After few unplanned events, the camp starting was little delayed as I had to get down from the train in Dharwad Station. Frank sir came to pick me up. Nevertheless, the time was well spent on theory of combat while eating breakfast at his house. When we drove together to the Dandeli camp site, no time / opportunity was missed for practical training afterwards.It was raining heavy and we got into the kayak going up-stream. We had some revision of few water survival drills like falling from kayak and getting back into it etc, this making the bodies and minds of participants warmed up for next thing to come. Krav-Maga style naturopathy purification ceremony! or in simple words ‘tasting the soil’. Series of power drill exercises and Krav Maga Self Defense fighting drills in slippery mud left us scrubbed and scratched. Not to mention abs massage with punches was cherry on top!Then it was time for food and thanks to home-stay it was awesome as usual and made in quantity to feed 13 hungry monsters.Evening time was a beautiful ride in boat around the backwaters of a dam. It was really like out of something like Vietnam War movie or a documentary on Amazon. It was a heaven for photographers.
Night was completely innovative stared with fight drills in darkness. We were blinded by darkness as well as flashlight in eyes. To add to the problem, it was on 20ft wide path with 20ft fall on both sides. The random punches coming to us when we were practically blind, forced us to find message in chaos to overcome the fight.
Dinner (I will not mention ‘awesome’ again and again about the food… here after, food=awesome food) was accompanied by wise words of old monk calming down our pain and fun performances traveling through different continents from deep south to hilly north ended up with wise lessons of honor, respect and happiness. (Well, lot of ciphering here but whatever happens in Dandeli, stays in Dandeli)
Food must be digested well, so on the way back to home-stay the van was little too fast to catch so took a romantic run through darkness. After the thoughts over food, it was time for food for thoughts. The project was to create a weapon out of virtually harmless toothbrush and junk. So went scanning Dandeli’s dumping areas finding something that hurts. It was tested on unfortunate cold drink plastic bottle which left it with stabs and cuts. (If bottle was not hurt, we would had to sacrifice our night sleep was the ultimatum!)
Finally at 2-30 AM we went to bed with warning to be ready for training at 8AM. Next day morning, half of the team had to scarify morning tea to meet the timeline. But real life does not entertain any excuses and so does real training. Started with standard warm-up, we carried our injured comrades on shoulder for @1km. could not be done except life is threatened or sir is yelling at you. Followed by core body exercises and abs massaging punches while blindfolded, I think we had enough and it was time to fight back. So we stared revision of all the learned tactics at random. We pushed ourselves physically and mentally but mistakes were inevitable. After lot of hits and bruises finally we were allowed to stop. At the end of @2 and half hrs, we ended up physically and mentally tiered and with full list of mistakes in our minds.
For clean-up again went to nature having nice bath in Dandeli river. (I think we gave good morning entertainment to the people of Dandeli). Then had some thoughts over food. For food for thoughts, next project was waiting for us, fishing equipment using T-shirt, pant or towel. Soon after we left for testing with hope to taste self hunted fish. But I guess we did lot of noise in water to fear away fishes and returned with empty traps.
Fight is right way to overcome frustration so last Krav-maga session was must. So again ran/skid/fell from muddy hills for warm-up. Tried to find out enemy hidden in crowed cover. In all good fun. Then not much time was left in Dandeli so had lunch, packed bags and ran to catch train. In night, in the train, the most notorious group ate dinner and slept like innocent babies.
What a weekend! Pushing the limits of everything (physical, mental, tactical and not to mention finger-licking food!). I enjoyed it a lot. Need not to mention why. The whole description above is to prove it. Looking forward for more of it.
PS: aftermath was discovering pain areas in body and having a tetanus shot
Feedback from Vikram Nandyal
Jai Hind Sir,
I am a person who loves going outdoors, have been on quite a few adventure camps. I was wondering what does this boot camp has to offer apart from the usual treks and water games, even though i would have just trekked or stayed in water for two days without complaining.
The mud fighting session on the first afternoon we landed in Dandeli was what set the mood for the camp for me. Rolling, slipping, sparring, crawling and training in slush and rain was just an altogether different experience. Everyone were rolling in the mud like one would in chocolate, i suppose. This was followed by some delicious and mouth watering food back at the cottage. The training in the dark took the experience to a different level altogether, should admit had never done anything quite like it before.
The second day was even more interesting as we started training without any breakfast. The entire morning session was spent in training without any potable water as well. This session pushed us to our physical and psychological limits.The fish curry we had on the second day for lunch was amazing. Everyone was busy stuffing themselves with fish without the usual chatter during the lunch was not surprising at all.
Overall, the boot camp did exceed my expectations.
Guru-ji Franklin Joseph was born into the slums of Delhi, and from an early age he was exposed to the world of sexual abuse & violent crime. After surviving 22-25 years, he converted his bad experience into positive knowledge and today his organization “Indian Institute of Special Tactics and Combat Science” focuses to empower the men, women & child to defend themselves against crime, violence, sexual harassment and sexual abuse.
His major projects also cover corporate workshops and seminars to schools & colleges all over India. He also imparting knowledge through his academy in Bangalore. ‘Guru-ji’ and ‘Dr. Safety’ are the alias given to him by his members or followers.
Over the years, ‘Guru-ji’ has been nominated and won various awards including Best Service Excellence award 2017 by London based Luxury Travel Magazine, United Kingdom. OSAC (United States Department) organization gave recommendation in its Women Safety Report 2014 stating “Franklin Joseph is the good Self Defense instructor that also focuses on psychological empowerment in his workshops”.
‘Guru-ji’ Franklin Joseph has been featured in articles by press media like TOI, DNA, Deccan Herald, ZeeTV, CNN-IBN, NDTV 24×7, Radio one etc., to highlight special tactics & psychological combat science.