Australia Gasshuku with Sensei Joe Roses

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In September 2012, Nakamura Sensei granted permission for the formation of the Australian Okinawan Goju-ryu Karate-do Federation (AOGKF), a new Australian organisation under the auspices of the IOGKF. Popular IOGKF senior instructor, Sensei Joe Roses, who recently obtained his 7th Dan Black Belt at the 2012 World Budosai, was elected as head instructor and to lead the AOGKF and spread Goju-ryu across Australia.

In November, 2012 the AOGKF held its first National event under the leadership and instruction of Sensei Roses, who was assisted by senior instructors Sensei Kevin Nash (5th Dan), Sensei John Steggall (4th Dan) and Sensei David Lambert. The event was hosted in Goulburn, NSW – Australia’s first inland city, which has a rich colonial heritage, but with plenty of modern Aussie qualities to match.

The event began with Black Belt only training at the Lambert Karate Dojo in Goulburn. Sensei Roses lead the training and covered Sanchin & Tensho, their training methods and their practical applications. He then flowed onto Gekisai Dai Ichi, Gekisai Dai Ni, Saifa and their two man Kata applications. It was an energetic session and as it always does in great sessions, time flew.

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An hour later, over 100 Karate-ka rallied at the Goulburn PCYC to show their support for the AOGKF. It was fantastic to see so many keen Goju-ryu enthusiasts, and of many ages & walks of life, gathered together to share in the spirit of traditional Karate.

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Host instructor, Sensei Lambert, started by welcoming Sensei Roses and then by introducing all of the AOGKF senior instructors and dojo instructors. Before Sensei Kevin Nash started training with a physical, yet educational, warm up that had all members primed and ready for the energy packed work out that was coming.

Sensei Joe Roses took the command and proved to us all, even at the age of 60 year old, why he is a 7th Dan! An onslaught of basic training followed and for two hours we looked, we listened and we sweat! As the energy of the training participants grew, Sensei Roses would become even more motivated and raise his enthusiasm again...this went on for the entire session.

Even though we had trained extremely hard for an extended period, at the end when Sensei Joe asked us how we felt, the answer was simply ‘Great!’

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That evening after training, a special event called the ‘Karate Party!’ was held at the Goulburn Soldiers Club. 100 people gathered to celebrate the birth of the AOGKF and Sensei Joe Roses obtaining his 7th Dan rank from Higaonna Sensei. We ate, drank, danced, sang and celebrated into the night. The moral was extremely high, especially when it came time to eat our specially prepared IOGKF cakes.

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The next morning came quickly and it was back to the PCYC for group training. Sensei Lambert took the mornings warm up’s for 30 minutes and added some of his unique partner drills which were enjoyed by all.

Following this, the Gasshuku split into four groups: Black Belts, Senior Kyu grades, lower level Kyu grades and Kids. The four most senior instructors rotated amongst the group and taught their specialities.

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Sensei Roses taught Kakie and free fighting drills. Sensei Nash ran very popular kicking seminars. Sensei Steggall covered basic bunkai. And Sensei Lambert explained & taught the Goju-ryu Kaishugata in detail. The main feedback from these sessions was ‘More’! And Sensei Roses did not disappoint.

Everyone gather together for one last quick basic session where Sensei Joe quite literally had us all on our toes. The echo of Kiai though the hall seemed to grow louder as the session carried on and the feeling afterwards was incredible.

Sensei Roses gather all the senior instructors together after training and they all performed impressive demonstration to the crowd which were met with thunderous applause.

The event ended with much anticipation for the next series of AOGKF in 2013. Thank you everyone who travelled to attend the event and to all those who helped with preparation for the event. A big thank you to Sensei Roses and all the instructors who gave their time to this worthwhile cause.