This year’s trip to Cumberland Gap for camping and training was even more fun than last year’s trip. This year my wife Paula, my son Andrew, and I took our 4 grandchildren, Paula Kay, Brittany, John, and MaryAnn, along with us. We moved up a little this year and rented a camper that included sleeping quarters for each of us and air-conditioning. This was a real treat after last year with setting up tents and sleeping on the ground.  With the camper, we just backed it into the site and hooked up the electric and we were done ………. Nice!!!

      We arrived on the 6th around 2 PM and met up with Mr. Kim Barrington and Tricia Ballweg. They were the first ones to arrive, so after we set up at our site, we spent the afternoon waiting for the rest of our group to show up.  Everyone else started arriving around 4 or 5 PM. Mr. Ken Maunz and his group were the next to arrive.  By the time everyone was moved in and set up, it was a little late to train, so we just passed a little social time and called it a day .

     We kept the fun level up for most of the weekend even though it rained a bit each day.  We were good and loyal troopers and kept to our schedule of fun and more fun (code for training) and continued our weekend.

      The morning of the 7th we really got into the swing of things for some training and trading of kata application techniques.

     Before the training session, Mr. Maunz asked me to come up in front of the group and he presented me with my Roku-dan certificate.

     I want to thank the GKK and Yamakura Shihan directly, for this great honor.


After this presentation, we got down to some intense training. We broke into three groups and worked on a number of different areas. 

     In my group we chose to dissect Seiunchin kata and looked at the various interpretations of the techniques and movements. We switched groups, traded more techniques and worked on a variety of self-defense movements, which was a lot of fun. We worked balance techniques and restraint techniques, with a few pressure point techniques thrown in. That’s one of my personal favorite areas of study.



     Mr. Maunz was watching Mr. Barrington’s group which included my grandson, John. This group was working on Saifa kata.  I was surprised and very pleased when Mr. Maunz approached me and told me he was very impressed with John’s efforts and asked if he could give John a field promotion from Roku-kyu to Go-kyu. I was so proud of John and agreed. Congratulations John, way to go ……………

      It was a very good session that lasted about 3 plus hours.  After the workout we all went in different directions with some shopping, some hiking and some sightseeing.


     On Saturday, Mr. Maunz got a group together and hiked to some sand caves to do some exploring and kata training.  I left that for the more energetic crowd. We chose sightseeing and came across a recreated site called Martin Station.  This is a living village showing how life was lived in the 1700’s where we learned some of the techniques used during those times for the building of homes and buildings, how to start a fire and how to tan hides, as well as farming tricks they used. That evening after supper, we all got together and had a little social interaction and I had the opportunity to say a formal thank you to Mr. Maunz for all his help and kindness in my attaining my Roku-dan.

      It was great to have a bigger group coming to camp and train this year and I’m hoping the trend will continue.  Cumberland Gap is a great place to train, hike, sightsee and just plain old relax. I encourage everyone to come and join us next year. Bring your families along! There’s lots to do and see and is a great training opportunity. And again, thanks to all who attended and shared their knowledge. It was greatly appreciated.



From Ken Maunz;  John Herrmann received his promotion to Roku Dan while at Cumberland Gap this June with his family and Goju family members from Springfield IL, Toledo OH, and Ambler PA present. Of course a little beer and other beverage was made to vanish in contemplation of such a rare event. Translation-- we had fun!
      John is a long time member of the GKK and active in Goju before that. Living in Franklin KY, he and his son Andy run a great program there.  John lives a little off the Goju main road. We first had a good look at John in 2011 when a group from the GKK visited his dojo. John was invited to the May seminar in 2012 and to test ( reviewed) for Roku Dan.  At this rank Shihan Yamakura and the GKK are looking for people who are not only great teachers and able practitioners, but also uphold all the concepts and represent the whole of the GKK in detail of katas, training, and organizational
goals. So after more training at home and three GKK events later, John was found to be able to do the things that were set out.
     So congratulations John On the long road of doing! We are glad you are in the GKK!!!

     Also I would like to say at this time, so people know there is thought behind these things, that as one reaches a goal another starts. Mr. Bill Kane of the Ambler PA dojo was in Toledo in June and has began the road Mr.Herrmann just got off. I would like the whole club at Ambler to help keep Bill tired, pushed and pulled. Just kidding! Bill's a great guy and he will make it.