Since the day I finished school (here in Geelong at St Joey’s) I have constantly striven to follow my passion for martial arts training.
What is Redcat Academy?
Our Academy is a thinking-centered martial arts school. Our focus is on empowering people to prevail in the great ‘game of life’ through the practice and study of martial arts. Our school is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu focused – which allows us to create the perfect environment to challenge people, provide them with world-class self-defense skills, all while teaching them to problem-solve and discover inner-resources they never knew existed – whilst having a lot of fun. Bonus outcomes also include, achieving optimal and functional fitness, making new friends and leaving some of life’s stresses at the door. Our approach is very holistic.
Tell us a little about how Redcat started; and what’s the thinking behind the name?
Since the day I finished school (here in Geelong at St Joey’s) I have constantly striven to follow my passion for martial arts training. At the age of 18, already obsessed with training, I headed overseas and began an international training odyssey, that saw me training in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, India, Japan, China, the USA, brazil and a number of other countries.
Although that journey has never really ended, eventually (after 10-12 years), I settled down and opened up an academy here in Geelong. That was a result of me realizing, that perhaps my true vocation was in teaching – rather than just training or competing. Teaching others, gives me immense satisfaction – and I have put as much work and effort into honing this skill as I have into the physical aspects of my martial arts training.
The name Redcat originated from my time spent in South East Asia, where my nickname was ‘The Cat’ – due to a reputation I had for having ‘nine lives’. And now, 40 years later, the name of our Academy enjoys a re-purposed version of that name, in that I think all people grow and develop through various ‘versions’ of themselves, as they make their way through life. None of us are the same person we were five years ago – we become better problem-solvers, we learn develop better and better immunity to stress and drama, our model of how the world works and how we can work with that model becomes increasingly more sophisticate as time goes by. In a way, we all have nine lives … many more in fact. And so … Redcat Academy. Go Cats!
Speaking of the Geelong Cats? Do you work with our home team?
Yes we do! They are a wonderful group of young men we some very forward thinking leadership overseeing their development. The coaching staff are committed to shaping young men into being great community-conscious citizens, athletes worth emulating, if you like. I work with the team on occasion (pre-season grappling training, etc) and regularly with some of the coaching staff. It is a privilege.
Apart from your work at the Academy – do you work for or with any other organisations?
Again yes. I have done a lot of work for the Australian Military – at both ADFA and Duntroon – developing unarmed combatives packages and training their trainers. I have done similar work for staff at Quantico in Virginia (USA) and law enforcement agencies in a number of countries. I have also done a lot of work conducting seminars for other martial arts school and organisations – and have been averaging more than 100 seminars a year for the past two decades. Our schedule is very full; but we love it, the work is very, very rewarding.
How long have you been up and running as a business?
Around 35 years now!
What do you love about your job?
Almost everything. I love the people, the challenge of it all. I love the problem solving that comes with the training. I love seeing ordinary people transform themselves into the extraordinary. I am very fortunate in that a lot of high-profile people want to send time with me on the mat, from movie stars like Chuck Norris to sports legends like Tana Umaga (ex All Blacks Captain) or local guys like Jimmy Bartel or Nigel Lapin, to name a handful. I love spending time with people who have gone above and beyond in their own lives – it’s a pleasure for me to hear their stories and take note of what they did that others wouldn’t or couldn’t do. So I guess, I very much enjoy the variety that my work offers.
What do you find most exciting about your job?
The people. It’s all about the people! I also love the constant research and training that I need to do to stay on the cutting edge of developments.
What is planned for the future of Redcat Academy?
I love it just the way it is. I have had many lucrative offers to work full-time abroad but have always turned them down because I just love working locally. I am a huge fan of Geelong; I may travel intermittently (for very short periods of time) but I love being here on the Redcat mat through the week.
How do I get in contact or find out more about Redcat Academy?
Located in Geelong: 159A Malop Street – Geelong City
We also have a Facebook, Web and Blog presence: