MINDSET Self-Defence Instructors

Charlie Riley

Chief Instructor & Owner

Charlie is a qualified Martial Arts and Close Quarters Combat instructor. He began training in Tae Kwondo in Aberdeen, Scotland, at the age of 16 at the Teh's Tae Kwondo Institute under chief instructor Thomas McLaughlin. While training at Teh's he achieved 4th Kup, realising that this wasn't what he wanted to continue training in he then moved on to studying Wu Shu Kwan (Chinese Boxing) under Sifu Dr Javad Birjandi (deceased). 

Due to internal politics within the Wu Shu Kwan hierarchy, Sifu Birjandi with some of his senior students (Charlie included) started training under a new system called Zhuan Shu Kuan (Chinese Fighting Art). With commitments to work, studying and bringing up a young family, training ceased for a few years until he migrated to New Zealand in 1995. Within a couple of months of being in the country he started training with Siu Lum Gar Kung Fu and Kickboxing under the watchful eye of chief instructor Sigung Martin Lindgreen. 

Charlie initially concentrated on advancing his Kickboxing/Chinese Boxing/Arnis skills with Siu Lum Gar, progressing through the grades rapidly and becoming one of Siu Lum Gars Kickboxing instructors. When Charlie's two son's started learning Kung Fu, he concentrated on working with them and became more involved with the Kung Fu, again working his way through the ranks quickly, he started instructing students.

Even before he was presented with his instructors Black Sash he was running his own Kung Fu branches in Pakuranga, Papatoetoe, Maraetai & Manurewa.

With a thirst for learning his training hadn't stopped, in 2013 he started training Krav Maga reaching Level 4, at this stage he found that he would be tied to their system in more ways than one. So Charlie continued his training becoming a registered ICS Close Quarters Combat instructor (as of March 2020 he became a Level 10 Integrated Combat Systems Master Instructor), all the intensive close quarters combat courses and gradings have been conducted in person by ICS's chief instructor Peter Sciarra (Melbourne, Australia).

Also in August 2013 he became a Protect Self Defence accredited trainer, the course was conducted in Auckland by Protects director and chief instructor Phil Thompson (New Zealand). 

During August 2014, Charlie became a certified Level Four (as of 2018 he's was graded to Level 7) Unarmed Combatives Instructor with Hock Hochheim's CQC system, plus a Level Three PAC (Pacific Archipelago Combatives) Instructor and a Level Three FFC (Freelancer Filipino Combatives Instructor). The grading and certification was conducted in Auckland by one of the worlds leading CQC instructors; Hock Hochheim (Texas, USA) 

At the beginning of 2019, Charlie and his team of instructors started developing their self-defence syllabus to cater specifically for the blind and partially sighted. Working with the Blind Foundation in Auckland, the programme as far as we know was a first for New Zealand.

Charlie has also completed Krav Maga Knife Workshops: achieving Levels 1, 2 and 3.

In August 2022 Charlie moved to Adelaide where he teaches his MINDSET Self-Defence system along with the ICS syllabus. Charlie also rebranded the New Zealand business (SAFE Self-Defence & Close Quarters Combat) to MINDSET Self-Defence & Close Quarters Combat to tie in with the Australian side of things.

His passion for learning still continues and he is now studying Jeet Kune Do and Filipino Kali with Sifu/Guro Kade Marsh in Adelaide.

The following instructors below have all been personally certified and tested by Charlie.

Antonina Fourman - Women's MINDSET Instructor
(Australia & New Zealand)