I was invited by Sensei Veerappan Arumugam (Billy) Chief Instructor IOGKF Malaysia to conduct a Gasshuku in Intan, Perak (Diamond Bay). It is situated some 400 Kilometers from the capital Kuala Lumpur.
I received a telephone call from Sensei Mick Dewey to say that he would not be there due to bereavement in the family; we all know the feeling of losing someone we love so my heart goes out to him and his family.
After arriving at Gdansk Airport I was met by Sensei Marian Czylkowski who is the Senior Instructor of Lebork and Wicko, accompanied Andrzej Markowski, we then made our way to Leba where I would stay for the duration of the trip, it is situated North of Poland close to the Sea with a lovely Sandy Beach, and in summer it is bustling with holiday makers.
Course Report from Martin and Louise Stockley, Cambridge
The 2012 Lambert Gasshuku started on Friday 28th September in Kirkcaldy, the birth place of the social philosopher and economist Adam Smith (1723-1790). The dojo for the evening was an upstairs room of the theatre named in his honour. The instructor that we had driven 400 miles to see was the newly appointed world chief instructor Nakamura Sensei. After personally greeting all of the participants, Sensei began the gasshuku briefly informing us of the new organisational structure of the IOGKF and that we would also be taught be the newly appointed vice chief instructors Sensei Ernie Molyneux and Sensei Henrik Larsen. The class that evening covered Junbi Undo, Ten Tsuki and Sanchin kata.
Trafalgar Square in the heart of London was the venue for this year’s Japan Matsuri Festival. I was overwhelmed with the amount of people in attendance, last year there were 35,000 people but this year there were at least 70,000 people.
His Excellency Mr Keiichi Hayashi, Ambassador of Japan formally opened the 2012 Japan Matsuri, there were Spectacular performances from Taiko Drumming, music from Okinawa and Japanese dance from Tsugaru Shimisen and Violins from the British Suzuki Institute, Lolita Fashions from the Tea Party Club and Children from the Japanese School Tsubasa Children’s Choir, such talented performers.
I first went to Israel in 1972 to conduct a Gasshuku in the Kibbutz Tzora, "place of wasps,” the word Zorah is also the name of an Egyptian Sun God. The most bizarre thing is that as a young child I was attacked by a swarm of wasps.
Anyway back to my story. We enjoy the same thing every year and why not if it brings you happiness? I visit places such as burial grounds according to religious beliefs to receive spiritual guidance, as there are 46 doctrines.
The venue was the famous Okinawa Kenritsu Budokan in Naha, training started at 8am for 3rd – 7th Dan every day, then one hour with the Master for basics which included all grades, then there was group training for 3 hours, so a total of 5 hours.
We were also honoured to be given lectures by Aragaki Shuichi Sensei who was a direct student of Miyagi Chojun Bushi and the Sakiyama Sogen Roshi of Kozenji who also trained with Miyagi Chojun Bushi.
The world famous Higaonna Dojo in Naha, Okinawa is a short walk from the Asato station on the Okinawa Monorail (or Yui Rail). On an exterior wall visitors are greated with the following words:
The kanji next to the IOGKF kenkon reads "Okinawa Goju Ryu" followed by "Higaonna Karate Dojo" in larger print. The remaining text tells us that beginners and women are welcome for maintaining health. These simple words remind us not only that karate is for everyone but this martial art is for the purpose of looking after your body.
Thank you to Kumiko Akamine for the translation.
Chief Instructor OTGKA