Going to Sandanski for the second time and the feeling beforehand first and second time was completely different. The first year I went to the unknown which was a little worrying, not knowing what’s waiting for me. The second time, I could not wait to return and spend the quality time with training friends and coaches, not to think about anything else except training as the rest is completely taken care off!
Food and accommodation are second to none compared to other training summer camps. Organic vegetables and fruits, well cooked meals, I could even have pancakes with honeycomb for breakfast. A treat! Accommodation is a five-star hotel where you share a double room with a five-star roomie. Hotel offers a spa with saunas, mineral water pools, ice baths, mineral salt rooms which helps greatly to recover and prepare for the next training session. Hot mud baths near mystic Baba Vanga’s house also work wonders on soothing the body and is a great place to relax in the evening as in the daytime it can get too hot.
Training is taken very seriously and sensei Simeon organised for a top class kyokushin karate fighter Zahari Damyanov to be the guest instructor and share his fighting techniques. Always a pleasure to train with Sensei Dimitar, teacher of sensei Simeon. He is a pure inspiration when it comes to sharing passion for martial arts, optimistic approach to training, caring for your training partners and opponents at the tournaments. A truly special instructor and a wise man! We had a few sessions with a local wrestling team lead by the coach Kiril Handzhiyski. Also, had an interesting seminar about breathing techniques with a record holder for swimming in a sack Yane Petkov. He not only showed us the exercises but shared a few tips on how to improve one’s life quality when it comes to better sleep, positive approach to life, energy and love.
Vihren adventure. Highest peak in the area (nearly 3000m above sea level) is not for everyone to conquer but worth a try. I attempted it twice, made it once. Beautiful scenery, meditation in movement, brain declutter, sense of achievement and adventure companions are just a few reasons to do it for. It’s surprising what we can accomplish if we give ourselves a chance, sometimes we need a second one!
What makes the camp special is the team. Each and every one who comes to the camp is a super human and all together makes a great team. Good vibes, jokes and supportive atmosphere is another vital ingredient to make us all push an extra bit harder at the trainings. Naturally, likeminded people are gathered by a rock start leader Sensei Simeon. Without him and (another beautiful human) his wife, who looks after everyone and cares for the smallest detail, the camp would never be so perfect.