Who are you?

Andrew John Nerlich.

I was born in December, 1954 in Adelaide, South Australia.

I've been married to Patricia since 1985. We have no children, but have shared our lives with several Siamese cats.

We live in Pennant Hills, a suburb of Sydney, Australia.

My father still lives in Adelaide and is in good health for age 87. He sensibly married a nurse, twenty years younger than him, about thirty years ago. I have two brothers, one in Melbourne, one in Canberra.

I'n a cisgendered white male. No offence.

What is your profession?

I am a retired software developer. I am experienced in a number of programming languages, operating systems and technology platforms - from Cobol on MVS, to C# on Windows, to Java and Android development on Ubuntu Linux.

I still keep my hand in - after I retired, I took a pretty detailed four semester Android development course from Coursera. I achieved full marks in every module, finished in the top 100 out of over 3000 who started the course, and won a small prize. Old dogs can certainly learn new tricks - if they want to.

Can you describe your involvement in martial arts?

I commenced martial arts training with Sifu David Crook in Canberra in 1977, studying Bac Fu Do (White Tiger) Kung Fu. I spent about 18 months with David as a mostly private student and learned a huge amount in a very short time. My involvement with David helped me find the warrior beneath my wimpish exterior.

I trained in Xingyi, Bagua and Taiji in Sydney from approximately 1980 to 1985 with Dean Rainer.

I commenced training in Red Boat Wing Chun with Sifu Rick Spain in 1989 and continue that training to this day. Membership number 66. I hold a Red Belt/Sash in that system, currently the highest grade attainable. I continue to teach, though nearly all Jiu Jitsu these days, at the Red Boat academy in Redfern. Rick Spain helped me achieve things I never thought possible.

I commenced training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with Rick Spain in 1998. I trained Jiu Jitsu with other instructors such as Anthony Perosh and Elvis Sinosic for shorter periods. I joined Lange's MMA with head coach Anthony Lange in 2007 and continue training there today. Membership number 403. I was awarded my Jiu Jitsu black belt in December 2013. At time of writing, October 2017, I hold a black belt first degree. Peter King and Darko Zaric, along with Anthony Lange, were essential influencers in my Jiu Jitsu development.

I am not a competitor, though I did compete at age 60 in the IBJJF Sydney International in Black Belt Master 6 in 2015 against later Master 6 world champion Gregg Toyama. I lost on points but was otherwise happy with my performance.

I have acted as a BJJ referee several times a year for about ten years, since I became a purple belt.

I hold instructor grades and have taught both Wing Chun and Jiu Jitsu fairly regularly for decades. But I prefer to call myself an "advanced student".

What else do you do?

I have a wide range of interests, including reading, writing, drawing, personal development and spiritual matters. There's a large area of parks and bushland near my house in which I enjoy training and long walks. I enjoy the beach and surfing, I rode surfboards for over a decade, but just body surf these days.

Have you ...

Travelled? Australia, New Zealand, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Britain and Western Europe, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Taiwan, Japan, West Coast USA, Las Vegas, Hawaii.

I lived in England between the ages of one and seven. I also lived in Canberra, Australia for eighteen months.

Been injured? Broken wrist, broken toe, two separated shoulders, knee arthroscopy, several popped ribs, innumerable tweaked fingers and toes. Black eyes by the truckload.

I have an L5 spondyliolisthesis with L5 slipped anteriorly over S1. This caused significant back pain for over 15 years which often made martial arts training a frustrating experience. I finally met an excellent physiotherapist named Kingsley who in three months basically cured the problem,  to which 15 years of previous chiropractic treatment had made only small improvements.

Everyone is different, treatment that worked for me may not work as well for you, and vice versa. If you have a physical issue, try several modalities and practitioners, keep trying, don't give up.

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