Derek holds a 5th Degree Black Sash in Lau Gar Kung Fu, a 5th Duan Wei (as certified by the China Wushu Associationa) and 1st Degree Black Belt in Kickboxing. Derek has also completed coaching and first aid courses, to become one of only a small number of Martial Arts Instructors in Ireland officially recognised by the Irish Sports Council.
Derek began his training in 1983 studying several other syles of martial arts for 4 years, before finding Lau Gar, where he quickly excelled, gaining his place on the Irish National Kickboxing Team. Derek has won 5 National Championships, countless open tournaments and has competed at both World, and European Championships.
In general it takes at least 6 years of dedicated training to achieve a Black sash grade. There are currently 12 people who hold Black Sash grades or higher in the club.