My very good friend and mentor, Shihan Richard Norton, got the word he has just been promoted to 6th Degree Black Belt by the legendary Benny ‘the jet’ Urquidez in the Urquidokan martial arts system. What an honour to be graded by one of the greatest martial arts masters on earth! After spending 30 years training with Sensei Benny this grading is well deserved.
Mr Norton is staying in Sydney for a few weeks to do some work on the start of the ‘Mad Max 4' film. I have been keeping regular contact and putting some workshops at various schools in his spare time (not much of it).
I was told about the promotion when I met up with Richard on Saturday morning and I was the first one to congratulate and shake his hand. Richard’s grades are long overdue considering he started the martial arts almost 50 years ago. Mr Norton currently holds the rank of ‘Shihan’ under Hanshi Tino Ceberano (his original Instructor) and was also graded to 5th Degree, several years ago, by Chuck Norris. He also holds a 4th Degree in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under JJ Machado.
It really isn’t about the grades. Richard’s philosophy, ‘don’t show me your belt, show me what you can do’. The grades are only as good as from the person they came from. Guys, I have thrown a few certificates away in the past and my senior Black Belts can vouch for that. I only honour the certificates from the people who I honour.
To get back to the events of the day (Saturday), we first started with an hour of BJJ and then an hour and a half of Kickboxing. It was great to see the many happy and stunned faces at my school; they were totally impressed. Then a 2 hour BJJ seminar for kids at Wayne Miller’s school (the kids were fantastic). I was amazed I picked up quite a few things there as well. That was a great session for me, too.
What a great day, I’ve learnt a hell of a lot. Victor (senior Instructor) was absolutely astounded with the Kickboxing!
CONGRATULATIONS MR NORTON! FANTASTIC ACHIEVEMENT. I AND MANY OTHERS ARE REALLY HAPPY FOR YOU.