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.

AKKA NSW Kyokushin State Championships – June 25, 2017

Members of Turramurra and Annangrove dojos competed in the Australian Kyokushin Karate Association’s New South Wales State Championships on Sunday June 25th, hosted by Hanshi John Taylor (9th Dan).

Tom Crossman, Sensei Ben Ng, Jasper Choi, Sempai Alex Lloyd, Sempai Josh Darley, Bernard Wilson, Eric Wright, James Parasyn & Elia Parsanejad

Sensei Ben Ng and Sempai Alex Lloyd competed in the Men’s Open Middle Weight division. Sensei Ben moved around his opponent well and got some good kicks in, but the judges favoured the other fighter’s aggression and control. Sempai Alex fended off a barrage of fast head kicks from his opponent, but ultimately lost the bout to well-placed roundhouse kicks on his ribs and thigh.

Sempai Josh Darley fought in the Male 10-12 Lightweight Padded division. Sempai Josh used his calm, controlled techniques to keep his first two opponents moving all over the matts. He made the semi-finals of his division and placed Equal Third. It was a valiant effort by the young Shodan.

Bernard Wilson competed in the Male 13-15 Heavyweight Padded division. Bernard dominated in the bout, fighting with great aggression and movement. James Parasyn, of the Male 10-12 Middleweight Padded division, showed great technique and commitment.

Jasper Choi, fighting in the Male 16 & 17 Lightweight division, went hard and never gave up, despite some hard knocks. Turramurra’s 9th Kyu fighter Thomas Crossman, competing in the Male 5th Kyu and Under Lightweight group, entered his first ever tournament with enthusiasm and guts, determined to keep going despite fighting a much more experienced 5th Kyu.

Eric Wright of Annangrove Dojo fought fantastically in his first tournament. He fought up a division, in the Male 16 & 17 Lightweight division, and made it through to the final. He finished second in a close fight. Congratulations on your hard work, Eric!

Elia Parsanejad of Turramurra Dojo faced up to her first tournament in a while, competing in the Female 16 & 17 division. Elia remained calm and used a relentless attack and forward momentum to control her fights, with some good kicks thrown in. Elia did KIMAA proud and took First Place in the division. Congratulations, Elia!

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Hanshi John Taylor and Shihan Howard Lipman

A great effort was made by all who competed, both in the lead-up to the tournament and on the day. Congratulations go especially to Elia, Eric and Sempai Josh for their placements.

Thanks go to Shihan Howard Lipman, Shihan Rick Cunningham, Sensei Idir Bahamid and Sensei James Sidwell for the coaching, and all those who came to support the competitors on the day. Sempai Jonathan Lee filmed the fights and provided most of the photography.

Sydney IFKKA Tournament – May 21, 2017

KIMAA students of Turramurra Dojo participated in the IFKKA full-contact Kyokushin tournament on Sunday May 21st.

The competitors included Sempai Angus and Sempai Victor Sweeney, Sempai Josh Darley, Jasper and Cody Choi, Ethan Bailey and Andrew Palmer.

KIMAA competitors and instructors at the IFKKA Tournament.

Instructors, coaches and supporters included Shihan Howard Lipman and his wife Masumi, Shihan Peter Olive, Sensei Idir Bahamid, Sensei James Sidwell, Sensei Ben Ng, Sensei Don Cheong and Sempai Alex Lloyd.

All KIMAA fighters performed excellently, especially those for whom it was their first tournament.

Sempai Angus’s first round went to an extension in the adult heavy weight. It was an exhausting bout but he pushed through, using his strength and low kicks to win the extension. He came second after taking a roundhouse kick to the front of the head in the final. Sempai Josh and Cody fought off for first and second place in the boys 11-13 years under 40kg. Cody had taken an unfortunate hit to the throat but fought well despite the injury. Sempai Josh used his kicks to win the fight.

Sempai Angus Sweeney lines up for his first fight.

Sempai Victor, in the cadet heavy weight division, fought a competitor over 20kg heavier than him. He faced up and stood his ground valiantly despite the weight difference. Jasper’s first fight saw him take several illegal techniques to the throat, but he pushed on and displayed the spirit of Kyokushin throughout the bout.

It was Ethan and Andrew’s first tournament. Ethan fought Sempai Victor and displayed good control and confidence. Andrew stood bravely to his much heavier opponent, and gave it his all.

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Everyone walked away with a placement. Congratulations to everyone for their efforts:

  • Sempai Angus – Adult Heavy Weight (Open) – Second
  • Sempai Josh – Boys 11-13 Years under 40kg – First
  • Sempai Victor – Cadet Heavy Weight – Second
  • Jasper – Boys 13-16 Years over 58kg – Second
  • Cody – Boys 11-13 Years under 40kg – Second
  • Ethan – Cadet Heavy Weight – Third
  • Andrew – Adult Heavy Weight (Intermediate) – Third

Congratulations to all.

The competitors with their coaches after the tournament.

Turramurra Grading – March 27, 2017

Kyokushin Karate gradings were conducted at Turramurra Dojo on Monday March 27th. A Kids grading occurred in the afternoon, followed by an Adults Junior Kyu grading during the normal General Class.

Shihan Howard Lipman assessed the students during the gradings of both the Kids and Adults. During the Adults, he was assisted by Sensei Idir Bahamid and Sensei Ben Ng. Sempai Alex Lloyd conducted the grading while Sempai Josh Darley was responsible for photography.

Alice, Andrew and Tony led the nine students attempting the grading. They went through basics, moving through stance, terminology, combinations, kata and some sparring.

Well done to everyone who participated.

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. 

KIMAA Japan Group Tour – January 7-24, 2017

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:

One of the Sumo fighters at the Tokyo Budokan.
One of the Sumo fighters at the Tokyo Budokan.

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.

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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.

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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.

Shihan Rick receives his thank-you gift for leading the sightseeing part of the tour.
Shihan Rick receives his thank-you gift for leading the sightseeing part of the tour.

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.

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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.

On Friday the 20th, Sensei Jon Ellis was graded to 3rd Dan in Kobudo and Sempai Alex Lloyd was graded to 2nd Dan in Kobudo. Congratulations Sensei Jon and Sempai Alex!

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.

KIMAA with Sensei Hokama and Shihan Ken after training.
KIMAA with Sensei Hokama and Shihan Ken after training: Sensei Mark Shelmerdine, Sensei James Sidwell, Sensei Jon Ellis, Sensei Mark McFadden, Shihan Howard Lipman, Sensei Tetsuhiro Hokama, Shihan Ken Ogura, Shihan Rick Cunningham, Sensei Paul Finnerty, Tony Kuo, Sempai Alex Lloyd & Sempai Patricia Tan.

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.

KIMAA at the Kyokushin World Tournament.
KIMAA at the Kyokushin World 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.

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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.

KIMAA with Shihan Ken at dinner on their last night of the tour.
KIMAA with Shihan Ken at dinner on their last night of the tour.

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.