Imagine a residential sports facility of over 125,000 square meters, where you can sleep, eat and train to enjoy incredible comfort. Imagine having any equipment or sports environment available all-inclusive, from the swimming pool to the beach volleyball courts, passing through the sauna, the infirmary (sometimes a little ice can come in handy), and a bar that is always open. Imagine wood-paneled living rooms, equipped with private bathrooms, and a restaurant specialized in sports cooking capable of satisfying every personal need, from preferences to food allergies, where you can have breakfast, lunch, and dinner enjoying hearty and carefully balanced meals while socializing with all the other participants speaking in English, Italian, German, and French. Imagine a training room the size of a soccer field, with a huge window overlooking the mountains that separate Switzerland from Liechtenstein that constantly offers you a breathtaking view. Imagine fifty or sixty karatekas from every Swiss canton and from Italy, Luxembourg, Sweden, Finland, Belgium, and so on. Imagine one of the most renowned and prepared instructors of the Japan Karatedo Federation Wado-Kai who with intelligence, rigor, and lightness guides you for six days in five hours of daily training, between morning and afternoon, rattling off and deepening the entire technical curriculum of Wado-ryu. Well, if you can imagine all this pretty stuff it’s not because you’ve got too much imagination, but because you have probably heard about the Renshin Kan’s International Wado-Kai Karate Summer Camp organized by Roberto Danubio sensei (7th dan JKF Wadokai) and his wife, Eveline Danubio sensei (6th dan JKF Wadokai) in Filzbach, Switzerland.
The 2022 edition of what is probably the most prestigious Wadokai camp in Europe took place from 10 to 15 July and obviously, a WKSI delegation could not miss the appointment. In fact, since the 2013 edition, Maurizio Paradisi and Giuseppe Carloni, both 5th dan JKF Wado-Kai and, respectively, president and chief instructor of our branch, haven’t missed one. The reason why Roberto and Eveline Danubio wanted to thank them, together with other assiduous participants, with two beautiful crystal trophies that reaffirm the very close collaboration between our two Wado-Kai branches. For me, it was only the fourth edition, and not even consecutive, so it was perhaps easier to realize that it’s been the best experience I have ever had when we talk about karate experiences.
I know. I know what you’re thinking. I’ve said it before, just after the other three camps I’ve attended, and you can check it here, here, and here. And I actually said it every time because it was every time true, exactly like this time. Only, this time is a little bit more true. Could it be that we’d been going out (going out?) for over two years of the covid pandemic; maybe it’s because the Kerenzerberg Sportzentrum has recently been renovated with larger, more modern and functional spaces; could it be that the Danubio’s organization has refined over the years or it could be, as it is, that the general technical level, which has always been incredibly high, has further and progressively grown over the years, but this time the quality of training and interactions between the attendees, on and off the training area, was so joyful, fruitful and exciting like never before.
The amazing thing about this Summer Camp is that no matter how many times you have been there, every time it manages to amaze and seduce you again. When the time comes to say goodbye, a lump always rises in your throat and while you’re thanking, shaking hands, and hugging everybody (finally!) you can’t help but promise, first of all to yourself, «See you next year here. Swear».
I know. I know what you’re thinking. These are things that are said to be said. Nope, pal. Not in this case. In this case, they are also things that are done, and every time, year after year, we all meet again there on time, viruses, wars, and various personal troubles permitting. Always in the company of two or three handfuls of new friends and traveling companions. More and more convinced that we all have set out, to paraphrase the writer Carlos Castaneda, on a path that has a heart. The path of Wado.
(by Riccardo Rita)
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