TOSHI GOSHI GEIKO – Traditional New Year’s Training

By: Joseph van Troost – IOGKF Canada, Goju-ryu Nidan

IOGKF Canada Headquarters, under the leadership of IOGKF Vice-Chief Instructor, Sensei Tetsuji Nakamura, celebrated the start of the New decade with a strong emphasis on tradition, history and developing ones Budo spirit, as Joseph van Troost details…

I participated in my first ever Toshi Goshi Geiko on December 31, 2009 - January 1, 2010. I have to say, I wasn't too sure what to expect and a lot of my non-karate friends thought I was a bit strange to even try it, let alone on New Year’s Eve. 

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But as I am fairly new to the IOGKF, signing up only in September 2009, I think it is important to participate in as many things as I can to get a good understanding of the organization as well as bond with my fellow Karate-ka. I was not disappointed with the evening. 

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Doing Gekisai Dai Ichi 108 times was exactly the mental and physical workout that I wanted and needed. I had to focus very hard and overcome physical and mental fatigue, to make it through to the end.  Starting off the New Year by overcoming a seemingly daunting task was very uplifting and I truly believe that it was an incredible benefit for my morale.  The sushi and sake sampling afterwards also made up for all the hard work!  I'd definitely do it again and highly recommend the experience to newcomers.

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The first class back after the holidays was indeed another experience for me. We threw 2010 punches. Who knew that counting properly is an acquired skill? I was so 'in the zone' I missed my turn to count and threw everyone off. Sorry!

Following the punches, we engaged in a Japanese New Years tradition, which involved passing a bowl of sake around in a circle (no, we didn't drink it!) and paying respect to our past, present and future ancestors. Sensei Nakamura's explanation of the history of Goju-Ryu was interesting and informative.

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Overall these experiences have demonstrated to me a profound meaning and connection with the art and spirit that is sadly lacking in many other dojo.
I am very much looking forward to participating in future dojo and IOGKF events.

Arigato gozaimashita!

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