Saturday morning kicked off at Sensei Jon’s Ballina Dojo. Adults and Little Lions came together to for the general class in kihon (basics) and kata (pattern) under Hanshi. Strikes, blocks and kicks were practised at length, examining the finer points of each technique. The students gained a new appreciation for how much goes into every aspect of Karate. They next applied these tips for technical precision into fighting drills. The class also performed some kata, and learned new partner-stretching moves.
That afternoon, a class for senior grades and a select couple of juniors was held at Sensei Mark’s Lismore Dojo. Hanshi continued the fighting drills lesson from the morning before Sempai Alex led the group through various kata: Yantsu, Pinan sono Go, Naihanchi and various kata in Ura. A few senior basic techniques were revised before the session finished.
Sensei Jon and his wife Tabby generously held a group dinner at their home in Ballina.
Sunday featured a three-hour Kyokushin grading for junior adult kyu grades and the Little Lions. Hanshi Howard, Sensei Mark, Sensei Jon and Sensei Rob assessed the students while Sempai Alex led the grading. It was an intense morning, technically focused, fast and entailed a large number of push-ups.
Hanshi was delighted to pass everyone who attempted the grading. Students were awarded their belts that day. Special congratulations go to Blayne and Anthony, who were double-graded to senior yellow belt (5th Kyu). Special mention also must go to 1st kyu Jermaine Downs of North Brisbane Dojo, who exhibited excellent form over the weekend.
A Kobudo class was conducted after the grading for interested students. Sempai Alex took the group through the finer technical points of the Bo staff, focusing on basic strikes as well as the first exercise and Kihon kata.
It was an outstanding weekend organised by Sensei Jon and Sensei Mark. Thanks go to the North Coast dojo operators for use of their facilities, and to Sempai Wally Gray, Sempai Patricia Tan and Larissa Watson for their assistance as well. The North Coast students who don’t normally get to make the trips to Sydney enjoyed the opportunity to train with the head of the organisation, Hanshi Howard Lipman, which made it a memorable experience for all.
The first KIMAA seminar of 2018 was held in Sydney, on the weekend of March 10-11, at Annangrove Dojo.
The focus of the seminar was Kyokushin Karate. Kihon and kata were practised at length, interspersed with fitness and sparring sessions. Tameshiwari (board breaking) and Kobudo (weapons) were also undertaken.
Saturday kicked off with an intense basics session with Shihan Rick Cunningham and Shihan Peter Olive. After everyone was suitably sweaty, the class turned its attention to partner work, Sanbon Kumite, leg blocks and defence, and bunkai from Pinan Ni.
After lunch, the seminar broke up into groups. Students not attempting a board break were assigned to a particular group and instructor to revise kata pertinent to their grade level.
For everyone else, Hanshi Howard Lipman led the class through tameshiwari. Hanshi introduced first-timers to the basics of board breaking, while more experienced karateka got some pointers before attempting larger breaks and multi-board combinations.
The class then recombined for an intense bag session, where students rotated through pairings to practise their roundhouse kicks.
Next was the Naihanchi kata. Shihan Idir Bahamid took the seminar through the kata, emphasising the importance of a solid stance and correct focus in the execution of techniques.
After studying the kata, the group loosened up for kumite. Kyu grades and the Little Lions had turns sparring the black belts. A few egos were bruised, but everyone enjoyed and learned from the experience.
That evening, Shihan Rick hosted a dinner for the out-of-Sydney guests and senior grades.
The next morning began with a suitably tiring basics session, led by Hanshi Howard.
After the basics, the seminar spent the rest of the day on self-defence, fighting techniques and kata revision, often broken into smaller groups by grade level. The group also revisited Naihanchi kata. The Kyokushin focus was briefly interrupted for a Kobudo session. Students had the option of learning a Bo, Sai or Eku kata, dependent on their experience level.
The class finished up after a final group session. The KIMAA seminars continue to be an important feature on the calendar for students to interact with members from other parts of the organisation, and for the instructors to ensure unity in technical standards and Kyokushin spirit. Thanks go to all the organisers, and those who made the effort to travel to Sydney.
The next KIMAA seminar is at the North Coast in May.
A good portion of the trip was spent sightseeing in Tokyo, Yudanaka, Nagano and Kyoto, before heading to Okinawa. One of the destinations was the shrine to Sosai Mas Oyama at Mt Mitsumine, as well as his actual grave.
Tony Kuo of Turramurra Dojo joined the group in Okinawa. The first highlight in Okinawa was training with Sensei Tetsuhiro Hokama and Shihan Ken Ogura in Karate and Kobudo weapons. Sensei Hokama also graded Sensei Jon to 3rd Dan in Kobudo, and Sempai Alex to 2nd Dan.
Sensei Jon Ellis, 3rd Dan Kobudo
Sempai Alex Lloyd, 2nd Dan Kobudo
Sensei Tetsuhiro Hokama
Shihan Howard Lipman
Shihan Ken Ogura
KIMAA with Sensei Hokama and Shihan Ken after training.
The final event of the tour was the Kyokushin Union’s 4th World Tournament, a two-day event featuring Kyokushin fighters from a large range of countries. The trip was a memorable and enjoyable experience.
The Sydney dojos were home to a variety of KIMAA events in 2017, from junior and senior gradings and a major seminar. The year began for some Sydney instructors with the Japan trip, including the World Tournament.
These competitive efforts were followed quickly by Turramurra and Annangrove Dojo members competing in the AKKA New South Wales State Championships in June, hosted by Hanshi John Taylor. A large group competed, led by senior grade Sensei Ben Ng. Special mention goes to Elia Parsanejad, Eric Wright and Sempai Josh Darley for their placements.
Annangrove Dojo continued its fitness program over the course of the year. Shihan Rick Cunningham and Sensei Paul Finnerty teach fitness classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, in addition to the Karate classes on other weeknights and weapons on Sundays. Not all participants in the fitness classes train in karate, many coming along just to improve their wellbeing and cardio ability. The group has grown steadily.
The focus moved from competitive fighting to the wider level of training needed for a grading, in preparation for the Senior Kyokushin Grading in August. Participants included members from Turramurra and Annangrove, as well as karateka travelling down from the North Coast dojos. Hanshi Howard assessed students while the grading was led by Shihan Rick and Shihan Peter Olive.
The day produced KIMAA’s newest black belt, Sempai Will Brook, of Ballina Dojo.
The week focused heavily on bunkai (self-defence applications from kata), as well as conditioning, miscellaneous self-defence, technical training and weapons. All students look forward to future training with Shihan Ken.
One of Sydney’s senior instructors was promoted during the seminar – Idir Bahamid was awarded by Hanshi Howard his 5th Dan in Kyokushin and the title of “Shihan”. Shihan Idir is already a 5h Dan in Shotokan Karate.
Kobudo training continued throughout the year at Annangrove Dojo. The senior group focused in particular on new katas taught to them by Shihan Ken.
The start of the year also unveiled an ongoing series on this website, “From the Archive”. Hanshi Howard dug up his wealth of Kyokushin photos, documenting his training from white belt to training with Sosai Mas Oyama to the present day. After a lot of scanning by Sempai Alex, a new batch was posted to the website every month. The publishing program finished with the year 2010, posted this December:
March saw the first 2017 KIMAA seminar hosted at the North Coast dojos, conducted by Hanshi Howard Liman. Members from Lismore and Ballina participated, as well as some students under Sensei Rob James of his two dojos.
The seminar was a terrific weekend held at Ballina and Lismore across the two days, focusing on basics, fitness, kata, kumite and the finer points of stance and technique across the Little Lions, adults and senior grades.
Sempai Rob James, Sempai Alex Lloyd, Shihan Howard Lipman, Sensei Jon Ellis & Sensei Mark McFadden.
The North Coast students continued their hard training, entering a number of competitions over the course of the year. This includes the Little Lions’ efforts in May, and young Isaac’s in October.
The North Coast enjoyed reminding the rest of KIMAA that Karate doesn’t always have to mean indoor training! Sensei Mark held a grading for Lismore Dojo in June, which students of Ballina also attended, at Evans Head beach. The class enjoyed the sunny teachings of Sensei Mark, Sensei Jon, Sempai Wally Gray and Sempai Trish.
Later that month, North Brisbane’s Little Lions entered one of the National All Styles tournaments. Young Sean gained a placement, and all entrants were participating in their first tournament. Sean continued his efforts at the NAS in October.
The Queensland KIMAA students are a bit further way from the central action of KIMAA geographically, but they don’t let that stop them keep driving harder and harder to pursue greater martial arts skills. This was typified by the efforts in the June gradings.
Sensei Rob represented Queensland at the Shihan Ken seminar in September. Like all seniors who participated, he honed his technique and took away insightful lessons of Karate’s hidden secrets. He was also greatly surprised when Hanshi Howard promoted him to the rank of 3rd Dan and title of Sensei.
Sensei David Craigie commenced his Kyokushin training in 1971, obtaining Shodan in 1976. He has also been teaching since the 1970s.
During the KIMAA Shihan Ken Seminar in September 2017, Sensei David was invited to attend and bring some of his students. Over the course of the seminar, Sensei David was greatly impressed by the quality of people and martial arts skills at KIMAA. He enthusiastically accepted when invited to join by Hanshi Howard Lipman.
While a newcomer to KIMAA, Sensei David has been teaching Kyokushin for over forty years. Hanshi Howard graded Sensei David to 4th Dan in recognition of his decades teaching Kyokushin.
The final training session of the year featured a guest appearance from Sensei Don Cheong, of Turramurra Dojo, and Sempai Mark Long, an old student of Hanshi Howard.
This year saw KIMAA continue its efforts internally and externally, through seminars and gradings to Japan trips and tournaments, pushing its students and seniors to improve their Karate in every aspect. Strong and experienced leadership has seen the KIMAA students continually exposed to new opportunities, especially spending time with other great senior martial artists.
Warm thanks go to the dojo operators and other instructors for keeping the organisation running smoothly, especially Hanshi Howard, Shihan Rick, Shihan Peter, Sensei Mark, Sensei David, Sensei Jon and Sensei Rob.
Your instructor will advise you of holiday closure dates, or any combined classes and holiday training. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all, and see you in 2018. Osu!