The YMAA International Camp was held in Bordeaux with well over 100 students from around the world. The camps are open to anyone and it was nice to see a few non-YMAA students take part. The best part, as usual, was the people.
I enjoyed the week but I was kind of distant at times. I don’t know if it’s just my personality or if training at the RC has anything to do with it. It was mid-August and I was itching to get back to my normal schedule and normal meals. I took some time out to train on my own. There was a party pretty much every night, but I often stayed in to find the peace and quiet I missed. I assisted Nicky and Jon in the Shaolin classes so more students could work at their level and receive individual attention. This I enjoyed, but it made me feel a little detached from the other students.
As a someone who is both a student and teacher, the most beneficial part of camp was helping students work on their stripe (period/testing) requirements. The foundation needs to be there to reach the intermediate levels. It’s not enough to make a general correction for the group to hear, we often need individual attention so we can identify what we need to improve on. More on this later.
I haven’t been blogging as much as I’d like. I want to put time and effort into each post, but I end up starting a bunch and shelving them. In an effort to post more often, I decided to make lists like the “Remember when…” lists I made when I went to camp as a kid.
- Best macaron stores visited: Laduree (since 1862) & Dalloyau (since 1682)
- Best macaron flavors: rose petal, pistachio, coconut, almond
- The French students had trouble understanding the French Canadian student’s accent. He could mimic their accents but they couldn’t mimic his.
- Sticker shock: It costs 10€ to take the Metro from Charles de Gaulle airport to the center of Paris (Zone 1)
- I thought wearing comfortable (non-fashionable) clothing and sneakers would make me stick out while on the streets of Paris, but I blended right in with the other tourists.
- 4€ red wine from Bordeaux tastes pretty good.
- Finally eating some good French food on field trip day!
- Having to eat at CREPS again for the rest of the week -_-
- (Paraphrased conversation after Dr. Yang watched an Irish student practicing Qi Mei Gun) Dr. Yang: Who taught you? Student: I learned a little from everyone. Dr. Yang: Who taught you? Student: I just finished it yesterday… (trying not to get anyone in trouble). Dr. Yang: It’s pretty accurate, that’s why I wanted to know who taught you. (Everyone within earshot looks relieved :p)
- Blast from the past: Macarena multiple times over the week
- YMAA International students party all week long. The Portuguese will ignore your protests and drag you to the dance floor :)
- Pushing Hands training (specifically Listening and Following Jing) improves your dancing.
- Victor Marques became a disciple after 20+ years of dedicated training and teaching. Congratulations!
- If you need anything, call Victor, but don’t make his head this big!