...expectantly we crowd ourselves into the car and begin the 480
km drive to Lygnared. Place of departure is Solna Karate Dojo and
we are heading for the third annual international gashuku over the
weekend. Spirits are high until we reach the highway then only me
and shotgun are conscious. ETA Thursday, 14 of August at 2200 hours.
Time speeds by and later than expected we arrive. Sempai Åke
yawns a welcome and throws me a key. Sensei Marshall and Sensei
Kallenbach happily greats us. It is late and tomorrows a big day.
We usher ourselves to bed.
The food is always great here and the worries none, this time no
exception. Great breakfasts followed by a lavish lunches only bettered
by the evening meals all to be savoured before or after a pleasurable
swim. Henrik and Patrik feed us well, thanks guys. All this enjoyment
revolving around the instruction seminars of capable instructors
and masters of the Tai Ki Ken art. Harmony and learning entwined,
thy name art Lygnared. Thank you Carina and Staffan for your always-helpfulness.
Morning and evening, students are accurately measured by the Masters
and as far as possible given the individual attention needed and
sought, not only during hours but whenever conversation is struck
between us. Me no exception, thank You Sensei. Good words given
in time to lift the spirit of the shear and carry one forward on
this shared road of ours. Instruction is given and paid for in sincere
gratitude and devotion to understand. Smiles are passed around freely,
laughter makes it often company. This is the spirit of the Lygnared
Gashuku and has been for always as I can remember.
Familiar faces and new. All must be greeted. Even among the knowns
there are surprises. Sudden bursts in development and maturity since
last year rises to attention. Not only the Masters brought mind-goods
to the gashuku. Ideas and techniques are happily exchanged.
those living in budo-spirit Ends do not come as surprises. Neither
did this ending. But it did leave rings in the mind-well, great
and bright jewels to savour and treasure. The thorough and patient
teaching of Sensei Marshall (Ritsu-zen) McDonagh about different
postures and accompanying juri firmly rooted itself in my spine
hopefully never to leave. The five fists of Sensei Jan Kallenbach
Pi, Zuan, Beng, Pao and Heng they split, drill, smash, explode and
cross themselves into memory. Sensei Bert de Waart demonstration
of stillness glows with a special light. Stillness that is not stillness
but minuscule movement in a concentrated pool of awareness. Sensei
Wiert Postemas lesson is tingling in my posture, in my fingertips
and in my mind. Lessons to pass the Ritsu-zen feeling into juri
and hajj and lessons of balance and stepping. Easily he did them
and clumsily we tried to follow.
Ends turn into beginnings and this particular end seems to be turning
into the beginning of a year of practise before the 4:th Gashuku
beginning the 13:th of August 2009. Another 480 km later, walking
on the kings road in Stockholm, already I feel anticipation for
the next gashuku ... and oh yes I also feel that special feeling
of tingling from Sensei Wierts lesson.
Thank You All for making this Gashuku what it was.
My thoughts goes to those not present. Specially Sensei Hans Bakker
and Sensei Jean-Luc Lesueur. We missed you and your instruction.
Hope you are well and hope to see you next Year.