Street Smart Self-Defence Instructors

Charlie Riley

Chief Instructor & Owner

Charlie is a qualified Martial Arts and Close Quarters Combat instructor. He began training in Tae Kwondo in Aberdeen, Scotland, at the age of 16 at the Teh's Tae Kwondo Institute under chief instructor Thomas McLaughlin. While training at Teh's he achieved 4th Kup, realising that this wasn't what he wanted to continue training in he then moved on to studying Wu Shu Kwan (Chinese Boxing) under Sifu Dr Javad Birjandi (deceased). 

Due to internal politics within the Wu Shu Kwan hierarchy, Sifu Birjandi with some of his senior students (Charlie included) started training under a new system called Zhuan Shu Kuan (Chinese Fighting Art). With commitments to work, studying and bringing up a young family, training ceased for a few years until he migrated to New Zealand in 1995. Within a couple of months of being in the country he started training with Siu Lum Gar Kung Fu and Kickboxing under the watchful eye of chief instructor Sigung Martin Lindgreen. 

Charlie initially concentrated on advancing his Kickboxing/Chinese Boxing/Arnis skills with Siu Lum Gar, progressing through the grades rapidly and becoming one of Siu Lum Gars Kickboxing instructors. When Charlie's two son's started learning Kung Fu, he concentrated on working with them and became more involved with the Kung Fu, again working his way through the ranks quickly, he started instructing students. .

Even before he was presented with his instructors Black Sash he was running his own Kung Fu branches in Pakuranga, Papatoetoe, Maraetai & Manurewa

With a thirst for learning his training hadn't stopped, in 2013 he started training Krav Maga reaching Level 4 before moving on to become a registered ICS Close Quarters Combat instructor (as of March 2020 he is now a Level 10 Black Belt Integrated Combat Systems Master Instructor), all the intensive close quarters combat courses and gradings have been conducted in person by ICS's chief instructor Peter Sciarra.

Also in August 2013 he became a Protect Self Defence accredited trainer, the course was conducted in Auckland by Protects director and chief instructor Phil Thompson. 

During August 2014, Charlie became a certified Level Four (as of 2018 he's now graded to Level 7) Unarmed Combatives Instructor with Hock Hochheim's CQC system, plus a Level Three PAC (Pacific Archipelago Combatives) Instructor and a Level Three FFC (Freelancer Filipino Combatives Instructor). The grading and certification was conducted in Auckland by one of the worlds leading CQC instructors; Hock Hochheim. 

At the beginning of 2019, Charlie and his team of instructors started developing their Street Smart syllabus to cater specifically for the blind and partially sighted. Working with the Blind Foundation in Auckland, the Street Smart programme as far as we know is a first for New Zealand.

Charlie has also completed Krav Maga Knife Workshops: achieving Levels 1, 2 and 3.

In August 2022 Charlie will be moving to Adelaide where he'll teach the Street Smart Self-Defence system along with the ICS syllabus.

Antonina Fourman - Women's Street Smart Instructor

Nina attended the Women's Street Smart Workshop in 2015. After attending the weekend workshop Nina realised just how little she actually knew about defending herself. 

"There were about 15 of us in that class, of different ages and backgrounds, and not one had had any previous training. That’s the reality for most women today; you just hope you’re never in the situation where you’ll need to fight for your life." says Nina. 

Since February 2017 Nina has regularly been attending the Women's Street Smart classes running out of the Krav Fighter Gym in Grafton. 

Nina also says that self-defence is a necessary skill-set for anyone. "It is about being prepared and confident enough to take action." 

Nina is working hard to obtain her Women's Street Smart Instructors qualification, she wants to help others feel sure in their own skills and have the basic knowledge to defend themselves. 

"Training with so many inspiring women this past year, who are guiding and encouraging one another, has been a fantastic experience." 

Nina's goal is to be able to run her own Women's Street Smart workshops, to extend the availability and accessibility of self-defence workshops across the country.

In January 2020, Nina moved to Melbourne, Australia where she will be teaching our Women's Street Smart syllabus.