The 2012 IOGKF´s South American Gasshuku was held in La Plata, Argentina, from April 13th to 15th.
This year´s event was led by Sensei Tetsuji Nakamura (6th Dan, and IOGKF Vice Chief Instructor), and organized by the hosts, IOGKF Argentina´s Sensei Gustavo Tata (5th Dan and South American Coordinator).
|Sensei Tata and Sensei Nakamura during a local TV interview.|
This year had Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela present with their country chiefs, representatives and delegations.
|Country Chiefs/Representatives: Kneeled, Brazil and Colombia. Standing: Peru, Venezuela, Paraguay and Chile|
The Gasshuku was held at Club Gimnasia y Esgrima, at downtown La Plata, (in the basketball court, with great wooden floor!), with morning and afternoon training sessions, from Friday to Sunday.
|Black belts during kata training|
We had general classes, advanced kyus and black belts and black belts only. We had grading on Saturday evening and later on the Sayonnara Party. Finally on Sunday, after the morning session we took photos of the different country delegations.
Many of us had not had the chance to train with sensei Nakamura before and were surprised by his ability to transmit all the technical information that lied behind of even the simplest technique. He always allowed ample time for questions, translations and cheered up all participants to keep up with the demands of the long training sessions.
|Sensei Nakamura demonstrating Sepai technique|
His teachings were focused on building solid technical foundations, so we could continue practicing karate for many years. He emphasized power generation through muscle contraction and relaxation (torso and tanden), the use of gravitational force for making techniques more efficient, body flexibility and other very unique concepts.
We also had the time to practice and examine all the appropriate kata, review their bunkai and get more familiar with their origins and their meaning.
Sensei Nakamura emphasized the importance of practicing hojo undo and the need of developing muscle and body memory. He stated that mastering karate comes from long sessions of repeating basic karate techniques, which under the supervision of qualified instructors, would yield powerful and explosive techniques that come from a healthy, strong and flexible body.
The grading took place Saturday evening, with five Chilean candidates for different black belt ranks. All karateka belong to dojo Goju Do Chile (IOGKF Representative). The candidates examined in front of Sensei Nakamura and Sensei Tata for over two hours, demonstrating their knowledge in different aspects of the system. Jumbi undo, hojo undo, kihon, kata, bunkai, several rounds of irikumi ju and Sanchin (with Shime) were tested. Push ups, sit ups and leg squats were saved for the grand finale (100 of each).
We are happy to report that all survived and also successfully passed the exam!
|Standing in the back, right after the exam: Mr. Celedón, Mr. Rousseau, Mr. Rivera, Mr Gidi and Mr. Easton.|
The traditional Sayonnara party was held at an Argentinean parilla (Argentina grill restaurant) were we could savor delicious Argentinean beef, ribs, sausages and other cholesterol friendly foods!
During the party the grading results were announced by Sensei Nakamura with the following results:
Passed examination for Yondan:
Mr. Jorge Rivera
Mr. Andrés Celedón
Mr. Manuel Easton
Mr. Christian Rousseau
Passed Examination for Nidan:
Mr. Roberto Gidi
Before finishing this article we would like to thank Sensei Tata and his staff, for organizing a great event, down to every single detail (including accommodations and transportation to/from the airport). Without his leadership and hard work, the reactivation of IOGKF karate in South America would still be a dream.
We would also like to thank Sensei Morio Higaonna, who trusted our organization –Goju Do Chile- with the task of helping to preserve the tradition of Okinawan Goju Ryu Karate. So far, we believe we are meeting those expectations.
Thank you Sensei Nakamura for being a role model for the future generation of karateka. You really inspired us to continue learning!
Finally, a special mention to the delegations and students that travelled from all over Argentina to participate in the seminar. Also, to the delegations from Brazil, Chile (present with 21 karateka!), Colombia, Peru, Paraguay and Venezuela, and all who helped to turn the seminar into a great event.
Goju Do Chile
Traditional Okinawan Goju Ryu Karate Do