Denmark Gasshuku with Sensei’s Ernie, Henrik & Linda

On the 17th and 18th of November Denmark hosted their Autumn Gasshuku in Nykobing Falster.

The international line up of instructors included Senseis Ernie Molyneaux, Henrik Larsen, Linda
Marchant and Torben Svendsen. I was joined by two of my colleagues from Sensei Linda
Marchants dojo to attend this event. The first thing that struck us on arrival to the hall was the size
of the childrens class, on further inspection however it was only white and yellow belts who were
training, the rest of the children were in other halls-it was at this moment that that size of the
gasshuku started to become clear. In one hall we could only just see Sensei Linda amongst a sea of
children!

The adults gasshuku started at 2pm on the Saturday, outside of Japan this was one of the largest line
ups I’ve seen, conservative estimates put the attendees at about 300! We started with a brief
introduction about the gasshuku and some gifts for both Sensei Ernie and Sensei Larsen who were
both appointed as Vice Chief Instructors recently. Then it was down to business. Sensei Ernie took
the warm up, including a range of tai sabaki techniques as well as kicking and some fancy
footwork!

Once completed the next step was to move into our respective groups – each Sensei then had about
50 minutes per group to work on their chosen subject, each giving insight and knowledge as well as
enough physical exertion to ensure that we left with a good appreciation of what they were
teaching. Partner exercises were also part of the agenda, — stability and manipulation of stances,
effectiveness and efficiency, balanced shift of weight/momentum, coordination, timing, and distance
between partners were all tested. One of the best things about gasshukus is that there is a huge
opportunity to train with and meet new people. A chance to see how others move and how they
interpret the techniques being taught. It was great to see the enthusiasm from everyone and the way
in which all worked so well together. Not only that however, each Sensei gave personal advise and
assistance during the partner work which really helped with the exercises!

Saturday training consisted of over 5 hours and it went in a flash after which it was the usual trek
into town to find food and a quick drink. The Tooting Karate Club contingent were joined by the
German contingent for some drinks and then it was back to the B&B for some rest and sleep for
Sunday training.

It was the turn of Sensei Linda to take the warm up on Sunday and looking around the hall the
numbers much have reached to the hundreds. Time seemed to just fly by, the intensity and focus
needed for each instructors subject matter was immense and tired muscles were called into action!
During the course of the weekend there was a diverse range of subjects, however the basic notes of
what each Sensei was teaching were quite similar.

The last class of the gasshuku for my group was with Sensei Larsen where we focused on speed,
movement and timing... tired muscles summoned to action-just the tonic for the last class of the
weekend!

All to quickly, though we were again brought together for a final session with Sensei Ernie, his
choice to close the gasshuki was a series of basics that built up to a series of kicks and strikes. There
were many notes taken during this gasshuku, much to work on and great feedback from the Senseis.
It was however the atmosphere that was the most amazing, everyone to a person was giving their
all! Those of us who travelled were welcomed with open arms and the entire weekend was such an
amazing experience!