Black Belt Trainers
May-Lai has been training with North Star for 10 years and in that time she has managed to gain a Black Belt, become a NCAS Accredited Level 2 Coach and represented Australia and North Star at the International JuJitsu World Championships; winning 3 individual medals and 1 team medal. Her love of the art and the Shinbudo system can be seen in her passion as she teaches adults and children alike. Mat Lai is a 3rd Dan Black Belt.
Darren has been involved in the martial arts through Northstar since 2002. Darren has achieved recognition during this time, including obtaining his 1st Dan Black Belt in September 2005, followed by his 2nd Dan Black Belt in September 2008 and successfully passed his 3rd Dan in June 2012.
Darren has competed successfully overseas, including the 2005 SAW International Championships held in Tokyo, Japan.
Darren’s real passion is teaching the martial arts to his fellow Northstar students. Darren has taught many of the programs at Northstar, including Shinbudo, Taeko, Juniors and Mighty Mites. Darren gets particular satisfaction out of encouraging and seeing people achieve their personal goals. Darren thoroughly enjoys his training, and tries to pass on that enthusiasm to his fellow students.
Jimmy started training at Northstar 10 years ago. He is currently 2nd Dan Black. He has competed extensively in Australia, Japan and Brazil. Jimmy is the current “Northstar Fighting Spirit Champion” and facilitates the popular Thursday night sparring class.
I started Shinbudo as I was looking for a way to get fit and lose weight, and I certainly achieved that within the first year or so of training. But what has kept me training here so long is the depth in the system. Shinbudo has taught me to challenge myself, both physically as well as challenging my thinking, and I’ve so often been surprised by what I’ve been able to achieve. I now carry this attitude with me into the workplace and into my personal life.
- Started Shinbudo in 2002. Graded to black in 2006. Graded to 2nd dan in 2010
- Taught kids classes from green belt and adults classes from brown belt
- NCAS Level 2 Coaching Certificate
- Really enjoy teaching and helping other people achieve their goals
Started at Northstar in 2003. Competed in numerous Fighting Spirit competitions from 2005-2007. Competed in Tokyo, Japan for SAW 2007. Graded to 1st Dan June 2008. Graded to 2nd Dan Dec 2010. Level 2 NCAS Coach.
One thing that I’ve always stressed as a testimonial when meeting new students is what your system has done for my life…At the time I started with the school, I hung with the wrong crowd of people and often found myself on the bad end of self defence situations. Not only has Northstar taught me how to defend myself but it’s given me the foresight to avoid those situations entirely. The lessons learnt have also influenced areas of my work and personal life for the better, and continue to teach me more about my own potential.
Began training at Northstar 2005. 2nd Dan Black Belt in Shinbudo. Level 2 NCAS Coach
Training in Shinbudo is not just an intense physical workout, it’s a workout for the mind and the spirit. What sets Shinbudo apart is that the work continues outside the dojo, making a conscious effort to use simple lessons such as stillness, presence, balance and awareness has such an enormous impact on your own personal and professional development. Just as important though, it’s an awesome self-defence system that just work. Stephen currently teaches the Northstar system at his own school Weststar in Perth.
Ben is a black belt in Shinbudo Jujitsu and Northstar Instructor – NCAS Level 2 – Senior Coach through the Australian Jujitsu Federation. Ben boxed as an amateur at a junior level with PCYC and many years later decided to expand his martial arts by joining Northstar in 2005. Ben loves introducing new students to the benefits of practical fitness and self defence through martial arts. He particularly enjoys leading sparring sessions for new martial artists and helping them test their new skills in a safe and controlled, yet robust manner.
Martial Arts has made such a huge impact on my life. It has given me focus, patience, confidence, calmness and, most importantly, peace. I would not be the same or even half the person I am today without the influence and power of the Martial Arts at Northstar. I am incredibly grateful to be able to pass on these gifts through the children’s programs at Northstar and changing more lives in a positive manner.
- Second Dan Black Belt in Shotokan Karate
- Passed Black Belt Martial Arts Instructor Accreditation 2002
- Silver Medalist/2nd place in NSW AKF State Sparring 2003
- Bronze Medalist/3rd Place in Synchronised Kata NAS 2003
- Teaching Childrens Martial Arts for over 9 years
- I have been a member of Northstar for 7 years and graded to 1st dan in 2009, and 2nd Dan in June 2012.
- I currently teach at the North Sydney PCYC on Mondays and Saturdays, where we implement a focus on dynamic fitness and crisp, sharp striking techniques.
- I am principally interested in the street efficiency of Shinbudo, its ability to prepare the mind for conflict (of any variety) and the simplicity of its defensive and attacking movements.
- Philosophically, I am interested in truth, and Shinbudo has introduced me to the responsibility that one has to effect truth in a calm yet committed manner in all areas of life.
- When I am not in the dojo I can be found on the athletics track, as I am a competing masters international sprint athlete, or traipsing around after my twins Olly and Sophie, who test my resolve at every opportunity.
I started Martial Arts with Northstar around October 2004 when I saw the massive progress that my eldest son, Jensen, was making as a Junior. I new that I had to join, and, after four years of working my way through the various belts, I subsequently made it to Black Belt in December 2008 and 2nd Dan in June 2012, and this December will mark three years of teaching for me as a Black belt. Having reached Black belt, I fell like a lot of the real learning is ahead of me, so in a funny way, Black belt signifies the beginning of the journey rather than the end. I am highly motivated by the concept of service, and the way in which the Northstar system encourages senior belts to help junior belts from the moment they set foot in our dojo. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as seeing someone who you’ve helped along the way, actually achieve their goal, whether it be their next belt, weight loss, fitness, or whether it be related to their mental discipline, their attitude or a combination of all of these.
When it comes to kids, I’m constantly amazed by their achievements, their focus, their progress and their attitude. The Northstar system helps kids from all backgrounds and capabilities to develop a can-do attitude, and it helps to build a solid foundation as they develop into young women and men. I’ve seen first hand with my eldest son, Jensen, who graded to Junior Black Belt 5 years ago, aged 10, the positive impact that Northstar had on his life, and my youngest, Gus, is hoping to grade to Junior Black Belt this December, so I feel well qualified to throw my support behind the wonderful work that Northstar does with kids.
Put simply, regardless of your goal or your capability or your background, Northstar works.
My Northstar journey started with my children. My son has always had low muscle tone and I wanted an activity that I hoped would strengthen his mind as well as his body. Martial arts was the last thing on my mind but I immediately liked the concept of what could be achieved. I watched my son in his classes (getter stronger and more confident) and then my daughter soon followed. One day I decided to try it myself – just to get fit I told myself. Three years later I emerged a black belt.
Along the way I decided to join the Children’s Trainer’s program. I have always been passionate about making a difference in the lives of children and I believe that you have to help guide their journey as best you can by providing as many life opportunities as possible. Northstar is one of those life opportunities.
- 1st Dan Black Belt
- NCAS Level 1
- Senior First Aid
I started Martial Arts at Northstar out of curiosity. I was witnessing the change in my husband who joined the previous year, and decided that I had to give it a try. Got hooked after the first class. Northstar and Shinbudo gave me a lot of confidence and changed the way I look at life and approach a lot of situations. I cannot imagine my life without Shinbudo. It keeps me grounded and calm. Northstar also gave me some great opportunities along the way, like becoming a children’s instructor and opening my own Martial Arts school. My journey with Northstar keeps growing and I know that I still have a lot to learn.
- First Dan Black Belt – Dec 2008
- NCAS Level 1
- Senior First Aid
- Children’s Instructor since 2006
I joined Northstar in 2005 and was quickly keen to help out and learn to become a trainer, first in children’s classes, and eventually adult ones.
Northstar and Shinbudo have taught me a lot of things about myself and about human nature, especially how we tend to worry about what’s going to happen next and forget to enjoy the present moment. It’s also taught me some very good lessons about how we can be prejudiced, even when we can’t imagine such a thing about ourselves.
Along the way, I’ve become fitter, more confident and made some really good friends. Now I’ve taken a step further and run my own martial arts school. I’m proud to have the opportunity to teach children focus, respect, discipline, manners, hard work and, more importantly, that “a black belt is just a white belt who never gave up”.
- 2nd Dan Black Belt – June 2011
- 1st Dan Black Belt – June 2008
- NCAS Level 2
- Apply First Aid