Monika Pitzele (1st kyu karate student) shares her thoughts on the Enso Karate Adult Retreat which was recently held August 21-23, 2015 at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, IL. Over 20 adult karate students participated in the weekend-long event.

One of my favorite things about Enso is the sense of community. I very much enjoy training with a diverse group of interesting adults who are brought together by their interest in karate. However, with all the activities of everyday life, we often don’t have extra time to expand our interactions beyond short conversations. The thought behind organizing this retreat was to have a day of intense training covering topics outside the usual curriculum–ones our Senseis wanted to share with us in a relaxed setting, giving everybody time to enjoy each other’s company.

I have to admit, the outcome exceeded my expectations. We had an amazing day of training that went by really quickly. Under Sensei Saul’s instruction we worked on drills, learned takedowns, made weapons and practiced defense from them. Sensei Jay introduced us to wrestling, which turned out to be not only cardio-intense, but very entertaining as well! Even just watching Sensei Jay wrestling Sam made it worth being there. In the women’s session taught by Sensei Denise we practiced kumite. I cannot exactly tell what the men were doing, but judging by the sound effects coming from behind the dividing wall, they had a really good time as well.

I also loved the social aspect of the trip. We got to have meals together, play games (some of which very appropriate for an adult-only retreat) and hang out by the pool. Some of the devoted golfers decided to play bright and early on Sunday morning, with an admirable tee time of 6:30am. It was great to get to learn interesting facts and secret superpowers of my dojo mates and get to know them better. A big thank you to all that came, and most importantly, to our Senseis for devoting their weekend to us. I feel that this trip should be the beginning of an annual tradition to cultivate at Enso, and I’m more than happy to help put it together in the future. Get your calendars ready for August of 2016!

Karate selfie before our day of training began.

Training at one the sessions at the Adult Karate Retreat 2015.

Friday night dinner at Pheasant Run Resort