The first Kyokushin kata and bunkai seminar of 2014 was held on Sunday April 6. Students from Turramurra, Annangrove, Aspley, Ballina and Lismore dojos all attended, including members of the Little Lions and Knox Grammar School classes.
This seminar followed the one in October 2013. Shihan Howard Lipman introduced these seminars to be held twice a year as a compulsory component in senior gradings. They are to keep students across all five KIMAA dojos up to speed on kihon (basics), kata (pattern or form) and bunkai (application).
Sensei Mark McFadden, Sempai Jon Ellis, Patricia Tan and Little Lions Ben and Jack came down from the North Coast dojos.
Sempai Rob James, Gen Moller and Jermaine Downs travelled from Aspley Dojo. They all arrived on the Saturday.
That afternoon, a three hour Kobudo class was conducted by Shihan Rick Cunningham with the visiting KIMAA members and Sydney Kobudo students. The weapons focused on were the Bo, Eeku, Jō and Sai.
The class finished at 5pm and was followed by a group dinner, kindly hosted by Shihan Cunningham and his wife, Kirsti. Shihan Cunningham broke out a case of Orion beer imported from Okinawa, a fond favourite of those who have been there.
The main Kyokushin seminar began at 9am on the Sunday. Shihan Lipman led an opening session on basic techniques.
After this, the Taikyoku and Pinan sono Ichi, Ni and San katas were revised. Shihan Cunningham took the class through bunkai for these katas, with Sempai Jon Ellis and Sempai Don Cheong demonstrating throughout the day. Sensei Peter Olive provided some alternative bunkai techniques in Pinan sono San.
The bunkai covered all moves of the katas and were taught in great detail. Students practised their bunkai, throws, chokes and takedowns in pairs.
Learning bunkai is not just an important syllabus point in students’ gradings, but also to improve their depth of knowledge of the katas, the importance of each movement and to improve their understanding of what they are doing and why.
As always, KIMAA students enjoyed the experience of training with members from all dojos.
These seminars shall continue, with the next one on August 17. It will be focused on bunkai for Pinan sono Yon and Pinan sono Go, as well as tameshiwari (board breaking).
KIMAA students extend their thanks to Shihan Lipman and Shihan Cunningham for organising the weekend.
On Saturday November 2, Shihan Howard Lipman held gradings for the Knox Grammar senior and prep school Karate classes. Stuart Bridges (3rd Kyu), Sam Hoberman (4th Kyu) and Jono Cheng (4th Kyu) led the senior school group while Zach Zibaee (6th Kyu), Jay-T Stubbs (6th Kyu) and James Tan (6th Kyu) led the prep school group.
Sempai Rebecca Humphries, Sempai Alex Lloyd, Stephen Runge, Nicholas Cheng and Simon Emmerson attended the grading. Sempai Alex and Steph took the students through basics and other components of the grading. All five fought the students in kumite.
Shihan Lipman was pleased with the performance of the Knox students on the day. Saturday November 9 will be normal training. An end of school year Karate BBQ for both the senior and prep school students is to be held at Knox on November 16. Certificates and belts will be presented to students at this event.
A Kyokushin and Kobudo seminar was held in Sydney on the weekend of 25-27 October. The seminar was organised and run by Shihan Howard Lipman and Shihan Rick Cunningham. Senior students from the Sydney dojos and some lower grades attended, as well as Sensei Mark McFadden, Sempai Jon Ellis and Jeremy Gray from the North Coast, and Sempai Rob James from Brisbane. The purpose of the seminar was to bring the seniors from all the KIMAA dojos together to train, to give the lower grades an opportunity to train with the seniors, and to ensure that good standards of technique are being upheld across all dojos.
A senior grades class was held on Friday night at Shihan Lipman’s Turramurra Dojo. The class began with a revision of kihon (basics). Everyone’s technique was thoroughly reviewed, cleaning up any ‘bad habits’. General knowledge and terminology was also gone over. Sensei Peter Olive ran students through the Kyokushin Seipai kata. This has now been reinstated in the KIMAA syllabus alongside the Okinawan Seipai kata that has been taught in recent years. The class finished by revising the Naihanchi kata (video demonstration available here). Training was followed by a dinner at Noodle City in Gordon.
The seminar moved to Shihan Cunningham’s Annangrove Dojo for the rest of the weekend. Students from the Kids classes came for the day. The day began with a group session devoted to basic training: strikes, blocks, kicks and moving through stances were all practised.
The kids trained with the seniors for Naihanchi kata and bunkai (application).
The group was brought back together for lunch.
While the food was being prepared, one of Knox’s senior grades Samuel Hoberman (4th Kyu) was given the opportunity to spar with Sensei Mark Shelmerdine, followed by Shihan Cunningham. Sam represented Knox admirably, getting into a grappling stand-off on the ground with Sensei Mark. By the end of his two bouts he found a new appreciation for the intense nature of Kyokushin kumite.
The Knox students were then taken by bus back to the school while everybody else enjoyed a group BBQ lunch, kindly prepared by Shihan Cunningham’s wife, Kirsti, and Sempai Ian Holdaway. The seniors continued after lunch with bunkai work from other Kyokushin katas. The group then practised throws.
This was followed by kumite (sparring).
Seipai kata was also reviewed following Friday night. A short ceremony was conducted at the end of Saturday where Shihan Lipman awarded dojo operator certificates. Shihan Lipman was made an Australian Branch Chief by Sosai Mas Oyama in 1989 and later South Pacific Representative in 1993. Shihan Lipman has chosen to similarly formalise the authority of his senior instructors, recognising them as official KIMAA dojo operators in the same way that he was an IKO Branch Chief of Sosai’s. These certificates were awarded to Shihan Rick Cunningham for Annangrove Dojo, Sensei Mark McFadden for Lismore Dojo, Sempai Jon Ellis for Ballina Dojo, and Sempai Rob James for Aspley Dojo.
After the seminar, the senior grades enjoyed a lovely dinner at Shihan Cunningham’s house.
Sunday was largely devoted to Kobudo training. After the warm up students were again divided into groups. Sensei Paul took the beginners through Bo drill, as did Sensei Mark Shelmerdine with the kids.
Shihan Cunningham ran the seniors through the basic exercises and Bo katas Kihon, Ufugusuku and Sushi no Kon Sho, as well as partner work. Shihan Lipman had unavoidable work commitments and unfortunately could not attend the Sunday session.
After the Bo students moved onto the Sai, working on the katas Chibana, Hamahiga and Chatanyara. The kids also got to work with Sai, but were only given rubber ones!
Some further weapons were practised before the groups were brought back together to go over Seipai and Naihanchi katas once again. Training ended with Sempai Rob James being awarded his 8th Kyu in Kobudo. A group lunch followed at a café in Round Corner.
The seminar was deemed a great success by the instructors and its students. Similar seminars will now be conducted every year, with brown belts and black belts always expected to attend. Bringing together the seniors from all five KIMAA dojos is a rewarding experience for all, as well as ensuring that standards are being maintained across the board.
The next seminar will be held in March 2014 in preparation for the senior grading (5th Kyu through to black belt) in June. Attendance will be required for anyone wishing to attempt the grading.
The KIMAA students express their warm thanks to Shihan Lipman and Shihan Cunningham for organising a wonderful weekend.
Grading tests were held at Turramurra Dojo for the Knox Grammar Senior School and Prep School Karate classes on Saturday March 9th. Shihan Howard Lipman, who has been the head instructor of the Knox classes since 2005, judged the performance of the boys on the day and was pleased with the standard displayed by the Knox groups. Click here to read more about the Knox Karate program.
Sensei Hokama came to Sydney at the invitation of Shihan Lipman and Shihan Cunningham. This invitation came after the success of 2009, and the considerable amount of time they have spent with Sensei over their numerous trips to Okinawa. This was Sensei’s second trip to Australia to teach at a seminar organised by KIMAA.
The seminar included Kobudo techniques and Kata, with Sai and Bo, as well as Kata and Kata Bunkai, Gyaku Waza, and some pressure point techniques. Sensei seems particularly fond of these! Those who have been subjected to such techniques before tend to move to the rear and push the more junior students forward, or Seniors who have not “enjoyed this experience previously”. The more senior group also learnt techniques and the first Kata with the Eeku, a new experience for many. KIMAA students from Sydney and the North Coast Dojos participated, as well as many guest Shihans and Senseis.
The seminar went over Friday night at Turramurra, and all day Saturday and Sunday at Annangrove. This included a group dinner at Noodle City in Gordon on Friday, and a BBQ dinner at Shihan Cunningham’s on Saturday. The seminar was enjoyed by all with many new friendships formed.
Students were split into groups depending on their knowledge. Besides the adult classes, there were classes for children and adolescents, many of whom had their first experience with the Bo and acquitted themselves well. Sensei moved around these groups with Shihan Lipman so they all benefited from Sensei’s teaching.
In addition to the seminar, Shihan Lipman and Cunningham took Sensei to have some Boomerang throwing lessons with Albert, a full-blood Aboriginal, and he became quite proficient in a short period of time. After the weekend the Shihans also took him to Jenolan caves, which he thought was a great experience as he has a deep understanding of all things archaeological.
Sensei was most impressed by the standard of the students and the teaching ability of those involved, as well as the enjoyment and friendliness of the students.
The highlight of the seminar was Shihan Lipman being promoted to Renshi in Hokama Okinawan Kobudo and awarded the rank of Rokudan (6th Dan). In addition, Shihan Cunningham was promoted to be a full-fledged Shihan in Hokama Okinawan Kobudo and was promoted to the rank of Godan (5th Dan). Sensei Mark Shelmerdine received his 3rd Dan, Sensei Paul Finnerty the rank of 2nd Dan, and Sempai James Campbell the rank of 1st Dan, as well as some new Kyu grades.
Shihan Lipman and Cunningham will travel again to Okinawa on November 18th for one week for further training with Sensei.
Special thanks go to all those who helped with instruction and those who helped organise the BBQ. Very special thanks go to Kirsti, Shihan Cunningham’s wife, for organising food for a small army and making accomodation available for so many. Very special thanks also goes to Shihan Lipman’s wife, Masumi, for all her help with Sensei, taking care of him in their home and assisting with translation during training.
A small selection of photos are featured in the sideshow above. More photos, including individual shots with Sensei Hokama, are available on discs that can be loaned to KIMAA students from Turramurra and Annangrove Dojos.
Mark Varnam, Jessica Den, James Campbell, Todd Murphy and Di Turner all participated in Kyokushin’s world-renowned six hour Shodan (1st Dan) grading on June 23rd. They performed admirably and have been welcomed as KIMAA’s newest black belts.
Other KIMAA students performed to a high standard, including Jonathan Lee, Theo Schreuder, Nick Cheng and Chris Alcorn, who all reached 1st Kyu.
Another round of Knox gradings for the Senior and Prep Schools was held on Saturday June 16th. The boys performed admirably, showcasing the continually increasing standard of technique and discipline in Knox Karate.
Ed Tutt (year 10) led the Senior School grading, trying for 3rd Kyu, while Toby Chantharasy and Oliver MacGregor (years 5 & 6) led the Prep School boys as they went for 4th Kyu Level II. Having some of the Prep students reach for these more senior grades after just two and a half years of training is tantamount to their hard work.
Nick Cheng and Chris Alcorn are Knox students that participated in the General Grading on June 23rd (click here for photos), going for 1st Kyu. Chris and Nick now hold the honour of reaching the highest grade a Knox student has achieved while still at the school. James Woodward, a member of general classes for some time now, went for 3rd Kyu. Their participation in the six hour grading is to their credit.
It was also Sempai Alex Lloyd’s last day as a Knox sports coach as he moves on to further his career in his chosen profession. Alex was a student of Knox for eleven years, graduating in 2009, and a coach since then. He graded to black belt in 2011. He has been associated with Knox Karate for seven years and trained many of the students from white belt to 2nd kyu. The boys, new Knox coach Simon Emmerson and Shihan Lipman were very kind in their farewell.
This is the article published by the school about Sempai Alex in their weekly newsletter: