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June 27, 2009 at 6:26 pm #151700AngelusModerator
Wow am I sore from my my 3 hour martial arts training on Friday (26 June 2009). With this second lesson, we reviewed blocking and did humanizing exercises to build up endurance and strength. My biggest learning was to stay alert. The “wake up” call was when a strike made contact with my face. Once our arms could take no more blocks against an opponent, we learned about proper falls and rolls. There isn’t that much difference from starting on the ground to rolling from a standing position. It is amazing how a few feet height difference changes your mindset and increases your doubts and fears. As a taste of what we will see in the future, the class was shown how to get out of a choke hold. I really enjoyed learning this technique and it is one that I will need to keep practicing so that it is much more fluid. With the last hour we did more practice with sabers. This time we were able to incorporate things like falls and rolls. We are starting to see the sabers not as weapons in themselves, but an extension of the one weapon we should always have – our own body.July 30, 2009 at 3:48 pm #152041AngelusModerator
I’ve been posting more frequently on my wordpress account, but I wanted to make sure this one made it to the IJRS.23-26 July 2009 (Jedi Gathering in Michigan)
To quote one of the attendees, it was “The Best Gathering Ever.”
We had 19 people come to stay at the Tower Hill Camp and Retreat Center in Michigan. With its large grounds and easy access to the lake (or the ocean as one Jedi remarked about its size), it provided a scenic backdrop to our training. The fact that we slept in the same building and ate together at the dining hall gave me an idea of how a Jedi Temple might look. Our non-planned discussions and activities helped build a sense of family. It was a very cohesive group.
Thursday night was when everyone arrived and settled into their rooms. I enjoyed seeing old faces as much as meeting the new ones. There was something comforting about knowing you are not the only one walking the Jedi Path. We had a great dinner prepared by some of our own after which we started talking about what led us to walk this path. Some like myself have been doing this since birth. While others came late to the realization that they had been a Jedi.
Friday was a packed day. Moonshadow began the day teaching about Qigong Healing Techiques designed to increase our own internal energy and get it flowing. After that, I led a workshop on different breathing exercises. Some are made to bring awareness, others to increase our energy, a third to release negativity held within, and the last was to connect us with universe. I heard from one participant at the end of the weekend remark that this work was more intense than the swordplay we did. We finished off the morning with a game of Energy Tag where we tried to “spot” people with our eyes closed and feel only for their energy. I wasn’t that surprised when a youngling snuck up on me as I have had little experience with energy signatures of young ones.
After lunch we continued with a workshop led by Andy who showed us about Orienteering. While I had this class with him previously, it never hurts to get a refresher. We then moved to the beach to do a Search and Rescue exercise. However, the call of the water was to strong that people just wanted to relax and have fun. That was not surprising since we lost 4 Jedi to its power the previous night as they jumped in with their clothes still on.
At night we had a lecture on the nature of truth: the difference between subjectivity and objectivity. Knowing the difference will prove beneficial when speaking with others. It can even help diffuse situations before they get out of hand. Afterwards people had the opportunity to give/receive energy treatments – such as Reiki and smudging.
(While not planned, it is worthy to note that we “crashed” a party. There was a junior high group also using the campgrounds during the same time who heard that Jedi would be on the premises. They were anxious to see us. At their closing dance they played the Star Wars theme. I happened to be within earshot when I alerted my fellow Jedi. It was as if we were being summoned. So we dressed up in our robe and ignited our lightsabers. When we appeared we were swarmed by the kids. They all wanted to take pictures with the Jedi. As we talked about our group, I think we may have future recruits into our ranks. They invited us back for next year.)
We were on such a high that we stayed up real late. So much so that we had to push some of the morning activities to a later slot to give us ample time for rest. After lunch the activities resumed with some swordwork. Andy instructed us in some of the European uses of the long sword. We practiced with each other employing some of the techniques. Later it went into some free sparring. The afternoon continued with a Jedi version of dodgeball. All the running and throwing certainly was an endurance test. I definitely learned that I need to do more cardiovascular work.
After dinner we had a discussion on the future of the Jedi movement, specifically in reference to the Jedi Resource Center and Chapters. It does seem like things are growing and with that more structure would be needed. At the same time, there would be a need for some flexibility as we see what works and what doesn’t. I am definitely excited by what I see happening.
Sunday was a day to say our good-byes. However, it’s not so much a “good bye” as a “see you soon”. Given that we had built such a strong sense of community over this weekend, I am sure that we will see each other. In fact, I am already talking to a few nearby chapters about having a midwest gathering in the fall.
One thing is for sure …our training continues.July 31, 2009 at 11:23 am #152045Mindas ArranParticipantQuote:Later that day, we underwent a spiritual death. We physically dug a hole, laid in it, had a blanket covering us from head to toe, and had our euology read.
We are so doing that at the next Gathering.July 31, 2009 at 12:40 pm #152046AngelusModerator
Funny you say that Mindas. That fire breathing exercise is a tiny version of that spiritual death. As you release that negativity you’ve held onto, that old part of you dies. You are reborn something stronger.July 31, 2009 at 3:33 pm #152047Mindas ArranParticipant
See, I didn’t feel dead at all… if anything, I felt quite the opposite!
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