The message from Moscow was to make sure you bring plenty of warm clothing and they were right, the temperature outside Domodedovo Airport on my arrival was -22°C and lots of snow.
I was driven to my place of stay which was about 40 minutes outside Moscow; it was called Zhukovsky, the accommodation was in the Sanatorium (houses of rest) where you can have treatment for every part of the anatomy. The surroundings were outstanding with Pine and Birch trees and an aroma to match, everywhere was covered in snow, on entering my room the temperature was a comfortable 25°C and furnishings to match.
Three meals a day were provided so you never went hungry, alcohol was not allowed. I could not sleep the first night due to the silence, and then I could not wake up due to the dark mornings, due to living in London this place was like a retreat.
The Cambridge dojo ran a self defence course for charity on 27th November 2012. All profits went to Cambridge Cyrenians, an organization working with the needs of homeless people.
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.
Chief Instructor OTGKA