An Evolution in Self Defense
My early training in the sixties was with a system called Amdo,
it stands for American Way. It was a very diversified system that
taught karate style sparring, many throws from Judo, locks from
ju-jutsu, take-downs and reversals from aikido, and even some strikes
and blocks from kung fu.
Today a system like that (it no longer exists) would be highly
accepted. But remember, this was in the 1960's when "Tradition"
was king. Many traditionalists scoffed at such a system.
Later my studies included Okinawan karate which I have spent many
years of study and now teach. The big difference is I don't teach
traditional Okinawan karate for self defense. I think my background
in Amdo helped me see that there were better applications for many
of the traditional karate self defense techniques.
As the years progressed I continued to find easier, quicker and
more direct ways to apply self defense. Sometimes attending a seminar
I would find only one or two 'better' applications than I was teaching
at the time. To me it was worth the price of admission.
I purchased dozens of self defense videos. Most of them were teaching
traditional and in many cases useless self defense techniques and
applications. But many times I would find just one technique or
application that I could add or implement in my system.
Over the years I continued to refine, simplify and fine tune what
I was teaching. I was getting closer to what I wanted and what I
knew my students needed but I still felt something was missing.
I then met Bill Kipp and Peyton Quinn of the Rocky Mountain Combat
Applications Training Camp (RMCAT). Bill was doing seminars on the
road so I set one up for my school. Their brand of self defense
was 'scenario based adrenal stress conditioning training.' After
only one seminar I quickly realized several evident factors:
1. Although my system of self defense was very simple, it was not
simple enough in many cases to be performed under a strong adrenal
2. While under an 'adrenal dump' as we call it, your mental capacities
are highly diminished.
3. Loss of fine motor skills can drop to almost scary levels.
4. I needed to greatly simplify what I was teaching and teach self
defense that had what I call a "build on factor". This simply means
that one technique builds upon another and that a few simple sequences
would be able to be used for a number of different attacks.
Bill Kipp and I later formed F.A.S.T.
Defense. FAST is an acronym for Fear Adrenal Stress Training.
We are now teaching this technology to self defense instructors
around the country and Internationally.
Within a short period of time my self defense system went through
another overhaul. This time I really like the end result because
the techniques have been tested under the stress of an adrenal dump.
I have put the 30 most common street attacks on video, using our
latest technology. You can read about them at www.street-self-defense.com
Shihan Michael Pace