Between 1st-5th August 2012, four UKKFF instructors travelled to Hamburg, Germany to participate in the annual Escrima Concepts Summer Camp. This event brings together people from many different countries, all of whom study & train Grandmaster Steve Tappin’s excellent weapons system.This was the third time the UKKFF has attended, but in previous years our Head Instructor Lee Paul Heron made the trip alone. This time however he was accompanied by instructors Joe Jackson-Taylor, Jason Potter, and Ben Marsh, which made for a much more fun experience. Rather than fly, the four of them decided to embark upon a road trip to Hamburg, a 1000-mile round-trip which took them across the English Channel, through France, Belgium, the Netherlands, into Germany, and back again a few days later.
The journey in both directions was almost perfect. Early, calm ferry crossings, clear motorways, and lots of places to stop for snacks & food. Ben’s lovely BMW X5 was a pleasure to drive, and because all four took turns behind the wheel, nobody arrived at the hotel tired. In fact the hardest part of the whole journey was fitting the big X5 into a tiny underground car park with only millimetres to spare all round, and then attempting to climb out the windows afterwards.
The training was great fun as usual. Lots of people on each day, many different grades, experience levels and abilities, but all training hard with a focussed attitude. GM Steve Tappin oversaw all the sessions, assisted by ‘Big’ Paul Leslie & Wayne Tappin (both now well-deserved 4TG’s in the Escrima Concepts System.) The training covered a positively huge variety of weapons & unarmed situations, including plenty of environmental awareness due to the sheer number of students getting stuck in. Despite not intending to take tests, our guys successfully passed assessments too: Ben got his 5SG, Jason got his 6SG, and Joe got his 8SG at the event. Well done all!After training, the warm evenings allowed everyone to experience the great nightlife of Hamburg: Lots of places to eat & drink, or listen to music, or just to relax and chat with colleagues. In fact one of the best things about this event is the chance to catch-up with old friends who have been training in different countries. Regardless of nationality or ethnicity, we all share a passion for the martial arts which overcomes all, and this year a very big thank-you must go to Thomas & Helen for putting on a truly wonderful BBQ for everyone on the Saturday night too.
All too soon it was time to drive home again. Everyone had bumps & bruises, and everyone was aching & tired. But everyone also agreed it was one of the best Escrima Summer Camps ever, and let’s do it all again in 2013.