Stuart Norris - Yellow belt grading

Self Defence Blog

Almost three years ago I received a call from my instructor Corey asking if I’d like to have a complimentary lesson with him. Almost three years ago I had my mind blown away. I’d just witnessed someone moving in a way I’d never seen before and carry himself with a confidence and humbleness I only ever dreamed of having. I never realised that along the way I’d stop dreaming and start acting to become the person I always wanted to be.

I remember early last year Corey told me that he believed that I was ready and that this would be the year I would start my yellow belt journey. I had a lot of doubts about myself at the time but after a lesson with Josh Grimsey I was told that after seeing me train he agreed with Corey that this would be the year to start.

Now that a decision had been made that I would start towards my yellow belt, my instructors Corey and Nick informed me that I was invited to Fight group and that this would be a perfect first step. As always they were right. Fight group gave me the believably I needed in my Arakan to make it real and had me moving with a ferocity I’d never known I was able to achieve. It also introduced me to a lot of the students I would be joining in the following yellow belt seminars as coming from Ipswich and training in Brisbane I’d had next to no exposure to any of the Gold Coast students and instructors.

Then came the yellow belt seminars. Four or five weeks in I told my instructors I was becoming frustrated with myself. Their response was an ominous laughter accompanied with a “you think you’re frustrated now, just wait.” Again they were right. This past year’s training has been filled with frustration, pain and exhaustion all of which I needed to face and overcome if I was going to move forward. So I pushed myself as hard as I could and towards the end all my frustrations melted away, I was eager to face any pain and my exhaustion became my own reward for how hard I was working.

My grading came and I gave everything I could and more and though I feared failing I believed I could pass the grading more. I’d trained hard and I wanted to make my instructors proud because they believed in me and I wanted to prove to Rob that I was ready for this. I pulled through and passed my grading. A couple of hours later I found myself driving back home with the biggest grin on my face and feeling like I’d been hit by a train. It was one of the best feelings ever.

I wanted to thank all my instructors for knowing how hard to push me and for supporting me through this experience and Rob for showing me how much I’m capable of when pushed to my limits. This has been one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life and it’s amazing to know that I’ve only just scratched the surface of what there is to learn and that the limits of how far I can push myself will only continue to grow. I look forward to training harder every day.


To me, training in Arakan Martial Art is like buying insurance for my car or my house. I bought an insurance for my safety,  at any time. I am my own  bodyguard and what I have learnt will stay with me forever. My self-confidence has grown so much, I feel a lot more safe and in control.

Danielle Cherrier

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