The venue was Woldingham School, a Roman Catholic independent school for girls, located in the former Marden Park of 700 acres (2.8 sq. km) outside the village of Woldingham, Surrey, in South East England. It is a member of the global Network of Sacred Heart Schools. This venue had been selected as it is in the most idyllic surroundings and peaceful settings for a Gasshuku, which means Eating, Sleeping and Training Together.
I was very happy because everyone was enjoying the training and able to go Swimming after the training in a heated Pool and participate in hand ball games. In the evening the entertainment, we had lectures on Criminology, Prevention, Nutrition and History of Karate-Do, also quizzes on General Knowledge and Music, because there was only 38 people everyone knew each other and could talk and relate on the day’s findings.
The concept of Goju Ryu Karate-Do as Higaonna Sensei has always told me is Quality not Quantity; the training program consisted of the IOGKF Curriculum combined with Knife defense, Weapons training with Sensei André Leister, and Kata and Application training with Sensei’s Dick Lovett and Dave Amber. There was also a non-stop hands only Boxing session for 20 minutes in which you could test out your skills or fears. The last 20 minutes was dedicated to using your imagination and readings on all the Kata and diagnosis using nature as a text book.
At this point I would like to thank my Committee members Sensei’s Louise and Martin Stockley for their effort in making this Gasskuku a total success, without them this would not happen. And of course without your commitment in attending this course it would not happen.
Next year we will not be holding this Course as EGKA are holding the IOGKF European Gasshuku in London, and I would like everyone to support this event.
Sensei George Andrews
Editors note: During this gasshuku we took the opportunity to celebrate Sensei George's achievement of 50 years dedication to traditional karate-do. We enjoyed a magnificent cake together on the Friday evening and at the end of training on Saturday Sensei George was presented with a commemorative plaque.
Chief Instructor OTGKA