Donnie Jeffcoat has hosted several very successful Kenpo camps in the wilderness areas of Southern California. Each camp included an awesome line up of guest instructors - some bringing Kenpo skills and some sharing arts or knowledge that is considered on the periphery of a martial art, yet still meshes very well with the skills we look to hone each day. In this post, we look back at several of the events over the years - the awesome friendships that were created (or continued), and the knowledge sharing that took place that will be remembered forever.
One of the first camps I took part of was in May of 2017 in Idyllwild, CA. I was a brown belt at the time, just about to test and was concerned about doing something stupid, getting injured and not being able to complete my upcoming test. I also had questions about how my knowledge would stack up against students from other schools. After a few rounds of hard-core mocking, Mr. G convinced me to go with him - and boy was I glad I did. We slept in a tent a stones throw from a lovely little creek, attended training sessions in a sandy lot and had a fantastic time. Through a training session presented by Angelo Collado, I fell in love with the karambit and its practical uses - it has become my "everyday carry" knife to this day.
The next few years brought additional memorable adventures - this time at Pilgrim Pines - in the San Bernardino mountains. The first year we arrived in a motorhome that was whipped about by strong winds as we drove down the freeway toward our destination - I don't think I've seen whiter knuckles than on Mr. Allen during the sideways gusts. Colin and Andrew followed behind in their own car - stretching their wings of independence. The camp had an amazing fire pit and a much better place for everyone to grab a bite to eat, and the weather was perfect for another camping adventure. Having lessons presented in a grassy field, or in a small lodge room added to the adventure - and provided great opportunities to use your environment as an extension of your Kenpo craft.
When the weather was good, it was stunningly good - and when it wasn't great, it was still pretty good. So much fun to enjoy lots of sun and lots of different techniques at the same time.
While Kenpo Camps ended up being cancelled for 2020 and 2021, they came back with gusto for 2022.
So, why am I posting all of this here? This year is going to have some of the best "Outside Adventure" opportunities ever! Coming soon will be details of adventures in Boston, Phoenix, California, and maybe even somewhere super exotic in South America! If you've never participated in an event hosted by another school or if you've done a bunch of them and still have the travel bug anyway (like I do) - don't hesitate to sign up again! This year is sure to have some awesome opportunities to expand your skills, meet new people, see things from a new perspective, and have your skill set expand in new and interesting ways.