Posthumous award for martial arts achiever

photo of James O'Malley

James Michael O’Malley, one of the greatest ambassadors for the Peter Morton Academy of Judo Jujitsu Karate, was posthumously inducted into the AMAHOF for 2004.

He received a Lifetime Achievement Award for Jujitsu.

Queanbeyan Age newspaper article

James was born and bred in Queanbeyan and the attributes of a good sportsman came naturally to him. He played rugby union, was passionate about tennis and marathon running and was often described as a gentleman’s gentleman.

In 1959 James started his martial arts training under the guidance of Peter Morton (Frog) and they became best mates. They shared many interests including the early years of the Queanbeyan Whites Rugby Union Club.

Under James’ guidance, for more than thirty years, many children were taught martial arts and sporting greats such as David Campese (rugby international) were taught how to fall safely. James also helped to train actor George Lazenby (another Queanbeyan lad) in martial arts so that George would appear more convincing as he played the role of James Bond.

James was always available to help wherever and whenever he was needed and he instructed at many of the academy’s branches. Even after his “retirement” from active martial arts, he still assisted teaching wherever and whenever he was needed.

James was the academy’s Deputy Principal for many years and he attained the level of 6th Dan Black Belt in 1996. In 1997, in recognition of his many years of loyalty and friendship to the academy, James was awarded life membership and became only the second person in the academy at that time to have received the award.

James O’Malley passed away from a battle with pancreatic cancer on 5 August 2002. He will always be remembered and appreciated for his work and dedication to the academy and Frog says that it would have been a good thing if James had received the AMAHOF award a few years earlier.

James was not only considered a first-class instructor but he was also considered a first-class bloke.

This year’s Australasian Martial Arts Hall of Fame (AMAHOF) presentations were held in Perth, Western Australia on Saturday 7 June.

Established in 1995, AMAHOF recognises and rewards the outstanding service of martial artists of all styles in the pursuit of excellence. AMAHOF encourages, promotes, develops, extends and supervises martial arts throughout Australasia.

This article was published in the Queanbeyan Age on 2 July 2004