Magic Movements was created as an attempt to feminize martial arts so that it became more appealing to women. The founder wanted to give women of all ages, sizes, linguistic diversity and special needs the chance to engage in activity which empowered them physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Martial Arts improves self-esteem so that respect from/for others is a natural expectation. Eventhough, women now engage in martial arts, there are many that do not want to deal with the physically demanding training,  masculine hierachical structure and formality. Magic Movements is casual yet it maintains standards of self discipline and effectiveness in technique.

The founder

Anita Carcour

As A child I was always apt to sport and physical activity. I wanted to engage in martial arts when Judo was becoming popular in Aust (late 60's ) My cultural background prevented me from commencing as it was not seen as an activity girl /females should undertake by my father. When I ventured from my family home and began to travel, I needed to learn skills in self defence. Goju Kai with Tino Cebrano was the first dojo I attended. I found it easy to adapt to techniques and the physical exertion. The grace of the movement was a powerful expression which made me feel invinsible. The self discipline, focus and inner calmness were added benefits of training.

In the early 1980's I travelled to Central Australia where Tae Kwondo was available and I trained casual classes. In Indonesia I was introduced to Punchat Silat and began to realise that each Asian nation had their own combat systems.

Punchat Silat

Upon my return to Melbourne (1988), I discovered Aikikai Aikido. The grace of the movement with tumbles and rolls immediately appealled to me. Having to rise and fall to the ground alleviated my fear of hitting the earth. The wrist locks worked on an old motor cycle injury and preventented calcification of my wrists.

I left Melbourne for 5 years and trained Perisidiri in Ambon, Indonesia and Aikido in Osaka, Japan. The dojo in Osaka was lead by 2 sisters and I informed, upon my return, that it was a sister dojo to my regular dojo in Melbourne.

Before returning to Melbourne, I lived in Darwin for 18 months. It was here that I discovered Wing Chun (Jim Fung style). For many years I considered Wing Chun my second Art. I enjoyed the forms and it was different to Karate, yet still street combat orientated. The concepts of working in a straight line, direct combat and recognition of the centreline for stability, proximity and strength increased my understanding of energy, power and force. It complimented the Aikido idea of centre point and working with circular movements for take downs.

I continued my Wing Chun studies in Melb. I attended William Cheong school for 2-3years but unfortunately, felt a discrimination and left. I was also training Aikikai, I wanted to grade as I was establishing Magic Movements. Another disappointment with sensei attitudes and behaviour meant I left feeling despondent. I had a spell of training Yoshinkan Aikido but it was too difficult to accept being treated as if I was completely ignorant of Aikido. Here I became familiar with the opening of the forward foot to exert energy/force, use of the spine to control the opponent in iriminagi. I especially enjoyed the kata executed as an individual rather than with an uke. Most training in Aikido requires a relationship between, uke "one who receives" and nage "the thrower" Uke and nage should work in combination for the learning experience.

When I re-enrolled at Melbourne Uni  I trained as many martial arts styles I could manage. Barry Pang's Wing Chun was available so I participated for 1.5 years at 6 monthly intervals.  Aikikai Aikido, fencing and Wu Shu were also on the itinerary. I was again disappointed at Aikikai as I was not recommended or encouraged to grade. I had known the sensai since the late eighties. Wu Shu was a fabulous acrobatic style but the least I would recommend as a self defence. Fencing was fun and I hope to continue with it in my 60s.

I decided to gain certificate qualifications in fitness at Victoria University to improve my knowledge of anatomy and phisiology. Exercise prescription modules added detail to make my programs. Familiarity of the muscle groups made them more comprehensive.

In 2003, at Victoria University in Footscray I began to train Tomiki Aikido and Judo. Tomiki is a competitive Aikido so not as polite as Aikikai. I teach the takedown in the self defence with concepts I learnt there. Unfortunately neither Tomiki nor Judo is available now but I have continued to train Judo 6 month of the year with the same club in Essendon.

Weapons are my favourite training and I decided to specialize in long sticks. As Tojinkai Jodo was available closeby, I trained with this club for two years but became progressively disillusioned as the sensei was constantly picking me up for very minor mispositioning every opportunity he had. Surely after two years, he should have something more significant to say!



I became interested in Yoga over 10 years ago. It provided a balance of peace and calmness from the combat and aggression of martial arts. Also the feminine environment made it appealing. In 2004, I did a yoga instructors course at Swami Vivekanada Yoga Anusandhana Samathana…deemed university (Bangalore India) I had participated at their ashram in Brunswick. I include asanas in the self defence courses as well as instruct yoga. I frequent "Yoga in daily life", "Gita yoga" and "Kulka yoga". Exploring breath control is an ongoing task.


Kaliri Payatt

Whilst in India I took the opportunity to engage in Kaliri Payatt for a couple of months. Long lunges and leaps characterise this style and the similarity with other martial arts is eivdent but the expression differs.

Krav Maga is an Israeli Martial Art which came to my attention in 2005. I call it thuggery and it is very effective as it is geared for street violence and modern military combat. It has been devised to assist the Jewish occupation of Palestine. I undertook self defence for women, an intensive training course and a night safety seminar at a dojo administered by women. I occassionally train specialised workshops such as restraints and locks. I have adopted a few techniques into my beginners course as they are practical and easy to learn without needing much training.

Russian Systema is the latest addition to the styles. Eventhough it is geared for street fighting and so not appropriate to women's self defence, it offers a diverse way to conceptualise energy transport/transfer; into a wave through the body. They also emphasize breathing which is of interest to me. Grab and escape is fundamental to the training which means you have to work under constant pressure from grappling men; of all sizes!


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