Natsu-Gasshuku in Valencia / Spain

27th - 29th June 2008

The Natsu-Gasshuku (Summer Gasshuku) of Kase ha Shotokan Ryu Karate-Do Academy was held in Valencia / Spain. The KSKA wants to thank Frank Schubert and Pilar for the excellent organisation and Kamikaze for their support.

Viva Espania

The organisation committee Frank Schubert and Pilar

90 participants from Belgium, Finland, France, England, Germany, Scotland, Ireland, Luxemburg, Sweden, Columbia, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Uruguay were training 3 days under the instruction of the shihankai members Dirk Heene, Velibor Dimitrijevic, Jim Martin, Mike Fedyk and Pascal Petrella.

The Shihankai at Natsu Gasshuku in Valencia 2008

Group photo

Sensei Dirk took the first session on Friday evening at 8 pm. In the tropical atmosphere with about 30C and no air at the sports hall, the fight were not only against the an opponent, but also against the climate. Sensei Dirks topic at his session was open hand kihon and kumite combinations.

Sensei Velibor with Goran from Serbia at Sensei Dirks training session

Sensei Dirk observing students

Sensei Pascal Petrella and Sensei Mike

Straight after the training everybody went back to Hotel Lido to get ready for Dinner. Later in the evening many of us were sitting outside on the terrace to chill out with some cold beers and nice talks to friends.

Sensei Pascal demonsrats Age-Uke

Sensei Mike teaching Kihon

On Saturday morning the class got split into members (3rd Dan and above) and non members. Sensei Mike took the 3rd dan and above group. His training was based on simple progression of open hand techniques through to combined combinations and kumite applications. Sensei Mike's key point was to absolutely relax through out the delivery of the technique, in order do develop maximum kime in the focus point. The training of Sensei Mike was designed to develop both the physical and cognitive progression of each karateka.

Sensei Pascals emphasis with the 1st and 2nd dan was the closed hand kihon and kumite from the 1st Dan syllabus. The basics were followed up by an advanced sen-no-sen kumite training. The defender had several tactical options to block the attack. The ground concept was to feel and sense the attack before it is executed.

  1. Just before the attack move in with yori-ashi to break the distance
  2. Just before the attack move back with yori-ashi, and block with yori ashi forward to enhance the blocking power
  3. Just before the attack move back with kai-ashi in order to pull the opponent and block with yori-ashi forward
  4. Exactly at the attack slide forward with kawashi, block the attack during kawashi and stand behind the opponent

Sensei Pascal's training was as usual very physical and intensive. At the lunch break several karateka used the time to relax at the Hotel pool.

In the afternoon Sensei Jim did some advanced combinations with open hand blocking / hentei counter attack followed by kai-ashi or zugi-ashi with gyaku-uraken followed by different geri attacks, where the defender had to move into the attack with kosa-dachi and counter with uraken. All together we had four combinations, which were first practices separately but in the end all four combinations were united. The difficulty and the challenge with this combinations was to sense the exact timing and the coordination of blocking and counter attacking.

Back at the hotel there was a general meeting for the KSKA members. The President of the KSKA Sensei Dirk Heene announced that the KSKA is now officially registered as an association in Belgium. The new statutes are now available at the official Kase-Ha-Academy Homepage in several languages at

The next Gasshuku, the AKI-Gasshuku will be held on 10th - 12th October 2008 in Berlin. The Gasshukus for 2008 will be most probably in France in May and in Loutraki / Greece in October. The Shihankai also decided that the Gasshukus in the future will be held for four days. At the AKI-Gasshuku in Berlin will be the first election of the Executive Committee of the KSKA.

After the general meeting we all when by bus to a nice restaurant to enjoy, in a relaxed atmosphere, the Gala Dinner organised by Frank & Pilar. Even after the dinner many karateka were staying at the Restaurant, sitting together, talking and just having fun.

After Dinner Party

Sensei Jim with people from Luxembourg, Scotland and Belgium

Sensei Mike with English and Swedish friends

Sensei Pascal with a German and French Group

Sensei Dirk with Finnish, Polish and Irish friends

Hotel occupied by karateka

Next morning sensei Vebo took the last session of the Natsu-Gasshuku. Sensei Vebo did one step combinations in different direction, with a emphasis on rooting, stability in the final position, balance and kime focus of course. At first we did tsuki and uke combinations, which afterwards got extended with different kicking techniques. In the end we did Ten-No-kata in different directions, were with some techniques we were asked to inhale and some techniques to exhale.

The emphasis of sensei Velibor's training as actually all the training session in Valencia was on developing a deeper understanding of basic techniques, ki-development, rooting, kokyu (breathing) and the development of zanshin.

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