Sensei Henrik Larsen turns 50!

By: Alexander Egeberg - IOGKF Denmark

IOGKF Denmark is not only celebrating having the privilege of hosting the 2010 European Gasshuku and the 30th anniversary of their Honbu Dojo, but also the birthday of Chief Instructor, Sensei Henrik Larsen. A party and demonstration was held in this senior IOGKF instructors Dojo…

March 4th 1960 was a Friday. At first glance, the date doesn’t seem that special. A quick online search reveals the following: On this particular date, at around 3:10 pm, the French cargo ship La Coubre, carrying 70 tons of munitions from Belgium, exploded in Havana Harbor killing 76 people and injuring more than two hundred.

All of a sudden, this date seems very tragic - however, despite all of this, the day also brought a joyful event – an event that would later come to affect the lives of so many people, not just in Denmark, but around the world as well.

March 4th 1960 was in fact, the day that Sensei Henrik Larsen was born.

To give a description of Sensei Henrik’s achievements would mean that I would have to go from writing a short piece to a full-size novel. Most of you have probably encountered him on the European Gasshuku and at the World Budosai, but for IOGKF-Denmark, he is so much more than that.

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For thirty years, Sensei has been the chief instructor of the largest dojo in Denmark with more than 800 students!

Eagerly travelling around for Gasshuku’s and seminars, for many years having been a driving force in the Danish Karate Federation (where he to this very day an honorary member), having been involved in coaching the National Team as well as on a daily basis promoting the wonders of the traditional Goju Ryu Karate-do. Sensei has touched the lives of thousands of people in all ages of life.

Therefore, it was no surprise that 2010 would be a special year. Not only will Denmark play host to the 2010 European Gasshuku in Copenhagen, but at the same time, the Honbu Doju in Denmark has its 30 year anniversary and it is also the year when Sensei Henrik turned 50.

Needless to say, this had to be celebrated! Several hundred people, including friends, family (bloodline as well as the IOGKF-family), business associates and even the town mayor had shown up to pay tribute to Sensei Henrik by celebrating his 50th birthday.

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There were traditional Japanese Taiko drums playing, a demonstration of Kata and bunkai, as well as my own personal way of saying happy birthday to Sensei Henrik – by performing Sanchin while having shime from a shinai.

Sensei received a lot of presents as well. Some had chosen to bring wine, flowers or a small personal gift, but Kayle (Sensei Henrik’s partner) had secretly gathered donations from members of IOGKF-Denmark in order to collect enough money for Sensei to visit the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C., which is a place that Sensei has wanted to see for years.

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To this very day, Sensei Henrik is still actively involved in Goju Ryu. In his hard work preparing for the 2010 European Gasshuku, while at the same time running the Danish Honbu Dojo; Sensei Henrik is living proof, that Karate is more than just a sport, art or hobby – it’s a way of life!

Even though I’ve only had the pleasure of training Goju Ryu for 16 years, I want to thank you Sensei, for the past 30 years of your hard work – and I’m looking forward to the next thirty years as well!

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