On the 1st May 1983, the original concept of Universal Self Defence (USD) was first introduced by the now President of the Universal Self-Defence Academy (Usda), Mr Peter Burke.

It was a natural progression to develop Universal Self Defence after Peter Burke had trained and taught martial arts for over 14 years.

Peter Burke's enthusiasm for the martial arts began in 1965, at the very early age of 8 years old, with judo, karate and boxing. Later on he also trained in kungfu and with 3 World Champion kickboxers Joe Lewis, Bill Wallace and Benny Urquidez. He was also awarded Black Belt degrees from hapkido and taekwondo masters.

After a very successful instructing career teaching taekwondo, Peter Burke could see the potential for starting a system of training that did not restrict itself by just promoting one style of martial art. His idea was to use all methods that proved to work best in order to provide more practical and universal self-defence. This then created both the concept and the name 'Universal Self Defence".

With the aid of modern sports science and through it's own research, the Universal Self Defence has since developed many of it's own ideas and methods. USD has evolved into a program that is easier to learn, safer and more practical for everyone.

Although the original concept was created by Peter Burke, the Universal Self Defence now grows and develops with all its dedicated instructors and members around Australia.

Since the formation of Usda, thousands of people across Australia from all walks of life have enjoyed and benefited from the Universal Self Defence training program. Many professional people including school teachers, law enforcement officers and security personnel have also enthusiastically given USD their strong support by becoming members and instructors.

USD now provides a vital community service that successfully attacks some of our society's biggest problems concerning violence, drug abuse, obesity and poor health.

Whilst teaching people how not to become a victim of violence, the disciplined USD training also encourages a more active, healthy and drug free lifestyle.


1965 First began martial arts training at 8 years of age with judo, then later in karate and boxing at a local Police Boys Club in Sydney Nsw.

Pursued many different interests in between practising martial arts.
Became captain of Marist Brothers representative football team, handball team finalist, schoolboys chess champion and youngest to achieve bronze medallion in surf life saving.

Trained in traditional northern style kung fu at Randwick.

Studied yoga and meditation techniques.

Started taekwondo and hapkido training at Maroubra, quickly becoming leading student.

Awarded Black Belt in taekwondo by three 7th Degree Master Instructors.
First began professional instructing, opening a training centre in Randwick, Sydney.

Awarded Instructor's certificate by Australian Taekwondo Federation.
Opened new centres and increased instructing to 7 days a week.
Taught at the Sydney City Taekwondo Headquarters, Maroubra, Randwick, Mosman and Balgowlah.
Become full time professional martial arts and self-defence instructor after retiring from the Department of Defence Services.
Moved to the Nsw Far North Coast to open 4 new training centres.

Opened training centres on the Qld Gold Coast.

Trained with Undefeated World Middleweight Professional Full Contact Karate Champion Bill Wallace.

On the 1st of May, with over 14 years of martial arts experience, introduced new training concept and named it "Universal Self Defence."
Incorporated all methods and styles that proved to work best, well before MMA Mixed Martial Arts became popular, including taekwondo, karate, kung fu, judo, kickboxing, sports science etc;
Became Founder, President, Master Instructor and Examiner for the Universal Self-Defence Academy (Usda)
Over 100 students, including 5 Black Belts, enrolled in Usda.
Trained with undefeated World Professional Full Contact Champion Benny "The Jet" Urquidez and later again in 1988.

Researched more sports science to improve physical exercise programs. Completed Fitness Leaders Course Levels 1, 2 & 3 with the Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation.

1985 Produced first publication of the Usda Instructor's Manual.
New Usda centres opened at Brisbane, Sydney, Hunter Valley and Illawarra.

Usda spreads to Melbourne Victoria, making it a national organisation.
Produced first Usda instructional video.

First 100 Usda Black Belts awarded.
World Karate and Kickboxing Champion Joe Lewis, also Black Belt Hall of Fame Fighter and Instructor of the year, martial arts movie star and living legend visits Usda. Whilst giving a seminar for Usda Black Belts, Joe Lewis was quoted as saying: "I've been all over Australia and this is the best club so far."

Usda competition team formed to compete regularly in major freestyle and kickboxing tournaments and first Usda national tournament held.

Introduced new Usda Instructor's Code of Ethics Agreement and improved safety standards with compulsory Instructor's Senior First Aid certification.

200 Usda Black Belts awarded.

Published first edition Universal Self-Defence Academy Member's Manual.
Awarded Usda 7th Degree Black Belt by Usda Board of Master Instructors.

300 Usda Black Belts awarded.
Published new Usda Instructor's Manual.

Started new computer database central register of Usda Instructors, Black Belts and members.

Universal Self Defence web site first created.

Web site establishes international following, consistently ranking in top ten for "self-defence" on all the popular global search engines whilst consistently holding No. 1 position in Australia.
Universal Self Defence featured on new national tv show, Body & Soul.
Usda instructional videos made available on dvd.

New Usda competition team formed to compete with great success in numerous state, national and world championship events.

400 Usda Black Belts awarded.

 New Universal Self Defence online web store ranked No.1 on Oz Google search for martial arts.

2009 Usda members manual new edition published on cd.

20xx Thousands of men, women and children across Australia have now enjoyed and benefited from USD training. Peter Burke, with over 40 years experience, continues as Usda President. Much credit must also go to all the dedicated Usda Black Belt instructors. Some have now have over 30 years experience and have a tremendous influence in the continued growth and development of what is now well recognised as a very innovative and unique training system; "Universal Self Defence".

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4.8 out of 5 stars (11)
  • Great products, great service, competitive

    Great products, great service, competitive pricing

    By: Sam on | Was this helpful?   (3/1)
  • Fantastic Communication, super fast delivery and excellent products

    Ordered my 2 x karate pants and set of morgan wrap gloves on Sunday night - package arrived at my doorstep on Tuesday morning. Communication from Peter was exceptional and the products are excellent quality and perfect fit. I will be ordering more from Universal Self Defence and would recommend to anyone looking for fast friendly service with quality products.

    By: Shaun on | Was this helpful?   (46/45)
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    By: mick on | Was this helpful?   (72/66)
  • USDA Website

    Easy to use. So many great products. Well done!

    By: Sam Calabro on | Was this helpful?   (104/68)
  • Quick Services

    I purchased uniforms, they were posted promptly, they are good quality and I will shop here again. Thanks

    By: Jane on | Was this helpful?   (105/68)
  • boxing clothing

    I was very happy with the fast postage. Sizes when ordering are perfect. It has been a pleasure ordering boxing clothing off you. You have made 2 boys very happy they are hard to buy for because they are so small. Thanks Kate

    By: kate on | Was this helpful?   (101/77)
  • My story by Tracey Nieuwenhuis/tarr

    I just want to say thank you for everyting u taught,expecialy the advice!iz in a coma wen iz 18 for 2 weeks from head injury,wen i came out of the coma i thaught i was going to training.The drs said its a miricle that i can walk and theres no sign of brain damage.i rekon because the first thing i thaught wen i woke up, was training with you guys, is the reason im here today.thank you not just for the training but also for all the hav no idea how your teachings got me through so many obsticals.I will NEVER GIVE UP!thank you!:) 28/02/11

    By: Tracey Nieuwenhuis on | Was this helpful?   (102/71)
  • excellent product

    prompt delivery, great quality

    By: michelle jackson on | Was this helpful?   (103/74)
  • Highly recommend this site

    This company has been a delight to deal with, excellent customer service and prompt delivery. The goods are of very high quality and would defiantly use again and recommend to others.

    By: Dianne Reader on | Was this helpful?   (104/74)
  • Excellent product and service

    I recently placed an order through the usda website, I received the products in prime condition, and found them to be of good quality. The service that I received was somewhat of a surprise, never have I received anything on the level that I received from usda on any online orders..

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