Year In Review – December 21, 2012

Sempai James Campbell performs tameshiwari (board breaking) with shuto (knife hand).
Board Breaking

2012 was a year of many achievements for Kyokushin International Martial Arts Australia, for both its students and instructors.

Sensei Hokama leading instruction on the Bo staff.
Sensei Hokama leading instruction on the Bo staff

Sydney was home to a lot of KIMAA activity. Many Turramurra and Annangrove students had their first experience with tameshiwari (board breaking), and had much success. Karate students of Knox Grammar School made further advancement in technique and fighting skills, and farewelled one of its main coaches and alumnus. The Honbu Dojo held a Black Belt grading in June, with five students earning their 1st Dan Black Belt after a six hour test, including forty full contact fights.

The highlight of the year was undoubtedly Sensei Tetsuhiro Hokama’s visit to Australia in September. The 10th Dan master of Karate bunkai and Kobudo weapons spent a weekend with students from the four New South Wales Dojos, developing the skills of the senior grades and introducing basic techniques to beginners.

At the end of the weekend, Sensei Hokama awarded new black belt grades in Kobudo to Shihan Howard Lipman (6th Dan), Shihan Rick Cunningham (5th Dan), Sensei Mark Shelmerdine (3rd Dan), Sensei Paul Finnerty (2nd Dan) and Sempai James Campbell (1st Dan). Overall Sensei Hokama was most impressed with the standard of the KIMAA students at Kobudo.

Shihan Lipman and Shihan Cunningham followed up Sensei’s visit by travelling to Okinawa in November for further training. The two Shihans also took Sensei to learn boomerang throwing and visit Jenolan Caves during his Australian trip. Photos of these have been added to the September article since it was originally published.

Shihan Cunningham with some of Aspley Dojo's new students
Shihan Cunningham with some of Aspley Dojo’s new students

September was a big month for KIMAA, with Sempai Rob James opening up Aspley Dojo. Aspley Dojo, Brisbane, is KIMAA’s first Dojo in Queensland. The Dojo has been successful, and held its first grading in late November. Shihan Cunningham visited in December to run a weekend seminar with Sempai Rob.

National All Styles trophies won by North Coast KIMAA students
National All Styles trophies won by North Coast KIMAA students

Members of Lismore and Ballina Dojos came down to Sydney for the grading and Sensei Hokama’s Seminar. Students from the North Coast also had great success in October, competing back-to-back in two tournaments. Saturday October 20th saw some compete in the Australian Kyokushin Karate Association tournament, and the following day in the National All Styles contest, both in Queensland. Many won places and trophies, and all represented KIMAA admirably.

Late 2012 also saw the launch of this new website. This new website aims to provide both visitors and members of KIMAA with accessible and comprehensive information on Kyokushin Karate and Kobudo. News articles, upcoming events, announcements, and the latest photo and video galleries across all five New South Wales and Queensland Dojos will be made instantly available to you. For live updates, you can click the “Follow” button in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen to receive an email notification every time a new event or gallery is posted. Otherwise, just keep checking in.

Dates for the Dojo closure periods are available in the calendar. The KIMAA instructors wish all a safe and happy holiday season. See you at training in 2013!

Shihan Cunningham, Shihan Lipman