uk Fast Defence Course
with Bill Kipp 

 

 

'On the other side of fear is freedom'

 

 

The 9th of May at Park stone grammar school in Pool/Dorset, saw the first of three UK seminars with legendary Bulletman and the creator of Fast Defence, Bill Kipp. This was a unique opportunity for many of us to train with one of the worlds leading pioneers in padded assailant scenario based training. Mr Kipp should need no introduction to the readers on this website, suffice to say that Bill is a veteran martial artist and former Spec Ops recon marine, as well as an ex-bouncer and a former bodyguard. Through years of active learning and live experience, Bill gradually came to realise that fear and all the associated bio-chemistry of adrenal related stress, is not the handicap we often think of it as. In fact it is a powerful ally that can provide us with the fire we need to fuel the fight in a worse case scenario situation.  Bill went onto to develop his Fast Defence program for people of all ages and levels of experience, eventually producing instructor’s world-wide.

 

In the UK we are fortunate to have one of the very best Fast Defence teams in the world and it was such a team that was to assist Bill for the first leg of three Fast Defence seminars in the UK. For many of the twenty plus students on this course, this was probably one of their most life changing experiences so far. It is fantastic to see the way people come away truly empowered when they start to tap into the new found power within themselves. Here we had two equal groups of guys and girls who had never experienced this kind of program before along with an equal number of us that had. After an initial introduction Bill first had us all sit in a circle as each person introduced themselves and explained what they hoped to gain from the class. The course began with what Bill calls the ABC’s of Self Defence. A of course being for the Awareness of any given situation both from an external point of view, which contains an array of variables including your environment and everyone and everything within it and also from our internal perspective such as our own emotional response during a time of duress. B is the principle of setting Boundaries in any given situation, much like the way we all employ situational control using unobtrusive and non-aggressive postures such as the fence.  I like the way that Bill employed the colour codes of yellow, orange and red in accordance with escalating physical and verbal boundaries according to the escalation of the potential threat.  The employment of such awareness skills coupled with confident and assertive, yet non-aggressive body language creates a target hardening formula that will make it much less likely to progress, to actual physical violence in the majority of situations. Finally C is for Combat, considered the last resort. Here the student is taught a few basic gross motor skills that are easy to learn and retain under pressure. Once the basics are mapped in, such skills are then practiced under duress, with emotional content which is of course what makes neural based scenario training so effective in the first place, hence the saying ‘’train in state, operate in state.’’

  

Master role-player Bill Kipp aka Bubber being sent on his way in the most non-confrontation way, after a demo of unwanted attention by a very confident and assertive Debra Kipp.

 

 

 

Malcolm Jones and Chris Walker of the Fast Defence team demonstrate body language, demeanour and boundary control during the early part of the class.

 

 

Debra demonstrates assertive verbal de-escalation on woofing Bubber…

 

 

 

Getting woofed at by Bill Kipp was a unique experience…

 

 

Here my student Alban was getting a taste of the same…During this heated interview Bill taught a classic lesson relating to a possible territorial attack, where if you are for whatever reason, offered a way out as it were, then you should most definitely take it. In this example during a heated exchange of words during a possible 2 on 1 confrontation Bill told Alban ‘’to get the fuck out of here!’’ He chose to stand and argue and Bill pulled out a simulated gun and shot him! Good point well put.

 

 

 

Bill assisting another student in finding his assertive inner-self…

 

From here we were split into two groups of beginners and advanced students alike, so that these basic gross motor skills could be practiced. For the advanced group the theme was to be multiple assailants. Two scenarios were to be employed; the first starting with your eyes closed being held either side via each arm, by two padded assailants. The suggested response was simple enough, just turn to either one and blast him in the groin with knee strikes until you can free one side, then strike with palms and knees as you stack your subject’s in a line to be engaged one at a time. The second scenario was to come from a very brief interview perspective, where now you see the initial woofer coming as a secondary threat will attempt to flank and box you in. Again the basics employed, equated to striking the closest subject then moving quickly to his flank (stacking) in order to deal with one at a time with palm strikes, knees and low kicks to the groin etc.

 

 

Here Bill demos a suggested response to the first of two, multiple assailant scenarios…

 

 

 

Turn and drop one with a succession of knee strikes, then fire a palm into the next as you relocate your position to stack one guy in front of the other…

 

 

 

 Practicing the principle of stacking…

The beginner’s scenario’s consisted of two ambush attacks from both the front and the rear. The students had to start from an eyes closed position, in order to add uncertainty and stress. Their suggested counters were simple eye attacks, knee strikes and groin shots. One of the main problems students face when a scenario goes live, is that they will often hold their breath, which of course increases the likelihood of a freeze response, especially for those experiencing adrenal stress in this context for the first time. Bill suggested using the voice as you vocalise your attack in order to get the student breathing and therefore utilising his or her adrenaline effectively. Once everyone had an idea of what was to come along with a little compliant practice, it was time to go live with it and throw compliancy out of the window, harness the fear and see what comes out during the dynamic padded assailant scenarios to follow.

 

 

Here we can see the front and rear ambush scenarios for the beginners… Once spontaneity took the reigns we saw some good basic skills come out, coupled with focused aggression and forward pressure.

 

Here the whole class lined up around the edge of the mat and everyone was encouraged to shout out words of encouragement. Group dynamics is a very important part of the Fast Defence program and I think it is one of the main contributing factors that makes it so successful. This is particularly so for the kind of person who may have really struggled to overcome their fears in the past. Or maybe the kind of individual who may have suffered the effects of some kind of physical or emotional trauma in the past and have really found it an effort to simply turn up and take part in such an event. Encouragement, both visually and verbally projected as a group, enables each individual present to feel okay about the experience of facing down fear and stress (in this example created by the very skilled verbal interview and physical simulated assault by the Bulletmen) and of course from the peer pressure of having to actually perform in front of a class, one at a time with all eyes upon you. It kind of brings everyone (students and coaches) together and involved in the whole experience. I liked the analogy that Bill Used, that being we are all together in a raft, the river is flowing slowly behind us but further down river the rapids will increase in size and ferocity. Each of us in the raft will have a paddle and if we work together as a team, together we will negotiate the incredible rapids to come. If at any point any student wanted to take their paddle out of the water, then they were free to do so. This encouraged each individual to overcome their own personal discomfort for themselves and step forward into the forge. This is much the same way that Geoff Thompson would encourage his students to partake in his legendary ‘Animal Days’ where you first had to overcome yourself, then negotiate the subject you are facing. Here we worked down the line alternating between a one on one scenario for each beginner and a 2 on 1  (or in my student Alban’s case 3-4 on 1 and in my case not 3, not 4 but 5 on 1) scenario, Bastards!

 

Needless to say the principle of stacking, so that you are, where possible, only dealing with one assailant at a time is absolutely essential. Hit and move was the order of the day here, in-fact hit anything that moved and flank (where possible) was certainly my favoured response. Such tactics were assisted by good basic tools, namely Hammer-fists, palm strikes, knees, spike kicks, head butts, bites snatches and toe punts for two very adrenalising scenarios for me. My student Alban did me proud with plenty of state access, continuous attack, aggressive forward pressure and management of state post event. But I have to agree that the most impressive people were all those guys and girls that were partaking in this event for the first time. These guys did extremely well and it was a great pleasure for me just to see how empowered, they all were. In those two short minutes of fighting, many lost a life time of self-doubt and replaced it with a new found self-belief that will stay with them always.

 

 

 

The following pictures depict some of the advanced and beginners scenarios…many of the students ended up facing more than just one Bulletman as there were plenty on hand to feed the correct level of pressure for each individual.

 

 

 

Many of the ladies got well stuck in…talk about the Wolverine within…

 

 

 

A typical 2 on 1 scenario and the typical response to a solid shot!

 

  

 

One of the more mature students who fought truly tooth and nail through out both of his scenarios…

 

 

 

 

Bill Kipp with Lee and Alban…

 

 

Urban Combatives meets Fast Defence…All 6 of these guys kicked off in my scenarios.

 

 

 

A class of 23 students, 6 Bulletmen and 4 coaches made for a great turn out…

The overall atmosphere created by everyone had to be experienced to be truly appreciated. Everyone literally fed off each others energy it was great. From here it was time for the video debrief. Here everyone got a chance to watch how they performed during each of their two scenarios. One of the great things about scenario training is it provides you with the acid test of immediate feedback and what better visual reference is there than a recording of the event. From here we finished as we started, sat in a circle around the mat as each person spoke in turn about what they thought of the class and what they will take away from it. Needless to say that everyone took away something, many empowerment which is the overall objective of Bill Kipp’s Fast Defence team and is something that they provide in true professional form. All that remains is for me to thank Malcolm and Chris for their very kind invite, to congratulate everyone who turned up and took part, you all did extremely well and to say just what a pleasure it was to meet Bill Kipp and his lovely wife Debra and of course to have the opportunity to train with Bill who has been on my must train with list, for far too long now.

 

Peace LM.

 

 

You can see Lee’s fight from two angles on YouTube here and here

 

Webmasters note: some more pictures sent to me by Alban;

 

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