Martial Arts and Fitness
2022 - Registered Professional Coach
2022 - Master of Law (LLM)
York University, CA
2020 - Positive Psychology
2020 - Fitness and Conditioning
International Sports Sciences Association
2013 - Bachelor of Law (LLB)
University of South Africa
Abrie Kilian is a professional martial artist in Owen Sound, Canada, where he is the head coach and owner at Kilian Academy. An admitted Attorney-at-Law in the High Court of the Republic of South Africa, Abrie contributes a unique approach in studying and practising martial arts. As a lifelong learner and academic enthusiast, and obtained his Master's in Canadian Law from York University. Kilian is currently pursuing a Master’s Trainer qualification through the International Sports Sciences Association.
A Boer from South Africa, his interest in martial arts was germinated by force. As a young, gifted musician and visual artist, he did not fit the mould of a typical “rough-and-tough”, rugby-playing-Boer’. In order to develop anti-bullying skills, he began training in martial arts at the age of 12, with South African karate and judo legends Mr Allan Holmes and Mr Stan Schmidt and competed and won in both karate and freestyle fighting. At the age of 17, Alan Holmes and Stan Schmidt awarded Abrie a junior black belt in JKA (Shotokan) Karate, the largest Karate Association in South Africa at the time.
Apart from the physical and mental strength gained with the above training, he also developed a sense of gratitude and respect for the value of traditions and discipline. In 2000, Abrie completed his qualification in Theological Arts and embarked on a journey in law at the University of the Free State (Kovsies).
It is at Kovsies that he met and later married his best friend, Dr Rochagné Kilian (ER Physician). After graduation in 2007, they took off on an adventure and chose Canada as their destination. It is in the harsh realities of long, dark Canadian winters that Abrie’s passion for the Martial Arts was rekindled. In 2009, in Williams Lake, Canada, Abrie started training martial arts under Mr Sheldon and Lee-Ann Lainchbury (Karate, Kickboxing and Ju-jitsu) and Mr Eric Arseneault (Ju-Jitsu), at Shogun Martial Arts.
In 2011, Abrie was selected to represent Team Canada at the WKC World Championships held in Spain in both Karate and Kickboxing. In 2012, Abrie once again made the Canada team and represented Canada in Kickboxing at the WKC World Championships, held in Montreal and placed 5th. In 2012, legendary martial artist, Marwan Abu-Khadra, awarded Abrie his black belt under Sheldon Lainchbury, in both Karate and Kickboxing. Abrie received sportsman of the year from the Williams Lake City Council for 2011.
It was during this time that Abrie had his first taste of the addictive nature of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He was naturally drawn to the complexity and mental challenge of BJJ. As a ranked chess player, he finally found his game of physical chess. Although he had the utmost respect for the art of BJJ, he could not relate to the culture surrounding the sport that was evident in most BJJ clubs he witnessed. This changed when he stumbled upon the teachings of Roy Dean.
Here was a fellow Martial Artist that combined the dignity and discipline of the traditional Arts with the highly effective skills of BJJ in a professional environment, with high-quality coaching and a well-structured curriculum. He knew he found his home as a BJJ practitioner.
In 2012, Abrie and Rochagné travelled down to Bend, Oregon. This started Abrie’s relationship with RDA which ultimately led to Abrie being awarded his Blue Belt in 2014.
In 2013, Abrie and Rochagné returned to The Republic of South Africa and established Kilian Academy in the beautiful town of Vryheid. Mimicking Roy Dean Academy, Kilian Academy became a place where athletes could rise to the challenge and conquer themselves. It was during these foundational years as a coach, that Abrie realized his full potential as a martial artist, his potential as a Sensei. He found joy in motivating, challenging and pushing others to become better versions of themselves.
With the above level of commitment and passion, Kilian Academy saw rapid growth. In 2014, Abrie and Rochagné established Hanami Martial Arts Supplies Ltd. to provide BJJ-practitioners in Africa with quality uniforms. Both Abrie and Rochagné hosted one of South Africa’s largest BJJ-tournaments in 2014 and 2015, known as the Hanami Challenge.
In 2015, due to the depreciation of the South African local currency, Kilian Academy could not maintain affiliation with Roy Dean and departed on friendly terms. Kilian Academy affiliated with Rio Grappling, who at the time was the largest BJJ-group in South Africa under Jurgen Putter, a black belt under BJJ-legend, Roberto Attala.
After the birth of their first two children and the degression of the South African Pollical Climate, Abrie and Rochagné returned to Canada. Kilian Academy was relocated to Owen Sound, Ontario, in February 2019.
In 2020, both Abrie and Rochagné committed to a civil union with Jolene Smit and became part of the Kilian-Family. Jolene, a professional photographer and graphics designer was studying Integrative Medicine through Quantum University.
The Global Pandemic forced Abrie to realign Kilian Academy to attend to the ever-growing Mental Health challenges that followed the pandemic. Abrie completed his Gallup Strength Coaching Qualification and leveraged his previous psychology training, to combat the growing mental health fallout of the pandemic.