Belgium Seminar and Training Workshop


Spinal Injuries Ireland continues to develop its Self Defence Program for individuals who have sustained a spinal cord injury.

As part of Spinal Injuries Irelands Kick Start program which is aimed at encouraging individuals to challenge themselves. James O’ Donahue from Galway, Mark McNulty from Donegal, Fox Dublin and Neil Chickfrom Devon now living in Louth, travelled to Antwerp in Belgium on 17th -20th October to take part in a two day training course in street awareness, self-defence and Jun Fan Gung Fu with Alain De Preter.

Alain De Preter is the co-founder of ASMA vzw, the first violence prevention and self-defence organisation in Belgium. Alain is recognised by the Belgium Ministry of Internal Affairs as a self-defence teacher for security people and as a security advisor, he teaches at-risk personnel for the Government and private organisations.

Alain has been training since 1993 under Sigung Taky Kimura and Sibak Andy Kimura and was awarded rank four in the art of Jun Fan Gung Fu.

The idea of visiting Alain was formulated when Colm Whooley and Declan Breen who train under Sifu Martin O’Neill of Jeet Kune Do Ireland were fortunate enough to meet Alain at a training seminar hosted by Jeet Kune Do Ireland when Alain came over with Sibak Andy Kimura to train with Martin and his students.

The weekend was a huge success thanks to all those involved. The participants were able to spar on a one to one basis with Alain and his fellow students and it is reasonable to say that Alain and his students were impressed with the ability and work rate of the visiting Irish contingents.

Thanks to the support and continued training of Martin O’Neill the techniques that were practised over the weekend worked extremely well under the real pressure of sparring. There was no concession asked or given just because some of those taking part were wheelchair users. By the end of the weekend all those present had a commonality. “They were all Martial Artists”.

All participants thoroughly enjoyed the program and were presented with a certificate in the participation of the workouts in street awareness, self-defence and Jun Fan Gung Fu presented by Sifu Alain De Preter.

Spinal Injuries Ireland would like to thank Alain and his students for giving up their time and all the hard work involved in making the weekend possible from the hiring of a wheelchair accessible toilet to the fitting of a ramp into the training centre and the banquet laid on at the end of the weekend.

For more details you can contact colm at or or check out the website


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