Clancy Roberts

Combatives Master Trainer: KEF–IC & ACP // Mission Specialist Instructor

A highly experienced soldier, Clancy Roberts was one of KEF’s first Combatives Master Trainers. After seven years in the Australian Army’s Infantry division and three tours of East Timor, Clancy joined the 2nd Commando Regiment as a sniper. He then did three combat tours of Afghanistan and two close-protection operations in Iraq over five years. He also assisted KEF founder Paul Cale teaching close-quarter fighting (CQF) at the COLT (Commando Operational Level Training) cell.

After retiring from the Army in 2015, Clancy spent three years managing security training and planning for the Sydney Opera House. He also became a Mission Specialist Instructor for Kinetic Fighting, training Army personnel in tactical driving, combat shooting and ACP, while spearheading KEF’s close personal protection (CPP) operations in Australia and NZ. Clancy is now KEF’s chief instructor of navigation and survival training.

As well as Special Forces CQF, Clancy has 10 years’ training experience in muay Thai and 20 in Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ). His industry qualifications include an Advanced Diploma of Leadership and Management, a Diploma of Security/Risk Management and Certificate IV in Workplace Health and Safety, and Training and Assessment.

 

 

Geordie Lavers-McBain

Combatives Master Trainer: KEF–IC & ACP

Geordie Lavers-McBain is a KEF–IC Combatives Master Trainer who is contracted by the Australian Army to teach at 7th Combat Brigade’s Combatives Centre (Gallipoli Barracks, Enogerra, QLD). He is the only civilian to have completed Levels 1, 2 and 3 of the Army Combatives Program (ACP), as well as ACP Instructor qualification. Geordie has also completed the US Marines’ MCMAP (Marine Corps Martial Arts Program) Black Belt curriculum.

Having done more than 30 years of training, Geordie holds Black Belt rank in 23 different martial/combat arts, and instructor qualifications in 14 systems. His ranks include a 2nd Degree in Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) and 6th Degree in Jissen Budo, and many more in striking, grappling and weaponry methods. He is also the General Director of Wrestling Australia, Australian Director of Combat Wrestling and International Liaison Officer for Jissen Budo International (JBI). A former competitor and champion himself, Geordie has produced five world champions, 74 international champions and many more national and regional title-holders in muay Thai, boxing, BJJ, wrestling, bare-knuckle karate, MMA and judo.

Geordie runs several training centres in Queensland under the name Black Dragon Kai.

 

WO2 Aaron Johnston

Combatives Sergeant Major: ACP // Combatives Master Trainer: KEF–IC

Warrant Officer Class Two Aaron Johnston has had a diverse military career spanning 29 years so far. Aaron has served in numerous roles in the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and has been deployed to East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan. A former member of the 2nd Commando Regiment, he is also a Special Forces Close-Quarter Fighting Supervisor and Army Combatives Program (ACP) Instructor. Aaron is currently the Combatives Sergeant Major of the 7th Combat Brigade Combatives Centre in Brisbane, overseeing ‘Human Performance Optimisation – Combat Skills Enhancement’.

Aaron began his martial arts training in 1993 and has always been heavily focused on skills related to personal security, military close combat and integration of traditional arts to enhance combat resilience. He is a martial arts instructor with Black Dragon Kai and Veterans Grappling, and holds the title of ‘Combative Sergeant Major – Army Combatives Program–Integrated Combat’ (Red/White Belt), awarded by Chief Master Trainer Paul Cale in 2019. Aaron draws upon his experience in taekwondo, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, boxing, Jissen Budo and combatives to provide exceptional instruction to soldiers and KEF–IC students.

* Note: Aaron is not a Kinetic Fighting staff member; he is employed full-time by the Australian Army and is featured here in recognition of his achievements and standing in the ACP/KEF–IC system. He teaches KEF–IC and martial arts to the public in an individual capacity, separate to his ADF role.

 

WO2 James Hellyer

Combatives Master Trainer: KEF–IC & ACP

Warrant Officer Class Two James Hellyer has over 21 years of military service and was among the first four KEF–IC/ACP Combatives Master Trainers recognised by the programs’ creator Paul Cale. Along with his history of instructing the Australian Army Combatives Program (ACP) to a variety of military units domestically and operationally, James’s teaching leverages off 30 years of martial arts experience in a variety of systems. These include boxing, judo, Japanese jujutsu, Kudo Daido Juku, Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) and military combatives.

This experience, coupled with James’s extensive army training, gives him a unique ability to connect with KEF–IC students of various backgrounds and abilities to deliver the program with relevance and professionalism. With a passionate and relatable style of instruction, James ensures his students leave with real-world skills that can be relied upon in a moment of conflict.

Formerly the head instructor at Jean Jacques Machado Jiu-Jitsu Sydney, James now teaches ACP, KEF–IC and BJJ in Adelaide, where he is posted with the Australian Army.

* Note: James is not a Kinetic Fighting staff member; he is employed full-time by the Australian Army and is featured here in recognition of his achievements and standing in the ACP/KEF–IC system. He teaches KEF–IC and martial arts to the public in an individual capacity, separate to his ADF role.

 

Michael van der Vlist

Combatives Master Trainer: KEF–IC & ACP // Mission Specialist Instructor

Former Australian Commando Michael van der Vlist is a highly experienced Combatives Master Trainer and current Australian Army Combatives Program (ACP) instructor.

After more than 20 years in the ADF and multiple deployments to Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan and Iraq, Michael retired from full-time Army service in 2020. He continues to serve in a reserve role, applying his many years of Special Forces close-quarter fighting (CQF) experience to train soldiers in ACP. He is also a Mission Specialist Instructor for Kinetic Fighting, teaching tactical driving and close-quarter battle (CQB).

A 3rd Degree Black Belt, Michael has been teaching martial arts for more than 25 years and has trained in a variety of systems. These include full-contact karate, kung fu, kickboxing, Brazilian jiu-jitsu and competitive Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).

Michael is also an experienced instructor and facilitator of experiential learning, specialising in leadership and adventure-based training. A qualified Special Forces Roping and Climbing instructor, he holds a Certificate IV in Workplace Health and Safety, and in Training and Assessment.