About Us




PROACTIVE SELF DEFENCE promotes non-violent resolutions to conflict and provides

leadership in violence awareness and prevention through education and example. 

However, Proactive Self Defence promotes the right of members to defend themselves

vigorously and aggressively as a last resort in the instance of extreme danger or

unprovoked attack, when all other alternatives have been used; Detecting, Verbal diffusing,

or removing oneself away from situation.




Proactive Self Defence has its roots back in 1979 with founder Kyoshi Shihan Rick O’Brien commencing Kenpo Karate in Hurstbridge dojo. In 1984 Rick as a 17 year old brown belt was asked to continue Mernda dojo as the instructor had to move. From here Rick’s coaching skills developed along with his skills as he furthered his Muay Thai & Filipino martial arts under Mick Nicholls freestyle combat as well as studying overseas in Thailand, USA & Papua New Guinea. His classes were so popular he opened Dojangs in Whittlesea in 1988, Wallan in 1989, Mill Park in 1991, Lalor & Epping in 1992 Greensborough & Eltham in 1993.

In 2005 construction started on our purpose built Thomastown Academy with classes commencing after 9 months of fit out on 14th March 2006.

With over 250 members and offerings over 50 classes per week the Proactive Academy is the place to learn skills for life in a safe positive and challenging method with professional instruction by qualified coaches hand picked by Rick due to their coaching and personal skills.

Proactive Mission

is to enhance the personal development of the body, mind and spirit of members through; Martial Arts, Fitness & Health, Combat Sports & Self Defence training, within a safe, protective, positive and dynamic environment that allows every person to optimise their personal growth & development within their choice of style/s. Skills for Life.


We are committed to providing our members and staff with high quality instruction and creating enjoyable and productive learning experience. We are fair, honest, courteous and professional and are sensitive to our members’ individual needs and dedicated to their satisfaction.

We are committed to the recruitment and development of the best individuals in our industry. We provide our staff opportunities to grow and a vested interest in the success of Proactive. We maintain an open-door policy at all levels, encouraging the flow of communication and exchange of ideas. We recognize the importance of each individual and his or her active role in the success of Proactive. We expect that Proactive Self Defence Staff and Instructors will be known for their character, commitment and competence.

Our Community

We are committed to reducing violence in our lives and in our community. Through the empowerment of martial arts, we give members the right tools to deal with conflict and violence.

Through our self defence seminars in schools and workplaces, we educate people to look for alternative and non-violent methods to deal with conflict.

We do reserve the right for personal safety and only use our skills in the defence of ourselves, our family, and friends only in the instance of extreme danger, or unprovoked attack, or in the support of law and order.