With the start of the event „Life in the Wilderness“, we began writing a new page in the history of Bujinkan Macedonia regarding the outdoor seminars. As previously announced, we plan on having this event in the next seven years, where the members of the dojo can learn how to live in a community and in harmony with nature, according to the scenario for natural disasters or a situation that requires us to retreat far from the civilization or into the wild.
Every year, this seminar is going to be held on a different location that will provide the study of techniques for living in the wild in different conditions. So, this year the event was held in such conditions that enabled us to feel the cruelty, as well as the boons that the mountain offers, as for the next year techniques for living in community – alongside river are already planned to be taught. But let us come back to the seminar that was held this weekend.
Early in the morning, after the arrival at the location near the peak of the mountain Lipac, the participants of the seminar begun building a camp. Instructor Igor Dovezenski immediately started teaching the techniques for survival for a larger group of people, as well as organizing the life in the wild for a longer period of time.
For all those not familiar with, shidoshi Dovezenski had organized over 300 outdoor seminars so far, and his experience on this field is really vast. Many of the techniques for survival in the wilderness were learned from his grandfather, who was a participant in the Second World War and had been decorated for his service, such as the liberation of the city Skopje. During the war and after it, he was a scout in a tank squad and the techniques for survival in nature helped him to overcome many dangerous situations.
During the Saturday, shidoshi Dovezenski successfuly transmitted all of the techniques planned for the first day of the seminar and everything was going according to plan, but during the night, at 03:50 hours sharp, a natural disaster stroke as it wanted to check the efficiency of the techniques that were taught during daytime.
Almost instantly, clouds covered the stars and from every side of the mountain thunders started striking, and lightnings dreadfully glistered all around. A torrential rain accompanied with a strong wind were getting the already wet clothing stick even more to the participants’ bodies and lowered their body temperature. In those conditions, when it was clear that the camp won’t have any chance to survive the storm, the instructor Dovezenski ordered immediate evacuation from the location and a search for a new shelter that would provide a better protection. Without delay we started descending to the lower areas of the mountain. Due to the darkness and the impassable terrain, the members of Bujinkan Macedonia had a hard time passing through the dense vegetation, but after fifty minutes, they successfully found an old ruin from the 18th century that kept a part of its porch that offered a protection from the rain. After the arrival, the instructor Dovezenski stated that as of that moment an „army discipline“ starts that is necessary so everyone can go home safe and sound. Afterwards, he ordered all members to take off the wet clothes, and following that a fire was lit to warm and dry the clothing. Despite the high precipitation, the instructors’ experience had shown to be priceless because the fire was lit as soon as possible, and with that the possibility to warm the bodies. Couple of hours later, the clothes were already dry, and with that the second day the seminar continued as scheduled.
We transfer to you small pieces of the participants’ impressions, that in full were published on our Forum:
Zoran Todorovski – A big rain drop woke me up as it hit me on my eye cap. As if it wanted to warn us that this night won’t be as common as any other. I turned around me, everywhere lightnings and thunders. In those moments for a brief second my eyes met with Sensei Dovezenski. He was already awake. Our looks spoke the same thing. That we have to leave the location immediately.
– Get up, put your boots on and take with you only the necessities, we are going out of here! Common, common, GET UP, sensei was yelling. It was 03:50. At the same time it started raining and a wind was blowing with unseen intensity. A hell storm started raging. We formed a line, several flashlights were turned on and we departed to look for a shelter. We dove into the darkness. All of us were determined to do that. In the front was Sensei. We left. Eight people were caught directly in the center of the storm, and as if the lightnings and the thunders were tightening the circle around us and were striking closer and closer! As if some monster was getting closer to us, roaring at us.
Marko Opachikj – This was a seminar that drove to the light all the effort that Sensei had invested in us the past years, especially on the „survivals“ (winter and summer). The moment came when all those exercises and techniques had to be put to use, to survive. Of course, everything was carried out successfully. I didn’t have a doubt the morning when the storm caught us that we will find some kind of shelter. I had a complete trust in Sensei, where he guided us and that it was only matter of time when we would be safe.
We learned that Teacher doesn’t mean only showing a technique in the dojo, but much more. A Teacher is the one that always puts your well being first, who with certainty will guide you through the whole voyage and not even for a second doubt in what he does. Who will point out where you are wrong and where you have to improve yourself. Who have an enormous knowledge of lot of areas and who selflessly passes to the students. Who must not show any weakness and emotion in front of them, and is full with feelings for every one of us.
Taki Gakovski – For the first time I kept guard. For the first 30 minutes I felt fear, thinking that any moment something could attack me. But I got used to it later and everything was OK again. The last half an hour, I was really tired, I even started hallucinating. The sky that was filled with stars was shortly covered with many clouds. I just got to go to sleep, and briefly afterwards they woke me up and a new adventure started. An evacuation was on its way, and with that the true survival. We quickly left the camp and started searching for some abandoned house. A strong rain was falling, accompanied by lightnings and thunders. They were our enemies that we ran away from to save our lives. After the long walk through the mud, we found a shelter.
Vladimir Antovski – A beautiful seminar filled with wonderful lectures and amazing people. As I am writing this, I have flashbacks from the two previous days and I still can’t believe how many things happened to us and what we went through for such a short time.
The night was so mystical and full of surprise. We had a quick evacuation because we were faced with a huge storm, followed by thunders. In those moments everything that is hidden deep in each of us came to the surface and faced us with the truth about who we actually are.
They say, disasters bring people together. That is true, and at the same time so sad. I am happy that in Bujinkan Macedonia, we are close before the disaster and after it.
While we were naked, in our underpants, we were drying our clothes, laughing at the situation and we knew that together we are much stronger and could pass anything.
Sanja Simonova – After a night well slept, I can conclude that „Life in the Wild“ was one exceptionally important experience, filled with lectures that will remain ingrained forever in me. All that Sensei presented was very useful and detailed. To begin with, the equipment that needs to carried in those circumstances, that way you build a camp and how important is the decisiveness when something unpredictable happens.
All we talked about and did during the first day, we’ve put in practice during the second due to the storm. Is there a greater school than when something happens to you when you least expect it? When you have to face yourself and there is no running away from that, except to survive?
I followed a great deal of what Sensei taught us with astonishment and fascination. The people that surround you on the seminar are your family and each for anyone would do anything. Whoever asks you to do anything, it’s an honor to help him, even though you might be on the verge of your mental or physical capacity. The trust we have in the Teacher is infinite and I hope that we could return at least half of what he does. I will never forget the order „LINE“ when we stepped into that old house and how we organized ourselves afterwards.
I thank all of you for everything. Even now I know that I will impatiently await the next „Life in the Wild“, and I will try not to miss out any outdoor seminars until then.