Sensei Hokama’s Australian Seminar – September 14-16, 2012

Sensei Hokama came to Sydney at the invitation of Shihan Lipman and Shihan Cunningham. This invitation came after the success of 2009, and the considerable amount of time they have spent with Sensei over their numerous trips to Okinawa. This was Sensei’s second trip to Australia to teach at a seminar organised by KIMAA.

The seminar included Kobudo techniques and Kata, with Sai and Bo, as well as Kata and Kata Bunkai, Gyaku Waza, and some pressure point techniques. Sensei seems particularly fond of these! Those who have been subjected to such techniques before tend to move to the rear and push the more junior students forward, or Seniors who have not “enjoyed this experience previously”. The more senior group also learnt techniques and the first Kata with the Eeku, a new experience for many. KIMAA students from Sydney and the North Coast Dojos participated, as well as many guest Shihans and Senseis.

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The seminar went over Friday night at Turramurra, and all day Saturday and Sunday at Annangrove. This included a group dinner at Noodle City in Gordon on Friday, and a BBQ dinner at Shihan Cunningham’s on Saturday. The seminar was enjoyed by all with many new friendships formed.

Students were split into groups depending on their knowledge. Besides the adult classes, there were classes for children and adolescents, many of whom had their first experience with the Bo and acquitted themselves well. Sensei moved around these groups with Shihan Lipman so they all benefited from Sensei’s teaching.

In addition to the seminar, Shihan Lipman and Cunningham took Sensei to have some Boomerang throwing lessons with Albert, a full-blood Aboriginal, and he became quite proficient in a short period of time. After the weekend the Shihans also took him to Jenolan caves, which he thought was a great experience as he has a deep understanding of all things archaeological.

Sensei was most impressed by the standard of the students and the teaching ability of those involved, as well as the enjoyment and friendliness of the students.

The highlight of the seminar was Shihan Lipman being promoted to Renshi in Hokama Okinawan Kobudo and awarded the rank of Rokudan (6th Dan). In addition, Shihan Cunningham was promoted to be a full-fledged Shihan in Hokama Okinawan Kobudo and was promoted to the rank of Godan (5th Dan). Sensei Mark Shelmerdine received his 3rd Dan, Sensei Paul Finnerty the rank of 2nd Dan, and Sempai James Campbell the rank of 1st Dan, as well as some new Kyu grades.

Shihan Lipman and Cunningham will travel again to Okinawa on November 18th for one week for further training with Sensei.

Special thanks go to all those who helped with instruction and those who helped organise the BBQ. Very special thanks go to Kirsti, Shihan Cunningham’s wife, for organising food for a small army and making accomodation available for so many. Very special thanks also goes to Shihan Lipman’s wife, Masumi, for all her help with Sensei, taking care of him in their home and assisting with translation during training.

A small selection of photos are featured in the sideshow above. More photos, including individual shots with Sensei Hokama, are available on discs that can be loaned to KIMAA students from Turramurra and Annangrove Dojos.

Black Belt Grading – June 23, 2012

Mark Varnam, Jessica Den, James Campbell, Todd Murphy and Di Turner all participated in Kyokushin’s world-renowned six hour Shodan (1st Dan) grading on June 23rd. They performed admirably and have been welcomed as KIMAA’s newest black belts.

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Other KIMAA students performed to a high standard, including Jonathan Lee, Theo Schreuder, Nick Cheng and Chris Alcorn, who all reached 1st Kyu.

Knox Karate News – June 16, 2012

Another round of Knox gradings for the Senior and Prep Schools was held on Saturday June 16th. The boys performed admirably, showcasing the continually increasing standard of technique and discipline in Knox Karate.

Ed Tutt (year 10) led the Senior School grading, trying for 3rd Kyu, while Toby Chantharasy and Oliver MacGregor (years 5 & 6) led the Prep School boys as they went for 4th Kyu Level II. Having some of the Prep students reach for these more senior grades after just two and a half years of training is tantamount to their hard work.

Nick Cheng and Chris Alcorn are Knox students that participated in the General Grading on June 23rd (click here for photos), going for 1st Kyu. Chris and Nick now hold the honour of reaching the highest grade a Knox student has achieved while still at the school. James Woodward, a member of general classes for some time now, went for 3rd Kyu. Their participation in the six hour grading is to their credit.

It was also Sempai Alex Lloyd’s last day as a Knox sports coach as he moves on to further his career in his chosen profession. Alex was a student of Knox for eleven years, graduating in 2009, and a coach since then. He graded to black belt in 2011. He has been associated with Knox Karate for seven years and trained many of the students from white belt to 2nd kyu. The boys, new Knox coach Simon Emmerson and Shihan Lipman were very kind in their farewell.

This is the article published by the school about Sempai Alex in their weekly newsletter:

Knox Bids Karate Coach, Alex Lloyd, Farewell

This article was published earlier in the year by the school, also in their weekly newsletter:

Knoxonian-KSA Profile – Alex Lloyd

Board Breaking – March & May, 2012

Two classes were held in March & May to teach Tameshiwari, or board breaking, to the KIMAA students. The seniors had performed board breaking before and wanted to introduce the younger students to a component of the syllabus that had been lacking in recent years.

Shihan Lipman and Shihan Cunningham instructed the students in seiken (forefist), shuto (knifehand), hiji (elbow) and sokuto (foot) break techniques. Students began with one board, but many quickly worked their way to two or three.

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The students made great progress, and these classes will continue.

Shihan Kobudo Gradings – November, 2011

Written by Shihan Lipman in 2011

Shihan Howard Lipman awarded his 5th Dan and “Shihan” rank in Kobudo by Sensei Hokama

Shihan Cunningham and I travelled together to Okinawa on the 8th of November for one week’s training with Sensei Hokama.

The training consisted of the application of advanced Kata and more advanced Kobudo techniques and their application. Sensei placed great emphasis on the accuracy and speed of techniques and the important difference between instruction at student and teacher levels. Many new things were learnt and other techniques became more refined.

This was our 10th trip to Okinawa to train with Sensei Hokama over the last four years and proved to be most successful.

Shihan Rick Cunningham receives his 4th Dan and “Shihan” rank from Sensei Hokama

It came to both of us as a surprise when Sensei asked us to participate in a grade promotion test at the end of the week. As result of this test Shihan Cunningham was awarded 4th Dan and Shihan-dai rank in Kobudo. Sensei Hokama then awarded me 5th Dan and Shihan rank in Kobudo.

We will continue to travel to Okinawa at least once a year to further our training with Sensei and for the future benefit and development of our students.

Karate & Kobudo Seminar – August 26-28, 2011

The much awaited Karate & Kobudo Seminar was held on the last weekend of August. On Friday the 26th at Turramurra Dojo, participants came to revise bunkai techniques and takedowns as well as learn some new ones. It was a successful night with a lot of the work revolving around the Pinan Katas and other throws, followed by a group dinner.

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The next morning started promptly at Annangrove Dojo at 8am. Shihan Lipman, Shihan Cunningham, Sensei Mark and Sensei Paul took turns instructing the beginners in the basics of the Bo staff and Sai. Despite a few “mishandlings” of the Sai, the new students picked up the techniques well. Those already learning Kobudo progressed onto new kata and bunkai, as well as helping the beginners with partner work. Training went for nine hours followed by a barbeque dinner at Shihan Cunningham’s.

The next morning was the same early start. After a couple of hours of revision, younger students from the Kids and Knox classes arrived to learn the basics of the Bo.

By mid-afternoon a Grading was held. The adult beginners went through the Bo and Sai, whereas the Kids and Knox groups just concentrated on the Bo. Ian Holdaway, James Campbell, Jessica Den and Todd Murphy also graded with the Bo, Sai and Eeku, giving a fine demonstration to the newer students of how their Kata should look with a bit more practice!

It was a well-run, highly successful weekend that covered a lot of ground and generated significant interest in Kobudo within KIMAA. Many thanks to the Shihans for the wonderful weekend. This is some footage from the seminar: