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About the Instructors

John and Trish

 John Borter and Trish Chiovari are both certified instructors in the Doyle system of Irish stick fighting. Trained under Bernie Leddy, the Chieftain of the Doyle system, they are members of the Fighting Hares faction, the heads of the Whiskey Stick faction, and were the first coaches certified by Bernie in the U.S. 

John has been training in the martial arts for more than 30 years and holds blackbelt ranks in 5 different martial arts systems, the high rank of 6th degree blackbelt, and is the founder of Modern Self-Defense Concepts. He teaches martials arts, self-defense, knife, tomahawk, Kubotan, and Irish stick  classes and seminars to hundreds of people a year. He is also the creator of the ABC Women's Self-Defense program, a renowned program taught in 12 countries and has worked as a training consultant for law enforcement. 

Trish Chiovari has been training in the martial arts for more than a decade. She is an instructor in Modern Self-Defense Concepts and the co-instructor of the ABC Women's Self-Defense program. She effectively utilizes both her experience in the martial arts as well as her training as a certified social worker to bring her unique and highly valuable insight to teaching women's self-defense and personal safety.

Trish teaches Irish stick in partnership with John, is co-lead of the Whiskey Stick faction, and has been featured in a BBC article on Irish stick fighting as the only active female Irish stick fighting coach in the world (as of the writing of this bio dated 8/22). 

John and Trish are the first Doyle Irish stick coaches certified by Bernie in the US and have since gone on to be certified as full instructors. They teach seminars in and around the Northeast as well as oversee a number of Irish stick study groups. They are also the creators and administrators the Facebook group "The Irish Stick", the predominant Irish stick resource on social media.

Doyle Irish Stick Fighting is a devastatingly effective two-handed combative system developed by the Doyle family in Ireland. This system was brought to Canada via a Doyle who settled in the rough and tumble landscape of the Atlantic’s Newfoundland coast.

While most Irish styles used the one-handed methods (much like fencing), the Doyle style evolved from a one-handed longer range style to a much more ‘close-quarter’ two-handed style when a family member fused the principles of pugilism into the motions of the stick.

To contact John and Trish, click the button below

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