Sensei Hokama’s Australian Seminar – September 14-16, 2012

Sensei Hokama came to Sydney at the invitation of Shihan Lipman and Shihan Cunningham. This invitation came after the success of 2009, and the considerable amount of time they have spent with Sensei over their numerous trips to Okinawa. This was Sensei’s second trip to Australia to teach at a seminar organised by KIMAA.

The seminar included Kobudo techniques and Kata, with Sai and Bo, as well as Kata and Kata Bunkai, Gyaku Waza, and some pressure point techniques. Sensei seems particularly fond of these! Those who have been subjected to such techniques before tend to move to the rear and push the more junior students forward, or Seniors who have not “enjoyed this experience previously”. The more senior group also learnt techniques and the first Kata with the Eeku, a new experience for many. KIMAA students from Sydney and the North Coast Dojos participated, as well as many guest Shihans and Senseis.

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The seminar went over Friday night at Turramurra, and all day Saturday and Sunday at Annangrove. This included a group dinner at Noodle City in Gordon on Friday, and a BBQ dinner at Shihan Cunningham’s on Saturday. The seminar was enjoyed by all with many new friendships formed.

Students were split into groups depending on their knowledge. Besides the adult classes, there were classes for children and adolescents, many of whom had their first experience with the Bo and acquitted themselves well. Sensei moved around these groups with Shihan Lipman so they all benefited from Sensei’s teaching.

In addition to the seminar, Shihan Lipman and Cunningham took Sensei to have some Boomerang throwing lessons with Albert, a full-blood Aboriginal, and he became quite proficient in a short period of time. After the weekend the Shihans also took him to Jenolan caves, which he thought was a great experience as he has a deep understanding of all things archaeological.

Sensei was most impressed by the standard of the students and the teaching ability of those involved, as well as the enjoyment and friendliness of the students.

The highlight of the seminar was Shihan Lipman being promoted to Renshi in Hokama Okinawan Kobudo and awarded the rank of Rokudan (6th Dan). In addition, Shihan Cunningham was promoted to be a full-fledged Shihan in Hokama Okinawan Kobudo and was promoted to the rank of Godan (5th Dan). Sensei Mark Shelmerdine received his 3rd Dan, Sensei Paul Finnerty the rank of 2nd Dan, and Sempai James Campbell the rank of 1st Dan, as well as some new Kyu grades.

Shihan Lipman and Cunningham will travel again to Okinawa on November 18th for one week for further training with Sensei.

Special thanks go to all those who helped with instruction and those who helped organise the BBQ. Very special thanks go to Kirsti, Shihan Cunningham’s wife, for organising food for a small army and making accomodation available for so many. Very special thanks also goes to Shihan Lipman’s wife, Masumi, for all her help with Sensei, taking care of him in their home and assisting with translation during training.

A small selection of photos are featured in the sideshow above. More photos, including individual shots with Sensei Hokama, are available on discs that can be loaned to KIMAA students from Turramurra and Annangrove Dojos.