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Esprit Martial Arts in Marrickville teaches martial arts and self-defense designed for both adults and children of all ages and represents martial arts for everyone. It is a simple, yet effective, self defence system that blends the best moves from all of the successful styles. You will get incredibly fit, have fun and make lifelong friends alongside our students who come from Marrickville, Dulwich Hill, Enmore, Stanmore, Newtown, Ashfield, Rockdale, Petersham, Wolli Creek, Hurlstone Park, Earlwood, Erskineville, Camperdown and most other suburbs in the inner west of Sydney.

Esprit Martial Arts Head Instructor and owner, Debra Cooksey, has been a long-time student and trainer with Sensei Andy Dickinson of Northstar Martial Arts. Deb’s initial exposure to martial arts was as a parent of two young children, both of who are in their early teens and have already become Junior Black Belts in the Northstar Ju Jitsu system.

Early in her martial arts journey, Deb started teaching children which then progressed to include adults and this passion has continued over the last 10 years. Deb is a 2nd Dan Black Belt (training for 3rd Dan) and has a Coaching Accreditation level 2.

Esprit was founded by father and son, John and Lachlan. The baton has now been handed to mother, son and daughter, Deb, Lachlan and Georgia. The dedication and commitment to provide the best martial arts experience and empower children and adults alike remains unchanged.

Deb balances a successful corporate career with running meditation classes to raising her two children, Lach and Georgia. Deb is a Reiki Usui and Meditation Teacher.

All children’s trainers at Esprit have W.W.C (Working with Children Check) and Senior First Aid.

To hear about the benefits of training with Esprit Martial Arts and the Northstar Ju Jitsu system please click the following link:

New To Martial Arts?

At Esprit Martial Arts we understand that beginning training as a student or resuming after a while can be challenging. As martial artists, Deb and her team are committed to helping our students on their martial arts journey, from white belt to black belt and beyond.

We understand that many factors need to be considered before committing to a dojo or school and commencing training. The following are some answers to common questions.

What style is best for me?

There are many many different styles out there… which is great as it gives you choices! We suggest that whatever style you choose should address these key questions:

  • Is it suitable for your physical abilities and constraints, and your desire to become fitter – you will be surprised by what you can achieve – at any age!
  • Are the trainers experienced and reputable? Are they part of a broader network and martial arts lineage?
  • Does the purpose of the training offer meet your needs? The spectrum of classes ranges from niche traditional forms, through to mainstream martial arts (boxing, muay thai, judo, karate, aikido, BJJ) and then MMA focused schools.

At Esprit, our focus is on self-defense, fitness, and fun. We teach the Northstar Ju Jitsu system which is a modern martial art with deep roots in the traditional forms of ju jitsu as well as boxing, judo, aikido and karate….you can find out more about our system here.

How much does it cost?
Most schools charge between $10 – $20 per hour, with charges varying based on location – CBD or suburban, and the number of classes per week – the more you train, the cheaper it gets! Most schools also offer a trial class to potential students.

What can I expect in a trial class?

At Esprit, you will be welcomed by John at your first session. You will be partnered with a senior belt as your buddy to help explain some martial arts basics.

Your first class will include a core martial arts fitness section, padwork including blocks, strikes and kicks as well as some self defence techniques and strategies. All you need is some comfortable work out clothes and a bottle of water

Getting Started

When you arrive for your first class you will be welcomed by our friendly and professional Esprit staff. At your first lesson you will fill in some basic details, so you might want to arrive to class 15 minutes early. You will receive all the latest information on, class times, membership plans and how to get your best value for your time and money.

New people start training with us at every class. Don’t worry, it does not matter if you have not worked out for a while, you will soon find your own level in class. We want you to get the most out of your class and our trainers are taught to be interactive with the group. We pay particular attention to new people and will assist you as much as we can during the class. You will be partnered up with a senior student who will run you through the basic fundamentals, so you wont he thrown in the deep end.

Whether you want to learn Martial Arts or Self Defence in Marrickville, we look forward to seeing you on the mat!

Northstar Ju Jitsu System

Sensei Andy Dickinson developed the Northstar Ju Jitsu System.

He’s been studying martial arts and fitness for more than 30 years and is one of the Martial Arts highest achievers. He has 4th Degree Black belt in Taekwondo (WTF) and is the only non-Japanese to be trained and graded to Black belt by Japanese Masters in Japan in 2 of the most famous styles of Ju Jitsu; Daito Ryu Aiki Ju Jutsu (2nd Dan) and Tenjin Shin Yo Ryu Ju Jutsu (Ist Dan).

Andy was awarded a 9th Degree Black Belt in Budo Ju Jitsu in Japan by Aso Sensei and is President of the International Budo Ju Jitsu Federation.

He has also studied many other forms: Judo in Japan, Taekwondo in Korea, stick and knife fighting in the Philippines, Thai boxing in Thailand, and Brazilian Ju Jitsu in America. He has also made in-depth studies of kick boxing, boxing and wrestling. In more recent times Andy has been training in the Russian Martial Art of Systema.

Andy Dickinson now devotes his time to expanding the training methods and philosophies of Northstar Ju Jitsu. The system can be studied on the surface to get fit and learn self-defense and it can also lead to incredible changes in self-confidence, self-esteem, self-discipline and self knowledge.


Affiliate Schools
Northstar Martial Arts

Arrow Martial Arts

WestStar Martial Arts

Quantum Martial Arts

Keystone Martial Arts

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