Since Washinkai started using Milton Abbey in 1991 for our Summer Gasshuku, this year by far, was the best!
The atmosphere, combined with superb weather, made everyone who attended thoroughly enjoy themselves. From the very first session which started after lunch on Monday, through to the last session on Thursday afternoon, the weather was extremely hot, which was a challenge to people’s stamina at times, but did not dent their enthusiasm.
The swimming pool proved to be extremely popular after training. Despite the heat, energy levels increased when everyone took the plunge.
Dan gradings were held on Wednesday, from 1st Dan to 5th Dan and Annette Turpin was promoted to 6th Dan. Annette, who started training in 1986, has won EKGB medals, travelled with the Washinkai organisation to places such as Norway, Tokyo and Okinawa. She took over the Canons Karate Club, which was opened in 1984 by Shihan Thompson in 2007 and has continued to bring in new members, as well as keeping the club firmly established. She has been a true inspiration for many karate-ka, especially the females. The standard of the gradings this year was as high as usual.
On Wednesday night after the Dan gradings and our customary BBQ, Calum Mendham hosted a very entertaining and hilarious quiz night.
The Thursday morning session was devoted to Sensei Ohta, 7th Dan, of the JKA, who made his annual visit to teach our course and covered the kata Unsu in depth. He is always popular with our members and everyone enjoyed his class.
There were many sad faces on Thursday afternoon at the close of this year’s course, but next year’s course is already booked from the 17-20 July 2017. As it is the 40th year of the Washinkai organisation, we will be hosting some special events to celebrate.