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.
KIMAA at a Ryokan hotel in Yudanaka
Snow monkeys in Yudanaka
Paul, Jon and James skiing
KIMAA at Matsumoto Castle
Kinkakuji in the snow
Paul, Alex and Mark at Kiyomizudera
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 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.
Shihan Howard Lipman
Sensei Tetsuhiro Hokama
Shihan Ken Ogura
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.
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.
Sempai Wally, Sempai Trish & Will lead the grading.
The Little Lions demonstrate moving through stance.
North Coast Little Lions in action.
North Coast students in the grading.
Sempai Trish & Sensei Mark watch the fitness portion of the grading.
Sempai Trish encourages the students.
Sempai Wally assesses the students.
Sensei Mark McFadden
KIMAA North Coast after their December 2016 grading.
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 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.
Jonathan Lee leads the grading.
Sensei Jon Ellis
Supporting black belts train with those grading.
Victor Sweeney leads the grading.
Joshua Darley leads the grading.
Angus Sweeney leads the grading.
Shihan Howard corrects students’ technique.
Sensei Ben Ng demonstrates Ushiro Geri.
Elia Parsanejad leads the grading.
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.
Shihan Howard Lipman conducted three gradings for the different student groups: advanced Senior School, intermediate Senior School and the Preparatory School. The students performed well and received their results the following week.
Students of Knox Grammar wishing to study Karate as part of their regular sports program have been coming to Turramurra Dojo since 2005. Students have always benefited from the teaching of Shihan Howard. Other instructors for the Knox students have included Sensei Allan Engelin, Sensei James Sidwell and Sempai Alex Lloyd, with Sempai Alex the first former Knox student to become a black belt. Other former Knox students have also progressed from the school classes to training in the adults’ general classes under Shihan Howard, including Jonathan Lee and James Salmond. The Knox-KIMAA relationship continues to prosper.
Congratulations to all who attempted and passed the grading.