IOGKF EGKA members help raise funds for Childrens Hospice

By: Dave Bruce – IOGKF England EGKA

The EGKA’s Shinzato Dojo recently participated in fundraising efforts for a local children’s hospice. The event was to feature demonstrations from various martial arts clubs in the region and, under the leadership of Sensei Steve Gouldson, IOGKF members became the highlight of the evening…

It’s not often we get to see our martial art in direct contrast with others. Nor do we get too many chances to use it to raise money for worthy causes. In March, Sensei Steve Gouldson (6th Dan – IOGKF EGKA) and his Shinzato Dojo students from Wirral, Northern England, had the opportunity to do both when we were invited to participate in a charity fundraiser. Claire House is a local children's hospice and this “Spectacular Evening of Martial Arts” (as it was billed) was a well organised and extremely well attended event.

In a venue more accustomed to hosting musicians -and with a dance floor now matted and illuminated- around 250 people gathered to watch demonstrations by local Aikido, Wing Chun, Shotokan, Tae Kwon Do, Goju Ryu and Taiho Jutsu practitioners. Many of the various participants knew each other well, the audience was a knowledgeable one; and although the success of the event was definitely everyone’s priority, there was still a certain amount of unspoken pride at stake!

By the time the time we ‘took to the stage’, the audience had seen flying Aikido-ka and Wing Chun dummies being pounded. They had witnessed an impressively choreographed Shotokan exhibition and a mixture of Tae Kwon Do and break dancing! -all set to music, with lasers and clouds of dry ice.

We opted for a minimalist approach! There were five of us, three chishi and a pair of focus mits. The only sound effects in this performance were to be the cracks of Sanchin shime, the dull thud of arm, body and thigh conditioning, the focus mits being struck and kiai - With no dry ice.

The effect on our audience was interesting. There were none of the previous whoops or cheers, but plenty of ‘oohs’ and ‘aaahs’ at the obvious effectiveness of the techniques of Okinawa Goju Ryu; and when Sensei Gouldson performed Suparimpei and then a selection of bunkai from the kata, you could have heard a beer mat drop.

After the traditional mokuso and rei to end, the silence was broken by generous applause.

Speaking to people later over a few beers it was nice to hear what we’d done described as “authentic”, and (particularly satisfying) “frightening”.

For Shinzato Dojo, then, it was a worthwhile experience all round, and whilst being no contenders for the entertainment business; we were definitely proud to be able to represent traditional Okinawa Goju Ryu!

Photos taken by: Studio 900