This past weekend Okinawan Goju-Ryu Karate Namibia officially kicked off it’s 2021 Event Calendar with the Senior Central Region Gasshuku/Training Camp. The event took place on Friday the 12th and Saturday 13th of March and was hosted by OGKN Chief Instructor, Sensei Carl van der Merwe.
Due to the current Covid-19 Restrictions, this years Gasshuku had to be split into two separate groups, with the Junior Central Region Gasshuku still set to still take place at the end of March. Furthermore, as per the new norm, the Gasshuku was also simultaneously presented on Zoom to allow for students to log in all the way from Walvis Bay Dojo where they trained under the watchful eye of Sensei Nico Maritz.
The general objective of the training seminar was to expose students to a broader picture of Okinawan Goju-Ryu Karate, thereby helping to expand their vision of the art and in turn to stimulate and preserve their interests. When asked to reflect on the Gasshuku Sensei Carl van der Merwe highlighted that “the main theme of the Gasshuku was the application of Kata techniques in self defense situations. There was also focus on the Tai Sabaki, the essence of Goju-Ryu whereby the attack is being evaded and the defense is done from the side of the attacker. Various defenses against attack with weapons like baton and the Bo (staff) (an Okinawan (Japan) martial arts weapon, a long wooden weapon traditionally made of oak and roughly 6 feet in length).”
“I was greatly impressed with the effort made by our students to attend the Gasshuku and the fact that they trained very hard. There is no substitute for the level of training a student receives from these events. We need to continue to adapt during these times and do all we can to continue training and preserving our Art. OGKN is glad to have been able to start our year off with such a successful event and we thoroughly look forward to many more throughout the year!” – Sensei Carl van der Merwe (Chief Instructor, IOGKF Namibia).