Tag Archives: Liam Grange

Macaw marquee

Macaw 2015, Bude

Martial arts summer camp is dead….long live MACAW!

Ok, so camp isn’t dead, but its name is changing to be more in line with our broader vision – a martial and creative arts workshop, MACAW.

At a Glance

  • When? Saturday August 1st – August 8th.  Formal training starts Monday 3rd August.
  • Where? Upper Lynstone Camping park, Bude. See here.  Camping and static caravans, though may stay wherever you like.  You must book this yourself.
  • What? Martial arts, various styles, creative arts such as painting, pottery, live music
  • How much?  You must pay for your own accommodation.  Most students stay at the campsite.  Martial arts training is paid for by student donation using a red envelope system (see below).  Creative arts such as painting and pottery are paid for in advance through an online booking system here.
  • How do I book? Book your accommodation directly with the campsite or wherever you choose to stay.  Book your creative art lessons in advance through the site.  Martial arts training does not require advanced booking, but as a courtesy, please do let us know if you are planning to attend MACAW (contact form at bottom of page).

This year sees a return of our tireless director of martial arts, Mr Liam Grange, bringing his melange of skills to the martially inclined.  We’ve listened to feedback and observed the last five years activities, and this year we are moving towards a more formal programme of events.  We are joined by a new friend Mr David Thomas, who will be teaching a beginner’s course of Feng Shou kung-fu in the early afternoon, Monday to Friday.  Having trained with David, I can tell that you if you’ve only eight years of martial arts under your belt, then there is still plenty to learn from David. This will be followed by a beginner’s taekwondo session taught by Mr Jason King.  By formalising a schedule and catering to beginners, we hope to open the camp to complete beginners and anyone else who may be a bit shy, or wanting a time-table to work from.

Liam giving it to an impertinent balloon

Liam giving it to an impertinent balloon. Photograph courtesy of Simon Tatler, SCVT Photography

Other guest instructors are yet to be announced and confirmed, but we are anticipating the return of Mr Alex Grange, who ran such an excellent taekkyon course last year, and all our old friends will be made welcome as usual.

Creative Arts at the Parakeet Marquee

This year we have another marquee available (thanks Chris!) that will be dedicated to the creative arts – we see the return of fabulous Lynne Holehouse from the local Seventh Wave Gallery with three new art lessons – Hawker’s Hut in water-colour, Summerleaze Bay in acrylics and sand, and your family tree in your finger-prints.  Last year, Lynne’s Chinese water-colour workshop was oversubscribed and produced some beautiful work (here).   If you wish to attend any of these lessons, you must book in advance as places are limited.  Each session is £19, but there is a discount if you book all three.  Book here for these activities and all other prepaid events.

Also returning this year is the lovely Jane Masterman, not only as a student but as a teacher too.  Jane will be booking raku pottery sessions, final details to be confirmed shortly.

Hannah Power

BEFORE – Singer song-writer Hannah Power.

Hannah drinking from a saucepan.

AFTER – Hannah Power performing vocal warm-up exercises with a saucepan of enhanced cider, at a previous martial arts summer camp

This year we are opening the Parakeet Marquee for acoustic sessions to visiting and local musicians.  All students are encouraged to come and show their musical or dance talents.

This year Dragon Taekwondo’s Hannah Power will be singing for us.  Hannah has a wonderful voice, not to be missed.

Local band Austin Powys will be on-hand for at least one performance, accompanied by camp long-timer Alex King, and The MACAW team is busy negotiating another local band to play, so watch the Facebook page for updates.

This year we are lucky to have Mrs Lisa Southard, founder of BlackBeltBooks and local ITF Taekwondo instructor performing an evening reading from a selection of her two published books – Tales From the Tenets, and The Time Travelling TKD Tour Bus and Other Stories, both of which are available on Amazon.

Curry will be devoured again this year.  Book yours now here.  If you don’t book it, Sajla won’t make enough of it for you.  Do be a hungry fool!

Sajla's Taaza Curry.  Simply superb.

Sajla’s Taaza Curry. Simply superb.

Changes to Charging

As most of our customers know, Martial Arts Summer Camp is now in its sixth year.  The first four years training was provided absolutely free of charge, with year five seeing the introduction of a small fee for training, and ad-hoc charges for additional creative-arts, first aid training, curry event and lantern making.  This year we want to offer an improved service, and ideally, try and turn the business away from being a loss-maker for the organisers and teachers alike.

Nothing to see here.

Nothing to see here.

Here are some facts and figures to consider:

  • Marquee insurance –  £600 per annum
  • Instructor accommodation for the week – £80 each
  • 5 days of work at British minimum hourly rate for over 21s = £6.50 x 40 hours = £260

I don’t think anyone would disagree that our excellent teaching staff deserve more than the minimum wage.  Food for thought.

At MACAW we understand that a lot of students are primarily attending for the martial arts, and that traditionally, martial arts clubs scrape a living by charging cheap for medium – large numbers.  We also acknowledge that there is disparity in payments between martial arts instructors and creative arts instructors, for no appreciable reason.

To help close the gap, this year we are introducing the red envelope system for paying for martial arts instruction and for making contributions to the cost of the marquee insurance .  The night before you leave, please endeavour to pay a sensible and fair fee to the instructors of your classes by placing your payments in a red envelope with the instructor’s name on.  Red envelopes and receptacles for the same will be provided, and allow for anonymous donations.  At the end of the week, MACAW staff will decide if the system is sustainable, or whether we will need to swap to a fixed rate system, which will inevitably exclude some students.  Please help keep MACAW running by supporting its staff.

…and finally…with timetables!

Two marquees mean that we can train whatever the weather.  How good is that?  Furthermore, if you fancy an alternative to training, try some art.  Let’s have another massively successful camp.  This year we want to encourage the general public in the campsite to join in a bit more and to spread the word.  We have a great success story – last year saw Chris Chant (below, with Marcie) attend his first camp, and on the strength of his experience – that you helped give – joined a local karate-jutsu club and is about to take his 8th kyu exam.  Congratulations Chris, that’s the embodiment of MACAW.

Karateka Chris and daughter Marcie.  Chris now trains at Doryoku Rye Karate Jutsu in Plymouth.

Karateka Chris and daughter Marcie. Chris now trains at Doryoku Ryu Karate Jutsu in Plymouth.

Godzilla versus Mothra

Godzilla versus Mothra

Its very likely that this year will see the start of MACAW hitting the festival circuit.  That being the case, you can fully expect more of this sort of mayhem.  MACAW will also be offering a range of branded clothing featuring our beautiful macaw logo embroidered on hoodies, teeshirts, polo shirts, rugby shirts etc.

Many thanks to Simon Tatler of SCVT Photography for kind reproduction of Godzilla versus Mothra, Karateka Chris, Liam in orange, Nothing to see here, Sajla’s Taaza Curry and the Macaw Marquee

Parakeet Marquee 2015 Timetable

Parakeet Marquee 2015 Timetable

MacawMarquee 2015 Timetable

MacawMarquee 2015 Timetable

Liam’s silat tari

you may have read the article I posted written by one of my teachers, Master Niall Grange. I am also very fortunate to count at least one of his sons, if not both, as my teachers too. Please take a look at this video from Liam, its wonderful. Liam is a regular stalwart at our summer camp, and will be returning this year for more training. I may well write a fuller profile of Liam in the future…

my recommendation to all my friends is always this: if you get an opportunity to train with Liam, then take it.

Celebrating the Martial Arts – MASC 2013

genesis of MASC

ORIGINALLY inspired by a wonderful week spent training with Master Mark Worsfold at Loch Rannoch, Martial Arts Summer Camp 2013 marks the fourth annual consecutive camp.   our first camp, back in 2010 was at a site within walking distance from Corfe Castle.   back in the day, we based the training program on Mark’s successful routine of morning taiji followed by taekwondo, then non-martial pastimes.  twelve students from Surrey and Halwill Junction, Devon, attended.  2011 saw camp relocate to Upper Lynstone, Bude, where it has been ever since.  student attendance has grown steadily each year, as the good word spreads around the club network.  2013 peeked at nearly forty attendees.   what makes camp so successful?  dedicated, hungry students.   an attitude of openness – all styles are welcome, all levels are welcome, and total beginners are greatly encouraged.  generous and talented instructors.

THE MAINSTAY of our instructor base is undoubtedly Masters Niall and Liam Grange, a father-son team with 60 years of martial experience between them.   unpaid but definitely not unloved, Niall and Liam bring taekwondo, hapkido, taiji, kungfu, silat and more, and give freely to those who seek.  adding further to the instructor mix, Masters Mark Worsfold, Matthew Hobbs, Bob Rowley, John Rodgers, Tony Butcher, Con Halpin and Jitsu-Jamie have all contributed further: taekwondo, bokken, jo-staff, aikido, jujitsu, pressure point fighting, patterns.

IT TAKES a special kind of student, and teacher, to stand in a field, in all kinds of weather – training hard, barefooted, without rank, in plain clothes and plain view.   those students and their teachers are kin, family.   practitioners rarely realise, but when training, you give and expect the ultimate trust from your partners, teachers and students: your lives are in each other’s hands.  this generosity of spirit, trust, love and giving at camp can be a life-changing event for children and adults alike.   strong bonds are forged, and examples are set for us all to follow.   a time to inspire, and to be inspired.

NEW FEATURES this year: good strong sunshine, our very own field, debilitating injury, Wolverine, a purple belt for a hero, MASC tee-shirts and hoodies, poomsae DVDs, camp romance, new shower and toilet block, new friends and guest instructors, water balloons, videos on facebook, the establishment of camp traditions: homous and halloumi kebabs as a last night ritual, trig point photography, shooting stars

SADLY MISSED: Mark Worsfold, Tony Butcher, Nicola Avery, Matthew Hobbs, Nina and Ben, Jamie, Seth and Charlie, Chaney, Luca, Marie, Natasha Brewer, Alex and Emma, Beard Brothers Jamie and Craig , and anyone else from our wider training family.   please come next year

this year’s diary

Picture of The Fast Show's Jessie's Diets

…eating kungfu


Arrival at camp for most people.  If anyone can remember today’s training, please get in touch.


that’s the badger. when training, be sure to keep your fluids up


  • Liam – taiji: introduction to the five animals/elements
    • basic qigong
    • monkey/wood
    • tiger/fire
    • bear/earth
    • stag/metal
    • bird/animal
    • the secret sixth animal, the phoenix.
  • Jase – taekwondo footwork combinations, all grades
    • front kick, turning kick, back kick, concentrating on foot placement and stances between kicks
    • turning kick, back kick, knife hand strike
    • straight line footwork combination – back stance to pushing kick landing in horse riding stance, sliding side kick, back kick, reverse punch, elbow strike
  • Niall – hapkido, basic release from grab
mincing instructor examines back kicks

mincing instructor examines back kicks


today, there were approximately 30 students training. great turn out.

  • Liam – taiji: recap of the five animals/elements, application of taiji principles to poomse
  • Jase – beginners’ taekwondo, 5 absolute beginners
    • ready stance, front/long stance, back stance
    • front kick, turning kick
    • low block, punch
    • Old Man Kelly’s front kick recap, including excellent miniature session on leading with the shoulder
  • Niall – progression from yesterday’s session, hosinsul / hapkido, release from grabs:
    • mirror wrist grabs
    • cross wrist grabs
    • both wrists
    • lapels
  • Jase & Niall – patterns and pads for first kups
  • Liam – session on the beach – applications of the 5 animals
students practicing taiji

great turn out for Cheng Man Ching


approximately 40 students training, including campers from around the site. new camp record for attendance

  • Liam – taiji
    • Master Liang’s Yang Style Qigong and massage set
    • kwai taiji: Master Liang’s fast form
    • Cheng Man Ching’s five Animals
  • Bob the Blackbelt & Old Man Kelly – beginners’ taekwondo continued. By the end of this session, the beginners are looking great, strong kicks, fluid combinations
    • revision of yesterday’s basics
    • back kick
    • jab and cross punch
    • push away followed by back side kick
    • combinations of the above
  • Niall – more releases from grabs, now including takedowns
  • Niall & Jase – destruction
  • Liam – taiji appliations of the five animals, defence against zombie attack!
  • Jase & Liam – sword forms to music
  • Everyone – pizza and other takeaway
"whatever you do, put some bloody sun cream on"

“whatever you do, put some bloody sun cream on”


  • Liam – taiji
    • qigong
    • kwai taiji – fast
    • silk reeling
  • Liam – five ancestor double dagger
  • Everyone – Atlantic Diner. Hot food on a plate, with cutlery!
students enjoying a meal

warm, dry, plates, cutlery


special guests from Tintagel today – hooray! Sadly, Norman and Wendy’s instruction commitments meant we didn’t see as much of them and their team as we would have liked, and every participant really enjoyed the stick work

  • Liam – taiji
    • qigong
    • kwai taiji – fast
    • five animals
  • Liam – Xingyi – five element boxing and linking form
  • Norman, Wendy and students from Tintagel’s Jeet Kune Do club – Kali (stick work)
    • Angles 1 – 5
    • stick defence 1 & 2
    • basic amarra (strike patterns)
  • Niall – padwork
  • Most – Dinner at The Port William, Trebarwith Strand. Mediocre food after a long wait, but in a beautiful location
students training with sticks



particularly inspiring training routintes from Con today. more about these in a seperate article

  • Liam – taiji
  • Con Halpin – taekwondo combinations
    • hand work – jab and cross, reverse ridge hand, back fist and roundhouse punch. Put all these together into a sequence
    • whack-a-mole hand techniques (four pad holders, one attacker utilising earlier hand techniques)
    • kick combination – right leg crescent kick followed by on the spot left leg turning kick
    • explosive kicking padwork – 4 kickers in a line (not a queue), one pad holder putting the pad in at random
  • Aiki John – aikido
  • Niall – patterns and one-step for grading
  • Jase and Con – patterns for grading students
  • Everyone – the now-traditional houmous and halloumi kebab night
students performing basic moves

…in the beginning…


end of camp, always emotional. The last remaining students put in some effort, but eventually tiredness, rain and departure take their toll

A picture of slate with flavours of tai chi written on it

Liam’s menu

Aside from this great variety of group training, there was plenty of individual support outside of larger sessions, including guitar lessons, one step sparring, poomsae, the walking stick form, mantis form, Cheng Man Ching goodness, and an intensive tutorial by Liam for Joe ‘Baby Blackbelt’, Richard ‘Handstand’ and Young Man Kelly on the double dagger form.   these excellent young men soaked it up like sponges

some of the usual suspects

which one is Keyser Soze?

which one is Keyser Soze?

skills development

CAMP ATTENDANCE this year was brilliant.  students and teachers traveled from as far as Middlesbrough (Hey Bert!), Eastbourne and within the M25 to be with us.   some students were absolute beginners, some just two months in to their training, some were total strangers staying onsite.   all students worked hard, battling the elements, self-consciousness, and their own fears of failure.   there was no failure.   every year we see progression in the students, both between and during camps, and that is one of hidden joys of regular attendance.   a day after camp ended, numerous students progressed up the ranks, but particular mention goes to new poom grade (junior black belt) students Ellis, Alice and Tia, dan grade students Hannah and Tom.

WE ARE ALL of us students.   those of us who instruct, assist or partner up with someone for training can pick up instructional skills, techniques and training routines, to help us develop ourselves and our students

enormous thanks

to everyone that attended and contributed in any way, pastoral care, cooking, photography, washing up, de-trashing the site, including, nurturing, welcoming, giving, hugging, kissing, fighting, dancing, loving – may Ra and Selene warm your souls forever

MASC 2013 is dead. Long live MASC2014, 9th August 2014, Upper Lynstone

Wolverine and Superman

Wolverine and Superman