IOGKF 2013 European Gasshuku Event Invitation

From: Sensei Paolo Spongia – IOGKF Italy Chief Instructor

In 2013 IOGKF International is holding its annual European Gasshuku in the incredible historical country of Italy. Under the leadership of Sensei Paolo Spongia, IOGKF members have the chance to go to a “Gasshuku to Forge the Warrior Spirit between the Fire of the volcano and the water of the sea”. Below, Sensei Spongia himself invites IOGKF Members across the world to Italy for a once in a lifetime opportunity they will never forget...

ITALY 2013


12 years have passed already since we organized the European Gasshuku in Italy in 2001.

Since then, the IOGKF family has grown, many new members joined and the technical level is extraordinarily increased.

Every year we live the unique experience of being together, brothers from all over the world, to share the passion that has become the foundation of our lives.

We must perpetuate and preserve the spirit of our Gasshuku, (which is unique in the world of karate) with great energy and determination.

Other organizations, in order to justify a gasshuku, need to organize a competion to justify their meeting – we don't!

The real Gasshuku is to live and practice together in many, in harmony under one roof' as the characters 合 宿 express. We have been doing this since 1979 and we have to protect this spirit with all our strength.

In 2001 we organized the Gasshuku in Frascati, Rome: it was a great success despite the many difficulties we met throughout the organization.

In July 2013, the place that will host our European Gasshuku will be Catania, in the beautiful island of Sicily.

We evaluated many other Italian cities, and finally our choice fell on Catania because this beautiful city, rich in history and natural beauty, seemed like the perfect place for practicing and for spending free time together.

Catania is located on the wonderful Mediterranean Sea near the impressive Mount Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe.

We like to think that this extraordinary location will help our practice and our spirit to be like a katana forged by fire, water and wise hands, the fire of the volcano, the crystal clear water of the sea, the wise hands of the Teaching of our great Sensei Morio Higaonna and his extraordinary assistants.

At last, I like to remember the great European Senseis, IOGKF pillars, who have left us: Leon Pantanovitz Sensei, Chief Instructor of Israel, who was a protagonist of the Gasshuku in Rome in 2001 and who loved so much to travel in Italy with his wife Norma. Sensei John Lambert, chief instructor of  Scotland, he too accompanied by his wife Sandra, who so much appreciated his stay in Frascati, and last Sensei Bernard Cousin, chief instructor of France, who passed away recently.

We miss greatly their physical presence but their spirit and example will continue to guide and support our practice and our lives.

I therefore urge you not to miss this new, extraordinary opportunity to practice and I will wait for you in our beautiful Sicily, to forgather together once again and to enjoy the Teachings of Higaonna Sensei and the spirit of fraternity that has always animated the IOGKF.