2009 Swedish European Gasshuku Report

stockholm gassukuBy Hanna von Corswant /Budo Zen Center

The 2009 European Gasshuku was the 25th for the IOGKF and milestone is our federations history. This reflected in the amazing training and experiences shared by Higaonna Sensei and all Gasshuku attendees as author, Hanna von Corswant deatils below...

Between July 27 and 31 2009, the twentyfifth European Gasshuku took place place in Stockholm, Sweden. It was a great opportunity to train under the supervision of Master Morio Higaonna, 10th Dan, for five days in the peaceful environment of the Swedish archipelago.


Day one, Sunday, was for most participants, the day of arrival, registration and in the evening, the Welcome party. Approximately 300 participants from all over the world came to train with Higaonna Sensei. Most were Swedish, Danish and English, but also quite a few Portuguese, Canadian’s and South African’s attended. Chief instructors arriving were picked up at the airport by the Swedish staff, who drove them directly to Bosön, the place where everything took place - the training, lodging and the parties. Bosön is situated only a 20 minute drive from the Stockholm down town and is a calm and quite place by the sea, surrounded by trees. Some Spanish visitors even said ”It was the perfect environment for a Gasshuku”.


Monday morning training was divided into three units. First Junbi Undo with Higaonna Sensei, followed by a short break. Then everyone was divided into groups with their grade level. The Chief Instructors had one hour with each group and then they would switch. This way, the Karate-Ka’s got the opportunity to train with all the Chief Instructors and also got the feeling of variation. The training hall was quite spacious and many Karate-Ka’s were happy to find that the air conditioning was good.


The European Gasshuku was quite big news in the Swedish media, both television and the biggest newspapers in the country were there to report on the event. On Thursday afternoon, the New Zealander, Sensei John Marrable, had a demonstration showing how he practiced Karate from sitting in his wheelchair. Some Swedish handicapped athletes where invited to watch and asked questions.


The Gasshuku continued with varied training and inevitably the Masseur was very popular by the end of the week! On Thursday afternoon there was a Black belt grading. After the last training session on Friday, participants were found sitting outside and enjoying some drinks. A troubadour and a magician where moving around entertaining the crowd. The magician created some puzzled faces, especially Higaonna Morio Sensei and Sensei Bakkies who where quite fascinated by his tricks. ”Where did that rabbit come from?”


The big Sayonara party was hosted by two conférenciers and the dinner was a buffet mediterranean style, keeping everyone satisfied. The evening continued with a liveband playing floorfilling music. Then later during the night, some brave souls did their best with our Karaoke Machine. The 2009 European Gasshuku was a great success!