Monday 23rd of July 2018
TSG Winter Camp Russia 2010 2010-01-26

Winter Camp, Russia 2010 

Country: Russia
City: Pushkinsky area, Moscow Region
Date: 21st – 26th of January 2010
Chief Instructor: Kancho David Cook 9th Dan
Assistant Instructors: Shihan Ivan Titenkov 6th Dan and Shihan Mikael Forsman 5th Dan

 My name is Max and I will tell about TSG winter camp that was organized by Shihan Ivan nearby Moscow in January 2010. This camp was dedicated to development of grappling skills. Despite the fact that grappling is an element of the TSG Mixed Martial Art system, many had come from Kyokushin, Ashihara and Senshin Karate to learn more about it.

Well, let me tell you how it all had started. Although I really doubt that I can find enough words to express all that happened to me within those four days. This was my first camp ever and I took it very seriously as soon as I saw the schedule of the trainings. At first, I thought that it wasn’t actually a schedule but some kind of survival test. I have heard many stories before like those where people say that the exams are very hard to pass and that it is naturally a true trial of your courage.
I had been training for more than one year in Shihan Ivan’s Dojo, I was sure that I was training only for myself and I never attended any grading. At that time I thought that I was not interested in passing an exam or getting myself a red belt. I trained all this time only because I thought it was worth it.
And so, it had begun right away after our arrival at Friday morning. At training sessions we had been doing very interesting warm ups that were exercises connected with grappling. We started with basic movements and after those grappling drills became much more complicated. The greatest value was presented by small details. During the training sessions we were told how to control the opponent, the variations which we can apply in combat, how to control outcome and use the energy of our opponent. But truly, the things I’ve learned were so numerous that I can’t even think of all of them.
It was interesting also that Back Belts outnumbered other belts, remarkable it was indeed. And as Friday went by, there came Saturday. And each day brought training in the morning, training before and after lunch. Everyone started accumulating strength and technique, our bodies became tensed, and our minds became more solid. Sunday though was quite different as it brought the reason to be better and do better. This day was the final exam, and for those who were testing for a new grade the time had come to show all they got.

I’d like to give my congratulations to those who passed their exam and successfully stepped up to a new level. I believe that special attention should be given to Karina Ivanova who deservedly got first Dan black belt, sincere congratulations to her! And all the others who received Dan grades:

Igor Kondrakov 2nd Dan – TSG-Karate
Anton Belov 1st Dan – TSG-Karate
Andre Gubarev 1st Dan – TSG Ashihara Karate
Katarina Ivanova 1st Dan – TSG-MixFight

Dmitry Kazantsev 1st Dan – TSG Ashihara Karate


There is still something to add. Yes, the most invaluable thing you can find in such occasions is obviously live communication with all the members of our clubs from different regions, cities and places. I think that this is what we’re all missing. Every time you come to Dojo to train, to get more skills and become to work on different combinations. Time flies in Dojo very fast and then every single time you find the ninety minutes training session has come to an end. Then everybody takes shower and goes home because it’s time. In such rhythm there is no chance to know each other better, to exchange experience or simply make a conversation. During the period nearly fifteen months I knew so little about those people I’ve been training with. Within four days during the winter camp I found out more about people than I knew before, as we had been living together and was able to spend day by day communicating.

Now as I have it all behind me I can honestly tell you that all the things that I have seen and all the experience I have acquired during the camp, all this has turned the nature of the things upside down for me. I have learned so much. As the time passed by I’ve realized that I have become much, much better at grappling than I was before because of the knowledge we had been receiving three times a day for three days. In fact, the secrets had been revealed; the things don’t really pay much attention in Dojo. If I had not come to the camp I could have found myself standing on the same spot in my development as MMA fighter. The things that would have taken months to learn in the Dojo were given to me in only a moment. Now I have an absolutely different vision of my further trainings in the Dojo.

 It would be fair to say that learning from Kancho and Shihan Mikael opened up new horizons in the way of life that every fighter follows. This memory shall forever remain as a beam of bright light in our minds and none of us will ever forget those days of cordiality and great spirit that we shared during the camp sessions in Russia, January 2010.

I express gratitude to Kancho David Cook, Shihan Mikael and Shihan Ivan on behalf of everybody, thank You very much! This was a great honor for me to meet Kancho and Shihan Mikael and also do a little translation for them.

Best regards, Shevchenko Maxim from Russia



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David C. Cook, All rights reserved.