New self-defence course for people with disability in Queensland

Posted 8 months ago by David McManus
Boonah, QLD, will host a collaborative four-session self-defence program for people with disability. [Source: Shutterstock]
Boonah, QLD, will host a collaborative four-session self-defence program for people with disability. [Source: Shutterstock]

Key points:

  • The four-session disability self-defence course will teach any willing participant the basics of how to handle a tricky situation in a variety of ways
  • All support workers or family members are welcome to come for support
  • Participants in the course will be expected to engage in physical contact


Black Dragon Kai and Cherie’s Country Care have joined forces and designed a self-defence course for people living with disability in Boonah, Queensland. Organisers of the course said that those who are in the area should swing by, learn a few new tricks and have lunch at a nearby cafe or visit a local dam for a picnic. 

Drew Vela, Black Dragon Kai martial arts instructor, is experienced in freestyle karate, muay thai, weapons, grappling and mixed martial arts [MMA] and will be joined by assistant, Cherie Apostolatos of Cherie’s Country Care.

Cherie has been training alongside Drew for the past 18 months and is now an active member of Black Dragon Kai, where her 18 years as a support worker in the disability services sector will now come in handy.

Interested participants will have the opportunity to work alongside Drew’s expert guidance, with a sausage sizzle to sweeten the deal and close out the last day for those who attend. 

Cherie said this upcoming program is a practical self-defence seminar for people of all abilities — going through a range of functional exercises for general fitness, mobility and quality of life.

“This came about as a participant that we support had fitness as one of his goals. So, going to the gym and doing personal training sessions was the start,” she said.

“A discussion was had about the possibility of allowing our participant to start martial arts. The beginning of this is to do a self-defence course. Hence that is where the idea came from — to offer this to all wanting participants in our and surrounding areas.”

Falls and rolls for injury prevention and partner drills will be offered along with games for honing participants’ sense of awareness. Organisers hope that learning self defence will heighten:

  • Awareness and preparedness
  • Adaptive techniques
  • Assertiveness and Confidence
  • Knowledge and Strengths
  • Communication and advocacy
  • Personal Safety Devices


This weekly program is scheduled to take place each Wednesday between 10:30 a.m – 11:30 a.m, with the Boonah location available upon request. Courses begin August 30, with subsequent courses slated for September 6, 13 and 20, 2023; priced at $65 dollars per person — $16.25 per session [equivalent].

A maximum of 10 pupils will be considered for the self-defence masterclass, so interested participants were encouraged to RSVP by August 16, 2023 via phone: 0477 729 551.