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KARATE: Weymouth hosts GKI International Gasshuku camp
3:17pm Friday 30th August 2013 in Sport
WESSEX Karate Academy was delighted to be tasked this year with the organisation and hosting of the GKI International Gasshuku training camp, which was held in Weymouth.
The GKI, to which the academy is part of, is an organisation made up of the world’s highest grade instructors in Go Ju Ryu karate.
This is to ensure that the highest standard of training and in-struction is set and maintained by all its senior instructors regardless of which country they train in.
There are two Gasshuku events held yearly, one in the summer and one in the winter with this year’s summer one being selected to be in the UK for the first time in eight years, and organised and hosted by the local Wessex club.
However this year’s event was not just a standard Gasshuku event, it was also to be held in celebration and honour of Shihan Sensei James Rousseau’s 50th year of karate training.
Sensei James, who now resides in the UK, started training in the 1960s when he lived in South Africa, and his dedication and fascination led to him spending many years in Okinawa, travelling back and forth to his home country. He made many friends all over the world during these 50 years, training students of many nationalities.
The event was held at the Wey Valley Sports facility, utilising both training halls as it attracted more than 130 participants from the UK, Portugal, South Africa, Belgium, Sweden, Nepal and Cameroon.
The actual Gasshuku event was over three days where students from the age of six to 70 years were able to train with the world’s highest 7th and 8th Dans.
There were also extra special taster training sessions for those who wanted to try Kobudo – an old style of Okinawan traditional weaponry training.
The afternoon of the final day was taken up for grading students, as this is the only opportunity to test for a first black belt (Shodan) or higher level in this style of martial art.
There were around 20 grading students, six of which were from the Wessex club, with the results being announced at a spectacular party (Sayonara) held at the Hotel Prince Regent in the evening.
All six Wessex students were successful, maintaining the club’s 16th year of all students passing their grade.
Jack Joyce, Charlotte Evans and Catriona Groves passed their Shodans, Dave Evans and Nicolle May passed to Ni (2nd) Dan and Christopher Fryer was awarded his San (3rd) Dan The final gradings were awarded to some of the senior instructors, with two obtaining their 7th Dans and Sensei James being awarded his 9th Dan, one of the first outside of Japan.
The event was rounded off with a competition with each country putting in a team to take part in Kata (a set sequence of moves demonstrating karate technique) and Kumite (sparring).
These events were broken down into age groups rather than grade and officiated by WKF-approved specialist referees from Nepal and Portugal.
The South African team won the overall trophy with 25 points, followed by the UK with 17 points and, in third place, were Portugal with 14 points.
Wessex senior instructor Sensei Peter Thompson said: “The week was a fantastic event and with it being so well supported, both locally and worldwide, it has indeed made it a true celebration for Sensei James.
“This and the fact that our students all passed their grade tests, while others did so well in the competition can only be described as a complete success for the club.”
For further information about the club, see wessexkarate.co.uk
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