Monday 23rd of July 2018
Swedish Summer camp 2004 2004-07-06

Location: Piteå, Sweden
Dates: 2nd to 6th of July, 2004.
Chief Instructor: Soke David C. Cook 9th Dan

This was the third year in a row that the Swedish TSG Summer Camp was held up in the north of Sweden in the city of Piteå. The reason for arranging the camp so far up north is the fact that Piteå TSG has an excellent sports facility. Their facility has one main Dojo and one a little smaller and both have Judo mats. They also have a bag-room, a small training room with Judo mats, a cafeteria and big dressing rooms with new showers. The surroundings are very nice and it’s close to stores and an outdoor pool and beach. During the summer the sun never goes down because Piteå is very close to the Polar Circle.

Soke David C. Cook, 8th DanAs always the summer camp is the highlight of the year and this year was no exception. Piteå TSG has had the honour of arranging several summer camps with Soke David Cook as the Chief Instructor. We were also fortunate to have dear friends and former members of the club testing for higher Dan grades. This year’s summer camp was really something I had been looking forward to! My old friend Lars Utter was finally going for his Sandan. He could have tested years ago but because of his work it hasn’t been possible until now.

Daniel Palmred was also going for his Sandan. He is a former student and also a dear friend of mine. I am very proud of him and his technical development, especially after he left Piteå and moved to Uppsala. I was worried about whether or not he could do the test because he had broken his hand in a training accident about one month before the summer camp.
Tommy Thörneby who also at one time lived in Piteå but now lives in a town named Kinna, just outside Gothenburg was going for Nidan. Tommy is also an old friend and one of the students who were training in the Piteå club many years ago when we change styles from Kyokushin to Ashihara but before we went over to Tsu Shin Gen under Soke David Cook.

Morgan Wikberg who is now a TSG Instructor in Uppsala is also a former student from Piteå TSG and a friend. He has been a Brown Belt for many years due to a break from training but now he was finally doing the test for Shodan.

The only one who was doing a Dan grade test and wasn’t from Piteå or an old friend was Burch Gürler from Uppsala. Burch is a person with a humble attitude and has also become a friend of mine, but don’t let his humility fool you because he is really tuff and hard fighter. He has proven that in several tournaments, among other things in the AFC I where he won the heavyweight division.

So now you see why I was looking forward to The Swedish Summer Camp 2004!
The camp started on Friday 2nd of July and during the first part of the day people arrived and settled in. In the afternoon there were more than 40 sportsmen standing in line at the first training session held by Soke D.C Cook. Others arrived later. Most of the people have been here before but there were also some new faces from the south of Sweden.

During the camp everyone ate breakfast at the Dojo and in between training sessions there was fruit available. Lunch and Dinner was served at a local restaurant. Almost every evening in front of the sport facility, we had a small fire that we sat around and chat. Sometimes we even barbequed sausages and corn on the cob.

The training during the camp was excellent! Soke went thorough through basic technique and showed various ways of training them. The first two Grappling Drills were also at the centre of training during the camp as were the Fighting Drills. Although Sempai Lars and Sempai Daniel were going for Sandan they still assisted Soke Cook.

During this summer camp we had a lot of meetings for the Instructors and that is also very important. It gives all the Instructors the opportunity to make their voices heard and they get to know each other’s opinion. This is important so that we can all work towards the same goal.

On Monday the 5th of July it was time for technical test. We started with the Kyu grading. All the sportsmen who tested for Kyu grades looked well prepared and gave a good performance. I have to mention that without the sportsmen with Kyu grades there would not be a Summer Camp. The Kyu grades are the foundation that makes it possible and we, as Instructors, have been given the privilege of sharing our knowledge with them, as other Instructors have done with us in the past, therefore I would like to thank you all for coming!

Finally all my friends were going to test for their Dan-grades. I had many worries about this part of the test. I know what they are capable of and it was a delight to see them perform. It was interesting to see Sempai Daniel with his broken hand and how he had changed the Fighting and Grappling Drills so that he could perform them. It was also really great to see Sempai Lars perform his technical and beautiful kicks. Both Lars and Daniel each presented an excellent Fighting Drill which they had designed themselves as a part of their test. The first days test finished with the Self-defence Drill for everybody and everybody did well.

 From left to right:
Morgan Wikberg – 1st Dan, Burch Gürler – 1st Dan, Lars Utter – 3rd Dan, Daniel Palmred – 3rd Dan, Tommy Thörneby - 2nd Dan


The last day of the camp was here and it was time for 30, 40 and 50 round of fighting. You could feel the tension and excitement of all in the Dojo, even our Soke seemed a little tense. The fighters put on the gloves and then the mouth protection. They lined up and with a command I started the fighting. During the first rounds they all took it a little careful just so they could get warmed up but as the rounds went by the fighting started to toughen up. They were not allowed to punch Morgan Wikberg in the head because he was suffering from a serious neck injury so everyone really gave his body and legs a lot of punishment. Sempai Daniel had his broken hand tied behind his back so it wouldn’t get in the way or so he wouldn’t forget himself and punch with it. At one of time Morgan went down hard on his back scaring all of us but he was all right and he waved us away.


The final rounds for Shodan were coming to an end and Burch Gürler with his strong fighting spirit wouldn’t stop punching even though he and his opponent were on the floor. Sempai Tommy Thörnaby’s final roundAt the same time Morgan was taking a hard beating against his thighs and he was having a hard time standing up. Everybody was cheering them on and then the 30th round was over. Morgan and Burch had completed their Shodan fighting.
Now even the sparring partners for those who were testing were getting a bit tired!

One of those testing who was really tired now was Sempai Tommy. He was taking a real beating from his own students from Kinna but he was not giving up. In his last rounds he was knocked to the floor a couple of times but struggled to his feet and continued fighting. In his very last round, the 40th, his student John Hero did his best to finish Tommy off, but Tommy suffered through it and he had completed his fights.

Sempai Lars and Sempai Daniel were now in the final 10 rounds of their 50 rounds of fighting. They are both covered in sweat, but they are not the only ones, their opponents were also covered in sweat! Some of them have done many rounds of fighting. John Hero, John Hortlund, Erik Viklund, Mattias Utterström and not least Joakim Draumann have done an excellent job as their opponents. During the last three rounds everybody is standing up and cheering them on. All in the Dojo are going wild cheering them on. Then finally the 50 rounds are over, Sempai Lars and Sempai Daniel are no longer Sempais, they were now Senseis!
You may be wondering why people with serious injuries are allowed to test. It is because as Soke points out, it is not always when we are in our best condition that we are faced with a serious challenge. As a matter of fact it is usually the opposite that is the case. If we do not practise defending ourselves when we are injured, then we will never be able to do it in a real fight. Incidentally Sensei Daniel had the thumb on his good hand dislocated in his third fight by a kick and they gave him some strange looks at the hospital when he turned up with one hand in plaster and he explained how the thumb on his other hand had ended up dislocated!

Sempai Mikael Forsman
TSG Sweden (Piteå)
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David C. Cook, All rights reserved.