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.

Tino Ceberano’s 9th Dan Presentation

 Hanshi Tino Ceberano was awarded his Black Belt 9th Dan on 4/10/08 during the Australian Martial Arts Hall of Fame Expo on the Gold Coast. This was a total surprise to the man. The presentation was originally set down for at the Martial Arts Supershow 2008 but Hanshi had other ideas and suddenly flew out of the country 4 days prior; every effort to convince him to delay his flight failed. To this day, through no fault of his own, he left people standing there with dismal faces; you can't hold him down (not bad for a bloke who has just turned 67). However, this has now been accomplished.The main speech at the presentation:

"The International Kojosho Karate Federation (click here to visiit website) an umbrella organization for independent karate schools and individual membership. Some of the Kojosho’s mission objectives are to preserve the work of past masters with an eye toward identifying significant new contributions, to provide members with certification recognised and accepted world-wide. The Kojosho has been under the direction of Mr. Fred Absher, Hanshi since 1966 which is represented in 15 countries. The Australian Representative is Kyoshi George Adams.

Forty years ago, Mr. Absher aligned the organization with the United States Karate Alliance (Jim Hawkes), and more recently with the Dai Nippon Butokukai, under Hanshi Richard Kim. These national and international organisations membership have proven to be invaluable, and have been in part, responsible for the global recognition of the International Kojosho Karate Federation

Many senior martial arts Instructors in Australia have been graded and recognized by the Kojosho. Some of you might remember one of the oldest martial arts masters, Hanshi Les Harnos – the man who on countless occasions would support tiles held by skewers through his forearms whilst a sledge hammer would be driven through smashing the tiles.

George Adams and Richard Norton were responsible for the presentation taking place but many thanks has to go to one of Hanshi Tino's senior students, Shihan Alex Alt, who put it altogether on the night.

Approximately two years ago, George approached Richard about having the Kojosho promote Hanshi Tino Ceberano to 9th Dan which has been long overdue. This was something they can do in return for the most outstanding person in the martial arts. The promotion is based on many factors including:

  1. Over fifty two (52) years of martial arts skills
  2. International recognition as a Martial Arts Instructor visiting over 45 countries
  3. His spiritual leadership
  4. His contribution to the martial arts and society
  5. His vibrant and kind personality
    … and the list goes on.

The certificate is signed by Hanshi Fred Absher (President of the Kojosho) and Shihan Richard Norton (one of Hanshi’s original students).

Personal congratulations were read from various famous Masters around the world supporting the endorsement such as Hanshi Ticky Donovan and Hanshi Terry Wingrove. This is not all, but too numerous to list!"

Shihan Richard Norton:
“I want to take this opportunity to offer my profound congratulations to you on receiving this honour that is so very much deserved. As a pioneer of Martial Arts in Australia, you have paved the way for so many of the teachers of today. Your example of excellence has been a personal inspiration for me for the whole of my Martial Arts career and for that I am eternally grateful. I can't imagine what my life would have been without the caring and nurturing introduction you gave me to the arts as a teenager that have since become my life's journey and my absolute passion. I feel truly honoured and blessed to call you my master and my friend. So again, for whatever it is worth, I totally endorse this recognition of a true master of the arts."

Kyoshi George Adams:
"Hello Hanshi, this is your little brother, George Adams. On behalf of two of your earliest students, Richard Norton and John Will, I’d like to congratulate you on your promotion which is well deserved. Like many other senior martial arts instructors in the world, your promotion to Black Belt 9th Dan is in recognition of all the good work you have been doing for over 45 years in the martial arts and your position as head of the IGK. Richard, John and I have a great admiration for you and we have discussed your promotion on many occasions. I would like people not to take the grading lightly because it was something we have been working on for two years. Like Richard and John, it has become impossible for me to be with you this weekend but I am looking forward to seeing you, and Grandmaster Rodel, in Sydney next week. I believe I know you better than many others. How many know you like your coffee black with a shot of vanilla. A special mention to Shihan Alex Alt who is one of the nicest persons in the martial arts around and who has the deepest respect and best interests for his Hanshi. Alex has been my main point of contact with the IGK and has really helped make this possible. Congratulations, once again."

Hanshi Ticky Donovan (UK):
"Please give my warmest congratulations to Tino on receiving his 9th Dan. I am glad I have not reached that age yet!!!"

Shihan Paul Ceberano:
"On behalf of all the Ceberanos, Kate, Phillip and I would like to congratulate our father on his receipt of the rank of 9th Dan hanshi. As a living legend and pioneer of martial arts in Australia this is an honour that is long overdue. Know one could doubt the he deserves to be the first true 9th Dan in Australia. I know that all his peers within Australia would agree that my father's contribution to the martial arts is a direct indication to its current popularity, expansion and growth.Because of the people he influenced, trained and graded the future of all martial arts within Australia is guaranteed. My family and I wish him all the best on this special occasion and cant wait to celebrate this award with him at my Brothers wedding next week. We all love you very much dad."

Hanshi Terry Wingrove (UK):
"It gives me a very great pleasure to congratulate my dear friend & colleague on his overdue elevation to the rank of 9th dan Hanshi. Few people in this modern world deserve the respect that this true master has earned. From all your fans and admirers in Europe a very big congratulations."

IGK Shihan Kai:
"A true master of the Arts comes along once in all of our life times, Chojun Miyagi Kaicho was a pioneer, then Gogen Yamaguchi Saiko Shihan was another well renowned and innovative master of his era. Currently we are priviledged to be in the same dojo as Tino Ceberano, Hanshi who has searched for answers to create new and improved technology and has been able to keep the imagination of thousands motivated around the world including masters, he is a master's Master!! We congratulate Hanshi Tino on this well deserved achievement to the rank of 9th dan hanshi of the Goju Kobujutsu Kenkyukai. The respect Hanshi commands in the martial arts community here in Australia and around the world is second to none – Hanshi is an inspiration to us all."

This presentation was extremely unique and Hanshi Tino was very emotional which was shared by many of the people who know him as the Australian Father of Martial Arts.