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.

Little Lions in the NAS – March 26, 2017

Little Lions from KIMAA’s North Brisbane Dojo competed in the National All Styles tournament on Sunday March 26.

Sean with his Third Place medal.

The competitors in the Gold Coast tournament were led by their instructor Sempai Rob James.

Sean performed Taikyoku sono Ichi and Maddison performed Pinan sono Ni. Both came up against tough competition in their respective divisions. Sean won Third Place and Maddison came fifth in her division. For both, it was their first tournament. Congratulations Sean and Maddison!

 

Shihan Howard Lipman North Coast Seminar – March 18-19, 2017

On the weekend of 17-19 March, Shihan Howard Lipman visited the KIMAA Far North Coast NSW Dojos to conduct a Kyokushin Karate seminar.

Sempai Rob James, Sempai Alex Lloyd, Shihan Howard Lipman, Sensei Jon Ellis and Sensei Mark McFadden on day 1 of the seminar.

Sensei Mark McFadden and Sensei Jon Ellis hosted the seminar at their respective Lismore and Ballina dojos. Sempai Rob James attended the seminar with some of his students from the North Brisbane and Nundah dojos. Sempai Alex Lloyd came up from Sydney with Shihan Howard to assist with instructing.

On the Friday night the 17th, Shihan Howard and Sempai Alex arrived in Ballina where they had dinner with Sensei Mark and Sensei Jon.

Training began at 9.00 am sharp the next morning at Ballina Dojo. The first session was for the Little Lions. The morning class was spent focused on kihon (basics): strikes, blocks, kicks and combinations. The class ended with some fitness and competitions.

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The next session was an hour-long class for instructors only, revising the finer points of techniques, how to break things down and teach them, and for Shihan Howard to ensure all the basics were the same standard across all six KIMAA dojos. The class was attended by Sempai Wally Gray, Sempai Simon Morris, Sempai Patricia Tan, Will Brook, Jermaine Downs and other assistant instructors to the North Coast and Brisbane dojo operators. 

The afternoon was focused on the adults. Things got off to a bang, starting with an energetic kumite warm up.

The sparring was followed with fight training and fighting techniques, including footwork and movement. After this, different grades took turns demonstrating kata to Shihan Howard appropriate to their level. This was followed by bunkai (self-defence applications), take-downs and throwing each other around the room. Sempai Alex quickly proved to be Sensei Jon’s favourite crash test dummy!

The instructors finished the afternoon class by running the group through some joint locks and pressure point techniques, and some conditioning.

The adults class on the Saturday, at Ballina Dojo.

A group dinner was enjoyed by the visitors and local senior grades at a restaurant in Ballina by the water.

Training began the next morning for adults at 8.30 am at Lismore Dojo. Sensei Mark and Sempai Rob warmed up the class and revised some basics and strength work, before Shihan Howard stepped in to show the group how push ups are really meant to be done!

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The class turned to more basics and stance revision, emphasising the importance of separating basic technique from bunkai. The former is the foundation to the latter, and keeping the true form of the technique correct is imperative to the development of one’s karate.

The Sunday adults class at Lismore Dojo.

After a final group photo, black and brown belts stayed on for senior kata training. Sempai Alex took the class exhaustively through Garyu. Shihan Howard then had students pair up for advanced kihon techniques and partner work in the Nidan syllabus. The class ended the session by studying Tensho kata.

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Shihan Howard Lipman with Sempai Rob James, Lismore Dojo.

Sempai Rob commented about the seminar shortly afterwards online, in particular about Shihan Howard: “I am still in awe of this man. The technical ability and his knowledge of every detail of every technique absolutely blows me away. There are very few people in the martial arts world like Shihan Howard Lipman.”

Shihan Howard was most pleased by the students’ standard of technique, as well as the teachers’ instruction of both the North Coast dojos and those who came down from Brisbane. The quality of the KIMAA students are an obvious reflection of their instructors. He passed on his thanks to Sempai Alex for his assistance. Shihan Howard congratulated Sensei Mark, Sensei Jon and Sempai Rob on the level of technique their students had attained, the fit-out of their dojos, and their obvious dedication to and rapport with their students. 

Year In Review – December 23, 2016

Navigate by topic: Sydney | North Coast NSW | Brisbane | Japan 2017 | Closing

2016 was a year of new dojos, big seminars and eventful gradings for Kyokushin International Martial Arts Australia. Sydney hosted a lot of significant events, the North Coast competed in a range of tournaments and Brisbane expanded its operations to two dojos. All the hard work culminated in a massive week-long seminar with international guest instructor Shihan Ken Ogura, followed by the largest black belt grading in recent years, all while KIMAA seniors prepared for a Japan trip in early 2017.

SYDNEY, NSW

Sensei James Sidwell & Sensei Mark McFadden in the February Black Belt class.
Sensei James Sidwell & Sensei Mark McFadden in the February Black Belt class.

Students of both Turramurra and Annangrove dojos continued to up the pace and intensity of their training in 2016, whether focusing on kata and bunkai, or kumite and tournament skills. Students of Shihan Howard Lipman actively pursued the finer points of basics, kime (focus) and the core principles of training that affect one’s practice of the martial arts. Some Kobudo technique was also studied in preparation for the Shihan Ken Seminar, and those students attempting gradings also upped their fight training. Annangrove Dojo saw the introduction of its fitness classes on Tuesday and Thursday nights, giving KIMAA students the space to increase their fitness and bag work in tandem with focusing on their Kyokushin in the normal general classes.

The year began for students of Turramurra Dojo by celebrating the achievements of late 2015. Sensei Ben Ng and Sensei Donald Cheong received their 3rd Dan black belts and certificates following the November 2015 grading. These were awarded by Shihan Howard Lipman, KIMAA Chairman.

Senior training got off to a quick start, with the first KIMAA Black Belt Class being held in February. This was the first of four black belt classes for the year: each one had Kyokushin training on the Saturday and Kobudo on the Sunday. The others were held in May, June and September.

Four KIMAA weekend seminars were held in 2016, with the first held in Sydney. The KIMAA Sydney Seminar ran March 12-13 at Annangrove Dojo and was run by Shihan Rick Cunningham. Students came from all KIMAA dojos to participate, focusing on Kyokushin and Kobudo.

The first tournament entered by Sydney’s karateka was at the AKKA NSW State Tournament in May, with students from Turramurra and Annangrove dojos competing.

Sydney’s next major weekend, June 25-26, comprised three events. The first was a Black Belt Class was held at Turramurra Dojo on the Saturday morning. The class revised basics, breathing, partner work, bunkai and senior katas. Yudansha from up the coast and interstate – Sensei Mark McFadden, Sensei Jon Ellis and Sempai Rob James – joined the Sydney black belts for training.

The senior grading took place that afternoon. Among the grading applicants were Will Brook and Trish Tan from the North Coast, both going for 1st Kyu. All involved performed well. The next morning, the Kobudo class made use of Jonathan Lee’s photography skills to capture them in action in a photo shoot.

While the final black belt weekend session took place in September, Shihan Howard travelled to Queensland. He visited Sensei Matsumoto, a long-time friend of Shihan Howard and widely respected martial artist.

Shihan Rick Cunningham, Shihan Peter Olive, Shihan Ken Ogura & Shihan Howard Lipman, November 2016.
Shihan Rick Cunningham, Shihan Peter Olive, Shihan Ken Ogura & Shihan Howard Lipman, November 2016.

Knox Karate continued throughout 2016, with the final Knox grading for 2016 taking place on November 12. Shihan Howard conducted three gradings for the different classes within the Knox Karate cohort.

The biggest event in the KIMAA calendar for the year was undoubtedly the Shihan Ken Seminar. The KIMAA Japan Group Tour had met Shihan Ken at Sensei Hokama’s dojo in 2015. Shihan Howard invited Shihan Ken to teach in Australia, and Shihan Ken happily accepted.

Six classes were held over five days, November 16-21, including two full-day sessions on the weekend. These were attended by members from all six KIMAA dojos. The KIMAA karateka are all grateful for their time with Shihan Ken. Especially gratifying for KIMAA was Shihan Ken’s enthusiasm for the Australian students and his pride in what they accomplished during the week. It was a great honour to train with such a brilliant martial artist.

During the seminar, Sensei Peter Olive was promoted by Shihan Howard to 5th Dan, also giving him the title of “Shihan”. Congratulations to Shihan Peter – osu!

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Only two weeks later, a black belt grading was held at Turramurra Dojo. Shihan Howard and Shihan Rick assessed the students while Shihan Peter took the applicants from Annangrove, Turramurra and Lismore dojos through the grading. It was a long day, but in the end KIMAA had six students achieve new black belt grades: Nidan (2nd Dan) for Jason Lambe, and Shodan (1st Dan) for Jonathan Lee, Angus Sweeney, Joshua Darley, Victor Sweeney and Patricia Tan.

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It was a busy week for gradings in Sydney that week. Shihan Rick Cunningham took North Coast students Trish Tan and Wesley Snider through a Kobudo grading the next morning. On Wednesday December 7, Sensei James Sidwell held a Karate grading for the Turramurra Kids classes.

Turramurra Dojo's final class of 2016, on Monday December 19.
Turramurra Dojo’s final class of 2016, on Monday December 19.

Turramurra Dojo’s final class for 2016 was held on Monday December 19, with Shihan Howard Lipman instructing. Annangrove Dojo will continue on its holiday training timetable – dates are available in the calendar.

Shihan Howard and Shihan Rick are proud of all their students achieved in the year, and look forward to seeing how the hard training bears fruit in 2017.

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FAR NORTH COAST, NSW

Sensei Mark & Sempai Wally
Sensei Mark & Sempai Wally

KIMAA students from the Far North Coast had a packed year, kept busy by their head instructors Sensei Mark McFadden and Sensei Jon Ellis. Many weekends saw students tirelessly doing extra training for their next goal: tournaments, seminars or a grading, students were always in the dojo, getting sweaty and working hard.

The year began by celebrating a major achievement of the previous year, with Sempai Wally Gray receiving his 2nd Dan in Kyokushin. Sempai Wally was graded to Nidan in the November 2015 grading by Shihan Howard Lipman, and was awarded the grade in January 2016 by Sensei Mark.

Coming off the back of the Sydney seminar earlier that month, Kyokushin gradings were held on the last two days of March. Sensei Jon took Ballina Dojo students through a grading on March 30th while Sensei Mark ran Lismore Dojo students through the ring on March 31st.

Students from both dojos backed this up only days later by competing in the Frank Everett Memorial Tournament, where Mick Calnan earned his nickname “The Gumtree”.

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Valiant efforts by the North Coast karateka came in all shapes and sizes in 2016. Only a week after the Frank Everett tournament, Little Lion student Cooper competed in the first round of the National All Styles and came second in the Pee Wee Points Sparring division. Sensei Jon was very proud of Cooper’s efforts, who was coached on the day by Sempai Rob James.

The new Ballina Dojo.
The new Ballina Dojo.

Also in April was the opening of a new Ballina Dojo. The large, impressive new dojo is a proud expansion of KIMAA’s operations on the North Coast.

The second KIMAA seminar of the year was held at Lismore Dojo on the weekend of April 16-17. Shihan Rick Cunningham travelled from Sydney to conduct the seminar, hosted by Sensei Mark. Shihan Rick ran students through bunkai from the Pinan katas and Naihanchi. This was followed by a Kobudo grading the next morning, and a Little Lions session.

The North Coast karateka maintained their efforts in the National All Styles competitions, with a small team participating in May.

The following month, on the afternoon of June 25, a senior Kyokushin grading was held in Sydney. Will Brook from Ballina Dojo and Patricia Tan from Lismore Dojo were the senior students participating in the grading. Shihan Howard graded them both to 1st Kyu.

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The KIMAA team at the Gold Coast Budo Challenge, October 2016.

KIMAA’s North Coast students are never ones to shy away from another tournament! At the Gold Coast Budo Challenge in October, Sensei Jon led a team from Ballina Dojo and Sempai Wally the group from Lismore Dojo. Sensei Jon told the students to “enjoy the tournament, the atmosphere, whether it is your first or 31st” and that the results were second to effort and having a good time. All put in their best and thoroughly enjoyed themselves – but the results came too! Gold trophies were taken out in three divisions, and Trish Tan came third place in a kata division.

Next on the North Coast calendar was the Ballina Seminar, hosted by Sensei Jon and taught once again by Shihan Rick.

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Lismore and Ballina students were down the coast a lot in November and December for the major events being held in Sydney. Sensei Mark and Sensei Jon spent November 16-21 in Sydney to participate in all five general classes and the black belt-only class in the Shihan Ken Seminar. They also made the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb with Shihan Ken, along with Shihan Rick as well. Students from Lismore and Ballina attended the Friday night general class, as well as the all-day sessions on the Saturday and Sunday.

Two weeks later, students from the North Coast participated in the Black Belt Grading at Turramurra Dojo. This included Patricia Tan achieving her Shodan (1st Dan) in Kyokushin.

The North Coast dojos finished their year with a bang, undertaking a combined Kyokushin grading in December. Sensei Mark and Sensei Jon assessed the students while Sempai Wally, Sempai Patricia and Will ran the students through the grading. Well done to all involved for an excellent end-of-year workout and celebration.

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BRISBANE, QLD

Sempai Rob James and his Little Lion champions.
Sempai Rob James and his Little Lion champions.

2016 saw KIMAA‘s operations in Brisbane massively expand under the leadership of dojo operator Sempai Rob James.

Along with students from the North Coast, eight of Sempai Rob’s Little Lions competed in the Frank Everett Memorial Tournament, with three winning placements.

Sempai Rob James with Kancho Jim Casey at the NAS.
Sempai Rob James with Kancho Jim Casey at the NAS.

Sempai Rob not only kept the pressure on his students to keep reaching new goals, but always furthered his own personal goals as well. Sempai Rob competed in the Open Black Belt and Veterans divisions of the National All Styles, placing 4th in the Open Black Belt division by performing the Kyokushin kata Seienchin.

In July, Sempai Rob sought to relocate Aspley Dojo. As part of the move to Kedron, Sempai Rob formally closed Aspley Dojo and reopened in Kedron as North Brisbane Dojo. The new home is a bigger and better training facility for Sempai Rob’s students to get the most out of their Karate sessions.

Amanda Bolger with the Eeku.
Amanda Bolger with the Eeku.

Sempai Rob not only upgraded KIMAA’s Brisbane presence, but doubled it, by opening a second dojo. Nundah Dojo was opened shortly after the opening of North Brisbane. Classes at both dojos are run by Sempai Rob.

Sempai Rob and his student Amanda Bolger travelled to Sydney in late June for a big weekend. Sempai Rob trained in the Turramurra black belt class on the morning of June 25. That afternoon, he watched Amanda participate in the senior Kyokushin grading, whom was assessed by Shihan Howard Lipman. Both trained in the Kobudo class the next morning at Annangrove Dojo with Shihan Rick Cunningham.

The next month, Sempai Rob hosted the third KIMAA seminar for 2016. The seminar, for students of North Brisbane and Nundah dojos, was taught by guest instructor Shihan Rick Cunningham, an experience that pushed them but was thoroughly enjoyed.

Sempai Rob then made it to Sydney in November for the Friday, Saturday and Sunday sessions of the Shihan Ken Seminar.

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JAPAN 2017

KIMAA’s senior Kobudo students have been in hard training preparation all year for the January 2017 Japan Group Tour.

Shihan Howard and his students have enjoyed a long, respectful relationship and close friendship with Sensei Hokama over the years. Shihan Howard arranged the trip for he and his students to train with Sensei, and Shihan Ken, once again in Naha, Okinawa. Sensei Hokama was pleased, as always, to welcome back the Australian team.

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The bulk of the group will fly out from Sydney on the night of January 7 to sightsee in Tokyo, Yudanaka and Nagano, before meeting with Shihan Howard and his wife Masumi in Kyoto. After a few nights there, the core karateka will travel to Okinawa for training with Sensei Hokama and Shihan Ken, for some to participate in a Kobudo grading, and all will attend the World Karate Tournament. Everyone will arrive back on the morning of January 24th.

Going on the trip are:

We wish everyone good luck! For students at Turramurra, Annangrove, Lismore and Ballina dojos, please find out from your instructor if any class times are affected by the seniors being away in Japan.
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CLOSING

KIMAA dojo operators with Shihan Ken, November 2016: Sensei Mark McFadden, Shihan Rick Cunningham, Shihan Ken Ogura, Shihan Howard Lipman, Sensei Jon Ellis & Sempai Rob James.
KIMAA dojo operators with Shihan Ken, November 2016: Sensei Mark McFadden, Shihan Rick Cunningham, Shihan Ken Ogura, Shihan Howard Lipman, Sensei Jon Ellis & Sempai Rob James.

2016 was a diverse year of expansion, hard training and achieving goals. Improvement of Karate technique was consolidated, finesse and speed in weapons were improved, tournaments were competed in, gradings were accomplished and five massive seminars were held, the final one with Shihan Ken being the most special of all in the last few years. Thank you to all the students who gave it a go throughout the year – you make KIMAA.

Big thanks must go to the dojo operators and other instructors for continuing to develop their students and push out new goals, for the dojo and themselves as expert martial artists. Shihan Howard, Shihan Rick and Shihan Peter provide incredible leadership for KIMAA, as do the other dojo operators Sensei Mark, Sensei Jon and Sempai Rob.

KIMAA wishes a safe and happy holidays to all. We look forward to seeing you back at training in 2017. Osu!

Shihan Ken and the Saturday class.
Shihan Ken and the Saturday class.

Shihan Ken Seminar – November 16-21, 2016

Students of Kyokushin International Martial Arts Australia were extremely fortunate to participate in a seminar with Shihan Ken Ogura (8th Dan) for a week in November.

KIMAA tour group with Sensei Hokama and Shihan Ogura.
KIMAA tour group with Sensei Hokama and Shihan Ogura.

Shihan Howard Lipman and senior KIMAA members met Shihan Ken during the 2015 Japan Group Tour when training at Sensei Hokama’s dojo. The group trained with Shihan Ken for a class and Shihan Ken was most impressed with the “Australian team”. The members of the tour found it to be a fantastic experience, and a friendship was formed between KIMAA and Shihan Ken.

Shihan Howard was so impressed with Shihan Ken as an instructor that he invited Shihan Ken to Australia to conduct a seminar in Karate and Kobudo. Shihan Ken was delighted to accept. He arrived in Australia on Wednesday November 16th. Shihan Howard and his wife Masumi hosted Shihan Ken for the duration of his stay.

Shihan Ken Ogura demonstrates on Sensei Peter Olive
Shihan Ken Ogura demonstrates on Sensei Peter Olive

On the Wednesday night, Shihan Ken conducted his first class in the seminar at Turramurra Dojo. Participating were KIMAA members from Turramurra and Annangrove dojos. Sensei Mark McFadden of Lismore Dojo and Sensei Jon Ellis of Ballina Dojo travelled down from the NSW Far North Coast for the week, having seen firsthand the quality instruction offered by Shihan Ken during the last Japan trip.

The class ran for two hours and focused on bunkai (self-defence applications) from some Kyu-grade katas, especially the Pinan katas. While KIMAA students regularly study bunkai in weekly classes and seminars, and perform it as part of Kyokushin gradings, Shihan Ken introduced the class to bunkai options from these katas with a Goju-ryu influence, being his main style of Karate. Senior and junior grades alike learned many new applications and enjoyed the training. Sensei Peter Olive quickly became Shihan Ken’s preferred partner to demonstrate applications with, throwing Sensei all over the floor and performing joint locks on him over and over!

There was no class on Thursday, so Shihan Ken was shown the sights of Sydney. Shihan Rick Cunningham, Sensei Mark and Sensei Jon joined Shihan Ken on a climb of Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Two classes were held on Friday the 18th. The first was a Black Belt class in the afternoon, which primarily focused on Okinawan Seipai. Joining the mix was Sempai Rob James of North Brisbane and Nundah dojos.

That night, Shihan Ken took another class open to all grades. The class was even larger than Wednesday’s, with kyu grades from Lismore and Ballina also in attendance. Once again bunkai was studied, applying joint locks, neck grabs, takedowns and more within the context of kata. After training, the group booked out the restaurant Noodle City in Gordon and enjoyed a meal with Shihan Ken.

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Training began promptly at 9.00 am the following morning at Annangrove Dojo, with Shihan Rick taking the class through basics and sanbon kumite. After the half hour of warm-up training, Shihan Ken arrived with Shihan Howard to get stuck into the day of learning. A group session revised content from Wednesday and Friday nights, as well as diving into new bunkai from other kata.

Sempai Rob (Queensland) & Lauren (Ballina Dojo) work together on new bunkai.
Sempai Rob (Queensland) & Lauren (Ballina Dojo) work together on new bunkai.

Following an extended group session, the focus turned to Kobudo (weapons). Sensei Paul Finnerty and Sensei Mark Shelmerdine took groups of students with varying level of Kobudo experience outside to practise the Bo, while the more experienced karateka remained inside to work with Shihan Ken. Shihan Ken checked some basic Bo work with various exercises, the Kihon kata and Ufugusuku, all with the related partner work.

Shihan Ken then gave attention to the intermediate Kobudo group, revising the Bo exercises and first kata. Sempai James Campbell and Sempai Alex Lloyd took the senior group through a new exercise Shihan Ken had shown them, before Sempai Alex took over the intermediate group revising Ufugusuku.

A BBQ lunch was enjoyed, prepared by Shihan Rick’s wife Kirsti and cooked by Sensei Ian Holdaway. After lunch, the kyu grades practised what they had learned already during the seminar with Sensei Peter.

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The black belts had the first session with Shihan Ken, where Sensei James Sidwell and Sensei Jon took turns being Shihan Ken’s new demonstration partner, giving Sensei Peter some reprieve. The black belts then went outside to further practise the two Seipai katas.

After a short break, students were again divided into groups. The intermediate kyu grades continued their kata training with Sensei Ben Ng and Sensei Don Cheong, while the juniors remained with Shihan Ken indoors. The black belts revised some Nidan- and Sandan-level katas, led by Sensei Paul and Sensei Idir Bahamid. The black belts then went back inside and Sempai Alex helped the juniors with Sanchin kata.

Shihan Howard Lipman awards Shihan Peter Olive his 5th Dan in Kyokushin.
Shihan Howard Lipman awards Shihan Peter Olive his 5th Dan in Kyokushin.

The students all came back together for a fitness session with Shihan Rick. Shihan Ken enjoyed watching the Kyokushin students train in their element, taking many photos. He was very impressed.

At the end of class, Shihan Howard made an important announcement. Peter Olive began training in Kyokushin at the Honbu Dojo in Tokyo, grading to blue belt before returning to Australia. Peter has trained with Shihan Howard, Shihan Rick and KIMAA as a whole for nearly twenty years, and is a regular instructor at both Turramurra and Annangrove dojos. It was Shihan Howard’s pleasure to promote Peter to 5th Dan (Godan) in Kyokushin, and awarding him the title of “Shihan”.

Congratulations to Shihan Peter!

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After this promotion, Shihan Ken kindly posed with the students for individual and group photos.

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An enjoyable and relaxing dinner was held for the senior grades and visitors from the North Coast and Queensland at Shihan Rick’s home.

Class began at 9.00 am on the Sunday morning, kicking off with more basics and fitness with Shihan Rick and Shihan Peter.

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Shihan Howard, his wife Masumi and Shihan Ken then arrived to begin training. Masumi took some photos for Shihan Ken and assisted throughout the day. Shihan Ken continued to demonstrate his intricate knowledge of kata and the self-defence techniques hidden within, giving students a much more advanced and deeper understanding of what they so regularly do in class.

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After the combined training, the juniors stayed inside with Shihan Ken to learn more kata and bunkai. Shihan Peter took Sempai Rob, the Shodans and brown belts through every kata up to Nidan grade level in preparation for the upcoming black belt grading.

Sensei Paul meanwhile took the senior black belts through Kanku-Dai.

Everyone then came together for lunch, cooked again by Sensei Ian. After the break, the senior Kobudo grades stayed with Shihan Ken for more weapons training. The youngest of the kids went home and the other kyu grades went outside for more kata and bunkai training.

Indoors, Shihan Ken ran students through Bo v Bo defence applications. This was followed by the Tonfa kata and Bo v Tonfa defence. Finally, Chibana no Sai and Hame Higa no Sai were practised and polished. Shihan Ken was most impressed with the standard displayed by KIMAA’s senior Kobudo students.

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The groups continued to rotate indoors and outdoors. Everyone came together at the end of the day for kumite, the fight training important preparation for the senior grading in two weeks time.

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Shihan Howard and Shihan Rick ended the class by expressing their immense thanks to Shihan Ken for all the training. Shihan Ken was then presented with “traditional Australian bush clothing”!

The final session of the seminar was the Monday night. Students arrived quite stiff, needing a lot of stretching to loosen up for the last session! There was quite a split in grades, from senior black belts to outright beginners, so Shihan Ken taught the class in two main alternating groups of seniors and juniors, switching between kata bunkai to basic self-defence.

Shihan Ken with Shihan Howard on Monday 21 November 2016.
Shihan Ken with Shihan Howard on Monday 21 November 2016.

Everybody who attended the seminar, whether for one class or the whole week, walked away amazed at the amount of knowledge imparted to them. Shihan Ken’s time was generous and teaching outstanding, his deep understanding of the martial arts coupled with quality and caring instruction.

The senior KIMAA instructors have taken on board a lot of new bunkai and other techniques to practise with their students; Kobudo practitioners have had their skills fine-tuned; and all kyu grades discovered new layers to the martial arts which they may not have realised was there before. The KIMAA karateka are all grateful for their time with Shihan Ken. Especially gratifying for KIMAA was Shihan Ken’s enthusiasm for the Australian students, and his pride in what they accomplished during the week.

Shihan Peter and the class line up at the end of training.
Shihan Peter and the class line up at the end of training.

It was a great honour to train with a brilliant martial artist. Thank you Shihan Ken.

Thanks also go to Shihan Howard and Shihan Rick to organising the seminar; Masumi for all her help; to Sensei Ian and Kirsti for feeding the troops; Sensei Mark and Sensei Jon for coming down the coast for the whole week; everyone who travelled from the North Coast; Sempai Alex and Jonathan Lee for the photography; and to all who attended for being exemplary KIMAA ambassadors and training so hard.

Video footage from the week will be made available to KIMAA senior instructors shortly, filmed by Sensei Mark McFadden and Sempai Alex.

Senior KIMAA black belts will next see Shihan Ken in the 2017 Japan Group Tour in January. Shihan Howard invited Shihan Ken to return to Australia and conduct another KIMAA seminar in October 2017, and Shihan Ken was quick to accept. We look forward to training with Shihan Ken again next year.