This year we have a number of instructors.

Kyle Rowling

Kyle Rowling is a professional Actor, Director, Weapons Master and Fight Director. He has twenty-five years experience in various Martial Arts including Chinese and Japanese styles and has been working as a Fight Director for over a decade. In that time he has trained, choreographed and performed Stage Combat for STC, Opera Australia, Ensemble Theatre, Belvoir St, Marion St, Bell Shakespeare, the David Atkins Group, Sydney Shakespeare Globe and many more.

He also teaches and choreographs regularly at most of Sydney’s top acting institutions including NIDA, VCA, the Actors College of Theatre and Television, the Actors Centre Australia, The Australian Theatre for Young People and Screenwise. Kyle’s Stage Combat and performance skills have also secured him work in many theatre and film productions including “Star Wars EP II and III” as Christopher Lee’s fight double, Eric Bana’s personal weapons trainer for “Troy”, fight director and performer for the 2000 production of “Pan” at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre and the 2001 New York tour of STC's “The White Devil”.

Sifu Gabe Nicklas

teacherBlack Lion Martial Arts

Black Lion Martial Arts is a Kung Fu and Tai Chi Training School specialising in the teaching of Choy Li Fut Kung Fu and the Yang Style of Tai Chi Chuan. The school is located on the south side of Brisbane, Queensland, just 15-20 minutes from the city.

At Black Lion, we aim to provide an environment and coaching that challenges people, not just to better themselves in the martial arts, but overall as a person and as a member of their families and communities. Our values focus not just on the health benefits and self-defense aspects of martial arts, but also on the holistic growth of the student, both internal and external.

To that end we provide one on one training to all members of the school, as well as making the school available to all member students for unlimited group classes to which their current level allows and/or for simple general workouts, without a per-class charge. We believe this provides students with the support and opportunity to truly grow both within their martial arts training and within themselves.

Sifu Nicklas

Sifu Gabe Nicklas has been studying and teaching Choy Li Fut Kung Fu and Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan within the Plum Blossom Federation and White Dragon Schools for over 16 years.

Lois Spangler

Lois Spangler is an instructor with the Brisbane School of Iberian Swordsmanship. After studying iaido in New York for half a decade, she took up western historical fencing a few years after moving to Australia and began her focus on La Verdadera Destreza (LVD) in late 2015. She's currently reading several Iberian primary sources and translating excerpts in her spare time.

Chris Slee


Daniel Pope

Daniel has more than 20 years of experience in martial arts, ranging from boxing, judo, & wushu through to black belt level in koryu jujitsu, iaijutsu, and kenjutsu. He has been actively practicing HEMA since 2010, though began reading treatises in the German tradition in the mid 2000s. Daniel has competed at the international level, and has been instructing HEMA for the last three years. He is currently head coach at Scholar Victoria, in Melbourne.

Jim Campbell


Shay McAulay

Shay McAulay has been studying martial arts for decades. He has presented on historical fencing at a number of international conferences. He has studied Japanese, Chinese and European martial arts. 

Mark Holgate


Craig Gemeiner

Craig Gemeiner began his martial arts training in 1975 and began coaching in 1982. He specialises in the study of traditional Western fighting arts, particularly French Savate and its associated disciplines, and adapting them for modern use. Craig was a founding member of the Australian Savate Federation Inc., which was recognised by the Federation Internationale de Savate (FIS), and served as its first president and technical director from 2002 to 2010, he currently serves as the official Australian representative for the FIS. Craig won a gold medal at the 2005 Asia Pacific Open Savate Championships, captained the first Australian team to compete at the World Savate Championships in Paris in 2008, and won gold medals at both the 2017 and 2018 Savate Open Tokyo competition. 

Gemeiner holds the rank of Silver Glove Technique Level -1 in Savate -French boxing, Entraîneur and Maitre d’Armes under the Australian Academy of Fencing, and teaches La canne, Le baton, Defense dans la Rue and fencing from his Gold Coast Savate Academy.