On the weekend of 7-9 May 2021, a KIMAA seminar was held on the Far North Coast of New South Wales. The seminar was to celebrate the 15th birthday of Sensei Mark McFadden‘s Lismore Dojo.
KIMAA instructors and students from all 6 dojos participated in the weekend, which was held at Evans Head. The group met on the Friday for dinner at the bowling club. Training began promptly on the Saturday morning, beginning with a basics session led by Hanshi Howard Lipman.
Later in the day, the 50+ students broke up into various groups for further training in Kyokushin kata as well as a Kobudo group.
After a shower and change of dogi, the students went back to the hall for further training.
It was an outstanding weekend of training. The KIMAA cohort had not been able to unite in large numbers except briefly for the Senior Grading at the end of 2020, and after a substantial period of time apart it was enjoyable, practical and useful to gather the students from Turramurra, Annangrove, Lismore, Ballina, Young and Brisbane dojos to train together once again.
Thanks go to Sempai Patricia Tan for organising the weekend, and congratulations again to Sensei Mark for 15 years of Lismore Dojo.
The class was held with the goal of introducing Kyokushin students to boxing techniques, footwork and fitness routines.
KIMAA remains a proud Kyokushin organisation, but introducing knowledge from other styles opens doors to becoming even more well-rounded martial artists.
At the invitation of Hanshi Howard Lipman, Boxing Coach Mario (a staff member with Knox Karate) led the class. Mario has a long history of boxing and impressed the students.
The class – made up of students from Turramurra, Annangrove and Young Dojos, all enjoyed the day with some great techniques being demonstrated by Mario. Thanks to all instructors and students for their participation.
The weekend focussed on standardisation of technique and instructing, Kata and Bunkai, Kumite and Kobudo in small groups, so all members could train appropriate to their grade level and other requirements.
In the sparring component of the weekend, students came together to engage in kumite with students of varying grade and size, and from different dojos. The goal from the sparring session was to maintain movement and keep nimble. Guards were encouraged for this activity. Different grades were paired together from the various KIMAA dojos. The bouts were relatively short to enable the participants to experience kumite against a number of different people.
At the end of the first day training of the seminar, the KIMAA dojo operators made a presentation to Hanshi Howard Lipman. In recognition of the immense perseverance and determination Hanshi has demonstrated in maintaining his commitment to martial arts and Kyokushin over such a long period of 50 years, Hanshi was awarded a plaque as well as a book of memories.
All of the KIMAA students appreciate and thank Hanshi for the continual patience and support that he has shown them over those years.
Saturday night was spent at Shihan Rick’s for a roast dinner and drinks. A special mention to both Sempai Stephen Runge for contributing a delicious roast pork and Sensei Ian Holdaway, who cooked our BBQ lunches.
A lot was learned by all who attended and it is paramount that what was learned is continuously trained, embedded and refined.
It was a great weekend and another example of how well all the KIMAA dojos bond and support one another and we are looking forward to all catching up at the senior grading in December.
On the Saturday morning, Hanshi Howard led a basics and bunkai session. The focus was on correcting students’ technique, as Hanshi stressed the importance of maintaining Sosai’s legacy for perfection. This included blocking combinations, and moving backwards and forwards in stance.
As the day continued, students were broken up by grade. Juniors focused on kata, both new forms and revision of existing patterns. The seniors were given a lesson in competition judging, specifically in tournament refereeing.
Sunday saw a revision of Saturday’s lessons. Sempai Patricia Tan began the session with a Tai Chi muscle warm-up before the class got into basics again. This was followed by more kata and bunkai.
Thank you to all who participated in the seminar. Photography and videography by Sempai Jonathan Lee.
KIMAA traditionally runs two seminars in Sydney twice a year, in addition to those conducted at the other dojos. In the 2015 Japan Group Tour, senior KIMAA karateka met and trained with Shihan Ken Ogura (8th Dan) at Sensei Hokama’s dojo. The group were all impressed with Shihan Ken’s martial arts ability, and his excellent teaching. Hanshi Howard Lipman invited Shihan Ken to Australia to conduct a seminar in 2016, focusing on bunkai (self-defence application from techniques, particularly in kata) and Kobudo. This was repeated in 2017 and again this year, due to the seminars’ continuing success and the interest of students.
The seminar formally began on the Thursday night at Turramurra. The smaller group focused on bunkai from Sanchin, Pinan Yon and Pinan Go. Shihan Peter Olive resumed his role as Shihan Ken’s partner in bunkai – a.k.a. crash test dummy!
Training focused on the same kata as the previous day – revision for the now ‘advanced’ students while everyone else caught up.
Kancho Doug Turnbull with Sensei Mark McFadden
Special guests for the seminar, just on the Friday night, included Kancho Doug Turnbull and some of his KIKO students. Also appearing over the weekend was Kie Matsuoka, one of Shihan Ken’s students, who came out from Japan to train with Shihan Ken and KIMAA.
After training, the class went to dinner at Gordon Noodle City.
The seminar continued on the weekend at Annangrove Dojo. The rest of the Young Dojo contingent arrived. The day began with a basics session, conducted by Hanshi Howard. Students then broke up into groups based on grade level. Black belts studied Seienchin bunkai with Shihan Ken, while junior grades were taught by other seniors elsewhere.
Juniors took a turn with Shihan Ken, while Yudansha revised Pinan Ura kata with Shihan Peter and middle kyu grades practised Pinan Ni with Sensei Ben Ng. Then the middle-senior kyu grades went inside with Shihan Ken to look at a group bunkai drill for Gekisai Dai, assisted by Sensei Paul Finnerty.
Junior kyu grades then had a turn learning new kata bunkai with Shihan Ken. The senior grades worked on the formality, intensity and accuracy of Sanbon Kumite. Shihan Idir Bahamid had middle kyu grades revise Naihanchi kata, then Shihan Rick Cunningham taught the group some bunkai for that kata. A few students took turns over the course of the weekend being Shihan Ken’s new demonstration partner, including Sempai James Campbell and Sempai Jason Lambe.
Shihan Ken also took some seniors through various Kobudo drills after lunch.
It was a long day with a large number of training sessions. Well done to all. Thanks go to both days on the weekend to Sensei Ian Holdaway, Kirsti Cunningham and Masumi Lipman for keeping everyone fed.
After the last photos were taken for the day, a dinner was held at Shihan Rick’s home.
Training resumed Sunday morning. Things began with an outdoor basics session – during which, a long selfie stick and drone were flying around to film the training. This and other footage compiled over the past few years was put together for the new KIMAA video.
After lunch, the kids were done for the day and the adults went back to training with Shihan Ken. This included some revision of kata bunkai and sanbon kumite. Finally, Shihan Rick conducted a bunkai test – having students rotate through different pairs, demonstrating bunkai from various kata at random.
KIMAA has firm standards of students being able to demonstrate bunkai in Kyokushin Karate gradings – the quantity and complexity of which being dependent on their grade level. These seminars are an integral part of this preparation.
The final session of the seminar was held on the Monday night at Turramurra Dojo. Shihan Ken had fun in the Kids Class, including some sparring. The adults class focused exclusively on bunkai from the Okinawan Seipai kata.
At the end, Sensei Mark, Sensei James and Sensei Alex demonstrated the Kyokushin Seipai kata for Shihan Ken, which he found most impressive. At the end of the night, Shihan Ken expressed his warm thanks for his reception in Australia, and how much he has enjoyed watching the organisation come along over the years he has been affiliated with us.
Thanks go to everyone who travelled to Sydney for the weekend, especially of course to Shihan Ken Ogura for travelling from Japan on this third occasion to teach KIMAA students. Further thanks go to all the seminar organisers, including Hanshi Howard Lipman and Shihan Rick Cunningham.
It is now over to the instructors and students who attended the seminar to revise what they learned, consolidate their knowledge and continue to develop their skills – to keep travelling the path.
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.