DISCIPLINED: Judo has taught Micheal Pennisi to show control and remain calm.
DISCIPLINED: Judo has taught Micheal Pennisi to show control and remain calm. Rian Cloete

Discipline holds military man in good stead

Judo exponent Micheal Pennisi says the discipline he learned from the sport serves him well in his work with the Australian Defence Force.

"The discipline I've learned through martial arts enables me to stay calm and keep my cool,” he said.

"It is about being smart rather than gung-ho.”

A former student of Sensei Brian Mills and Sensei Mark O'Dempsey at the Ipswich PCYC, Cpl. Pennisi recently relocated to Newcastle to further his career.

The move is also an effort to close the distance between he and his partner, Alyx Robinson, 27, who also serves in the military and is based at Williamtown in Newcastle.

Separated for more than a year, Pennisi said the time apart was both financially and emotionally draining for the couple and he had been desperate to reunite.

"There was an emotional imbalance but now we're together, it is very balanced,” he said. "It's a very a strong relationship.”

He is still paying a mortgage on a house in the boom Ipswich suburb of Ripley but jumped at the chance to shift south when it arose.

Such is life for defence force personnel, the weapons training instructor will soon move again to Wagga Wagga.

Based in the regional NSW town, he will await the full recovery of his shoulder before turning his attention to his goal of entering the special forces.

Though he possesses the necessary conditioning, spirit and attitude to succeed within Australia's most highly-trained special operations units, Pennisi understands the challenge that may lay ahead if he is given the chance to prove his mettle.

"No matter how fit you are, you will break,” he said. "They make it harder and harder in order to break you physically and mentally.”

Pennisi said he was inspired earlier in life to enter the military by the influence of key father figures and had never wanted to earn a living any other way

As part of his involvement with the ADF, he has been chosen to appear at the World Military Championships to be held in Paris late next year.

Pennisi said he did not previously know much about the competition but was proud to be chosen to represent his country's defence forces.

He said he had plenty of time to allow his shoulder to heal and prepare, and he would do so in earnest.



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