IOGKF Australian Regional Gasshuku with Sensei Joe Roses

By: Zeke Ezra – IOGKF Australia

In November 2010, our International Editor played host to Australian joint Chief Instructor, Sensei Joe Roses, for a special regional seminar. Making sure pee-wee, junior and senior students had maximum exposure to Sensei Roses was key to the success of the seminar which only received positive feedback…

On 21 November an IOGKF regional seminar was held in Goulburn in the historic dojo of Sensei David Lambert.  Sensei Joe Roses (Joint Chief Instructor in Australia) was in charge of proceedings and was ably assisted during the day by Sensei Pat Brown, Sensei John (Sam) Steggall, Sensei Michael Lifson and Sensei David Lambert.  Attendees included many locals but also a strong contingent from Canberra and at a few attendees from Sydney.  Additionally there was a good mix of levels from half a dozen black belts right through to a couple of white belts.

The day commenced with an hour and a half session for pee wee students a dozen of whom made up the first two lines.  Behind them were quite a few adult attendees who got there early and who provided additional encouragement to the young ones.  Right from the start it was clear that Sensei Joe was keen to instill some tradition and history into the day regardless of age.  From “seiza” and back to an upright stance he ensured that students understood the importance of each such move.  Before long he had them eating out of his hand and with assistance from Sensei Pat the session seemed to fly past.  The enthusiasm and spirit demonstrated by these youngsters was extremely pleasing to watch and it seemed to get the others into the right frame of mind for the rest of the day.

By around 10:15am, the juniors and adults were assembled for the more serious part of their day.  Half an hour of junbi undo with regular explanations being provided to reinforce aspects of the exercises was just what the doctor ordered for the remaining time that took us to lunch.  Sensei Joe called it the “cat on a hot tin roof” session.  He explained that just as a cat walking on a hot tin roof would not have its feet down on the roof very long he expected us to be just as agile but in a martial way.  For most of the session we were kept moving while performing quite a number of drills.  Punches, blocks, kicks and various combinations of all three were done with us “exploding” whilst constantly moving.  We then paired up with each group having a punching bag and the exercises were repeated this time with us having to reach the opponent and then strike a real target.  The energy in the room was high and the kiai’s kept coming strong and loud.  I am sure though it was nothing those walls had not heard before.  By the end of the session it was hard to stand still and everybody was ready for a cool drink and a bite to eat.

The final session commenced at 1:30pm sharp and ran through to 3:15pm.  It was a Kata session which began with us all doing Sanchin. Before even commencing the kata Sensei identified students who had taken off their tops but had not properly folded them and placed them in a neat fashion prior to commencing.  I am sure they learned a valuable lession from this instruction alone.  Sensei Joe then went through the Kata providing valuable tips and insights into its relevance to our style.  After a few drills we performed the Kata again with some of the more senior members being “shimed”.  Thereafter we all performed Gekisai dai Ichi to Seiyunchin, receiving similar instruction for each Kata.  We then broke into two groups with the more junior group being instructed in more detail on Saifa kata while the rest got instruction in Seiyuncin.  At around 3 pm Sensei had groups of two or three students (depending on rank) performing different Kata’s.  The most senior black belts as well as Sensei Joe then performed more senior Kata’s which were a treat to watch and seemed to have the more junior students captivated.

It was clear the day was a resounding success and that all attendees gained valuable experience and knowledge.  The dojo was full and Sensei Lambert informed the group that the next seminar was scheduled for March was being held in larger premises and both Sensei Joe and Sensei Larkin would be attending.  I highly recommend you note this day in your diaries and book to attend.  You won’t be disappointed.