Fitness and Self Defence

Jerry Norris

Branch Instructor

Branch / Region
Palmerston Dojang / Darwin NT

How long have you been training in Taekwondo? And what got you started?

I have been training in Taekwondo since 2012, a little over 6 years (2018 current). When I was a young boy, my father and I used to re watch all the Bruce lee movies over and over. I believe that this is what sparked my interest in martial arts since such a young age.

Highlights of your Taekwondo success?

My first double grading was one of the biggest highlights in my taekwondo journey. I remember Master Paul and Chief Instructor Lachlan calling me to the front of the class and whispering “If you break three boards; one with a side kick, one with a back kick and one with a turning kick – you will be promoted to a blue belt. If you don’t break the boards however, you will be promoted to a blue tip”…. I destroyed those boards!

My 1st Dan black belt grading was also one of the most memorable highlights throughout my taekwondo success.

One of the most special memories I have of Taekwondo however, is when Chief Instructor Lachlan handed the Darwin/Palmerston region hall over to me, promoting me to Branch Instructor.

Describe your first black belt grading, and what it took to get you there?

My first black belt grading was one of the scariest days in my martial arts path. I loved it!

Training my patterns and kicks every single day leading up to my grading was one of my most determined moments I’ve been through. I wanted a black belt, but I knew I had to deserve it too.

Showing up on the grading day, I was full of confidence. I knew I would do well; and that wasn’t because I was arrogant, but because I knew that I put in the effort to earn the responsibility of a black belt. I believed in myself.

When I was presented with my 1st Dan black belt I was grinning from ear to ear.

After receiving my belt, I was asked by a friend “what are you going to do now?” and I answered “what not? This belt does not symbolise the end, no, instead – the end of the beginning. In other words, training has just started”.

How often do you train? In Taekwondo? Gym? etc

I train 5-6 days a week, with Taekwondo classes on Monday and Wednesday, Jiu Jitsu classes on Tuesday and Thursday and spend Friday and Saturday practicing my patterns/kicks or training my fitness.

Favourite Taekwondo move or moves?

My favourite taekwondo techniques are: Stepping flying jumping back kicks and hook kicks.

What are your personal goals in Taekwondo?

My personal goal in Taekwondo is to always further my knowledge, no matter what.

Has Taekwondo benefited home life? If so, in what way?

Taekwondo has helped me in many more ways than one. Taekwondo has not only helped me defend myself, but further my confidence.

Your favourite saying and what this means?

My favourite saying is the quote from Bruce Lee: “Empty your mind – be formless, shapeless; like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. If you put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle. If you put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Water can flow or it can crash. Be water my friend”.

To me, this quote means that one must not stay like a rock; solid and never moving – but instead be free flowing and adaptive.

Do what’s right and don’t look back, flow in one direction.

Best advice you can give someone training and wishing to start training in Taekwondo?

The best advice that I can give to someone wishing to train in Martial Arts is that you need to be yourself always, and to be confident in whatever you do.

For if you are willing to gain confidence, you are willing to take on the world.

What other activities apart from Taekwondo do you enjoy?

I enjoy partaking in any form of Martial Arts that I can.

Favourite movie(s) and why?

My favourite movie is Bruce Lee’s “Return of the Dragon”, because not only am I a huge Bruce lee fan, but it reminds me of my childhood.

Favourite food?

Sushi!

With regards to Taekwondo where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?

Within 5 to 10 years, I see myself successfully instructing over 100 students – and to be the youngest AMAHOF (Australasian Martial Arts Hall of Fame) award winner.

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