Reflection on 2008

 Another year has passed. I often reflect at the end of 12 months what have we achieved in the martial arts. Just as important what you, as an individual, have achieved. Martial Arts training requires your concentration, patience, time, and you make sacrifices, but the benefits are really worthwhile which result in an improvement in your whole well-being, both mentally and physically.

Although our core 'business' is Karate-Jitsu we usually step outside the circle by giving students the opportunity to experience and train in other areas of the martial arts:

  1. Kickboxing
  2. Reality Based Self Defence
  3. Black Belt Complexes
  4. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
  5. Mixed Martial Arts

This has shown to make training much more pleasant and challenging. It also gives the individual the chance to specialise in an area they particularly like. With the some of the best Martial Artists in the world coming over to visit us such as John Will, Richard Norton, Tino Ceberano and Grandmaster Rodel, we are very lucky to have the opportunity to train with these persons.

We are having a short break over the Holiday Season. I hope you can all share my enthusiasm because this break is just a reminder of how much I will miss my training and seeing you.

We would like to see you bring someone with you next year to take on one of the most enjoyable activities around. I wish you all a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year.

One Too Many

 We’ve heard the phrase, ‘one too many’ referring to drinking too much alcohol. This also has some significance to when you only have a very minute amount of time to react quickly and instinctively in self defence. Any more than one technique that pops up in your head will slow you right down. John Will’s recent blog, has a great article, ‘STARTLED’, which I recommend everybody read which goes into detail about reaction time being affected by having to choose from multiple responses. Richard Norton similarly talks about being ‘log jammed’ ie too many techniques, in a ‘fight or flight’ situation, is going to get you into trouble. That is the problem with Police Officers today who carry so much artillery around and have to calculate the most appropriate weapon for a situation. Too bad if they choose the wrong one. Forget ‘the more, the merrier’ in this case. Everybody has experienced the amount of time taken to decide their order from a restaurant menu. The more choices on the menu the more time wasted. Time is a luxury which we cannot afford in a crisis.

The old saying, ‘I feel safe because I know 1,000 techniques’ can now be found in the museum’. Bruce Lee said, ‘I don’t fear the man who knows 1,000 kicks but I fear the man who knows one kick and throws it 1,000 times’.

In a book, ‘Watch My Back’ by Geoff Thompson (a famous English Night Club bouncer), the author talks about his co-worker, John ‘Awesome’ Anderson who only did one thing to handle drunks and larrikins, whilst working in the toughest night clubs in England. He used his right cross to get the job done successfully over 1,000 times.

Of course we train many things in the martial arts as possible which is the fun side of discovering and learning new moves; that is the science of martial arts. But when it comes to training real self defence, don’t become log jammed; you just don’t have the time.

Over and out!

The Showdown with Richard Norton

<b>Rob Naumoski, Richard Norton, George Adams, Stever Perceval</b><br>MMA Seminar 2008

Shihan Richard Norton flew into Sydney for a few seminars. It was great having him over here once again; we have the opportunity to train with the best Martial Artist on earth so I take every opportunity to train with him! On Thursday evening I hosted an MMA seminar at Belmore. On Friday training on Reality Based Street Self Defence, with another Instructor. On Friday evening Fari Salievski hosted a Kickboxing seminar at his Liverpool school On Saturday I hosted a BJJ seminar at West Pennant Hills.

You're wondering about the showdown? Richard has become very wary of me with all the training I have been doing lately. I said, "You are dreaming if you think I can beat you and I am dreaming if I think I can beat you." He said, "There is only one way to settle the score." The results? The pics speak for themselves:

I don't know why people would even ask how did I do. I said the only thing I could get out of him was the name of his favourite drink. I will be ready for you, next time, Mr Norton! (just kidding)

Xmas Party

 Sorry for submitting this a little late; we've had a busy week organising Richard Norton's seminars in Sydney. It was an excellent attendance this year and we all looked like one big happy family. This event is most important for everybody especially for the little ones. Every student was very special on this night and I congratulate everyone for attending.

George Dimos, Stephen Kozanitis, Anthony Matos

Brendan Allan, Matthew Missiakos, Jeremy Matchett, Siddharth Warrier

Chris Jones, George Boutros, Peter Asimakopoulos

Bronwyn Allan, Nicholas Dimos, Bessie Xi, Kaitlin Jones . Click for party photos.

Richard Norton in Real Life Cop Drama

 This incident comes to mind when Richard told me about his new project. He will be starring in a martial arts movie with Hollywood’s, Lance Henriksen (see pic) scheduled to commence shooting in early 2009 . This is a story about 2 Australian Cops in tons of ‘kick ass’ action (can’t say anymore, I have been sworn to secrecy). In mid February of this year I was with Richard and his lovely wife, Judy, on our way to Steve Perceval’s gym at Penrith for a seminar. On the motorway we noticed a crazy male driver. Cops don’t worry about these things off duty unless serious. I said if only Richard and Judy were not in the car. This guy was really getting out of control so I deputised Richard and told him I needed to get close enought to get a car rego so I can at least report this guy. This guy was travelling at high speeds, overtaking people in the breakdown lane, using no indicators, chopping and changing lanes dangerously etc (where are the cops when you need them). I made sure my passengers didn’t get too uncomfortable during the ordeal but this was a once in a lifetime chance for Richard and Judy to see ‘police in action’. Now that's what you call a 'method actor'. We got a little late to the seminar with Steve waiting with his hands on hips.

Just to finish off this story I eventually caught up with our buddy who turned out to be not a bad person (it's always the way when they get caught). He admitted being stupid and dangerous blaming it on pressure to do long work hours. He was dealt with accordingly and he was lucky enough to keep his licence. Richard can add that scene to his movie (lol).

Power of Volume Training

 We envy top athletes, including martial artists, and we wonder what it takes for them to get there. Many of us will have us believe that that we don’t have the ability. Thank goodness that is wrong because the power of volume training can help anyone do a whole lot better. What this means is not so much repetition training such as doing a punch and kick 1,000 times but reassessing as you go along; eg after 10 kicks, analyse to see what it takes to improve. Then do another 10 reps, and so on. Get it right first before you commit to 1,000 times. Most people will stop practicing a drill once they have finally put things together when this is the time they should be getting right into it. Actors, repeatedly go over their lines even though they may already know them. Practice what you have learnt; not just practice what you are trying to learn. That’s the correct way of volume training. Realistically, you are not going to achieve a 1,000 reps in one session (and you shouldn’t) but that is what it takes to get good at something in the long term.

When doing a combination, don’t worry too much about the result. Practice how to get there not what happens when you land that kick to the head or when you finish off that armbar. This is unnecessary because it wastes time, and you will not get much help from your opponent if you are causing them discomfort. It is more important to do the techniques leading to the result.

A good way of capturing of volume training is giving students a time limit (usually a minute) of how many reps the students can clock up. The difference is amazing once there is a bit of competition; no time wasted and students are on full alert. Always remember the power of volume training.

Fantastic Time with John Will

 I was at Steve Perceval’s school over the last weekend doing another BJJ seminar with John Will. I dragged the twins along with me and sacrificed them to Richard Sargeant (who was recently promoted to Brown Belt) who did some attitude adjusting (just kidding). It is really good just to see John again because I really enjoy, not only his BJJ, but his teaching skills. After that, John, Steve and I went to Rick Spain’s school in the city to do another seminar. I partnered off with Rick Spain who is well renowned and one of the most talented martial artists in Australia so it was good to ‘grab each other by the collar’. Surpise, surprise, John Will awarded him his Brown Belt (wasn’t Rick happy?). Rick Spain deserves it and he is a real gentleman. After that, John, Steve and I went to a Brazilian Restaurant in Leichhardt. John could not stop bragging about his wife’s cooking and Steve told him to not tell us anymore since he cannot offer any. I told John I am really blessed to be surrounded with people like himself, Richard Norton and Steve. John is really happy I am hooked up with Richard because he is the best martial artist in the world. Can’t wait for the next John Will seminar (next year). Next time, Portuguese cuisine!


Richard Norton in the ACT

 We’ve had an amazing time over the weekend with Richard Norton. I arrived there on Friday and met up with our Black Belts, Damien Philpott (ACT) and Darren Grieve (Qld). Darren and I spent some time at the Australian War Memorial (I recommend this to anyone). In the evening I conducted a grading and went through some very basic ground work. Darren did a bit of sparring with the students and also did some wrestling putting on some beautiful submissions especially on Tim Morrow (NSW Police Officer). It was like the State of Origin because Darren is Qld police. I then took on poor Tim Morrow who did very well to last a lot longer after his first submission.

Richard flew in Saturday morning and we got straight into it. The twins (John and Tim) and Peter Tziliaskopoulos also joined us from Sydney. The Black Belt Complexes were the first order of the day. Many agreed this was the best session ever. I do not know whether Richard is getting faster or he has just decided to unleash his true abilities (he is lightning fast).

The afternoon saw us for another 3 hours – Kickboxing and MMA. All I can say to other Martial Arts Instructors they better leave their comfort zones; there is a lot out there to learn! Richard is available to pass on 40 years of knowledge as a result of training with the best people in the world so what is there to think about? To quote Chuck Norris and John Will, ‘Richard Norton is the best all round martial artist in the world’. After the Saturday seminars our Black Belts and I went to Richard’s suite and we had some white wine and some light finger food, compliments of the Airport International Motel. We all then went and had dinner at some great Turkish Restaurant which Damien had arranged.

The next morning (Sunday), a bit of 1st class breakfast, compliments of this classy motel again, and we then went to do the BJJ seminar. Danny Weir (a student of John Will) also attended with his students and we ended up having a great time. I was stunned again with Richard’s ability and knowledge which is odd because I have spent so much time with him so I shouldn't be surprised. I’ve got to find out what Judy (Richard's wife) puts in his food!

Damien did a great job putting this together. I must also give credit to his future mother-in-law, Kylie who was always there helping out; she is a fantastic person!

Many thanks, again, Richard.

In Melbourne again!

 My good friend, John Flynn, came by with Hanshi Tino and Master Rodel, at 5.30am on Sunday (12/10/08). I was starting to have second thoughts about making this trip to Melbourne (too groggy from getting up so early). When we got to the Airport the girl behind the counter suddenly transformed into a 10 year old when she realised Hanshi was the father of Kate Ceberano.

When we landed in Melbourne we were met by the CEO of the International Kenshusei College, Barry Johnston, and we went straight over to the Melbourne Aquatic Centre for the seminars. There were about 60 people in the room from all different martial arts groups (some from WA & Qld). The first seminar was done by Richard Norton and Sam Greco (former World K1 Kickboxing Champion), and the second seminar by Tino Ceberano and Master Rodel. People went ‘wow’; they’ve never seen anything like this. This is the first time I’ve met Sam Greco; he is huge and very tough looking but, more important, he is a very nice guy! Sam Greco has done a few movie roles himself alongside Richard Norton, and more recently, stunt doubled for Steve Austin in The Condemned.

There were many other great masters in attendance including Shihan Eddie Emin (Australia's pioneer Karate Instructor) and Hanshi Bruce Haynes (world record holder in breaking). It was a really long and tiring day. After that a few of us went to a restaurant called the ‘Groove Train’. That is when I decided I’ve had enough and took the next plane back to Sydney. When the plane landed I kissed the ground; I don't know how the Pope does it without knee pads

Hanshi Tino and Master Rodel in Sydney

 Most of you would know Hanshi Tino Ceberano and Grandmaster Rodel (from the Philippines) had visited Sydney on Friday 10/11/08. I met up both of them and we went to Manly to see one of my very good friends, Arthur Katsogiannis, a Police Superintendent, who is now in charge of the Australian Institute of Police Management. Arthur is a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do and is a former professional champion body builder. We sat in a coffee shop facing the beautiful Manly Beach. The weather was perfect and so was the conversation. After some business meetings, we went off to a Chinese Restaurant meeting up with one of my best friends, John Flynn, who has been hosting Hanshi whenever he is in Sydney (John is an outstanding guy). In the evening we all met up for a seminar at the Belmore South School where Hanshi and Master Rodel did what they do best; this time it was more about the weapons, particularly the knife. It was an excellent presentation! We had a few student from our school but there were many others including Shihans, Robert Janceski and Andrew Roubas. Also in attendance, were the Doce Pares group (the Filipino Weapons experts). We later met up with Master Fari Salievski at Strathfield for a a snack and coffee. It was a great day! I have just decided to fly down to Melbourne with Hanshi and Master Rodel after being invited, with many other senior Karate Masters, the Diploma in Sports Coaching being presented to me. I will be back in Sydney Monday afternoon.