Shihan Ken KIMAA Seminar – September 19-24, 2018

September 2018 saw Kyokushin International Martial Arts Australia host its third Shihan Ken Seminar.

Shihan Ken Ogura with nunchaku, March 2015.
KIMAA tour group with Sensei Hokama and Shihan Ogura.

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.

This year, Shihan Ken (who lives in Nagoya, Japan) arrived in Australia on Wednesday September 19th. He came by the Kids Class at Turramurra Dojo with Hanshi Howard, Sensei James Sidwell and Sempai Jasper Choi.

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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!

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The Thursday night group with Shihan Ken Ogura.

The Friday night drew a large crowd. Students from Ballina and Lismore dojos arrived, under the leadership of Sensei Mark McFadden, Sempai Wally Gray, Sempai Patricia Tan and seniors from Ballina Dojo. The first wave of karateka from Young Dojo, including Sensei David Craigie and Sempai Mark Long, also arrived.

Training focused on the same kata as the previous day – revision for the now ‘advanced’ students while everyone else caught up.

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 Friday night group at the 2018 Shihan Ken KIMAA Seminar.

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.

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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.

At the end of the day, Hanshi Howard presented Sensei Alex Lloyd his 3rd Dan in Kobudo and Sensei James Sidwell his 2nd Dan in Kobudo. They had been graded the previous month by Hanshi Howard and Shihan Rick, and now were formally presented with their certificates from Sensei Hokama (10th Dan).

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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.

At the end of Saturday at the 2018 Shihan Ken Seminar.

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.

KIMAA Little Lions were in attendance on the Sunday morning. Shihan Ken held a class for the kids while the adults split into groups for Kobudo training, based on their experience level. Sensei Mark Shelmerdine, Sensei Paul Finnerty, Sensei Mark McFadden, Sensei Alex Lloyd, Sensei James Sidwell, Sensei Ian Holdaway and Sempai James Campbell taught Bo and Sai to the groups.

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.

A group demonstration of the Naihanchi kata was recorded on the Sunday afternoon.

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.

The final night of the 2018 Shihan Ken Seminar.

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.

KIMAA North Coast Seminar – May 5-6, 2018

On the weekend of May 5-6, the second KIMAA seminar of the year was held at the Far North Coast NSW dojos.

Students from the North Coast dojos led by Sensei Mark McFadden and Sensei Jon Ellis attended in large numbers. A small contingent from Queensland, led by Sensei Rob James, travelled down for the weekend, too. Leading the seminar was Hanshi Howard Lipman, who flew up from Sydney on the Friday for the event with Sempai Alex Lloyd.

Seminar black belts: Sempai Wally Gray, Sensei Jon Ellis, Hanshi Howard Lipman, Sempai Alex Lloyd, Sempai Patricia Tan and Sensei Rob James.

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.

The Saturday morning session.

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.

The Saturday afternoon session.

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.

The karate class after the grading on Sunday.

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.

Sempai Trish and Wesley lead the Kobudo class.
Sensei Jon Ellis and Sensei Mark McFadden during the grading.

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.

Dojo operators Sensei Jon Ellis, Sensei Rob James and Sensei Mark McFadden with KIMAA Chairman Hanshi Howard Lipman.

KIMAA Sydney Seminar – March 10-11, 2018

The first KIMAA seminar of 2018 was held in Sydney, on the weekend of March 10-11, at Annangrove Dojo.

The focus of the seminar was Kyokushin Karate. Kihon and kata were practised at length, interspersed with fitness and sparring sessions. Tameshiwari (board breaking) and Kobudo (weapons) were also undertaken.

Instructors, adult students and Little Lions of all KIMAA dojos were in attendance. The North Coast dojos of Lismore and Ballina were in fine form as usual, led by Sensei Mark McFadden and Sempai Patricia Tan. Little Lions from the North Brisbane Dojo made the journey to Sydney. Students of Young Dojo, under Sensei David Craigie, returned to Sydney for their first seminar as fully fledged KIMAA Karateka.

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Saturday kicked off with an intense basics session with Shihan Rick Cunningham and Shihan Peter Olive. After everyone was suitably sweaty, the class turned its attention to partner work, Sanbon Kumite, leg blocks and defence, and bunkai from Pinan Ni.

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After lunch, the seminar broke up into groups. Students not attempting a board break were assigned to a particular group and instructor to revise kata pertinent to their grade level.

For everyone else, Hanshi Howard Lipman led the class through tameshiwari. Hanshi introduced first-timers to the basics of board breaking, while more experienced karateka got some pointers before attempting larger breaks and multi-board combinations.

The class then recombined for an intense bag session, where students rotated through pairings to practise their roundhouse kicks.

Next was the Naihanchi kata. Shihan Idir Bahamid took the seminar through the kata, emphasising the importance of a solid stance and correct focus in the execution of techniques.

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After studying the kata, the group loosened up for kumite. Kyu grades and the Little Lions had turns sparring the black belts. A few egos were bruised, but everyone enjoyed and learned from the experience.

The seminar group on the Saturday.

That evening, Shihan Rick hosted a dinner for the out-of-Sydney guests and senior grades.

The next morning began with a suitably tiring basics session, led by Hanshi Howard.

After the basics, the seminar spent the rest of the day on self-defence, fighting techniques and kata revision, often broken into smaller groups by grade level. The group also revisited Naihanchi kata. The Kyokushin focus was briefly interrupted for a Kobudo session. Students had the option of learning a Bo, Sai or Eku kata, dependent on their experience level.

The class finished up after a final group session. The KIMAA seminars continue to be an important feature on the calendar for students to interact with members from other parts of the organisation, and for the instructors to ensure unity in technical standards and Kyokushin spirit. Thanks go to all the organisers, and those who made the effort to travel to Sydney.

The next KIMAA seminar is at the North Coast in May.

Young Dojo Seminar – November 11, 2017

Hanshi Howard Lipman and Shihan Rick Cunningham travelled to Young on Saturday 11 November to spend a day at Young Dojo.

Hanshi Howard Lipman presents Sensei David Craigie his 4th Dan in Kyokushin Karate.

Young is the latest dojo to come under the KIMAA banner and is run by Sensei David Craigie.

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.

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“My congratulations to Sensei David on a dojo well run and Yondan (4th dan) well deserved,” said Hanshi Howard.

Hanshi Howard Lipman, Sensei David Craigie and Shihan Rick Cunningham, 11 November 2017.

KIMAA Shihan Ken Seminar – September 6-11, 2017

Shihan Ken Ogura (8th Dan) returned to Australia for his second seminar with Kyokushin International Martial Arts Australia on the week of 6-11 September 2017.

Hanshi Howard Lipman & Shihan Ken Ogura.

Shihan Ken first met KIMAA senior grades during the 2015 Japan Group Tour, during training with Sensei Tetsuhiro Hokama (10th Dan). Shihan Ken then came to Australia in 2016 to teach a KIMAA seminar at the invitation of Hanshi Howard Lipman. Shihan Ken met KIMAA seniors again during the 2017 Japan Group Tour in Okinawa.

The seminar brought KIMAA students from all over the organisation. Guests from other Kyokushin dojos also attended, including Sensei David Craigie and his Young Dojo.

Wednesday night’s training was held at Turramurra Dojo. Shihan Ken took students through bunkai – the self-defence application of techniques and moves from kata. The kata focused on in particular were more of a junior level, to teach the foundation principles required for the weekend. Shihan Peter Olive dutifully resumed his duties from the previous year’s seminar, serving as the ‘crash test dummy’ that Shihan Ken would demonstrate the techniques, pressure points and take-downs on!

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On Thursday morning, a smaller, senior weapons class was held at Turramurra. Shihan Ken took Shihan Rick Cunningham, Sensei Paul Finnerty and Sempai Alex Lloyd through Kobudo, with particular focus on the Eeku.

Shihan Rick Cunningham, Shihan Ken Ogura, Sensei Paul Finnerty and Sempai Alex Lloyd, 7 September 2017.
Shihan Doug Turnbull training with Sensei Mark McFadden.

The class grew on Friday night, including Shihan Doug Turnbull (6th Dan) of Kyokushin International Karate Organisation. Shihan Doug has hosted many tournaments in which KIMAA students have competed, and has been part of Australian Kyokushin for decades. You can see Shihan Doug of KIKO with Hanshi John Taylor and Hanshi Howard Lipman in the committee photo in this article from our achieve series.

Those making the trip to Sydney for the weekend from KIMAA included Sensei Mark McFadden and Lismore Dojo students; Sensei Jon Ellis and Ballina Dojo students; and Sempai Rob James of North Brisbane and Nundah dojos.

Training continued along the same lines as Wednesday, but with some more advanced techniques and kata.

After training, a group dinner was enjoyed at Noodle City in Gordon.

The Friday night class.

The seminar continued at 9 am sharp on Saturday 9th at Annangrove Dojo. Hanshi Howard formally introduced Shihan Ken to all the black belts, then led the group through a basics session.

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The students were then broken up into smaller groups for rotating classes that lasted throughout the day. One group would be inside with Shihan Ken, while the others trained outside. Shihan Ken took the seniors through a new Eeku kata, and other groups through further bunkai and kata work. The others rotated between kata with Shihan Peter Olive, technique and focus with Sensei Idir Bahamid, the Sai with Sensei Mark Shelmerdine and the Bo staff with Sempai Alex Lloyd.

At the end of a long but enjoyable day, Hanshi Howard Lipman announced a few Kyu grade promotions in Kobudo, and three black belt promotions in Kyokushin. Read more here about the promotions of Shihan Idir Bahamid, Sensei Mark McFadden and Sensei Rob James.

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Dinner for the out-of-Sydney guests and other seniors was held at Shihan Rick’s home. Thanks go to Shihan Rick Cunningham and his wife Kirsti for hosting Saturday’s dinner, and to Sensei Ian Holdaway for his lunch barbecuing efforts on both weekend days.

Group photo of the Saturday seminar class.
Sensei Don Cheong demonstrates Pinan Sono Go.

Training began early the next morning back at Annangrove Dojo. The day began with a session focusing on basics, movement, speed and power with Shihan Idir Bahamid. After this, the seminar split into smaller groups, with Shihan Peter Olive, Sensei Paul Finnerty, Sensei James Sidwell and Sensei Mark McFadden taking instructional duties for those not working with Shihan Ken. The black belts had intense kata sessions on both Saturday and Sunday with Shihan Peter, including kata demonstrations by Sensei Don Cheong.

Shihan Ken continued the same focus with the Kyu grades, while working with the black belts further on the Eeku kata, as well as Seipai and Saiha. Sensei Jon Ellis and Sensei Ben Ng took turns being the test dummies during the day.

The day ended with Hanshi Howard thanking those from out of Sydney for travelling, Shihan Rick for all his help with the organising and accommodation, and most of all Shihan Ken for coming to Australia again to instruct KIMAA students.

Hanshi Howard Lipman ended the day with some exciting news. After several days of intense training together, the students of KIMAA built a great rapport of those with Young Dojo, and Sensei David Craigie (3rd Dan) had a great time training with KIMAA’s black belts. It was announced on Sunday September 10 that Sensei David Craigie and Young Dojo are now a part of Kyokushin International Martial Arts Australia, the seventh dojo of the organisation.

The final training session was back at Turramurra Dojo on the Monday night. This evening was spent consolidating the week’s worth of knowledge, with Sensei Ben acting as Shihan Ken’s demonstration partner for the evening. There was also a greater focus on pressure points and conditioning.

KIMAA is delighted to have an ongoing relationship with Shihan Ken Ogura, such a widely regarded martial artist who is also an excellent teacher and friend of the organisation. We look forward to future training with Shihan Ken.

Shihan Howard Lipman North Coast Seminar – March 18-19, 2017

On the weekend of 17-19 March, Shihan Howard Lipman visited the KIMAA Far North Coast NSW Dojos to conduct a Kyokushin Karate seminar.

Sempai Rob James, Sempai Alex Lloyd, Shihan Howard Lipman, Sensei Jon Ellis and Sensei Mark McFadden on day 1 of the seminar.

Sensei Mark McFadden and Sensei Jon Ellis hosted the seminar at their respective Lismore and Ballina dojos. Sempai Rob James attended the seminar with some of his students from the North Brisbane and Nundah dojos. Sempai Alex Lloyd came up from Sydney with Shihan Howard to assist with instructing.

On the Friday night the 17th, Shihan Howard and Sempai Alex arrived in Ballina where they had dinner with Sensei Mark and Sensei Jon.

Training began at 9.00 am sharp the next morning at Ballina Dojo. The first session was for the Little Lions. The morning class was spent focused on kihon (basics): strikes, blocks, kicks and combinations. The class ended with some fitness and competitions.

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The next session was an hour-long class for instructors only, revising the finer points of techniques, how to break things down and teach them, and for Shihan Howard to ensure all the basics were the same standard across all six KIMAA dojos. The class was attended by Sempai Wally Gray, Sempai Simon Morris, Sempai Patricia Tan, Will Brook, Jermaine Downs and other assistant instructors to the North Coast and Brisbane dojo operators. 

The afternoon was focused on the adults. Things got off to a bang, starting with an energetic kumite warm up.

The sparring was followed with fight training and fighting techniques, including footwork and movement. After this, different grades took turns demonstrating kata to Shihan Howard appropriate to their level. This was followed by bunkai (self-defence applications), take-downs and throwing each other around the room. Sempai Alex quickly proved to be Sensei Jon’s favourite crash test dummy!

The instructors finished the afternoon class by running the group through some joint locks and pressure point techniques, and some conditioning.

The adults class on the Saturday, at Ballina Dojo.

A group dinner was enjoyed by the visitors and local senior grades at a restaurant in Ballina by the water.

Training began the next morning for adults at 8.30 am at Lismore Dojo. Sensei Mark and Sempai Rob warmed up the class and revised some basics and strength work, before Shihan Howard stepped in to show the group how push ups are really meant to be done!

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The class turned to more basics and stance revision, emphasising the importance of separating basic technique from bunkai. The former is the foundation to the latter, and keeping the true form of the technique correct is imperative to the development of one’s karate.

The Sunday adults class at Lismore Dojo.

After a final group photo, black and brown belts stayed on for senior kata training. Sempai Alex took the class exhaustively through Garyu. Shihan Howard then had students pair up for advanced kihon techniques and partner work in the Nidan syllabus. The class ended the session by studying Tensho kata.

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Shihan Howard Lipman with Sempai Rob James, Lismore Dojo.

Sempai Rob commented about the seminar shortly afterwards online, in particular about Shihan Howard: “I am still in awe of this man. The technical ability and his knowledge of every detail of every technique absolutely blows me away. There are very few people in the martial arts world like Shihan Howard Lipman.”

Shihan Howard was most pleased by the students’ standard of technique, as well as the teachers’ instruction of both the North Coast dojos and those who came down from Brisbane. The quality of the KIMAA students are an obvious reflection of their instructors. He passed on his thanks to Sempai Alex for his assistance. Shihan Howard congratulated Sensei Mark, Sensei Jon and Sempai Rob on the level of technique their students had attained, the fit-out of their dojos, and their obvious dedication to and rapport with their students. 

Shihan Ken Seminar – November 16-21, 2016

Students of Kyokushin International Martial Arts Australia were extremely fortunate to participate in a seminar with Shihan Ken Ogura (8th Dan) for a week in November.

KIMAA tour group with Sensei Hokama and Shihan Ogura.
KIMAA tour group with Sensei Hokama and Shihan Ogura.

Shihan Howard Lipman and senior KIMAA members met Shihan Ken during the 2015 Japan Group Tour when training at Sensei Hokama’s dojo. The group trained with Shihan Ken for a class and Shihan Ken was most impressed with the “Australian team”. The members of the tour found it to be a fantastic experience, and a friendship was formed between KIMAA and Shihan Ken.

Shihan Howard was so impressed with Shihan Ken as an instructor that he invited Shihan Ken to Australia to conduct a seminar in Karate and Kobudo. Shihan Ken was delighted to accept. He arrived in Australia on Wednesday November 16th. Shihan Howard and his wife Masumi hosted Shihan Ken for the duration of his stay.

Shihan Ken Ogura demonstrates on Sensei Peter Olive
Shihan Ken Ogura demonstrates on Sensei Peter Olive

On the Wednesday night, Shihan Ken conducted his first class in the seminar at Turramurra Dojo. Participating were KIMAA members from Turramurra and Annangrove dojos. Sensei Mark McFadden of Lismore Dojo and Sensei Jon Ellis of Ballina Dojo travelled down from the NSW Far North Coast for the week, having seen firsthand the quality instruction offered by Shihan Ken during the last Japan trip.

The class ran for two hours and focused on bunkai (self-defence applications) from some Kyu-grade katas, especially the Pinan katas. While KIMAA students regularly study bunkai in weekly classes and seminars, and perform it as part of Kyokushin gradings, Shihan Ken introduced the class to bunkai options from these katas with a Goju-ryu influence, being his main style of Karate. Senior and junior grades alike learned many new applications and enjoyed the training. Sensei Peter Olive quickly became Shihan Ken’s preferred partner to demonstrate applications with, throwing Sensei all over the floor and performing joint locks on him over and over!

There was no class on Thursday, so Shihan Ken was shown the sights of Sydney. Shihan Rick Cunningham, Sensei Mark and Sensei Jon joined Shihan Ken on a climb of Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Two classes were held on Friday the 18th. The first was a Black Belt class in the afternoon, which primarily focused on Okinawan Seipai. Joining the mix was Sempai Rob James of North Brisbane and Nundah dojos.

That night, Shihan Ken took another class open to all grades. The class was even larger than Wednesday’s, with kyu grades from Lismore and Ballina also in attendance. Once again bunkai was studied, applying joint locks, neck grabs, takedowns and more within the context of kata. After training, the group booked out the restaurant Noodle City in Gordon and enjoyed a meal with Shihan Ken.

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Training began promptly at 9.00 am the following morning at Annangrove Dojo, with Shihan Rick taking the class through basics and sanbon kumite. After the half hour of warm-up training, Shihan Ken arrived with Shihan Howard to get stuck into the day of learning. A group session revised content from Wednesday and Friday nights, as well as diving into new bunkai from other kata.

Sempai Rob (Queensland) & Lauren (Ballina Dojo) work together on new bunkai.
Sempai Rob (Queensland) & Lauren (Ballina Dojo) work together on new bunkai.

Following an extended group session, the focus turned to Kobudo (weapons). Sensei Paul Finnerty and Sensei Mark Shelmerdine took groups of students with varying level of Kobudo experience outside to practise the Bo, while the more experienced karateka remained inside to work with Shihan Ken. Shihan Ken checked some basic Bo work with various exercises, the Kihon kata and Ufugusuku, all with the related partner work.

Shihan Ken then gave attention to the intermediate Kobudo group, revising the Bo exercises and first kata. Sempai James Campbell and Sempai Alex Lloyd took the senior group through a new exercise Shihan Ken had shown them, before Sempai Alex took over the intermediate group revising Ufugusuku.

A BBQ lunch was enjoyed, prepared by Shihan Rick’s wife Kirsti and cooked by Sensei Ian Holdaway. After lunch, the kyu grades practised what they had learned already during the seminar with Sensei Peter.

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The black belts had the first session with Shihan Ken, where Sensei James Sidwell and Sensei Jon took turns being Shihan Ken’s new demonstration partner, giving Sensei Peter some reprieve. The black belts then went outside to further practise the two Seipai katas.

After a short break, students were again divided into groups. The intermediate kyu grades continued their kata training with Sensei Ben Ng and Sensei Don Cheong, while the juniors remained with Shihan Ken indoors. The black belts revised some Nidan- and Sandan-level katas, led by Sensei Paul and Sensei Idir Bahamid. The black belts then went back inside and Sempai Alex helped the juniors with Sanchin kata.

Shihan Howard Lipman awards Shihan Peter Olive his 5th Dan in Kyokushin.
Shihan Howard Lipman awards Shihan Peter Olive his 5th Dan in Kyokushin.

The students all came back together for a fitness session with Shihan Rick. Shihan Ken enjoyed watching the Kyokushin students train in their element, taking many photos. He was very impressed.

At the end of class, Shihan Howard made an important announcement. Peter Olive began training in Kyokushin at the Honbu Dojo in Tokyo, grading to blue belt before returning to Australia. Peter has trained with Shihan Howard, Shihan Rick and KIMAA as a whole for nearly twenty years, and is a regular instructor at both Turramurra and Annangrove dojos. It was Shihan Howard’s pleasure to promote Peter to 5th Dan (Godan) in Kyokushin, and awarding him the title of “Shihan”.

Congratulations to Shihan Peter!

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After this promotion, Shihan Ken kindly posed with the students for individual and group photos.

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An enjoyable and relaxing dinner was held for the senior grades and visitors from the North Coast and Queensland at Shihan Rick’s home.

Class began at 9.00 am on the Sunday morning, kicking off with more basics and fitness with Shihan Rick and Shihan Peter.

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Shihan Howard, his wife Masumi and Shihan Ken then arrived to begin training. Masumi took some photos for Shihan Ken and assisted throughout the day. Shihan Ken continued to demonstrate his intricate knowledge of kata and the self-defence techniques hidden within, giving students a much more advanced and deeper understanding of what they so regularly do in class.

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After the combined training, the juniors stayed inside with Shihan Ken to learn more kata and bunkai. Shihan Peter took Sempai Rob, the Shodans and brown belts through every kata up to Nidan grade level in preparation for the upcoming black belt grading.

Sensei Paul meanwhile took the senior black belts through Kanku-Dai.

Everyone then came together for lunch, cooked again by Sensei Ian. After the break, the senior Kobudo grades stayed with Shihan Ken for more weapons training. The youngest of the kids went home and the other kyu grades went outside for more kata and bunkai training.

Indoors, Shihan Ken ran students through Bo v Bo defence applications. This was followed by the Tonfa kata and Bo v Tonfa defence. Finally, Chibana no Sai and Hame Higa no Sai were practised and polished. Shihan Ken was most impressed with the standard displayed by KIMAA’s senior Kobudo students.

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The groups continued to rotate indoors and outdoors. Everyone came together at the end of the day for kumite, the fight training important preparation for the senior grading in two weeks time.

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Shihan Howard and Shihan Rick ended the class by expressing their immense thanks to Shihan Ken for all the training. Shihan Ken was then presented with “traditional Australian bush clothing”!

The final session of the seminar was the Monday night. Students arrived quite stiff, needing a lot of stretching to loosen up for the last session! There was quite a split in grades, from senior black belts to outright beginners, so Shihan Ken taught the class in two main alternating groups of seniors and juniors, switching between kata bunkai to basic self-defence.

Shihan Ken with Shihan Howard on Monday 21 November 2016.
Shihan Ken with Shihan Howard on Monday 21 November 2016.

Everybody who attended the seminar, whether for one class or the whole week, walked away amazed at the amount of knowledge imparted to them. Shihan Ken’s time was generous and teaching outstanding, his deep understanding of the martial arts coupled with quality and caring instruction.

The senior KIMAA instructors have taken on board a lot of new bunkai and other techniques to practise with their students; Kobudo practitioners have had their skills fine-tuned; and all kyu grades discovered new layers to the martial arts which they may not have realised was there before. The KIMAA karateka are all grateful for their time with Shihan Ken. Especially gratifying for KIMAA was Shihan Ken’s enthusiasm for the Australian students, and his pride in what they accomplished during the week.

Shihan Peter and the class line up at the end of training.
Shihan Peter and the class line up at the end of training.

It was a great honour to train with a brilliant martial artist. Thank you Shihan Ken.

Thanks also go to Shihan Howard and Shihan Rick to organising the seminar; Masumi for all her help; to Sensei Ian and Kirsti for feeding the troops; Sensei Mark and Sensei Jon for coming down the coast for the whole week; everyone who travelled from the North Coast; Sempai Alex and Jonathan Lee for the photography; and to all who attended for being exemplary KIMAA ambassadors and training so hard.

Video footage from the week will be made available to KIMAA senior instructors shortly, filmed by Sensei Mark McFadden and Sempai Alex.

Senior KIMAA black belts will next see Shihan Ken in the 2017 Japan Group Tour in January. Shihan Howard invited Shihan Ken to return to Australia and conduct another KIMAA seminar in October 2017, and Shihan Ken was quick to accept. We look forward to training with Shihan Ken again next year.