Year In Review – December 21, 2017

Another enjoyable and successful year has passed for Kyokushin International Martial Arts Australia. The year saw the expansion of the organisation, further refinement of technical ability and entry in various competitions.

JAPAN

Senior grades from various dojos partook in the KIMAA Japan Group Tour, January 7-24. These included Hanshi Howard Lipman, Shihan Rick Cunningham, Sensei Paul Finnerty, Sensei Mark Shelmerdine, Sensei James Sidwell, Sensei Mark McFadden, Sensei Jon Ellis, Sempai Alex Lloyd and Sempai Patricia Tan.

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.

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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.

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.

KIMAA at the Kyokushin World Tournament.

SYDNEY, NSW

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.

Students of Turramurra Dojo participated in the IFKKA full-contact Kyokushin Karate tournament in May. A number of placements were achieved in this 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.

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The day produced KIMAA’s newest black belt, Sempai Will Brook, of Ballina Dojo.

Sempai Will Brook, Hanshi Howard Lipman & Sensei Jon Ellis

At the conclusion of the grading, Shihan Rick announced a special surprise for the Chairman of KIMAA. The KIMAA Grading Committee – consisting of Shihan Rick, Shihan Peter, Shihan Idir Bahamid and Sensei Mark McFaddenpromoted Howard Lipman to the rank of 9th Dan and the title of Hanshi in Kyokushin Karate.

The KIMAA grading committee with Hanshi Howard Lipman. From left: Sensei Mark McFadden, Shihan Rick Cunningham, Hanshi Howard Lipman, Sensei Idir Bahamid & Shihan Peter Olive.

Following the success of the 2016 Shihan Ken seminar, Shihan Ken was warmly invited back to instruct in the KIMAA Shihan Ken Seminar of 2017. The seminar ran over three weeknights and a full weekend in September at Turramurra and Annangrove. Members from all KIMAA dojos participated, as well as Shihan Doug Turnbull of KIKO on one night, and guest members from Sensei David Craigie’s Kyokushin dojo in Young across most of the week.

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.

KIMAA at the Shihan Ken Seminar, September 2017

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.

Hanshi Howard Lipman & Shihan Idir Bahamid

Kobudo training continued throughout the year at Annangrove Dojo. The senior group focused in particular on new katas taught to them by Shihan Ken.

Final Sydney Kobudo training of 2017. From left: Sensei James Sidwell, Shihan Rick Cunningham, Sempai Jessica Den, Shihan Peter Olive, Sensei Paul Finnerty, Sempai James Campbell, Sensei Mark Shelmerdine & Sempai Alex Lloyd.

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:

1970s, Part 1 | 1970s, Part 2 | 1970s, Part 3 | 1980s, Part 1 | 1980s, Part 2 | 1990-1991 | 1992 | 1993-1999 | 2000s | 2010

Sensei Elaine Kwok, Hanshi Howard Lipman, Sosai Mas Oyama, Shihan Rick Cunningham, Sensei Carl Syddall and Sensei Adrian Layton, Branch Chief Camp in Japan, 1993.

NORTH COAST, NSW

Head instructors of Lismore Dojo and Ballina Dojo, Sensei Mark McFadden and Sensei Jon Ellis, kicked off their year with the January trip to Japan, in which Sempai Patricia Tan also participated.

Sempai Trish, Hanshi Howard, Sensei Hokama, Sensei Mark & Sensei Jon in Okinawa, Japan, January 2017.

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 Sunday adults class at Lismore Dojo.

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.

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.

Lismore Dojo at the NAS

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.

North Coast Beach Grading

In August, Sempai Will Brook of Ballina Dojo was graded to 1st Dan (Shodan) in Sydney by Hanshi Howard Lipman.

Kobudo training was a key focus in the lead up to the September seminar in Sydney.

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More members of the North Coast came down to Sydney the following month for the Shihan Ken seminar.

The KIMAA NSW Far North Coast crew with Shihan Ken Ogura.

During the seminar, Sensei Mark McFadden was promoted to 4th Dan by Hanshi Howard Lipman.

Hanshi Howard Lipman, Sensei Mark McFadden & Shihan Rick Cunningham

The last major activity for the year was the combined North Coast dojos grading and Christmas Party.

BRISBANE, QLD

Sensei Rob James, head instructor at both North Brisbane and Nundah dojos, kept his students busy throughout the year! Some accompanied him to the North Coast seminar in March.

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.

Sensei Rob with some of his Little Lions at a tournament

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.

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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.

Hanshi Howard Lipman & Sensei Rob James

YOUNG, NSW

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.

Young Dojo with Hanshi Howard & Shihan Rick

On September 10, Sensei David and his dojo formally joined KIMAA, and was welcomed by all. Sensei David is the dojo operator of KIMAA’s seventh dojo.

Young Dojo represented KIMAA for the first time at the Riverina Kyokushin Karate Country Championships, where Sean and Josh took Third Place in their divisions.

Sean and Josh with Sensei David Craigie

Hanshi Howard and Shihan Rick Cunningham taught a day-long seminar at Young Dojo in November. The day focused on technique and kata. Improvement could be seen in all students as a result.

The students of Young Dojo with their instructors

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.

Hanshi Howard Lipman, Sensei David Craigie & Shihan Rick Cunningham

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.

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CLOSING

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!

Kyokushin International Martial Arts Australia, September 2017

Queensland State Championships – October 15, 2017

Two Little Lions of Lismore and North Brisbane dojos competed in the Queensland National All Styles State Championships on Sunday October 15th.

Isaac of Lismore Dojo competed in the 5th Kyu to Black Belt division for his age group and placed fourth. He was coached on the day by Sensei Mark McFadden. Congratulations Isaac!

Sean of North Brisbane Dojo returned to the NAS, after having placed third in a previous round.

In the words of instructor Sensei Rob James, “As you can see, Sean’s focus, technique and his positive attitude are his strengths.” Well done, Sean!

KIMAA Shihan Ken Seminar – September 6-11, 2017

Shihan Ken Ogura (8th Dan) returned to Australia for his second seminar with Kyokushin International Martial Arts Australia on the week of 6-11 September 2017.

Hanshi Howard Lipman & Shihan Ken Ogura.

Shihan Ken first met KIMAA senior grades during the 2015 Japan Group Tour, during training with Sensei Tetsuhiro Hokama (10th Dan). Shihan Ken then came to Australia in 2016 to teach a KIMAA seminar at the invitation of Hanshi Howard Lipman. Shihan Ken met KIMAA seniors again during the 2017 Japan Group Tour in Okinawa.

The seminar brought KIMAA students from all over the organisation. Guests from other Kyokushin dojos also attended, including Sensei David Craigie and his Young Dojo.

Wednesday night’s training was held at Turramurra Dojo. Shihan Ken took students through bunkai – the self-defence application of techniques and moves from kata. The kata focused on in particular were more of a junior level, to teach the foundation principles required for the weekend. Shihan Peter Olive dutifully resumed his duties from the previous year’s seminar, serving as the ‘crash test dummy’ that Shihan Ken would demonstrate the techniques, pressure points and take-downs on!

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On Thursday morning, a smaller, senior weapons class was held at Turramurra. Shihan Ken took Shihan Rick Cunningham, Sensei Paul Finnerty and Sempai Alex Lloyd through Kobudo, with particular focus on the Eeku.

Shihan Rick Cunningham, Shihan Ken Ogura, Sensei Paul Finnerty and Sempai Alex Lloyd, 7 September 2017.
Shihan Doug Turnbull training with Sensei Mark McFadden.

The class grew on Friday night, including Shihan Doug Turnbull (6th Dan) of Kyokushin International Karate Organisation. Shihan Doug has hosted many tournaments in which KIMAA students have competed, and has been part of Australian Kyokushin for decades. You can see Shihan Doug of KIKO with Hanshi John Taylor and Hanshi Howard Lipman in the committee photo in this article from our achieve series.

Those making the trip to Sydney for the weekend from KIMAA included Sensei Mark McFadden and Lismore Dojo students; Sensei Jon Ellis and Ballina Dojo students; and Sempai Rob James of North Brisbane and Nundah dojos.

Training continued along the same lines as Wednesday, but with some more advanced techniques and kata.

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

The Friday night class.

The seminar continued at 9 am sharp on Saturday 9th at Annangrove Dojo. Hanshi Howard formally introduced Shihan Ken to all the black belts, then led the group through a basics session.

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The students were then broken up into smaller groups for rotating classes that lasted throughout the day. One group would be inside with Shihan Ken, while the others trained outside. Shihan Ken took the seniors through a new Eeku kata, and other groups through further bunkai and kata work. The others rotated between kata with Shihan Peter Olive, technique and focus with Sensei Idir Bahamid, the Sai with Sensei Mark Shelmerdine and the Bo staff with Sempai Alex Lloyd.

At the end of a long but enjoyable day, Hanshi Howard Lipman announced a few Kyu grade promotions in Kobudo, and three black belt promotions in Kyokushin. Read more here about the promotions of Shihan Idir Bahamid, Sensei Mark McFadden and Sensei Rob James.

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Dinner for the out-of-Sydney guests and other seniors was held at Shihan Rick’s home. Thanks go to Shihan Rick Cunningham and his wife Kirsti for hosting Saturday’s dinner, and to Sensei Ian Holdaway for his lunch barbecuing efforts on both weekend days.

Group photo of the Saturday seminar class.
Sensei Don Cheong demonstrates Pinan Sono Go.

Training began early the next morning back at Annangrove Dojo. The day began with a session focusing on basics, movement, speed and power with Shihan Idir Bahamid. After this, the seminar split into smaller groups, with Shihan Peter Olive, Sensei Paul Finnerty, Sensei James Sidwell and Sensei Mark McFadden taking instructional duties for those not working with Shihan Ken. The black belts had intense kata sessions on both Saturday and Sunday with Shihan Peter, including kata demonstrations by Sensei Don Cheong.

Shihan Ken continued the same focus with the Kyu grades, while working with the black belts further on the Eeku kata, as well as Seipai and Saiha. Sensei Jon Ellis and Sensei Ben Ng took turns being the test dummies during the day.

The day ended with Hanshi Howard thanking those from out of Sydney for travelling, Shihan Rick for all his help with the organising and accommodation, and most of all Shihan Ken for coming to Australia again to instruct KIMAA students.

Hanshi Howard Lipman ended the day with some exciting news. After several days of intense training together, the students of KIMAA built a great rapport of those with Young Dojo, and Sensei David Craigie (3rd Dan) had a great time training with KIMAA’s black belts. It was announced on Sunday September 10 that Sensei David Craigie and Young Dojo are now a part of Kyokushin International Martial Arts Australia, the seventh dojo of the organisation.

The final training session was back at Turramurra Dojo on the Monday night. This evening was spent consolidating the week’s worth of knowledge, with Sensei Ben acting as Shihan Ken’s demonstration partner for the evening. There was also a greater focus on pressure points and conditioning.

KIMAA is delighted to have an ongoing relationship with Shihan Ken Ogura, such a widely regarded martial artist who is also an excellent teacher and friend of the organisation. We look forward to future training with Shihan Ken.

Black Belt Promotions – September 9, 2017

On 9 September, during the Shihan Ken Seminar, three senior KIMAA karateka received Dan grade promotions from Hanshi Howard Lipman:

Hanshi Howard Lipman, Shihan Idir Bahamid, Sensei Mark McFadden, Sensei Rob James and Shihan Rick Cunningham, 9 September 2017.

Congratulations to Shihan Idir, Sensei Mark and Sensei Rob on their new grades, and their decades of devotion to martial arts and KIMAA.

Shihan Idir Bahamid

Shihan Idir Bahamid is 5th Dan in Kyokushin Karate, 5th Dan in Shotokan Karate and 1st Dan in Kobudo. He commenced his karate training in 1966. He trained in the style of Shotokan in Europe and North Africa with Sensei Taiji Kase, Sensei Hiroshi Shirai and Sensei Keinosuke Enoeda. He obtained his 1st Dan in Shotokan in 1971 and was graded to the rank of 5th Dan by Sensei Kasein 1988 at an international training camp in Paris.

Between 1977 and 1982, Shihan Idir was instrumental in the promotion and development of Karate in Romania. He established Dojos in different cities and conducted regular training camps. After moving to Australia in 1988, he continued his karate training in Shotokan in a number of Dojos across Sydney before beginning his training in Kyokushin Karate with Hanshi Howard Lipman in 2004 at the Turramurra Dojo. He was graded to 4th Dan in Kyokushin by Hanshi Howard in 2010 and to 5th Dan in Kyokushin in 2017.

Click here to see a photo gallery of Sensei Idir training in his youth, demonstrating the power of Karate.

Sensei Mark McFadden

Sensei Mark McFadden is 4th Dan in Kyokushin Karate and 3rd Dan in Kobudo. He commenced his Karate training in 1980. He participated in local, state and national tournaments from 1982 to 1990, gaining places at the local and state levels. He began teaching Karate in the mid 1980s.

After competing in the Australian Championships in 1990, Sensei Mark took time out to further his education, career and family. He returned to training in 1996, opening a dojo at the Fraternity Club in Fairy Meadow NSW, and graded to 1st Dan in March 2000.

After relocating to the North Coast Sensei Mark opened Lismore Dojo in 2006, and in 2008 opened Ballina Dojo. Sensei Mark regularly travels to Sydney for black belt training with other KIMAA senior grades. He has gone to Japan four times for training in 2008, 2013, 2015 and 2017.

Sensei Mark was promoted to 3rd Dan by Hanshi Howard Lipman in 2013 and to 4th Dan in 2017.

Sensei rob james

Sensei Rob James is 3rd Dan in Kyokushin Karate. Sensei Rob began his Martial Arts training in the late 80s in AFTA Freestyle Tae Kwon Do. Karate, being new to his home town of Inverell, soon took Sensei Rob’s interest and in time progressed to the rank of 1st Dan.

After opening a Dojo in 1992, Sensei Rob contacted Hanshi Howard Lipman in Sydney and after lengthy discussions as to what would be expected of him, joined the International Karate Organisation Kyokushinkaikan.

Sensei Rob, who holds Dan grades in both Shotokan and Kyokushin Karate, began teaching self defence to schools, nurses, police and community groups. Over the years Sensei Rob also studied Boxing as well as Seiyushin Karate under Sensei Nagayama, a former Kyokushin Uchi Deshi under Sosai Mas Oyama. He opened Aspley Dojo in 2012 and joined KIMAA, once again working with Hanshi Howard Lipman to spread the teachings of Kyokushin.

Sensei Rob was graded to 2nd Dan in 2014 by Hanshi Howard Lipman. In 2016, Aspley Dojo became North Brisbane Dojo. In the same year, Sensei Rob opened KIMAA’s sixth dojo, Nundah Dojo. He was graded to 3rd Dan (Sensei) in 2017 by Hanshi Howard Lipman.

Hanshi Howard Lipman, Shihan Idir Bahamid, Sensei Mark McFadden, Sensei Rob James and Shihan Rick Cunningham.

Hanshi Howard Lipman: 9th Dan – August 12, 2017

Shihan Rick Cunningham with Hanshi Howard Lipman

At the conclusion of the Kyokushin Black Belt Grading held at Turramurra Dojo on August 12, Shihan Rick Cunningham announced a special surprise for the Chairman of KIMAA:

“Whereas he having operated as Branch Chief of Sosai Mas Oyama and been Chairman of Kyokushin International Martial Arts Australia, and successfully grown the organisation. The KIMAA formal grading committee hereby presents Howard Lipman the rank of 9th Dan and title of Hanshi in recognition of his lifelong devotion to Kyokushin and KIMAA. Hereafter, he promises to continue teaching his students the martial art of Kyokushin as it was taught to him by Sosai Oyama.”

KIMAA Grading Committee

Awarded 12 August 2017, at Turramurra Dojo, Sydney, Australia.

Congratulations Hanshi Howard Lipman, 9th Dan.

The KIMAA grading committee with Hanshi Howard Lipman. From left: Sensei Mark McFadden, Shihan Rick Cunningham, Hanshi Howard Lipman, Sensei Idir Bahamid & Shihan Peter Olive.

Senior Kyokushin Grading – August 12, 2017

Members of Kyokushin International Martial Arts Australia came together for a Senior Kyokushin Grading on Saturday August 12, at Sydney’s Turramurra Dojo.

Shihan Howard Lipman assessed students, with Shihan Rick Cunningham and Shihan Peter Olive leading the students through the syllabus requirements of basics, kata, terminology, fitness and kumite.

Students from Turramurra, Annangrove, Ballina and Lismore dojos all participated. Thanks go to the Far North Coast NSW students and instructors, including Sensei Mark McFadden and Sensei Jon Ellis, who travelled to make the event. Sempai Rob James also came from Queensland to train with and support his fellow KIMAA karateka.

The students did very well. Most notably, Will Brook was graded to Shodan (1st Dan) in Kyokushin. Congratulations, Sempai Will!

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Shihan Rick hosted a dinner at his house for the visitors from upstate, Queensland and the KIMAA seniors. After dinner, Sensei Paul Finnerty presented Shihan Howard and Shihan Rick an overdue memento – a photo book of highlights from the KIMAA Japan Group Tour in January 2017, a token of thanks from all other members of the group for the two Shihans’ organisation and leadership.

Kobudo practice took place the next day at Annangrove Dojo. The class focused on Bo, Sai and Kama.

Sempai Rob James, Wesley Snider, Mick Calnan, Sempai Will Brook, Jess Brook, Sensei Jon Ellis, Sempai Patricia Tan, Sensei Mark McFadden, Shihan Rick Cunningham, Sensei Mark Shelmerdine, Sensei Paul Finnerty, Sensei Ian Holdaway, Larissa Watson & Sempai Alex Lloyd.

Brisbane Gradings – June 10, 2017

Two Kyokushin gradings were held in Queensland for KIMAA adults and Little Lions on Saturday June 10th.

The gradings were for students of North Brisbane Dojo and Nundah Dojo, both under the leadership of Sempai Rob James.

Sempai Rob was pleased with everybody’s efforts, including a new fourth kyu in the adults class. Thanks go to Jermaine Downs (senior student) for his assistance with the tests.

Sempai Rob remarked, “A solid effort from everybody! The level of knowledge, fitness and technical ability is impressive, as is their commitment.”

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Well done to all.