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My journey began in martial arts at 15 years of age. My friends and I were beginning to become menaces to society, and I could see that if I continued down that path, I was probably going to end up dead or in gaol. It was at that time that an older friend invited me to come and check out a martial arts class with him. Deciding to go along with him that day was a decision that changed my life forever!
I began learning a very traditional style of martial arts called Jishu Kan Ryu, and stuck with this mix of Karate and Ju Jitsu for 15 years, eventually earning my 3rd Dan black belt. I had never stuck to anything good for more than a week, and here I was 15 years later, now an instructor myself, and as invested as ever in my martial arts. I became passionate about learning more about the fitness industry, so decided to complete my Certificate 3 & 4 in Fitness to broaden my knowledge.
Then one day life threw me another bone… I was offered the opportunity to branch off into a different style of martial arts, and became involved with the English Contact Karate Assosciation (EKKA). My passion for this style led me to become a black belt in Kickboxing, and I found that the practicalities of this form was something that I wanted to share with others. I studied with and remained affiliated with the ECKA for a further 15 years, achieving my 5th Dan in that time. I then branched off ECKA and formed Australian Karate & Kickboxing Assosciation (AKKA) in 2002.
Over the next two years I worked full time with the local council by day, and running my own Karate & Kickboxing classes from a local gym by night. During this time my first group of 20 students (which unbeknownst to me included my future wife) began to grow so much that I started teaching children’s self defence classes also.
My next step was one of the scariest, life changing decisions I have ever made! I decided to leave my job with the Council and make teaching martial arts my life. I literally begged and borrowed enough money to get together a deposit to buy an old laundromat building, which is now the original home of Southern Fitness & Martial Arts Centre in Bomaderry.
It was at this time that I began to compete professionally in Kickboxing & Muay Thai. I travelled numerous times to training camps throughout Thailand to hone my skills. I also began training fighters for semi-contact, amateur and professional bouts. Southern Martial Arts became the home of many State and Australian champions, and continues to nurture young up and comers looking for the ultimate competitive experience.
Over the years I began to develop my own syllabus for adults and children which incorporated more practical self defence techniques, and a combination of the different styles of martial arts I have studied over the years. I branched away from the traditional line of thinking (adults and kids in the same class), because I could see the importance of age appropriate programs.
Southern Fitness & Martial Arts Centre has now been running since 2002 in Bomaderry. The business has evolved over this time, to include kids and adults graded martial arts classes, functional & fitness classes, H.I.I.T. classes & yoga.
In 2007, I became interested in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) and decided to work towards a black belt in this style also. It became apparent to me that this style of self defence was a super effective means of controlling larger opponents, and a really important element that would help me develop women’s self defence programs in the future. I also became interested in close quarter combat, and completed a number of courses with the late Rob Gear, a mentor of mine in this area. I could see how the skills I learned here must also be included in our women’s self defence courses.
In 2010 I formed Southern Fight Promotions and began running professional fight shows for MMA, kickboxing, boxing & muay thai. These shows continue to showcase local, state, national and world champion fighters on an annual basis.
In 2010, good friends of mine opened their own CrossFit box. Both Kristen (my wife) and I became interested in this style of training and decided to do the Level 1 CrossFit Coach’s course. Kristen became a Level 1 Coach, and the affiliate for what would soon be CrossFit Ulladulla in 2013.
In 2013 we opened our second location in Ulladulla and established Southern Fitness & Martial Arts Centre Ulladulla & Cross Fit Ulladulla. Over the years, we have been able to offer a variety of classes including boxing, ZUU, martial arts classes, CrossFit classes & Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Having such a wide variety of classes in both centres got me thinking about how we could become even more inclusive. It was then, in 2020, that The Movement Zone was born. It made sense to me that my team and I could offer something for everyone under the one roof.
So now, from my humble beginnings of 20 founding students in a small gym room, working two jobs and struggling to make ends meet, we have over 500 members between both centres, and continue to grow exponentially.
Today, I encourage others to find their passion and never give up! My mission is to continue to develop relationships and add self confidence to children and adult’s lives everyday.
meet your support team
Jodi Triffett – Coach, Mathew Triffett – Coach, Marina Jonas – Coach, Alan Jones – Head CF Coach, Richard Neradil – Head Instructor & Founder, Kristen Neradil – Coach