1 Day Self Defence / Knife Defence Rapid Response Course

21 06 2013

Why do we train?

Well for me personally I took up lifting heavy stuff and challenging my body with endurance challenges as a way to improve my performance in the martial arts.

I took up martial arts because I took a beating or two at school.

Later in life as I took to travelling, I began working on nightclub doors, where I not only got to test my training but I also got to see why it was necessary in the first place.

I’ve seen people dropped by ridiculously obvious punches. I’ve seen people get dragged into a brawl that they could have ended quickly if they had the skills to do so.

And I’ve seen people get hurt simply because they fell apart when it came to crunch time.

People like this motivate me to train like a beast

People like this motivate me to train like a beast

This is why I train.

For a few years I travelled solo, backpacking across the globe. I never had a worry, I knew that between my self defence skills and physical training, I could get myself out of a tight spot, even when going places that weren’t recommended for people to travel to.

These days I don’t travel much because I have a young family. Nor do I have the time to spend hours each day training as I have a young, yet busy, business to run. So when I do train, it must be to the point and effective, I don’t train for anything fancy, just to ensure that if anyone attacks my wife or kids. If anyone attacks my kids father or my wife’s husband (yes, I mean me) I wan to know that I can sort the situation as quickly as possible.

So I have looked long and hard to find the simplest methods of training and achieving the biggest bang for the buck.

Two men have provided me with pretty much everything I need these days. Yes I have over 25 years of training under a variety of people, but I firmly believe the information I have learned of these two men is worth more than most of what I’ve previously done.

Mick Coup talking about the punch

Mick Coup talking about the punch

The two men are Mick Coup, the founder of Core Combatives and Pat O’Malley founder of Rapid Arnis and the creator of the Rapid Response System.

Pat showed the Rapid Response system several years ago as a short syllabus for dealing with a knife attack. I liked it, so much so that it became my primary unarmed combat method.
Mick Coup ran his Foundation Course at WG last year, 4 days of intensive training, some theory, some science and a whole lot of common sense wrapped up in some of the highest quality training drills I’ve come across.

Between these two, you really don’t need much more to deal with most of what’s out there.

Simple, effective, proven techniques that are underpinned by rock solid and irrefutable principles. The principles are the key here, techniques are just that, but the principles behind them can be applied anywhere, in any situation. It’s the principle that tells you how to apply the correct technique.

So a week on Sunday I’ll be running a one day Rapid Response course. My method of teaching is heavily influenced by the Core Combatives system and so is slightly different to the way Pat originally showed it and teaches it today. He likes the way I teach it and has implemented some of  my info to his version of the course.

If you want to take part in the course, drop me an email to info@wildgeesema.com, title it Rapid Response. If you click the email address it’ll open your email client for you.

Some of the info we will cover on the day:

  • The Flinch Response
  • Parrying and trapping
  • Body mechanics
  • Power generation for striking
  • Controlling the knife
  • regaining the initative
  • testing

There will be more if time allows.

Now for some details:

Location: Wild Geese Martial Arts & Fitness, Magennis Place, Dublin 2
Date: Sunday 30th June
Times: 1000 – 1600
Cost: €50 pp

Places are limited.

Here’s that email address again:

info@wildgeesema.com, subject “Rapid Response”

Regards

Dave Hedges
http://www.wg-fit.com

 





Are You Ready For A Night on the Town?

19 04 2013

friday-night-workout-weights-04072011It’s friday!

This means most of you will come into me nice and early to get your training out of the way for the day, then as soon as the whistle blows to finish work, you’ll be into your glad rags and out on the town.

And fair play, you possibly earned it.

Possibly.

For the best part of 10 years I was one of those people you walked past with barely a nod on the way in and out of your pub of choice. I stood in the shadows around the dance floor as you danced, oblivious of the people around you.
For ten years I was a Doorman, not just in Dublin either, but in Andorra in the Pyrenees  Dubai in the UAE and Canberra in Australia.

And regardless of the location, the story always went the same.

Each and every shift, myself and the other lads would watch as the alcohol kicked in, guards dropped, egos inflated and before we knew it we’d be in. If we got there in time we’d be diffusing a situation, if we didn’t we’d be pulling two or more bodies apart and physically removing them from the venue.

A lot of the time it was just something stupid, a silly argument that got heated. Sometimes it was more sinister.

bouncer_02

Even on the route home after a shift, I’d see the same things happening on the street. I’ve seen pickpockets tailing some of the people that had left the bar not long before I did. One night I turned a corner and saw a woman on her own with three youths attempting to snatch her handbag. They succeeded, but ran the wrong way. They ran towards me, when they should have run the other way.

Now I’m not writing this for the glory, look at me the hero doorman, no I’m kind of reminiscing over people innocently landing themselves in bother or people setting themselves up as victims almost inviting a predatory attack.
I’m thinking, could these events been avoided or handled differently.

And the answer is a resounding yes.

With a few simple pointers, these people may never have gotten into these situations.

I’m also looking at the Central Statistics Office website at the Assault figures and seeing the number rise year on year going from just over 13 thousand to over 15 thousand cases. Cases of trespass have nearly doubled from 2004 to 2007 and has continued to rise.

This is why from time to time I run a workshop looking at the simple and basic elements of self defence.
It’s kind of what the cool kids call “Reality Based Self Defence” or “Self Protection”
I’m not cool and rather call a spade a spade, so to me the title of “Basic Self Defence Skills” is good enough.

The next one of these will take place on the May Bank Holiday Weekend.
You have the chance to join me from 1000 – 1600 on Sunday 5th for Basic Self Defence Skills and again on Monday 6th for Rapid Response Knife Defence.

Here’s some of what we’ll look at:

Sunday 5th May:Basic Self Defence Skills

  • Environmental Awareness
  • Situational Awareness
  • Avoid/Evade/Confront Continuum
  • Fundamental Body Mechanics for Power Generation
  • The Three Fundamental Arm/Hand Strikes
  • Wedge Defence

 

rapid responseMonday 6th May: Rapid Response Knife Defence Skills

  • Flinch Response
  • Blocking, Parrying, Passing &Trapping Skills
  • “Safe” position
  • Counter Offensive techniques from safe position
  • Simultaneous Cover & Counter

Each day will cost €50, or attend both for €70.
No entries will be taken on the day, so drop me a line about putting down a deposit.

This workshop will not turn you into Jason Bourne, but it will give you the baseline skills, which if practiced and applied can and will keep you and those you care about safe from harm.
I won’t try to baffle you with bullshit.
I will teach you high quality, time proven and field tested information.
This is not a martial arts course, it is pure self defence, like martial arts used to be before competitions were created.

Till then, enjoy your weekend.

Regards

Dave
http://www.wg-fit.com

 





1 Day Self Defence Skills Workshop

11 04 2013

It’s been a while since I ran a workshop in our own gym.
This year I’ve been to the far flung corners of Ireland teaching, but other than my regular classes and sessions, I’ve done nothing special in WG.

So it’s about time this changed.

On the 5th May, which is a Sunday, I’ll be running a workshop from 10 am to 4pm.

Over the last week or so since deciding this, I’ve been asking people, both in person and on Facebook, what information they would like to receive over these 6 hours.

The answer is an almost unanimous vote for Self Defence.

So for one day only, I swap my hat from the white hat of the conditioning coach, helping other develop their bodies, to the black hat of Self Defence instructor teaching how to destroy a body.

When I grow up, I want to be this cool!

When I grow up, I want to be this cool!

Am I qualified to teach Self Defence?

Well here’s a very brief resume:

1995 - Achieved Black Belt in Wado Ryu Karate and trained in Goshin Jitsu
2001 – Acheived Black Belt in Kenpo Karate, and learned eskrima
2005 – Got the 2nd dan in kenpo, but trained mostly in eskrima
In between those certifications I travelled a fair bit and trained with some top guys in a number of other arts, I also spent a lot of time working on doors, where I got the opportunity to test out certain ideas and principles.
I’ve consulted for ESTS, run by former Royal Marine Special Forces member, Steve.
And more recently trained with possibly the worlds top self defence instructors, Mick Coup.
Oh, and I’m one of three people in the world registered to teach the Rapid Response Knife Defence course to instructor level.

Me getting hurt in the pursuit of knowledge

Me getting hurt in the pursuit of knowledge

So there!

So what can we learn in just 6 hours?

Well, here’s an outline:

  • Situational Awareness
  • The Avoid/Evade/Confront continuum
  • Don’t be THAT Zebra
  • Essentials of Power Generation
  • The 3 Basic hand/arm strikes

That doesn’t sound like much, but I promise, you won’t leave disappointed as we dig deep into each topic.
I can’t abide those courses that teach a million things and by the end of the day, you’ve already forgotten half of them. I’d much rather teach a few things well.
There will be a lot of practical work and I expect questions.

All in, it’ll be a grand day out.

Now the sales bit:

Date: Sunday 5th May
Time: 1000 – 1600 (there will be a couple of breaks)
Location: Wild Geese
Cost: €50 – Booking deposit (non refundable) of 15% or so is needed to secure your place
Max Attendance: 18 people, so get yourself booked!
Experience needed: None
Equipment Needed: Notepad & Pen, Open Mind, Enthusiasm, Water, Groin Protector, Gum Shield (optional)

Get in touch

Dave

http://www.wg-fit.com





3 Hot Topics from the Weekend

23 07 2012

Been a busy boy this last while so not much action on the blog last week. I’ll try to make up for it this week.
The hot topic for me this weekend was three-fold:

  1. I’ve been invited to help out in 2 exciting new projects
  2. Writing for other publications.
  3. Knife Defence skills

Get1Active

Have you heard the rumour going round that obesity is on the up and up?
It’s no rumour, and guess what a recent study published in the Lancet says that inactivity is the no. 1 non communicable cause of death. Hows that? Your sofa is killing you!

Actually I know that if you read this blog, you’re not who the study is talking about. But you ARE who the Get1Active needs to get their message out.

So, lifters and fitness enthusiasts of the world, time to pay it forward, time to set an example, time to lead from the front.
It’s time for each and every one of you to encourage someone within your sphere of influence to get active.
In Ireland the figures show that 50% of Irish folk qualify as inactive. That means 50% ARE active. If each of us helps 1 other person become physically active then we will gradually become a healthier nation. Think pyramid sales but without the catch.

The Get1Active crew have set up a facebook page, it’s only a week old so there’s lots to be done on it, but click on the screenshot below and show your support. Then find someone who you can help.

Click the image and “Like” the page

 

Martial Arts Fitness Article for My Mad Methods Magazine

I just finished a cool new article for My Mad Methods magazine, this one was a real labour of love, I just couldn’t get it right. The theme of the next issue is Ancient Training methods and I was given the task of writing about the old martial arts strength & conditioning practices, something that is close to my heart.
In doing so I learned a lot about myself and the kind of coach I really ought to be.
I can’t tell you too much, just make sure you pick up a copy from their site (HERE)

Click to enter M3 Website

 

Rapid Response

I got to wear my other hat this weekend. Yesterday I wasn’t Fitness Dave the Kettlebell coach, this weekend I was self defence & martial arts coach Dave.
Due to time constraints I don’t teach martial arts very much at all these days, but yesterday I was running the Rapid Response workshop.
The syllabus was originally set by one of my instructors Pat O’Malley but I’ve “Wild Geesed” it since then and added extra elements to the course. It went down extremely well, so I’ll no doubt be running more in the near future. Look out for it on the side bar, or maybe in a martial arts gym near you….

Here’s a quick clip on the last segment of the day, Pressure testing:

 

But Dave, you said 2 exciting new projects, Get1Active was one, whats the other?

Ah, well, you’ll just have to wait and see on that one…..

Regards

Dave
http://www.wg-fit.com

 





Power Generation for Martial Arts Strikes

10 05 2012

On the eve of Core Combatives founder Mick Coup’s visit to Wild Geese HQ, another world renowned self defence instructor has found himself being banned from entry to the UK.

Tim Larkin of Target Focused Training was due to fly in from LA to present in the UK. Unfortunately it seems the current government over there feel he’s bad influence and will insight violence and vigilantism.
Perhaps the ministers have been watching too many superhero movies. Perhaps they’re genuinely scared of the message Tim carries.
Tim talks openly and bluntly about violence, about causing damage and even of causing death. In short, while he knows his stuff, he is now a victim of his own marketing. You can read more about it here

How long before the less “shocking” amongst us become targeted?
I practice the Filipino Martial Arts predominantly, that means I’m well versed in the use of bladed and impact weapons. Does this mean I should be banned from visiting my old mum in England?

I’d better moderate my commentary. The following video is me talking about the core principle behind my own current martial arts practice. As a lifelong student of martial arts I’ve always tried find the common thread that links the various styles I’ve been exposed to. These days as a father, husband, business owner and coach, I’ve less time than ever to dedicate to martial arts practice. A few years ago I’d spend up to 20 hours per week immersed in the arts, these days I’m lucky to get 20 minutes per day.
So I’ve tried to find the simplest link, the lowest common denominator that runs through all my training.

This clip reveals what that is:

In this next clip I show how the same principle is used with an impact weapon, in this case an eskrima stick, but applicable to anyone who operates in the fields of security and Law Enforcement.

Hope you find these useful and a bit of a break away from the usual fitness info I offer in this site.
I have more martial arts/self defence knowledge to share, so please let me know if you’d like me to continue.

Regards

Dave
http://www.wg-fit.com
http://www.wildgeesema.com





Balanced Self Defence

8 09 2009

Go to a self defence course and you’ll usually get taught a hundred ways to damage a body.

Go to a self protection and you learn probably fewer ways to hurt people but also get a load of ways to avoid getting into trouble in the first place. Oh, and learn how to not be too upset about the ordeal afterwards.

Go to a martial arts class and you’ll get taught whatever interpretation of whatever some dead, probably Asian, guy used to defeat countless enemies.

But then take a look at the older and more esoteric systems. Particularly the Okinawan, Chinese, the lesser known Thai arts and Indian martial arts. You’ll see a vastly different approach to what is often espoused today.

Read the rest of this entry »





Switching On

13 08 2009

Martial Arts, ultimately, is about fighting.
Put whatever philosophical spin on it you like and you will still never get away from the fact that spending hours learning to punch, kick, choke and dislocate is the pursuit of violence.

I’ve no problem with that, the skills I’ve learnt over the years have on several occasions pulled me out of a tight spot. I know all the official Wild Geese Martial Arts instructors around the world can say exactly the same.

Unfortunately there are many who can’t. (upon rereading that last sentence, it actually may be better saying “fortunately”, as getting into a fight isn’t really something to be proud of. Avoiding a fight, is.)

Most of us have heard of at least one story where Johnny Black Belt had his arse handed to him on the street. Yet this same martial arts “expert” is practically untouchable in the Dojo or the ring.
So what happened? Why could he not be as efficient outside as he is in his home ground.

Read the rest of this entry »





Total Self Defence

3 07 2009

Go to a self defence course and you’ll usually get taught a hundred ways to damage a body.

Go to a self protection and you learn probably fewer ways to hurt people but also get a load of ways to avoid getting into trouble in the first place. Oh, and learn how to not be too upset about the ordeal afterwards.

Go to a martial arts class and you’ll get taught whatever interpretation of whatever some dead, probably Asian, guy used to defeat countless enemies.

But then take a look at the older and more esoteric systems. Particularly the Okinawan, Chinese, the lesser known Thai arts and Indian martial arts.
You’ll see a vastly different approach to what is often espoused today.

With the rise of the UFC, and “mixed martial arts” we have developed a blood sweat and tears mindset, an “if it don’t work in the ring/octagon, why bother with it” attitude.
Many non MMA’ers have turned to the so called “Reality Based” Self Defence, where the same blood sweat and tears mindset prevails. They think sports are silly and instead train for the fateful day society breaks down and we all have to wear combat pants, shave our heads and be dead ‘ard.

But there is something missing still.

The “real as it gets” MMA or the “Reality” self defence are still incomplete as self defence systems. They lack the elements made that the “old fashioned” systems complete.
Systems that these modern “warriors” seem to think are usless.

But self defence, and indeed the martial arts, are about much more than hurting people and fighting.
The term Self Defence can be defined as:

Defending oneself from harm using whatever means necessary

The word harm could be anything that would adversely affect your well being.
Not just a violent attack, but health issues, environmental issues, stress. Self Defence is about being ready and prepared to deal with anything.

Many of the more esoteric arts include support systems or training protocols that are designed keep the body and mind agile and strong, even into old age.
Meditation, Chi Gung and Yoga type programs would go hand in hand with the physical kick/punch training.
Hard would be balanced with soft.

It is these support systems that seem to have been forgotten in the quest for greater speed and knockout power. Yet if you wish to still be training well into your twilight years, it is these systems that will get you there.
The meditations and chi gungs will assist the body in recovering from the abuse of hard training, they will calm and focus the mind, they loosen and relax tense muscles and maintain a strong will and a disciplined, agile mind.

The esoteric or holistic systems start with the individual. There is no focus on anything external, be it opponents or muggers until the student has first gained mastery of themselves.

After all, are we not our own worst enemies?

Regards

Wild Geese
www.wildgeesema.com
www.noequipment.blogspot.com
+353 87 672 6090





No Sh1t Sherlock!

22 05 2009

I just saw a news headline on the TV ticker tape thing, now before I go off on a rant, I only read the headline, I haven’t heard the entire story.

I don’t think I need to.

The headline went:
“Probation officers are at risk of violence”

Surely thats like saying “Ducks are at risk of getting wet”

Let me think, who else is at risk of violence……

Doormen
Police/Gardai
A&E Nurses and other hospital staff
Bus drivers
Firemen
Prison officers
Taxi Drivers
Publicans and their staff
Bank employees
Social workers
Retail and other security guards
The Homeless
Anybody using an ATM
Kids with glasses
Kids with ginger hair
Kids with braces, in fact any kid that is a little different
The elderly or infirm (yes there are cruel bstrds out there)
Any Joe Soap in the wrong place at the wrong time

The list really does go on.

What gets my goat is that nobody wants to do anything about it.
When I asked a student of mine who is a respected member of the Irish Police Force (Gardai) about the training he received in Garda college, he laughed at me. it turns out their self defence and control & restraint training is considered a standing joke.

When I enquired further he alluded to the truth. Now to be clear, this is how I interpreted what he said, these are not his words, they are mine:
The powers that be would rather pay one of their own sick leave than pay a scumbags legal claim, therfore self defence/martial arts training is discouraged.

Is that incredible or what?!?!

Now what about the poor probation officers?
They like the rest of us need to take our sefety into our own hands. Nobody is going to look after us, it is up to ourselves to decide wether to be victims or not.
By going out and getting trained, you are choosing not.

Whatever flavour of training catches you imagination, be it lifting heavy kettlebells, swinging Eskrima sticks, rolling with BJJ, Kickboxing or the brutality of Kenpo, it is of little difference.
The end result is that you will have strength, speed, skill and knowledge with which to tackle a violent aggressor.

We are all at risk of violence, it is just that some professions bring us closer to it than others, but every friday and saturday night the streets get a little rougher.

Don’t bury your head in the sand, learn to take care of yourself and ensure you are able to get home safely to your family, whatever you do for a living.

Regards

Wild Geese
www.wildgeesema.com





Do you run with the herd?

14 07 2008

Ever watch the discovery channel? How about David Attenborough shows?

Do you notice how the predators always pick out the weakest in the heard and focus all of their attacking focus and power onto that single individual.

People aren’t much different. I have my students play games. I give them homework. I ask them that when they are on their way home, look around them and check out the herd, see if they can pick out the weakest, who would they hunt if they were the predator.

The object of the exercise is twofold. On one hand the students are learning what it is that a potential attacker looks for, while on the other it raises their awareness level in order to spot potential threats.

By putting themselves into the mind of a hunter, they can see other peoples weaknesses and learn to avoid the same mistakes that they are seeing around them.
Plus simply being more aware of those around them makes them instantly less attractive to an attacker.

Think about it, two people walking along, identical size, gender dress etc except one has their head down, earphones in and are obviously daydreaming, the other is walking tall and striding confidently.

You are looking for an easy target, which of them would you choose?

Enough said.

Separate yourself from the herd, don’t be a target.

Wild Geese
www.wildgeesema.com
www.wg-fit.com
any cause but our own








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