Black Belt Promotions – September 9, 2017

On 9 September, during the Shihan Ken Seminar, three senior KIMAA karateka received Dan grade promotions from Hanshi Howard Lipman:

Hanshi Howard Lipman, Shihan Idir Bahamid, Sensei Mark McFadden, Sensei Rob James and Shihan Rick Cunningham, 9 September 2017.

Congratulations to Shihan Idir, Sensei Mark and Sensei Rob on their new grades, and their decades of devotion to martial arts and KIMAA.

Shihan Idir Bahamid

Shihan Idir Bahamid is 5th Dan in Kyokushin Karate, 5th Dan in Shotokan Karate and 1st Dan in Kobudo. He commenced his karate training in 1966. He trained in the style of Shotokan in Europe and North Africa with Sensei Taiji Kase, Sensei Hiroshi Shirai and Sensei Keinosuke Enoeda. He obtained his 1st Dan in Shotokan in 1971 and was graded to the rank of 5th Dan by Sensei Kasein 1988 at an international training camp in Paris.

Between 1977 and 1982, Shihan Idir was instrumental in the promotion and development of Karate in Romania. He established Dojos in different cities and conducted regular training camps. After moving to Australia in 1988, he continued his karate training in Shotokan in a number of Dojos across Sydney before beginning his training in Kyokushin Karate with Hanshi Howard Lipman in 2004 at the Turramurra Dojo. He was graded to 4th Dan in Kyokushin by Hanshi Howard in 2010 and to 5th Dan in Kyokushin in 2017.

Click here to see a photo gallery of Sensei Idir training in his youth, demonstrating the power of Karate.

Sensei Mark McFadden

Sensei Mark McFadden is 4th Dan in Kyokushin Karate and 3rd Dan in Kobudo. He commenced his Karate training in 1980. He participated in local, state and national tournaments from 1982 to 1990, gaining places at the local and state levels. He began teaching Karate in the mid 1980s.

After competing in the Australian Championships in 1990, Sensei Mark took time out to further his education, career and family. He returned to training in 1996, opening a dojo at the Fraternity Club in Fairy Meadow NSW, and graded to 1st Dan in March 2000.

After relocating to the North Coast Sensei Mark opened Lismore Dojo in 2006, and in 2008 opened Ballina Dojo. Sensei Mark regularly travels to Sydney for black belt training with other KIMAA senior grades. He has gone to Japan four times for training in 2008, 2013, 2015 and 2017.

Sensei Mark was promoted to 3rd Dan by Hanshi Howard Lipman in 2013 and to 4th Dan in 2017.

Sensei rob james

Sensei Rob James is 3rd Dan in Kyokushin Karate. Sensei Rob began his Martial Arts training in the late 80s in AFTA Freestyle Tae Kwon Do. Karate, being new to his home town of Inverell, soon took Sensei Rob’s interest and in time progressed to the rank of 1st Dan.

After opening a Dojo in 1992, Sensei Rob contacted Hanshi Howard Lipman in Sydney and after lengthy discussions as to what would be expected of him, joined the International Karate Organisation Kyokushinkaikan.

Sensei Rob, who holds Dan grades in both Shotokan and Kyokushin Karate, began teaching self defence to schools, nurses, police and community groups. Over the years Sensei Rob also studied Boxing as well as Seiyushin Karate under Sensei Nagayama, a former Kyokushin Uchi Deshi under Sosai Mas Oyama. He opened Aspley Dojo in 2012 and joined KIMAA, once again working with Hanshi Howard Lipman to spread the teachings of Kyokushin.

Sensei Rob was graded to 2nd Dan in 2014 by Hanshi Howard Lipman. In 2016, Aspley Dojo became North Brisbane Dojo. In the same year, Sensei Rob opened KIMAA’s sixth dojo, Nundah Dojo. He was graded to 3rd Dan (Sensei) in 2017 by Hanshi Howard Lipman.

Hanshi Howard Lipman, Shihan Idir Bahamid, Sensei Mark McFadden, Sensei Rob James and Shihan Rick Cunningham.

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.

Kyokushin Beach Grading – June 25, 2017

On Sunday June 25th, a Kyokushin Karate grading for students of Lismore Dojo was conducted by Sensei Mark McFadden.

Sempai Patricia Tan, Sensei Jon Ellis, Sempai Wally Gray & Sensei Mark McFadden.

The grading was held at Evans Head beach. Students of Ballina Dojo also attended for training alongside those who were attempting the grading from Lismore.

Senior Kyu grades took turns leading parts of the grading under the watchful eyes of Sensei Mark, Sensei Jon Ellis, Sempai Wally Gary and Sempai Patricia Tan.

The heavy soft, wet sand made stances and kicks especially tiring. Everyone did well and it was a fun, different yet satisfying challenge for the adults and Little Lions who participated.

Thanks go to all who helped, including Sempai Trish and Anthony for organising the food, the parents who drove their children out to Evans Head, and those who assembled the BBQ, and Yaco’s father for taking on the role of head snag cooker.

Group shot after the grading.

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.

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.

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.