By: Sensei Roberto Zapata – IOGKF Colombia Chief Instructor

IOGKF Colombia Chief Instructor Sensei Roberto Zapata brought Sensei Gustavo Tata to his country for a very well received National Gasshuku and which was a large stepping stone towards uniting Goju-ryu in South America…

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Words are not enough to express the experience of this event.  This was our first GASSHUKU in Colombia under the direction of a high-ranking Sensei of the organization.

There was great emotion in each minute we worked out, in each demonstrated technique, and with each thrown punch.  We experienced two days of strenuous workouts that went too fast, and that ended too soon.

It was an inspiration to all of us to train under the direction of Sensei Tata, whose experience is extensive and whose style inspired all of us.  We were always conscience of the teachings of Master Higaonna: his anecdotes, his corrections, his movements, his philosophy… everything.

This represents a great step for IOGKF Colombia. The Gasshuku has been the culmination of our commitment to the organization and to Master Higaonna.

We want to grow and work towards this goal. This type of event will greatly help us to attain this goal, not only in Colombia, but also for the rest of Latin America.

Among the things that should be highlighted concerning the event, without mentioning the good technical level was the spirit of camaraderie that was experienced. We were a big family united around Karate: children, adolescents, and adults, Argentineans, Colombians, the Dan’s and Kyu’s.  We were all one during the training.

Another great goal that was attained was having demonstrated the traditional style of our School to the other area Goju Ryu schools that attended.  The intention was not to compare styles, but rather to extend an invitation from Master Higaonna to maintain and keep alive the spirit of Goju Ryu, such as our founder, Miyagi Chojun Sensei, would have wanted it.

To everyone who directly or indirectly supported the Dojo, I extend my most sincere gratitude and thanks on behalf of IOGKF of Colombia. We would like to especially thank Sensei Tata for his charisma and commitment, Sensei Gabriela for her unconditional support, and to Lucio, (their 6-month-old son), for his tranquility and peace.

This is only a step, as the journey continues.  I invite you to follow the path of Okinawan Goju-ryu.