2011 Retreat Pictures

“The Aug 7-14 Temagami Retreat was a great martial arts experience. Being a city person, I never expected to enjoy “roughing it” on Lake Temagami as much as I did. The remoteness really allows a person to enjoy training without the usual distractions that we deal with in our daily lives. It allowed the focus to be on training in an atmosphere that metamorphosed martial arts spirit, technique, and personal growth. The instructor (Mike Doucet) and everyone that participated added to the great training environment with their martial arts skill, enthusiasm, camaraderie, and unified spirit. The emphasis was placed on each participant getting the most out of each training session. When we arrived, Mr. Doucet explained that he would each participant as much information as they could absorb during the retreat……I will attest that that was an understatement to how much information he taught personally to each participant in one week’s time.

The training consisted of two sessions per day, one morning and one afternoon session. Each session lasted 2-3 hrs on average, depending on the topic and the endurance of the participants to train it that particular day. Retreat participants were free to train on their own or to enjoy themselves fishing, swimming, canoeing, or just relaxing the rest of the day and evening time. Training topics were Short-fist, Tai-Chi, Dragon Pole Form, Bak Mei hand controls, and intro to the Iron Dummy. Other training was conducted outside of this curriculum, but you had to be there to get it………….My condolences to anyone that missed out.
Training was geared to the group, but the stengths and weaknesses of each individual was evaluated by the instructor, and each participant was given specific training tips designed for them to improve based on their current skill level, stature, mindset, physical limitations, and a myriad of other factors in each activity.
The sincerity and obvious care that Mr. Doucet displayed in setting up the curriculum and giving personal instruction to each participant was amazing. He took the time to answer questions, demonstrate technique, and give each student valuable “gems” of personal advice to help them on their martial arts journey. It is not often you will meet an instructor of his caliber, let alone, someone who is willing to share his knowledge with you in a way that is open and understandable. Of course, he was careful to share his knowledge according to your skill level, training experience, character, and his observations of your training habits and martial arts abilities. But, I will say that I had a hard time packing my suitcase when it was time to leave because of all the “gems” I had obtained over the course of the previous week’s training.

I would recommend this retreat to any martial artist serious about their training. In my opinion, it is best suited for intermediate to very skilled martial artists who desire to train with others who possess the same attributes. A good attitude and a genuine desire to improve and help others to improve are two of the most important traits for any martial artist contemplating participation in this camp. Be careful though, once you try it you are likely to be hooked and penciling it into your summer calendar for years to come. I can see that an invitation to this retreat will become harder and harder to come by in years to come. I feel priviledged to have been invited this year, and will definitely attend future retreats if Mr. Doucet feels that I am a worthy participant.”

Sensei Scott Armijo, Washington Academy of Shotokan Martial Arts