Year In Review – December 23, 2014

2014 was a busy and exciting year for Kyokushin International Martial Arts Australia. The growing number of seminars and dojo events gave students new avenues to pursue the martial way, while tournaments and gradings were opportunities to measure and reward the progress of KIMAA students in Kyokushin Karate and Kobudo.

Sydney, NSW

Sydney was once again the home of KIMAA’s major events of the year. KIMAA President Shihan Howard Lipman (8th Dan Kyokushin, 6th Dan Kobudo) oversaw activities at the Turramurra Honbu Dojo, as well as running seminars with the assistance of Shihan Rick Cunningham (6th Dan Kyokushin, 5th Dan Kobudo) at his Annangrove Dojo.

Kobudo Class, February 2014
Kobudo Class, February 2014

February saw Shihan Dez Paroz of Shorinjiryu Karate return as a guest instructor for KIMAA. After teaching the Jō to Kobudo students last July, Shihan Paroz led a Senior First Aid course for KIMAA’s black belts and senior kyu grades.

Following the November 2013 trip to Okinawa, a Kobudo grading was held December last year. Sempai Todd Murphy, Sempai Alex Lloyd and Sempai Don Cheong received their belts from Shihan Cunningham in February and were presented their certificates by Shihan Lipman in March. Kobudo training has been diligently attended by the core group of Sydney students throughout 2014, as many of the class look towards heading back to Okinawa to train with Sensei Tetsuhiro Hokama (10th Dan) in March 2015.

The biannual KIMAA seminars were held in April and August this year. Instructors and students from the North Coast and Brisbane dojos flew down to Sydney for these events. Both weekends followed the same template: Kobudo training on the Saturday afternoon, with an all-day Karate session on the Sunday. The Sunday classes were attended by students of all grade levels, and was a prerequisite for anyone attempting either the June or September senior gradings. The Sunday sessions were also attended by students of Knox Grammar School.

The seminars this year had an increased focus on bunkai (self-defence applications derived from kata). This was to provide students with a wider repertoire of self-defence techniques, as well as increasing their understanding of the katas they perform in class every training. Instruction was led by Shihan Lipman, Shihan Cunningham and Sensei Peter OliveThe August seminar also focused on tameshiwari, where students enjoyed smashing through a great deal of wood.

This year saw many from KIMAA earn new Dan (black belt) grades. In a June Black Belt grading, Azaan Vohra and Jason Lambe were graded to 1st Dan and Sempai James Campbell to 2nd Dan. Sensei Ian Holdaway was promoted to 3rd Dan in August. After attempting a gruelling grading in September, Sensei Jon Ellis received his 3rd Dan, while Sempai Rob James, Sempai Alex Lloyd and Sempai Todd Murphy all received their 2nd Dan.

These grade promotions were earned from the long years of service to the organisation and regular hard work in training. They reflect the growing collective knowledge of KIMAA instructors. Sensei Jon and Sempai Rob run Ballina and Aspley dojos respectively, while Sensei Ian and Sempai Todd regularly teach at Annangrove, and Sempai James and Sempai Alex at Turramurra.

Sempai James in the August 2014 tournament
Sempai James in the August 2014 tournament

Sydney students were also very active – and successful – in tournaments in 2014. Sempai James Campbell competed in his first tournament, the Queensland Kyokushin State Titles, in May and was runner up in his division.

He later competed in the annual Australian Open Full Contact Karate Tournament in August. Sempai Ben Ng and Sempai Don Cheong from Turramurra Dojo and Daniel Williams from Annangrove Dojo also competed in this tournament. Daniel won the 3rd and 4th Kyu Open Heavy Weight division.

All students did their instructors proud and admirably represented KIMAA. They followed a hard training program under the watchful eyes of Shihan Lipman, Shihan Cunningham and Sensei Mark Shelmerdine. Sempai James and Sempai Don will compete in Japan next March, representing Australia.

In November, three students from Turramurra Dojo fought in a tournament run by the International Federation of Karate Kyokushinkai Australia. Brothers Angus and Victor Sweeney, students of Shihan Howard Lipman and Sensei James Sidwell, both won places. Angus came Second in the Cadet Male Heavy Weight division and Victor Third in the Boys 14-15 years over 70kg. Young Zac Zibaee was originally a Knox Prep Karate student taught by Shihan Lipman and Sempai Alex Lloyd, but has since also trained with Shihan Lipman and Sensei James in the Turramurra Dojo Little Lions classes. Zac placed Second in the Boys 11-14 years 40-45kg. Shihan Lipman was very pleased with all the boys’ efforts and looks forward to watching them give it another go in future tournaments.

Knox Karate Demonstration, November 2014

Knox School Karate had another successful year. Students participated in the major seminars, and Zac Zibaee in a tournament.

Gradings for Knox were held in May and November, with many students moving up through the Kyu belt levels. Once again, Knox held an end-of-year Karate BBQ at the school. This was the first year where the BBQ also included a demonstration for parents.

2015 will be the tenth of year of Knox’s affiliation with KIMAA.

The Turramurra Dojo kids class rounded off the year for Sydney with a grading in December. Belts and certificates were awarded in the final training session for 2015, on December 19th.


North Coast, NSW

Lismore Dojo and Ballina Dojo saw a flurry of growth and activity in 2014, led by Sensei Mark McFadden (3rd Dan Kyokushin, 2nd Dan Kobudo) and Sensei Jon Ellis (3rd Dan Kyokushin, 1st Dan Kobudo). Shihan Rick Cunningham came up from Sydney to take seminars for the North Coast karateka. One was held recently in October. A black belt training day also took place in April, led by Shihan Cunningham.

Blue September fundraiser at Lismore Dojo
Blue September fundraiser event at Lismore Dojo

Besides Sensei Jon Ellis’s promotion to ‘Sensei’ (3rd Dan) and Jeremy Gray reaching 1st Kyu in Sydney’s September grading, the North Coast held their own gradings. This included a Little Lions grading in April, among others, documented photographically on the North Coast Facebook page. The attendance and success of these gradings and seminars were marked by an increasing body of students at Lismore and Ballina dojos, all passionately striving to better their karate.

Creative Weapons win at NAS
Creative Weapons win at NAS

Sensei Mark played host at Lismore Dojo to more than just gradings and seminars, including the Blue September fundraiser event. Sensei Mark, assisted by Sensei Jon and others, also cooked a record number of snags at the various Bunnings BBQ events, raising funds for the dojo and promoting the Kyokushin way.

The North Coast enjoyed many successes in tournaments in 2013, and this continued in 2014. Patricia Tan placed First in the Advanced Women’s Kata division in the National All Styles in July, as well as competing in the Traditional Weapons section. Wesley Snyder placed Third in the 14-years-old age group in the 10th-4th Kyu Kata section in the July NAS. Trish continued her streak of tournament victories by placing Third in her Kata division of the Queensland NAS in October. In this event, she also competed with Sensei Mark McFadden in the Creative Weapons division. Sensei Mark and Trish placed First.

Sensei Mark, Sensei Jon, Sempai Wally and Jeremy Gray, Trish Tan, Will Brook and others from the North Coast were regular attendees of seminars and gradings in Sydney as well.

North Coast with Sydney Senseis
North Coast karateka with Senseis from Turramurra Dojo at the Sydney September grading. L-R: Sensei James Sidwell, Jeremy Gray, Sensei Mark McFadden, Sensei Jon Ellis, Sensei Mark Shelmerdine, Will Brook and Sempai Wally Gray

Brisbane, QLD

Sempai Rob James (2nd Dan Kyokushin) led Aspley Dojo into its third year of operation in 2014.

Sempai Rob strove to keep giving his students new challenges in their study of Kyokushin. Sempai Rob often took students to seminars held at Lismore Dojo. He returned the favour and played host in May and November, with instructors and students from the North Coast dojos travelling up to Brisbane to train with Sempai Rob’s students.

Sempai Rob held a Karate grading in March and an Open Kata Tournament in July, among other grading events. All were great successes, with a strong, healthy core group of Kyokushin students developing at Aspley Dojo.

Aspley Dojo with Shihans
Shihan Lipman, Sempai Rob, Jermaine, Shihan Cunningham

KIMAA’s Queensland branch trained hard throughout 2014, as evidenced through Sempai Rob’s keen posting on the Aspley Dojo Facebook page. The students were constantly challenged by their instructor, as well as often being motivated by their Sempai’s regular online updates and images.

Sempai Rob brought his senior student, Jermaine, down to train in Sydney. Jermaine, like his Sempai, attempted the senior grading in Sydney in September.

In other news


A new Student Profiles section started on the KIMAA website this year. Four students were profiled: Josh Darley, Turramurra Dojo Little Lion; Eliza Bolger, Aspley Dojo Little Lion; Sempai James Campbell, Turramurra Dojo Nidan; and Ayla Calnan, Ballina Dojo Little Lion. These profiles will continue in 2015. These are to complement the Karate instructor and Kobudo instructor profiles already on this website, building the reputation of what KIMAA is all about: its students. It is also for the stories of these exemplar students to be shared across dojos and to motivate one another to keep pushing and training harder.

Shihan Bob Boulton

On December 2nd, Shihan Bob Boulton sadly passed away. Shihan Boulton was an early student of Sosai Mas Oyama at the Honbu in Tokyo and brought Kyokushin to the United Kingdom in the 1960s. Shihan Boulton then moved to Australia and was responsible for the martial arts training and development of KIMAA President Shihan Howard Lipman. May he rest in peace.

Looking forward

There is a lot to look forward to in 2015 for all KIMAA dojos. This includes a fast-approaching Japan group tour in March, for training with Sensei Hokama and competing in an international Kyokushin tournament.

Your instructor will advise you of which dates your dojo is closed over the holiday period, or of your holiday training timetable.

Annangrove Dojo will stay open on Monday nights, with training at 6.30-8.00pm on the 22nd and 29th of December. Turramurra Dojo will reopen on Monday the 5th of January.

KIMAA instructors wish their students a safe and happy holiday season.

KIMAA's head instructors: Sempai Jon, Sensei Mark, Shihan Lipman, Shihan Cunningham & Sempai Rob
KIMAA’s head instructors: Sensei Jon, Sensei Mark, Shihan Lipman, Shihan Cunningham & Sempai Rob – April 2014

Sydney Kobudo – December 21, 2014

Kobudo training in Sydney wrapped up for 2014 on the 21st of December.

The December classes had been focused on revising the Sydney group’s entire repertoire of weapons – Bo, Sai, Eeku, Jō, Kama and other traditional weapons – and the various Kata.

2014 had been a year of consolidating knowledge after the 2013 Okinawan trip, focusing on perfecting technique and honing application. Some new Kobudo grades were awarded in August as a reflection of the consistent, hard training.

There will be a group trip to Okinawa in March 2015, including further training with Sensei Tetsuhiro Hokama (10th Dan).

Sydney Kobudo classes resume January 11, 2015.

December 2014: Sempai Jessica Den (1st Dan Kyokushin, 1st Dan Kobudo), Sempai James Campbell (2nd Dan Kyokushin, 1st Dan Kobudo), Sempai Mark Shelmerdine (4th Dan Kyokushin, 3rd Dan Kobudo), Shihan Rick Cunningham (6th Dan Kyokushin, 5th Dan Kobudo), Sensei Paul Finnerty (4th Dan Kyokushin, 2nd Dan Kobudo), Sensei Ian Holdaway (3rd Dan Kyokushin, 1st Kyu Kobudo) & Sempai Alex Lloyd (2nd Dan Kyokushin, 1st Kyu Kobudo)
December 2014: Sempai Jessica Den, Sempai James Campbell, Sensei Mark Shelmerdine, Shihan Rick Cunningham, Sensei Paul Finnerty, Sensei Ian Holdaway & Sempai Alex Lloyd

Sydney Gradings – December 10, 2014

On December 10th, Shihan Howard Lipman held two Karate gradings at Turramurra Dojo.

First was a Kids grading, followed later in the evening by an Adults junior kyu grading.

The belts and certificates were awarded to students on December 19th, the final night of training for 2014 at Turramurra. The grading results are available below.

Click here for the grading results for December 10.

Congratulations to all who passed.

Knox Karate Demonstration & Annual BBQ – November 15, 2014

Knox Karate students held a demonstration for parents at the school on Saturday November 15, the end of their sports term for 2015.

Students from the senior school performed some basics and Taikoyoku sono Ich.

Senior students Karan Mehroke, Hani Rifai, Clayton Ho and Vincent Su then did the kata ‘straight through’. Following this, they performed Tsukino. Clayton and Vincent also demonstrated some self-defence techniques.

The group was led by Sempai Alex Lloyd, who also explained the Karate and practical application to parents. After the demonstration, Shihan Howard Lipman awarded new belts and certificates to those who were successful at the previous weekend’s grading.

Once the formalities were over, Knox held a BBQ for all to enjoy.

The Prep School Karate students received their certificates and belts on Friday November 14, at their final training session for the year.

Shihan Lipman’s wife, Masumi, kindly inscribed each Knox student’s name in Japanese on their belt, which was most appreciated by the boys.

Knox Karate classes resume at the beginning of first term 2015. Knox students are invited to train in the general classes over the holiday period.

IFKKA Tournament – November 9, 2014

This post has been updated with a new video that now includes footage of Angus Sweeney competing.

Shihan Doug Turnbull (6th Dan) of the International Federation of Karate Kyokushinkai Australia held a contact Karate tournament on Sunday November 9. The tournament was held at Tempe Public School.

Shihan Howard Lipman (8th Dan) entered three students from his Turramurra Dojo: Angus Sweeney (1st Kyu), Victor Sweeney (2nd Kyu) and Zac Zibaee (4th Kyu). The Sweeney brothers have been training with Shihan Lipman at Turramurra for many years. Zac began his Karate training at Knox Grammar Prep School Karate, under Shihan Lipman and Sempai Alex Lloyd (2nd Dan), and now trains with Shihan Lipman and Sensei James Sidwell (4th Dan) at the regular classes at Turramurra as well as Knox Karate.

The above shows footage of Victor competing, then Angus and then Zac.

None of these three young KIMAA karateka had competed in a tournament before, but all performed admirably. Angus placed Second in the Cadet Male Heavy Weight division, Victor placed Third in the Boys 14-15 years over 70kg, and Zac placed Second in the Boys 11-14 years 40-45kg. Some photos of the day are below.

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Congratulations to these students. A special mention goes to young Zac, who fought in the tournament after attempting the Knox Karate grading with the Senior School the day before. Thanks also go to Stephen Runge for coaching on the day, and Sempai Alex for filming and photographing the event for KIMAA. Angus, Victor and Zac represented KIMAA well and made their instructors proud.

The following article and photo was sent to Shihan Lipman and other entrants from Sensei Jenny Fuller, President of the IFKKA:

We had a great day today at the IFKKA Interclub Tournament Round 6 Full Contact Kumite Individuals and a special Clicker Kumite event for the Juniors. With 35 entries, we had students from three other Kyokushin organisations entered. It was a great day and we were treated to some excellent displays clicker and full contact fighting.


Thank you to Shihan Howard Lipman (Kyokushin International Martial Arts Australia) Sensei Alicia Smith and Senpai Rob Smith (Young Tigers Dojo, Kyokushin World Federation), and Sensei Graeme Rose CCK Dojo (Kyokushin Union). Your support for our event is very much appreciated.

For full results from today click here. It will be interesting to see how the overall series Champions results pan out for 2014, as today’s event may have decided some of the final results. The results will be announced at the IFKKA End of Year dinner to be held on Saturday 22nd November at the Ottoman Turkish Restaurant. For details of THAT event click here.

A day such as today cannot be possible without our helpers and we need many. Thank you to :

  • those who transported and set up the venue yesterday (Saturday) and then again transported the mats back to Petersham after the event: Shihan Doug, Sensei Shah, Senpai André, Chris Spencer, Jack Britton, Ken Randhawa, Eddy Noujaim, Simon Allaway, Anthony Zamattia, and Robbie Simmons.
  • the ring officials: Shihan Doug, Sensei Shah, Sensei Graeme Rose, Senpai André, Senpai Ben, Senpai Shigemi, & Franc Pujono,.
  • the table officials: Diane Deller and Chris Spencer.
  • to Casey & Chris Mardoquio, Meagan Salmond, and of course Louie for setting up and running the sausage sizzle. Well done and we did sell out! Gross takings on the sausages and drinks were $333.
  • our raffle sellers Nisha Hewitt and Kris Parekh. We raised $137 from the raffle. Every little bit helps towards the fund raising for the international competition travel!

Once again thank you to all for helping. Without you we cannot give our students the opportunity to enter and demonstrate what they are learning in the dojo. I must say I always love watching how the students from all the dojo are developing in their karate.


Brisbane Seminar – November 8-9, 2014

Sempai Rob James (2nd Dan), head instructor of Aspley Dojo, hosted a KIMAA Kyokushin and Kobudo seminar in Brisbane on the weekend of November 8-9. Shihan Rick Cunningham (6th Dan Kyokushin, 5th Dan Kobudo) travelled up from Sydney to teach at the event. Sensei Mark McFadden and Patricia Tan came up from Lismore, and Will Brook from Byron Bay, to participate as well.

The class spent the Saturday afternoon practising basics, kumite drills, pressure points, self-defence applications and kata.

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On Sunday the group focused on Kobudo, learning new kata and applications with the Bo staff. The group enjoyed some outdoor training in the lovely weather.

Thanks again to Shihan Cunningham for teaching at the seminar and to Sempai Rob for hosting. These regular catch-ups between dojos are vital for sharing knowledge and increasing standards across all of KIMAA.

Knox Karate Grading – November 8, 2014

The Karate students of Knox Grammar School attempted a grading on their final Saturday sports session for the year. KIMAA President and Knox head instructor Shihan Howard Lipman (8th Dan) assessed the students at Turramurra Dojo. The grading was taken by former Knox student and Karate coach Sempai Alex Lloyd (2nd Dan), with Knox alumni and current coaches Sempai Nick Cheng (1st Kyu) and Sempai Simon Emmerson (2nd Kyu) assisting.

The Senior School began in the morning, with their grading going for several hours. Standout performances were by young James Tan, Zac Zibaee and Jay Stubbs. These boys are in fact Knox Prep students who, due to their skill and dedication to their training, graded with the older boys.

Senior School Grading Group
Senior School Grading Group

The Prep School students went next, and also performed well. Long-time student Hugh Graham led the pack, while beginner Mark Guvlekjian gave all those above him new standards to strive for in flexibility.

Prep School Grading Group
Prep School Grading Group

The results for both gradings are listed below:

RESULTS: Knox High School Grading Saturday November 8th

RESULTS: Knox Prep School Grading Saturday November 8th

The Senior School grading results will be presented by Shihan Lipman at a BBQ Presentation and Demonstration morning at Knox on Saturday November 15 at 9am, instead of normal training. The BBQ will be held at the Lawson PE Centre at the Senior School.

The Prep School will have their final training session for the term on Friday November 14, and receive their results then.

KIMAA’s Knox instructors extend a happy holiday season to all of the Knox students and look forward to seeing them back next year.

Sempai Alex Lloyd (2nd Dan), Shihan Howard Lipman (8th Dan), Sempai Nick Cheng (1st Kyu)
Sempai Alex Lloyd (2nd Dan), Shihan Howard Lipman (8th Dan), Sempai Nick Cheng (1st Kyu)