The Interactive Kyokushin Book is already available on the App Store and Google Play!
Close

"I'm a Kyokushin Baby"

Lukas McKinnon
The colorful New Zealander Lucas McKinnon has a formidable look. But this is only at first glance: in an interview for us, he is revealed as a cheerful karateka and an exemplary family man. Lucas spoke about his roots, family and his role in New Zealand karate.
You are Maori. Tell about your roots.
— Yes, that is correct. Maori are the indigenous people of New Zealand and part of the South Pacific Polynesian gene pool. In the 1700's Maori were the most fiercest non weapon warriors.

Where I live in my hometown region of Waikato all of the Maori kings were given their status. We also have the Haka which our most famous sports team the All Blacks use before every rugby game to intimidate and challenge opposing teams.
Was there a choice for you in which sport to go? How did you choose Kyokushin?
— Haha I had no choice. My parents start Kyokushin in 1982 I'm born 1984 but I start Kyokushin 1983 haha because my mum train until 7 months pregnant with me until her sensei who is now shihan Howard Lipman tells my mother to rest until I'm born haha. I'm a Kyokushin Baby.
What is the level of Kyokushin in New Zealand? How popular this martial art is in your country.
— It's not very popular amongst other sports but it is growing there are maybe 2,000 people this includes other Kyokushin groups our country is 4 million population.
Tell about your Mckinnon Dojo. Are there any among your disciples who can surpass you?
— I hope all of my students surpass me one day but yes, I have a 11-year-old niece Charm Mckinnon who has unbelievable talent and has already won 4 National Titles and 2 Australia Titles and also my 2nd oldest 7-year-old daughter L.A Mckinnon who is very skillful as well with 2 New Zealand Titles.
Tell about your Mckinnon Dojo. Are there any among your disciples who can surpass you?
— I hope all of my students surpass me one day but yes, I have a 11-year-old niece Charm Mckinnon who has unbelievable talent and has already won 4 National Titles and 2 Australia Titles and also my 2nd oldest 7-year-old daughter L.A Mckinnon who is very skillful as well with 2 New Zealand Titles.
There are 3 young men who show potential to fight in the World's one day I'm hoping they too can make the 3rd Day.
New Zealand is a very picturesque country. Do you have any favorite places for outdoor training?
— Absolutely :) There is a Mountain 5 mins from where I live that I like to train at called the Hakirimatas which is very good for my tournament preparation.
Kyokushin baby
You compete in super heavyweight. But even in your weight category you are bigger than your opponents. What are the advantages and disadvantages in this?
— Haha super super heavy. I think the advantage is I take up all of the tatami haha, no but I think being my size helps in some ways. I find it less difficult fighting people close and don't have to chase a smaller fighters. I like to study shihan Makoto Nakamura as he too was a very big fighter but he used it to his advantage. This is going to be my plan for the next tournaments.
You are very entertaining perform tameshiwari. Tell about your technique.
- Well like you said I was the heaviest fighter in the tournament so in tameshiwari I have seen fighters like Goderdzi Kapanadze break their hands from attempting too many but I understand why he did because he knew maybe the semifinal is going to be 3 hikawake. For me I break the minimum 3 boards to keep my hands in good condition because it would be instant loss if it goes to scales.
Tell about your life. What are you keen on?
— I like to rap to hip hop music, I like the American West Coast car culture with old American lowrider cars that is a love of mine. I also watch my kids play different sports in the weekends. But I'm a family man so whatever I do I do to make my children happy :)
Your daughters, too, are engaged in Kyokushin?
— I have 3 daughters: Edwina Mckinnon 14-years-old 1st Kyu, L.A Mckinnon 7-years-old 5th Kyu and Russia Mckinnon 4-years-old White Belt. I also have 1 son Buster Mckinnon 6-years-old 7th Kyu. They all do Kyokushin. Just like me they are born for Kyokushin.
What kind of music do you prefer?
— Gangsta rap, hip hop. Gucci Mane, Migos, 2 Pac, Y.G.
What would you like to do after your career?
— I like to train Kyokushin full-time and help to popularise the sport to become more common. Once I cannot fight anymore my focus will be coaching all of my dojo so that hopefully they get to experience what I did at a world tournament.
Short questions:
What is the point of defeat?
The point is to reflect on what may not have worked. To go back and train and improve to become better than last time.
Kyokushin taught me ...
To love everybody doesn't matter Black, White, Yellow, Christian, Muslim we all have 2 eyes 2 hands 2 feet we are made the same. So love everybody. And to be humble.
The best place on Earth?
Tokyo Gymnasium Final 32 in the middle of the Tatami.
It seems to me that Kyokushin in 10 years ...
Will see more New Zealanders in the Final 32 :) Osu!
We thank Lucas for the answers and wish his children to repeat the success of their father and glorify their family and all the Maori. OSU!
Photo: Courtesy of Lucas Mckinnon