1 Day Self Defence / Knife Defence Rapid Response Course

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”


Dave Hedges


Are You Ready For A Night on the Town?

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.


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.


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.