A Gasshuku is technically an extended training session. In the BTKA the term is used to refer to the various courses that are run each year over week ends or longer periods.
It is hard to exaggerate the value of these courses. A typical week end Gasshuku will contain as much as the equivalent of three weeks dojo training. It also has the advantage that the training is intensive, so it tends to ‘sink in’ better.
Gradings, including black belt gradings, are held on these courses. Many students find it a good environment in which to grade, with the opportunity to practice thoroughly all their grading techniques before grading.
Students of all grades attend these events. As well as intensive and thorough training, there is an excellent social side to these courses, and an opportunity to meet members of other clubs, and make new friends.
When are Gasshuku held?
There are three Gasshuku on the yearly programme that are annual events, namely:
- The Winter Gasshuku, in February
- The Summer Gasshuku, in July
- The Autumn Gasshuku, in October/November
The winter and autumn Gasshuku are weekend events, from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon. They are always very popular, and are often booked out months in advance. The Summer Gasshuku runs from Monday to Friday, and again is always very popular, particularly with children.
Apart from these, there are other weekend Gasshuku held at BTKA clubs.
International events are also held every year.
Conduct at a Gasshuku
Training at a Gasshuku is to be treated in the same way as training at the dojo. However it is also important to remember:
Gasshuku are hosted by either another club or school or other organisation. It is important to ensure that your conduct both in and out of the dojo is responsible, and courteous to your hosts;
Remember that you are representing the BTKA at the Gasshuku, and that others will judge not only you, but the BTKA, by your actions.
Grading at a Gasshuku
If you are to be graded on a Gasshuku, remember to look at the Grading checklist (see Chapter 3, “What must I bring to a Grading”) and bring whatever is needed.
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