graham darby

Inducted into the A.M.A.H.O.F.(Inc) for 2002

Inducted into the W.K.U.H.O.F. for 2002

Sensei Graham Darby was ‘introduced to martial arts by Soke Peter Morton, his Rugby coach, in 1974. Soke Morton’s enthusiasm and love for the art, and those associated with it, inspired Sensei Darby to join the Queanbeyan RSL Judo and Ju-Jitsu Club. Sensei Darby trained with the Club to receive his yellow belt in 1974, orange, green and 2nd Kyu brown belts in 1975. In 1976 he was successful in gaining his Ist Kyu brown belt. Sensei Darby was active in instructing juniors at the Queanbeyan Club for the next seven years.

In 1984 he continued to teach and train at the Hughes Branch of the Academy and was nominated by the Sensei of that club Kevin Barrie to the black belt class. In 1986, at the age of 37 years, Sensei Darby received his Shodan. He was successful in gaining his Nidan in 1989, Sandan in 1993, and Yon Dan in 1998.

In 1986, following Phil Klein’s retirement, Sensei Darby assumed the position of Chief Instructor of the Evatt Branch of the Academy. Through his co-ordination of the Evatt Branch and his instruction of both junior and senior students, Sensei Darby realised the need for women’s self defence training and set about establishing class sessions on a regular basis. Many of the participants continued on with the Club as successful mainstream Ju-Jitsu students on completion of the self defence classes.

In 1995, Sensei Darby, with the assistance of his coordinators Mr and Mrs Graham Mitchell, hosted the outstandingly successful National Seminar for the Peter Morton Academy involving approximately 200 participants. His Club is presently organising the 2002 National Seminar.

From 1986, Sensei Darby has been regularly involved in inter-club and black belt gradings, including demonstrations in Canberra, Boorowa and the Bateman’s Bay area.

To expand his knowledge in martial arts, Sensei Darby has participated in many seminars and training schools including the Australian Society of Ju-Jitsuans and Kokusai Jo Weapons Training. Where permitted, many of these sessions were recorded on video and have culminated in an extensive Club reference library on Judo, Ju-Jitsu and Karate styles.

During 1990, Sensei Darby, in conjunction with the ACT Police and Deputy Police Commissioner, Mr Dennis McDermott, coordinated and participated in a combined seminar for students at the ACT Police Boys’ Club. This seminar was enhanced by the input of Shihan Les Harnos and his students from Zen Bu Kan.

In 1994, Sensei Darby instructed and managed a team which competed in the ACT ASJJ Competition at the Kokusai Dojo. He is also qualified as a certificated Level One Referee in competition Ju-Jitsu. Under instruction from Stewart Forsyth, master in ancient healing techniques, Sensei Darby completed a Shiatsu Certificate and continues to practise it for the benefit of friends and students.

Sensei Darby is a Level One Coach with the Australian Coaching Council, and is a fully qualified Sports First Aider with the Australian Sports Medicine Federation. With his diverse knowledge, combined with guidance from Soke Peter Morton, he has volunteered in the capacity of first aid support and strapper to many sporting teams including the ACT Schools Touch Football Team, Northern Suburbs Women’s Rugby League Team, and regional Netball Teams. This necessitated travel to Sydney and interstate with the teams. He has also been involved with the coaching of junior Rugby in Queanbeyan with the Whites Rugby Club.

Sensel Darby has been involved in many fundraising activities and community projects including: hangis/barbeques at his property near Canberra attracting over 250 people on each occasion. As a result, club funds were supplemented for the purchase of dojo mats and other necessities; boating trips on the Clyde River with the Bateman’s Bay Game Fishing Club which entertained Camp Quality kids; and fundraisers through family paintball business, in conjunction with a local FM radio station, generating essential funds for Kids for Cancer.

Sensei Darby was also a foundation member of the Canberra Irish Club, serving on the Committee for two years and providing voluntary assistance in the club during its early development. He also formed the ACT Pest Controller’s Association and resided as President for four years.

Sensel Darby spent early years as a ‘typical Aussie kid’ with many hours surfing and fishing in Murwillumbah in northern New South Wales where his family was involved in banana growing. He graduated from the Hawkesbury Agricultural College in 1970 and has maintained a continuing link with the land to this day, living on his farm where he grazes sheep, farms trout and pursues various horticultural activities. He formed a pest control and horticultural business in 1978, which is currently still in operation.

Other sporting activities include fourteen years playing Rugby Union with the Queanbeyan Whites Club in the Flanker position, where his ethos of fair play and true team spirit were always upheld. He played for ACT Northern Suburbs Rugby for three seasons due to a move interstate. He then experimented with Rugby League for two seasons playing for West Belconnen RLFC. Fishing has been a lifelong passion and he has won both the Australian Open Fishing Pairs (Freshwater) and the Bateman’s Bay Blue Water Classic with a 102kg Black Marlin 1993.

Sensei Darby has the joy of a loving daughter and son, Emma and Luke, both of whom are martial artists with the Academy. They both pursue ‘adrenaline sports’ including snowboarding, snow skiing, scuba diving, spear fishing, rock climbing, abseiling, bridge jumping, parachuting and paint balling. Tayla Anne is the apple of her grandfather’s eye and is no stranger at the dojo.

The teachings, example and humility of Soke Morton have greatly influenced Sensei Darby’s life and he is truly thankful for this enrichment. This inspired Sensei Darby to nominate his mentor for the Advance Australia Award in 1993. This endeavour was rewarded in the presentation of the much deserved prestigious Award in 1994 to Soke Morton in the company of other great achievers like Gabby Hollows and Kerry Packer.

Sensel Darby’s credo is to aspire to his Master Soke Morton’s deeds and ideals and to acknowledge “it is less important what happens to a man than what happens within”.