New Zealand Gasshuku with Sensei Tetsuji Nakamura

By: David Lambert – IOGKF Australia (AOGKF)

Nakamura Sensei recently headed to the southern hemisphere to Wellington, New Zealand to teach at the countries National Gasshuku...

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What a weekend! Great training, great company, great food, great locations – just great!

I arrived to New Zealand the day before the Gasshuku with a team of over 30 AOGKF members from Australia, all looking forward to training with Sensei Nakamura for three days!

I was accompanied by Sensei Joe Roses (IOGKF 7th Dan) and both he and I were invited to the Dojo of Sensei Jenifer Sigley to take a training session for her students. Both Sensei Jen and Sensei David Reddaway are always so kind and generous to us and we had a great time training with their students.

The next day, we showed our students some of the great sights around beautiful Wellington, before we headed up Mount Victoria to the Victoria University Recreaton Center for Dan grade training with Sensei Nakamura.

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As usual, Sensei was in very fine form. He took us through Sanchin Kata, emphasising the use of the Shoulder blade in the Kata and when punching. He also taught us how to develop power by using our spine and introduced us to the new sensation sweeping the IOGKF globe – the ‘fish up’.

For not being the world’s biggest man, Nakamura Sensei seems to pull enormous power from no where. But as he shared more of his secrets with us you appreciate more and more the perfect technique he has. Couple this with his humiltity and you understand how lucky we are to have him as our new leader.

We all attended a Kiwi BBQ at the cambridge hotel after training where we could share a cold beer and a hot sausage sizzle with Sensei Nakamura in a relaxed atmosphere. Cheers were going up for the Rugby and for the exciting two days we had left ahead of us.

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The next two days were all grades training and a big congratulations to IOGKF New Zealand who had over 150 participants turn up to train! Members travelled from both the North and the South islands. Many Australians all traveled across the Tasman sea for the event with 32 AOGKF members coming with Sensei Joe Roses, including one who traveled all the way from Singapore to particpate, and Sensei Chris Larken (IOGKFOZ) attended with two of his senior black belts students.

Each day there was all grades training in the morning with Sensei Nakamura. We were put through everything from reflex basic training to running through the woods! Then afterwards we were split into groups for two sessions.

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I took the kids sessions over the weekend with some 60 + young students in each session. I was also sharing a room with Sensei Nakamura’s classes. When Sensei would give a demonstration of a Kata the whole room, even the kids, would fall silent to show their respect. It was a great atmosphere.

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In the main hall, many students told me of the great talent they were exposed to with instructors from New Zealand and Australia, some of which who had just recently returned from Okinawa.

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We would then come back together for another all grades session in the afternoon. On the Saturday, Sensei Nakamura was needed to conduct a black belt grading and handed the reigns over to Sensei Joe Roses from Australia. Sensei Joe put everyone through his basic rountines and finished with demonstrations of New Zealand and Australian members doing Kata and applications.

For the same session on the Sunday, Nakamura Sensei took us through Gekisai Dai Ichi, 30 times in a row. It was fantastic training! You have to push yourself as your body rises and sinks, but I especially enjoyed being next to my good friends Sensei Thwhiti Seeds and Jenifer Sigley. We thrived off eachother. I can’t wait to do it again!

And so ended a great Gasshuku with so much variety, so many talented instructors and a fantastic atmosphere. Many Australian members commented to me that they could wait to train with Sensei Nakamura again and return back to New Zealand.

On behalf of the AOGKF, I want to thank the New Zealand Kambukai, the event organiser and all the members that made us all feel so welcome. It was definitely one of the best Gasshuku’s I have been too. Thank you so much.