Sunday, October 6, 2013

28th IKGA European Gasshuku in The Netherlands

Last Summer the 28th IKGA European Gasshuku was held in the Netherlands from 20 till 25 of July 2013. As always it was a very special event. The seminar was held under the supervision of Saiko Shihan Goshi Yamaguchi as well as European Bloc Director Hanshi Ingo de Jong. This year the seminar was organized by Goju Kai Karate do Nederland under the leadership of Kyoshi Jan van den Dries, Shibucho of the Netherlands.
The seminar was attended by thirteen European Shihans as well as 240 other participants. Special guests were Kyoshi Brian Mackie, Shibucho for Australia and Bloc Director for Oceania and his wife Gale. Saiko Shihan opened the seminar with a warm welcome and an inspirational speech. It was a wonderful start for all the Karateka’s and a great opportunity to train together and to catch up with friends.

The participants were divided into four different groups. Every morning afternoon they joined a two-hour training session, under the guidance of different Shihans. In the evening special classes for the Shihans were held as well.

The classes were of high standard and many aspects of Goju-ryu were brought to light. During the Gasshuku Dutch dojo-instructor Mario Gommel received his Shihan belt and the Renshi title from Saiko Shihan. The grading test for Shodan and above was attended by many participants. In total 17 people succeeded and received their certificates on the last day of the Gasshuku. Three students passed for Godan. Among them two women; Doris Berger from Switzerland and Nicole- Marie Luitwieler from the Netherlands as well as Mika Vlastislav Shibucho of the Czech Republic.  Both Nicole L. and Doris B. are the first women in Europe to receive such a high grade.

In preparation for the Gasshuku it was of utmost importance to Kyoshi Jan van den Dries, that the Gasshuku would run smoothly, so that everyone could just focus on the training itself. Kyoshi and his team did their best to make sure the organization of the seminar was taken care of perfectly. Furthermore it was Kyoshi’s idea to bring children from different nationalities together at the Gasshuku. This was done with the aim in mind to ensure that the future generations will preserve and respect the aims and ideals of Goju Kai Karate Do as laid down by our founder Gogen Yamaguchi Kaiso.

To support this goal a special children’s program was made available. The Karate classes were mixed with fun outdoor activities, accompanied and supervised by youth coordinators. This special program evoked many positive reactions.

In total the Netherlands has eleven dojo’s, all combined under the Dutch Karate-do Gojukai Association under the guidance of Kyoshi Jan van den Dries. The board of the Dutch Goju Kai considers social responsibility of utmost importance and likes to make a difference through being actively involved in social work. In preparations for the Gasshuku, shirts, bags and even the program booklets of the seminar were made available by a foundation that takes care of people with disabilities.

The board is very proud to be part of the Goju Kai family. “We really felt warm and positive vibes during the seminar, which made this annual event very special... Truly one of a kind...
Also we hope that the participants enjoyed the Sayonara party as much as we did. It certainly showed that we not only enjoy ourselves during training, but we have a lot of fun on the dance floor as well.

Pictures and movies can be watched on the Facebook page of this Gasshuku: https://www.facebook.com/EuropeanGasshuku2013

A short clip of the Gasshuku: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfd12A3nkKg