After a challenging year, it was a great pleasure for karateka from all six KIMAA dojos to gather in Sydney for the end-of-year grading.
The KIMAA senior grading was conducted on Saturday 12 December at Annangrove Dojo. It was a 6-hour event, finishing with the famous 40 fights for Kyokushin Shodan. Select younger students from Sydney and a range of adult students from all dojos participated, with grade levels varying from 7th Kyu to 4th Dan.
Hanshi Howard was pleased with the standard displayed by all attempting to grade, especially given to the disruption in training earlier in the year.
It was a memorable, long afternoon of fights. All the kids did their fights first…
… followed by the adults.
Thirteen Black Belt grades were awarded. Congratulations go to Shihan Mark Shelmerdine (5th Dan), Shihan James Sidwell (5th Dan), Sensei Ben Ng (4th Dan), Sensei Don Cheong (4th Dan), Sempai Patricia Tan (2nd Dan), Sempai Tony Kuo (1st Dan), Sempai Larissa Watson (1st Dan), Sempai Blayne Gayle (1st Dan), Sempai Mick Calnan (1st Dan), Sempai Nalin Alwis (1st Dan), Sempai Eric Wright (1st Dan), Sempai Sean Stevens (1st Dan) and Sempai Annika Allen (1st Dan).
Thanks go to all instructors and students who travelled intrastate and interstate to Sydney for the occasion to Sensei Alex Lloyd and Sempai Jessica Den for the photos and videos of the day, and to Shihan Rick Cunningham for use of his dojo.
KIMAA instructors hope all students and their families remain in good health, physical and mental, during this challenging year.
For KIMAA, the COVID-19 global pandemic meant a cancelling of the March Japan group tour (including a tournament), and of course all dojos closing down in-person training for a time, in adherence with the NSW and QLD Health guidelines.
Turramurra, Lismore and Ballina dojos offered remote learning opportunities. Broadcasting once a week from Sydney, Hanshi Howard Lipman encouraged all KIMAA students to engage in the online Zoom classes open to the whole organisation, from the North Coast to Brisbane and Young dojos. Sensei Ben Ng did an outstanding job leading training each week. Some of these classes focused on kata and technical precision, while others were a mix of basics, kata and fitness.
All students displayed great adaptation and flexibility in the unusual circumstances.
As regulations changed allowing for group outdoor training in varying sizes, Shihan Rick Cunningham offered outdoor Karate and Kobudo training at the park adjacent to Annangrove Dojo. These classes proved a popular return to in-person training for many students, regardless of the winter weather.
All dojos have been reopened for training since June, following appropriate COVID safety protocols. For further questions on these protocols, please contact the head instructor of your particular dojo.
We encourage all students to return to training, and to feel safe and confident in doing so. Let’s punch our way through the rest of 2020 together. Osu!
The weekend focussed on standardisation of technique and instructing, Kata and Bunkai, Kumite and Kobudo in small groups, so all members could train appropriate to their grade level and other requirements.
In the sparring component of the weekend, students came together to engage in kumite with students of varying grade and size, and from different dojos. The goal from the sparring session was to maintain movement and keep nimble. Guards were encouraged for this activity. Different grades were paired together from the various KIMAA dojos. The bouts were relatively short to enable the participants to experience kumite against a number of different people.
At the end of the first day training of the seminar, the KIMAA dojo operators made a presentation to Hanshi Howard Lipman. In recognition of the immense perseverance and determination Hanshi has demonstrated in maintaining his commitment to martial arts and Kyokushin over such a long period of 50 years, Hanshi was awarded a plaque as well as a book of memories.
All of the KIMAA students appreciate and thank Hanshi for the continual patience and support that he has shown them over those years.
Saturday night was spent at Shihan Rick’s for a roast dinner and drinks. A special mention to both Sempai Stephen Runge for contributing a delicious roast pork and Sensei Ian Holdaway, who cooked our BBQ lunches.
A lot was learned by all who attended and it is paramount that what was learned is continuously trained, embedded and refined.
It was a great weekend and another example of how well all the KIMAA dojos bond and support one another and we are looking forward to all catching up at the senior grading in December.
Hanshi Lipman instructing Ben Brady and Tony Kuo in Tsukue Uke Bunkai
Jurgen Bradatsch executes an axe kick
Sensei Mark Shelmerdine with an over the top punch during kumite with Eric Wright
Basics in zenkutsu dachi during the grading
Left to right – Sensei David Craigie (Young Dojo), Sensei Ben Ng (Turramurra Dojo) and Shihan Peter Olive (Annangrove Dojo)
Larissa Watson strikes Sensei Mark Shelmerdine with chudan mawashi geri
Foreground – Jurgen and Sean Stevens during kumite. Background – Ben Brady and Blayne Gale
Congratulations to Ben Brady from Ballina Dojo, who successfully completed his Shodan grade!
Tony Kuo from Turramurra Dojo, and Eric Wright and Jurgen Bradatsch from Annangrove Dojo completed their 1st kyu grades.
Nalin and Nevin Alwis from Annangrove, Larissa Watson, Blayne Gale and Lauren King from Ballina, and Sean Stevens from Young Dojo also graded.
A special mention to kids Peter Zhu and Yue Leon Chia from Turramurra who participated in the senior grading, and performed with discipline and focus during the entire 5 hours.
Congratulations to all participants! Osu.
The following day, Kobudo practitioners from Sydney and Young trained together at Annangrove Dojo in a class taken by Shihan Rick Cunningham. Sensei David Craigie from Young remarked, “Thanks everyone for your patience and instruction once again, we always enjoy our morning Kobudo with all.”