Australia Seminar - 30th / 31st August 08

“.. your silat system of unarmed defence against a knife is simple, very fast and effective. Sensei John Haitidis (7th Dan Shotokan karate) and Renshi Shihan Greg Rees (5th Dan WGKA Karate Academy) expressed this view. I feel the same and add that I appreciate the spirit of the workshop and the way you built it up..”
Renshi Shihan Joseph Ielasi 5th Dan Hard and Soft Style (Goju Ryu Karate)

2 successful SSBD seminars in Melbourne, Australia.

The 2 seminars on the 30th and 31st August 2008 was organized by John Schieven and owners of the dojo where the seminars was held.

1st Seminar - 30th August 2008

2nd Seminar - 31st August 2008

The 1st seminar on the 30th August 2008 was held at WGKA Karate Academy under Renshi Shihan Joseph Ielasi.

The 2nd seminar was on the 31st August 2008, held at Six Harmonies Kung Fu Academy at St.Kilda under Shifu Stuart Holdsworth.

Each seminar lasted 4 to 5 hrs. The seminars covered the unarmed blade defence, counters and re-counters through the understanding of blade mechanics.

The seminars were not aimed to teach knife fighting, but unarmed knife defence by understanding of blade mechanics of incoming attacks and conditioning the basic reflex to over come the attack.

More pictures coming soon.


I would like to express my appreciation to John Schieven for organizing the seminars. Silv, Stephanie, Mathew and Olivia for making me feel like part of the family during my stay.

To Renshi Shihan Joseph Ielasi and family and friends at the WGKA Karate Academy, and also demonstrating the finer details of Kata Sanchin. The demo was just amazing.

To Shifu Stuart Holdsworth and friends at the Six Harmonies Kung Fu Academy.

To all that attended and participated from Shotokan Karate, Goju Ryu Karate, Taekwondo, Ziranmen Kung fu, Six Harmonies Kung fu, Kombatan, Doce Pares, Tang Soo Do, Aikido, Kali and Arnis, etc, for their open-mindedness in the seminar - not many martial arts practitioners have this kind of humility, my highest respects for ALL of them. This was such a humbling experience for myself.

To those helping me in the drills and demos. I would like to mention your names, I have the list of names who attended but I do not know which faces it belongs to, my most sincere humblest apologies; but I will mention those that I know; Master Andy Elliot, Sensei Nick Andrianakis, TKD and Ziranmen boys.

To those participated and those that travelled from a distance.

My thank you for everyone for their hospitality, support and most importantly friendship during my stay in Melbourne, Australia.

My sincere apologies if I miss anyone, please correct me if there are any mistakes.

This seminar like my other events aims primarily to raise the curiosity and awareness among people from different nationalities about the martial heritage and culture of Brunei Darussalam in general.


The seminar focuses on the mechanics of unarmed defence against a commited knife attack. On the 1st seminar, the event started with a small introduction by Renshi Shihan Jospeh Ielasi. The 2nd seminar started with a small introduction from John Schieven. Then basically both seminars are instructed in similar formats.

The instruction started with familiarizing the participant with the basic angles of incoming attacks and how to read intention and body mechanics.

In the 1st half of the seminar the participants were instructed on how to flow from the basics of various angles of commited knife attacks, knife interception, defence counters and recounters, flowing from one to the other.

In the 2nd half of the seminar, the participants were instructed body mechanics and changing from one position (height) to another without stopping thier fundamental blade movemenents.

In this part of the seminar techniques are taught.

To avoid the participants from over thinking on every movement, everyone was kept on their toes by making the drills more combative and mass-attack intention. The secret to conditioning reflex is - the less you think with your brain, the more your body remembers. This can only be obtained when your very tired, when you are too tired to think you body will just do.

The seminar was not aimed to teach techniques but principles so that practitioners from varying arts that attended the seminar could benefit from the instruction. The basic drills and principles taught are not to replace sparring or reality, but merely giving the practitioners options on what to do when an unexpected situation arises by conditioning basic reflexes against basic counters. Drilling simple movements against common attacks and counters against a knife defender with different situations, a "would be" victim could raise his chances in surviving the situation.

The seminar was not aimed to make you invincible, but to prepare yourselves incase you do have to face the worst senario of a knife attack.

Feedbacks from the participants were very encouraging, more wanted to know about the Bruneian Martial Arts. For more information on future seminars please visit the seminar/events link on the right side of this page.


WGKA Karate Academy is managed by Renshi Shihan Joseph Ielasi, 5th Dan Blackbelt in Goju Ryu Karate. The academy can be reached at:

1st Floor, 12-14 May Road
Lalor Vic 3075
Tel: 9464 6202

Mob: 0408 345 467

Six Harmonies Kung Fu Academy is managed by Shifu Stuart Holdsworth, 3rd Degree Blackbelt. The academy can be reached at;

Level 1 78 St. Kilda Road, St. Kilda Victoria Australia 3182.
Tel: (03) 9537 0620
Fax: (03) 9537 0348
Mob: 0423 217 523

I have the honor of calling these group of incredible martial artists and individuals my friends.

If you live anywhere near their academy, experience what they have to offer.

John Schieven can be reached at:
Yoshinkan Aikido Training

For the article about my training with Joe Thambu Shihan, 7th Dan Blackbelt Yoshinkan Aikido; Chief Instructor of Shudokan Aikido, Melbourne, Australia, please CLICK HERE.


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