Mitchell Wickham competed against a 4 time world champion and won a Silver Medal in his BJJ Division at the 2016 BJJ Kids World Championships. His dad, Matthew Wickham said Mitchell had a great match and made him proud.

In the No-Gi Division, Mitchell won a Gold Medal.


Mohammad and Maya are both in Primary School. Mum and Dad were keen for them to learn self defence and develop their fitness and kickboxing skills. As mothers do, Kefah sat and watched her children train in Kidz Kickboxing and what the children achieved by doing the grading system. To her it was a bonus having both Mark and I, a male and a female teacher at the Point Cook club.

But the Kidz class didn't meet all the needs of her family. Even though Kefah had grown up in Victoria, she was feeling more vulnerable on the streets of Melbourne as a muslim woman who followed her faith and wore a hijab. So she wanted to do some women's self defence. Kefah also thought her teenage daughters, both in secondary school, should learn to protect themselves but in a class environment where they could remove their hijabs.  “Defend Hands Off!”  a women's only session began at our house.

Mouna & Maya ready for Defend Hands Off!

Over the last 6 months, a number of women and teens have trained, coming together with Julie as the instructor. Kefah's teenagers, Mouna and Amina have now started the grading system  and are heading for orange singlets soon.  Being in my mid fifties, I've enjoyed having Mum, Kefah, and the other mature-age ladies, train with me because as women, we bring another dimension to the class and we can push each other in ways that are different to only working with the children.

Mohammad working one on one with Mark

I'd like to think that the conversations we have are just as important as the training we do. The development of thinking for yourself, being a strong independent women on the inside as well as what you show on the outside and looking out for other women have always been part of my beliefs about martial arts for women, only in this session we can overtly talk about it. This has become one of my favorite hours of the week.

Not to be outdone, Mohammad, their son, now has a private session with Mark each week and both young ones still attend the Kidz class.   As the Connells learnt, 'the family that trains together stays together' and this is clearly working for this family.

Julie Connell

Mrs Julie Connell.

12 Pepperjack Way,

Point Cook,

Australia, 3030.

M: +61 400097409