IOGKF Italy - Instructors Gasshuku

By: Giuseppe Manzari – IOGKF Italy

IOGKF Italy’s Instructor Gasshuku program was the idea of Chief Instructor Sensei Spongia. Well planned and well organised, the structure of the event covers all areas relevant to strengthening a country organisation. This is a great system which works exceptionally well…

For many years now IOGKF Italy Chief Instructor Sensei Paolo Taigō Spongia has been gathering all IOGKF Italy Instructors (Sensei) and assistants (Fuku Shidoin) twice a year for an intensive Gasshuku.

Many of them already train at IOGKF Italy Honbu Dōjō every week or at least every month. However, all instructors participate twice a year in the Instructor Gasshuku.

The Gasshuku usually lasts 2 and half days and is divided into three main parts:

  1. General meeting
  2. Theory
  3. Training

The general meeting offers to Sensei Spongia and all Instructors the opportunity to get an updated overview of IOGKF Italy situations.

Past activities are reviewed and commented upon and future projects are proposed and approved by majority vote.

All Sensei have a chance to explain how their Dojo’s are doing in regard to all past activities and future projects, and ask for help and support, sharing the experience of senior instructors.

Theory lessons are held to update instructors on their cultural and technical background.

Subjects of lectures are: anatomy, physiology, training theory, psycho-pedagogy and methodology in training children and adults, principles of food science, history of Goju-Ryu and any other subject pertaining to Karate-Do training and teaching.

Classes are taught by the Chief Instructor and by qualified teachers (often IOGKF members).

All the Instructors are qualified in BLS (Basic Life Support) and every 2 years they have to update their qualification in the red cross courses.

The two days Training, conducted by Sensei Taigō Spongia, starts every day with a first part  reserved to Sandan or Yondan and above and a second, general part, for all grades participants. 

Usually each Instructor Gasshuku has a theme, like Jumbi Undo or Kakie or Bunkai or Kata and so on. Each theme is developed up to a refined level, with the purpose of offering to all sensei the correct way to teach the true Okinawan Goju-Ryu Karate-Do to their students.

Naturally at the end of the Gasshuku we never miss the opportunity to share a lunch together.

Such an organization created during the years (this year IOGKF Italy celebrates 15 years of life) grew to a highly technical level of Instructors. Moreover, a solid and strong spirit and sense of community among all IOGKF Instructors give us a real ‘family feeling’.