Activation and Manifestation. Erle Was not going to teach this area but he let it slip out and had to continue as it was so interesting and everyone enjoyed this advanced method of performing one's tai chi form. This is where one of the hands during training actually moves past the tantien or another 'activation' point in the body in order to activate the Qi for healing others. We use this method as a medical qigong healing. Depending upon which direction the 'activation' hand goes, this dictates whether it will be yin or yang; or putting in or taking out the Qi from the affected area. Once the activation is completed, the other hand will then move over the body in the correct direction to affect the healing. This way of practice also has an amazing effect upon the practitioner's own body and mind in that it balances the whole body/mind making for a very calm and easy going day. Although this area was quite advanced, it is always important that even beginners at least see this way of doing the Old form. Many teachers make the mistake of dividing their classes up into groups depending upon their level of competence. This is incorrect as it keeps those students from seeing what is coming next. So when for instance a gifted student is ready internally for advancement, the sub-conscious mind wants to move on, but never having seen the advanced way, the body is unable to understand. So even beginning students gain much in the way of internal learning by seeing and trying to practice the more advanced movements. When they are ready to attain this advanced internal way, they fall right in as it is already in their inner mind.
There is also another important area in seeing one's teacher (provided that he or she actually knows the advanced methods, performing more advanced methods. 'Learning Qi' is put into each student by simply watching the advanced forms done by someone who is able to transmit energy by movement. This is called 'Internal Learning Qi' and is given the name of 'The Keys'. These Keys are given to students at a sub-conscious level when they are ready to take such learning. It's like planting a seed and waiting for it to grow. Much 'keys' training was thrown out at camp 2007 with many interesting results. So each morning this tai chi advancement was shown and taught providing an insight into the wonderful medical side of tai chi as well as the self healing methods of practice at such a high level. This area will continue into future camps until the whole Old form is completed in this manner. Only a few movements were taught over the 4 days of teaching, getting up to the postures known as 'Lift Hands'. However, as we progress, and students begin to learn internally, the amount of information will be increased.
9 am until 10 am: Breakfast was supplied each morning by the staff at Schnattermann and is included in the cost of your accommodation which is quite small really. We stuck to mainly vegetarian meals, with meat dishes being able to be ordered if people needed that meat hit. All kinds of platters were arranged each morning for breakfast which catered to the varied tastes of all attending. And as always it was a chance to catch up with training talk and other friendship matters around each breakfast table. A nice touch and something that is positive, was that many attendees moved to other tables mid-breakfast (and other meals) in order to catch up with other old and new friends and to socialize.
10 am until 12 pm: This time in the day brought the main thrust of the camp which was the wonderful Bagua Linear Form. This is a beautiful form which imparts not only health, inner and outer, but also realistic self defence applications as well as anaerobic and aerobic exercise. Of course we were not able to get through the whole form as it is the longest of all gung-fu forms, as brain explosion would have resulted! However, we got through the first 32 modules (of 64) which took us half way. See and article on this form HERE: For a report of Camp 2006 CLICK here.
12.30 until 1.30 pm: Lunch and a very nice lunch was provided by the staff. Different dishes each day.
1.30 until 3.30 pm: This period was also for the main thrust of Camp 2007 carrying on with the Bagua Linear form with applications. This form was taught both at its very slow level (as a qigong) as well as at its explosive fa-jing level. And Erle gave a demonstration of this form done at pace. He even survived this! It is said that if one is able to perform the classical circular Bagua form as well as the linear form once or twice per day, then the fitness level is really getting up there to super athlete levels!
6 pm until 7 pm: Dinner again was quite varied with the main meal of pasta (cheese on top for those who eat cheese) with vegetables etc,.
7.30 pm until 8.30 pm: This was the special class each evening covering things like the advanced method of Pauchui/large san-sau, push hands, chee-sau (the tai chi version), da-lu and self defence applications and practice.
Closing Ceremony: On the last day of Camp 2007, Ron Beier and a group of the students got together and worked out a whole routine of song and acting in order to make Erle Montaigue a knight called Sir Dinkel! (Don't ask)! Erle was presented with a T shirt that read "Sir Dinkel" and was knighted with a Tai Chi sword. He was also presented with a box of "Dinkel Weapons" including : Dinkel Flokker, Dinkel, and Dinkel Muesli! I will put up some photos soon.
It is important for all WTBA members to attend this annual summer camp as it is a time of cohesion and bonding with WTBA instructors in particular. And for others to see that we aren't an organization that is "up itself" with its own importance! No fancy suits, no nuttin! Just a bunch of friends coming together to enjoy the summer celebration from all over the world.
Countries Represented at Camp 2007:
Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, Holland, Belgium, Germany, England, Wales, Poland, Romania, France, Australia, USA, Japan, Austria and Norway.
Although there were so many different countries represented, we were all there with a common link so language or any other social or country barriers were no problem. And this camp was made so special because of the attendees and the way they all got along together. Come along next year (2008) and see for yourself.
Some Photos from Camp 2007
Lauron (Australia) and Jean Carlo (WTBA Rep. Switzerland
Colin and Lauron Power (Australia)
Erle & Sandra Montaigue
With Ron Beier: WTBA Rep for Germany
Two Beautiful Girls: Kathleen and Aisha at Camp 2007
Breakfast at Ron and Frauke's House: Erle, Ron, Eli, Frauke, Aisha, Peter, (Austria) Kathleen and Colin Beier.
Colin and Lauron (Australia) with Erle.