I know it has been a while since I have posted. Things have been busy with the warm season in full blossom here in the Green Mountains. After a two week vacation I had a week to crunch a lot of catch-up work in before teaching the 5 day Survival Combat Camp that just ended on Tuesday of this week. So there was not much time to be sitting by the computer.
The Survival Combat Camp was a nice success and we had a good group of participants that gave it their all. I commend them for their efforts and dedication as that camp brings a great deal of raw reality into prime focus. Starting up at 8 or 8:30 in the morning and not ending some days until 7:30 at night, the body and mind are tested. Of course the aim is not to push people beyond their limits in that particular camp, but rather remove people from their comfort zones where the greatest potential to learn and experience new things takes true form.
We began last Friday bright and early and each day focused on particular sets of skills and situations. Training took place in open field, thick forest, chilly rivers, urban settings, in and around vehicles through driving rain and winds, intense sun and heat. Some of the great many focuses were water combat, weapons of all kinds, open hand attack and defense, multiple attackers, escaping restraints, mind sets, emotional sets, external striking, internal strike demonstrations, formulating the triad mind, endurance and exhaustion, how to look, how to see, manipulating the attacker, joint attacks, pressure points, locks, take-downs, breaks, chokes, how to take a hit, breathing techniques and many, many more. During the camp we had some very unique experiences with cats, goats, rabbits, dogs and bugs; nothing you would get to experience in a city indoor setting!
The environments and weather presented their own unique challenges and added interesting dynamics to the situations and techniques that further enhanced the participants learning abilities. One student commented, “What I noticed though, is that those techniques I’ve learned while in the extreme situations e.g. the weapons training in the cold rain, and the water training, really left an indelible mark and is almost imprinted.”
I am sure once the participants get settled back into their lifestyles and let the class sink in; some will share their comments in the Wolf’s Den. I plan to write a bit more detail on this camp in the Wolf’s Den as well.
The plan at this time is to host one of these camps 4 times per year, perhaps one per season of various lengths. The length variables will most likely swing between 3 days up to perhaps 7.
Below are a few of the many images we got from the camp. A full range of photos will also be presented in the Wolf’s Den.
(photos contain images of the students who gave their permission to allow photos to be shared publicly without the use of names)
I am really fortunate and grateful to have attended the 5 day Survival Combat bootcamp with White Wolf. He is definitely a being with presence, despite his unassuming lean frame. Its one thing listening to him speak, but it’s another seeing him in action. He’s like a warrior priest / philosopher. I saw the brutal reality of his combat system from the video on his website, and knew it is the real deal. But again, seeing on video is one thing, experiencing these techniques in person is a whole different ball game.
I must admit that I was unprepared for the camp in terms of gear. I had clothing tear on me etc. I know exactly what I need for the next camp though, so next camp I will be prepared.
The training brought to light the reality of combat in real life scenarios, where everything took place in the outdoors, on uneven terrain. I’m grateful for the cushioning the lawn in white wolf’s back yard provided.
I was definitely taken out of my comfort zone, and for that I am grateful.
White wolf was very perceptive with regards to the needs of the students, e.g. experience level etc. He didn’t push us too hard. We were training at 10% capacity, and to me that was much. This further drove home the point of regular training, if not combat, then martial arts, as my last grueling session was 6 years ago in London, practicing Systema. I haven’t broken a fall or rolled since then, or felt a joint lock or throw for such time, and getting that at the combat survival camp was most welcome
We covered most if not all areas of self-defense and combat survival from mindset, to body language, to street-smarts, to legal implications.
I particularly enjoyed the weapons disarming training. Experiencing the training in the unpredictable mountain weather created memories that will stay with me for life, for example, the pistol and rifle disarming during the pouring rain near the river (apparently there was a bad storm which knocked out the power to around 20,000 people in various parts of Vermont that weekend).
My most terrifying training experience: the water combat. You haven’t experienced combat training unless an underwater guillotine choke hold has been demonstrated on you by White Wolf. Even when he asked me to be the assailant, I was hesitant, because I knew what was in store: being held underwater in the cold New Haven River. Haha
We had our fun moments, including our ‘Taser Therapy’. One student initiated it, then myself and others. Trust me; a taser shock is nothing nice.
The urban combat training was also quite enjoyable and really opened my mind. White Wolf demonstrated to us the power of being relaxed and confident, and how we can react better to unseen or surprise attacks from that state. (the looks on the faces of the supermarket employees coming through the back to dispose of garbage was hilarious….)
Defense against multiple attackers: we just touched the tip of the iceberg with this training, and was an eye opener as in deciding who to attack first, keeping the attackers at bay by using one of their own as a shield.
Combat survival during an exhausted state: training while in an exhausted state was really a peculiar experience. I was totally unprepared for it, as we were learning in the green zone most of the time. This time we were in the red zone, and that was challenging.
One thing I have to mention is the internal energy aspect of the training and the use of breath to control pain and redirect energy. White Wolf had us use our chi to strengthen our arm to the point of being resistant to external pressure. So we learned 1% of chi kung.
White Wolf is a living library, a treasure trove of ancient and modern information and wisdom, both practical and esoteric.
I most definitely will be back for more training as we have only scratched the surface, and the experience has helped me uncover more of my warrior spirit, and inspired me on my path to becoming an enlightened warrior, a protector of those who can’t defend or protect themselves or loved ones.
A – Caribbean