I arrived in Tomsk on Wednesday to acclimatise for the Friday when the Gasshuku would start however, the next day I was asked to do a demonstration on the Open Day for the Budokan of Tomsk which is Sensei Andrei Odintsov new Dojo which there is an array of disciplines of Children and Adults alike.
Okinawan Goju – Ryu, Shotokan, Systema, Capoeira, Aikido and Step Aerobic, Gymnastics and Yoga, and much more, I was impressed with the progress of the new renovations that have taken place since my last visited to the Budokan.
During the Open Day at the Budokan I witnessed some of the hard work and passion that the tutors who teach the Children have put in to making the Children’s appearance and performance outstanding, they even make the Children’s Costumes with an array of beautiful colours, I have complete admiration for there effort.
The next day which was Friday I was invited to one of Russia most famous Sculptor’s Leonty Usov from Tomsk to see some of his works, this gentleman is quite a character and is very passionate when explaining his works, I look forward to meeting him in Pushkin House in Bloomsbury London in October.
The next day Sensei Nakamura would arrive early in the morning, and so after a welcome sleep it was time for training, the class was split into groups so as to maximise the benefit to all concern, I would concentrate on Methodologies of Iri – Kumi and Nakamura sensei would concentrated on Kata and Bunkai, after 5 hours everyone was ready for bed.
Saturday morning after breakfast we made our way to the Dojo where eagerly waiting was a group of people, the theme would be the same for the duration of the Gasshuku, on Sunday morning we were invited to do another demonstration for a different Sports Gym which once again demonstrated a diverse of disciplines’ on which many Children participated.
Sensei Nakamura with the assistance of Sensei Andrei performed Yakasoku Kumite of which they received an ovation, I and one of Sensei Andrei’s student’s Alexander performed Kakie and the audience showed their appreciation, so after we concluded our demonstrations we were invited to the director’s office who is from Kazakhstan where we were given a special treat of Horse’s Milk, I waited to see how Sensei Nakamura would react before attempting to drink it he looked very surprised and then said politely “Mmmm”.
But it was not all about Karate – Do; we were invited to a Bania (Traditional Russia Sauna) in a very charming ladies home, and after the Bania we were invited to have Tea and Cake while she played the Piano, and what a wonderful way to finish the evening.
Sensei Andrei on Monday morning early took Nakamura Sensei to the airport to catch a flight home to Canada, on his return we made our way to the countryside and I had only one think on my mind to go fishing but there was no time, instead we went straight to the Bania and this was a real Traditional Bania where you could sleep up stairs.
That night we slept in a dacha (Summer Cottage) and in the middle of the room there was a Traditional Russian Oven, besides being used for domestic heating, in winter families would sleep on top of the Oven to keep warm, because temperatures in winter can reach - 50C.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Svetlana, Earia, and Anastasia for their help in making this Gasshuku a great success.