View Full Version : Suggestions for Surviving/Enjoying Aikido Summer Camp

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Randy Sexton
07-22-2008, 12:10 AM
I'm attending the 28th Annual Aikido Summer Camp in the Rockies and this will be my first Aikido Summer Camp. I thought you folks may have some great thoughts on things to bring or hints on surviving/enjoying the camp.

07-22-2008, 12:35 AM
I'm attending the 28th Annual Aikido Summer Camp in the Rockies and this will be my first Aikido Summer Camp. I thought you folks may have some great thoughts on things to bring or hints on surviving/enjoying the camp.

Hey Randy - just finished my 2nd.

Here are some tips and experiences I had.

Last year it was 40 celcius (104 f), and we had no air conditioning in the gym...kind of dangerous time to be practicing. - this year was a lot cooler.

But having said that, regardless of your temperature...stay hydrated.
Bring plenty of water to drink. (Made the mistake of not bringing water the first afternoon of our seminar this year and was exhausted, resulting in my knee getting hurt as I was running on dry...)

...which brings up a second point...dont overdo yourself (as I did.) Listen to your body. :)

Other than that, its a pretty jam packed time, where we covered aikido, aiki jo, tanto, and bokken each day of the seminar. (Testing was done on Saturday inbetween sessions.)

Also, while you are there, try to train with the visitors.
I noticed some people trying to train with their dojo mates - and that kind of defeats the purpose of the seminar, seeing how others respond to your techniques and you to theirs.

In fact I tested with an uke that I never practiced with in my entire life...wasnt planned this way, its how Sensei called us out - was interesting. :)
But we both passed. :)

Have a good seminar and let us know how it went.



get someone to take some photos and post, should be interesting.

Dennis Hooker
07-22-2008, 07:23 AM
When you go down to Glenwood Springs for fun and you see a redneck BBQ Joint that advertises Sushi in the back room STAY OUT!

Don’t train with sick grumpy old men ( I apologize to the young man I went off on)

If you have a tumor on you larynx that starts to bleed at altitude and you need to get from Glenwood springs to Denver at the speed of light call on Warren and his rocket car.

Drink at Doc Holiday’s.

Outside the dorm on the grassy knoll half way up the hill and a little to the left is the only place you can get cell phone reception. It gets crowded

Drink lots of water.

Try and get to the dinning hall before Frank Doran Sensei. Good luck on that one!!

Beard of Chuck Norris
07-22-2008, 08:24 AM
I wouldn't know, had to bail out of one of the days of our gasshuku because i felt like defrosted turd. :D

Enjoy... gambatte!

07-22-2008, 12:28 PM
Already a lot of good advice so far, but I have to disagree with Hooker Sensei- Colorado Brew Pub is the place to drink (if you're a beer snob).:D Very nice IPA.

Also, many people go to camp and train in sessions led by Shihan-level instructors only. Try to attend sessions instructed by other instructors as well- there are many gem instructors there in addition to the Shihan.

It's already been said, but it needs to be repeated- Train with people you don't know or very rarely train with!

Remember that the air is thin up there!!!!

Understand that you will do laundry at a time you don't wish to do laundry (or you will stink, or you will go to a laundromat outside the dorm).

Have a blast. Wish I was going this year, just can't swing it:grr:

07-22-2008, 12:55 PM
Things I always used to pack for karate summer camp, I suppose aikido summer camp is much the same:

- Every gi I own, in any state of repair
- Needle and thread (see above)
- Laundry soap
- Roll of quarters
- Gatorade powder (actually cytomax but you get the idea)
- Powerbars
- Cooler
- Water bottles. Lots of them.
- Sports tape.
- Tiger balm, zheng gu shui, kwan loong oil, taoist healing oil, bruise plaster and yunnan baiyao
- At least one really good book

...besides the usual stuff you'd need to take on any trip.

Marc Abrams
07-22-2008, 01:23 PM
Tips for the Older, Spoiled Aikidoka:

1) DO NOT STAY ON CAMPUS AND EAT THE FOOD! Back in the days (okay several decades ago!) sleeping on a college bed and eating college food was tolerable. Today, my back and stomach would simply revolt, leaving me without a functional midsection!

I stay at one of the local hotels/motels. My wife and I can actually sleep in the same bed, enjoy air conditioning that consistently works, swim in a pool and soak in a hot tub!

Lots of great places to eat as well. Steak- Juicy Lucy, Mexican, next to the Holiday in and across the street from the Best Western (where I stay every year). Good Bavarian breakfast place across the street as well.

I prefer the Mexican, liquid analgesics (aka- margaritas) that just happen to be served at that great Mexican restaurant!

3) HYDRATE!!!!!!!!!
If you are not use to high altitude training, you will be in for a surprise! LOTS of water and gatorade.

Air is thinner at higher altitudes meaning more BURN. Headgear, eyewear and skin protection is a MUST.

I typically have a high protein breakfast with a lot of water. I make my own trail mix (nuts and fruit) for noshing. Lunch typically is a LARGE fruit smoothie (GREAT PLACE IN TOWN), trail mix and fruit while soaking in a hot tub and pool. Dinner is typically a full mean of lots of carbs, fats and proteins washed down with a probably unhealthy amount of liquid analgesics. Then again, no sore muscles mean I must be doing okay.

This is a great chance to train with a lot of different people and focus on certain aspects of your training. This is not a place to act like you are training for the ironman race! There are an awful lot of excellent martial artist who attend. They are open, friendly and worth the price of admission. If you don't talk to, work with, train under them, then why go?

Marc Abrams

07-22-2008, 03:30 PM
We work hard to make sure the food is good. Even though Marc doesn't like it, give it a try for yourself. The cafeteria people there work pretty hard and a lot of the food, especially the vegetarian food, is quite edible. One of my tricks is to sign up for the vegetarian plan so that I have more options. If you are a low carb guy like me, however, you may want to bring some nuts and seeds, some leafy vegetables, and acceptable beverages to complement the meals.
Also, I recommend Ikeda Sensei's coffee shop, he is an excellent barista and works very hard to keep everyone at camp caffeinated.

Marc Abrams
07-22-2008, 04:07 PM

I was having a tongue-in-cheek sandwich ! I was in NO WAY criticizing the efforts of the university or your organization by my humor. I absolutely agree about your assessment of Ikeda Sensei's Coffee Concession- He does an outstanding job! I am a coffee freak who grinds the beans fresh every morning for my coffee as well. I appreciate - no- adore - no- am hooked on a great cup of java!

Marc Abrams

ps.- life is too serious to take seriously

Randy Sexton
07-23-2008, 02:02 AM
I really appreciate all the great advice! I really am excited to go. I'm taking notes so I remember where to go and where not to go. Thanks to Hooker Sensei I'll avoid the back room sushi:eek:
I know I am an old dog but an experienced one and I truly am loving learning Aikido. So much variety! So much depth! I just wish I had started this journey years ago but I wouldn't be having this much fun at 52! I remind myself to keep a beginner's mind and enjoy the journey not the destination.
Keep those suggestions coming!!

Nafis Zahir
07-23-2008, 03:06 AM
1) Drink plenty of water, but not cold water.

2) Eat light between classes. Stay away from heavy foods.

3) Attend every class!

Mary Eastland
07-23-2008, 05:40 AM
1. Go with the flow.
2. Practice radical self care.
3. Don't take yourself or others too seriously.
4. Take at least one class off and see the sights.
5. Remember that it is an artificial hierarchy that only
matters in that world.
6. Have fun.


07-23-2008, 07:17 AM
first thing into your gut in the morning is a big glass of water. last thing into your gut before bed is a big glass of water. got that advice from my chiropractor. worked great. if you like me, high carb person, then load up on carb in the morning, more carb at lunch, with lots of water, then something light at night. cold showers worked well too; help you heal faster. Randy, a big gentleman at your dojo said "vegetable is what foods eat". grass is vegetable. cows eat grass which make them vegetarians. I liked vegetarians, with some A1 sauce. :)

oh ya! high altitude, low O2. take it easy the first two days. better yet, get there two days ahead of the camp. also, if you drive around there, watch out for bicyclists. we NASCAR folks have no use for bicyclists; they make it harder to clean the windshield. :)