Summer Camp 2010
44th Annual Summer Budo Camp
ACF Dibgate Folkestone – August 22nd – 29th 2010
Yes 44 years the Camp has been going I wonder if there is any such record in the World let alone in Great Britain. When Nobby Clarke first started the Camp could he have foreseen the fact that it would last that amount of time? The Clarke family have kept up the tradition it was 1988 when Nobby suffered a stroke and massive heart attack something he never fully recovered from and in 1990 he died, Martin took over the reigns but in the last few years he has had to rely a lot on his son John to organise the coaching side as a knee and hip injury had left him in a considerable amount of pain, this apprenticeship has left John in a good position to take over in years to come or in his fathers phrase Decades to come.
The first camp was at the Schools Journey Centre St Mary’s Bay Romney Marsh Kent, this was a WW2 Camp which was converted to a holiday camp in the mid 1970’s this was demolished to make way for housing and the Camp moved down the road to the Jefferstone Road, Army Cadet Camp, St Mary’s Bay we were there till 2005. With the camp being decommissioned a new ACF Camp was built in St Martin’s in the Plain, Dibgate, Folkestone, this was a brand new building with excellent dormitory accommodation and cooking facilities and made the ideal venue for a residential course.
In the 1970’s and 1980’s Nobby would be running for 4 weeks, 2 weeks of Juniors, 2 weeks of Seniors with 100 to 150 students on each week and people would travel from all over Europe, Ex Soviet Union, USA, Canada and Japan, to participate in the Camp either as a Student or Instructor. Martial Arts such as Judo, Tae Kwon Do, Karate, Sombo, Japanese Weapons, Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Aikido, Olympic Free Style Wrestling, Kick Boxing and even Aerobics was used as a warm up lessons started at 7.30am and finished at 10pm, this was the camps heyday. Sadly these days have long gone and now we have just one week with about 30 attending, with peoples attitudes changing to this sort of course.
Yester year Martial Arts students would give up a week to improve their skills and learn new one plus they accepted that training would be hard and living on an Army Camp was part of the bonding between Martial Arts Practitioners. Today its sun sea and sangria full accommodation with Sky TV etc, the modern student needs to be pampered and cajoled into participating in courses and competition, they no longer have the toughness or discipline of their predecessors. To survive most Martial Arts have had to moderate how they teach and present their particular discipline in a more user friendly way (that jargon basically means make it easier and softer). Some hard styles still exist but they have become more for the spectator, any grappling sports that favour throws as opposed to ground work is often shunned as the modern day student doesn’t like the impact of a throw.
Some like Martin Clarke and his followers still prefer the throwing styles like Judo, Sombo, MMA SportCombatSombo, Belt Wrestling, Kurash etc and that is reflected in what is now taught at the Summer Camp Which is Grappling and Jiu Jitsu. No the camp no longer has the numbers but it prides itself on maintaining the ethos of the Camp. Yet traditions like teaching Judo and Jiu Jitsu Kata are not forgotten, it is still the wish of most IBF members to get their Black Belt at Summer Camp and to be able to say I spent a week at Camp.
Many of the people on the course come year after year and when they do not attend they are sorely missed such as Ian Lurch Durie who has been a regular for twenty years but has now had to retire with a knee injury. Ian was a bit of a Martial Arts boffin reading countless books and watching DVD’s, rumour has it he attends writing the definitive book on Martial Arts we look forward to it. It is worth mentioning Laurence Sandum who owns the Fitness Academy in Chelmsford he travelled down every day from his Academy to attend the course a round trip of 170 miles now that is dedication and on Fight night he brought 3 pupils for a 1 ½ hour session.
Tom Starling 7th Dan took over IBF Jiu Jitsu England & Wales 3 years ago and has been very busy producing the new IBF Jiu Jitsu grading syllabus, he has travelled the World teaching Jiu Jitsu and has own company teaching Control and restraint. 7th Dan Tom is an ex Coldstream Guards and saw action in the Falkland conflict he then moved on to become a Prison Officer dealing with violent Prisoners a great asset to the IBF.
Alan Brownbridge from SUKATA MMA Club in Blackpool had been in contact with Martin Clarke and the pair had built up a relationship because of their interest in Pankration as he is the British Wrestling Associations rep for Pankration and other grappling styles. Andy was coming to Canterbury to referee a show of Kickboxing, MMA and Thai Boxing so it was suggested that he pop into Dibgate to have a face to face chat, he enjoyed the camp so much he stopped for two days. He had to pay for his supper by teaching a couple of lessons, teaching how to use striking techniques to enter into grappling situations which was very well received.
Other IBF/BCSA Instructors were John Clarke 5th Dan Judo, Master of Sombo, Colin Carrott 4th Dan Judo Master of Sombo, Ian Parker 3rd Dan Judo, 1st Degree CombatSombo, Keith Costa 3rd Judo, Danny Carrott 3rd Dan Judo. We must not forget the Kitchen Staff who gave up their time to feed us all, well done Geoff and Angie Hughes and we must not forget the overall Boss Valerie Clarke.
The one person who enjoyed the course most was IBF President and course organiser 8th Dan Martin Clarke, who over the last 8 years has suffered with damaged Knee and Hip in recent years he has had difficulty in walking, February 2009 he had a knee replacement and March of this year he had a hip replacement. Martin was like a new man back on the mat coaching demonstrating techniques, although he can no longer compete you could see by his demeanour that he enjoyed being back.
This year Juniors aged 12 to 14 were allowed on the course although they found the course hard they thoroughly enjoyed it and were a credit to their clubs and parents. Next year we expect to see lot more of this age group.
As per usual many people turn up on the course with the intention of moving up a grade especially in moving to Black Belt status. The IBF have a very high standard in their grading system, those wishing to pass their Black Belt promotion have a great deal to do and in the past most would arrive at camp expecting to learn all they need to know in and pass the exam needless to say many went away after failing, thankfully now IBF Budoka come prepared completing many of the difficult parts of the exam before camp.
There were 4 candidates for various Dan Grade Promotions these could participate for a Technical Grade or a Competitive Grade:
- Technical 1st Dan Judo Vicky Franks Sittingbourne Young Judo Club
- Technical 2nd Dan Judo Russell Dodds Bedford Woodside Grappling Academy
- Competitive 1st Dan Judo Jamie Marzetti Sittingbourne Young Judo Club
- Competitive 4th Dan Judo Colin Carrott Sittingbourne Young Judo Cub/Folkestone Spitfire Grappling Club
Next years Camp will be from August 21st to August 27th 2010, at the same price as this year 12, 13, 14,15 year old paid before April 30th 2011 £150 after £200, Senior before April 30th £200 after £250. We also may run a Jiu Jitsu weekend Friday August 19th till August 21st and Sombo/CombatSombo/MMA SportCombatSombo Grading Weekend August 27th till August 28th.
Course organiser Martin Clarke 8th Dan firstname.lastname@example.org 118 East Street Sittingbourne Kent ME10 4RX