This is a discussion on So, it turns out a trainer of some reknown lives just down the street . . . within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; And I finally met him in person last night. A couple of years ago I met Lee Aldridge (of Reality Based Fighting Concepts, moderater at ...
And I finally met him in person last night.
A couple of years ago I met Lee Aldridge (of Reality Based Fighting Concepts, moderater at the selfdefenseforums.com) online. We knew we both lived in the Albuquerque area, but it was only when a mutual friend (Pyrolizer! :) )visited from out of state last year that we realized that our houses were less than two hundred yards from one another.
Well, last night Lee kindly invited me to come over for a practice session that he and a couple of buddies were doing. My martial arts experience ended with a year or so of hapkido back in ’88, so these guys were being very decent to the new guy (since it wasn’t as if I’d have anything important to add to the practice).
What a great time! Have you ever had one of those experiences where you just sort of get caught up in what you’re doing, mind racing, and can’t get it out of your mind even after you fall asleep? Well, all last night, I dreamt of gun disarms (which is what they had been practicing). And about two dozen other little tidbits I’d picked up (just talking to Lee is like randomly opening a book of remarkably useful and well-considered fighting advice – fascinating), all totally practical, totally useful. Terrific info!
Lee’s house has a terrific practice area set up with great equipment. Lee, Roger and Frank took turns as the aggressor in the bullet man suit, and worked on disarm techniques for a couple of hours. As I said, I knew nothing about this, but all three men were amazingly considerate and patient with me. I had the worst time adjusting my brain from the “be polite, you’re a guest in someone’s home” mode to the “HIT the guy in the bullet man suit, you doofus!” mode – I’d only just started to get with the program by the end of the evening. However, Lee, Roger and Frank were, as I said, really kind and encouraging despite my slow learning curve.
The use of the bullet man suit was really liberating. I could wail on the guy in the suit, full force, and get a feeling for what would happen set in my hindbrain. It’s not like a dojo fight where you’re pulling punches – you hit someone (even a big guy, and even only with the sort of halfarsed blow you manage to muster when surprised at short range), and he moves back. You have to move in, to move forward to keep engaged.
Here’s the, er, kicker. All the stuff that they teach can be done by anyone, male or female, large or small. It’s all totally practical, and that’s their aim. This was REALLY different from my hapkido days (even though my hapkido group was advertised as being one of the more “street-useful” classes around). I have every confidence that RBFC can teach my 5’0” wife to be able to handle herself if she’s grabbed on the street – and Gina will be in the next small women’s class Lee runs.
Wow. What a great experience! I just wish I could get my mind to stop racing with all of it! :)
It's great that you got to try that training. There are only a couple of us in NM offering that type of training. I think there is an IMPACT group in Santa Fe that is also doing something similar, but I think that group focuses mostly on women.
The Bullet man training is top notch. We've been doing it at my school for the last couple years with certification under FAST defense International and Bill Kipp. Your right about the reality based training. There really is no subsititute for some type of reality based training, (other than getting into a real one :))!
The FAST defense program at my studio is very popular with veteran martial artists as well as the untrained novice. As you saw, it makes no difference if you are trained or not, male or female, large or small. Our basics class is 4-5 hours and by the end of the class I've had 100lb. women knocking the crap out of myself and the other 3 bullet men, and hitting just as hard as veteran black belts twice their size. Its really amazing to see the change in people by the end of the class.
In addition to the basics class, we do multiple assailants (that is one wild class!), weapons, children's FAST defense, and ground applications with the suits. A large part of our class is also spent on de escalation and dealing with the "woof", which many students say is harder than the fights themselves. The adrenaline rush is incredible, and it really teaches you to use your voice.
Sounds like you got a lot out of it, if you can take another class for yourself as well, definitely go for it! Very enlightening and Its a blast!