As usual like most of my reviews, this one is long overdue. Datu Dieter has already posted a very detailed technical review of the weekend, which can be found on his Face Book page. My review will have a little different twist and discuss the vibe.
I was picked up at the airport by Datu Dieter and Noa (from Israel). It had the feeling of a reunion of lifelong friends. Later that evening I was taken out by a couple of the DAV members to see a little of the Dortmund nightlife. I definitely made for a long day, but it was a great experience.
Saturday morning came pretty early. The day started off with a grading of six of the DAV members for 1st – 3rd black belt. Everyone brought a lot of energy and did well. As one of the examiners I was not only able to have a front row seat to watch, but I also got to see the inner workings of how the DAV runs its tests. Very insightful. After a short lunch break it was time to train! I taught three sessions throughout the weekend. On Saturday I covered Panantukan for single and multiple attacks and some blade work. On Sunday I went over advanced Tapi – Tapi as well as elements of my Astig Balintawak program as it related to Modern Arnis.
What I really enjoyed about the Double Datu camp, was that I had the opportunity to go on the floor and train. I usually don’t get this opportunity because I always need to talk to someone about my org, upcoming events, etc. This time I got to be a student while I wasn’t teaching. Dieter and I have different views on things, but that was what the weekend was about. Sharing what is in common and celebrating what is different. I really got to see more what Datu Dieter is like on and off the mats.
What I enjoyed the most of the trip was not the martial arts, but the interaction with all of the attendees. I felt like I was family. I got the reconnect with some of the participates form the “Best of the West Camp” as well as make some new friends. I spent hours talking to people after the training about movies, sports & gaming just to name a few of the topics. And after all of the training was over I received to very special surprises.
In reverse order, Noa and I were treated to attending the Dortmund Football (Soccer) team match that was next door to the seminar. Over 80,000 people were in attendance to watch Dortmund beat the visiting team. For 90 minutes we stood cheering on the team. The energy in the arena was beyond description. I am thankful for Dieter sharing that with me. It is nice to do non-martial event with my martial arts family.
The first surprise and most touching was the presentation that Dieter made at the end of the camp. Dieter presented me with a portrait he made of me. The picture was taken in 2012 at the “best of the West” camp. It was put through a series of treats and then framed. This is now hanging in my school near the entrance.
Like I said at the beginning of this review, it was about the vibe. I feel that Dieter and I got to know each other better. This gave us the opportunity to discuss the history of Modern Arnis as well as its future. And what does the future bring? Well in 2017 I’ll be back in Europe for a tour which will include visits to Germany and Austria. And we are working on a North America Double Datu Tour for 2016 or 2017.
Once again I’d like to thank everyone for their support to make this trip to Germany one of the best visits to day!
See you in 2017!