The time is almost upon us, this Thursday our annual pilgrimage to Chiclana for the ASKTE Gasshaku under the watchful eye of Naka Shihan. The course starts with the instructors class at 7pm on Thursday. Another dan grade class on Friday then Saturday and Sunday are open to all grades with the class splitting after the first hour or so into black/brown belts and all other grades. Sensei Naka taking the senior grades of course. It is my third year at the class and I thoroughly enjoy his style. Very different from the previous generation.
I remember being at the Marshall Street dojo one day when Sensei Enoeda shouted for us to warm up. I looked around expecting one of the more senior dan grades to be there but it fell to me. I admit I was bricking it even though I had done many warm ups, I’m faced with a lot of visitors only here to train with Sensei and the pressure when he is behind you stretching well you had to experience his presence to understand it.
Naka isn’t the same, in fact Ohta, sensei’s right hand man at the time at Marshall Street also had a more modern friendly approach like Naka. This generation still expect the discipline for that is what we teach, traditional shotokan but there is always a smile and an understanding that not everyone is able to do everything. The Chicanla course follows this pattern, plenty of fun but a lot more technical, not so much up and down the dojo, lots more kata and bunkai too which Naka excels at through his current videos travelling around on his youtube channel (kuro obi). Whatever he does no doubt it’ll be a great course and I can only be grateful for the Spanish association for invitinggibshot.