Summer Camp 2015
Times have changed when Nobby Clarke 6th Dan founder of IBF UK started the First Camp at the St Mary’s Bay Schools Journey Centre St Mary’s Bay New Romney Kent in 1966 in those early days it was fundamentally a British Judo council supported event and stretched over 2 weeks, one week of Juniors and one of Seniors. 100 Judoka on each week was not unusual.
In the early 1970’s the Camp was closed to make way for a housing estate. Nobby moved the Camp down the road to the Army Cadet Camp Jefferstone Lane St Mary’s Bay. A smaller venue but was ideal for the Martial Arts as no one else could use the facility. At this time he parted company with the BJC and became the British Rep for the International Budo Federation led by Dutchman Peter Schonewille an the course changed from just a Judo Course to a Martial arts course featuring Judo, Sambo, Jiu Jitsu, Aikido, Karate, Tae Kwon Do etc.
The course featured many top Instructors from GB, Europe, Japan, Canada and USSR and the Camp went to 4 weeks, 2 weeks of Juniors 2 weeks of seniors and for many years there was 100 on each week. The highlight of the Camp was the last Saturday where there was the Senior Grading in all Martial Arts. There has been occasions when 40 people were taking various Martial Arts Dan grading’s. The event attracted people from far and wide just to watch this spectacular.
The grades were handed out after all the mats were picked up and the Venue cleaned and tidied. After the presentation people would vanish to the Pub to celebrate or commiserate but all got thoroughly intoxicated and the party never finished till the early hours. The problem was at 8am the following morning Nobby would up shouting time for lot to go home go on clear of, a lovely wake up call after a heavy night.
Sadly Nobby had a stroke in 1988 he died in 1990 and his son Martin took over for several years the Camp carried on as normal but time were changing with more legislation and regulation coming with how to run Children’s Camp the time had come to finish with the Junior side of the camp as it was not no loner financial viable, this finished in the 1990’s. With foreign holidays becoming more popular the idea of spending a week at a Martial Arts Camp sleeping in dormitories became less attractive so by 2000 the Camp was just one week of seniors and in the early 2000’s the ACF Camp was sold and demolished.
The camp then moved to a brand new ACF Facility in St Martins Plain Folkestone and this lasted till 2011. The ACF told us we were no longer allowed to use the facility as the Army were taking over the venue.
So what to do that was the question to get a reasonable priced facility with accommodation in August was impossible. John Clarke Martin’s son came up with the idea of having a weekend Camp at the Swale Martial Arts Club in Sittingbourne. Martin had his doubts but as John said numbers at the last Camp was just 30 people and only operated over 4 days, he also pointed out that people will not give up more then a couple of days for their hobby.
So the Camp is now a weekend in its 4th years I sure Nobby would be disappointed but also happy that it is still run and by the 3rd generation of Clarkes.
This years course was a great success with most of the pupils sleeping overnight on the Tatami, well I say sleeping training and partying till 5am is not always the best thing to do before a grading. Many took the grading and three obtained various levels of Dan Grade Cyeanne Eaton was awarded of 1st Dan Judo, George Loscombe 2nd Degree CombatSombo and Tim Thomas 4th Dan Judo. It was remarked by the Examiners that they have never seen such a perfect demonstration of Kime No Kata and John said his arm locks were phenomenal
Examiners and Instructors for the course were Trevor Davies 6th Dan, John Clarke 5th Dan, Greg Garside 5th Dan, Colin Carrott 5th Dan.
Full results of the IBF grading.
Orange 3 tabs
Orange 3 tabs/Green Belt Sambo
Francesca Mental Aspey
2nd Dan Combat Sombo
The standard was very high indeed, and all above well deserved their grades.