Wheelchair Self Defence Course, Perth Western Australia, 1st and 2nd June 2013

I have just returned from Perth Western Australia where I facilitated a wheelchair self defence course.

Karen Harvey from Spinal Injuries Chatter in Perth was looking at arranging a self defence course but could not find anyone in Perth qualified to teach it.  Enquiries led Karen to Deb Mitchell from Connecting People Coordinator at the NZ Spinal Trust who had organised a similar course in 2012.

That course was taken by Eddie Yee an instructor with the Todd Group and myself.

Debz put Karen on to me and subsequently I went to Perth and took two courses, the first on Saturday 1st June and the second on Sunday 2nd June.

The courses were just for persons in wheelchairs and saw 6 people attend the Saturday course and 8 on the Sunday. Some in power wheelchairs.

On the Friday before the course I got together with Karen, her son Corey (who has trained in ju-jitsu and Brett Ukich, a local first degree black belt and personal trainer. Corey and Brett were going to assist me in taking the course.

The course followed the Wheelchair Self Defence manual written by Geoff ‘Tank’ Todd, with myself adding in karate kata applications that I have modified to work from a wheelchair.  Each participant received a copy of the manual.

The course covered :

  • Wheelchair mobility and evasion techniques
  • Ramming
  • Cover guard
  • Striking
  • Improvised weapons
  • Escapes from various grabs
  • Weapon threats
  • Home and car security

Corey, Brett and Terry (Karen’s brother) assisted at the course by being attackers.

Terry was really good getting into the participants faces with life like aggression.

Comments received via Facebook were:

Symon Still “A great day thanks Karen, Corey, Terry (academy awards for you), Michael and John. Really useful stuff I’ll rehearse and practice for if the time ever comes to use it. Really relevant thanks for your organisation Karen”.

Douglas Milne “Yes it was a very relaxed training environment with lots of encouragement from our attackers…..thanks Corey and Terrence awesome work. and of course Karen”

Molly MacBlackas “Great! I hope you have a successful second day!”

Chelsey Phillips: “The wheelchair Self Defence Course today has been fantastic! Thanks to Karen Harvey, Brett, Terry and Cody for holding a fantasic & very important day. And especially thank you Karen for bringing the amazing Mr John Marrable 5th degree black belt (from NZ), to show us some empowering techniques to use in our own defence”.

For further information on wheelchair self defence or to arrange a course contact me on

Phone +6434561021 (home) +64212313887 (mobile) or email jnjzm@clear.net.nz