2022 Summer Gasshuku

From Monday 18th to Thursday 21 July, Washinkai held its annual summer course at Milton Abbey School in Dorset.  Sensei Chris Thompson, who started teaching at the school in 1988, has been holding the summer courses there since 1991.

Sensei Neil Benton passing over the Graham Smith Trophy to Sensei Trevor Starkey
Washinkai Kent members attending Summer Gasshuku 2022
Chief Instructor Shihan Chris Thompson 9th Dan and James Thompson, 2nd Dan
Sensei Annette Turpin 6th Dan and James Thompson 2nd Dan
L to R: Lizzie Hensman 2nd Dan; Sara Benton 3rd Dan & Alice; Sensei Alison Thompson 6th Dan; Sensei Annette Turpin 6th Dan; Andrea Hutchens 5th Dan
Sensei Shaz Shahid 6th Dan, demonstrating advanced stretching
Shihan Chris Thompson, Chief Instructor, 9th Dan, presented with the 45th Anniversary trophy by Sensei Neville Smith 8th Dan
Mr Oliver O’Connor, Washinkai Official Photographer, receiving his presentation
Sensei Andy Newman with his 6th Dan certificate























The course was held during the hottest week ever recorded in the UK, but it did not daunt any of the members!  Training was held under the shade of the trees behind the Abbey and enjoyed by everyone.  As last year, we stayed in “Tregonwell House”, one the new builds on the site, where everybody welcomed the opportunity to relax after hard training sessions.

It was also great to see numbers coming back to normal after Covid and also to have good quality karate-ka resuming their hard training.

Successful gradings took place from 1st Dan to 5th Dan, with Andrew Newman being awarded 6th Dan and Neville Smith his 8th Dan.  In addition, Sensei Chris Thompson was presented with a trophy celebrating the 45th anniversary of the creation of Washinkai; Mr Oliver O’Connor was also presented with a gift thanking him for taking all the official photos; Sensei Neville Smith being given his 8th Dan and Sensei Andy Newman his 6th Dan.   Sensei Neil Benton, Sensei Pete Saunders and Sensei Trevor Starkey had been presented with the Graham Smith Trophy in December 2021.  This was awarded to the three Sensei because they had made great efforts to help members with Zoom Karate classes throughout the Covid pandemic 2020 – 2021.  As Sensei Neil Benton had had the trophy for the first four months of 2022 and Sensei Pete Saunders the following four months, it was then ceremoniously handed to Sensei Trevor Starkey for the next four months.

Ready for Dan Grading L to R: James O’Connor, Mike Aldridge, Aaron Benton, Sara Benton, Trevor Starkey, Pete Saunders, Phil Webb, Calum Mendham, Steve Hensman
5th Dan Grading: Sensei Calum Mendham and Sensei Steve Hensman

Great fun was had with the Quiz on Wednesday, carefully devised by Sensei Calum Mendham and Sarah Benton.  We all look forward to returning to Milton Abbey for next year’s Summer Gasshuku.

[A comprehensive collage of photos by Sensei Pete Saunders will be uploaded to the website shortly.]

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