Shihan Cunningham and I travelled together to Okinawa on the 8th of November for one week’s training with Sensei Hokama.
The training consisted of the application of advanced Kata and more advanced Kobudo techniques and their application. Sensei placed great emphasis on the accuracy and speed of techniques and the important difference between instruction at student and teacher levels. Many new things were learnt and other techniques became more refined.
This was our 10th trip to Okinawa to train with Sensei Hokama over the last four years and proved to be most successful.
It came to both of us as a surprise when Sensei asked us to participate in a grade promotion test at the end of the week. As result of this test Shihan Cunningham was awarded 4th Dan and Shihan-dai rank in Kobudo. Sensei Hokama then awarded me 5th Dan and Shihan rank in Kobudo.
We will continue to travel to Okinawa at least once a year to further our training with Sensei and for the future benefit and development of our students.
The much awaited Karate & Kobudo Seminar was held on the last weekend of August. On Friday the 26th at Turramurra Dojo, participants came to revise bunkai techniques and takedowns as well as learn some new ones. It was a successful night with a lot of the work revolving around the Pinan Katas and other throws, followed by a group dinner.
The next morning started promptly at Annangrove Dojo at 8am. Shihan Lipman, Shihan Cunningham, Sensei Mark and Sensei Paul took turns instructing the beginners in the basics of the Bo staff and Sai. Despite a few “mishandlings” of the Sai, the new students picked up the techniques well. Those already learning Kobudo progressed onto new kata and bunkai, as well as helping the beginners with partner work. Training went for nine hours followed by a barbeque dinner at Shihan Cunningham’s.
The next morning was the same early start. After a couple of hours of revision, younger students from the Kids and Knox classes arrived to learn the basics of the Bo.
By mid-afternoon a Grading was held. The adult beginners went through the Bo and Sai, whereas the Kids and Knox groups just concentrated on the Bo. Ian Holdaway, James Campbell, Jessica Den and Todd Murphy also graded with the Bo, Sai and Eeku, giving a fine demonstration to the newer students of how their Kata should look with a bit more practice!
It was a well-run, highly successful weekend that covered a lot of ground and generated significant interest in Kobudo within KIMAA. Many thanks to the Shihans for the wonderful weekend. This is some footage from the seminar:
Four young KIMAA students attempted a grueling six-hour Black Belt Grading: James Lenton and Ben Ng were promoted to 2nd Dan, and Rebecca Humphries and Alex Lloyd to 1st Dan. Many other senior non-black belts participated in the grading as well. The grading took place on March 26, and the grades were awarded on April 15.