KIMAA karateka from Turramurra, Annangrove, Lismore and Young dojos converged on Sydney to attempt various senior kyu grades.
Sensei Alex Lloyd during the grading.
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.
Sempai Jasper Choi during the grading.
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).
For their grading, Sensei Alex and Sempai Jasper each wrote an essay. Both are now on the website:
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.
Wesley Snider of Lismore Dojo tests his flexibility in the North Coast KIMAA Seminar.
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.
Jermaine Downs, of Brisbane Dojo, at the North Coast KIMAA Seminar.
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.
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.
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.
Training on the day was based around Kyokushin technique and kata, and considerable time was spent explaining this in detail.
Improvement could be seen in all students as a result of their efforts.
Hanshi Howard presented the students with certificates from their last grading. Sensei David was presented with his Fourth Dan grade in recognition of his long and devoted time teaching this martial art.
“My congratulations to Sensei David on a dojo well run and Yondan (4th dan) well deserved,” said Hanshi Howard.
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.
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.
“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.”
The students did very well. Most notably, Will Brook was graded to Shodan (1st Dan) in Kyokushin. Congratulations, Sempai Will!
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.