Inducted into the A.M.A.H.O.F.(Inc) for 2005
Outstanding Contribution – Martial Arts

Inducted into the W.K.U.H.O.F. for 2005
Outstanding Contribution – Martial Arts (Australia)


Damien was born on 12th February, 1969, and started his martial arts training in February 1982 when he commenced training in Judo at the Camperdown Judo club. After two years he switched to Zen Do Kai in March 1984.

He began teaching Zen Do Kai on l7th February 1987 and has been a professional martial arts instructor since.

During Damien’s career as a martial arts teacher he has achieved several awards and gained some recognition. He was nominated for Brown Belt of the Year in 1987 as he was already teaching two schools before attaining his Black Belt.

He received the Instructor of the Year and Bushido (way of the warrior) awards from the Victorian State Head, Kyoshi Billy Manne (then 6th Dan) in 1990. In 1992 he was awarded Black Belt of the Year. In both his third and fourth Dan gradings he received the highest scores of the day. He has trained many students to Black Belt level, dozens to 2nd Dan and five hold 3rd Dan rank and one is a 4th Dan. Add this to the number of students and black belts his students have produced and he is very proud of his contribution to the development of martial arts in this Country.

In addition to this he has trained over fifty black singlets in Muay Thai Kickboxing with ten more reaching Grade 5/teacher rank and four are Grade 6/trainer rank. His schools have produced a number of State and National Title holders in the kickboxing arena.

Damien has had some personal ring experience (Shootwrestling) with one win and one draw. He won the first Shootwrestling ring submission in Australia when his opponent tapped out in the second round of his second fight. As mentioned earlier, over the years he has trained a number of State Champion fighters. Some of his students have trained people up to World Champion level.

He has taught anti-rape classes at a number of Secondary Schools, TAFE’s and other educational facilities and has taught unarmed combat to military personnel.

Damien has an active interest in close quarters combat techniques of all types and has sought out many of the finest instructors in Australia and the World to further his skills. He has some skills with the traditional weapons of the martial arts, however given his profession, he prefers to train with the more relevant techniques of the knife, stick and handgun.

He achieved his 5th Degree Black Belt in Zen Do Kai on the 2nd of November 1997 in Albury. The Grading was presided over by Soke Bob Jones (8th Dan), Kyoshi Peter Rowe (then 6th Dan), Shihan John Mee (then 5th Dan) and Shihan Steve Newton (then 5th Dan).

Until 1995 he taught classes at the Academy of Martial Arts (up to 5 per day) and trained full contact fighters. He taught BJC Shootwrestling in a seminar environment nationally as well as choreographing BJC Shootwrestling sequences for the Channel 10’s Fighting Fit self defence segment. This segment featured Sensei Hannah Thornton and Bob Jones. He is a licensed firearms instructor and instructor trainer as well as being a PPCT (Pressure Point Control Tactics) instructor trainer (one of only two in Australia – the other being Kyoshi Peter Rowe). His PPCT is arguably the largest law enforcement training system in the world and is actively involved in the training of Police, Corrections, Security, Military and Special Forces personnel around the world. The main strength of the PPCT methodology is that all of the techniques are tactically, medically and legally sound. That is to say they work under pressure, they don’t cause undue harm and they can be defended in court! These principles are also central to the classes at Martial Synergy. In Australia Kyoshi Rowe and Damien have been actively training Police trainers in the PPCT systems so they can in turn train their recruits at their various academies. A job they are very proud of!

Their company, the Security Institute is the recognised industry leader and pioneer in the Dynamic Simulation training methodology. Dynamic simulations involve recreating the extreme stress situations of real violent encounters in order to inoculate (just like vaccinations) the student against the stress of combat. Damien was also heavily involved in the development of the Aggressive Behavioural Management Program for the Queensland Health Department. This program will be delivered to all 65,000 Queensland Health employees and carers in a full range of skills – from preventing aggression to verbal de-escalation, self defence techniques, restraints and finally team restraints using specially developed equipment and tactics.

He is lucky enough to have a number of high ranking martial artists and instructors from around Australia as his friends and considers himself to be especially blessed as a result. He continues to avidly study martial arts and is always studying, researching and training (maybe not as much hard training as he used to). He believes that the Australian martial arts community is as good (and in many ways better) than anywhere in the world.

Currently he is the Director of the International College of Martial Arts. He is a National Recognised Training Organisation (RTO) and can deliver Austudy approved martial arts training to students from around the world.

He developes all course materials, manuals and assessments and is the primary lecturer in all facets of the programs. He conducts programs that vary in duration from two day ‘introduction to coach’ courses to three year Advanced Diploma’s in Sport and Recreation.

The Commonwealth government also approves ICMA for the purposes of student visa’s for overseas students.

Damien is a member of the National Executive of Zen Do Kai.

Currently he trains daily in Zen Do Kai, Brazilian JiuJitsu with Brazilian Black Belt (and Brazilian) Daniel `Little Devil” Lima and cross train with a number of high profile martial artists in a variety of different martial arts systems. He trains with weights regularly and in yoga weekly.

He is also currently studying iaido with Geordie Lavers-McBain and Okinawan Goju Ryu Karatejutsu with Sensei Glen Henry of Rembuden.

He continues to study and train in all aspects of martial arts and fitness and has a number of full contact competitive fighters still competing in a variety of events.