The 10th seminar of A.S.K., on mountain Olympus, near the village Kriovrissi (1.200mt altitude) was completed. The participation was immense (at some point the participants were 28), while it lasted longer than the previous years (15 days), giving the opportunity to more people to join in, at least for some days.
The training started in the morning by running and stretching. After breakfast, there were two alternatives: the Taiji students practiced Xing Yi, with the instructor Dimitris Doukas, learning the Wu Xing Lian Huan Quan and thoroughly examining the 5 elements of Taiji. The rest, with Christos Papachristos, did the basic training and practiced the fighting techniques of Eagle Claw. In the afternoon, they all trained with D. Doukas, in order to learn a new Taolu of the Lily Lau Shaolin Eagle Claw Kung Fu system and to improve their style. As most of the participants were beginners, they trained at the pole of the yellow belt level (Siu Lum Quan) and at Gung Li Kuen.
Of course, some of the advanced students were also there. They completed the learning of a rather demanding Broadsword Taolu, while Christos Papachristos -instructor of the Eagle Athletic Club of Galatsi- and Giorgos Divanis -assistant instructor of A.S.K.- trained under the guidance of Dimitris Doukas, for the World Championship of Qingdao, in China, where they went straight after the end of the seminar.
Besides, as a gift to all his students, Dimitris Doukas taught them the two first of the “64 Ba Gua hands” of Liu De Kuan. As he noted at the end of the seminar, a circle is closing for A.S.K., while he specially mentioned his student, Takis Petrakis, loyal to the annual appointment at Olympus, being -along with Christos Papachristos- the only following the seminar all these ten years.
As every year, the seminar gave the opportunity for a closer contact between the students, helping them to enter a process of collaboration and responsibility, whilst having a good time, as camping on the mountain demands both organisation and good humour. The longer duration of the seminar gave the chance to the instructor to surprise those who stayed for the whole period, giving them, for the last five days, the opportunity to regulate their training for themselves. Thus, they had the chance to enjoy nature more, to feel the strength of the mountain and to consciously work on their weaknesses.
The seminar ended as usual, with the demonstration of a new Taolu by every student and a good festive meal. Unfortunately, the rain didn’t allow the party to take place near the fire, even though the clouds dissolved later and we had the chance to enjoy the full moon.
In any case, characteristic of this years’ camp is that most of the students were there for the first time, which shows that the school is going through a renewal process, while some of the old students are gradually becoming instructors. The first one is Christos Papachristos, instructor of the Eagle Athletic Club of Galatsi, who organises this year his first summer seminar, from the 31st of August to the 6th of September, at the oak wood of Foloi. It will be a good chance for a last visit to nature and for a pleasant preparation for the new year.