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KAPAP Level 1 Instructor development course

Sam Markey is back!

Two years ago we lost him, he decided to move away to New Zealand for a new life. Sadly for Sam things did not work out and he has now returned to the UK. Sam Markey is Avi Nardia’€™s most senior ranking instructor and his return is great news for the students and instructors of KAPAP UK. Now he’s back for good and ran the first instructor development course in London this year.

What is an instructor development course?

Unlike many instructor courses, you will not be automatically become a KAPAP instructor at the end of the course. KAPAP is something you won’€™t be able to teach after one single course and requires study periods. Look at it like a university degree – you have to put the study and research in. To be good at KAPAP it takes graft and commitment and if you do become an instructor under the KAPAP UK banner, you are one of the chosen few.

Five days of hard graft and learning

Right from the kick off Sam is on top form and explains the importance of instructor ethics, how to conduct yourself with students and within the martial arts community. The main aim of the course to introduce the students to the KAPAP principles.

We have an interesting mix of ages and nationalities including Croatian, Luxembourger, Welsh and English. Believe me it’s a tough course. It’s not just physically demanding, it’s mentally challenging too. Myself and Rich Hilton, both level 2 instructors have come along for the ride, helping assist Sam in teaching the course. Both of us are fully aware it’s not just the students that are being assessed.

The next five days cover the main principles of relative position, two points of contact and balance displacement. Studying, well thought out drills, which include empty hand, knife and pistol. Once these are mastered, we then move on to variables and counters. It’€™s a lot of information to take in over 5 days, preparing the guys for the final day which they are all expected to demonstrate understanding of the main KAPAP principles in a micro teach.

Day five – Micro teaches

The pressure has been building and it’s time for the dreaded micro teach. They are to demonstrate the KAPAP principles as they would in a class. The micro teach is short enough to learn quickly whilst making it very clear whether they understand them. A relatively easy morning, the guys just practice and prepare.

Two instructors at a time, we deliberately make the scene as uncomfortable as possible for them. A room full of silence as they go through the micro teach, they are asked tricky questions to put them off balance and test their knowledge of what they have learnt over the past 5 days. At the end of the course, seven pass.

Now, although they have completed the instructor development course,  the real work starts. Have they got the commitment and the ethics we want as instructor? Only time will tell, the biggest test of all is what we call the the Gideon test. Many fail and few succeed.


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This post was written by Compostella


Thank you for delivering two excellent beginners self-defence sessions for the young people engaged on our YELL youth engagement project on the 1st June.

The feedback we have received from the participants has been very positive and the sessions have definitely helped to increase their confidence in dealing with difficult situations.

We will definitely be interested in offering a similar course in the future and would recommend the sessions to other youth activity providers.

Lisa Whatnall, Fundraising and Partnership Manager, Circle Housing Wherry