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Body, Soul, and Connection Martial Arts and Qi Gong Retreat Italy

This Italy summer camp is perfect for you if you are a movement enthusiast, martial artist, if you are a meditator, change maker, yogi, sustainability advocate, or nature lover! A training event, festival, and outdoor camp, these weeks are not just a normal workshop. They are a powerful process, a training camp with a goal and yet free and creative for people to share and grow their own ideas!

Meet the instructors

Sascha, Conny, Joana, & 1 More…
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  • Daily hero mission
  • Initialization morning in nature
  • Archery, campfires, and music sessions
  • Daily professional training in theory and practice
  • Final challenges at the end of each week followed by a communal festival evening
  • 6 days training and one free exploration day per week
  • 21 nights accommodation
  • Daily organic meals

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced


18 days with instruction in English
Spoken languages: French, German, Italian, English
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Centro Anidra is an eco-village, organic farm, and retreat center located in the Sturla Valley, formed by a rocky stream coming down from the mountains. The center is so vast that it contains a waterfall, mountain forests, hidden glades, and a hiking track and cross-fit parkour that takes 45 minutes to walk. This is a perfect place for the spirit of the hero camp.

Its massive tent-like dojo and the training hall can be opened so the daily sessions will be literally outside if you do not train in the forest. You will wake up to the sound of the birds in the mountains. Then you will start your day with a session of meditation and the hero wake-up training overlooking the valley of Centro Anidra. You will enjoy the beautiful healthy superfood breakfast in the company of great like-minded people.

There are some types of accommodation so you can choose just the right one for your needs and budget. You can arrange just the right accommodation for you and your friends or family with the staff at Centro Anidra. They have rooms for almost every constellation.

Comfortable tents

These tents are set up on wooden platforms near the eco-village. You will have real beds in a tent environment. Bathrooms and toilets are provided in the eco-village and you will be near the dining house and the social hub of the center.

Ecological village

The eco-village consists of several wooden houses arranged into a beautiful little village. Your room will be in one of the cozy houses. Bathrooms and toilets are either in-house or in the neighboring bathroom house. There is also a sauna in the eco-village and the dining house belongs to it. The village is the central hub of Centro Anidra.

Outdoor camping

You can set up your own tent on one of the beautiful sites in the forest near the river. Outdoor toilets and washing facilities are provided. You will be in the middle of nature to enjoy the real adventure. The meals will be provided in the dining house with all the other participants, a walk trough the woods away.


What is Secret Elements Qi Gong?

Secret Elements Qi Gong is a Qi Gong, self-balance, and therapy method developed by international teacher Sascha Wagener and well-known German Kinesiologist, Martin Nienhaus. It connects the ancient knowledge of Chinese Qi Gong and medicine with modern research from kinesiology and psychology. As a compact self-help tool, it empowers people to balance their physical and emotional state and actively take their health and happiness in their own hands.

The body awareness gained by practicing Qi Gong is unparalleled and lets the practitioner experience himself or herself on a new level of connection. Now taught around the world, it enriches the toolbox of many therapists, yoga teachers, and people interested in their own holistic health preservation.


The spirit of the hero weeks are not just a normal workshop. They are a powerful process and a training event, festival, and outdoor camp with a goal. They are free and creative for people to share and grow their own ideas.

Training, because each week focuses on a distinct topic that you will train together every day like a monastic family. Festival, because there is time to make music, to dance, to enjoy wonderful vegan or vegetarian health food, and share ideas with the hero family. Camp, because you will spend most of the time in nature, swim in the waterfall, gather around the fire, and see the stars in the beautiful setting of the Italian mountains.

Each spirit of the hero week is a powerful process on its own, but the whole experience is to take part in the full hero process. Three weeks including Body week, Soul week, and Connection week are not a lifetime, but you can achieve so much in such an intense time. You will start with training your body. It will strengthen your physical abilities and health but will also manifest a strong mind and willpower.

Besides that the Body week is not merely a physical training camp, it is much more than that. It opens the door between body, mind, and emotions through conscious and aware training methods. You will then be able to go into the Soul week more focused and calm than you would usually be able to. Even if there is still time for physical training, the main focus lies on meditation and the sophisticated awareness practice of Qi Gong.

You will be able to look deeper into your body’s blockages and create a wonderfully light and flexible physical and mental state. After these two weeks, you will be ready for changes. The Connection week transfers all the inner work to the outside and brings it to fruition. The five-element coaching lets you continue the Qi Gong work and shows you how to apply the same philosophy to the rest of your life. In the workshops, you will get new ideas and the empowerment to start whatever your heart desires. Let yourself be supported by inspirational like-minded people and inspire and support others. This is the spirit of the hero.

Every week there will be a different focus. Life Atlas believes they need to come back to a holistic lifestyle and that is why the hero needs to consciously go through all aspects of his being. Each week emphasizes one of these aspects, but also contains parts of the topics of the other weeks. It is a fractal structure. Every topic is part of the whole.

You will have a hero book which guides you through the training and gives room to note down epiphanies. At the end of each week, you will experience daily hero mission, Mori-Gari teamwork challenge in the forest, and final challenges and presentations.

Body week - the training of the hero

This week focuses on holistic body training, outdoor challenges, meditation, and mind training with main topics about martial arts and the power of internal movement principles as well as realistic application training. It is from September 9 to September 16, 2017, for everyone who loves movement and loves to challenge his or her abilities and perceptions, karate and martial arts people who search for a deeper approach to their art, and for all heroes. No prior skills needed.

This week develops internal power and free movement for all martial artists and generally everybody with a body, realistic drills, and application training. It also helps you to develop free advanced movement patterns, practice the morning meditation and hero wake up training, and experience the outdoor cross-fit parkour training in the forest as well as the archery session in the forest and the stick fighting.

Soul week - the temple of the hero

This is a week of stillness and movement and of the internal and external expedition. The main topics are Qi Gong, body, and mind awareness. This week is for everyone who wants to experience him or herself, everyone who wants to heal, move, and feel, for meditators, Qi Gong, Taichi, and yoga people and all other seekers, and for all heroes. No prior skill is needed.

You will gain a deep body awareness and body or mind connection with Qi Gong including secret elements and Wudang Qi Gong. The complete level one of Secret Elements Qi Gong is integrated into the Soul week. An additional basic teacher certification is possible. You will be living in the present moment with morning meditation and hero wake-up training, intuitive development training, archery session in the forest, and yoga and dance connection sessions. This week will be held from September 16 to September 23, 2017.

Connection week - the skills of the hero

This week is the final week of the camp and absolutely a kick of a group experience. New skills, coaching, sustainability and organic farming will inspire you and get active. Main topics of this week are five-element coaching process and holistic workshops. This week is for everyone who loves to be together with conscious people, everyone who wants to connect and learn new things and wants to change the world for the better, and for all heroes. No prior skill is needed.

You will enjoy five-element coaching process, use traditional Daoist wisdom for your life planning, your work, and relationships, and get the counseling and support from like-minded people. You will also take part in the organic farming workshop in Centro Anidra, practice the morning meditation and hero wake-up training, and join "plastic free" workshop with producing own products and herb workshop in the forest.

You will have an opportunity for helping at a natural building construction site and take an archery session in the forest. This week will be organized from September 23 to September 30, 2017.


Sascha Wagener
Sascha has been training in martial arts from his childhood and started to travel to Asia to deepen his knowledge. He trained in various places, in monasteries and temples and widened his perspective with many different health methods. He went on a two-year exploration project around the globe searching for lost wisdom and traditional techniques. From this broad and deep source, he creates training programs and concepts for private and business applications all around the world. In his hometown Dortmund in Germany, he founded the martial arts, health, and Asia center "Mein Tempel" (my temple).
Conny has been into martial arts since childhood and started to cross-train and expand her knowledge into different styles. She also has a professional background in psychology. She is a founding member of the Missing Link martial arts community. Her training led her to places like India and China which further widened her perspective on martial arts and physical training. She offers not only a deeply rooted Karate training, which focuses on the understanding and application of Kata, the traditional forms, but also holistic physical training approaches and psychological background knowledge.
Joana started with oriental dance and became an experienced teacher and dancer. She is also a fitness enthusiast, yoga practitioner, and generally, movement addicted. After kung fu training in China, she started to practice Qi Gong. She uses it on a daily basis to bring balance into her demanding days. She builds a close relationship with her students and combines her physical training with a pinch of hippie love. She is an environmental scientist and specialized on the effects of plastic. She will share her expertise in how to avoid plastic and how to create plastic-free products.
Camilla is the organizer behind the camp and creates the flow of the whole experience. She used to work for five-star hotels all around the world before she was drawn to new challenges and adventures. Since then, she has completed an education as a Thai yoga massage therapist in one of the most prestigious training centers in Bangkok and has broadened this knowledge with a Shiatsu education. She is a Qi Gong instructor and enthusiast for a tasty and healthy plant-based nutrition. She loves to collect recipes from local chefs from around the world like Bali and Vietnam.


The camp will take place in Genoa, Italy. In the mountains of Liguria, far away from the touristic centers, where porcupines stroll trough the forests and pass along old abandoned stone houses, lies Centro Anidra. Centro Anidra is located in the wonderful Northern Italian region of Liguria. There are plenty of things to do and explore in the area.

You can use a couple of days before or after the camp to see more from Liguria or you can use one of the free days during the camp. Starting directly from Centro Anidra, there are wonderful hiking tracks. In the surrounding mountain region, you can visit old churches, manufactories, see wild horses, climb, bike, or kayak. Following down the valley, you will soon reach the Mediterranean Sea where the world famous village Portofino is nestled into the rocks by the sea.



  • Cooking classes
  • Hiking
  • Massage
  • Trail running


  • Environmentally friendly
  • Multilingual staff
  • Restaurant
  • River
  • Yoga deck
  • Pet friendly


A camp of physical training, inner cleansing, and holistic living should also be accompanied by great food that goes along with it. During the camp, you will enjoy a full catering of freshly made organic food from Italian produce of the region. The meals will be vegetarian or vegan health food arranged by the food enthusiast, Camilla, and cooked by the Italian chefs at the center.

You will start the day with a fresh smoothie enriched with super foods and granola. After the morning trainings, a full lunch menu will give you enough power for the rest of the day and then a healthy dinner will round up the exciting days in the camp.

The dishes served will be vegan or vegetarian, whole grain, wheat-free, and sugar-free. Completely gluten-free options are also available. A great amount of the produce will come from the center’s own organic farming. Three meals of organic vegan or vegetarian health food each day and hero drinks are included in the prices, but lunch and dinner on free days are not included.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Gluten Free
  • Organic
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

The level one of the Secret Elements Qi Gong is incorporated into the training of the Soul week. If you want to take part in the special teacher training sessions and take the certification test at the end of the week, you can add this educational module to your camp experience. It is the perfect opportunity to become a Qi Gong teacher while you attend the camp.

Qi Gong teacher training module (200 EUR)

The teacher training module contains some additional in-depth sessions with Sascha, Joana, and Camilla. You will get individual corrections and all the background knowledge necessary to take the teacher certification test.

Secret elements level two (650 EUR)

All Secret Elements Qi Gong level one teachers can do their full level two education during the Soul week. The teacher training modules will be in the afternoon. The week long process during the camp will allow for a more thorough training than the usual intense workshops.

Besides, you can experience some archery sessions, join a plastic-free workshop, or take part in fitness parkour during the retreat.

What's included

  • 1 free exploration day per week
  • 3 meals of organic vegan or vegetarian health food per day
  • 6 days training per week
  • 21 nights accommodation
  • A communal festival evening
  • Additional fun activities like archery, camp fires, and music
  • Daily hero mission
  • Daily professional training in theory and practice
  • Final challenges at the end of each week
  • Fractal structure containing physical, mental, and group training
  • Free use of the whole area including the cross-fit forest route
  • Hero drink
  • Night meditation
  • Welcome evening at the campfire
  • Your hero book

What's not included

  • Airfare
  • Airport transfers
  • Lunch and dinner on free days
  • Personal, medical, or trip cancellation insurance
  • Use of the eco-village sauna

How to get there

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Milan-Malpensa Airport (MXP) or Pisa International Airport (PSA). You can reach the venue by train or local bus. The bus stops right at the center's entrance.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 60% of the total price.
  • The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled up to 60 days before the arrival date.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 60 days before arrival.
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