Ron Baker Interviews Erle Montaigue for Black Belt Magazine
The following is an excerpt from an interview, a follow-up interview by Ron Baker for Black Belt Magazine. Only about one fifth of the interview is included here.
Camp 98 September 1998
I met Erle Montaigue about fifteen years ago when I attended one of his workshops in Australia. Since then I have followed his progress and have continued to study his methods. Back then, I found Erle to be a somewhat controversial but charismatic person who only wanted to teach the very best that he was capable of to his students and anyone else who would seek him out. He had a genuine interest in helping people gain what he has gained from his form of martial art. Since meeting Erle again, my views have not changed, in fact they have strengthened, and he is still a weird (meant in the nicest possible way) martial artist! Sorry, he is not a martial artist, but rather a musician as he told all at camp 98.
Every year Erle Montaigue holds an annual camp in Australia and I know of no other teacher who can attract so many (around 100) people from all around the world considering the distance and money spent simply to get to Australia. The camp is help over two weeks in the Australian Spring (September) in one of the most beautiful areas of the country, called the Northern Rivers district of the State of New South Wales. At the base of the sacred Aboriginal mountain, ‘Wollumbin’, can be heard, not the martial arts yells and grunts but rather laughing and joy and not one ‘gi’ or martial arts suit could be seen! It is nice to see how newcomers to this type of training change over about two days to a more relaxed and normal person. They arrive as ‘martial artists’, and leave as ‘people’ with a sense of belonging to a very large family of friends with many relationships being made at these camps.
So, I give a warning about attending one of Erle Montaigue’s camps. If you are not ready to have your whole idea of the martial arts shattered to become a more realistic down to earth person, giving out love instead of otherwise, then do not attend these camps, because they do have an everlasting effect as all at Camp 98 told me. The same faces come back year after year for the teaching, the extensive knowledge, the friendship, the great food and more importantly the fun. And along the way they learn something about realistic martial arts or as Erle Montaigue puts it, not martial arts, rather life arts.
At this year’s camp so much information was given out, much of it has never before been taught publicly. The very secret and unknown ninth Qi Disruptive form was taught with everyone having to sign an agreement that we would not teach it to anyone until we were ready. I think this is a good idea as these forms work upon the whole energy system of the body and if taught incorrectly could do some harm! Erle actually came in early to camp a day before training with...
That is as much of the interview as we have for now, if we find more it will be added here.