Summer Camp – what is it exactly?

15 Feb 2024

Summer Camp is possibly the best extra-curricular event within our martial arts community. 

The instructors praise it every year, but there will be many who don’t understand what it is.  So, in this blog, I’ll explain everything!

Every summer, Cardiff Martial Arts gets together with a bunch of other clubs to run a camping and training event in Weymouth, Dorset. The other clubs are known to us and the chief instructors of those groups have known each other since the late 1990s. In fact, we met at a Summer Camp when we were colour belts. 

Our friendships began in a tent in a field, running to the beach each morning, doing pad work and patterns in the afternoons and laughing in the evening around a camp fire or in a local pub. 30 years later, we are still here and have a lifetime of memories keeping us as close as we ever were. 


This is the great thing about Summer Camp – you will meet many people just like you and your family, doing Kickboxing and Taekwon-do for the same reasons. You’ll get to partner with them in your training sessions and who knows, you might even see them a few months later at a competition or seminar. 


Here’s the rough guide to Summer Camp.


You’ll arrive on the Thursday (this year, the 25th July 2024), and you’ll set up your tent. You’ll need to be able to do this yourself, though of course, others will assist where they can. 

The camp coordinators will need to space tents out for fire-safety, so you’ll need to adhere to their directions and set up your tent where you are allocated. Once set up and unpacked, your vehicle will be moved the the college car park, just a few metres away.

We highly recommend to arrive early on that day (12pm at the earliest).  That way, you can make the most of the first afternoon and maybe explore the local area too.

We’ll have a welcome meeting, usually at 5pm.  This is to check you in, explain some rules of the site, and outline the itinerary somewhat. We’ll then have a short training session.  At around 7pm, the college cafe will serve dinner for those who have pre-ordered.


Weymouth College is, amongst other things, a catering college. The staff are excellent and we’ve gotten to know them over the years. They look forward to us coming and always serve excellent food. You’ll have the option to pre-book breakfasts and dinners a few weeks before Camp.

Typically, the options include Full English cooked breakfasts, or bacon/sausage/egg rolls in the mornings. Evening meals usually include Lasagne, Chilli, chicken/veg pies. That kind of thing. They cater for vegetarians and vegans and will always try to accommodate other dietary needs.

They do not serve a lunch option. 

You are also welcome to cater for yourselves or try out the many pubs, cafes, restaurants in Weymouth. 


On the Saturday night, we have a themed evening, and food for everyone is included in your fee for that night. 


At the first session on the Thursday evening, after the welcome meeting, you will be sorted into teams.

The Team Leaders are the senior grades of the camp, and in some cases are themselves club instructors.  They have many years experience of Summer Camp and will help you to feel part of the community. Each time we meet for a training session, you will line up in your teams and the Team Leaders will check you in. 

Compulsory Morning Training 7:30am

For this session, you should wear casual gym-type clothes and suitable running shoes **not crocs/sliders/martial arts shoes**. Running is part of camp, so you will need to bring appropriate footwear.  Also, bring a towel and expect to get wet on the beach.

We gather at 730am in order to run to the beach. It’s a beautiful route and very flat. It would take the average person around 20 minutes to make the journey.


Please note: it’s not good etiquette to walk to the beach simply because you’re not used to running. It takes just a little effort to jog the distance and you’ll feel great at the end! 

Once we arrive at the Weymouth Clocktower, we’ll make our way to the beach, and line up in our teams. 

Beach sessions usually involve some fitness games, sometimes on the land sometimes in the sea. We may also divide the group into Taekwon-do/Kickboxing disciplines and run some technical mini workshops.

CREDIT: @s.e.27_photography (Instagram)

After this session, you are free until 4pm – unless you have booked breakfast at the college, in which case you’ll need to head back.  Breakfast is served at 10am. 





Optional Sessions

During the day, there will be some optional sessions. If you’re on site at the college you can take part.  Dress code is casual for these and we’ll give you a list of these options at the welcome meeting. 

Each year is different, but highlights in the past have included: sparring, patterns, pad work, breaking, weapons, yoga, umpiring and even football (lead by our very own in-house football coach!)

Compulsory Afternoon Session, 4pm

This is our uniformed class, so you must wear your Taekwon-do or Kickboxing uniform, and as it’s usually warm, club T-shirts are allowed too.

The session is usually about 90 minutes.

Dinner is served at the college cafe at 7pm, for those who have opted into it. 

Challenge Run

On the last morning, Sunday, there is an opportunity to race to the beach for individual glory and the honour of your club!

The main group will head towards the beach first, and set themselves up by the clocktower so that when the racers arrive they do so to the cheers and congratulations of your camp-mates. 


The final session is compulsory and takes place on the Sunday at around 12pm. There are some end of camp announcements which everyone needs to be around for, and then, the end!

However… our booking at the site allows for us to remain one last night, so if you don’t need to be home for work on Monday, you can stay on and enjoy one final social evening.

“But I don’t like camping…”

All you need is a tent and some comfortable sleeping arrangements (air beds, foam mattresses). The weather has always been good to us, we’ve had very few rainy or windy events, but obviously you should pack for all eventualities. 

There are power sockets at the college for charging devices etc. 

There is a water tap on site.

Supermarkets and other conveniences are close by. 

Camper vans are allowed, but not caravans and no generators are allowed.

So…over to you – there are many events outside your club which you could get involved with, and Summer Camp is by far the most inclusive.

This year’s dates are 25th – 28th July and you can book via the website:

Training members are £90

(includes T-shirt, all training, camping fees and Saturday evening’s food)

Non-Training members are £55

(includes camping fees and Saturday evening’s food – you can add £10 for a T-shirt if you wish)