P Camp Israel Day 5: A report by Krav Lloyd
No time for resting on our laurels we headed straight down to the pool area for a few hours with Eyal, going over group corrections. Admittedly it was hard to put any effort into it as the day before had left us all shattered. I for one skipped breakfast entirely for an extra hour’s sleep. The corrections were largely the basics, inside and 360 defence hand positioning, footwork, with some groundwork alterations too. Away to the side each testing pair was being given their feedback, probably the most nerve-wracking part of the five days training so far!
When Moran called my partner, Steve Sayers and I over, it felt like walking to the gallows! No beating around the bush we were told we’d passed. I couldn’t remember another thing that was said for about five minutes as I was doing cartwheels in my head. I’d actually passed! All the months of preparation had paid off, training five times a week; the sacrifice had all been worth it. The goal of actually testing in Israel was finally realised. I felt ecstatic, I was literally tingling all over, the sense of achievement was written across both our faces.
The feedback we received was excellent, each of us receiving a thorough breakdown of what we did well, the things we needed to improve on, and our overall percentage score. Each of us were handed 3-4 pages worth of exactly what we’d covered, with tips on how to improve. We really couldn’t ask for more. I walked away from there at least a few feet taller. All that was left was to go through the mundane tasks of packing kit, checking out, waiting a few hours for the closing ceremony, then the long trip home.
Seated in a small conference room, Eyal stood before us, his Instructors off to one side (all of them looking a lot more human and less intimidating). He congratulated us all on a great week, stating that it was a pleasure to teach us all, then came the moment we’d been waiting for; the presentations. Each person who had participated but had either not chosen to test or had failed this time was called up to receive their certificate, with handshakes all round. Remaining were those of us who’d taken the test and had done enough to elevate to the next level. My name was called. I was out of that chair quicker than I’d moved all week just incase they’d decided to change their minds!
To receive your diploma & patch in the birth place of Krav maga, specifically from a great man like Eyal is truly an honour. I wanted to stand there forever, maybe do a Hollywood style acceptance speech, thanking everyone from my Mum to the Budgie, but alas my seconds in the limelight were over. Back sitting in my seat, I looked at the small patch in my hand. It struck me that we all put so much into attaining something that no one will ever see or know about outside of our peer group. We in Elite Essex tend not to wear our patches so it’s only your Krav Brothers & Sisters who know exactly what you’ve been through to get it. I kind of like that, as how could we possibly convey to anyone outside of Krav Maga what it is we do, and just how hard it is to do it. A quick round of photos with the instructor team over, we headed off to the train, P Camp was over.
Back to Ben Guiron airport we had the pleasure of Israeli airport security, so tight you could push a lump of coal through there and it’d return a diamond. The group of us once identified as Krav students were separated from the other passengers and taken to one side alongside our kit. The security manager asked who was the group leader with me somehow being singled out. (I blame it on old age/maturity/good looks) I was ushered off to an almost criminal grilling. “Why are you here in Israel?” “Why do you do Krav Maga?” “Where have you been staying?” “For how long?” “How many in your group?” The questions were endless and repetitive. Once happy with my answers (I was even beginning to doubt myself!) I was taken back to the group where each of us were questioned yet again by another security officer.
The two officers conferred whilst we stood trying to look as angelic as possible. We were kept for some considerable time then allowed on our merry way. It’s no exaggeration to say that we had our Passports checked at least half a dozen times before we’d reached departures, but for all the right reasons. Our flight was delayed by a few hours but the airport had great facilities so we spent our remaining Shekels on food, drink, and duty free. Flight announced, we boarded, settled in, the plane taking off soon after. What a trip!
In Summary, P camp 2016 was everything I’d hoped it to be and more. The organizers, Dudi, Noa and David were excellent, made us feel very welcome, and treated us fantastically, with limitless patience. The Hotel again was excellent, all the facilities you could need for a week’s training, the beach being a five minute walk with plenty of places to eat. As for the week’s training itself, there aren’t words to describe the experience; I’d be doing it a disservice to even try. I will say that ‘immersion training’ is the way forward. Living Krav Maga for a solid six days takes you to another level; everything seems to just ‘click’.
The Instructors truly are world class; their level of insight, understanding, commitment, and all round skill level have to be experienced to be believed. They certainly inspired the group of us from Elite Essex, and I want to say thanks to them all.
Eyal. What can you say about a living legend that hasn’t already been said? If ego was handed out, Eyal was last in that particular queue. My highlight was during training when a fellow Elite member was having trouble with headlocks on the ground. Eyal grabbed me, got me to put him in the headlock, then proceeded to perform the technique a few times (yes it hurt a bit). That’s the mark of the man. He could’ve got any number of his instructors to demonstrate but he just got on with it, his passion for Krav Maga is infectious.
I want to say thanks to the whole Elite team that went to Israel to train. It was an unforgettable shared experience. I’ve said it numerous times, but the whole team literally gave it their all, blood, sweat, even a few tears, but most of all a lot of laughs and support for each other. Lastly, a big thanks to my instructors, Paul Dwyer, Rick Baker, and Jon Bullock. These guys instill such a high standard and discipline in teaching us that it’s humbling.
So, It’s done.
P Camp went by in a flash. A truly fantastic, tiring, hard, insane, funny, sad, tough, thrilling experience, o
ne that I’d repeat in a heartbeat. If after reading this you’re thinking “I’d like to have a go at that” then honestly start saving now and sign up. You
honestly won’t regret it…..