By: David Lambert – IOGKF International Editor

IOGKF Australia recently held a regional Gasshuku which surpassed all expectations and numbers. Sensei Joe Roses & Sensei Chris Larken lead a jam packed one day event that was very well received...

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On March 13, 2011 I had the pleasure of hosting Sensei Joe Roses and Sensei Chris Larken, IOGKF Australia’s Chief Instructors, in my hometown of Goulburn, NSW.

The event was a regional Gasshuku, a type of event I am increasingly hosting more often in Goulburn. With Australia being such a vast and spread country, these smaller type events in between our National Gasshuku’s have been very well received.

I met with Sensei Chris Larken and his lovely wife Kerri for dinner the night before. They drove 4 hours to come to the event and it was great to share in their company. Living so far apart, we all don’t get to see each other as much as we’d like to. Having this opportunity gave me the chance to show Sensei Chris and Kerri my father’s belt and display in Goulburn’s hall of fame at the Goulburn soldiers club, which they were very impressed by.

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The morning of the Gasshuku, my team and I were out at the local basketball stadium early setting up a lunch area and decorating every in a sea of red, black and white. To begin the day I organised for a pee-wee only session for Sensei Joe Roses to take. 40 children aged under 10 showed up for training, a double on the numbers we were expecting. Sensei Joe put the kids through their basics and had them doing running and fitness drills – I am sure they all slept well that night!

To start the second session I welcome Sensei Joe and Sensei Chris and I was invited to take junbi undo training for about 30 minutes. Once everyone had worked up a light sweat, we broke into two groups – Dan grades and Kyu grades. I was expecting around 40 participants and was really humbled when we attracted nearly 80!

For the next two hours, Sensei Chris took the black belts, working on standardising Kata Bunkai for grading purposes and worked from Gekisai Dai Ichi all the way through to Sanseru. Every seemed to enjoy this.

As for the Kyu grades, Sensei Joe and I took their training, firstly starting on Sanchin Kata and its basic forms. Sensei Joe then moved the group onto vigorous Kata and Kihon practice and a fantastic time was had by all.

For the lunch break, I organised a BBQ lunch. This way all you had to do was park your car, train, eat and leave. It was a much better system then having to pack up and go to a restaurant in town and then come back. I received only positive feedback on this and although it is a bit of work, I would recommend doing it at similar events around the world.

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For the final session of the day we kept the same groups, only swapping instructors. Sensei Chris took the Kyu grades through more Kata and strength training and he was very impressed by 5 pee-wee boys from Canberra who decided to stay and worked hard in the session.

Sensei Joe really got the sweat pumping with the Black Belts. First we began with Chishi training. I demonstrated the techniques while Sensei Joe explained them and I think for a few members this may have been their first time using a chishi. Sensei then threw us straight into two man Kata (doing at least 20 repetitions), San Dan Gi drills with take downs and then hard Kakie. To finish Sensei Joe started Kata training at Sanseru and worked up to Sesan. There were only a few of us left by the time we reached Sesan and it was great to feel the energy from the seniors in the hall.

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To round the day up, I presented both of our Chief Instructors with a small token of our appreciation for their efforts on the day. It was a fantastic fun filled day and I look forward to doing it again so time in the future. Thank you to all those who travelled and to the many instructors who made the effort to bring students too, I really appreciate it.