The weekend 2nd – 4th of March Voss Karate Club Kobudokan celebrated their 30 years anniversary, and with style. A total of 94 karate-ka´s participated at the course in Voss this weekend.
Training, national team gathering, social gatherings and an anniversary banquet were just some of what happened during the weekend. 94 children, adolescents and adults, from Sarpsborg in the south to Steinkjer in the north, made it to Voss this weekend, and all were very happy after the course was over. Sarpsborg Karate Club had even rented a bus and came with a delegation of 40 athletes and parents. They had an eight hour drive to get to Voss! In the faith of tradition, Karate Club Hiryukan from Oslo rented "The House" at Haugo, and also came to the course with a large delegation.
Friday training started at six o'clock, and Chief Instructor Wado Kokusai Norway sensei Cato Bruarøy (6th dan) took the group through an easy but very good warm up. After the warm up, the national team competitive athletes were divided into a separate group, and received instruction from sensei Bruarøy and sensei Juan Lopez, two of the coaches for the Wado Kokusai Norway national team. The rest of the group was led through two sessions by the Wado Kokusai World Chief Instructor, sensei Jon Wicks (8th dan), who had found time in his busy travel schedule to teach at this anniversary course. Sensei led the group through a variety of basic techniques, junzuki and gyakuzuki, with and without kette, different varieties of nagashizuki, combinations of techniques and the kata Nai Hanshi before the break. After a short break the training continued with tanto dori number one and number six. Before anyone knew it, the clock had turned nine, and a local football team from Voss was eager to take over the sports hall.
Saturday started with a warming up from the Chief Instructor of Voss Karate Club, sensei Rune Joanesarson (5th dan). It was a good warm up which made the blood pumping just enough, and aroused the appetite for more training. The national team athletes were again divided into a separate group, and today they were given instructions from another coach on the Wado Kokusai national team, Mr. Nico Cronard. Sensei Wicks led the others through several combinations of nagashi movements, uraken and mawatte uraken and even more. There were several heads that went dizzy from the rapid maneuvering and techniques that were exercised. Then he changed over to the kata Bassai. After a short break it was time for kihon gumite number ten, probably the most difficult kihon gumite to master. At the end of the session sensei Wicks thought the group Idori number one and number four.
When training ended, sensei Wicks called up sensei Juan Lopez from the lines. Sensei Lopez was awarded with Godan (5th dan). Wado Kokusai Norway congratulates!
After a short break it was time for dangrading. Three athletes, Bjørn Hernes (Voss KK), Oddbjørn Aspenes and Trond Blomberg (both Os KK) was up for Sandan, and Ronny Meyer and Aina Johansen (both Sentrum KK) was up for Shodan. The grading started with the obligatory theoretical test, which everyone passed. Then it was over to the technical bit. After about one and a half hour the result was clear. All passed the grading of their respective dangrades. Wado Kokusai Norway congratulates!
In the evening it was time for the anniversary banquet at the China House restaurant in Voss. The restaurant had closed for other guests, as the guests filled up the whole restaurant. 104 people had signed up. As traditions demands, it was held a lot of good speeches during the evening. Toasts was made for late sensei Suzuki and late sensei Misic, for sensei Wicks and for all the new dangrades. The musical element was provided by the 12 years old Jens Haakon Birkeland with fiddling and singing, and the members of Sarpsborg Fighting Team who performed their battle song "Akuta Matata", all receiving great applause from the audience.
Sunday started with a very good warm up from our new Godan, sensei Juan Lopez. National team athletes were gathered for the last session with Mr. Cronard for the weekend, and the rest of the group started training with kata Rohai. After a long session with kata, the group was led over to tachi dori number three. This was very complicated, but Sensei Wicks transferred his knowledge to the group in an excellent manner. After a short break, the athletes themselves got to choose what they wanted to exercise and sensei Wicks moved around the room and gave "one to one" instruction to the athletes on what they had chosen to exercise.
When training was over, sensei Rune Joanesarson thanked the participants for their attendance, and could announce that next year's course will be held at 1st – 3rd of March 2013.
All the feedback received by Wado Kokusai Norway tells us that this was yet again a great course, and that the athletes from the various clubs already are looking forward to next year's gathering at Voss.
Wado Kokusai Norway congratulates Voss Karate Club Kobudokan with the 30th anniversary, and with a particularly brilliant conducted course! We would also like to thank sensei Jon Wicks for giving us so much of his knowledge and for taking time to come to Norway for the anniversary course at Voss.
Sensei Åsmund Pedersen
Wado Kokusai Norway