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1 April 2010 - The latest IOGKF News Letter has just been released with a message from the Editor.

Dear IOGKF members and associated members,

It is my pleasure to announce the release of the March 2010 IOGKF International Newsletter.

We are very fortunate in this issue to be able to present some of the highest quality articles we have received to date. It also contains the official IOGKF tournament rule book, supplied by Sensei Bakkies Laubscher, which will be used at the World Championships later this year in South Africa. It includes rules for both competitors and officials!

Chapter 2 in our Goju-ryu Masters comic book series covers Kanryo Higaonna Sensei´s early training in Fuzhou, China. I would like to thank Sensei Roberto Zapata of Colombia for his efforts in once again drawing the comic book. If you would like to have something graphically designed for your country or dojo, please email Sensei Zapata to obtain an idea of what he can design for you and the costs involved.

Interested in supplying content for our June Edition?

Our June edition is already looking to be our biggest yet and we still have weeks to run before the closing submission date of the 18th May 2010. We are always looking for fresh content and I want to encourage all our members to submit content for publication, especially reports on local Gasshuku events. No report or article is too big or too small for our newsletter. If there´s something that is IOGKF-related, we really want to know about it!

If you have any ideas or suggestions for the newsletter, please feel free to contact me.

Best Regards

David Lambert
Editor - IOGKF International
IOGKF Australia

15th March 2010 - South Africa Championships Squad Selection and Training on Saturday 10th April, Stratford

Sensei Ernie has announced that the first session of the squad selection process will be held on Saturday, 10th April as part of the Stratford training weekend.

Anyone hoping to be considered for the squad should make a concerted effort to attend this first Stratford session. It is only for the one day on Saturday. Although we appreciate that it is not always possible to attend every squad training session listed on the Events page, commitment on your part to attend these training sessions over the next few months has to be one you are prepared to make.

If you can´t make the Stratford 10th April session, please contact Sensei Ernie to let him know you would like to be considered for the squad.

13th February 2010 - Sensei Ernie Course at Nishimon Dojo

Sensei Ernie Molyneux held a course in the Sheffield region on the 13th February, which was well attended by around forty students of all ages and grades.

We say Sheffield region, but we need to be more specific now when describing where we train and where courses are held. For years the Nishimon Dojo has been known as Sheffield, but to be precise, it has three sites across the M1 in Rotherham. With the recent addition of three more Dojos (Hallam, Woodhouse and Norton) to the EGKA, which really are in Sheffield, we can no longer get away with just referring to Sheffield!

Sensei Ernie kindly made the trip and in good time to take our regular Saturday morning class at 10am. Usually it is a mix of all ages but we designated it a junior only class for the occasion, with a handful of more mature students to assist. The usual adults were on the sidelines saving their energy for the afternoon. Sixteen juniors were put through their paces in a lively mix of exercise, basics and kata.

The group then migrated to the brand new Maltby Leisure Centre for a 12 midday start and the numbers swelled.

The centre is so new in fact, that it still has a leaking roof, with buckets placed strategically. Luckily, this didn´t restrict the dojo area at all.

Sensei set off with a quality mix of Junbi undo, basics, moving techniques followed by kumite techniques and kata. We were all dripping within the first 10 minutes, some more than others!

The four hours flew by, and it was good to see faces from the South, Liverpool and of course, Sheffield. I would like to thank all those who attended, and trained hard, especially some of the juniors who did both sessions and did not stop to their credit. We wish to thank Sensei Ernie for taking the time to train in our region, and hope to repeat the experience in future.

Sensei Sean Casey

New Karate TV Series (Hai Karate) on CBBC

The first episode was screened on Thursday, 14th January at 5:15pm and it is repeated on Sundays at 1:30pm. It can also be viewed on the BBC i-Player.

It appears to be a short series about four children and their parents as they train and learn more about Japanese culture.

The series follows them through to their first grading to yellow belt, and then a junior world championships.

The programme is narrated by Jonathan Ross, and should be of interest to our younger members. Please spread the news.

Steve Gouldson and Mike Draper

The EGKA welcomes our new member dojos

Sensei Ernie, on behalf of all of the members of the EGKA, is very pleased to extend a very warm welcome to the following instructors and their dojos as they join the association at the beginning of 2010:

  • Linda Marchant, Tooting Karate Club
  • Andre and Daphne Leister, Camberley Dojo
  • Jason Rogers, Bourne Hall Dojo and Piper Hall Dojo – North Surrey
  • Simon Budden, Hampshire Traditional Karate Academy
  • Debbie Cross, Winchester Juniors
  • Geoff and Toni Mitchinson, Norman Court Dojo
  • Andy Barker, Sheffield Hallam Dojo
  • Ted and Michelle Noble, Sheffield Woodhouse Dojo
  • Chris Robins, Sheffield Norton Dojo

It is an exciting development for us all, and certainly a fitting way to start a new decade. But most of all we simply look forward to the opportunity it brings to train together more often during 2010.

December´s Grading Results - 12 Quays Dojo

Congratulations to the following successful candidates that passed their grading in December 2009:

3rd Kyu 2nd Kyu 1st Kyu Jnr Shodan
Joe Cholmondeley Courtney Rollinson Charlie Norman David Shackleton
Tom Clark Jim Penny Glyn Norman
Connor Campbell-Smith Lewis Mayles
Holly Pearson James Penny
Thomas Roberts Darren Hall
Roy Hemming Amy Arrowsmith
Benjamin Jenkins Michael Wallis
Philippa Lamb
Ben McNeil

The senior black belt candidates:

Shodan Nidan Sandan Yondan
Jose Silva-Perez Ashley Lucas Steve Huxter
Salih Albayrak Jordan Birch Cynthia Dare
Kevin Hall Ben Clarkson Stuart Smith
Andy Armstrong-Brodie
Klair Norman
Simon McCarthy
Richard Owen
Dave Bruce
Rosie Hughes

Pictures of the training weekend event can be found in the Gallery.

EGKA Gasshuku – Littledown Bournemouth – 14-15 Nov 2009

After spending 4.5 hours travelling through terrible weather we arrived on Friday evening in Bournemouth looking forward to a full packed training weekend ahead.

Not getting much sleep listening to the wind and rain howling around the hotel we enjoyed breakfast and a quick dip in the pool and then made our way to the Dojo.

Fifty plus students arrived to train on the Saturday and Sunday.

Saturdays training (12 to 5pm) consisted of the usual standardised IOGKF junbi-undo (warm ups) and then the class was split into groups by grades for more detailed group training, with the seniors present - all 6th Dan and above.

Each group session lasted for approx one hour and covered several aspects of the IOGKF syllabus over a 5 hour period - namely

  • Junbi- undo
  • Basics
  • Ippon Kumite
  • Yakusoku Kumite
  • Kakie
  • Kata
  • Bunkai
  • Kumite
  • Hoju-undo - supplementary training

Some of us met for a nice meal in the evening and this is always a good time to reminisce and make new friends.

Sundays training (9:00 to 1:00pm)

Well after the warm ups it was straight into a full packed four hour training session covering several aspects of the IOGKF Syllabus again.

The weekend was and opportunity for both juniors and seniors to train together and the emphasis was to improve the technical standard of all grades especially those who are grading in the near future.

The weekend was a big success and was supported by several Dojos from the North, South and Eastern areas.

Sensei Ernie thanked everybody for attending the course, especially those that had travelled long distances to support the weekend and all the senior grades for their continued help and support.

Sensei Terence Read
Ely Fen Tiger Dojo

The Secretary's report of the 2009 EGKA AGM – 1st November 2009

After many of us spent Sunday morning aqua-planning our way up to Barford, Warwickshire in torrential rain, we convened the 2009 AGM and what follows is the edited highlights of the discussions that ensued.

The first order of business was dealing with the usual administrative procedures of receiving the various Officers´ annual reports and approving last year´s minutes and accounts. Mike Draper (Treasurer and License Office) and Ralph Elliott-King (Secretary) were re-elected to their respective offices. With the procedural part of the AGM out of the way, we settled down to discussing and organising what the Association will be doing for the next twelve months.

One of the clear winners for everyone´s attention was October´s IOGKF Budosai in South Africa. Many of us will be attending for the training, but the EGKA will also be taking a squad to compete in the International Tournament being hosted at the same time.

This tournament is held once every four years, and over the next few months the EGKA Squad Selection committee will be publishing details of the entry criteria and the special courses you will need to attend if you wish to compete for one of those coveted places on the South Africa squad. If you think your kumite and kata is good enough … watch this space.

Following on from the success of this year´s national junior championships, the EGKA have booked a series of regional junior tournaments in the south, London and the north. The 2010 open junior championships will be hosted by the North this year. So it falls to the individual southern and London dojos to start planning now for their journey north in October. The north showed us how it is done, and I am sure the south and London will rise to the challenge. As before some limited funding will be available from the EGKA to subsidise the travel costs north.

Sensei Ernie again took great pride in the fact that the EGKA could draw on the talents of so many senior instructors, many of whom outranked all but a handful of the instructors that normally travel the world´s Goju-Ryu training circuit. A quick review of the published 2010 calendar will show we intend to make full use of those home-grown talents in a series of open and grade-specific training events throughout the next twelve months.

In deciding where to hold events next year, we have selected some new venues that will hopefully make it easier for more students to attend these important regional meetings. We have also made more of the events grade-specific, with the idea that the training will be more relevant to the needs of those actually attending.

It is a departure from our normal mix of Bournemouth and Liverpool based events that have proved so popular in recent years. We know the old mix works, but we recognise there is scope and demand for us to expand our catchment area. We have done what was asked of us, so make sure you take advantage of the opportunity. We appreciate that not everyone has ready access to transport, and cost is a factor for all of us. But if you club together and share a car, and even share a hotel room if necessary … (keep it clean!) … you will be surprised at just how much you can learn and enjoy playing away from the home dojo on a tight budget.

At this stage of the planning process, it will serve as a timely reminder that next year´s calendar is subject to us being able to secure the venues. Certain dates are not written in stone and may be subject to change.

With the European gasshuku on our doorstep in Copenhagen, the South African Budosai, and all the UK training opportunities being organised throughout the year … 2010 promises to be an exciting year.

Ralph Elliott-King, EGKA Secretary – 2nd November 2009.

Junior Championships - Littledown Centre, Bournemouth

As Christchurch recovers from being invaded by the North on Saturday, competitors and organisers all arrived at the Littledown on Sunday morning with equal amounts of excitement and trepidation. The competitors faced the excitement of performing their chosen katas before five judges, to be followed after lunch by a kumite opponent of unknown skills. The organisers faced the daunting prospect of making sure that the timetable of 290 katas and 150 kumite bouts all went according to plan.

The plan worked, the judges judged and just short of 200 competitors had a spirited and enjoyable seven hours of competitive action, which was what is was all about.

There were far too many medal winners to list here (congratulations to all), but we take the opportunity to summarise the overall results below. We totalled up all the points won over the competition, 3 for gold, 2 for silver, and 3 for bronze, and this is the overall position by region:

  North South
Kata 71 25
Kumite 69 74
Totals 140 99


Congratulations to the Northern contingent with a resounding victory.

Next year the Nationals will be held in the North, with hopefully a strong London regional presence to add in to the mix.

Stratford Senior Instructors Weekend and 4th/5th Dan Grading Results – A report by Sensei Steve Gouldson

On the 19th and 20th of September 2009, the Stratford Upon Avon Leisure Centre was to host a grading for students of 3rd and 4th Dans attempting their next grading.

The schedule was to be a full run through and practice of all basics (Kihon), both standing and moving, along with San Dan Gi and straightline Gekasai Dai Ichi (Chokusen). The class also practiced the fundamental use of Chi-Ishi (Hojo Undo).

Alongside the students who were grading, were many dojo instructors and assistant chief instructors of 6th and 7th Dan levels, all benefitting from this training.

Sensei Ernie Molyneux, 7th Dan, continued the training on the first day with the katas Sepai, Kururunfa, Sesan and Superimpei. An intensive breakdown of the kata in segments was followed by group applications of the kata bunkai. The class was training in this way for 4 hours with short water breaks – really good training!

Sensei Ernie had the class for the last hour, where we donned bag gloves to practice Iri Kumi (sparring) type techniques against focus pads. Several energy sapping combinations were practiced with Sensei Ernie bellowing "Hit 'em, harder … try harder!!" – Again great training.

Conveniently situated next to the leisure centre was the hotel where most of the students had booked to stay. We all gathered in the evening to talk and eat together. I have to say the buffet and carvery was definitely worth the trip (apart from the training) … the food was outstanding.

A couple of beers were had to replenish fluids then it was off to bed.

The second day of training was to be a morning of intensive kata and bunkai centered on what would be covered later that day in the grading.

Candidates who were to undertake the grading in the afternoon were asked to complete a theory exercise that would be scrutinized by the grading examiners prior to the grading. This along with the fact that the grading candidates were being scrutinized for the whole weekend to ensure the standard of their karate was good enough to allow them to progress to the next level.

The grading commenced at 1:00pm and continued throughout the afternoon. Sensei Ernie ensured the grading candidates covered the whole syllabus including basics, moving basics, kata and bunkai, kakie and Iri kumi … and of course the mandatory 100 push-ups sit-ups and squats.

A very tired group of students gathered at the end of the day to be told all had been successful. Both students and proud instructors present were elated with the results.

Everyone present unanimously agreed the format and content, plus the venue were excellent, and this type of schedule would be a regular within the EGKA calendar.

Sensei Steve Gouldson
Shinzato Dojo, Wirral

We are pleased to report the following grades were awarded over the weekend:

Yondan (4th Dan):
Paul Bussell
Derek Jones
Lisa Jones
Karl Wolfenden

Godan (5th Dan):
Andy Barber
Simon Bushby
Francis Galtress
Guy Keen
Steve Walley

Congratulations to all of you.

Rensoku Bunkai (Chokusen Gekisai)

Link to YouTube video of Rensuku Bunkai

At a rational level we all know that Rensoku Bunkai is nothing more complex than executing Gekisai Dai Ichi in a straight line. And yet, how many of us really struggled to learn the basic sequence of movements off pat? It is only after you have learnt the sequence, does the real work of developing speed, power and co–ordination begin.

This video was made to help you if you are still at the stage of learning the basic moves.

This first sequence of Sensei Simon Bushby attacking Sensei Ernie runs slowly through the moves with emphasis on technique. The second demonstrates the speed at which Sensei Ernie expects his senior students to work towards for the simple reason that it emulates a real combat kumite situation.

Click here to watch the video.

A Report of the Stockholm Gasshuku 2009

Stockhom 2009 gasshuku poster

A week of variety beyond compare as we started with Sensei Higaonna and ended with a belly dancer.

I know the two were not connected as we all stayed stone cold sober throughout the week as the Boson bar could easily bankrupt you after a few rounds.

Howie Hamilton was busy as always snapping away during the training and evening entertainment, and we are very grateful for the invitation to view and download the pictures from the two very extensive albums.

Swedish Photo Album 1.

Swedish Photo Album 2.

On a more serious note, after a warm welcome by our Swedish host, Sensei Bjorn, we were reminded by Sensei Bakkies that we are celebrating Sensei Higaonna´s 70th birthday as well as the 30th anniversary of the founding of the IOGKF this year. We were all invited to train hard as a show of respect, and that we did.

Apart from the social aspect of spending a week in the pleasant company of the English contingent at the Boson complex, it was of course the opportunity to train with the instructors and students of the other countries attending that I was here to experience.

The training followed the normal gasshuku pattern. Each morning we would all line up as one large group, and the senior instructors took turns to conduct the warm-up and ‘basics’ sessions. We all then split into groups by grade, and each of the ten attending country´s chief instructors came around to lead a more technical lesson in rotation over the five days of training.

The quality of instruction lived up to expectations, and once more I was struck by the commonality of the training approach the IOGKF works so hard to preserve.

As it happens, my own group concentrated on Seiyunchin and yes … each chief instructor that took our class had a slightly different take on the more subtle techniques to be used during the execution of the kata. It was hard to remember which candle to burn in Rome after a while.

Slight differences apart, what was surprising was one of my training partners for the week came from the Cape Verde Islands and her technique was almost identical to my own. Proof, if needed, that the IOGKF´s objective to preserve and disseminate our style of karate to all corners of the World is actually being achieved in practice.

(For those interested, I too had to ask where the Cape Verde Islands were. They are an Atlantic archipelago consisting of 9 main islands, 500 miles off the west coast of Senegal, Africa.)

The sweat, the training and the socialising at Boson is over and it was an enjoyable experience made all the better by being in the company of so many friends who share a common interest in Goju-Ryu. I have certainly benefited by travelling to Stockholm for the event, and I look forward to next year.

If you have yet to experience a gasshuku, then I hope my short report on Stockholm will inspire you to attend the 2010 European Gasshuku in Copenhagen next July. The training is bound to be of the same high standard as the week I have just experienced, and the opportunity to meet and make new friends and explore Copenhagen is certainly one you should not miss.

Ralph Elliott-King

New IOGKF Newsletter (June 2009 is Free)

The FREE introductory issue of the NEW IOGKF International Newsletter is now available through the IOGKF website. It includes many great NEW articles from high ranking instructors including Sensei Bakkies Laubscher.

Subscription information for future issues will be available soon!

It is also your opportunity to get published. The IOGKF editors are looking for feedback or submissions for the September issue. Send your articles and comments to iogkfaus@bigpond.com or lambert@goulburnkarate.com.

Dear IOGKF Chief Instructors and Kambukai Members,

IOGKF 30th anniversary photo book is now available (USD $60). Thirty years of history of IOGKF is all in this photo book. There are pictures of young Higaonna sensei, his teenage photo, yoyogi dojo time, and gasshuku around the world, and many more. This is something that all IOGKF instructors must have item.

The 2008 Budosai DVD is also finally on sale (USD $20). All demonstration at Budosai, as well as lecture of Higaonna Sensei and Shuichi Aragaki Sensei are in.

If you are interested in any items, please email me with quantity, so that I will be able to advise you the shipping cost.

If you are coming to European Gasshuku, please let me know what items you would like to buy. So that I will bring them with me to Sweden.

Tetsuji Nakamura
IOGKF Vice Chief Instructor
IOGKF Administrative Director

Squad Training for October´s Junior Nationals Competition

Sensei Mike Smith has announced four squad training days for all the contenders entering the Junior National Championship later in October.

These free Saturday training sessions are from 09:45 to 11:30 on:
25th July;
22nd August;
26th September; and
10th October

We hope these exceptional training sessions to be held at Sensei Paul Nolan´s Liverpool Hope University Dojo will be well attended by the people they are arranged for.

For further details visit the Nationals Events page.

Littledown, Bournemouth – Southern Grading Results, 14th June 2009

training at the Littledown Centre, Bournemouth during the summer 2009 grading weekend

Congratulations to the following successful candidates that passed their grading this afternoon:

2nd Kyu 1st Kyu Jnr Shodan Jnr Nidan
Darren Hall Sean Pitt Thomas James Daniel Cullen
Stephen Sutton Georgina Coy Thomas MacDonald
Liam Snelling Elliott J Burton Steven Davis
Daniel Jon Withers Megan Barber Gregory Johnson
Daniel Winiarczuk Jazzinho Dasaras Alexander Speed
Rosie Hughes Michael Gould Chris Gould
Andrew Armstrong-Brodie Alexander Bowes Natalie Joynes
Simon McCarthy Gareth Dinham Ben Francis
William Stephens Grace Harrison Thomas Malcom
Harry Reslan Oliver Harrison
Hannah Reslan Alex Newton
Klair Norman Tayler Cranham
Lucas Heath

The senior black belt candidates:

Shodan Nidan Sandan Yondan
Sam Karagiannidis Mark Ryder Heather McClements
Matthew Boyle Nicola Brown
Steven Gould Damion Wood
Louise Ting
James Boardman
Adrian Burgis
Paul Drake
John-Cortin Fernandez
Greg Loftus
Paul Thomson
John Timson
Rafal Kania

A nice way to round off a weekend of hard, but fun training. Congratulations to all and safe journey home.

26th May 2009, Happy 70th Birthday Sensei George

George Weston, yondan, is 70 years young this week.

George only began training when he was 50, and is an example to us all when we start feeling the odd twinge of pain.

The story about how George started training is itself an interesting one. He had suffered a serious injury at work and was recovering at home, hobbling about on crutches. One day a heating engineer called to fix the boiler, and noted the old trainers in the airing cupboard. The engineer asked George what exercise he did, and when George responded that he couldn´t do much owing to the injury, the engineer replied that he trained at a karate club and maybe the training would help with his physiotherapy.

The heating engineer (we can´t recall who this was) was a student at Sensei Roy´s club in Childwall. George went along and Sensei Roy put him on the end of the line, to try a few exercises. This seemed to help, and after six weeks or so, Sensei Roy (never one to miss the opportunity for another student) suggested that George continue with the training. And he´s still there!

Sensei George now also runs the Woolton dojo in Liverpool, and trains regularly with Sensei Roy.

Everyone at EGKA wishes George all the best on his birthday, and we hope that we can all be as enthusiastic and committed to Karate when we are 70.

Happy Birthday George … from Sensei Mike, the Wirral and Liverpool crowd, and the rest of us in the EGKA.

16th & 17th May 2009, Training weekend with Kazuo Terauchi Sensei at 12 Quays, Wirral

Yet another successful weekend of intensive training was enjoyed by over a hundred students and senior black belts at the 12 Quays dojo in Wirral.

More pictures to follow in due course.

Training evening with Kazuo Terauchi Sensei, 13 May 2009

Kazuo Terauchi Sensei Southampton Training Course Poster

After Terauchi had given his usual fun-packed juniors lesson to 47 students, 48 seniors lined up at 7:30pm to enjoy 45 odd minutes (read lifetime) of typical Japanese enthusiastic kicking and punching basics, rounding off with Sanchin. For those of you attending the Wirral weekend a good tip here is Terauchi Sensei likes to see strong, slow and solid footwork as you progress through the Sanchin kata.

Next was a session on Gekisai Dai Ichi, with emphasis on the importance of focusing on maintaining a strong tandan throughout the kata. With a little interpretation from Sensei Ernie, the clear message being given to the lower grades present (many of whom were experiencing their first session with a Japanese master) was to really concentrate on making your Gekisai Dai Ichi and Dai Ni strong … very strong. If you do, the rest of the higher katas will follow suite.

The final session was an interesting variation of an open-handed Rensoku Bunkai with emphasis on blocking and grasping your opponents punches to limit their ability to counter.

The session wrapped up at 9:30pm and everyone present knew it had been worth the effort to travel down to Southampton for this opportunity to train with Terauchi Sensei in the intimacy of Sensei Alan´s dojo.

An´ichi Miyagi Sensei

It is with sadness we report that An´ichi Miyagi Sensei (the successor of Chojun Miyagi Sensei, Supreme Master of IOGKF) passed away on Tuesday, 28th April 2009. You can read the messages of condolences that have already been posted to the IOGKF website by clicking here.

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