Date: June 28-July 2, 2018
Place: Pelion, Greece
Organizer: WKO Greece (Country Representative/Branch Chief George Kosmidis)
The famous Greek Shinkyokushinkai Summer Camp took place from June 28 to July 2 in the most beautiful village of Central Greece, in Saint John’s village in the Papa Nero beach in Pelion mountain.
The organizer of this successful summer camp was once again the Greek Country Representative and Branch Chief of WKO-EKO, Shihan George Kosmidis, one of the oldest Karate teachers in Greece and one of the few who knows the spirit and methods of Knock Down Karate in Greece.
The official instructors in this summer camp were Shihan Cyril Andrews, Kosmidis’ personal teacher, Shihan Juan Carlos Escalera, a very well known Shinkyokushinkai instructor for his technical experience in Katas and Kihon, and last but not least, Shihan Otario Melikiadis, Branch Chief in Northern Greece and Kosmidis’ closest partner.
In the summer camp there were about 100 attendants. Among others we had from Spain Branch Chiefs Shihan Pedro Soriano and Shihan Leo Adria, from France Branch Chief Sensei Sebastien Vanroyen, from Georgia Sensei Irakli Dolaberidze (EKO Board Member), the European Champions Sempai Andrei Zinchenko with his wife Sempai Zhana Andro, Sensei Gia Gvenetadze and Sempai Mikheil Tsiklauri, from England Sempai John Heath, one of the closest pupils of Shihan Cyril Andrews, Sensei Owen Bentley, and Sempai Manoj Gadher.
The camp program was scheduled by Shihan Kosmidis and consisted of early training in the sand at 6:30 in the morning. Shihan Kosmidis took the lead coaching and warming up the athletes and practitioners and then Shihan Escalera followed with the main course. There was a split in the 2 groups. One for shodan and upper grades and all the other kyus in the second group. Trainings consisted of firm and intense Kihon and Ido and then Kata training and with the exceptional Bunkai from Shihan Andrews and Shihan Escalera.
As the Kiais were blowing up the morning tranquility of the beach, more than 75 Shinkyokushinkai fighters were struggling in the sand –some other times against the waves- under the guidance of Shihan George Kosmidis.
Afternoon courses were intense and very interesting too as we had some Kumite trainings. All the kyus till the shodan were taught all basic Katas such as Pinan 1-5, and they practiced Ibuki Katas such as Sanchin, Tensho, Gekisai Dai/Sho, other advanced Katas such as Yantsu, Tsuki No Kata, and Saiha. The shodans and above were taught all the advanced Katas plus the high level Katas such as Seienchin, Sushiho, Garyu, and Seipai. The Bunkai explanation of each Kata from Shihan Escalera/Andrews was once again fantastic and very enlightening even for high level Karatekas.
In the last day of the summer seminar, there was a Grading Examination for kyus and for shodan, nidan, sandan grades with examiners Shihan Kosmidis, Escalera, Andrews, and Melikiadis taking position in the examination chair for about 3.5 hours. Needless to say that one of the athletes who was examined for grading in nidan was the European Champion Sempai Andrei Zinchenko who was examined in the strict terms that applied in Japan examinations with Sempai Zhana Andro. Also European Champion Sempai Mikheil Tsiklauri was examined for sandan. After the strict exams, all the karate practitioners gathered for the final Kumite. Practitioners who were examined for nidan and sandan had 20 and 30 strong Kumite fights each. There were no exceptions.
The 21st Summer Camp was over and all attendants tired and sweaty gathered for the family photos. One of the best Karate seminars in the world taken place in a tremendous beach of the Aegean Sea was over. All were happy and got happier when the Sayonara party started later in the night.
There, Shihan Kosmidis awarded some prominent and silent contributors of the Greek Shinkyokushinkai Summer Camp. Among others, Mr. Kosmidis awarded Sensei Aggelos Koufos, a Shotokan Karate master who attends all Shinkyokushinkai camps and has a shodan in our style and Dorothea Kolindrini, the Deputy Principal of the Thessaly Region who helps and supports the Greek Association. The one who helps for the promotion of the association is the press manager Sempai Pikoulas Sotiris.
Shihan George Kosmidis, all these years, set high standards in Karate seminars and through them made Shinkyokushinkai Karate stronger.
OSU! See you next year!