Year In Review – December 23, 2013

Students of Kyokushin International Martial Arts Australia participated in a range of seminars, gradings, tournaments and a group tour to Okinawa. 2013 was a big year for KIMAA students, with the head instructors working hard to give every opportunity possible to deepen and diversify the knowledge of the martial arts across all KIMAA dojos.

Sydney, NSW

Turramurra and Annangrove Dojos were home to a lot of important events in the KIMAA calendar.

Sensei Mark & Sempai Rob's visit to Sydney in February
Sensei Mark & Sempai Rob’s visit to Sydney in February

The year started with Sensei Mark McFadden (3rd Dan Kyokushin, 2nd Dan Kobudo) and Sempai Rob James (1st Dan Kyokushin) visiting Sydney for training in Karate and Kobudo. This was the beginning of a lot of travelling between dojos by the head instructors to further each others’ skills and share knowledge. The North Coast dojos and Aspley Dojo formed a particularly close rapport.

KIMAA offers training in full-contact Kyokushin Karate and International Hokama Kobudo (traditional Okinawan weapons). In 2013 KIMAA expanded the repertoire of weapons in the Kobudo syllabus, starting with a knife attack and defence seminar in March. This was taught by guest instructor Sensei Robert King (5th Dan) of Koryu Uchinadi (KU) Kempo Jujutsu. The seminar was seen as such a success that Sensei Robert King and Sempai Aaron Jones returned in June to teach a second knife seminar, building on the skills of the first.

In early July, Shihan Des Paroz (6th Dan) of Shorinjiryu Karate, along with Sensei Chrissy Hanley, taught an introductory seminar on the Jō, a four foot staff.

A black belt grading was held at Turramurra Dojo in July. Sensei Mark Shelmerdine (4th Dan Kyokushin, 3rd Dan Kobudo) and Sensei James Sidwell (4th Dan Kyokushin, 1st Dan Kobudo) received their 4th Dan grades, and Sempai Sammy Vieira became KIMAA’s newest 1st Dan.

Shihan Howard Lipman presents Shihan Rick Cunningham his dojo operator license
Shihan Howard Lipman with Shihan Rick Cunningham, October 2013

In October, the KIMAA Kyokushin & Kobudo Seminar was held at Turramurra and Annangrove Dojos. KIMAA President Shihan Howard Lipman (8th Dan Kyokushin, 6th Dan Kobudo) and Shihan Rick Cunningham (6th Dan Kyokushin, 5th Dan Kobudo) have instigated these KIMAA seminars as an annual event, with all green belts and above expected to attend. The seminars will also be a prerequisite for anyone attempting a senior Kyu grading or higher.

The weekend seminar was attended by members from all five KIMAA dojos in New South Wales and Queensland. The Friday night and Saturday sessions were spent on Karate, focusing on basics, bunkai, kumite and senior kata. The Sunday spent some time on Karate but was mainly focused on Kobudo. Sessions were led by Shihan Lipman, Shihan Cunningham, Sensei Paul Finnerty (4th Dan Kyokushin, 2nd Dan Kobudo), Sensei Peter Olive (4th Dan Kyokushin, 1st Dan Kobudo) and Sensei Mark Shelmerdine.

The rationale behind these seminars is to bring seniors from all KIMAA dojos together to train and uphold strong, correct technique across all dojos. The seminar was seen as a great success, with the next one scheduled for March 2014.

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Two Knox gradings were held in 2013, one in March and the other in November. Knox alumnus Nicholas Cheng has also joined the Knox Sports Academy as a member of the coaching staff. He will be assisting Shihan Lipman with the Knox Karate classes in 2014.

North Coast, NSW

Following the combined training weekend in Sydney, Sensei Mark McFadden and Sempai Jon Ellis (2nd Dan Kyokushin, 1st Dan Kobudo) hosted Sempai Rob and students of Aspley Dojo at Lismore Dojo. Training focused on both Karate and Kobudo. After this weekend in March, another North Coast and Brisbane combined seminar took place at Lismore Dojo in August.

In March, Sensei Mark McFadden was promoted to 3rd Dan in Kyokushin and 2nd Dan in Kobudo by Shihan Lipman. Sensei Mark’s promotion in Kobudo was certified by Sensei Tetsuhiro Hokama (10th Dan) on the Okinawa Group Tour.

In October 2012, students from Lismore and Ballina Dojos competed in the National All Styles competition and achieved some impressive results. North Coast KIMAA students continued to enjoy success at the National All Styles, winning placements and trophies in May and December, with Patricia Tan becoming the Australian Kata Champion in her division in December.

After the final week of training in 2013, North Coast and Brisbane students joined together for a day of beach training.

Brisbane, QLD

Shihan Cunningham visited the students of Aspley Dojo in February to teach an introductory Kobudo seminar. Sempai Rob and his students expanded their Kobudo skills by training with the North Coast dojos in March and August and at the KIMAA Kyokushin & Kobudo Seminar in Sydney in October.

Little Lions classes began at Aspley Dojo in April, allowing the kids to receive instruction geared specifically for their age. The Little Lions hit things off with a great start, such as the April board breaking class, and the first Little Lions grading that was held in June.

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Aspley Dojo moved into a long-term new home in July, equipped specifically for martial arts training. Aspley Dojo held its final Karate grading for 2013 in December.

Okinawa Group Tour

In November a group of black belts travelled to Okinawa for training.

KIMAA tour group photo with Sensei Hokama
KIMAA tour group photo with Sensei Hokama.

The tour group included Shihan Howard Lipman, his wife Masumi, Shihan Rick Cunningham, Sensei Mark Shelmerdine, Sensei Mark McFadden, Sempai Don Cheong, Sempai Alex Lloyd and Sempai James Campbell.

They spent a week training with Sensei Hokama in Kobudo, as well as kata bunkai and general self-defence. They also had one training session with Shihan Yasuhiro Shichinohe (7th Dan) in Kyokushin Karate.

After the week of training, the group spent a few days sightseeing in Kyoto.

The trip was instructional and enjoyable, as there is always much to learn from Sensei Hokama, who has such an incredible knowledge of the martial arts.

The next group tour to Japan is being planned for March 2015.

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Dates for dojo closure periods are available in the calendar. The KIMAA instructors give their best regards to all for the festive season.

We look forward to seeing you back in 2014.

Shihan Howard Lipman
KIMAA President
8th Dan Kyokushin
6th Dan Kobudo