Escrima and WT Summer Camp in Croatia, 1999


Finally! We're on vacation. On August, 8th 1999 a couple of WT and Escrima enthusiasts gathered for a three weeks training camp with Tohon Tihomir Kolar (national team coach for Croatia since 1997) in Vodice. The little town Vodice is located at the Dalmatian coast of Croatia, which makes it an exhausting 16-hours trip by car. Luckily Tiho gave us a great welcome with an extensive meal. That first night no one stayed up late, we were all too exhausted.

After a good night's sleep we started the next day with a breakfast for all to prepare us perfectly for the first training session which started at 9 am. At 11 am we headed for some spare time and at 6 pm, the second training session started.

The training was held on a big roof terrace with a beautiful view to the sea. Used to training indoors, open-air sessions with perfect weather was another "bonus" for all of us. During the next three weeks everybody was able to apply and further their forms and applications, both in WT and in Escrima.

Tiho was also great in giving us an understanding of the theoretical background of WT and Escrima principles. All of us had great fun, despite the Mediterranean heat. At 9 am the mercury had already passed the 86°F and it kept rising until it usually hit the 104°F mark at noon! Regardless of that heat, nobody wanted to miss a single session - we all agreed on that.

Besides the WT and Escrima training Anita Loßmann, some EWTO guy's spouse and a skilled aerobic instructor, spontaneously offered fitness classes for the willing and able.

Of course, there was lots of swimming in the sea or simply relaxing in between the WT/Escrima/aerobic sessions. Usually after dinner at one of the many restaurants in town, we met for another pleasurable night with various party games. Now and then all participants joined for a feast of local specialities or simply strolled around the manifold stalls at the beach mile to end the evening at a nice bar or at the discotheque.

On the second weekend, we went to see the various national parks, like the Kornati National Park and the waterfalls of Krka. Those waterfalls are located in midst of a huge nature reserve surrounded by mountains. A very scenic and pictorial landscape embraced us there with its vast flora and fauna. Besides colourful frogs and fishes, we even observed snakes enjoying their sunbath.

Both the waterfalls and the nature reserve are named after the river Krka, cascading its way through the landscape. Another eye-catcher was the Kornati National Park with its many isles and the rich fish banquet that was offered to us during our boat trip.

Time really flew during this wonderful summer camp and with a heavy heart we had to say "good-bye" - for this year. One thing was sure: This camp with Tuhon Tiho in Croatia definitely needs to be continued. Possibly with more folks.

Text+Photos: Bernd Gronemann, Falk Welker, Bernd Hoyer
Translation by: The Navigator