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Taiji Foundations Camp Malta

Foundation Training Camp Malta
October 21st till 28th 2020

This camp is suitable for all levels.
We run two camps each year, April and October, both are suitable for all levels, however this October camp is a little more suited to beginner/intermediate level, where is the April camp is a little more towards intermediate/advanced. So if you can only choose on to attend then best to choose the one that suits your level best, but if for example you're a beginner but can't make the October dates, then you'll still be fine in the April camp, vice versa for those of you of a more skilled level.
If you are unsure which one you should attend please get in touch, or come to both!

What to expect at camp 2020:
Foundation Camp is about training, and lots of it!
In the WTBA we don't just ask you to follow along and do your best, we explain in detail how to improve your movement and understanding , giving each individual help with their training.
It will be warm enough for swimming in the sea, with a sea temperature of about 24 degrees, so we have an afternoon break where you can enjoy the sun and sea.
The venue is by the sea surrounded by nature, only a few minutes walk down to the most beautiful swimming area.
Food and accommodation is all on site, see below for details.

What will be taught:

Yang Lu-chan's Taiji Form
The old yang style of Taiji, Yang Lu Chan being the founder of the Yang style. This form is mostly slow moving, but unlike modern Taiji forms which have been modified to be all soft, the old yang has some fast and explosive movements throughout, giving it a balance of yin and yang energy.
The focus will be on body mechanics, learning how to move correctly, which muscles to engage to make a movement happen through connection to the centre. Rather than just learning a sequence of postures, we take one move and look at it, this way you learn far more about the form and those who do not know it already will not be lost. Sequence can be learnt from a video, how to move correctly is what you need hands on instruction for. Internal movement will be covered also.

"Street" San Sau.
You've probably not heard of this before, that's because it's never been given a name till now. In the past it was just real word martial training, where we are given a set of techniques to practice with our partner, layer by layer, this is the stuff usually only trained in weekly class setting, but I have decided to introduce it to camp this year. 
I will make a preview video to show you what to expect from this san sau. 
Most of you know the small and large san sau, so you'll know that these forms are training methods to learn certain things about body mechanics, how to gain power from all angles, structure, balance, timing etc. However the "techniques" used in these forms and how we practice them, would for the most part not work in a real fight, they are not meant for that, they have other very important things they teach you about your body, which the more practical techniques don't teach so well. 
So for a well rounded Taiji training, it is important to training both the "training methods" and the stuff that will actually work in a fight. 
When I use to train with my Dad Erle, he would never use any of the methods from the small or large san sau to fight me, he would use things not found in most forms. 
This is how I learnt them, with out any set forms etc, he would just say "do this" then he would swing at me! 
Because this side of training has never been put into a box and given a name, most people do not know about it, or even if parts of it were taught at a camp, it would be forgotten, because it was not wrapped up into a package. 
So this is what I have done, the Street San Sau, is a mixture of all the Taiji and Bagua practical fighting techniques put into a package. 
It's both Taiji and Bagua, because in this area of training there is really no difference between the two, it's in the forms and training methods that you learn differences of Taiji and Bagua. 
The set is practiced always with a partner, to give you an example, Round 1, your partner throws a straight punch, you defend then follow up with three attacks, you get to complete all three strikes. Round 2, this time your partner throws the same punch, but he also blocks your first attack, so you have to be able to keep flowing into your second and third attacks with out his block breaking your flow, you then keep doing the drill, but you don't know if he will block or not. 
Round 3, again your partner throws the same punch, but when he blocks your first attack he throws a counter, so your three strike follow up now has to adapt. 
You keep drilling this method, but you don't know if he's going to put in the counter or not, your body has to either come in with the attacks, or react to his counter. 
We then work our way through this three round system with all the different types of start up attack, like straight punch, hook, to the head or to the body, kicks, tackles etc. 
Everything is practiced left and right sides. 
This can be practiced with or with out protection, usually in a weekly class of my own, the person doing the techniques would wear a head guard, and the puncher would wear gloves, this means the puncher can throw real punches with out risking damage. In a workshop or camp however we don't usually have this equipment, so you just have to go a little calm, I do however bring at least one set of equipment to test out those who want to. 
So as you can see, this is a middle ground between training methods like Small San Sau, and free fighting. 
Small San Sau for learning how to connect to your centre etc, Street San Sau for learning the practical methods you could actually use, as well as a little reaction training as you don't know if he will counter or not, then free fighting to put it all into practice and see how you hold up under stress. 
The free fighting "sparing" is still worked through in layers before it goes totally free form, we use a mixture of different ways to use protection and get the most out of our training. 
The "Street San Sau" and free fighting was the main thing I use to train with my dad. 

This will be practiced every morning.
With warm ups and stretching to help with Qi flow to better enhance your Qigong practice. The main focus will be standing three circles QIgong, this is a form of meditation. For more information on Qigong please click here

Free Training
Free training is training any other time of the day when there are no official classes.
Where everyone can simply practice, Eli will be there most of the time giving advice on how to improve, there are also always many other WTBA instructors hanging around.
This is where you can either go over what has been taught that day, or you might want to ask some questions about other areas of your training
Camp Schedule:
Tuesday the 21nd is arrival day, after 3pm.
Training days are 22nd. 23rd, 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th.
We then pack up and leave on the 28th by 10am.

Breakfast Lunch and Dinner are provided on site.
We serve a good selection of healthy meals cooked freshly onsite each day.
As well as tea and coffee through out the day, and drinking water.
Any dietary requirements can be made.

Xrobb L-Ghagin Nature Park And Sustainable Development Centre,
Marsaxlokk MXK 4080.
Here we have 4 dormitory rooms with 6 or 8 beds in each, nice spacious rooms and comfortable beds so you won't feel crammed up with your roommates.
Blankets and pillows, sheets and a towel are provided, you just need a towel for the beach.
There are 8 toilets and 6 showers to share, all with a high standard of cleanliness.
We have a large outdoor training area with sea views, a large indoor hall for training in bad weather, and a dinning room near the kitchen where meals will be served.
There is also free WiFi

Training Schedule:
7:30am Warms ups, stretching and standing Qigong.
8:30am Taiji Qigong Form
9am: Breakfast
10am Street San Sau
12pm: Lunch
After lunch it's free training time, do what you want, either do some more training,
or you can head down to the sea for a swim or sun bathing. 4pm Instructors only special session, students are welcome to watch. 
5pm: Street San Sau
6pm Taiji Form
7pm: Dinner
After dinner we usually do Push Hands and other partner drills, any other training people want to look at in an informal manor.

Cost of training For the full week.
If you want to stay less than the full camp, then please contact us for a price.

Early registration before September 1st. (Non refundable deposit of €100 required)
WTBA Active Members and first timers, price €250
Non members price €270
Uni Students under 25, €150 Pay Deposit Here

Late registration after September 1st.
WTBA Active Members and first timers, price €350
Non members price €370
Uni Students under 25, €200

Daily drop in fee for locals in Malta not wanting to attend the full week, €60, training only.

Cost of Accommodation:
€135 for the full camp (7 nights)

Cost of food:

Getting to Camp:
Get a flight to Malta International Airport (There's only the one on the island)
We will have a pick up service running from the airport to the venue on the 21st, then back to the airport again on the 28th, this is included in the price.
Pick up times will be arranged closer to the date once flights are booked.
If you are driving, then simply google search the venue "Xrobb L-Ghagin Hostel" and you'll find it

Here check out the pictures of where we will be staying....
Beautiful swimming area just a few minutes walk from the venue

Yes the water really is this clear! I took these pictures myself on my phone
There are some spots for cliff jumping if you're into that
Outdoor training area

Dormitory Rooms with free WiFi
8 toilets and 6 showers to share
St. Peter's Pool, a popular swimming area about 30 minutes walk from the venue, in case you want to meet the locals :-)