Junior Camp 2007
Training In An Outdoor Environment

On Saturday May 5, the junior members of Ninjukai Taijutsu had their annual day camp. Taking this opportunity to learn some new things outside of the dojo, they focused on extending their understanding of the practicality of their techniques, as well as the importance of team work.

Starting at 11am, these little warriors met at Victoria Gardens in East Perth at 11am for a warm-up and stretching session, led by instructor N. Genin Kyle Bothe.

N. Genin Kyle Bothe

Very quickly, they split up into clans; the Minamoto clan lead by Yoritomo (played by Jonin Daniel Mendel), and Taira clan lead by Yoshitsone (played by Renshi Steve Smith, 1st Dan). Under their tutelage, these samurai clans would undergo several training exercises in their groups, each ending in the clans competing in a challenge, in which the only route to victory was through teamwork.

Yoshitsone, Leader of Taira (right)
(Jonin Daniel Mendel)
(Renshi Steve Smith, 1st Dan)

Adjudicator
Sensei Paul Reed, 2nd Dan

Yoritomo, leader of Minamoto
With his deputy, N. Genin Scott Fairclough (left)

Stances Workshop
First up, the juniors/samurai went through a workshop on understanding the importance of having good stances, soon applying these skills in a colossal match tug-of-war against each other. Both clans displayed brilliant teamwork, and it was a long and even match. In a rare display of good will, a temporary alliance was formed and the two clans formed together to confront the instructors, whom they deftly defeated.

Tug of War

Tug Of War Against Instructors

Avoiding Tanto Attacks Workshop
The next training session was on avoiding a tanto (knife) attack if you are unarmed, once again culminating in a tournament-style challenge to determine just who understood these concepts the best. Again, instructors joined in, this time just the two clan leaders each pitting their skills against two of the opposing clans best tanto fighters.

Applying These Skills - Tanto vs Unarmed

Throwing Workshop
Here, students honed their throwing technique and adapted to this outdoor environment. Their skills were tested one on one against instructors, and finally as a team against the clan leaders.

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Sound & Silence
The ki-ai is an important part of one's fighting ability for many reasons. A loud sound can startle an enemy, weaken his resolve, or even burst his ear drum. With a sound meter, we were finally able to put a decibel rating on our junior members.

Very quickly the clans moved onto some important stealth training, quickly learning how difficult it can be to stay perfectly silent while moving in a natural bush environment.

WAR!
After a neck-and-neck day of competition, and some training from the instructors on how to move silently to close range with an unsuspecting opponent, it became clear to both clans that the instructors were corrupt and evil, and the only option that remained for the juniors was to band together and challenge the instructors in a massive battle of capture-the-flag.

Having defeated the instructors using the training and teamwork skills they had gained during the day, the juniors walked away from the camp with a deeper understanding of their abilities with their own bodies and techniques, and how better to work with others to achieve their goals. A fun time was had by all, instructors and students alike, and we’ve received much positive feedback from the juniors regarding the day.

The organising committee:
Sensei Paul Reed, 2nd Dan
Renshi Trent Mitchell
Chairperson: Jonin Daniel Mendel

 

The Web Page:
N. Genin David Frank
N. Genin Scott Fairclough

Photographers:
N. Genin David Frank
Demelza Lyons

The Cook:
Renshi Dina King, 1st Dan
N. Chunin Scott