Czech Republic Gasshuku with Sensei Tetsuji Nakamura

By: Jaroslav Kulik  - Country Representative

Before the Budosai, our new world chief visited the Czech Republic for their 9th spring Gasshuku. The event was a resounding success held within picturesque cities and was attended by over 8 countries…

On the 19th – 20th May 2012 the Czech Association of Okinawan Goju Ryu Karate-do (CAOGK) organized already the 9th Spring Gasshuku, which was held for the first time in the picturesque town of Telc, where one of the member clubs took the main organizations, local TJ Telc Okinawan Karate Club.

Invited to this unique event and accepted for the first time to visit the Czech Republic vice- chief instructor of the world IOGKF and IOGKF in Canada, Sensei Tetsuji Nakamura (7th Dan). By using his charismatic personality and distinctive approach he addressed all stakeholders in the dojo and outside it.

The seminar began for all on Saturday, May 19th, but Sensei arrived earlier, on Thursday to see the beauty of the Czech lands, mainly Prague, as the organizing team of CAOGK managed to show this to special guest. Sensei was leaving on Friday evening in the direction of Telc enthusiastic and full of impressions of the beauties of our capital city.

Early Friday evening Telc was packed with Karate from all over Europe, when the friends arrived to the 9th spring Gasshuku with leading Sensei – for first time from Scotland with two of the leaders of their organization - Kenny Morisson (4th Dan) and Gary Adams (4th Dan), friends from Romania, with the official representative Victor Popa (3rd Dan), a large group from Poland with their official representative Adam Litwinski (3rd dan) and friends from Slovakia, not only from Bratislava from the dojo with the representative Igor Vakos (3rd Dan) but also from the dojo in Trencin with official representative, Marian Nemecek (4th dan). The event was also attended by members of the German IOGKF Munich and Gottingen clubs. After a warm Friday evening, everyone gathered for the first practice on Saturday from 8.30, when a large group from IOGKF arrived from the Okinawan Goju Ryu Dojo's from Jindrichuv Hradec with the official representative at the national IOGKF, Jaroslav Valenta (4th dan) and the largest group of organizers ČAOGK, practitioners from all member dojo - Shinzato dojo from Prague, Antei dojo from Brno, and from TJ Slovan Okinawa Karate Club Jindrichuv Hradec and from the above mentioned organizing dojo TJ Sokol Telc Okinawan Karate club.

The filling of the Gasshuku was fully directed by Sensei Nakamura, where under his leadership are the teaching blocks for a masters degree.He focused on Sanchin, especially the version by Sensei Miyagi Chojun as well as the Sensei Kanryo Higaonna, Tensho Kata and the interpretation of masterpieces from Sanseru to Sesan. He ended his own teachings of demonstrations of Sesan and Suparinpei Kata, the top two Kata in the style of Goju ryu, which took the breath away of all of us.

The training block for all levels was aimed at strengthening the foundations of the traditional Junbi Undo (warming up) and Hojo Undo (traditional strengthening exercises) with a human weight. Next followed the interpretation of the basic techniques with a focus on breath and the origin of the energy techniques in Goju Ryu, accompanied by interesting independent exercises or exercises in pairs, and with sophisticated teaching methodology, quick pace and possibilities to workout with Karate-ka from all over Europe, all illustrated by the friendly atmosphere of the event.

Even the smallest Karate-ka’s who arrived for an hour workout with Sensei really enjoyed themselves. It was an extraordinary experience for them, when Sensei demonstrated his skills and was able to take our little "hopes" so far that the language barrier and shyness disappeared and they released most of themselves, just as the older practitioners before them.

At the end of Saturday's teaching block there were exams for the Dan gradings, which was successfully completed by all participants and ČAOGK welcomed in its ranks Sensei Vlastislav Behoun (4th Dan) from J.Hradec, Sensei Vilem Mark (3th Dan) and his student Sensei Petr Opatrny (1st Dan) both from local TJ Sokol Telc. The fourth successful graduate of Sensei was Braňo Mosko (1st Dan) from Slovakia.

Congratulations to all!

On Saturday evening we held the traditional Sayonara party, this time in a cozy atmosphere of the Hotel Na Hrazi, with good food, drink and a friendly atmosphere that carried over from the dojo. It strengthened and established new friendships among the participants themselves and they all have the opportunity to speak personally with the Sensei and this year was no different.

This year's 9th Spring Gasshuku was very successful, above the expectations of the organizers as the event was attended by over 100 karate-ka, from six countries, including 8 IOGKF official representatives. The main guest, Sensei Tetsuji Nakamura, expressed at the end of the visit great satisfaction with the course of the whole event and with the deployment of the practitioners and the exercise levels in the country, and as the Czech culture addressed him he let himself be heard that his visit to our country, is certainly not the last and he will happily accept the invitation again.

Following this I would like to thank on behalf of the organizing ČAOGK 9th spring Gasshuku, all the participants for their contributions to this event and especially all members of the organizing team, which ensured the smooth running of event and sponsors: City of Telc, TJ Sokol Telc, Masna Krahulík, Masna Kostelecké uzeniny, Bakery Marek , Hotel Na Hrazi, Printer Rain Jindrichuv Hradec, Mr. Michal Pinc and Congress Centre U Hájků. Thank you for your efforts to which we could represent a decent level to our chief instructor. Thanks a lot!

Sayonara until 2013 for the 10th Spring gasshuku!