john_gill_pic2smallAbout John Gill

Master John Gill 

World Champion Martial Artist, International Motivational Speaker

John Gill is the current world self-defence champion and winner of 33 Martial Arts titles, including  20 world championships. (Black Belt over 18 yrs divisions). He is a7th Dan black belt master instructor in Hapkido and Taekwondo and won the 2016 Action Star event

John Gill was the first instructor to teach self defence  at Girls High schools from  1985 and opened the worlds first women’s only Hapkido class in 1987.

John Gill was selected to teach Self-Defence by the Australian Government for the 16 Days of Activism for the prevention of Gender based violence in the Solomon islands in November 2019.

He was inducted into the Martial Arts Hall of Fame as 2016 and 2017 Hapkido Master of the Year , 2017 Black Belt Competitor of the Year and 2020 Hapkido Master of the Year and Black Belt Self-Defense competitor of the Year.  Master Gill is also the Australian record-holder for the most individual world title wins in Australian sporting history.

He is an ambassador for the White Ribbon Foundation for the prevention of violence against women. He is a seven time nominee for Australian of the Year for his contribution to women’s and children’s safety, and was named Local Sportsperson of the Year at the 2013 Australia Day awards.

John Gill has featured numerous times on national radio and television including Studio Ten , The Today show, The Morning Show, Sunrise and kerri-Anne 3 times and also featured on Ch10 news in 1988 and in the 1990’s Wonderworld , Ch 7 news ,The 7.30 report and Hinch.

John Gill  has also is  featured in the books ‘Think Big’ by Cydney O’Sullivan  ‘The world’s Greatest Martial Artists’ by Ted Gambordella, ‘Real women’s Self defense’ by Allen Woodman and the ‘Who’s Who in the Martial Arts’ by Jessie Bowen

John Gill is the principal and Master instructor of the Australian School of Self Defence and an international Motivational speaker with Motivational Masters.

He has taught self-defence workshops in Australian schools since 1985 and corporate motivational empowerment workshops throughout the world.  Master John Gills  mottos are “fear not, fire up” and “action speaks louder thancom.au

Email info@usaschoolofselfdefense.com or phone/text 424 702 9337


My Martial Arts Journey: How it has improved my life―and can improveyours too!

The Martial arts of Hapkido and Taekwondo, taught to me by Grandmaster Sung Soo Lee, has enriched my life in so many ways―it’s been the ultimate personal development system. Firstly, my confidence and a feeling of psychological and physical wellbeing has stayed with me and only improves as time goes on. Over the years, my health, fitness, co-ordination, reflexes, concentration, focus, resilience, mental toughness and overall self-confidence and self-esteem have improved immensely. The benefits of training in martial arts have also assisted me in winning competitions and tournaments in my other sport of tennis.

I have won 33 events in martial arts championships, including 19 world titles at the World Championships of Martial Arts run by the International Martial Arts Council (IMAC) every June in Las Vegas and 1 in Febuary 2020 the NASKA compete World Championships.  I also dedicate these championship wins and my success in Hapkido and Taekwondo to one of the best instructors and grandmasters in the world Senior Grandmaster Sung Soo Lee, a 9th Dan black belt in Hapkido and Taekwondo, who has been an amazing instructor and mentor to me, and is a man who I and so many others highly respect and admire. He has inspired me to reach my peak in my training and teaching, and we have had such a mutually fulfilling relationship for so long that he is like a second father to me―I will always respect and be ever thankful to Grandmaster Lee. Having the privilege of teaching others Hapkido and Taekwondo has been an exceptional and personally satisfying contribution to society, and I have seen students develop into better and more confident people. I have always emphasized to my students the philosophy of non-violence, respecting others, politeness, manners and doing the right thing by other people, to develop themselves to their full potential. One of the biggest compliments I have received was when I met one of my black belt students after many years. He was so excited to see me. I said, “Great to see you, David! How’s life?” His reply was, “Great thanks to you.” He went on to say that the confidence of knowing how to defend himself if needed, combined with my philosophy and my positive attitude to life has really stayed with him. This made me feel so good. I am a strong believer that you are a product of your environment, and that your parents, teachers, coaches and friends are all influences and mentors that make a major impact on your attitude to life and your philosophy.

“View rightly,feel rightly,think rightly, speak rightly,order rightly,contribute rightly,have rightly,conduct rightly.” ― Grandmaster Sung Soo Lee’s Hapkido Moohakkwan and Taekwondo Jidokwan Federation membership card.

Grandmaster Lee has an inspirational and positive attitude to life and really lives by this philosophy, which is very similar to that of my parents, Walter and Aileen. This combination of healthy influence has made me and my students into better people. Martial artists just seem to have greater discipline and respect towards others. The physical moves such as the hand and foot movements for a self-defence situation seems to have a reverse effect, in that it makes you more peaceful, respectful, disciplined and much more likely to not fight. Martial arts are also a complete system of life skills. They give you the self-confidence and self-esteem to ignore bullies, as practitioners know they have the skill to protect themselves if it ever did get physical, creating true physical and mental empowerment. As well as learning “stranger danger”, increasing personal safety, and the skills to protect yourself and your loved ones from potentially dangerous physical confrontations, the other health benefits of martial arts are:

  • Improved cardiovascular health to strengthen and improve heart and lung efficiency.
  • Weight control―a moderate one-hour training session can burn up to 500 calories.
  • Improved motor skills; co-ordination, reflexes and reaction times which will improve your other sports as well as important skills such as your driving ability.
  • Improves body control, flexibility, strength, balance and posture.
  • Focus and concentration, which results in improved grades at school, performance at work or in other sporting endeavours.
  • Self-discipline, goal-setting, motivation, self-control and perseverance.
  • Mental toughness, self-belief, resilience, memory and retention.

Martial arts also teach important morals and values, like self-respect, respect for others, honesty, modesty, courtesy and integrity. They also assist in learning social skills which result in better relationships and friendships. I have found martial arts to be a great stress release and after teaching for over 30 years, I have seen aggressive or hyperactive people calm down and become more relaxed, and shy, unconfident people increase their confidence. It levels people out psychologically and helps them to evolve. This results in greater emotional and physical health and happiness, which is ultimately what people want and strive for in their lives. Regarding the use of the techniques taught, I have always emphasized the importance of verbal methods to diffuse a potentially dangerous situation and employing non-aggressive techniques as a priority in any situation. The kicks and punches are only to be used if your life is in immediate danger, or if the attacker has a dangerous weapon and you have no means of escape. In my career, I have heard of about 20 of my students finding themselves in threatening situations, that were able to defend themselves successfully. However, none have caused a major injury to an attacker and just did enough to enable themselves to get away unharmed. A lot of students have also said they have talked an aggressor down with some of my verbal methods I have taught them, while others have said they have never had to use the techniques. However, their knowledge of martial arts gives them peace of mind, makes them feel safer, more confident and less fearful.

There is an expression, “Better to know and not need than to need and not know.” In fact, Psychology Today magazine did a study that said people who continue to practice the martial arts for prolonged periods are different from the general population in these ways. ‘They have a lower level of anxiety, an increased sense of responsibility, they are less likely to be radical, they have an increased level of self-esteem and are more socially intelligent, particularly those who have attained the rank of the black belt. I truly believe if everyone practiced martial arts, taught by a good instructor with a great philosophy, the world would be a safer place with less crime, less need for drugs or excessive alcohol, less depressed people and less bullies. Training in martial arts develops self-esteem, self-confidence and self-worth which results in ultimate peace of mind and happiness. Martial arts also overcome fear and obstacles in life but they have to be introduced in the right way. With over 30 years’ experience in teaching I like to offer a separate beginners class, and before people attend, I ask them to watch some of my television segments and one of my free tuition videos, so they are more prepared for what they will be learning in the class. For those who are too far away to attend my classes or workshops I offer an online learning system at www.martialartsclassesonline.com.

Taekwondo is an Olympic sport and that there are no punches to the head unlike boxing and the UFC, making Taekwondo much safer. I emphasize that we have a philosophical attitude and a traditional attitude to Taekwondo and I have even taken out the punches from the first two forms. The reason is that the students need to mentally grow to understand the consequences of punching someone, particularly to the head, which in Australia is now punishable by a minimum of 10 years in jail, known as the “one-punch law”. So, I teach palm pushes and lower kicks for beginners until I think they are mature enough to understand violence and its consequences. Hapkido and Taekwondo are very popular martial arts; it’s up to all of us Masters and Grandmasters to keep the tradition and promote the many benefits and life skills people can learn to improve their lives and their philosophy. Our research has revealed alarming Australian statistics about violence, and evidence that the problems are increasing. For example:

  • 25% of children are physically bullied and 40% of youth suicide is caused by bullying.
  • Child abduction by strangers is increasing.
  • A 128% increase in sexual assaults since 1990. 1 in 3 women are sexually or physically assaulted in their lifetime. 35% will become victims of domestic violence.
  • Australia has the world’s 3rd highest rate per capita for rape.
  • Domestic violence is the most common cause of death of women aged 25 to 45.

Motivational Masters is a worldwide workshop and online learning system designed to motivate and empower individuals through martial arts movements. It’s not just about fun and games; we’re providing valuable self-defence skills, life skills and anti-bullying tips to build confidence, self-esteem and mental toughness, as well as physical fitness. We see people of all ages; there are separate classes and workshops for children, adults and seniors, plus mixed family classes. You don’t even have to be physically fit to join in. All our classes and workshops are non-contact, easy to learn and safe to practice for any fitness level. Beginners start in small classes with individual attention and can work their way up to competition classes if they choose.

Passion, dedication and focus has been the secret to my success―you can do the same! Thank you for reading my story and for more information about my programmes please visit my websites  www.motivationalmasters.com.au  www.selfdefenceaustralia.com.au


Janine Dale – West Pymble Public School Parent

Dear John,
I am writing to thank you for the dramatic impact your Taekwondo & Self Defence Classes have made on my children.

After only a few terms of training I have seen a great improvement in their focus and concentration in school and across all other areas of life, but most importantly a new found confidence. This is not an arrogant “I can beat anyone up” confidence, but a sense of security and maturity.

I believe a huge part of this comes from the philosophies and good old-fashioned values you place as much importance on, as the physical side of training. You make the classes fun, but still command respect while encouraging honesty, integrity, motivation, discipline and important life skills such as conflict resolution. I feel children today do not get enough exposure to these important attributes and having them reinforced outside the home supports our words as parents within.
You are an outstanding role model not just in terms of individual accomplishments, but what you see possible for each and every child in your positive approach and helping them believe they can do whatever they put their mind to.

I regularly turn up early to classes to be inspired by your words and am so grateful you impart this to our children. My favourite bit is when you ask “What have you done for your parents around the house this week?” you show us respect as parents too and reinforce the teamwork it takes to be a family. Thank you for helping my boys shine.

Warm Regards,
Janine Dale | West Pymble Public School Parent

Experience that counts

John Gill offers seminars that are available for schools, businesses and sports clubs.

Please browse our site for more information on classes and articles on Master Gill and the benefits of Martial Arts.

Self Defence Videos and DVD’s are also available. Please see our DVD’s section for more information..

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