Bermudian martial artist honoured in New York State
Bermudian Burnell Williams has been inducted into the New York International Hall of Fame for Jiu-Jitsu.
Mr Williams successfully completed all the requirements demanded by the United Sanuces Family Association in the art of Sanuces Ryu Jiu-Jitsu for the rank of Honorary Grandmaster an eighth degree black belt.
He had previously earned his tenth degree black belt in Italy.
Mr Williams recently travelled to New York to receive his honour.
“I was holding back tears,” he said of the experience. “People who didn’t even know said they had heard of me.”
Mr Williams said he lived in Italy for 16 years during which time he was inducted into the Provincia di Milano Hall of Fame.
He received the certification of Grandmaster in Bermuda, on May 5. It recognises him as a tenth degree red belt.
Mr Williams has taught students of the martial arts in Italy, Bermuda and England. He began his career as a body builder, competing in Bermuda, St Thomas, Italy, Singapore and the USA.
He recently published ‘Believe in Yourself’, a book about his experiences.
In the book’s introduction, politician and author Dale Butler describes Mr Williams as “our Superman and Hulk”. The book is a pictorial biography of Mr Williams’ life as a student and teacher.
He now works as a personal trainer and martial arts teacher at the Olympic Club.