What can be better than getting away to the Scottish hills for a relaxing weekend of kung fu, socialising and generally having fun? Our retreat weekends tick all of the above... and some, whilst also learning some some ridiculously cool stuff. With the limited time to train in a normal 1 or 2 hour class, spending an uninterrupted weekend entirely immersed in white crane is one of the best ways to progress in a short time.
In July this year we escaped to the Scottish Borders under the shadow of the Pentland Hills. The additional time on hand presented a huge opportunity to get back to basics and work on the fundamentals of our style. This manifested in simple skills such as standing, rooting and understanding weight distribution. Skills that are all too often overlooked. We eventually arrived at walking before we moved on to another seemingly simple task... breathing. Interspersed with jovial rounds of jianzi and excellent tea breaks we finished the day with a barbecue of epic proportions.
Sunday was archery day, a skill that is sadly overlooked by many traditional martial arts clubs. We commenced with a venture into the world of archery qi gong and meditation. Elements that are fundamental to a traditional archer's quiver. The archery itself was immense and offered a first opportunity for many people. With the addictive nature of releasing arrows towards a target it was not long before we began to see some superb shots. As with many things, technique is everything... along with repetition. After a number of excellent archery games we tried our hand at blindfolded archery. Sounds completely crazy... it was actually a fantastic exercise in trust.
The weekend was a time truly well spent, coming together to share and learn amongst the tress and hills of the Borders. Everyone's progress is living proof that all it really takes is a little bit of thinking and a whole lot of repetition. Already we are looking forward to another weekend away next year. A huge thank you to everyone that participated and made it a great weekend and a special thank you to those family members that provided the opportunity for us all to shed responsibility for 2 days.