Seminar on street fighting techniques. Sensei George Andrews, Moscow 1994.
This is the 9th year that I have conducted a Gasshuku in Paradise. After the tragic death of Sensei Geoff Pickup, I promised his wife Ahel that I would keep his legacy going and support her.
Each year there are more people attending, I like to keep the numbers down to around 30 so everyone gets individual teaching and corrective training. Gi bottoms and t/shirt are all you need as there are no distinctions between people and what grade they are.
Training schedule is 5 hours a day, the training is 2 hours and 30 minutes 10-12.30pm and 5-7.30pm as the mid - day temperature can reach 37-42°C and there is no air conditioning. One must consume at least 5 liters of water a day. At lunch time everyone is treated to a fresh fruit lunch consisting of Mango, Dragon Fruit, Pineapple, Red and Yellow Watermelon and Papaya which replenishes lost vitamins and minerals.
Morning training is based on stamina and endurance, starting with a stringent warm up, and which includes Impact work methodologies and combinations, the evening training is about corrective training in basics and Kata and bunkai, but it not all about training. After training in the morning we all chill out in the swimming pool and have lunch together in the resort which serves Thai and European food, and then we go down to the beach for an hour massage, after training in the evening we all meet and have dinner together, so you get to know everyone, which is quite unique, which in turn creates future communications and friendship.
When the Gasshuku is finished we celebrate the end with a good bye party, and my friend Anne who owns a Bar prepares Food that you could not finish because there is so much, the comments that were echoed was very delicious and such a variety, there was Shark, Tiger Prawns that were as long as a ruler, Thai Curry, different rice dishes and fish as big as a dinner plate.
As the Gasshuku concluded there was an examination for 3 people who would attempt to pass their grade, after they completed the curriculum which was 2 hours and 30 minutes, I am proud of all there efforts so at the good bye party I announced the results.
David Mc Naught from Singapore has been training for 17 years, he is a very strong person, and his character is refined and polite, over the week he trained diligently, so I was proud to announce his success Shodan pass.
Sensei Richard Lovett 5th Dan pass, my comments was for a 68 year old man you gave it your best and after a week of enduring and grueling training and the upmost loyalty I am proud to announce your success.
Sensei Dave Amber, 5th Dan pass, this was very emotional not only for me but for all the group, as I spoke about this man’s journey through his life and career tears filled our eyes. Two years ago he was diagnosed with Bowl Cancer and after a year of treatment he was cleared, and came back to training and worked hard on Endurance and Kata plus Bunkai. I have seen the emotion and apprehension in this man’s eyes and body language, he is credit to me.
My special thanks to Sensei Gavin Hill from Australia and Sensei Henrik Jørgensen from Denmark for their assistance in making this Gasshuku a complete success, and look forward to 2016 training in Paradise Koh Samui, Thailand.
Renzoku translates into English as consecutive, continuity, serial. Bunkai is used in the martial arts to describe the application of techniques found within the traditional kata. Renzoku bunkai is therefore simply a series of applied techniques, practiced in a continuous manner. Within the IOGKF, it commonly relates to a specific two person drill in which the kata Gekisai Dai Ichi is performed in a straight line by the ukete (defender) whilst a sequence of corresponding offensive and defensive techniques are executed by the semete (attacker). This drill is also known as Chokusen Gekisai Dai Ichi, literally meaning straight line Gekisai Dai Ichi.
Sensei George Andrews has developed a variation of this drill in which each technique is practiced three times and the roles of attacker and defender are changed at the end of each three step sequence, until the very end, which is reminiscent of the original sequence.
In the video below, Sensei Dave Amber and Sensei Martin Stockley demonstrate the original form of renzoku bunkai and the variation.
The black belt grading in September 2013 was a special moment in my karate journey as I successfully passed to Sandan under the watchful eye of Sensei George Andrews. Alongside me that weekend was three of my students who were grading to 1st kyu. A lot has happened over the past year, including the move of the Honbu dojo to new premises in Peckham to make way for the demolition of the Institute of Traditional Karate-Do in the Heygate Estate.
During the past 12 months the three students increased their efforts, making the extra commitment to train with Sensei George as often as possible at the monthly weekend courses, in addition to their regular classes in Cambridge. The grading weekend this September was another special moment as Steve Morrell, Paul Middleton and Tony Swanser successfully graded to Shodan, making them the first black belt students of the Cambridge dojo.
Of course, I can’t write an article about achievements of the Cambridge dojo without mentioning the Gasshuku in Koh Samui in March earlier this year at which Louise passed her Sandan test under some very tough conditions.
Many congratulations also to Tony Saunders, Finn Eiles and Jabrane Iguider who graded to Shodan and Ben Lacey and Andy Watson for grading to Sandan.
I was going to drive to Wigan but after counting the cost and time factor, I decided to go by train. I can’t believe I even thought about driving up there, after only 1 hour 55 minutes I was getting off the train in Wigan.
After arriving at the Wigan Youth Zone I was met by Sensei Tony Bewley who managed to arranged this venue. With the generous gesture of allowing the course free of charge because of such a good cause, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Staff for all their help in making this course a great success, I understand that we raised about £2,450.
As I was getting changed, my long time friend Sensei Tony Christian 8th Dan BKA arrived followed by Sensei’s Bob Honiball 8th Dan Jundo Kan and Paul Coleman 7th Dan Gojukai and not forgetting my one time student Sensei Kevin Nason 7th Dan GKI, after all the greetings it was down to training.
The contingent was spilt into 4 groups, I counted about 147 people from different Goju Ryu Association, this was a great achievement to bring together people that wanted to support and enhance the life of Sensei Paul Coleman, I forgot to mention those people that could not make it that sent in generous donations and we thank you from our hearts.
But it was not all about Karate – Do, when the training finished we made our way to a "All You Can Eat" Chinese Restaurant, and the food was scrumptious. When we finished I stayed we Sensei Tony and we reminisced about the old times.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Sensei’s Eric Williams and Tony Bewley for bringing together the Goju – Ryu Family.
This was a successful trip and one that will improve the communications between North and South of Poland; I met Sensei Adam Litwinski 4th Dan IOGKF, who is a senior instructor in Poland.
I went to Cape Town, South Africa, to celebrate with one of the best Karate practitioners I have had the privilege to be associated with; Sensei Bakkies, he is an inspiration to everyone.
This was the 8th Annual Gasshuku I have conducted in Koh Samui, Thailand and each year there are more people attending however, I have now limited the amount of participants to 30 and by invitation only.
This was the second year that I have been invited to conduct a Gasshuku in Teluk Intan, Malaysia, by the Chief Instructor of Malaysia Sensei Billy, Veerappan Arumugam.
I was invited to conduct a Gasshuku by Kevin and Mika Duff, who stayed and trained in the London Honbu Dojo for 18 months. I was happy to travel to the states at this time of year because the temperature was 25°C with beautiful blue skies.
Chief Instructor OTGKA
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