View Poll Results: After some minor talk with the owner, Reality Defense is:
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Reality Defense in Phoenix, AZ a McDojo?
There's a place in north Phoenix nearby where I live that I believe qualifies as a McDojo. I read their website and it has all the buzzwords. Anybody want to dig a little deeper?
From the page on "Intermediate Protection Skills (I.P.S.)":
Sweet. Once these guys enter the MMA arena, grappling arts will be rendered useless!
Grappling and ground fighting defense is taught immediately due to the popularity and prevalence of grappling arts. The student will be introduced to the “Ferocious Five,” the five techniques that will work against any grappler to end the confrontation immediately.
"R.D.T. will also teach you to defend yourself with a variety of weapons - from ball-point pens to firearms."
Thats alot of weapons!
Boy have I got stories to tell about this place. I'm on my way to the gym to train right now but in a nut shell yes it's bullshit.
Tomorrow I'll dig up the review I did of this place several years ago.
Can I just post a small piece from the women's defense course page (on training with edged weapons)? This may provide some quick enlightenment:
"Conceptually, the most popular weapon is a firearm. This is an excellent weapon because most people are afraid of them and they possess a definite stopping. The problem with a firearm is that it is typically heavy and bulky, whereas most knives are light and small. It is much easier for a woman to conceal and carry a blade. The blade is a touch weapon. This means that it will require no physical strength to cause tremendous damage and therefore cause an attacker to think twice about attacking again. A blade can actually cut several times with complete silence and with deadly effectiveness. Most people have a fear of being cut and will shun away from a woman wielding a knife with confidence.
Unlike chemical deterrents, a knife will have a positive effect on a person, letting them know that you mean business. Besides, it will truly be unexpected. "
Quotes about the instructors:
Jeff Barto: "In addition he is proficient in the use of many types close quarters battle weapons including Knives, Street Stick, and Street Staff." WTF is a street stick and a street staff?
Tim Shicky: "Certified practitioner of Frank Shamrock's Submission Fighting." So what? I pay my club fees to, but not to Frank Shamrock. Got to make me a certified practitioner in SJJ, which says, um, not much.
Also Tim Shicky: "...any student fortunate enough to interact with Tim in training will have the ability to handle a real situation." Wonder why it doesn't say "any" or "most of"?
And don't forget to read Mike Dzioba's list of training credentials, including hop kee do (zip-a-dee-doodah?), Graci ju jitsu, jet kune do, and Mui Tia. And only jet kune do has been practised for more than 8 months -- well, apart from RDT of course.
Anyone live nearby and know more?
I just might have to drop by and take a look *g*
Ok so here’s an edited and revised version of a RDT review I wrote up years ago. At the time I knew someone who was training at RDT and a friend and I got the chance to stop in one day to watch a class.
“REALITY DEFENSE TRAINING”:
RDT teaches what they call a street oriented self-defense system. They do not appear to be very knowledgeable about MMA and do not hold MMA/grappling in very high regard. They will not hesitate to tell you how it’s all “garbage” and what they would do if they were to fight a “grappler”. They were completely dismissive of combat sports in general ( BJJ, Wrestling, Boxing, MMA etc.). They continually referred to “Jiu-Jitsu guys” in a rather condescending dismissive tone as well as stating what bullshit Boxing is. They also do not appear to have a very high opinion of Krav Maga and call it all garbage. They believe that RDT is the ultimate and that it’s far superior to anything else and won’t hesitate to let you know how ineffective everything else is in comparison.
We showed up to watch the “sparring” class, which contained about ten of the “advanced” students, several of whom have been training for a number of years. Everyone seemed nice enough and we were respectful as we sat off to the side to watch class. We recognized that this is their school and we were visitors and we were willing to view what they had to offer with an open mind.
They fight out of a southpaw stance with their hips completely squared off facing their opponent. In addition they also put a majority of their weight on the lead leg. This forward leaning stance looks wide open for leg kicks. One of the things that I noticed when they were sparring is that since they do not throw kicks, all of their attacks and defense is primarily focused above the waist. I think that someone who kicks well could leg kick the hell out of them. I don’t think that they would see it coming. That squared off stance is also begging for a good solid kick right down the middle in my opinion. Apparently they lead with the right because most people are right handed and they want the closest weapon to the target being the most powerful one. They also do not believe in set up punches like jabs because their idea for self-defense is to unload as quickly and as hard as possible and to then disengage and get away. They do not use kicks because they feel the risks outweigh the benefits.
They seemed to favor the lead right frequently thrown with the thumb facing upwards, it appeared to be delivered with adequate power. The left cross was also delivered with for the most part proper mechanics. The right hook and uppercuts however were poorly thrown most likely due to the lack of proper hip rotation as a result of the squared off stance that they favor. I saw little evidence of knees or elbows; although that does not necessarily mean that they don’t use them at other times.
I was not impressed with the footwork at all. I observed them crossing their feet with alarming frequency and keep in mind that these are the senior students. They also appeared to have poor “awareness” of their surroundings. What I mean by this is that while “sparring” they generally did not seem to be aware of their location in the room often getting backed into corners, nearly tripping over equipment etc. They also had the habit of leaning away to avoid punches, which combined with the tendency of crossing the feet would most likely make it difficult to avoid being bull rushed into a wall.
They do not appear to believe in moving the head to slip punches as in Boxing but instead rely on blocking/parrying/sweeping the punches aside with the hands. It appears that they have some theory that if you are in constant motion as you see in boxing, always moving your head, that this is a bad thing. It had something to do with if you are constantly moving your “camera” (your head/eyes) and the opponent is in constant motion as well that it will be harder to hit the target than if you don’t move your head (or something to that effect).
The sparring that they do consists of very light contact, they appeared to be pitty patting each other with soft strikes playing tag. No head gear, one guy was wearing glasses no less so this shows you the level or lack thereof of serious contact. The gloves looked similar to the gloves used for point sparring contests only with probably double the padding. One person would get in the middle and “spar” 30-second rounds against each of the “attackers” while they largely played the part of “defender”. They would commonly get into quick exchanges of soft pitty pat strikes and parries before breaking off the exchange with an odd sort of “hop step” to “reset” before starting over again (all done with the habitual foot crossing). Many of them did not appear to have the greatest stamina either as they appeared to get quite winded after what did not appear to be that intense of a pace. Another problem that I had with the sparring is the fact that since they claim to be training for self-defense for “the street” why is it that all of the “attackers” used a southpaw stance? Their sparring and defense was based on someone who fights and attacks the way that they do but how many people in the street are going to attack you southpaw? The light contact sparring would also not appear to adequately prepare someone for a legitimate assault from a motivated attacker.
They also did appear to have any knowledge of even the most basic clinching, grappling, pummeling techniques whatsoever. From what I gathered they believe that their striking is so innovative, so devastating, so unstoppable that it would be impossible to even get close enough to even try to clinch or take them down. And if by some miracle you did get close enough to attempt a clinch or takedown they have the “Ferocious Five” at their disposal, “The five techniques that will work against ANY grappler to end the confrontation immediately.” One of the things the really shocked me was for all of their talk about how they are all about “no rules fighting for the street” and how MMA is “just a sport” they practice a very limited and very light contact sparring.
They then had my friend throw a left jab while one of the guys held a focus mitt on his chest. Since he weighed at least 250lbs. it had little effect. They then had him stand in a southpaw stance and throw a straight right like they do. Well you would have thought that George Foreman just hit him as he stumbled backwards to illustrate the far superior effectiveness of the punch. We both agreed afterwards that he appeared to be hamming it up.
Shortly afterward things wrapped up and class ended. We thanked them for their time, and for letting us watch class. We genuinely appreciated them taking the time and effort to explain their theory on things. They didn’t ask what we thought and we weren’t going to lie to them and tell them how impressed we were with their stuff just to make them feel good. We were not impressed but kept our opinions to ourselves. And quite frankly we were surprised by what we witnessed since we were led to believe that they were rather impressed with their stand up skills.
Apparently since our visit they have added the Redman thing, something of dubious benefit in my opinion. Also they look to really be ramping up the whole fear base marketing on their website. In addition they look to have some new instructors there as well.
Overall they didn’t seem like really bad guys just a bit over the top in their belief in RDT, but you probably see that in a lot of schools. Nevertheless that attitude tends to instill a hell of a lot of false confidence in many people. Reality Based Self Defense people often have an extremely exaggerated perception of what they could do in a real life situation. That is liable to get people hurt or worse. Like most RBSD schools RDT looks to be going after the "general audience" and as a result, your typical student is not tough, does not want to be pushed, and is afraid of contact. The typical RBSD student does not spar, and if they do, the sparring is VERY soft. The general RBSD student does not make a good training partner for anyone who is serious about learning how to fight.
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