Ken Zen Ichinyo Gasshuku

By: Thomas Meißner

Once again the Ken Zen Ichinyo Gasshuku was a great success. Participants travelled to the Kenkon training centre in the Netherlands for a Gasshuku that unites the mind and body through the arts of Zen, Qigong and of course Goju-Ryu Karate...

Once again it was a great pleasure to visit the KenKon Training centre for such a deep, touching event like the Ken Zen Ichinyo Gasshuku.

Sensei Paolo Spongia (IOGKF Italy Chief) and Sensei Sydney Leijenhorst (IOGKF Netherlands Chief) worked together as professional team mates and guided the whole group through a journey to presence in the ´here and now.´ The connection and meeting points between Zen, Qigong and traditional Karate-Do became, for the most of the people, obvious. The teachers followed a red line through these three parts, which allowed a solid transfer of wisdom between Zen, Qigong and Karate-Do.

From the fully conscious sitting in silence (Zazen) to standing and moving in silence (Wuji, White Crane Qigong) to the explosive and fiery movements of Karate, which included the inner and outer sensuality and alertness of the other two and, partly, the moving principles of the White Crane Qigong. The boundaries between these three disciplines shrunk together and the correlation became easy to see and experience.

The setting and intensity of this Gasshuku (a strict schedule, sleeping together with a lot of people in a big room and doing everything together etc.) pulled us out of our conditioned patterns of daily life, and so – with ´empty cups´ – we became able to receive the lessons of Zen, Qigong, Karate…LIFE! This weekend we all learned a lot and the whole group shared a lot of deep wisdom.

Thank you very much to Sensei Paolo Spongia and Sensei Sydney Leijenhorst for the brilliant lessons, Olaf van Kooten for his presence and support, Berry Trip for making it all possible and all the other helping hands (for example Jan Mhe Kroon).
It was and still is a great pleasure!”