Best of the West Camp review

Discussion in 'Modern Arnis' started by Datu Tim Hartman, Oct 25, 2012.

  1. Datu Tim Hartman

    Datu Tim Hartman FMA Talk Founder Supporting Member

    There are already several reviews of this event by the other instructors. I'm not going to bore everyone with saying more of what everyone else did. I want to share my personal experience of my returning to Germany.

    The last time I was in Germany was October of 2000. I just flew over from teaching at the AKKS European Championships in Plymouth, England. I arrived the day before Professor did. Leading up to the Germany leg of my tour, I began to have a feeling of dread and considered not going to Germany at all. After landing, I considered booking an early trip home.

    I thought to myself, all will be good once Professor gets here tomorrow! I was wrong. Gabrielle came to my hotel and told me that Professor wasn't feeling well. The week went on and Professor had to be admitted to the hospital. I was in the room with him when the doctor told him he had a brain tumor and was going to die. I was devastated. Here was the man who became my adopted father, who I knew since I was a teenager, being told his life was coming to an end.

    I felt alone and abandoned in a foreign land. I didn't know what to do and felt helpless. These were my last memories of Germany. I never wanted to go back and relive any of that again. Ten years later, I hosted the Modern Arnis Reunion Camp celebrating ten years of the art's survival after the founder's passing. It was the most important event in the US after Prof's passing. It brought many of the leaders of the Modern Arnis world together to show the community that even though we may have differences we can work together for the benefit for the Modern Arnis community. This is when Dieter invited us to Germany to do the European version of my event.

    From the moment Dieter invited me to Germany I began to have flashbacks of my last trip. As much as I didn't want to go back, I knew I had to for the community's sake. I couldn't expect people to come to my events if I was not willing to go to theirs. Preparing for the trip to Germany was a different experience for me. In 2000, Face Book hadn't been created yet and there were no messages telling me people were looking forward to the event and meeting me for the first time. This time, I had a huge amount of these messages which helped ease my feelings about going.

    We all flew into Dusseldorf where Dieter picked us up. He kept us up all day to make sure we got on the proper sleep cycle. How did he do that? By taking us on an unbelievable tour of his homeland. We saw churches and castles and he took us out to dinner at a restaurant in a tower that rotated and gave us a breathtaking view of Dortmund, Germany at night.

    As the camp began, I was introduced to many new people, but it felt more like meeting members of my family. Any and all of the political nonsense was forgotten and/or forgiven. We were living in the present. It was an overwhelming experience for me. My best trip to Germany! Dieter did a wonderful job.

    How was the training? Everyone did a great job! The other instructors have done reviews on that part of the camp. What I will say is the Dieter ran the best event that I've ever attended. You can always come up with ideas after an event has come to a close to make it better, but it would difficult to come up with anyway to improve on this event. My one complaint was that the event ended so quickly. I had such a good time that the weekend just flew by.

    With the way the global economy is today, it's hard to attend every event out there. For those who didn't make it you really missed out on an epic event! For those who did go, you participated in an event that helped bring the Modern Arnis community one step closer together.

    Respectfully yours,
    Datu Tim Hartman
    World Modern Arnis Alliance

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