The summer gasshuku season is now with us and budoka from around the globe are getting together for summer training camps.
The idea of gasshuku is for dojo members to spend time together, training hard and socialising, strengthening relationships through communal living and working on common training goals. I am off tomorrow to take part in a slightly different summer camp in Mandal, Norway, where through the efforts of a local karate teacher, Yngvar Åge Nilsen, martial artists of numerous disciplines come together to train and share ideas.
This is my third time to attend and I will be responsible for teaching the kendo group. Sessions are open to all, but my responsibility is primarily to train the Norwegian national kendo squad. The location is ideal, the dojo is by the beach, close to picturesque countryside and the town is small enough so that wherever you go, you see other summer camp members.
The line up of classes includes karate, judo, jujutsu, aiki –jutsu, kickboxing, kung fu and systema, so this year I have decided to experiment. My wife and I have both packed karate suits with the intention of trying some other martial arts for the first time. This could be fairly interesting as we have both passed our 60th birthday.
At best the experience should give me more compassion for kendo beginners; at worst my wife may develop a talent for combat sports. I will pay particular attention to blocking techniques.