2015 Southeastern Regional Black Belt Camp and Dan Shim Sa

Mon, 11/30/2015 - 10:46am — webmaster
Atlantic-Pacific Tang Soo Do Federation
Southeastern Regional Black Belt Camp
November 6th, 7th and 8th 2015
By: Deborah Jett, 6th Dan

As I sit down to write this article about another great black belt camp, I am reminded of the presentation by Master Will Potter on Saturday night. He asked us all what we would remember about this camp.  What will make you say “I remember when”?  It was definitely one of those great camps you will always remember.

We were at camp ASCAA in Jacksons Gap again this year. It is such a great facility.  With the lake and the beautiful surroundings, you really feel like this place is the whole world for a couple of days. Camp started with the Instructor Training Symposium early Friday morning.  Grandmaster John St. James brought together over 60 Master instructors, school owners, instructors and trainees from all over the southeast and as far away as the South Pacific. There were great presentations on everything from leadership to marketing to teaching skills. Everyone was very generous with their time and ideas.
Friday afternoon, the other campers started arriving. It was our largest camp ever with almost 200 participants. For several, they had journeyed 17 hours by car from West Texas. For at least one family, it was a long flight all the way from Honolulu, Hawaii!
Friday night there were great classes for non-testing students and there was a large and very spirited black belt test. There were well over 70 people on the floor from Cho Dan Bo to 3rd degree black belt candidates. It was a very humid night and all the candidates showed their great Tang Soo spirit. The test ended a few hours later with Kwan Jang Nim awarding the best of test trophies. The winners of the trophies were both from Karate World of North Georgia.  The adult winner was Aaron Roberts and for the children the winner was Ryan McGovern. 
We got started early on Saturday morning. There were classes throughout the day on self defense, forms, weapons, sparring, stretching and many other skills.  There were great presentations Saturday night by Grandmaster St. James and Master Will Potter.  One spoke on intentional living and the other on the greatest investment one can make in their life.
We finished a very full day with an evening of fun. The adults celebrated with the annual campfire including roasting pizza over the camp fire. The teens had their party in the game room and the kids got together for a movie. It was a great time to visit and catch up with old friends. There was also a school owners and leadership business meeting earlier in the day.
Sunday we had a few more morning sessions and then finished up with Kwan Jang Nim’s traditional class to the drum.  Seeing everyone move in unison with only the sound of the drum is beautiful.  With 196 participants this year not including staff, it was a sight to behold. 
The final event was the graduation ceremony.  A group received their certification for their Dan ranks.  I was very proud and excited to see two of our students Mr Allister Akong and Mrs. Laura Lee Sandberg receive their Sah Dan promotions.  Kwan Jang Nim then promoted Master Carol Smith to her 7th Dan, making her the first 7th Dan Senior International Master Instructor in our Federation.  Then several of the International Master Instructors promoted last year, received our full certification certificates. It was a very inspiring ceremony.
After all the excitement, it was time to pack up and say goodby.  Another great camp.
So, what will I remember?  Will it be the great training and sweating together?  Will it be waking up early and looking out over the beautiful lake?  Will it by hoping all weekend that the rain will hold off so we can get in the staff class on the baseball field, or the zip line?  Will it be cooking leftover pizza on the campfire because no one had marshmallows (pizza on a stick)?  Will it be seeing friends that we have seen year after year?

I think it will be all of it.  I remember when....