The birth of ADA
Both Amelia and David were working in industries that in its time were to become deregulated. Regardless, David Zarb was training and tutoring part time under Goju Kensha Karate Australia and Japan. They knew they worked well together. They also knew they wanted to do something new that would satisfy their interests. Amelia had been running businesses most of her young adult life.
David had been a martial artist since adolescence. And so the entrepreneurs built their business on David’s hobby and in July of 1993 Art of Defence Australia became a registered company.
Amelia took on the role of business administrator as at this time she had no Martial Art experience. The Head Coach and instructor was to be Sensei David Zarb.
The business was built up from scratch and first opened its doors at Princes Hill High School, Carlton. A cold wooden floored and dull brick affair that housed no training aids. A solitary class of 25 people of all ages (children and adults) trained a couple times a week. As an aid to support his family and to further develop his teaching skills, David also worked as a driving instructor.
For a better profile, the initial class moved to the Carlton Baths. A happy change of scenery. The Carlton Baths housed a room that catered to the dynamics of the classes. A sprung floor and a wall dedicated to mirrors were the perfect teaching tools. With windows for the hot summer (and potential interests) and a heating unit for the cold winters, ADA found the perfect teaching location for that time.
Very slowly and gradually Amelia and David established more venues as interests peaked marking their second location in their then living locality of Melton.
Thankfully to a dare, Amelia finally took to karate and eventually became a teacher herself. Managing classes became easier with these two now working closer than ever.
The empire today
Classes are offered six days a week at a multitude of venues. Our centres are custom designed to maximize student safety and learning. Classes are divided to accommodate age and skill level, which assists in educational absorption and personal comfort.
Art of Defence now teaches around 550 students across 12 dojos. We also conduct Self Defence classes in nearly 30 Secondary Schools to another 1000 students. Art of Defence also conducts specialist women’s Self Defence courses and private lessons can also be booked with any of our instructors. We cater for everyone’s needs whether it be Junior or Senior Karate, Cheng Ming Internal Kung Fu (Tai Chi), or Weaponry.
Our Instructors are nationally recognized level 2 Coaches through the NCAS, AIS, VIS, AKF, First Aid Level 2 trained, hold a Diploma in Sports Coaching and are MAIA accredited instructors. The two Directors have Certificate IV in Workplace Training and Assessment. We enjoy a very comprehensive and mobile Professional Indemnity and Public Liability Insurance Coverage, Worldwide except for the USA
Today the family of black belts travel all over Victoria and the World teaching and learning and developing.
In the space of just over 25 years we’ve witnessed the evolution of Martial Arts – a sport, Martial Arts – a Self-Defence, and a Martial Arts company.