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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sempai Jason Lambe and Sempai Patricia Tan during the Sydney KIMAA Seminar.
Shihan Peter Olive instructing.
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.
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.
Members of Turramurra and Annangrove dojos competed in the Australian Kyokushin Karate Association’s New South Wales State Championships on Sunday June 25th, hosted by Hanshi John Taylor (9th Dan).
Sensei Ben Ng and Sempai Alex Lloyd competed in the Men’s Open Middle Weight division. Sensei Ben moved around his opponent well and got some good kicks in, but the judges favoured the other fighter’s aggression and control. Sempai Alex fended off a barrage of fast head kicks from his opponent, but ultimately lost the bout to well-placed roundhouse kicks on his ribs and thigh.
Sempai Josh Darley fought in the Male 10-12 Lightweight Padded division. Sempai Josh used his calm, controlled techniques to keep his first two opponents moving all over the matts. He made the semi-finals of his division and placed Equal Third. It was a valiant effort by the young Shodan.
Sempai Josh waits for his fight
Sensei James coaches Sempai Josh
Sempai Josh wins 3rd Place
Awarded by Hanshi John Taylor
Bernard Wilson competed in the Male 13-15 Heavyweight Padded division. Bernard dominated in the bout, fighting with great aggression and movement. James Parasyn, of the Male 10-12 Middleweight Padded division, showed great technique and commitment.
Jasper Choi, fighting in the Male 16 & 17 Lightweight division, went hard and never gave up, despite some hard knocks. Turramurra’s 9th Kyu fighter Thomas Crossman, competing in the Male 5th Kyu and Under Lightweight group, entered his first ever tournament with enthusiasm and guts, determined to keep going despite fighting a much more experienced 5th Kyu.
Bernard Wilson gets ready
Sensei Ben Ng
Sempai Alex Lloyd
Tom Crossman and Sensei James Sidwell
Eric Wright of Annangrove Dojo fought fantastically in his first tournament. He fought up a division, in the Male 16 & 17 Lightweight division, and made it through to the final. He finished second in a close fight. Congratulations on your hard work, Eric!
Elia Parsanejad of Turramurra Dojo faced up to her first tournament in a while, competing in the Female 16 & 17 division. Elia remained calm and used a relentless attack and forward momentum to control her fights, with some good kicks thrown in. Elia did KIMAA proud and took First Place in the division. Congratulations, Elia!
A great effort was made by all who competed, both in the lead-up to the tournament and on the day. Congratulations go especially to Elia, Eric and Sempai Josh for their placements.
All KIMAA fighters performed excellently, especially those for whom it was their first tournament.
Sempai Angus’s first round went to an extension in the adult heavy weight. It was an exhausting bout but he pushed through, using his strength and low kicks to win the extension. He came second after taking a roundhouse kick to the front of the head in the final. Sempai Josh and Cody fought off for first and second place in the boys 11-13 years under 40kg. Cody had taken an unfortunate hit to the throat but fought well despite the injury. Sempai Josh used his kicks to win the fight.
Sempai Victor, in the cadet heavy weight division, fought a competitor over 20kg heavier than him. He faced up and stood his ground valiantly despite the weight difference. Jasper’s first fight saw him take several illegal techniques to the throat, but he pushed on and displayed the spirit of Kyokushin throughout the bout.
It was Ethan and Andrew’s first tournament. Ethan fought Sempai Victor and displayed good control and confidence. Andrew stood bravely to his much heavier opponent, and gave it his all.
Everyone walked away with a placement. Congratulations to everyone for their efforts:
Sempai Angus – Adult Heavy Weight (Open) – Second
Sempai Josh – Boys 11-13 Years under 40kg – First
Sempai Victor – Cadet Heavy Weight – Second
Jasper – Boys 13-16 Years over 58kg – Second
Cody – Boys 11-13 Years under 40kg – Second
Ethan – Cadet Heavy Weight – Third
Andrew – Adult Heavy Weight (Intermediate) – Third
The KIMAA Japan Group Tour 2017 took place in January. The primary purpose of the trip was to train with Sensei Hokama and Shihan Ken in Okinawa, as well as attend the World Kyokushin Tournament. The karateka that formed the tour group included:
The tour began on January 7th where the bulk of the group, led by Shihan Rick, departed Sydney for Tokyo. The first component of the tour was a sightseeing trip on the mainland, for which Sensei Mark Shelmerdine, Sensei James and Sensei Jon brought their families along. Sensei Paul and Sempai Trish met up with the rest of the group in Tokyo, as they had been travelling in Japan already.
The group threw themselves into the wonders of Japan quickly, spending their time in Tokyo at the Japanese Sword Museum, temple of the 47 Ronin, the fish markets, the Yushukan, the Imperial Palace Gardens, Disneyland and Sumo at the Budokan.
Two important Kyokushin sites were also visited during the group’s time in Tokyo: the memorial Shrine for Sosai Mas Oyama at Mt Mitsumine, and Sosai’s grave in Gokokuji.
The group continued their travels around the country, staying in Yudanaka, Nagano and Kyoto. Everyone enjoyed staying in the Ryokan hotel in Yudanaka and seeing the snow monkeys. Sensei Paul, Sensei James and Sensei Jon also went skiing, where Sensei James really shined!
The group met with Shihan Howard and his wife Masumi in Kyoto on January 16th – bringing the whole group to a total of 19 people.
KIMAA at a Ryokan hotel in Yudanaka
Snow monkeys in Yudanaka
Paul, Jon and James skiing
KIMAA at Matsumoto Castle
Kinkakuji in the snow
Paul, Alex and Mark at Kiyomizudera
On January 19th, the karate members of the tour group set off for Okinawa. The families returned to Australia while Masumi remained in Kyoto to spend time with her mother.
The next two days comprised training at Sensei’s dojo with Sensei Hokama and Shihan Ken. The focus was on pressure points, breaks, takedowns, self-defence, kata bunkai and Kobudo. There was lots of partner work involved, and Sensei Jon Ellis performed a board break (tameshiwari) as a part of training.
The Kobudo team performed a Jo kata to Sensei Hokama. Sempai Alex demonstrated bunkai for the kata. The standard of the group’s kata and bunkai greatly impressed Sensei Hokama. Sensei and Shihan Ken then ran the team through other possible defence manoeuvres with a Jo.
Tony Kuo, a student from Turramurra Dojo, joined the tour briefly at the invitation of Shihan Howard. He participated in all the training at Sensei Hokama’s dojo.
Shihan Howard Lipman
Sensei Tetsuhiro Hokama
Shihan Ken Ogura
The final event attended by the tour group was the Kyokushin Union’s 4th World Tournament. Fighters from all around the globe were competing, including from Australia. KIMAA caught up with Shihan Trevor Field (7th Dan) from Brisbane, who was the tournament’s Chief Arbiter. The tournament was hosted by Shihan Yasuhiro Shichinohe (7th Dan). KIMAA members trained with Shihan Shichinohe in the 2013 tour, and Sensei Don Cheong and Sempai James Campbell fought in his 2015 Okinawa tournament.
Shihan Howard and Sensei Hokama were invited by Shihan Shichinohe to sit at the official table. The rest of the group, along with Shihan Ken, enjoyed front row seats.
The tournament was two full days, primarily focused on full contact knockdown fights. There were three divisions: Men’s Open, Women’s Open and Women’s Lightweight. Some demonstrations were also made, including Shihan Shichinohe performing an ice break.
The tour group flew back to Australia after the weekend, arriving home on the morning of Tuesday January 24th.
The KIMAA Japan Group Tour was a fantastic success. The sightseeing was enjoyed by all, the World Tournament was a fantastic spectacle, and the opportunity to once again train with such knowledgeable and skilled martial artists as Sensei Hokama and Shihan Ken was special as always. Thanks go to Shihan Howard and Shihan Rick for organising and leading the tour.