Friday, August 26, 2011

Gasshuku 2011 - Ladysmith

Holy smokes, talk about an early start.  Some of the other dojo members made it accross the water on Thursday and Friday night already, but a bunch of us decided to leave Saturday morning at the ungodly hour of 0315.  It was still dark by the time we got to the terminal at Horseshoe bay but there was already a small line up at the gates. 

Maki, Kelvin and Tony eagerly waiting for the gates to open.

There was a car show that morning that made navigating a bit of a problem, and also whether to skip the gasshuku and go to the car show...haha, just kidding =).
Breakfast of champions was held at Tim Horton's.  We knew we were still in Canada when we found a Timmy's.
Good thing for bright signage =).
Gunstone sensei booked a gym in Ladysmith for this year's gasshuku.  It was awesome because the floor had just been redone and we were the first ones to ayumi ashi across it. 

The deli lunch was awesome as usual, some spectacular cuts of meat - thanks for the awesome hospitality Todo Kai!

Peter Gunstone sensei relaxing in the shade.

Peter Guntsone sensei's new pad, and a helluva pad it was.  There was an incredible view of the lake, a nice yard, a great deck and loads of space for a fairly large group of iaidoka.  Thanks to Gunstone Sensei, his family and the entire Todo Kai group for hosting this awesome event.

What's an gasshuku/seminar/iaido party without a little show and tell? 

Tony just couldn't keep his eyes open, and so, left himself open to public humiliation from Ayako and Vince =).
Chef Scott, master of the Q, and clearly in charge of delivering happiness to the masses.  He was literally on the BBQ from beginning to end, with no breaks.  Thanks Scott for all the hard work.  You can pay future seminar dues with gasshuku sausages. 

From one chef to another, Koji-san looks on in admiration as Scott prepares sustinence to the rest of us.
The famous gasshuku sausages - Scott, you should seriously go into business and sell these. 

Castualties - 4 stiches.  Shato gets almost everyone sooner or later, haha!

Peter Gunstone sensei leads a meeting in about what our future hopes are for iaido in Canada. 

It was a pretty sombre night after the meeting, and the rest of the night was spent relaxing under the moonlight, sitting by the out door fire pit............
......and of course, Nerf-sword fighting, what gasshuku/Nanaimo seminar would be complete without it?
The aftermath of a long night.....

Note:  next you plan on returning on a Sunday afternoon, it might be a good idea to make a reservation.  Our group waited two or three hours under the blazing sun (two or three because the sun cooked my brain so badly, I completely lost track of time).

The trip across the water was very worthwhile.  Peter Gunstone sensei was an incredible host, as he and his wife Sherry opened his home to us - his extended family.  About ten of us from Vancouver made it over for this year's gasshuku - the tenth anniversary of this event, and it truly was a special one.  Once again, thanks again to Peter Gunstone Sensei, his family and the Todo Kai group for their incredible hospitality and generosity.  We hope that we can return the favour someday soon!