The autumn leaves are falling like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are always two cups at my table.

T’ang Dynasty poem

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~


Friday, May 11, 2018

A Tough Martial Arts Woman

In Kyokushin Karate, there is an event that only a few have ever completed: the 100 Man Kumite.

The candidate fights 100 full contact rounds against consecutive fresh opponents. 

Over at The Martial Way, there was a post about Naomi Ali, the only woman to have ever completed this achievement. 

Below is an excerpt from the article. The full post may be read here.

The 100-man kumite holds a special place in the world of Kyokushin karate. The act of fighting full-contact for 100 straight rounds against fresh opponents and with no protective gear is enough to deter even the toughest, most well-travelled martial artists. Many of the men who have completed the astonishing mental and physical test have gone on to receive global praise and legendary status in their respective styles. Enter Naomi Ali. In 2004, at AKKA’s Honbu in Bondi Junction, the former Japan Open winner and multiple-time world champion became the first ever woman to complete the epic feat. In the 10th anniversary year of Ali’s ultimate challenge, Blitz caught up with the mother and full-time nurse to reminisce about the day she calls “the toughest of my life”.

Soft-spoken and petite-framed, Naomi Ali is in fact a giant in the eyes of her AKKA teammates in Sydney. Understandably hard to comprehend to those unfamiliar with the pocket dynamo, behind her sweet disposition lies one of the toughest female fighters to ever come out of the country.
Growing up among the golden guitars in Tamworth, New South Wales, Sensei Ali first struck a chord with Kyokushin karate in 1995 when she began training with Sensei Mark Tyson before moving to Sydney as a Blue-belt to train at AKKA Honbu in Sydney’s Bondi Junction. It was there that she would meet Hanshi John Taylor, the figure who oversaw her journey to Black-belt as well as her battles in both the 50- and 100-man kumites.

“It was obvious from the very first day that Naomi had a very disciplined attitude to training and she soon proved herself to be a very strong fighter. Of course, no one could have envisaged the greatness that she would achieve,” says Hanshi Taylor. “Naomi’s regimen would put an Olympic athlete to shame…”

Training seven days a week, her intense regimen combined strength and conditioning as well as hardened traditional Kyokushin training methods. Dividing her time between the gym, running, and the dojo, Sensei Ali describes her karate bag work as the toughest aspect of her training and one of the keys to her preparation for the 100-man kumite.



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