After a challenging year, it was a great pleasure for karateka from all six KIMAA dojos to gather in Sydney for the end-of-year grading.
The KIMAA senior grading was conducted on Saturday 12 December at Annangrove Dojo. It was a 6-hour event, finishing with the famous 40 fights for Kyokushin Shodan. Select younger students from Sydney and a range of adult students from all dojos participated, with grade levels varying from 7th Kyu to 4th Dan.
Hanshi Howard was pleased with the standard displayed by all attempting to grade, especially given to the disruption in training earlier in the year.
It was a memorable, long afternoon of fights. All the kids did their fights first…
… followed by the adults.
Thirteen Black Belt grades were awarded. Congratulations go to Shihan Mark Shelmerdine (5th Dan), Shihan James Sidwell (5th Dan), Sensei Ben Ng (4th Dan), Sensei Don Cheong (4th Dan), Sempai Patricia Tan (2nd Dan), Sempai Tony Kuo (1st Dan), Sempai Larissa Watson (1st Dan), Sempai Blayne Gayle (1st Dan), Sempai Mick Calnan (1st Dan), Sempai Nalin Alwis (1st Dan), Sempai Eric Wright (1st Dan), Sempai Sean Stevens (1st Dan) and Sempai Annika Allen (1st Dan).
Thanks go to all instructors and students who travelled intrastate and interstate to Sydney for the occasion to Sensei Alex Lloyd and Sempai Jessica Den for the photos and videos of the day, and to Shihan Rick Cunningham for use of his dojo.
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