Are you into physical movement, action and exercise? Are you into learning about energy, Chi/Ki energy? Are you into the non-physical side of the martial arts? Are you into swords? Well, this was a weekend for you.
The first thing you notice when you turn up, is the shear beauty of the venue. Omori Lodge, set on the South-western edge of Lake Taupo, is spectacular. Boasting an 11 rooms of living accommodation, with a large training hall, huge kitchen, multiple shower and toilet amenities, and an acre of flat, manicured land encompassed by a ring and six-pointed star.
We all began to gather for the weekend from 4pm on Friday, with the last arriving just before 7pm. The weekend began with a Black Belt workshop covering Ssang Soo Gum Bup 9 Beon (long pattern 9) through to Ssang Soo Gum Bup 11 Beon (long pattern 11). After this session, everyone was asked to be ready to depart yo the Lake by 630am for a Win Hof breathing session and a lake swim.
As Daylight savings time was still in place, it was still very dark when we gathered on the lakeside. Instructor Danyel Degenhardt (Whakatane Club) took us through eh Wim Hof method for 10 minutes, then we began a slow (required by the method) walk into the rather cool lake, to watch the sun rise over the surrounding hills.
Back to the Lodge for showers, breakfast and swords. The day that followed included sword practice, basic movements, self defence, “power-breathing”, meditation and work on higher belt sword patterns. The late afternoon was free time, where some (the young) went swimming in the Lake while the sensible (more experienced) slept in the sun. After dinner, talk around the tables ensued until the urge to go to bed overcame us (about 9pm).
Sunday morning was a physical session with paper cutting with wooden swords, arranged sparring (with bamboo swords) and bamboo cutting with metal swords. Afterwards clean-up, tidy up and wrap-up. Most of us left just after mid-day, driving back to our respective towns and cities.
Haidong Gumdo New Zealand has already booked for next year.