by Nimrod Astel

Between April 21st and April 26th, I visited the Toledo area.  I made a long journey from Israel in order to meet the leaders, teachers and members of this wonderful organization.  During my stay, I was very fortunate to come to know some remarkable people, to learn a good deal about this organization, to deepen and expand my knowledge and understanding in karate and to do some serious workouts.

During the afternoon hours of each day, I had personal learning sessions with some of the senior teachers and leaders of the organization.  In the evening hours I was hosted by some of the school's leaders and participated in their classes.  I received a warm welcome and very kind attention from all of my hosts.  I was deeply impressed by the high professional standards of both teachers and students.  The dedication and motivation I witnessed were inspiring.

I admired the fact this organization maintains and promotes a basic structure of standardization and unity, yet allows and respects the different paths taken by its members.  It is a fine balance to maintain and it requires a great deal of confidence, tolerance and respect, all of which I have seen in this short visit of mine.

I wish to extend my sincere gratitude and appreciation to the leaders and members of this organization for their warm welcome, generosity and willingness to share their time and knowledge.  This made the trip an unforgettable experience for me.
 Thank you, Yamakura Shihan, for the experience of a lifetime.  Your teachings, your guidelines, your attention to the smallest detail and your very kind nature will always remain with me.
Thank you, Maunz Kyoshi, for having me in your dojo and for all the hours you spent with me.  I have leaned so much from you and I enjoyed every minute of it.
Thank you, Myers Renshi, for welcoming me to your home, for teaching me and for assisting me in all the formal, professional and administrative aspects of my duties.
Thank you, Algee Kyoshi, Scales Renshi, Cramer Renshi and Dodge Renshi and all of your fine students.  It was a real pleasure and a great honor to meet you all in person and to attend your classes.  I have learned a lot, I worked hard and had a great time doing so.

I especially wish to thank the GKK Chairman, Mr. Stamper Kyoshi.  Mr. and Mrs. Stamper were very kind to welcome me in their home.  Stamper Kyoshi tutored me personally, brought me to each and every class I attended and introduced me to all the teachers and classes which I have visited.  Kyoshi Stamper was very kind and generous to me and devoted a great deal of his time to spend with me, sharing his wealth of knowledge and lifetime of experience.  Meeting Stamper Kyoshi in person and learning so much from him is something I will treasure forever.

The GKK is an extraordinary organization.  Not only in the knowledge it possesses and the dedication of its members to the martial arts, but also in its openness and generosity to share its wealth and to truly be there for its members.  I am honored and privileged to be a part of it and I thank you all for such a wonderful experience.