Monday 23rd of July 2018
Russian Summer Camp August 2005 2005-08-29

Location: Pushkino, Russia
Date: 25th - 29th August, 2005

Chief Instructors:
Soke David Cook 9th Dan
Shihan Ivan Titenkov 5th Dan
Sensei Micke Forsman 4th Dan


This years Summer Camp in Russia was held on the 25th to the 29th of August in the Moscow region near the city of Pushkino.

There were over 60 Budo-ka participating at this year’s camp and the majority of them were Black Belts. There were Budo-ka from Sweden, Romania and a lot from regions in Russia such as Samara, Ekaterinburg, Saint Petersburg, Yelets, Lipetsk, Kamensk-Uralsky. Zernograd (the Rostov area), Spas-Klepiki (the Ryazan area), Novokuybishevsk, Moscow and the Moscow region.


Arriving Russia
On the 24th of August Soke and I left a sunny Sweden to arrive a couple of hours later in Russia at the International airport near Moscow. There we were welcomed by Shihan Ivan and friends, and as always it was really nice to meet them again

The traffic between the airport and Moscow is extremely heavy and chaotic but we arrived safely at the city for dinner at the restaurant Shanti. This restaurant was really to Soke’s liking! It was decorated in Tibetan style which gave it a beautiful and soft image. In one of the rooms in the restaurant there was an exhibit with lots of artwork from Tibet and that gave the restaurant a historical feeling.


During the meal that was very good, a lot of Budo people came to show their respect for Soke. Personally it felt like I was traveling with a superstar and in some way it’s even more, because there in Russia Soke is a living legend.

After the dinner we were invited to the home of Sergey, a friend of Soke. His home is about twenty minutes from Moscow. We stayed there until the next day when the camp would start. Sergey’s home is very big and beautiful. The hospitality of his family was warm and friendly and it became quite late before we went to sleep.

What better way of starting a day than getting up early in the morning and before breakfast going out in the fresh morning air and start target practice with a Kalashnikov. Well that was precisely what we did and it was a lot of fun! Sergej is a former military officer and he let us try a couple of his weapons! The visit to his home was quite memorable.

The Summer Camp
The camp was held at the facility Salute near the city Pushkino. If one compares to last years camp, this facility hade a much higher standard. The indoor sport facility was very good mainly because there was a soft floor, which made it possible to do grappling. As always one of the most pleasant things about the International Camps is to meet old and new friends and this camp was no exception. A few people at the camp asked why those who were there from Sweden last year didn’t come this year. There are several reasons for that but the main reason is that the summer holiday for the most people in Sweden is during the month of July and they have it difficult to take time off from work after that. Hopefully next year there will be more from all countries!


The Training
The training this year was very good! As normal there was morning exercise followed by several training sessions in the soft hall during the day and late afternoon. At this year’s camp the emphasis of the training was structuring a lesson according to the methodology taught earlier this year at the Tsu Shin Gen Instructors Course in Uppsala, Sweden. Therefore the training sessions were built upon a few combinations with the emphasis on specific details. If one tries to teach a lot of different combinations and go into too much detail the students will not remember a fraction of the lesson!

Summer Camp Gradings
At the end of the camp there were of course the gradings! First up was the Kyu grading with children and adults from Russia. Shihan Ivan was the organizer of this grading and Soke kept a watchful eye on those who were testing. Needless to say, everybody did a great grading. The standard in Russia is very good and the lower grades always show good attitude and Budo spirit, it looks really good for the future.

The technical grading for the Dan grades was very interesting.

What one can see is that the people testing have already adopted the techniques and changes from last year’s Summer Camp, and that’s really excellent! Hopefully the development will keep on escalating in the future and we will see great progress.

As usually the last thing that has to do with the grading at the summer camps is the fighting for those who are testing.

This year’s summer camp fighting was one of the best according to Soke and I have to agree. It was a tuff grading and everybody showed great fighting spirit and no will to give up. It is very unusual for fighters from other Organizations to be invited to take part in the Dan Grade Kumite but that was exactly what happened and they did a very good job. The cooperation over style boundaries is in main part due to the open and friendly character of Shihan Titenkov.


New Dan grades: Shodan
Michael Astahov, Moscow
Kirill Stonalov, Moscow
Alexander Rybalchenko, Moscow Region

Igor Sevostjanov, Ryazan Region
Sergey Kokovin, Kamensk-Uralsky
Manole Popa, Romania

Emazary Takniashvili, Samara
Makhir Khidirov, Samara
After the great success of the grading it was time for some of the people to travel home but for those who stayed it was time to take a rest before the Sayonara party in the evening.

The Sayonara party is a great way of getting to know each other in a less formal atmosphere. It is also a little bit sad, because one knows that it is all over for this year. The party was a very pleasant gathering with lots of good food. It was a good opportunity for exchanging e-mail addresses and goodbyes. The party finished off with some Russian folk songs.

The next morning we said our goodbyes to those who were still at the camp and then drove to Moscow City. For Soke the official stay in Russia wasn’t over. Our schedule included a visit to the Dojo, Budo Museum and Budo Store of Sergei Kosorotov 8th Dan Judo. The Shihan that introduced Kyokushin Karate to Russia many years ago Yuri Fedorishin 6th Dan also came to pay his respects to Soke. Then we had another meeting at the Shanti restaurant. This was a very nice way to finish off our trip.

The next day we were on our way home to Sweden.

To all new and old friends, best of luck and thank you very much for your hospitality! Hope to see you all very soon!
Sensei Mikael Forsman
Tsu Shin Gen Sweden
Copyright © 2008
David C. Cook, All rights reserved.