News - Out and about in the World of GKR
2001-2, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December.
DECEMBER - UPDATE 1
The first weekend in December saw the National All Styles 2007 Australian Championships take place in Sydney at Homebush. The 30 member GKR South Australian Tournament Team had a fantastic result over the 2 days of competition, smashing all records by previous teams. At the end of competition on the Sunday, the team had gathered 6 National Titles, five second places, five third places, three fourth places and for the first time, South Australia had won the NAS President's Cup for Best Performing State. We also had our first representative in the Saturday Night Extreme Spectacular, taped by Fox Sports, with Jeremy Thompson and Daniel Tregenza competing. Former Team member, now in Victoria, Tash Hammersley also participated.
For a full report, the results and lots of photos, check out Tournament Revue and for a day by day update of the trip, checkout the Sydney 2007 Blog.
NOVEMBER - UPDATE 3
With a new qualifying criteria for the 2007 GKR Australian Championships, it seemed to place new importance in attending the National Tournament in the Whitlam Centre at Liverpool, Sydney, and this was reflected in the largest South Australian representation for many years. Around 30 Tournament Team members and 12 non-team students made up the SA contingent and they certainly made their presence felt.
The day started with the traditional march in of GKR hierarchy and officials, followed by State contingents behind their respective flags. Following opening speeches, competition began on the 16 rings. During the morning session, it was mainly Juniors and the lower kyu grade seniors. During the lunch break, there were three demonstrations - a group led by Shihan performed Kata Bassai-dai Bunkei, Sensei Nabil Fanous and a large group of NSW senior Instructors performed a humorous choreographed fight scene and Kancho demonstrated Makiwara techniques and a Tile Break. Senior competition continued in the afternoon, with team events plus finals in the evening. It was a long day with the final events and presentations not finishing until around 1030pm.
South Australian Competitors had a great day, taking out six National Titles, three second places, five third places and four fourth places. Congratulations to all who represented SA on achieving a fantastic result for our state. A full report, results and many more photos are available in Tournament Revue. An article is also in Region 9 mini-site news.
NOVEMBER - UPDATE 2
Saturday 17th November was a special day in the GKR History book with the
attempting for the first time of a public student to grade to Yondan. As well,
several other students were either attempting to grade or being looked at for a
future opportunity. This all made for a greatly anticipated Black Belt
Grading Class. The day
started off with a power cut so the hall was a bit dark but that didn't stop the
anticipation of all present, either participating or watching.
Jeremy Thompson warmed the class up with a brisk routine before handing over to Sensei James Gray who took the class through punches and strikes. Sensei Matt Sullivan took over for blocks, both RMs using multi-technique sequences to test the students. Following a quick drinks break, Jeremy took leg stretching, followed by Sensei Matt for stances, as Sensei Mark Case readied for kicks. Sensei Mark took the class through stages for the four kicks, before working the class through a long kicks workout, using combinations of kicks and punches to really test the students.
Another quick drinks break was followed by Sensei Mark, Sensei James and Sensei Matt each taking a Combo's session, all a bit different and working the students hard. The student group was then broken into four groups, each concentrating on appropriate kata for their belt level. Sensei Matt's group worked on Saifa and Bassai-dai, Sensei James's group on Seiunchin and Empi, Sensei Mark took the Sepei group and Shihan took the Shodans and above through Kururunfa. Each Senior Sensei took their group through the fine points of their respective kata. For instance Shihan took some time explaining the difference in the raising of the leg for the sidekick in Kururunfa compared to the side kick in Bassai-dai. This group also went through the higher grade kata in brief before another drinks break.
Time for the serious stuff now as the grading students, and a few being looked at for future gradings, faced the assessment panel for their grade kata. First up, the 1st kyus performed Sanseru whilst the Black Belts performed Hangetsu. This was followed by all students performing Sepei. Then it was time for Daniel and Darren to work through their grade kata, until Daniel was alone out the front to perform the 3rd Dan kata, Seisan and Sochin.
Time for Sparring and following an initial bouts, the groups were broken up into below 1st kyu and 1st kyu and above. This was then broken up into Black Belt only with finally only Darren and Daniel remaining. Darren faced Shihan and Daniel Sensei Mark. A long 5 minute bout followed with some very strong sparring displayed by all four. Then it was time for Shihan to face Daniel. Backwards and forwards across the floor, the two provided the onlookers with an awesome display, while at the same time showed great respect for the other's abilities.
Finally Yame and it was time for discussion between the grading panel before the bow out and announcements made. There were 7 people up for assessment and one by one their names were read out as successful. Congratulations to Jessica Dubois and Bernie Rousell for grading to Shodan-ho, Russell McQuade, Sara Roach and Geoff Tynan, all were successful in grading to Shodan, Darren Twining to Sandan and Daniel Tregenza to Yondan.
Following the presentation, Shihan commented on how important it was to maintain focus and concentrate on correct techniques at all times. It is also important for each student to not compare themselves to other students, but to do your best all the time.
NOVEMBER - UPDATE 1
Early November and Zone Director Sensei Mark Case was in town for his regular
visit. This time it was Region 9's turn to have Sensei Mark attend Senior Class.
Due to the change of the Black Belt Grading to a Saturday morning, the class was
a Black belt Grading preparation for several students and also an assessment for
Gareth Davies as he was unable to attend the Saturday Grading. Sensei Mark took
the class through a very long and hard session, taking the opportunity to push
those people being assessed. Punches, strikes, blocks and kicks were all
included in combinations pushing everyone to
the limit. Kata was followed by kumite and some quite strong bouts were displayed. Gareth faced Sensei Matt and then Sensei Mark to finish the sparring session and after over 2 hours, it was over. Sensei Mark announced that Gareth was successful and presented him with his Shodan-ho certificate and Black Belt. Congratulations Gareth.
OCTOBER - UPDATE 1
Sunday 14th was NAS State Championships, and the GKR Tournament Team did the Club proud in picking up 54 placing's, including 17 State Championship Titles. Best performance on the day was by Jenny Miller who took out three State Titles plus a second. Crystal Spencer was another multiple winner with Titles in Continuous Sparring and Female Sparring in her age group, plus a third in mixed Forms. Alan Gillert won Sparring and also Senior Demonstrations with Jeremy Thompson, to take out two titles as well as a second in Forms. The Coaches were well pleased with the results, with 27 of the 29 competitors taking out at least one place in individual or team events and the two to miss out, both had two fourth places. Jake Wilson took out both events in his age division. A great effort all round. Please refer to Tournament Revue for a full report and results.
Around 60 Instructors and Senior Students attended the Combined Senior
Class on Tuesday 9th October with Shihan Stacey Karetsian. We have
been pretty lucky this year with both combined Special Classes and Region only
Senior training taken by Kancho, Shihan and ZD Sensei Mark Case, each one
concentrating on different facets of training away from the normal senior class
After a brief introduction, Shihan used Tailkoku Shodan as a warm up, with several run throughs, changing the block, punch and stance until it became quite a complex "kata" compared to the norm. He then moved on to Taikyoku Nidan. Shihan emphasised the correct hip, knee and foot placement in the kata to demonstrate the use of kata in kumite training. Recent discussion has been on the placing of the knee over the toes more than the ankle and this was evident in the way he demonstrated the correct way to move through, disguising the kick in kumite.
Saifa was briefly gone through as this kata had been focussed on in previous classes. Much of the rest of the evening concentrated on Kata Bassai-dai and application practice from this kata. Shihan's regular uke partner in demonstrations, Darren Twining, once again was called upon to assist Shihan in explaining the applications behind the moves, quite often with a bit of humour thrown in. Students paired off to practice for about five minutes for each application while Shihan, Sensei James Gray and Sensei Matt Sullivan moved around the room assisting pairs.
Seiunchin was next with the area most under focus being the collar grip break in the first triple sequence of moves. Shihan, with the assistance of Darren, showed the importance and reasoning behind keeping the arms close to the chest as the grip was broken to ensure that the attacker's hands wrists did not slip out of the hold. Following practice of this application, the class was broken into 4th kyu and below to work on Bassai-dai with sensei Matt, Shihan took the five Dan grades who are looking to grade to higher Dan grades later this year to work with them on their kata, while Sensei James, with the assistance of John McDonald, took the remainder of the group through the higher kata.
The class lasted around 2.5 hours and was an example of how to make time fly. The information provided and the way in which Shihan teaches it, is certainly well worth while. We are lucky in Adelaide that with Kancho and Shihan having close family ties here, we do tend to see a lot more of them than other regions in the GKR world. Something that we should relish.
SEPTEMBER - UPDATE 1
The 2007 GKR State Championships were held on Sunday 23rd September
and although successfully run as always by the Region 23 Team, definitely were a
bit flat compared to recent Tournaments. Tournament Director Sensei James Gray
had booked the usual venue at Marion but the late notification of the
requirement to hold the tournament on this "National Day of Tournaments", meant
that the usual venue of Marion was unavailable. With only a short time to secure
a venue, it was a case of take the best of what was available. Unfortunately,
the Aberfoyle Park venue was too small, lacked atmosphere, had cramped spectator
facilities and was just a bit too far away to encourage those other than die
hard Region 9 students to enter. Despite this, effective use was made of the
area and with permission of Sensei James and Stadium management, the Tournament
Team Chefs were able to run a very successful BBQ. Another great programming
improvement was the Male and Female Open events being run after lunch in the
same ring so everyone could support both the Guys and Gals showcasing their
Despite the lower numbers, there was as always some great Karate on display across all events. Open Male Kata was won by Alan Gillert from Daniel Tregenza with Beau Beaumont third. Female Open was won by Kirsty Kane, from Cheryl Beck with Michelle Lawrence third. A decimated Male Open ended up with only four competitors, due to injury and absent regulars. Daniel Tregenza faced Jeremy Thompson in one semi-final with Daniel taking the points. In the other semi-final, Craig Spencer faced Russell McQuade, with Craig proving that size does count in winning that bout. Jeremy took on Russell for third place with Jeremy taking the bout. In a tight final, Daniel outlasted Craig with the lead going first one way and then the other before Daniel came out the winner. Female Open was a tighter event with Michelle Lawrence out pointing Sara Roach in the final. Cheryl Beck took out third place.
Colts saw a double to Alan Gillert and Crystal Spencer who both took out Kata and Kumite in their respective divisions, whilst in Veterans, Male Kata and Kumite was also a double, being won by Daniel Tregenza. Female Veteran Kata saw Kirsty Kane take out the event from Cheryl Beck with Julie Tynan third. In Female Veteran Sparring, Julie Tynan won the final from Barbara Hessellschwerdt, with Cheryl Beck third. Male Senior Veteran Kata was won by Erik Juhl, with Steve Burford taking out the kumite.
A highlight of the day, following the lunch break, was the excellent demonstration of Syncronised Kata Unsu by Daniel Tregenza, Alan Gillert and Jeremy Thompson, who are preparing this kata for the NAS Nationals.
Male Team kumite lacked the drama of last tournament with the Salisbury Team winning over a pickup Team of R9 misfits. Female Team Kumite saw some great bouts with the decision going down to the final point of the last bout. Male Team Kata was won by the Team of Daniel Tregenza, Alan Gillert and Beau Beaumont. In Female Team kata, in a repeat of the last tournament, Cheryl Beck, Michelle Lawrence & Julie Tynan tied with Tania Tregenza, Jess Dubois and Barbara Hessellschwerdt for first place but this time Cheryl, Michelle and Julie came out on top after a second kata.
Sincere thanks to Sensei James Gray for providing full results from the
Tournament and to Sean Squire for providing photographs that appear in
Tournament revue. To read the Review and full results, go to
Congratulations to Danielle Copini on a milestone birthday. Danni recently turned 18 and celebrated with a "Pirate" theme birthday party. She will be remembered by longer training members as a very keen and skilled student. Danni was the youngest Shodan in the GKR world at the time of her grading and represented the Club exceptionally well in NAS, both locally and on the National stage. Many of the guests got into the theme, with some quite elaborate costumes. Pictured left is Danni with her father Robin. Yes, the mullet had returned, but only for the night.
AUGUST - UPDATE 1
News from our Victorian Correspondent Natasha Hammersley about the recent Victorian GKR State Team special Training Session with former WKF Champion Junior LeFevre. Junior did a three year series of two month visits to Australia for the Australian Karate Federation from 2002003 - 2005 and when recently in Victoria conducted a 4 hour session with the Victorian Team. The seminar focused on sparring and take-downs, especially important as the direction of GKR Tournament training and style is heading closely towards an AKF approach.
I have three words to describe Junior's talent... "Oh my god!" There's nothing more humbling than learning a new style of karate ("sports karate" from one of the worlds best - hmmm, to say I felt like a white belt is an understatement!! He's coming back early next year - and I think he usually does a seminar or two in SA - and I could not recommend more highly that all of you guys attend! Tash
Following the seminar with WKF World Champ Junior LeFevre, I had my picture taken with him and some other participants. From left to right: Sensei Nick Wee, Sensei Jason Knight, Sensei Junior LeFevre, me, Violetta Toth and Sensei Morgan Abouzeid (Victorian AKF State/National Coach). Tash
Region 9 recently held a very successful mini-Tournament with around 80 entries. For many it was their first tournament and all are keen to enter the September State Tournament to be held on Sunday 23rd September at Aberfoyle Park. For a full report, results and photos of the mini-Tournament, visit the Region 9 website.
JULY - UPDATE 3
As many Region 9 people already know, Sensei Nigel Harris has been appointed as been appointed as Assistant Region Manager to Region 28 where he will work under RM Sensei Luke Carruthers. Region 28 in Victoria currently encompasses Geelong and Ballarat and Sensei Nigel will be responsible for opening a new sub-region in Bendigo. It is a great opportunity for Sensei Nigel as he will be opening up a new area for GKR Karate and the experience will greatly enhance his opportunities in the GKR professional path. Around 30 people attended an informal farewell for Sensei Nigel and his family last Saturday night where the feature of the evening was a audio-visual presentation compiled by Sensei Cheryl Beck (Dernancourt) highlighting Sensei Nigel's time in Adelaide. Sensei Matt Sullivan gave praise to Sensei Nigel's work ethic, his commitment to GKR and assistance to Region 9, and his best wishes for the future. Several of the Instructors present were actually introduced to GKR by Sensei Nigel. All in Region 9 wish Sensei Nigel the best for the future and thank him for his time in this region.
The "World Cup Special Edition" of the Shimbun is now out and features results, reports, photos and articles from the recent GKR Fourth World Cup. See your Dojo Sensei for a copy. A full review is available in "Shimbun".
JULY - UPDATE 2
Almost prophetic, only a few days after writing the previous update, came a text message from Sensei Matt advising that there will be a combined Senior Class with Kancho, hosted by Region 23. Unfortunately, I could not attend but Daniel Tregenza has written his take on the evening in his own imitable style.
The combined Senior Training of Thursday 19th was held down close to the
South Pole in R23. Due to the relatively short notice (and the permafrost common
to this area) numbers travelling from north were not as high as usual to take
part in the training session conducted by Kancho.
The session began with a fashion quite common to Kancho's classes with slow and purposeful movements serving as a warm up for both body and brain. As we progressed the pace was increased and more focus introduced in the technique. Kancho here began stressing the importance of stance and overall concentration in the correct performance of technique that carried through the entire session.
From these combinations the whole class was taken through kata Ni Kan Te. The technique in this kata is unique and demonstrates a practical but simple series of applications that are very much similar to the kumite style of Kancho that we are familiar with . The time passed quickly and the kata portion of the class was completed with Sensei Matt demonstrating the full kata.
The session then moved on to kumite with the focus of the training to develop practically effective technique. This involved both slow and hard jyu kumite. With this warmer end to the session the class concluded with a show of appreciation for Kancho's effort in training us despite his obvious discomfort from a shoulder injury.
From there everyone loaded up their Husky's and sleds and enjoyed a catch up at that most intimate of southern establishments, Macca's.
The class implemented our understanding (or absence of) basic technique and movement into an unfamiliar pattern, this providing a useful change from what can be physical workouts with less thought.
Happy 3rd Birthday to Alliesha, elder daughter of Sensei Matt and Kylie Sullivan and also to David, son of R23's Jo and Michael Shrapnel.
JULY - UPDATE 1
One of the advantages that Adelaide students have, is that Sensei Matt Sullivan is the Region 9 Manager. As a result, we do get a lot more opportunities to train with Kancho than many other regions due to family visits and Sensei Matt always tries to involve Kancho in a class while he is here. Another lucky break for us is that Shihan Stacey Karetsian's extended family also live in Adelaide so we also get a few extra visits from him each year. Shihan was in Adelaide last week and took a combined Senior class of around 80 students while he was here. The focus this time was on kata performance with only one spot of bunkai practice. Shihan started the class with several variations of stances. blocks and stikes to the pattern of Taikyoku Shodan. During this he emphasised the need for correct posture during turns, especially the 180 degree turns with a look over the shoulder first. Saifa was next and then Bassai-dai followed with two segments of Bunkai from this kata - the grab and wristlock with kick following the kokutsu-dachi sequence and a variation of the double chudan uchi-uke early in the kata demonstrated as a block on the first block but an arm lock/trap on the second block The class broke off into pairs to try these sequences. Following the resumption, Shihan took the Black Belt group through Hangetsu, whilst Sensei matt Sullivan and Sensei James Gray took a group each through Sepei and Bassai-dai. Shihan then worked with the higher Dan grades through the second and third Dan Kata. It was a very useful session for all students but especially for the higher grades who had over an hour working in a small group with Shihan. As usual, the session lasted for about 2.5 hours but just flew.
Results from the fourth GKR World Cup are now available on the official GKR Karate site and can be downloaded in pdf format. A special edition of the Shimbun will be available soon with a comprehensive coverage of the event, plenty of photos and interviews with the winners of the major events. A report compiled from various sources, including Natasha Hammersley, has been added to Tournament Revue.
JUNE - UPDATE 2
A Big Night Out recently for 17 Adelaide students when they had the opportunity to be assessed by Sensei Mark Case for their Shodan-ho or Shodan grades at the mid year Adelaide Black Belt Grading.. As usual, Dojo Instructors and senior students joined the grading class to make it a big night. Kirsty Kane put the class through a rigorous warm up before handing over to Sensei James Gray for punches and strikes. Sensei James ran an up tempo session with a mix of "in stance" and moving through sequences. Sensei Matthew Sullivan then took over for blocks and followed a similar format. Time for kicks and after a stretching session led by Sensei Matthew, Sensei Mark took the class through a solid session, ending with a multi kick combination which tested many students. Back to Sensei Matthew and Sensei James for combinations and both came up with some unique combos whilst a few old favourites also were used.
Time for kata and Sensei James and Sensei Matthew each took the class through a pair of kata as the group gradually moved up the list - Saifa, Bassai-dai, Sanseru, Sepei. Once the grading kata for the assessing students was reached, Sanseru, Sepei and Hangetsu, only they remained on the floor as they were put through their paces. The three Sensei conferred and then it was time for Kumite. The 17 grading students lined up, with an equal number of Black Belts opposite them. In a slight change to previous grading's, there were fewer but longer bouts which really tested all involved. Some excellent sparring, with some interesting techniques, was on display during the session and all were relieved when the final bout was finished.
Time to line up for the announcement of the successful candidates. Sensei Mark put a few worried looks on peoples faces as he said that there were some students who needed to work on a few thing and then the presentations began. The final bow out and the class was over. Plenty of congratulations all round as all students had passed - a group photo finished the night.
Congratulations on grading to Shodan-ho to Kerry Edwards, Michelle Lawrence, Jo Schrapnel, Julie Tynan, Steve Wilson, Paul Waclawik, Russell Dimech, Daniel Spencer and Justin Wickens. Congratulations on grading to Shodan to Warren Evans, Steve Burford, Crystal Spencer, Cheryl Beck, Nigel Harris, Karim Ghaoui, Roula Ghaoui and Dave Collins.
JUNE - UPDATE 1
Yeah - back on line with my new PC, thanks to Jeremy who built the system for me. For those technically minded, it is powered by an Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 4200+, with 2 Gig of DDR2 RAM and has a Radeon X1950 Pro Video Card (256meg). Absolutely flies compared to my old one. Hence I can now get stuck into all the updates of Tournament News and Photos, process some video for the Download section and all the other bits that need doing.
Big night coming up soon for Region 9 and Region 23 students with the mid year Black Belt Assessment taking place on Tuesday 19th June at Underdale High School Gym. There are students getting ready for Shodan-ho, Shodan and Nidan assessments, whilst others will be looked at for what will be a big one at the end of the year with possible Sandan and Yondan Assessments.
Round 2 of the 2007 NAS Season took place on Sunday 27th May, with a large Team representing GKR Karate. For many it was their debut Tournament representing the Club in outside Tournaments and there were some great results on the day from Pee Wees through to Veterans. Subject to final confirmation, team members took out 21 first places, 20 second places and 12 third places. Multiple first places on the day went to Daniel Tregenza, Jasmine Harford and Crystal Spencer. For a full report and lots of photos, go to Tournament Revue.
I am sure many people regularly read Lesley McDonald's Blog. I have now been able to add her last four entries and are well worth a read to keep up with her time as an English Teacher in Japan. Certainly an opportunity for any young person to consider. To catch up with the latest, go to "Tales of an English Teacher". John McDonald also was recently in Japan on holiday and to read about his trip and lots of photos, check out "Tales of an English Teacher's father on Holiday in Japan".
For those who haven't come across it yet, check out the great tribute to Kancho Robert Sullivan on Youtube. The "myGKR" production is well worth a look, with many photos from Kancho's own collection included. To go there, follow this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmggQpBAzIE
MAY - UPDATE 2
Been a while since the last update as my main PC has died and it has taken a while to get my back up one set up to update the website. It has been a busy month with the GKR Tournament followed the next weekend with the Inaugural Tournament Team Quiz Night. Around 150 people attended the night at Club Marion and it was a huge success, both as a night and as a fund raiser. Just over $1600 was raised and all funds will go towards the Team Travel Fund to assist team members to attend both the GKR and NAS Nationals in Sydney in late November, early December this year. Quiz Master, Michelle Lawrence, did a great job in preparing the questions and also the Power Point display which enabled all questions to be presented on the wall mounted plasma screens for easy viewing. Sean Squire and Mark Lawrence very capably did the job of marking the Round Sheets and the Special Question Sheets, while Jodie Sheriff, Paul Dimech and Peter Thompson kept the coins rolling into the buckets with games and raffle tickets throughout the night. A special thankyou to Jackie Probert who arranged the Venue Free of Charge. It was a fantastic team effort and thanks go to the "event team" and all those people who donated prizes and supported the event by attending on the night. Congratulations to the Winning Table, led by Kate Jamieson and Jo Schrapnel. Already five tables have been booked for the next Quiz Night which is currently being planned for around the end of July. This one will be held in the north side of town but not too far out.
Sunday May 27th is Round 2 of the 2007 National All Styles Tournament Circuit and around 40 Team members will be competing. Starting at 09.00 am with the Juniors, it promises to be a great day with many new Team members making their Tournament debut. Venue is the St. Clair Recreation Centre, Woodville Road, Woodville. Come along and support your GKR representatives.
Saturday 26th May is Special Class Day in both Adelaide Regions. Contact your Dojo Sensei for full details or the Region 9 and Region 23 websites.
GKR Tournament Photos are gradually being added to the Tournament Revue page, thanks to Sean Squire and John McDonald. Full results and a comprehensive report will be posted soon.
MAY - UPDATE 1
Time for the first GKR Tournament for the year and it was yet another well run Tournament by Sensei James Gray and his R23 team. The day ran really well with the only suggestion for change being the Male and Female Open events to not run at the same time. There was some high quality Karate on display from all divisions with some great highlights. The Blue Ribbon events of the day were as usual the Male and Female Open and the Senior Teams. In the Female event, Catherine Wilkinson won the Kata from Cheryl Beck, with Michelle Lawrence third. Sparring was keenly contested with Michelle winning the event, Catherine second and Cheryl third. Male Kata was of a very high standard with little separating the top contenders. Darren Twining won the event from Alan Gillert with Daniel Tregenza third. Male Sparring was the highlight of the day with a very strong field. The final came down to Jeremy Thompson against Alan Gillert. Alan took an early lead but Jeremy came back to win by 1/2 point. For third place, Daniel Tregenza prevailed over Craig Spencer. A few winners on the day were Alan Gillert who won both Kata and Kumite in Male Colts, as did Daniel Tregenza in Veterans. Nick Mermelengas was also a double winner in senior Veterans. The South Male Kumite Team won over the Modbury Team whilst in the Female Teams, the mixed R9/R23 Team made up of members from the Tournament Team came up winners over the R9 Girls Team. Both Male and Female Syncronised Kata went to Region 9 Teams. Junior Sync Kata went to the Tournament Team members of Russell Dimech, Jason Spiteri and Cameron Hill. Full results and report will appear in Tournament Revue soon, along with plenty of photos.
My thanks to Sean Squire for providing pictures almost immediately after the Tournament, greatly appreciated.
APRIL - UPDATE 1
Tuesday afternoon at work, message arrives on the mobile from Sensei Matt - "Make sure you attend Tuesday Night Senior Class, there will be a few special guests". Interesting, Sensei Mark Case is in town this week, wonder who else will be there. Perhaps Shihan is still in town. I will find out when I get there I suppose. Well, it wasn't Shihan but Kancho who was the other mystery guest. Kancho had just completed the second day of his 21 day around Australia flight by Helicopter and had timed his trip so he could be in Adelaide on a Tuesday night. Day 1 had been travelling from Sydney with an overnight camp stop on the beach at Geelong, with day 2 the flight to Adelaide. From Adelaide, Kancho and his travelling companions were taking three days to get to Perth. On to Port Headland, across to Darwin, down to Katherine, across into Queensland and up Cape York to Thursday Island, and down the East Coast to Sydney, completes the trip. When Kancho was in Adelaide in February, he was discussing the trip with a few people. It was a dream of his to do this before he was 60 years old so this year was the year.
The actual class was quite interesting. Kancho took the seniors present through his daily training regime. First up was some warm ups with a block punch combination. This was followed by five kick on each leg of the four basic kicks. This was followed by the first four kata. Instead of the Makiwara punches at home, there were two rounds of free sparring. This was repeated three times, covering all kata. Sensei Mark took the opportunity to watch the higher grades who are preparing for the mid year Black Belt Grading. Following the end of the class, a discussion on teaching habits, class protocol and formats ensued. A very different class and much enjoyed by all those attending, especially those who had the opportunity to spar Kancho.
Shihan Stacey Karetsian was in Adelaide visiting his family and took the opportunity whilst here to hold a special training session for the Instructors and Senior Student in Region 9 and 23. As has been the focus of his recent classes, Bunkai was again the focus of the session. The first two hours followed the same format of Shihan demonstrating applications on his willing assistant, Darren Twining, followed by the attendees working in pairs to practice the applications shown. The main point Shihan continually stressed was that there is no right or wrong in the applications practiced and he encouraged people to look at what they were working on with an open mind. Following a short break, Shihan had the group go through a couple of kata before splitting the group into two. The lower graded group worked on kata Seiunchin under the watchful eye of Sensei Matt Sullivan whilst the Black Belt group worked first on Kata Kururunfa and then the higher grade kata as decided by grade. Once again, time flew and it was quite late when the session ended, with all present thoroughly enjoying the night and learning a lot more about kata than the basic pattern.
Sensei James Gray and Sensei Matthew Sullivan have both recently completed Sensei Training Programs with several successful candidates in both Regions. Congratulations to all the participants and good luck with your teaching career. Region 9 also had a Senior Class Grading last Thursday with all successful in advancing another step towards their goal of Black belt. A special guest at the recent Region 9 Kata Seminar was Kancho Robert Sullivan. Kancho was in Adelaide on a private visit but took out the time to attend the Seminar, which was very well received by all attending. More in the Region 9 and Region 23 mini-sites.
MARCH - UPDATE 2
One of Victoria's top Tournament Competitors was in town recently on business and took the time to train at both Adelaide Regions Senior classes whilst here. Sensei Mark Farello, who trains and teaches in Region 8, in Melbourne's north trained with the Region 9 Senior Class on Tuesday night. It was Kumite week and the drills certainly tested all students out. At the end of the night Sensei Mark was amongst the Senior grades who sparred some demonstration bouts at the end of the session. On Thursday Sensei Mark travelled to R23 Senior class where he trained with the instructor group. It was a typical Sensei James class with a series of testing combinations that kept being added to. Kata followed and Sensei Mark worked with the Black Belt group on some of the higher level kata, showing the form that led him to making the final of the Male Open Kata competition at the 2006 Australasian Championships in Melbourne. A visit to Maccas afterwards with the usual group completed the night. Sensei Mark thoroughly enjoyed his training in Adelaide and looks forward to a later visit this year where he intends to train at the Advanced Class at Modbury.
Round 1 of the 2007 National All Styles Tournament Season was held on
Sunday 25th of March and a small team of 21 competitors from last year's squad,
competed. There were a number of new clubs competing and competition was
extremely tough in some divisions. The two big highlights of the day came from
Alan Gillert in the 16-17 year 4th kyu to Black belt division and Jeremy
Thompson in the Open Black Belt Male Division. In Forms, Alan tied for first
place but was relegated to second on a count back in a 10 person competition. In
sparring, Alan faced several very experienced fighters but powered though to win
the final comfortably in the end. This division was arguably even better than
the Open to watch. Jeremy led off the Open Forms event and led all the way until
the last competitor who just pipped his score. As Jeremy was the first
competitor, he had the opportunity to repeat his kata and, risking his second
place, pulled out all stops and scored even higher, winning the event. In
Sparring, he like Alan, faced several very good competitors and won a very
strong final bout to take out the double. Full results and lots of photos are in
To assist in getting as many people as possible to Sydney for the GKR and NAS National Tournaments at the end of the year in Sydney, a Fundraising Committee has been formed to assist in raising funds. The first is a Chocolate Drive which will be starting shortly and all Tournament Team members will be participating. Please support your Team representative, in either buying items or assisting in selling. The second event is a Quiz Night to be held on Saturday 12th May at the Club Marion Function Centre. Full details will be available soon. Get your Dojo to book a table and join in the competition. A second night to be held in a Region 9 locality will be held later in the year.
MARCH - UPDATE 1
The revised date for Round 1 of the South Australian GKR Tournament Season has been announced as Sunday May 6th. at the Marion Fitness and Leisure Centre, Oaklands Road, Morphettville. With qualifying now in place for the GKR Australasian Championships, it is important to enter these Tournaments to ensure your eligibility. All Age Groups and Grades are catered for from 7 & Under to Senior Veterans and from 8th Kyu to Open. Form a Syncronised Kata or Kumite Team to represent your Dojo. Entry Forms and Tournament Flyers are available from your Dojo Sensei. Entries close on Sunday 29th April. If you are looking for that extra edge, take advantage of the Modbury Advanced/Tournament Class on Wednesday nights, 8.30 - 10.00pm, under Sensei Jeremy Thompson.
FEBRUARY - UPDATE 2
Full results and photos from the 2006 GKR Australasian Championships are on the official GKR Karate site and can be downloaded in PDF format. Amongst the featured photos is SA competitor Jeremy Thompson. Eight new photos of SA competitors, courtesy of Shaun Williams, have also been loaded onto the Australasian Championships report on this site.
Around 45 people have been training for the past four weeks under Coaches Robin Copini and Jeremy Thompson every Sunday night from 6 - 8pm in preparation for the 2007 NAS Tournament Season. One of the innovations this year, has the introduction of footwork drills to replace skipping, but the pushups and sit ups still remain. There has been a lot of focus on teaching sparring techniques, with the majority of the class focusing on these at the moment. These include punch and kick drills, with also moving off the line drills. Each are demonstrated and then some time is spent in practice with the coaches moving around.
FEBRUARY - UPDATE 1
Tournament Team training is now in full swing with about 50 people training under Coach Sensei Robin Copini, assisted by Sensei Jeremy Thompson. With only four weeks to the first tournament of the NAS season, a preliminary team of last year's squad members has been selected to enter. The first Tournament is on Sunday 24th of March at St Clair Recreation Centre, Woodville, so come along to support your representatives.
It was a great session recently for the combined R9 and R23 Senior Classes when they were treated to a training session held by Kancho Robert Sullivan. Following a step though punch combo session, interspersed with lots of pushups, led by Sensei Matt Sullivan, Kancho took the group through an extended kicking session to prepare for the sparring drill session that followed. The first part focused on movement with a couple of drill, each expanding on the next. partners were rotated to through the drills to allow for different heights and sizes in opponents. Some half paced sparring came next, working with your partner to use the skills worked on previously. A few rounds of free sparring were followed by only all BBs, then Shodans, then Nidans until only the Sandans were left, Sensei Matt and Sensei Daniel, who put on a great exhibition. Definitely one of the best sessions that Kancho has led in Adelaide and he advised the class that he would be back later in the year for a public class. Afterwards John McDonald took photos of the entire class and then the Black Belts with Kancho. These photos can be ordered from John direct in R23 and via Peter Thompson in R9. Proceeds to the Tournament Team Travel Fund.
A few impressions on the night from attendees:
"It was good to hear Kancho’s thoughts on effectiveness in karate. I agree with him that at the end of the day a technique has a point to it, and should be learnt to be effective. Kumite drills were the focus of the class, and worked the core of kumite practise (that was my view anyway). That was awesome and I got a lot out of it." Shaun Williams
"Kancho was careful to point out that we should walk the line between excessive contact and "wishy washy" techniques. He emphasised, several times, the necessity for realistic techniques with the capacity to disable an antagonist" Gary Copolla
"The sparring at the end. WOW. That is EXACTLY what the general population of students needs to be able to see occasionally. Just watching higher grades spar in general (e.g. at a grading) isn't the same as watching them spar each other at full pace. Robin versus Darren. Darren versus Daniel. Daniel versus Seb. John versus Matt. I literally didn't know where to look, enjoyed it so much. AWESOME. One point there my head was doin' the ping-pong tennis match thing between the Oz/Darren and DTR9/Seb pair-ups. And watching them I could see about explosive, effective techniques." Sensei Michelle Lawrence
JANUARY - UPDATE 1
GKR State Tournament Team tryouts will be held on Sunday February 4th and 11th at Adelaide High School, West Terrace, Adelaide, commencing at 6pm. Normal Class Fees apply and Pre-paid Training is not applicable for Tournament Team Training. For further information, ask your Dojo Sensei for a Flyer or contact the Senior State Team Coach, Sensei James Gray. Prospective attendees can prepare by training at the Region 9 Advanced/Tournament Training Class at Modbury on Wednesday nights, where Sensei Jeremy Thompson takes the class.
Happy New Year to all GKR Instructors and Students. Wednesday 3rd of January saw the start of a brand new GKR Karate Training Year and although class numbers are smaller than normal, the dedicated student is already putting in the time to improve their karate skills.
A special beginning to the Year for the Sensei Group with Shihan Stacey Karetsian taking a Combined Senior Class at Seacombe High School on Thursday 11th January. Well attended by Instructors and Senior Students from both regions, it was a very different class, focusing on Kata and Bunkai. Here is Gary Copolla's report on the night.
The class itself was fantastic. If you haven't trained with
Shihan, I pity you... we went through Saifa, Bassai Dai and Seiunchin about a
dozen times each, with technical explanations in his remarkably plain, simple
and self-effacing way. We then did bunkai applications for parts of the 2 Goju
kata, and Shihan made several points.
1 Applications can vary. What may be a head block and a groin strike may also be a block and punch, a grab, etc .
2 His exact words: "There is no right and wrong, there is our way and there are other ways. Styles vary, as advanced karate-ka we must be flexible"
3 Applications are not meant to be literal, but positioning and the use of body mechanics must be logical and simple.
Sensei James (our Region 23 RM) was Shihan's demonstration partner, and the way the moves were explained and shown was simply inspirational....plain, clear and uncomplicated.
Class went an hour over time, but that is also usual for Shihan...and who was complaining? I could easily have stayed there all night......... Gary
Following the class, several Region 9 visitors joined their Region 23 compatriots at the local McDojo, taking the opportunity to catch up and chat.
On a sadder note,
Elisa Matthews, Region 23 student and GKR National Kata Champion, bade us
farewell after the Shihan class. She is off to teach in a large rural centre
about 200kms from Adelaide, so we won't see her much for the next few years.
However, she does plan to get back regularly on weekends and School Holidays to
train and catch up with partner Shaun Williams. There is no truth in the rumour
spread by a certain R23 Regional Manager that Elisa will be moonlighting as a
Wedding Planner, instead of teaching children.
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Copyright © 2002-7 by P A Thompson. All rights
Revised: 22 Mar 2012 09:28:42 +0930 .