Shihan Ken KIMAA Seminar – September 19-24, 2018

September 2018 saw Kyokushin International Martial Arts Australia host its third Shihan Ken Seminar.

Shihan Ken Ogura with nunchaku, March 2015.
KIMAA tour group with Sensei Hokama and Shihan Ogura.

KIMAA traditionally runs two seminars in Sydney twice a year, in addition to those conducted at the other dojos. In the 2015 Japan Group Tour, senior KIMAA karateka met and trained with Shihan Ken Ogura (8th Dan) at Sensei Hokama’s dojo. The group were all impressed with Shihan Ken’s martial arts ability, and his excellent teaching. Hanshi Howard Lipman invited Shihan Ken to Australia to conduct a seminar in 2016, focusing on bunkai (self-defence application from techniques, particularly in kata) and Kobudo. This was repeated in 2017 and again this year, due to the seminars’ continuing success and the interest of students.

This year, Shihan Ken (who lives in Nagoya, Japan) arrived in Australia on Wednesday September 19th. He came by the Kids Class at Turramurra Dojo with Hanshi Howard, Sensei James Sidwell and Sempai Jasper Choi.

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The seminar formally began on the Thursday night at Turramurra. The smaller group focused on bunkai from Sanchin, Pinan Yon and Pinan Go. Shihan Peter Olive resumed his role as Shihan Ken’s partner in bunkai – a.k.a. crash test dummy!

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The Thursday night group with Shihan Ken Ogura.

The Friday night drew a large crowd. Students from Ballina and Lismore dojos arrived, under the leadership of Sensei Mark McFadden, Sempai Wally Gray, Sempai Patricia Tan and seniors from Ballina Dojo. The first wave of karateka from Young Dojo, including Sensei David Craigie and Sempai Mark Long, also arrived.

Training focused on the same kata as the previous day – revision for the now ‘advanced’ students while everyone else caught up.

Special guests for the seminar, just on the Friday night, included Kancho Doug Turnbull and some of his KIKO students. Also appearing over the weekend was Kie Matsuoka, one of Shihan Ken’s students, who came out from Japan to train with Shihan Ken and KIMAA.

After training, the class went to dinner at Gordon Noodle City.

The Friday night group at the 2018 Shihan Ken KIMAA Seminar.

The seminar continued on the weekend at Annangrove Dojo. The rest of the Young Dojo contingent arrived. The day began with a basics session, conducted by Hanshi Howard. Students then broke up into groups based on grade level. Black belts studied Seienchin bunkai with Shihan Ken, while junior grades were taught by other seniors elsewhere.

Juniors took a turn with Shihan Ken, while Yudansha revised Pinan Ura kata with Shihan Peter and middle kyu grades practised Pinan Ni with Sensei Ben Ng. Then the middle-senior kyu grades went inside with Shihan Ken to look at a group bunkai drill for Gekisai Dai, assisted by Sensei Paul Finnerty.

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Junior kyu grades then had a turn learning new kata bunkai with Shihan Ken. The senior grades worked on the formality, intensity and accuracy of Sanbon Kumite. Shihan Idir Bahamid had middle kyu grades revise Naihanchi kata, then Shihan Rick Cunningham taught the group some bunkai for that kata. A few students took turns over the course of the weekend being Shihan Ken’s new demonstration partner, including Sempai James Campbell and Sempai Jason Lambe.

Shihan Ken also took some seniors through various Kobudo drills after lunch.

At the end of the day, Hanshi Howard presented Sensei Alex Lloyd his 3rd Dan in Kobudo and Sensei James Sidwell his 2nd Dan in Kobudo. They had been graded the previous month by Hanshi Howard and Shihan Rick, and now were formally presented with their certificates from Sensei Hokama (10th Dan).

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It was a long day with a large number of training sessions. Well done to all. Thanks go to both days on the weekend to Sensei Ian Holdaway, Kirsti Cunningham and Masumi Lipman for keeping everyone fed.

After the last photos were taken for the day, a dinner was held at Shihan Rick’s home.

At the end of Saturday at the 2018 Shihan Ken Seminar.

Training resumed Sunday morning. Things began with an outdoor basics session – during which, a long selfie stick and drone were flying around to film the training. This  and other footage compiled over the past few years was put together for the new KIMAA video.

KIMAA Little Lions were in attendance on the Sunday morning. Shihan Ken held a class for the kids while the adults split into groups for Kobudo training, based on their experience level. Sensei Mark Shelmerdine, Sensei Paul Finnerty, Sensei Mark McFadden, Sensei Alex Lloyd, Sensei James Sidwell, Sensei Ian Holdaway and Sempai James Campbell taught Bo and Sai to the groups.

After lunch, the kids were done for the day and the adults went back to training with Shihan Ken. This included some revision of kata bunkai and sanbon kumite. Finally, Shihan Rick conducted a bunkai test – having students rotate through different pairs, demonstrating bunkai from various kata at random.

KIMAA has firm standards of students being able to demonstrate bunkai in Kyokushin Karate gradings – the quantity and complexity of which being dependent on their grade level. These seminars are an integral part of this preparation.

A group demonstration of the Naihanchi kata was recorded on the Sunday afternoon.

The final session of the seminar was held on the Monday night at Turramurra Dojo. Shihan Ken had fun in the Kids Class, including some sparring. The adults class focused exclusively on bunkai from the Okinawan Seipai kata.

At the end, Sensei Mark, Sensei James and Sensei Alex demonstrated the Kyokushin Seipai kata for Shihan Ken, which he found most impressive. At the end of the night, Shihan Ken expressed his warm thanks for his reception in Australia, and how much he has enjoyed watching the organisation come along over the years he has been affiliated with us.

The final night of the 2018 Shihan Ken Seminar.

Thanks go to everyone who travelled to Sydney for the weekend, especially of course to Shihan Ken Ogura for travelling from Japan on this third occasion to teach KIMAA students. Further thanks go to all the seminar organisers, including Hanshi Howard Lipman and Shihan Rick Cunningham.

It is now over to the instructors and students who attended the seminar to revise what they learned, consolidate their knowledge and continue to develop their skills – to keep travelling the path.

Ballina Dojo Relocation – August 20, 2018

Ballina Dojo now has a new home – St Francis Xavier School Hall.

Training at the new location began on Monday August 20th with dojo operator Sensei Jon Ellis. A grading was held there for junior grades soon after moving in.

The new space is an expansive upgrade, greatly needed due to the increasing class sizes in Ballina.

The address and new timetable are listed below. If you’re not sure what class you should attend, please contact Sensei Jon at the number below.

Jon Ellis
Sensei Jon Ellis

Head Instructor: Sensei Jon Ellis – 3rd Dan Kyokushin & 3rd Dan Kobudo

Address: St Francis Xavier School Hall, Cherry & Crane Streets, Ballina 2478 NSW.

Contact No.: 0404 862 624

Email: ellisj7@gmail.com

Facebook (Kyokushin): Ballina Dojo (Facebook)

Facebook (Kyokushin Little Lions): Ballina Dojo Little Lions (Facebook)

Facebook (Kobudo): Hokama Kobudo – North Coast Dojos (Facebook)

Timetable:

 

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Little Lions in NAS – July 22, 2018

Students of Lismore Dojo competed in Round 3 of the National All Styles tournament in Queensland, on July 22, 2018.

Sensei Mark, Sempai Wally and Sempai Trish with their students.

The Little Lions were under the mentorship of head instructor Sensei Mark McFadden, as well as Sempai Wally Gray and Sempai Patricia Tan.

In the girls divisions, Evie, Olivia and Akayla competed, with Akayla winning an encouragement award for her first competition in point sparring.

In the boys, Isaac and Clayton both displayed a great effort in the Kata and Continuous Sparring divisions.

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Congratulations to all our young KIMAA competitors.

 

Senior Grading – June 9, 2018

A senior grading in Kyokushin Karate was held at Turramurra Dojo on Saturday June 9th. The grading was chaired by Hanshi Howard Lipman, with Shihan Rick Cunningham, Sensei Mark McFadden and Sensei David Craigie also assessing participants. Taking students through the techniques for the grading was Shihan Peter Olive. Photography  and videography was by Sempai Jonathan Lee, and a shots few by Sensei Mark Shelmerdine.

KIMAA karateka from Turramurra, Annangrove, Lismore and Young dojos converged on Sydney to attempt various senior kyu grades.

The grading was the usual gruelling six-hour Kyokushin text of technique, stance, knowledge, fitness, focus and commitment.

Students were tested thoroughly on kihon (basics), ido geiko (movements through stance), advanced techniques, bunkai (application), kata (form), terminology and other surprises Hanshi Lipman threw at the students.

The day ended with kumite (sparring). Most notable was Jasper Choi, attempting his first black belt grade, who endured the legendary 40 fights.

All students passed their grading. Among the grades, two black belt grades were awarded: Sensei Alex Lloyd was promoted to Sandan (3rd Dan), and Sempai Jasper Choi attained his Shodan (1st Dan).

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For their grading, Sensei Alex and Sempai Jasper each wrote an essay. Both are now on the website:

Congratulations to all students who participated. Thanks go to the KIMAA Yudansha who attended the grading to support and fight those being tested.

Group shot after the grading.

KIMAA North Coast Seminar – May 5-6, 2018

On the weekend of May 5-6, the second KIMAA seminar of the year was held at the Far North Coast NSW dojos.

Students from the North Coast dojos led by Sensei Mark McFadden and Sensei Jon Ellis attended in large numbers. A small contingent from Queensland, led by Sensei Rob James, travelled down for the weekend, too. Leading the seminar was Hanshi Howard Lipman, who flew up from Sydney on the Friday for the event with Sempai Alex Lloyd.

Seminar black belts: Sempai Wally Gray, Sensei Jon Ellis, Hanshi Howard Lipman, Sempai Alex Lloyd, Sempai Patricia Tan and Sensei Rob James.

Saturday morning kicked off at Sensei Jon’s Ballina Dojo. Adults and Little Lions came together to for the general class in kihon (basics) and kata (pattern) under Hanshi. Strikes, blocks and kicks were practised at length, examining the finer points of each technique. The students gained a new appreciation for how much goes into every aspect of Karate. They next applied these tips for technical precision into fighting drills. The class also performed some kata, and learned new partner-stretching moves.

The Saturday morning session.

That afternoon, a class for senior grades and a select couple of juniors was held at Sensei Mark’s Lismore Dojo. Hanshi continued the fighting drills lesson from the morning before Sempai Alex led the group through various kata: Yantsu, Pinan sono Go, Naihanchi and various kata in Ura. A few senior basic techniques were revised before the session finished.

The Saturday afternoon session.

Sensei Jon and his wife Tabby generously held a group dinner at their home in Ballina.

Sunday featured a three-hour Kyokushin grading for junior adult kyu grades and the Little Lions. Hanshi Howard, Sensei Mark, Sensei Jon and Sensei Rob assessed the students while Sempai Alex led the grading. It was an intense morning, technically focused, fast and entailed a large number of push-ups.

Hanshi was delighted to pass everyone who attempted the grading. Students were awarded their belts that day. Special congratulations go to Blayne and Anthony, who were double-graded to senior yellow belt (5th Kyu). Special mention also must go to 1st kyu Jermaine Downs of North Brisbane Dojo, who exhibited excellent form over the weekend.

The karate class after the grading on Sunday.

A Kobudo class was conducted after the grading for interested students. Sempai Alex took the group through the finer technical points of the Bo staff, focusing on basic strikes as well as the first exercise and Kihon kata.

Sempai Trish and Wesley lead the Kobudo class.
Sensei Jon Ellis and Sensei Mark McFadden during the grading.

It was an outstanding weekend organised by Sensei Jon and Sensei Mark. Thanks go to the North Coast dojo operators for use of their facilities, and to Sempai Wally Gray, Sempai Patricia Tan and Larissa Watson for their assistance as well. The North Coast students who don’t normally get to make the trips to Sydney enjoyed the opportunity to train with the head of the organisation, Hanshi Howard Lipman, which made it a memorable experience for all.

Dojo operators Sensei Jon Ellis, Sensei Rob James and Sensei Mark McFadden with KIMAA Chairman Hanshi Howard Lipman.

KIMAA Sydney Seminar – March 10-11, 2018

The first KIMAA seminar of 2018 was held in Sydney, on the weekend of March 10-11, at Annangrove Dojo.

The focus of the seminar was Kyokushin Karate. Kihon and kata were practised at length, interspersed with fitness and sparring sessions. Tameshiwari (board breaking) and Kobudo (weapons) were also undertaken.

Instructors, adult students and Little Lions of all KIMAA dojos were in attendance. The North Coast dojos of Lismore and Ballina were in fine form as usual, led by Sensei Mark McFadden and Sempai Patricia Tan. Little Lions from the North Brisbane Dojo made the journey to Sydney. Students of Young Dojo, under Sensei David Craigie, returned to Sydney for their first seminar as fully fledged KIMAA Karateka.

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Saturday kicked off with an intense basics session with Shihan Rick Cunningham and Shihan Peter Olive. After everyone was suitably sweaty, the class turned its attention to partner work, Sanbon Kumite, leg blocks and defence, and bunkai from Pinan Ni.

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After lunch, the seminar broke up into groups. Students not attempting a board break were assigned to a particular group and instructor to revise kata pertinent to their grade level.

For everyone else, Hanshi Howard Lipman led the class through tameshiwari. Hanshi introduced first-timers to the basics of board breaking, while more experienced karateka got some pointers before attempting larger breaks and multi-board combinations.

The class then recombined for an intense bag session, where students rotated through pairings to practise their roundhouse kicks.

Next was the Naihanchi kata. Shihan Idir Bahamid took the seminar through the kata, emphasising the importance of a solid stance and correct focus in the execution of techniques.

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After studying the kata, the group loosened up for kumite. Kyu grades and the Little Lions had turns sparring the black belts. A few egos were bruised, but everyone enjoyed and learned from the experience.

The seminar group on the Saturday.

That evening, Shihan Rick hosted a dinner for the out-of-Sydney guests and senior grades.

The next morning began with a suitably tiring basics session, led by Hanshi Howard.

After the basics, the seminar spent the rest of the day on self-defence, fighting techniques and kata revision, often broken into smaller groups by grade level. The group also revisited Naihanchi kata. The Kyokushin focus was briefly interrupted for a Kobudo session. Students had the option of learning a Bo, Sai or Eku kata, dependent on their experience level.

The class finished up after a final group session. The KIMAA seminars continue to be an important feature on the calendar for students to interact with members from other parts of the organisation, and for the instructors to ensure unity in technical standards and Kyokushin spirit. Thanks go to all the organisers, and those who made the effort to travel to Sydney.

The next KIMAA seminar is at the North Coast in May.