Our Martial Arts Instructors
Kancho Nenad Djurdevic 5th Dan
The Principal or Kancho of the Academy of Traditional Fighting Arts is Nenad Djurdjevic, a martial arts black belt with 30 years of experience. He is a specialist in practical self defence as well as a traditional martial arts instructor. His studies into the martial arts have encompassed the arts of Okinawan Goju-ryu Karate-do, Aikido, Okinawan Kobudo (Okinawan martial arts weapons system), the Japanese weapons arts of Jodo (4ft staff) and Kenjutsu (sword), Filipino Arnis (the knife and stick fighting system of the Philippines), Qin-na (the grappling and seizing fighting system of China) and the 'soft' art of Taijiquan (both in its health and combat forms).
In addition to his martial arts qualifications Kancho Nenad is a senior yoga instructor, and holds a Diploma of Education, a formal teaching qualification, as well as Bachelor degrees in Engineering and Sport Science. The latter degree enables him to integrate the latest knowledge in sports medicine into the Academy, including health, fitness and injury prevention/rehabilitation.
He is dedicated both to improving his own knowledge and to providing tuition of the highest quality in a relaxed and friendly environment.
He has been holding short courses in self defence since 1987 for a variety of community groups including women's groups, fitness centres, Rotary clubs, Scouting organisations, the Catholic Migrant Centre and the staff of various government departments and hospitals. He has taught self defence and restraint techniques to security guards, crowd controllers and youth-workers.
He has also taught courses at the University of Western Australia, Curtin University, Hollywood High School, North Lake Senior Campus, Carine High School, Alexander College, Christchurch Grammar School, Guilford Grammar and Rehoboth Christian College.
Furthermore, Nenad has run courses for young people and teenagers with special needs in the metropolitan area, and for young people in remote aboriginal communities, in each case with a view to improving their self-esteem and assisting them to develop non-violent conflict management skills.
Shihan/Shifu Dejan (Dan) Djurdjevic 5th Dan
The Chief Instructor of the Academy of Traditional Fighting Arts, Shihan Dejan Djurdjevic, began a formal study of martial arts in 1981. His studies into the martial arts have encompassed the arts of Okinawan Goju-ryu Karate-do, Aikido, Okinawan Kobudo (Okinawan martial arts weapons system), the Japanese weapons arts of Jodo (4ft staff) and Kenjutsu (sword), Filipino Arnis (the knife and stick fighting system of the Philippines), Qin-na (the grappling and seizing fighting system of China) and the 'soft' art of Taijiquan (both in its health and combat forms).
In addition to his martial arts qualifications Shihan Dan (as he is known) has a law degree and as such has assisted the College in formulating its approach to self-defence from a legal standpoint.
Dan also has an interest in the Chinese classics and in particular, the Chinese philosophy of Daoism, from which the concept of Wu-Wei is derived.
Shihan Dan has been responsible for furthering the knowledge of the Academy and has made numerous research trips for this purpose. He has regularly made trips to train with Chen Yun-Ching, son of the legendary Chen Pan-Ling, since 2005 and in January 2009 he was given the rare honour of becoming his "bai shi" or "inner circle student" in an elaborate ceremony held in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
Shihan Dan is a prolific writer of martial arts related articles, many of which can be found on his blog The Way of Least Resistance.
Dan's other interests include writing, music/sound engineering, video editing/production and graphic art. His personal website can be found here. He recently published his first novel, The Mirror Image of Sound.
Sensei Jeff Cosgrove 4th Dan
Sensei Jeff started training at the Nedlands dojo, under the tutelage of
Kancho Nenad and Shihan Dan, in 1986. Once in the senior ranks Jeff assisted
Kancho Nenad with instructing self-defence courses and currently instructs
regular courses himself. He also took the children’s classes for a period
before becoming co-instructor at the Wembley dojo as a Shodan.
Jeff then moved to Melbourne for a couple of years. While there, he ran a small satellite dojo and continued to receive instruction from Kancho and Shihan Dan, as well as attending a number of week-long intensive training camps held by Dan and Nenad's instructor Laoshi Bob Davies on his visits to Australia.
During an extended sabbatical from training, Jeff competed in triathalons and took up Latin dancing where he met the lady that is now his wife (Denise). After getting married and honeymooning by spending 6 months trekking through South America Jeff commenced a PhD in Marine Botany (2003). With PhD completed (late 2007) Jeff returned to training at the Bayswater dojo and received his 3rd Dan in April 2009 and 4th Dan in 2015. Recently he has trained with Kyoshi James Sumarac both in Australia and on a training visit to Taiwan.
Jeff's exact technique stems from his relentless drive for self-perfection. When combined with his years of experience, his highly creative and intelligent approach to training, his inspiring athleticism and his friendly, laid back and approachable nature, it is no surprise that Jeff is one of the Academy's principal role models and most popular instructors.
Jeff holds the Saturday morning karate/weapons class at the Bayswater Centre and well as the occasional weekday class.
Shihing Andrew Mack
Andrew came to our Centre with a background of 5 years of training in Japanese Jiu Jutsu. He started his Internal Arts studies in 2008 under Shihan Dan and has become his most senior internal arts student. He has regularly accompanied Shihan Dan to the Wu-lin Retreat in Melbourne to train with Master James Sumarac and has also travelled to Taiwan to train directly with Master Chen. In 2012 he was accepted by Master Chen as a "bai shi" or "inner circle student" in his own right.
Andrew currently runs the Saturday afternoon beginners' taijiquan class.
Andrew is a very dedicated student who has an eye for detail and as a teacher is extremely approachable, encouraging and informative. His intelligent approach, quiet friendly manner and passion for the internal arts inspires confidence, puts students at ease and spurs their rapid progress.