/ Special Class with Richard Norton

Today's class with Sensei Norton was a truly incredible experience. I was looking forward to it all day, and it did not disappoint. There were a few points which I took from it, which I hope to carry with me.

The most important is "fighting to survive". Before one can even think about winning a fight, one must worry solely about surviving a fight. It is fun and sexy to learn take downs, submissions, and finishes. But the real excellence in fighting lies in the grunt work. In taking the hits, and learning how to do so. In arduously working to position your opponent to your advantage. In learning to recognize patterns, and sometimes in surviving long enough for your opponent to tire out or to make a mistake. Winning is a moot point if one does not survive.

To that end, I took a lot out of his teaching of "position before submission". This seems just an offshoot of the above point. Rather than worry about sexy finishes and submissions, one must first learn to master their position. More importantly one must recognize and anticipate patterns in movement which will create opportunities for you. This is much like an article I was reading in Black Belt Magazine about the difference between "Jutsu" and "Do". Rather than just "doing" the submission, one must first learn how to get to that point in the first place.

Sensei, I want to thank you very much for inviting Sensei Norton out.

Aamer J

Richard Norton was a great teacher, he clearly conveyed the information that he was teaching and he taught me techniques that I had not heard about previously.
For example he taught how to balance on an opponent to free your hands and improve agility, he also taught arm bar from guard and how to have a defensive stance when in someone else's guard.
Richard Norton was a great teacher and I really learned a lot from him.

Aviv M

I loved todays class with Richard Norton !
He is very impressive; has a great clear way of explaining the technique.
Richard emphasized that our controlled position is the key before progressing to submission. It allows us to stay in position while the opponent is wasting energy in trying to get lose; and plan variety of tactics.
His step-by-step detailed description and demonstration of the drills were very clear and helped understand the process.
We practice a few new drills (for me):
Turtling - no hands, works our movement around the opponent with legs and core, sharpen our coordination, balance and speed.
Surfing from Side control, no hands, pressing the opponent where he/she tries to roll/raise his body, in order to prevent his progress.
Triangle to arm bar, collar cross choke (not sure about the names).
I cant wait to test it in action, when we grapple.
Im grateful for the opportunity to learn from him!

Ronit S

Every class I attend, I try to maximize my experience by listing to details that make the drill or skill unique.
Last night was another class to put in my book (that has many white pages). Amazing instructor, humble, kind and very clear on the skill intentions.
I have seen him at the studio in the past, he comes in the studio as if he is a student, does not portray himself as an individual who is cocky or arrogant and his energy is humble.(If I am wrong, he does a good job at hiding it).
I enjoyed the counter attack moves and showed how a simple movement can be a game changer. I would say side control would be one of my favorite skill, it stood out by allowing you being in control in many ways. If they roll away and get a way there back is towards you and you can still pounce on the opponent.
Thank you for the experience.

Hooman T

What a great class to come back to the studio after being sick for almost a week! I really enjoyed the instruction of Sensei Norton. I was a bit nervous when I found out that he would be teaching grappling, as I don't think grappling is one of my strong points (yet!). Sensei Norton explained that it is more important to get the correct set up in order to finish your opponent. I realized that you have to make sure you have all the pieces in the right place before you finish your opponent. You can't finish them off if they are rolling around or bucking you off. Sensei showed some great moves that with a little practice are highly effective. I will be storing them in my little box of tricks till the time is right.

Kathryn T

It was another fantastic class with an amazing instructor Richard Norton. We learned a lot.
Most important thing is your position in submission.
We also learned how to do a cross choke. Never do a choke hold on your friends or family or lower belts, because they aren't prepared for what you are going to do.
No lazy leg. Your leg must always be on the opponent's back and it cannot be drifting off to the side, and that is what makes a lazy leg.
Thank you for the opportunity to meet with such a legend.

Kai A

My experience at Richard Nortons class was amazing and so much fun. I was in the juniors class in the back Matt and we did such cool drills that we practiced in the back. We only did 2 or 3 of the drills out of like 8 but I'd rather have a little of something then a lot of nothing sensei fariborz told me that.
That quote/saying really meant a lot to me and I honestly I really don't know why but it really stuck to me. It just was so fun and I finally got what he was saying because in almost all of my the black belt classes I really don't understand the drill and that's fine and I'm working on that but in this class I finally got it and I can't even explain how good it felt to actually know what I'm doing so it was very funny I worked a sweat and I learned something new. I had a great experience.

Laila A

I was excited to meet Sensei Norton. It is not every day you get a chance to meet 5th-degree Shihan rank Black Belt in Goju Ryu, 5th-degree master rank in Chun kuk Do, 4th degree Black Belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and an 8th-dree Black Belt in Zen Do Kai Karate. Even better he choked me out several times demonstrating how to properly apply a cross choke, how cool is that!

I love the fact that I found we both have something in common besides our name. He talked about how when he trains with his Brazilian jiu-jitsu Professor there are days he feels like a white belt and how that excites him as that shows him there is still so much to learn. I have the same flame burning deep within a consistent desire to learn more which is exciting.

I loved his leadership style; he took control of the class and was very confident and commanding. Yet he still felt approachable and open to questions. I like how he talked about pressure testing various moves. Ok you think you can knee me in my ribs, give it a try. Oh you think you can get that arm out, lets give it a try. At which point you quickly realize you actually did not want to move that arm because now he moves right into an arm bar. However, he only glossed of that concept, but I think it is so important to pressure test our moves. I hear Sensei Benny talk about a similar principle he calls owning the technique. To truly own something is different then performing the move.

Sensei Norton also talked about being ok with being uncomfortable. That is what Brazilian jiu-jitsu is all about. He explained how combat is tough mentally and physically and to have someone lay on top of you and to try to relax is a great thing to learn especial women dealing with men attackers. The whole idea, god for bid, if this where to happen in real life you have dont freak out, you relax and plan your next move and then attack.

I am very grateful for the opportunity to be able to train with Sensei Norton, several times he came over to Aamer, Darwin and I and stop and help us better understand the holds or to position our bodies correctly and tell us why is was more effective. For me it was like being a kid in a candy store I couldnt get enough.

One last note, the man is in amazing shape, he does not look, act or feel like he is 65 years old! Much like Sensei Benny he moved like a cat. God bless him.

Richard N

I had a really fun experience with Mr. Norton. First, before class Mr. Fariborz had our class sit down and he spoke to us and told us about who Mr. Norton was. He told us things that made me feel luck to be able to take my class with Mr. Norton. The coolest thing I learned about Mr. Norton was that one of his fight scenes people voted as the best fight scene of the year. Secondly, Mr. Norton showed up and we did grappling drills for most of the class. My favorite drill we did was when we turned and put our feet over out partners head while they where in guard. This drill took a long time to figure it out but, when I finally figured it out I felt very nice inside. Lastly, all the juniors who went onto the mat next door, at the end we showed Mr. Norton everything we had learned in the class. MY favorite part in the class was when we got to show off what we had learned on the other mat.

Sam K

I went to Richard Nortons class last night and had a lot of fun. We did grappling drills and I learned many new techniques. It was really energetic and I had a great time.

Sarah D

Sensei RichardIm not sure what Im more impressed with, his age defying abilities, his skills set, or the techniques he taught.maybe a combination of them all. I think the lessons I walked away from class with are very powerful. First off, Sensei Richards presence commands attention. He walks with such posture and confidence. The way he described each technique and the demonstrated the skills were so specific it was captivating to watch and learn. I appreciated learning the techniques. Im concerned there are so many details involved I might forget them if I dont make the time to practice. It was refreshing to see how agile he was. quick and flexible and strong! Many times in life we are reminded or joke about our age or aging and here is a man with amped up energy, flexibility, quickness and strength!

Sharon V

I am Shayna Spindel and I am a black belt candidate.thank you for teaching me grappling. I really liked your class.I look forward to learning new stuff with you this year.

Shayna S

I enjoyed taking the class with mr. Norton yesterday. We learned how to do a new choke, and get into an armbar in a certain way by twisting your hips.I enjoyed the class and watched videos of him in the past. It was a very special and good class.I hope that one day I could be as good as him. PS: I love his Australian accent

Stefan W

Tonight was an awesome experience. First Sensi Richard, explained everything he was doing to the last detail, which was great because I knew exactly what to do. Second, he talked about how positions are very important when grappling and that if you have a good position on your opponent, then when they get tired, you still have energy to do an arm bar or choke. Third, he talked about balancing your weight and when in a good position just shifting your weight a little can block your opponents way of getting out. I am very excited to use some of the techniques he taught in class the next time we grapple.

Adina S

I really enjoyed Richard norton's teachings. He was a great teacher and I learned a lot from him. Even though we have learned some of those techniques before he really helped me understand. Even with his deep accent the way he explained things really helped. I felt honored to be in his presence and to of learned from him. He taught some really good positions and skills that I can use in my grappling and I will always remember to get in a good position before I execute my submission. Thank you so much for finding these amazing teachers and people. I can't wait to meet the next sensei that you bring in I have already learned so much already.

Zachary S

It was a pleasure taking Sensei Richard Norton's class today. Learning about the chokes and the arm bar was interesting. It's exciting to meet and learn new techniques from different instructors. I feel honored to have been given the chance to take class with Sensei Richard. Thank you Mr. Fariborz for the opportunity.

Brittney L

Today's class was full of energy and good vibes. I had so much fun watching Sensei Richard Norton show some of his techniques to us. I realized in the beginning that some of the skills we learned were actually just evolved forms of what we already knew. Even though I only got to try out two of the techniques he showed, at least I perfected them instead of getting a lot of sloppy techniques. Overall today's class was fun a ms something new.

Fareeha A

Wow! I loved him! 65 years old and such flexibility, not to mention good looks. Another wonderful class, like Master Kovar, I have to commend them on teaching so much in such a short period of time and we actually learned some of it. I ended his class with the feeling that I wanted to pursue BJJ when I complete my second degree journey. I felt that my age is not a barrier, my brain may be, but does not have to be. I am determined to eat better, to better care of my body, to rest more, to spend more time with my loved ones and around positive people. To read and learn more and to share my abundance with others.

Gizelda P

In terms of the amount of technique that I learned and it's utility, this has got to be one of the most valuable classes I have ever attended. A few years ago I took a class with him while I was testing for my first degree black belt, so I came into the class excited. In class, I found especially valuable the way he taught us to hold the other person while in guard, at the chest and the hip, keeping them from being able to swing into an arm bar or pull you in to choke. He also introduced a subtle change in cross choke that will allow me to use the technique effectively in a variety of situations, turning the hands in and holding at the neck much higher. I feel confident that the technique I learned from Sensei Norton will be applied in my grappling every week, and I'm extremely interested in learning more jujitsu. The way he described it, like full body chess, is exactly the kind of martial arts that I'd like to explore going forward, and I hope to gain the skill to really relax and work in that logical mindset.

Katherine C

Really enjoyed class with Sensei Richard Norton. This was the second time meeting him but the first time actually learning and taking class from him. I loved how he broke evreutying down in detail and took his time to explain everything, it made it easier to understand each skill. Really enjoyed the arm bar drill from being on your back and having your opponent in your guard. I often try to use that submission and I was glad he reviewed and got into detail with it so I can improve on it. Thankyou for the lesson Sensei Richard.

Sam H

Hi Sensei:
Thanks again for inviting Sensei Richard to teach us last night.
He is without a doubt one of the most well-spoken people I have ever known. He has received awards and then addresses the audience without notes and makes so many important points. The same when on The Mat. He clearly describes the techniques and makes sure we know what is expected of us. Yet he challenges us at the same time.
I look forward to his next class.

Bill N


Words really can not express how I feel or what I want to say. The past 3 years I have spent at TKC have been awesome. I have learned so much and met so many amazing people. I have surpassed limits that I never thought I could break through. Although times my demeanor or body language might not show it, I have the utmost respect for you and everyone at TKC as well. You may not remember the first time we met, but I have not forgotten it. Right then I did not see what was going to happen to me at TKC, but now I realize how much it has changes me and made me into a better person. You have positively changed so many lives and I only hope to change a few in the same way. Thank you for all you have done for me and all you will do for me.

Ronald Rochel

3rd Degree Black Belt

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