Hunting and Gathering

14th Annual

Martial Movement & Traditional Life Skills Retreat:

Feldenkrais Method® – Aikido –

Tai Chi – Traditional Life Skills

Hunting and Gathering

Thursday, August 6 ~ Sunday, August 9, 2009

Explore how the skills essential to hunting and gathering underlie the practice of Aikido, Tai Chi Chuan and Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement® lessons.  Learn traditional life skills such as basketry, flint knapping, cordage and fire by friction. Experience a natural sense of time and timelessness during four days of study, practice, meals, and enjoying the gardens, blackberries, and Lobster Creek.

Ancient Arts Center, in Lobster Valley near Alsea Oregon, offers participants a wide array of activities and learning opportunities. The retreat property includes a dojo (in the form of a yurt) and open spaces for Aikido weapons practice, spear, atlatl, sling throwing and archery.  Fishing (catch and release) is available in Lobster Creek along with crayfish hunting, wading and swimming.  There is an abundance of wildlife that can be observed directly or recognized by way of their tracks along the creek and pathways of the property. The gardens and wild margins of the property provide cultivated and wild plants for gathering. These aspects of the setting especially complement this year’s retreat theme of “Hunting and Gathering”. Visit

Darrell Bluhm, Aikido Instructor (6th dan, Shihan), Guild Certified Feldenkrais Teacher, Tai-Chi Chuan instructor. Darrell’s contribution to the event will be to explore how the skills essential to hunting and gathering underlie the practice of Aikido, Tai Chi Chuan and Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement lessons. This theme of hunting and gathering will be woven into the classes, especially in relation to perception as “skillful activity of the whole animal”  (a phrase borrowed from Philosopher Alva Noes). Darrell’s focus will be on waking the senses of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, as well as the hidden senses of proprioception and our vestibular organs for balance. The lessons will guide you to engage with your own inner experience, the people around you and the rich environs of the retreat.

Margaret Mathewson is a Doctor of Anthropology with a specialty in Ethnobotany who has an extraordinary knowledge of ancient methods to create tools for gathering and hunting, such as baskets, nets, dead fall traps, bamboo crayfish catchers, fishing poles, and hooks. Participants will be able to learn to make and use these kinds of implements as well as learn to make fire by friction, to flint knap stone tools and recognize and prepare edible and medicinal plants. In addition, we all will benefit from Margaret’s skills as an Aikido and Iaido teacher.

Fee: $295 per person includes participation in all activities and dinner all three nights.  Enrollment is limited to 20.  No dogs on the property, please! To secure your place, send a $50 nonrefundable deposit, made payable to Siskiyou Aikikai, to 777 East Main St., Ashland, OR 97520.  A map and details regarding accommodations and what to bring will be sent with your confirmation.

Contact Darrell at

or call Siskiyou Aikikai: (541) 482-5435.

PDF of the flier available here:

Martial Movement & Traditional Life Skills Retreat

“Now and again, it is necessary to seclude yourself

among deep mountains and hidden valleys

to restore your link to the source of life.”

~ Ueshiba Morihei, founder of Aikido


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