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.
2020 has been a year of surprises, challenges and recalibration of goals for us all. After getting back into in-Dojo training post-lockdown, it was a great pleasure for Kyokushin gradings for both Kids and Adult Junior Kyu grades to take place on Wednesday September 23rd at Turramurra Dojo.
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.”
Four students were attempted their 1st Dan Black Belt, which led of course to the world-renowned Kyokushin 40 fights.
Hearty efforts were put in by all students. Congratulations to all the senior kyu grades. Special recognition goes to the Yudansha:
Sempai Joshua Darley, Nidan
Sempai Stephen Runge, Shodan
Sempai Jermaine Downs, Shodan
Sempai Bernard Wilson, Shodan
Sempai Cody Choi, Shodan
Sempai Jermaine is a hard-working, strong, diligent student from Brisbane Dojo. He is the first to reach Shodan from Brisbane, under the tutelage of Sensei Rob James. Sempai Jermaine has balanced his Kyokushin training with work and family commitments, but always attended seminars when he is able, and has been a strong deputy to Sensei Rob. He is a highly a capable fighter, budding instructor and good martial artist, with a bright future ahead of him. Congratulations Sempai Jermaine, and Sensei Rob on bringing your first student to back belt.
Sempai Cody is one of a crop of promising young KIMAA karateka who have, after years of dedicated training under Hanshi Howard and Sensei James Sidwell, persisted and worked in the adult General Classes towards the goal of Shodan. He has previously competed in tournaments.
Sempai Bernard also has muchtournamentexperience and trained with increasing intensity over the years, becoming a strong young man with many years of excellent Karate ahead of him.
Sempai Stephen has been training at Turramurra Dojo for a long time, despite persistent injuries. His dedicated attitude to training despite obstacles has not gone unnoticed. He has also become a regular assistant instructor in the Kids classes and to newcomers in the General classes. He is an invaluable presence at the dojo, and a good Karate man.
Sempai Josh began his Karate training in 2012 and has been an impressive young personality at Turramurra Dojo since the beginning. He has fought in tournaments, trained with Shihan Ken Ogura, done tameshiwari and regularly pushed himself to the next level of technical excellence. He has applied himself diligently in his training to Nidan, as he did for Shodan. While it is rare for one so young to be a Nidan, he has certainly earned the grade in the eyes of the seniors.
That night, everyone celebrated with the Turramurra Christmas Party – with all those out-of-town and grading invited along, of course.
Congratulations to all who participated in the grading – a strong, fine way to end the year.