People from all over the country gathered together at the Overton Community Center on Saturday, May 17, to get “back to basics”. All of these people were members of the Western Tang Soo Do Federation, the parent organization of the Bledsoe Karate Club headed by eighth degree black belt and Overton resident Monte Bledsoe.
The event, called the Back-To-Basics Boot Camp, was Bledsoe’s idea.
“Our goal was to remind everyone here that we have a mind, a body, and a spirit, and we have to balance all of these parts of our lives,” said Bledsoe.
The athletes accomplished this goal by a combination of seminars and speeches designed to improve each attendee’s foundations in the martial arts.
The day began at 6:00 a.m. at Bledsoe’s karate studio. It was dedicated to a “Mastery Challenge”, a test of will and strength designed to push the participants to the limit. Over the next two hours, participants did push-ups, sit-ups and other exercises, before hiking to the top of the Mesa and completing difficult puzzles.
From there, the group moved over to the Overton Community Center, where they really got “back to basics”. There were seminars on the basic stances, beginning hand and foot techniques and blocking. All of the seminars were separated by short speeches by various instructors about everything from learning how to learn and keeping a balanced life, to personal hygiene.
At the end of the day, the group’s trip came full circle going back to Bledsoe’s house to eat a dinner of homemade pizza.