Japan Tour Pt 2: The Tournament – March 15, 2015

The following article continues the story of the 2015 KIMAA Group Tour to Japan. Click here to read Part 1.

The 22nd Okinawa Karate Tournament was held on March 15. This Kyokushin tournament was hosted by Shihan Yasuhiro Shichinohe (7th Dan Kyokushin). Shihan Howard Lipman’s friendship with Shihan Shichinohe goes back many years.

Representing KIMAA – and Australia – at the tournament this year were Sempai Don Cheong and Sempai James Campbell. Both competed at the Australian Nationals in 2014, and Sempai James also in the Queensland State Titles.

Sensei Mark McFadden and Sensei Jon Ellis were the coaches on the day. Sempai Alex Lloyd was the photographer. Trish Tan was the team physio and assisted Sempai Alex with filming the fights.

Shihan Shichinohe gave the group the great honour of all having seats at the Officials Table.

Sempai James Campbell won his first round with great strength.

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Sempai Don Cheong fought very well but unfortunately lost his fight.

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Sempai James approached his second fight with the same intensity as his first. He won, making it to the Quarter Finals.

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As a Quarter Finalist, the local press interviewed Sempai James – with help from Masumi!

After a lunch break, it was time for the quarter finalists to perform Tameshiwari (“trial by breaking”, or board breaking). Four breaks (minimum three boards per break) had to be made using forefist, knife hand, elbow and heel. Sempai James was one of the few entrants to complete each break on the first attempt.

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Sempai James’s Quarter Final round was hard-fought, but he lost the round. He finished in the top eight adult male competitors at the tournament.

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We congratulate both competitors on their excellent performance. They made their instructors and coaches very proud.

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We were invited to attend the Sayonara Party that night, where Sempai Don and Sempai James received further congratulations. Shihan Shichinohe expressed to James how impressed he was with his punch! We enjoyed socialising with old friends from Shihan Shichinohe’s dojo and new friends made on the day.

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Well done Don and James.

The third and final article on the 2015 Japan Tour can be read here.