KIMAA Seminar & Grading – October 30-November 1, 2015

Friday night at Turramurra Dojo
Friday night at Turramurra Dojo

The second KIMAA seminar and senior grading of 2015 were combined over the weekend of October 30th to November 1st.

Instructors and students came from all five KIMAA dojos to train in general self-defence, Kyokushin and Kobudo. Sensei Mark McFadden (3rd Dan Kyokushin, 3rd Dan Kobudo), Sempai Wally Gray (1st Dan Kyokushin), Jeremy Gray and Patricia Tan came from Lismore Dojo; Sensei Jon Ellis (3rd Dan Kyokushin, 2nd Dan Kobudo) and Ben Brady came from Ballina Dojo; and Sempai Rob James (2nd Dan Kyokushin), Jermaine Downs, Hieu Hoang and Chris Mitchell came from Aspley Dojo.

The first session of the seminar was held on Friday night October 30th, at Shihan Howard Lipman’s (8th Dan Kyokushin, 7th Dan Kobudo) Turramurra Dojo. The class was focused on self-defence against an armed assailant, specifically against a hand gun, and later a knife. Ray of Dynamic Defence, a Krav Maga organisation, was the guest instructor at Shihan Lipman’s invitation.

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After a warm-up and a fitness session, Ray ran the class through various disarming drills that focused on the principles of defence against an assailant wielding a pistol. After going through the basics of gun work, the class turned to knife defence.

Ray’s class was enjoyed by all present. While the karateka only had time to learn the elementary steps of these drills, they got a great sample of the defence skills being taught. KIMAA hopes to have a class with him again in the future.

After the class, a group dinner was enjoyed at Noodle City in Gordon.

The 9am-4pm Saturday class was held at Shihan Rick Cunningham’s (6th Dan Kyokushin, 6th Dan Kobudo) Annangrove Dojo.

The seminar began with basic training, followed by sanbon kumite (or ‘three-step sparring’). The sanbon kumite gradually increased in intensity, using takedowns and counters from bunkai to develop more advanced defensive manoeuvres.

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This Saturday session included some of the more senior grades from Knox Karate.

The training progressed until lunch, with seniors challenged to come up with their own self-defence combinations while working with a partner.

After a BBQ lunch, cooked by Sensei Mark McFadden and prepared by Shihan Cunningham’s wife, Kirsti, the seminar moved on to tameshiwari (board breaking).

Kyu grades performed single, double and triple board breaks on wood placed on besser blocks, depending on their specific grading requirements.

Sempai Ben Ng and Sempai Don Cheong performed two multi-breaks (breaking four handheld boards with four consecutive techniques) as part of their grading syllabus. Sempai Mark Long and James Ruprai also performed a multi-break. Sempai Wally Gray then showed the younger generation how it’s done by breaking four boards at once with seiken (forefist) and shuto (knife hand) techniques.

Saturday’s training finished with fitness and fight training. Shihan Cunningham hosted a dinner for senior grades and the guests from other dojos at his house after training.

Saturday Group Shot
Saturday Group Shot

The senior grading began at 9am on the Sunday morning. Sensei Peter Olive (4th Dan Kyokushin, 1st Dan Kobudo) led the grading while Shihan Lipman and Shihan Cunningham assessed the performance of the students.

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After the basics segment of the grading was completed, the karateka student body was broken up into groups. Those grading remained in the dojo, while Yudansha and Kyu grades not being graded went outside to do belt-specific training.

Sensei Mark McFadden, Sensei Jon, Sempai Rob, Sempai Mark Long (2nd Dan Kyokushin), Sempai James Campbell (2nd Dan Kyokushin, 2nd Dan Kobudo) and Sempai Alex Lloyd (2nd Dan Kyokushin, 1st Dan Kobudo) revised black belt katas, including Seipai, Okinawan Seipai and Sushi Ho.

Sensei Mark Shelmerdine (4th Dan Kyokushin, 4th Dan Kobudo) took the brown belts through Pinan Sono Go, Gekusai Dai and Yansu.

Sensei James Sidwell (4th Dan Kyokushin, 1st Dan Kobudo) took Nalin, 4th Kyu, through Gekusai Sho and Pinan Sono San.

Sensei Paul Finnerty (4th Dan Kyokushin, 3rd Dan Kobudo) took the junior Kyu grades through Pinan Sono Ni.

The senior grading continued inside with advanced techniques, moving through stances, kata, bunkai, and fitness. The senior Kyu grades and black belts attempting the grading were Sempai Ben Ng, Sempai Don Cheong, Sempai Wally Gray, Josh Darley, Victor Sweeney, Patricia Tan and Jermaine Downs.

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Finally, the grading culminated with kumite (sparring). It was the longest part of the morning for those grading, with Josh and Victor completing 20 fights to meet their syllabus requirements.

Congratulations to all those who participated in the grading. Belts and certificates will be awarded to students by their instructors over the coming weeks. Extra special congratulations to our newly promoted black belts: Sensei Ben Ng (3rd Dan Kyokushin), Sensei Don Cheong (3rd Dan Kyokushin) and Sempai Wally Gray (2nd Dan Kyokushin).

The weekend did not end after the grading, however. After another lunch prepared by Kirsti, students were broken up into groups based on their Kobudo experience for weapons training. Bo, Sai, Eeku and Arnis (Escrima Sticks) were covered for the remainder of the afternoon.

KIMAA Black Belts
KIMAA Black Belts: Sensei Mark McFadden, Shihan Rick Cunningham, Sensei Jon Ellis, Sempai Rob James, Sensei Ben Ng, Shihan Howard Lipman, Sensei Don Cheong, Sempai Alex Lloyd, Sensei Mark Shelmerdine, Sempai James Campbell, Sempai Mark Long, Sensei Peter Olive & Sensei James Sidwell

It was a tiring but successful weekend. It is always a productive and worthwhile exercise to bring all the dojos together: students get to train with karateka outside their own dojo, and all get to check that their techniques are matching the required KIMAA standard. Thanks to Sempai Alex Lloyd and Jonathan Lee for the photography and videos. Special thanks to everyone who travelled to Sydney for the occasion and, as always, to Shihan Howard Lipman and Shihan Rick Cunningham for organising the weekend.

KIMAA Dojo Operators
KIMAA Dojo Operators: Shihan Rick Cunningham (Annangrove), Sempai Rob James (Aspley), Sensei Mark McFadden (Lismore), Sensei Jon Ellis (Ballina) & Shihan Howard Lipman (Turramurra)
Shihan Rick Cunningham & Shihan Howard Lipman
Shihan Rick Cunningham & Shihan Howard Lipman