Queensland State Championships – October 15, 2017

Two Little Lions of Lismore and North Brisbane dojos competed in the Queensland National All Styles State Championships on Sunday October 15th.

Isaac of Lismore Dojo competed in the 5th Kyu to Black Belt division for his age group and placed fourth. He was coached on the day by Sensei Mark McFadden. Congratulations Isaac!

Sean of North Brisbane Dojo returned to the NAS, after having placed third in a previous round.

In the words of instructor Sensei Rob James, “As you can see, Sean’s focus, technique and his positive attitude are his strengths.” Well done, Sean!

Senior Kyokushin Grading – August 12, 2017

Members of Kyokushin International Martial Arts Australia came together for a Senior Kyokushin Grading on Saturday August 12, at Sydney’s Turramurra Dojo.

Shihan Howard Lipman assessed students, with Shihan Rick Cunningham and Shihan Peter Olive leading the students through the syllabus requirements of basics, kata, terminology, fitness and kumite.

Students from Turramurra, Annangrove, Ballina and Lismore dojos all participated. Thanks go to the Far North Coast NSW students and instructors, including Sensei Mark McFadden and Sensei Jon Ellis, who travelled to make the event. Sempai Rob James also came from Queensland to train with and support his fellow KIMAA karateka.

The students did very well. Most notably, Will Brook was graded to Shodan (1st Dan) in Kyokushin. Congratulations, Sempai Will!

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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.

Sempai Rob James, Wesley Snider, Mick Calnan, Sempai Will Brook, Jess Brook, Sensei Jon Ellis, Sempai Patricia Tan, Sensei Mark McFadden, Shihan Rick Cunningham, Sensei Mark Shelmerdine, Sensei Paul Finnerty, Sensei Ian Holdaway, Larissa Watson & Sempai Alex Lloyd.

AKKA NSW Kyokushin State Championships – June 25, 2017

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).

Tom Crossman, Sensei Ben Ng, Jasper Choi, Sempai Alex Lloyd, Sempai Josh Darley, Bernard Wilson, Eric Wright, James Parasyn & Elia Parsanejad

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.

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.

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!

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Hanshi John Taylor and Shihan Howard Lipman

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.

Thanks go to Shihan Howard Lipman, Shihan Rick Cunningham, Sensei Idir Bahamid and Sensei James Sidwell for the coaching, and all those who came to support the competitors on the day. Sempai Jonathan Lee filmed the fights and provided most of the photography.

Sydney IFKKA Tournament – May 21, 2017

KIMAA students of Turramurra Dojo participated in the IFKKA full-contact Kyokushin tournament on Sunday May 21st.

The competitors included Sempai Angus and Sempai Victor Sweeney, Sempai Josh Darley, Jasper and Cody Choi, Ethan Bailey and Andrew Palmer.

KIMAA competitors and instructors at the IFKKA Tournament.

Instructors, coaches and supporters included Shihan Howard Lipman and his wife Masumi, Shihan Peter Olive, Sensei Idir Bahamid, Sensei James Sidwell, Sensei Ben Ng, Sensei Don Cheong and Sempai Alex Lloyd.

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 Angus Sweeney lines up for his first 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.

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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

Congratulations to all.

The competitors with their coaches after the tournament.

KIMAA Japan Group Tour – January 7-24, 2017

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:

One of the Sumo fighters at the Tokyo Budokan.
One of the Sumo fighters at the Tokyo Budokan.

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.

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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.

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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.

Shihan Rick receives his thank-you gift for leading the sightseeing part of the tour.
Shihan Rick receives his thank-you gift for leading the sightseeing part of the tour.

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 tour group had dinner that night with Sensei Tetsuhiro Hokama (10th Dan) and Shihan Ken Ogura (8th Dan). Shihan Howard met Sensei Hokama in January 2008 and KIMAA has enjoyed a long friendship with Sensei since then. Members of KIMAA, particularly Shihan Howard and Shihan Rick, have travelled yearly to Okinawa for training since 2008 – and often multiple times a year. KIMAA last trained with Sensei Hokama in the 2015 Japan Group Tour. During this trip, KIMAA first met Shihan Ken and enjoyed hosting him in October 2016 for a week-long seminar.

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.

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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.

On Friday the 20th, Sensei Jon Ellis was graded to 3rd Dan in Kobudo and Sempai Alex Lloyd was graded to 2nd Dan in Kobudo. Congratulations Sensei Jon and Sempai Alex!

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.

KIMAA with Sensei Hokama and Shihan Ken after training.
KIMAA with Sensei Hokama and Shihan Ken after training: Sensei Mark Shelmerdine, Sensei James Sidwell, Sensei Jon Ellis, Sensei Mark McFadden, Shihan Howard Lipman, Sensei Tetsuhiro Hokama, Shihan Ken Ogura, Shihan Rick Cunningham, Sensei Paul Finnerty, Tony Kuo, Sempai Alex Lloyd & Sempai Patricia Tan.

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.

KIMAA at the Kyokushin World Tournament.
KIMAA at the Kyokushin World 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.

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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.

KIMAA with Shihan Ken at dinner on their last night of the tour.
KIMAA with Shihan Ken at dinner on their last night of the tour.

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.


Senior Kyokushin Grading – June 25, 2016

After the Black Belt Class that morning, a senior Kyokushin grading was held on the afternoon of Saturday June 25 at Turramurra Dojo.

Shihan Howard Lipman corrects technique of students while assessing them.
Shihan Howard Lipman corrects the technique of students in the grading.

Students from all five KIMAA dojos (before the opening of Nundah Dojo) participated in the grading. Shihan Howard Lipman assessed students while Shihan Rick Cunningham took the grading.

Shihan Rick Cunningham leads the grading.
Shihan Rick Cunningham leads the grading.

Sensei Mark McFadden, Sensei Jon Ellis and Sempai Rob James flew down to Sydney to support their students in the grading. Patricia Tan from Lismore Dojo, Will Brook from Ballina Dojo and Amanda Bolger from North Brisbane Dojo accompanied their instructors to Sydney to participate in the grading.

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Some of the students grading from Turramurra included Jasper Choi, Bernard Wilson and Elia Parsanejad. They kept pace well with the senior grades, Will and Trish, from up the coast.

Will performed admirably in his 20 fights for 1st Kyu (Senior Brown Belt).

Results decided upon by Shihan Lipman will be announced by the various dojo head instructors. Congratulations to all who passed, and well done on everyone for attempting.

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Group photo of those who attempted the grading and supporting black belts.
Group photo of those who attempted the grading and supporting black belts.
Shihan Rick Cunningham, Sensei Jon Ellis, Will Brook, Patricia Tan, Shihan Howard Lipman & Sensei Mark McFadden.
Shihan Rick Cunningham, Sensei Jon Ellis, Will Brook, Patricia Tan, Shihan Howard Lipman & Sensei Mark McFadden.

KIMAA Seminar & Grading – October 30-November 1, 2015

Friday night at Turramurra Dojo
Friday night at Turramurra Dojo

The second KIMAA seminar and senior grading of 2015 were combined over the weekend of October 30th to November 1st.

Instructors and students came from all five KIMAA dojos to train in general self-defence, Kyokushin and Kobudo. Sensei Mark McFadden (3rd Dan Kyokushin, 3rd Dan Kobudo), Sempai Wally Gray (1st Dan Kyokushin), Jeremy Gray and Patricia Tan came from Lismore Dojo; Sensei Jon Ellis (3rd Dan Kyokushin, 2nd Dan Kobudo) and Ben Brady came from Ballina Dojo; and Sempai Rob James (2nd Dan Kyokushin), Jermaine Downs, Hieu Hoang and Chris Mitchell came from Aspley Dojo.

The first session of the seminar was held on Friday night October 30th, at Shihan Howard Lipman’s (8th Dan Kyokushin, 7th Dan Kobudo) Turramurra Dojo. The class was focused on self-defence against an armed assailant, specifically against a hand gun, and later a knife. Ray of Dynamic Defence, a Krav Maga organisation, was the guest instructor at Shihan Lipman’s invitation.

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After a warm-up and a fitness session, Ray ran the class through various disarming drills that focused on the principles of defence against an assailant wielding a pistol. After going through the basics of gun work, the class turned to knife defence.

Ray’s class was enjoyed by all present. While the karateka only had time to learn the elementary steps of these drills, they got a great sample of the defence skills being taught. KIMAA hopes to have a class with him again in the future.

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

The 9am-4pm Saturday class was held at Shihan Rick Cunningham’s (6th Dan Kyokushin, 6th Dan Kobudo) Annangrove Dojo.

The seminar began with basic training, followed by sanbon kumite (or ‘three-step sparring’). The sanbon kumite gradually increased in intensity, using takedowns and counters from bunkai to develop more advanced defensive manoeuvres.

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This Saturday session included some of the more senior grades from Knox Karate.

The training progressed until lunch, with seniors challenged to come up with their own self-defence combinations while working with a partner.

After a BBQ lunch, cooked by Sensei Mark McFadden and prepared by Shihan Cunningham’s wife, Kirsti, the seminar moved on to tameshiwari (board breaking).

Kyu grades performed single, double and triple board breaks on wood placed on besser blocks, depending on their specific grading requirements.

Sempai Ben Ng and Sempai Don Cheong performed two multi-breaks (breaking four handheld boards with four consecutive techniques) as part of their grading syllabus. Sempai Mark Long and James Ruprai also performed a multi-break. Sempai Wally Gray then showed the younger generation how it’s done by breaking four boards at once with seiken (forefist) and shuto (knife hand) techniques.

Saturday’s training finished with fitness and fight training. Shihan Cunningham hosted a dinner for senior grades and the guests from other dojos at his house after training.

Saturday Group Shot
Saturday Group Shot

The senior grading began at 9am on the Sunday morning. Sensei Peter Olive (4th Dan Kyokushin, 1st Dan Kobudo) led the grading while Shihan Lipman and Shihan Cunningham assessed the performance of the students.

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After the basics segment of the grading was completed, the karateka student body was broken up into groups. Those grading remained in the dojo, while Yudansha and Kyu grades not being graded went outside to do belt-specific training.

Sensei Mark McFadden, Sensei Jon, Sempai Rob, Sempai Mark Long (2nd Dan Kyokushin), Sempai James Campbell (2nd Dan Kyokushin, 2nd Dan Kobudo) and Sempai Alex Lloyd (2nd Dan Kyokushin, 1st Dan Kobudo) revised black belt katas, including Seipai, Okinawan Seipai and Sushi Ho.

Sensei Mark Shelmerdine (4th Dan Kyokushin, 4th Dan Kobudo) took the brown belts through Pinan Sono Go, Gekusai Dai and Yansu.

Sensei James Sidwell (4th Dan Kyokushin, 1st Dan Kobudo) took Nalin, 4th Kyu, through Gekusai Sho and Pinan Sono San.

Sensei Paul Finnerty (4th Dan Kyokushin, 3rd Dan Kobudo) took the junior Kyu grades through Pinan Sono Ni.

The senior grading continued inside with advanced techniques, moving through stances, kata, bunkai, and fitness. The senior Kyu grades and black belts attempting the grading were Sempai Ben Ng, Sempai Don Cheong, Sempai Wally Gray, Josh Darley, Victor Sweeney, Patricia Tan and Jermaine Downs.

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Finally, the grading culminated with kumite (sparring). It was the longest part of the morning for those grading, with Josh and Victor completing 20 fights to meet their syllabus requirements.

Congratulations to all those who participated in the grading. Belts and certificates will be awarded to students by their instructors over the coming weeks. Extra special congratulations to our newly promoted black belts: Sensei Ben Ng (3rd Dan Kyokushin), Sensei Don Cheong (3rd Dan Kyokushin) and Sempai Wally Gray (2nd Dan Kyokushin).

The weekend did not end after the grading, however. After another lunch prepared by Kirsti, students were broken up into groups based on their Kobudo experience for weapons training. Bo, Sai, Eeku and Arnis (Escrima Sticks) were covered for the remainder of the afternoon.

KIMAA Black Belts
KIMAA Black Belts: Sensei Mark McFadden, Shihan Rick Cunningham, Sensei Jon Ellis, Sempai Rob James, Sensei Ben Ng, Shihan Howard Lipman, Sensei Don Cheong, Sempai Alex Lloyd, Sensei Mark Shelmerdine, Sempai James Campbell, Sempai Mark Long, Sensei Peter Olive & Sensei James Sidwell

It was a tiring but successful weekend. It is always a productive and worthwhile exercise to bring all the dojos together: students get to train with karateka outside their own dojo, and all get to check that their techniques are matching the required KIMAA standard. Thanks to Sempai Alex Lloyd and Jonathan Lee for the photography and videos. Special thanks to everyone who travelled to Sydney for the occasion and, as always, to Shihan Howard Lipman and Shihan Rick Cunningham for organising the weekend.

KIMAA Dojo Operators
KIMAA Dojo Operators: Shihan Rick Cunningham (Annangrove), Sempai Rob James (Aspley), Sensei Mark McFadden (Lismore), Sensei Jon Ellis (Ballina) & Shihan Howard Lipman (Turramurra)
Shihan Rick Cunningham & Shihan Howard Lipman
Shihan Rick Cunningham & Shihan Howard Lipman