Congratulations to all the KIMAA Little Lions on their efforts!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
The KIMAA Japan Group Tour 2017 took place in January. The primary purpose of the trip was to train with Sensei Hokama and Shihan Ken in Okinawa, as well as attend the World Kyokushin Tournament. The karateka that formed the tour group included:
The tour began on January 7th where the bulk of the group, led by Shihan Rick, departed Sydney for Tokyo. The first component of the tour was a sightseeing trip on the mainland, for which Sensei Mark Shelmerdine, Sensei James and Sensei Jon brought their families along. Sensei Paul and Sempai Trish met up with the rest of the group in Tokyo, as they had been travelling in Japan already.
The group threw themselves into the wonders of Japan quickly, spending their time in Tokyo at the Japanese Sword Museum, temple of the 47 Ronin, the fish markets, the Yushukan, the Imperial Palace Gardens, Disneyland and Sumo at the Budokan.
Two important Kyokushin sites were also visited during the group’s time in Tokyo: the memorial Shrine for Sosai Mas Oyama at Mt Mitsumine, and Sosai’s grave in Gokokuji.
The group continued their travels around the country, staying in Yudanaka, Nagano and Kyoto. Everyone enjoyed staying in the Ryokan hotel in Yudanaka and seeing the snow monkeys. Sensei Paul, Sensei James and Sensei Jon also went skiing, where Sensei James really shined!
The group met with Shihan Howard and his wife Masumi in Kyoto on January 16th – bringing the whole group to a total of 19 people.
On January 19th, the karate members of the tour group set off for Okinawa. The families returned to Australia while Masumi remained in Kyoto to spend time with her mother.
The tour group had dinner that night with Sensei Tetsuhiro Hokama (10th Dan) and Shihan Ken Ogura (8th Dan). Shihan Howard met Sensei Hokama in January 2008 and KIMAA has enjoyed a long friendship with Sensei since then. Members of KIMAA, particularly Shihan Howard and Shihan Rick, have travelled yearly to Okinawa for training since 2008 – and often multiple times a year. KIMAA last trained with Sensei Hokama in the 2015 Japan Group Tour. During this trip, KIMAA first met Shihan Ken and enjoyed hosting him in October 2016 for a week-long seminar.
The next two days comprised training at Sensei’s dojo with Sensei Hokama and Shihan Ken. The focus was on pressure points, breaks, takedowns, self-defence, kata bunkai and Kobudo. There was lots of partner work involved, and Sensei Jon Ellis performed a board break (tameshiwari) as a part of training.
The Kobudo team performed a Jo kata to Sensei Hokama. Sempai Alex demonstrated bunkai for the kata. The standard of the group’s kata and bunkai greatly impressed Sensei Hokama. Sensei and Shihan Ken then ran the team through other possible defence manoeuvres with a Jo.
Tony Kuo, a student from Turramurra Dojo, joined the tour briefly at the invitation of Shihan Howard. He participated in all the training at Sensei Hokama’s dojo.
The final event attended by the tour group was the Kyokushin Union’s 4th World Tournament. Fighters from all around the globe were competing, including from Australia. KIMAA caught up with Shihan Trevor Field (7th Dan) from Brisbane, who was the tournament’s Chief Arbiter. The tournament was hosted by Shihan Yasuhiro Shichinohe (7th Dan). KIMAA members trained with Shihan Shichinohe in the 2013 tour, and Sensei Don Cheong and Sempai James Campbell fought in his 2015 Okinawa tournament.
Shihan Howard and Sensei Hokama were invited by Shihan Shichinohe to sit at the official table. The rest of the group, along with Shihan Ken, enjoyed front row seats.
The tournament was two full days, primarily focused on full contact knockdown fights. There were three divisions: Men’s Open, Women’s Open and Women’s Lightweight. Some demonstrations were also made, including Shihan Shichinohe performing an ice break.
The tour group flew back to Australia after the weekend, arriving home on the morning of Tuesday January 24th.
The KIMAA Japan Group Tour was a fantastic success. The sightseeing was enjoyed by all, the World Tournament was a fantastic spectacle, and the opportunity to once again train with such knowledgeable and skilled martial artists as Sensei Hokama and Shihan Ken was special as always. Thanks go to Shihan Howard and Shihan Rick for organising and leading the tour.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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 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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
A Kyokushin Karate grading was held for KIMAA students of the Far North Coast on Saturday December 10th. Karateka of Lismore and Ballina dojos came together for this end of year event, both a test and a celebration of the year past.
After the grading, Sensei Mark and Sensei Jon spoke about the North Coast achievements for the year in moving and dynamic speeches, followed by a presentation of awards, including Student of the Year. Light refreshments were then provided.
Congratulations to the North Coast students on their final big KIMAA event for the year.
Shihan Rick Cunningham supervised the class. Sensei Paul Finnerty took weapons beginner Mick Calnan through the basics of the Bo, while Sempai Alex Lloyd took the seniors and Wesley Snider through all the Bo katas as well as the Sai. Sensei Mark McFadden, Sensei Jon Ellis and Sempai Patricia Tan enjoyed the practice for the upcoming 2017 Japan trip.
Shihan Rick was very impressed with the standard displayed by Sempai Trish and Wes, and surprised them with a Kobudo grading. Sempai Trish was graded to 2nd Kyu and Wes to 4th Kyu in Kobudo. Congratulations to both, especially the day after participating in a senior grading!
At the Monday night general class at Turramurra Dojo, on December 5th, KIMAA’s bruised but proud local Shodans attended training. Shihan Howard Lipman was pleased to see the students in such good spirits. They were given a good stretch and work out, from fitness to fight training to bunkai, by Sensei Ben Ng, Sensei Don Cheong and Sempai Alex Lloyd.
On Wednesday December 7th, a Kyokushin Karate grading was held for the Turramurra Dojo kids class. Sensei James Sidwell took the grading and assessed the students. He was very happy with everyone’s efforts. Well done to all.
A few students who missed this grading were graded by Shihan Howard Lipman on Monday December 12th, with Sempai Josh Darley assisting.
There were many KIMAA karateka attempting various Kyu grades as well, both children and adults.
Students from Turramurra, Annangrove, Lismore and Ballina dojos participated in the grading, with Wesley Snider and Mick Calnan also making the trip down with Trish from the North Coast dojos. Travelling with their students were Sensei Mark McFadden and Sensei Jon Ellis.
Shihan Howard was judging the students’ performance on the day, with assistance from Shihan Rick Cunningham, while Shihan Peter Olive took the students through their techniques. Many other KIMAA black belts came in support of the students attempting the grading.
At various points during the basics, the black belt applicants, and applicant for 1st Kyu Elia Parsanejad, took the class.
After the basics, the grading turned to kata, bunkai, advanced techniques and fitness.
Many gruelling hours later, it was time for the sparring. Sempai Jason and Elia had to complete 20 full-contact fights for their respective grades, while the young aspiring-to-be Shodans had to push through the full 40.
Despite some close calls, everyone made it through. Everyone was thoroughly tested, fought well and displayed strong Kyokushin spirit. Shihan Howard was delighted with the standard, declaring at the end of the grading that the base level of technical ability had noticeably improved since the previous black belt grading. He congratulated all students, and awarded the new yudansha with their new black belts.
Congratulations to all, especially Sempai Jason, Sempai Jonathan, Sempai Angus, Sempai Josh, Sempai Victor and Sempai Trish!
This was an extra significant grading, as two records were broken: Sempai Patricia Tan is the oldest KIMAA member to pass the Shodan grading; and Sempai Josh is the youngest KIMAA member to pass the same grading, at 12 years and two weeks old. Sempai Jonathan is also the second person who began Karate through Knox Grammar to achieve black belt.