Aug 31, 2016
Three members of the Mount Shasta Martial Arts Program traveled to Boise, ID over the weekend of August 11-14 to participate in the 41st Korean Martial Arts Summer Camp hosted by the Idaho Taekwondo Training Center with support from the U.C. Berkeley Martial Arts Program.
Riley Witherell, Eli Jones, and MSMAP head instructor Chuck Buhs joined over 50 other martial artists from Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, and Korea for training in taekwondo, yongmudo, and judo.
Buhs explained that “MSMAP hosted the 31st edition of this camp in 2006. The camps began in 1975 in Montana with my instructor, Dr. Ken Min, and have always been about connecting with people from different areas; training under the tutelage of Olympic and world champions and other knowledgeable instructors; and, honoring the heritage and traditions and the Korean martial arts.”
Riley, 16, looked forward to this new experience. “I signed up for camp not only because I needed to make up for missing out on the UC Berkeley competition last April, but also because I knew that it would be a great experience to train outside of MSMAP.”
“I started doing martial arts last fall,” said Jones, 43. “In the beginning, it was way out of my comfort zone. But, as time went on, I began looking forward to the new challenges. Signing up for the KMASC was one of those challenges to push myself and be in an environment that I was not familiar with to challenge my mind and body.”
Buhs said, “There were plenty of challenges including lots and lots of conditioning drills led by 8th degree black belt, Dr. Russell Ahn, Dr. Min’s successor as professor of martial arts at U.C. Berkeley. Basically, we ran, jumped, rolled, crawled, kicked, and sweated our way around the ITTC training studio for two-and-a-half days.”
Riley said her expectation “was that I was barely going to make it through day one with the conditioning which was pretty spot on. My goals definitely changed at camp. Although I learned that I wasn’t as out of shape as I thought I was, I can still improve upon my conditioning, and I’m working on doing just that outside of the studio.”
Jones said “I found a new meaning of being sore. Martial arts training can be very demanding both physically and mentally. There’s always something new to learn. When I am out on my bicycle and I reach the point that I ‘bonk’, I can put myself in a ‘limp mode’ and still finish my ride. When I get to that same point in martial arts, I have to think harder so that I don’t do something that could hurt myself or someone else. This camp solidified that mental aspect for me. The camp was great!”
“The camp experience helps participants get more out of their training when they return home,” said Buhs. “It comes down to improving our skills, our confidence, and our health as part of an ongoing, lifetime project.”
Towards the end of an exhausting first day, one instructor inspired even more effort. Riley shared that her favorite part of camp “was the second portion of taekwondo training with [5-time Korean National Team Member] Master Minji Kim. She was so enthusiastic and bubbly about what we were doing, it was hard not to want to be on the mat with her, and it really brought up my energy after several hours of training.”
For Buhs, this camp was part of an anniversary year. “10 years ago I participated in my first yongmudo competition and was camp director for the 31st camp in McCloud; 20 years ago, I took my 4th degree black belt exam at the Montana camp; and, 30 years ago, I participated in my first taekwondo competitions and later attended my first summer camp also held in Idaho. Sharing this year’s summer camp experience with a couple of our Mount Shasta students along with a couple of longtime friends that I first met at that 1986 camp makes this year’s camp even more meaningful.”
“My overall impression of camp was pretty awesome,” said Riley. “There were a lot of black belts there as well as kids around my age and rank. It was pretty cool learning the different ways that people were taught, and it was nice to have new people to train with.”
“The greatest part of being there was all the different age groups and meeting all the people from around the country and Korea,” observed Jones. “It was also quite impressive to see how lucky we are to have Master Buhs as our instructor. When you have black belts from all over the country line up, Master Buhs is the fourth highest ranking black belt. He’s the real deal. Many of his colleagues pulled me aside and told me that I was lucky to have him as my instructor. We are very blessed to have him here in Mt. Shasta.”
More information about MSMAP can be found on their website at www.MtShastaMA.org, email ( info@MtShastaMA.org ), phone (530.859.2024), and on Facebook.