Training in paradise, well it was suppose to be, but up to a week before we left the UK it rained in Thailand for 7 days and 7 nights and there were flash floods to waist level and temperatures at 23°C that have not be seen since the 70’s.
People remarked it’s because of the back end of the Tsunami in Japan, I watched some of the reporting about the situation in Japan and my heart goes out to all the families that have lost loved ones and friends.
The Japanese people are so dignified and decline to show their feelings however, watching the reports and seeing their expression of grief brought tears to my eyes because there is no comfort for loss of loved ones, only time.
One of the reasons for my visit to Koh Samui was to pay my respects to Sensei Geoff Pickup who was tragedy killed on a motor bike last July, but he lived his dream and built a Dojo, Restaurant and Bungalows so people could come and train and have vacation in Paradise.
Arriving in Koh Samui it was a pleasure to see the Sun shining and with blue sky and temperatures to match 30°C + and it was only 9am, I was met by Stefan Kazubke who took his Children training every day when Sensei Geoff was alive.
Arriving at Samui Dojo Resort where I would spend the next ten days, I was met by Sensei Geoff’s Wife Aell, and after the greetings she showed me the shrine of Geoff it was quite emotional, I paid my respects to him and then went to my room to chill out.
The training schedule would be for 5 hours a day for 5 day’s, morning and evening to avoid the midday heat 38°C because there is no air-conditioning, every 30 minutes there were water breaks to avoid dehydration and health issues.
There were only 13 people training but came from as far as Australia, Singapore, Laos, Malaysia, Denmark, Thailand and England I’m sure Sensei Geoff would have been present as well.
But it was not all about Karate – Do training, I was accompanied by 3 of my students that train in London with me Dave Amber, Ricky Young and Shane Cleary, this is their first time to Thailand so it must be an exciting and memorable trip.
Well their aspiration were not disappointed, after 30 hours of training it was time to chill out, everyday we had brunch on the beach, they also went Elephant Tracking and witnessed some beautiful water fall at breath taking heights, then and after watching a show with Birds, Otters and Tigers, they witnessed one of the spiritual places called The Secret Buddha Garden where many Buddha’s and images are carved out of rocks and stones, and the sound of insects was overwhelming.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Aell, Stefan and Tony for their effort in making trip one of the best, look forward to seeing you all again in April 2012.
Sensei George Andrews
Chief Instructor OTGKA