The amount of techniques in each class would easily amount into the thousands, and i'm not even talking about the 100's of Pushups, Situps and Squats. I would lose on average about 2 to 3 kilos a class. but soon bought it back up with 3 ltrs of liquid on the way home.
I could tell you about the 14,000 kicks in one class, when we had a couple of Japanese instructors training with us, but that's another story. All i can say is it took me nearly 5 mins to go down 20 steps when i left class that night.
Is was obvious that this place was special, even for a novice like me, i could see how good the students were. Many of the students training in Honbu at the time held alot of national & state titles and as a result their fighting spirit was an example to myself that this is what one could achieve if one was to dedicate onself.
Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays I would train in Hanshi John Taylor's classes going through Kihon, Idogeko and Kata. I always worked hard in front of Hanshi, as he has trained me since i was a very young man and as such i understand and recognise that i am a representative of the AKKA which means my standard is a reflection of all our hard work over the years.
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday I would train with Sensei Jim Phillips working on Stamina and Power, Sparring, Kickpads, Bagwork, Kumite, Weights as well as trying to see how many times he could march up and down on my solar plexis untill i could take no more. 20 and 30 man kumite nights were often a regular part of our training. This was to continue for 5 years.
In this time close friend and longtime training partner Keith Bosler assisted me greatly in my training and for that i am very thankfull.
Over the year leading up to my Shodan grading i was fortunate to also train under Shihan Tokujun Ishi, (Sensei at the time) who came to Australia to teach and who was a brilliant Japanese Instructor and well respected Kyokushin Karate-ka. Sensei Tokujun Ishi, was a major influence in my Kyokushin training and i have many fond memories of him pushing me forward when it was needed.
Shihan Tokujun Ishi, past away in 2008 from surgery complications and will be sadly missed.
December 1987 - Shodan Grading
In 1987 i graded and recieved my Shodan completing it on a grueling hot summers day with a dojo full of students and took 5 and half hrs grading time which also included the tough 40 Man Kumite test. I still remember my last fight which was against Sensei Phillips, ahhh the memories!
In 1988 I relocated from Sydney to Tamworth where my wifes family are located and started The Tamworth Kyokushin Karate Club.
In the years from 1990 through to 2007, i also trained and fought in many Kickboxing & Muay Thai bouts. I have ventured and gained much experience in refining my fighting / competition skills in competing in these style of competition, which has contributed well to my knockdown, which was my principle concern.
My Kickboxing & Muay Thai Career
For many years many people have asked me about my Kickboxing & Muay Thai career and how being a Kyokushin fighter, i was able to compete in a variety of fighting syles and yet not have the Kickboxing or Muay Thai affect my Knockdown in Kyokushin.
Well my major and principle concern at the time was my Kyokushin fighting. Yes i have fought many bouts against many well known Kickboxing & Muay Thai fighters here and abroad from lightweight up to super middleweight and i can honestly say that the training associated with this type of training only assisted my knockdown.
The fact that i was now able to compete over a dozen times (and some times more) per year as opposed to the single State and National Tournaments available to us at the time allowed me to gain much experience against very skilled opponents, so when our state or nationals rolled around, i was "always" in great condition from training for hard rounds in the ring.
This no doubt added to, my footwork, as it is a totally different feel when one fights in the ring when they are only use to the space availabe to them on the mats, and a higher level of footwork and fight strategy comes into play.
I have had the good fortune to have trained many talented karate-ka's who have also been successfull in Knockdown, Kickboxing, Muay Thai & Boxing.
Japan, November 1991 - 5th World Tournament
I was very fortunate to be able to compete at the 5th World Kyokushin Karate Championships in Tokyo, Japan in 1991.
What an experience it was. One day looking at your favourite fighters in books, magazines, or video, and then next day, you are standing right next to them in a long hallway of a hotel in Tokyo with over 250 fighters weighing in for the 5th World Kyokushin Tournament.
I had trained extremly well for the tournament. 6 - 7 days per week for over 9 months and putting on nearly 10 kg of muscle (80kg) held me in good stead for the hard bouts ahead, as The World Tournament is an open weight tournament (ie: no weight divisions)
I was not to be dissappointed!
In 1991 i made the final 64 fighters out of 250, as this was the last World Tournament ever held as one organisation (IKO), I was able to compete in front of Sosai Mas Oyama for the first time as well as the fact that i was also in the same tournament as some of my influences such as Michael Thompson (GB), Andy Hug (SW), Kenji Madori (JP), Akira Masuda (JP), Kenji Yamaki (JP) & Hokori Kurosawa (JP).
I was lucky to be the very 1st fighter at the 5th World Tournament to score a full Ippon knockout (Jodan Mawashigeri) on my 1st opponent (Fiji). I also scored an Ippon by defeating my 2nd opponent (Costa Rica) with Gedan geri's.
In the 3rd round (day 2) I lost by a very close decision to De-silver, one of the Brazillian fighters.
A pity i did not win this bout as would have had the pleasure of facing eventual world champion, Kenji Madori in the next round.
I was the Self-Defense Co-ordinator for Oxley High School for 7 years ( 1988 - 1994 ) & also instructed the Self-Defense Curriculum for Rosary College for 2 years ( 1988 - 1990.Since becoming an Instructor i have had the good fortune to win 8 NSW Kyokushin Championships, 3 AKKA National Kyokushin Karate Titles & 3 IRKA Ring Karate Australian Championships.