Hi, Edith here. This weekend a Sanchin-Ryu Weekend Retreat was held at the Holiday Inn in Jackson, MI. My summary of it:

A lot of Sanchinkas (I think I spelled that right) were staying the weekend at the Holiday Inn. Afterall, some came from hours away. In my opinion, Jessie and I were lucky to live nearby. We didn't stay at the Inn.

We got there and signed up. We went into the main room and were immediately impressed by the number of Sanchinkas. From white to Grandmaster, everyone was there. Jessie and I took a seat and watched as a guy entered and groups of people immediately flocked around him. Jessie figured out who it was before me, Grandmaster Dearman.

As it turned out, Jessie had some mild case of Bronchitis and sat that session out. I, of course, was overcome by instant shyness. Grandmaster Dearman had everyone crowd in together and bow in. He talked for a while, and then sent the black belts up into another room. The rest of us split up, and then split again by age (14 and under- to the left) and I managed to find a few people I knew. Master Dearman and Master Dearman (they're brothers and sons of Grandmaster Dearman) took over our groups (we were again split) and we finished out the rest of the session with our very lively instructor. I admit I was impressed with the younger kid's knowledge and enthusiasm. We worked on CBAs 1-6. Then some master ranks (I think) came in and we split up into even smaller groups and worked on CBAs 7-10. I found all of this somewhat entertaining but mostly review. The session ended at noon.

We went to Old Country Buffet for lunch. I was happy as a vegetarian about their wide range of meatless dishes. I actually left with a full stomach! We got back to the Holidome and I convinced Jessie to switch shirts with me, I had a turtleneck on under my gi and it got pretty warm in there. Jessie decided she was feeling better. We played ping-pong for a while and she got hot. She borrowed a T-shirt from our Sensei and joined us on the floor. The next session started at 1:30pm.

This time Q-ranks (orange-brown) were immediately sent into the other room. A long lecture given by Grandmaster D about lower body technique followed. Kids UNDER 14 this time were sent back. Jessie and another girl we knew both claimed they were 14 too so we could all stay together. They did get very squirrely during another hour-long lecture, and some older people got ticked off enough to tell one of them to shut up. I was (honestly) trying to pay attention. Black belts came in and we split off into groups. I was with our little group at first but another black belt needed another student and snatched me up. We worked on Wansu, and I screwed up at first by doing Nahachi instead (because that's what we had been working on earlier). The black belt was cool though. I must say, this was a lot more beneficial than the previous work out. I would say I learned the most in this session. I learned some great techniques for Wansu. The session ended at 3:30pm.

We had an hour break. Jessie went off and played ping-pong. No names but a few of our sanchin friends were having quite a soap opera of a time that Jessie and I were witness to. (You know, is she mad at me, I didn't do it, we're going out, junior high all over again stuff. I can definately say I'm glad I'm in High School). We talked to some people, played miniature golf, and drank lots of water.

Next session, we again were split by ranks and then age. This time we "14 and 14 wannabes" were sent with the younger kids. We were given lectures on strangers (which I thought was too much on a first-grader's level) and later sexual harrasment (only to us who were 9 and older). We worked on Wansu (again, but not nearly as beneficial) and CBAs. There was a white belt there (my age) and she was totally lost. I went through the cbas and Wansu with her seperately (they were going super-sonic fast) and she was extremely grateful. We were let out a half an hour early at 6:00pm. We stopped in and said hi to our sensei on the way out.

Sunday Morning

We got there at about 7:45. It started up at 8am. We were immediately led into a vigorous workout. I loved it, I like really getting into it. Grandmaster Dearman gave us another hour-long lecture, and we were dismissed.

I met a few people, and learned some. I'd have to say I'm glad I went.