I held my 2019 Karate Disciple Retreat in Gilford, NH from Thursday 09/12/19 through Sunday 09/15/19.
As he did last year, my disciple Wind Lynx Master Carl Parker arrived late Wednesday afternoon 09/11/19 around 5:30 pm after flying into the Manchester airport from Albuquerque, NM. Sue and I had a great visit with him, but it was an early night for us all.
Sue fixed us a great breakfast Thursday morning.
After doing all of the food shopping for the group Thursday morning, 09/12/19, we arrived at the retreat site around 2:45 pm, met 3rd Degree Black Belt Rick Downs, and got all the food put away just as some of the others began to arrive.
Master Parker and Sandan Rick Downs with the spectacular views of Lake Winnipesaukee in the background.
Though tremendously satisfying, it was a long, hard 4 days for me as I ran the presentations as low key as I could while continuing my recovery from pneumonia. Interesting, to say the least! But a great success, and lots of time for just open discussions. It was great to be on site, and the weather was spectacular.
A couple of interesting posters at the site....
As the others arrived, we gathered outside on the deck.
Sandan Downs, Master Parker, and Master House.
Grandmaster Rose, with "Janis" balancing next to him on the edge of the table.
Another view of the surrounding mountains and Lake Winnipesaukee.
Nidan Solorzano and Sandan Downs
Grandmaster Rose starting his presentation. Sandan Downs and Nidan Solorzano
Late afternoon, and a glass of wine with 'Janis' at my side. A nice, and very relaxing, way to enjoy the end of what had been a very busy day.
While I continued with my last afternoon presentation, a few got the water, meatballs, and sauce going for our spaghetti and garlic bread dinner. We made short work of that, and I got right back into my next topics. We had a really nice sunset, and paused to take a few pictures.
Just to be safe, I not only took it really easy during my presentations over the course of the day, but headed off for bed around 10:15, leaving the others to discuss the topics of the day among themselves until after midnight.
After climbing out of bed just after 7:30 am Friday morning and grabbing a cup of coffee, I stepped out onto the deck to breath in the crisp mountain air. Master Jones was down in the yard helping Nidan Solorzano with the Rose Crane form. Master House caught these pictures of them.
The team had already got most of the breakfast prep work done, and so it didn't take long to cook up the omelets. While we ate, I did a recap analysis of Thursday's presentation. After a quick clean up, we settled into the living room to start the morning session presentation.
The theme of the retreat was 'Managing The Business of Life'. The presentation began with a review of last year's theme, 'The Imagination Cycle' which I then began to integrate and relate into a similar structure: 'The Business of Life Cycle'.
We didn't really take a break until just after noon time. After a quick lunch of soup and large bread roll, I led the group through the final issues of the main topical areas of the theme.
Those presentations lasted until late afternoon when we broke from our work. While some left to go pick up Chinese food for our dinner, I took time to get together individually with those I hadn't as yet had a chance to meet with.
Everyone around the dinner table for Chinese take out.
It was a beautiful sunset we got to experience during one of our breaks. The clouds looked very menacing, and were predictors of a rainy Saturday to come.
The evening session went longer than I had anticipated, so I was pretty beat by the time I turned in for the night.
I felt pretty good when my feet hit the deck at just before 7:00 am Saturday morning. It didn't take long to grab coffee and a muffin, and get everyone assembled in the living room to start my first presentation. I wanted to get straight into things because there was a lot of material I wanted to cover before breaking for lunch.
I didn't make it, and so we continued our discussions around the table as we ate leftover Chinese food for lunch. By mid afternoon it had started to rain really hard. That didn't stop us for long, other than to just watch the storm clouds race past us, and across the lake in the distance.
Unbelievable, but I was able to roll back to the starting presentation I had made and bring everything full circle by late afternoon. Well, I hope everyone got it!
Not wanting to beat a dead horse, I threw a flag on the field around 3:30 pm, and we went to open deck. We broke out a couple of backgammon boards, poured some wine, and began some of the food prep work in the kitchen.
Sandan Downs and I kick off the backgammon for the evening.
I stuffed Nidan Solorzano into the hot seat while I went to chat with one of the other disciples.
Master Parker studying the board. Why? Throw and move!
Dinner prep work begins!
For dinner I had gathered the ingredients for Sesame Ginger Chicken, and an off-the-cuff recipe so that everyone took turns cooking. I just poked my head in every now and then to offer a suggestion or two. I had made this recipe before, and so knew how to conduct the efforts.
This is all the 'recipe' they had to go on....
Nidan Solorzano getting the chicken marinating.
Sandan Downs finishing cutting up all of the vegitables.
Getting a wine refill while Nidan Solorzano stirs the chicken, getting it ready to stir fried.
Well, the meal came out just great! Just a super joint effort on everyone's part — even with me interchanging cooking suggestions with follow up thoughts and questions from my last presentation.
Both wines had been a great complement each night. Inexpensive, but flavorful. Just right!
Sesame Ginger Chicken
More wine before sitting down for dinner.
Here we're making a toast to Grandmaster Landers, wishing him well, and to get to feeling better.
Yet another toast, this time for the retreat itself.
After dinner, we all cleared the table quickly, and got the dishes into the dishwasher. We gathered back in the living room, and I began with the night's presentation topics. Another late night for me, but I took it easy and was fine.
Surprisingly, I was up again around 7:00 am Sunday morning and feeling pretty good. It was such a beautiful day with the sun coming up over the mountain tops in the distance across the lake.
Sunrise over the lake.
I grabbed coffee, and a muffin and got everyone into the living room as quickly as I could. I wanted to get going on my closing presentation topic as we were on a tight schedule to finish up. We had to have the place cleaned up, ourselves packed, and be out of the house by 11:00 am.
It had been a great retreat for me, to be able to tie last year's discussions into this year's, and to thus close the retreat with the point of the whole process: