(Editors note: Apologies for the delay in posting this - Rob and Al provided this report some time back but I am only now getting round to adding it - mea culpa.)
On the 26th of September the IKK held its biannual summer course in Mulranny Co Mayo. The event
was attended by karateka from all over the world with varying levels of skill from beginners to 7th
Dan. Registration was at 15:30 on the Friday. The atmosphere was a mixture of excitement and a touch of nerves. After
registration was completed we congregated outside of the hotel and then went down to the coast where
Shihan Liam Keaveney 7th Dan and Shihan Kevin Callan 6th Dan kicked things off.
We started off running in wet sand for a warm up. As the tide came back in we moved off the sand onto
solid land.Where we worked on fitness and kihon(after all as Bruce Lee once said "I don't fear the man who
has practised 10,000 techniques, I fear the man who has practised one technique 10,000 times"). So after
numerous punches,kicks,blocks,push ups and squats Friday came to an end.By this point the atmosphere
was noticeably different the excitement was till there but the nerves had been replaced by a feeling of joy.
Training started again on Sat at 06:00. We started with some kihon before running laps up and down a
stretch of the mountains. It was a magical feeling training for something you love in breathtaking
After the morning session we took a short break for breakfast. Our next seession was to be held back on
the coast but unfortunatly the weather was too bad, we ventured into the loacal town to a local dojo. While
there we got divided into two groups. One group went with Shihan Kevin for a national grading. The
other group stayed with Shihan Liam where we focused on stretching, partner training and bunkai. There was a lot taught and a lot learned.
After which we broke for some lunch, once everyuone had eaten and had a short rest it was off to westport
for Sensei Patrick English and Senpai Dave King's 20 man kumite and Senpai Alan McCoy's 10 man kumite. During the
event everyuone was excited and nervous even if they were not taking part they felt the nerves of their
comrades. Everyone knew the risks involved and realised someone could be seriously hurt.
The 3 fighters put in an amazing amount of effort both on the day and the months before hand (technically
years). They poured their kokoruo and rei into it.Sensei Patrick and Senpai David were succesfull in their
endeavors. Unfortunately Senpai Alan McCoy fought hard but it wasn't to be at this time.
The next part of the day we were instructed to wrap up and prepare for kumite practise. Everyone fought 1
minute fights in rotation for approximately 30 minutes. By the end we had all recieved
knocks,bumps,bruises and cuts but morale had increased.A great way to finish Saturday off.
The following morning we were given the privalege of a lie in till 07:00 at this point we returned to the
mountains for more Kihon. We also got a chance to see a new kata created by Anthony Walsh for his
showdown grading.We then moved back out to the coast, this time the tide being in wasn't an obstacle
instead we used it to our avantage and trained in the water. At first everyone was apprehensive about
getting in the water. As Shihan Liam had us doing basics up and down the sand. Everytime
edging closer to the water.Upon enetering the water we continued doing Kihon, runing parallel to the beach
chanting an old Japanese Karate chant. Considering everyone was extremley tired by this point, there was
no hesitation from anyone putting in 110 percent into the kumite that followed. This is the essence of
Kyokushin at it's finest. We finished off in the water with a bit of mokuso to reflect on the weekend and
where we want to be in the future.
We emerged from the water where Shihan Liam gave us his final speech and words of wisdom
including thanking everyone who partook in the course including Sensei Shane Lalor who was not in
attendance but put a lot of work in behind the scenes. It was during this that Shihan announced a new Sandan for the IKK.
Anthony Walsh had passed his grading and now has the title of Sensei It was great news to hear and ensured everyone remained on a high. Everyone retired to the hotel to rest together before their long journey home .
At this point there was a strong feeling of unity. We all felt united under the one banner.
One world,One Kyokushin
Rob and Al