“Recently attended a workshop run by Craig Gemeiner, which was as good as I’d expect anything run by him to be. This workshop focused on Defense dans la Rue (DDLR) and La Canne.
DDLR is the street fighting aspect of Savate, La Canne is the self defence and sparring aspects with a walking cane.
Why have Craig Gemeiner workshops been so consistently good over the 20 or so years I’ve known him? There are four immediately obvious reasons.
1/ The man *really* knows his stuff. I don’t just mean savate either. Craig has spent time with big names, obviously thought a lot, and deeply, about martial arts in general and Savate in particular and can express his knowledge very well.
2/ He concentrates on simple skills that can be easily picked up and absorbed, which makes you feel like you’ve really learnt something, because you have.
3/ Those simple skills are backed up by well thought out drills which gradually expand and integrate the simple skills.
4/ He’s been doing this a long time, and he’s been doing it well for a long time.
Even if you have zero interest in Savate, DDLR or La Canne, a workshop run by Craig will still make you a better martial artist, a better coach and most importantly, is a thoroughly enjoyable way to spend your time.”
Alex Hughes – Australia 2019
The Historical School of Defense
“Just attended a highly enjoyable and excellent La canne seminar taught by Craig Gemeiner. I highly recommend anyone interested in learning Savate and Western Martial Arts to get in contact with Craig, his actual experience and eye for detail is in my opinion unparalleled in Australia”
Geordie Lavers- McBain – Australia 2017
Chief Instructor – Black Dragon Kai
“Craig is the real deal. He’s an awesome Savate instructor and his La Canne has a real magic to it. He has a deep knowledge of his discipline and obvious strong love of the art. If you ever get a chance to train with him DO IT!!! “
Chris Slee – Australia 2016
“Working in the Film & Television industry as an actor/stunt performer I’m always looking to advance my skills. I had no idea what La Canne was, however found the whole idea extremely interesting. Well after completing a series of workshop with Craig, the skills and the way it was taught and presented was just brilliant. Craig really takes his time in making sure that all techniques and skills taught are fully broken down and understood. This is done in a safe and encouraging environment, that from what I experienced was filled with joy and success. This is a testament to Craig’s passion and commitment to his art form. Teachers like him are very rare. I highly recommend his classes for any Film & TV performance professionals looking to skill up on fighting & sword work. ”
Marco Sinigaglia (Freelance Actor/Stunt Performer) Australia 2015
“Two years ago I purchased volumes 1-3 of the “Walking Stick” method of self Defense from Craig Gemeiner of the Gemeiner Academy on the Gold Coast in Australia.
I’ve always enjoyed the martial arts and have trained in several styles over the years but the thought of being able to use a walking stick in a defensive and attacking art appealed immensely.
So I persevered with the DVDS and then for my 53rd birthday got the chance to train with Craig on a one to one basis over the course of a week.
How did I go..well Craig is one of those rare instructors who watches and adapts and then instructs within the limitations of the student.
Craig not only teaches but brings in the history of the art and weaves it throughout his training so you develop a deeper understanding of what you are doing, rather than just a series of rote moves.
Over the week he gently worked me through various movements of the La Canne method, building up my confidence but with that typically Australian attitude of injecting laughter when needed!
By the end of three one hour sessions I can say with confidence that I can now start to use and understand the La Canne defence and attacking moves and am practicing these and the warm-up exercises that Craig took me through.
I’ll definitely look to persevering with this art as the required coordination, dexterity and flexibility is something that will stand me in good stead going into the future”.
Glenn Murray, New Zealand 2013
“Craig encompasses everything to be found in a good martial-arts teacher. Not only is he a world-class practitioner, but he also has the rare ability to impart his knowledge with the ease that only comes from many years of professional coaching experience. Craig has consummate knowledge of the history and applications of savate in all its forms, from sporting, to self-defence and the use of sticks and canes as defensive weapons. Since savate is a European martial art, Craig is able to use Western models of coaching in order to teach the bio-mechanics of kicking, punching, grappling and fencing, so that the student can easily grasp and understand the movements involved. He does this in an environment that is relaxed, fun, and non-threatening, while still conditioning his students to maintain levels of peak fitness and awareness of threats that can exist in the outside world. In learning self-defence and martial arts it is fundamentally important to be able to trust one’s teacher. I can whole-heartedly say that Craig can be trusted as one of the best there is.”
Graham Thorn , Australia 2013
I will be even sorer tomorrow. But I am happy!
I was at the seminar Paul Wagner from Stoccata.org put together for us with Craig while he is down here in Sydney on vacation. Originally I was going to have a couple of private lessons with Craig and then Paul offered to organise the venue and away we went from there.
Excellent idea and a great day had by all.
Craig’s seminar was different. Far more physical and for me full of new material, although a lot was variations on themes already known. It’s these variations that can highlight week spots in what you already know and do: as well as show you viable alternative methods for applying pressure to the person of another!
It was great to get hands on correction of the Vigny-Lang walking stick defence methods; the DVD is great but nothing beats having the man off the DVD whack you personally! I am pretty quick with a stick FMA and street stick styles but much of this is new and will take time to take on board and work towards Craig level of proficiency.
We also covered basic Baton, a simple system I really liked and will be integrating into current long stick techniques. If I can get lethal enough with baton they might even replace a lot of what I already do. Why not? If it works….
After lunch we covered some low-line street Savate kicks and finished up with some bouting. During the day Craig sparred each and every one of us at la canne and baton and worked the Savate also. I remember when I used to be that fit at my old FMA seminars, taking on everyone there…. those were the days and they will come again!
Craig ramped it up or tuned it down for each and every student, the sign of true professional instructor. He has nothing to prove in the “I can fight” department and he knows it, which is to the benefit of his paying clientele! Too many instructors are ego driven and spar only to show off, going full on no matter who they are sparring but not Craig.
If you get the chance to work with Craig, do it.
Jake and I have another 2 hours private session with Craig tomorrow and they will be far more productive for having gone to the seminar first”.
Perry Gamsby, Australia
Defense dans la Rue Forum- 2006