John Will began his martial arts training in 1972.
With a basic grounding in amateur wrestling, Goju Kai Karate and Taekwondo. He first left Australian shores in 1975 to study the indigenous martial arts systems of South East Asia; with many of those years spent in Indonesia learning Pentjak Silat.
The next twenty five years have seen him take more than 30 overseas training trips; including stints in Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan, India, the U.S.A and Brazil. In ‘82, he entered and won gold in the first World Silat Championships held in Jakarta, the first and at that time, the only non-Indonesian to accomplish that.
His friendship with long-time training partner Richard Norton, opened many doors to him in the Unites States, that perhaps would have been closed to most people. So in the late 80’s, he began training with such notables as Benny Urquidez, Gene LeBell, Shuki Ron, Pete Cunningham, Rorion and Rickson Gracie and the Machado brothers.
In the late 80’s, a friendship with Rigan Machado allowed John to travel to and train in Brazil. There, he was exposed to a wide cross-section of Brazil’s best BJJ coaches, and so began his serious study of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He was finally awarded the rank of black belt by Rigan and Jean Jacques Machado in 1998; making him one of the ‘BJJ Dirty Dozen’, the first twelve non-Brazilian BJJ black belts in the world.
Up until that time, John had taught Shootfighting, a street-oriented blend of Groundfighting and Stand-up work; but upon being graded to black belt under the Machado’s, he felt the time was right to promote and develop the Brazilian art here in Australasia. Hence, BJJ Australia, the Australasian branch of the Machado Organization, was formed. As national director for Machado BJJ, he has to this date, written three books on the art, with plans for more in the pipeline.
His schedule is a demanding one, even by international standards. John now conducts in excess of fifty BJJ seminars throughout Australia and overseas, each calendar year. He also works with law enforcement groups and Special Operations personnel to improve their arrest and control procedures. Between writing books, running seminars, travelling and training with the worlds martial arts elite, our three time winner of the Blitz – Martial Arts Hall of Fame Award, can still be found most often, at his schools in Melbourne and Geelong. His passion for teaching and getting ‘down to business’ remains undiminished.
With more and more of the country’s top instructors wanting to include an element of grappling in their course curriculum, his schedule if anything, is becoming busier. When asked what he enjoys most about his life as a martial artist, he replies “Teaching the art; the continual evolution of the art; and the great friendships we form along the way.”
His plans for the future include, more books, more travel, more training and more time with his family.
Schools throughout the Australasian region that are associated with John are listed in both the directory of Australia’s Martial Arts magazine – Blitz, as well as on this website..
John has recently published his journey of self discovery in a series of book called Rogue Black Belt
Here is an ‘edgy’ philosophy that cuts right to the heart of how human beings fear, fight, learn, love and live.
This is Life Coaching at it’s very best. You will not find any sugar-coated, fortune-cookie style advice in this book; this is a hard-hitting guide to self-discovery and the search for true purpose.
Through the tale of his amazing personal journey, John Will delivers truth and advice that will speak to the very core of your being.