In recent years the OTGKA has held a residential Summer school open to all practitioners of Goju Ryu karate-do. The Gasshuku has been held at prestigious independent schools at various locations in the South of England and 2019 was no exception. The selected venue was Stowe School which is based at Stowe House. This impressive Grade I Listed Building was formerly the country seat of the Dukes of Buckingham and Chandos. Training was held daily in Drayson Hall, the sports centre, meals were eaten in Stowe House itself and one of the boarding houses provided comfortable accommodation and a space for us to socialise in the evenings.
The sports centre was named after Robert Drayston, a former headmaster of the school. According to Wikipedia, one of Drayson's boys at Stowe was Richard Branson, who later confessed that while at the school "In a lengthy report, I instructed the then headmaster, R. Q. Drayson, in no uncertain terms just how I felt he should have been running the school. I covered many areas... Boldly, I said money would be saved by my plan and this could be put towards my next proposals." When the 16-year-old Branson left Stowe, Drayson told him, "Congratulations, Branson – I predict you will either go to prison or become a millionaire."
Training was led by Sensei George Andrews with plenty of time committed to training in smaller groups receiving instruction from Sensei Dick Lovett, Sensei Dave Amber and Sensei Andre Leister. Sensei Dave took the opportunity to share from his recent experience training in Okinawa and Sensei Andre provided kobudo training in Bo and Nunchaku.
On Saturday evening everyone participated in the annual Gasshuku quiz, with the Cambridge team taking victory this year.
Plans are already in place to hold the 2020 Summer Gasshuku at the same venue, watch this space!
Chief Instructor OTGKA