Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Reality Defense in Phoenix, AZ a McDojo?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Part 2: The Lesson

    I had three guys who wanted to go but one had to go out of town on business and the other worked until 3am the night before and simply overslept so two of us actually made it. The class consisted of the two of us and a new guy there for his first class.Troy was assisted by the two guys (Frank and Jeff) in the "Two of our best" facebook sparring video. I worked with Frank, seemed like a nice guy. Troy went over his introductory lesson (of a ten-course series I believe) explaining his theories about self-defense, stance, basic one-two, and defense (Matrix parrying and blocking).

    The self-defense stuff was more lecture than anything else with Troy presenting his ideas on the subject. This isn’t really my field but I have some knowledge of the subject and everything that he addressed seemed legit and I would imagine quite useful to someone coming in without any type of training at all.

    He showed their stance, which is a bit more squared off than I would prefer, but his reasoning, as far as I can remember, was based on allowing them to strike with both hands straight out from the shoulder like a piston. His position was that it allowed them to strike equally hard with both hands and was a more efficient method of striking. He didn’t care for the more angled stance that you would see in Boxing because he felt that it was less effective for punching which is debatable (personally I don’t agree with his contentions here). They also prefer to lead with their strong side forward.

    Their primary form of striking appeared to be with the vertical fist though he did state that they also used hooks and uppercuts at other times as well. The punching mechanics as he demonstrated them appeared fundamentally correct. I’ve fooled around with the vertical fist method of striking and while it doesn’t feel that bad with the lead hand, I found this method of striking combined with the stance that Troy prefers to be rather awkward for striking with the rear hand. I don’t like leading with my strong side first at all and opted to use my regular left side forward posture. They tend to keep the lead hand a bit low with the idea being that if the fist is in a line with the forearm that as it comes straight out like a piston that it will be more difficult to see and therefore more difficult to defend. His argument was that the jab as thrown in Boxing allows the adversary to see the forearm in movement which in his opinion telegraphs the strike making it easier to avoid.

    A few times he asked me questions about Boxing such as, when did the old bare-knuckle vertical fist method of striking fall out of favor and guys start turning the punches over delivering them palm down? Troy seemed to have the idea that it came from exposure to traditional Asian martial arts during World War II, but that date is way off. I have instructionals dating back to the 1860's. Boxers started turning over the punches in the more modern style not long after the introduction of gloves. Just because the rules changed doesn't mean that the style changed overnight. The latest that I've seen where guys where were still commonly using the old vertical fist method was in the early 1900’s and even then, it had been on the way out since the introduction of gloves. The instructionals from the 1920's onwards make little mention of it.

    Another thing on Troy's vertical fist method of striking. The old bare-knuckle boxers of the 1800's favored the vertical fist method of striking on long range straight blows because they felt that the power line through the wrist was better and more importantly, they felt that striking that way equally distributed the impact over the entire fist which would help to reduce hand injuries. I've never punched anyone bare knuckle with a vertical fist but I'm willing to grant that their viewpoint must have had some merit as bare knuckle boxers fought and punched that way for well over 100 years. It wasn't until the introduction of gloves that the modern method of turning the punches over was developed and once it was the old style of vertical fist striking became obsolete.

    Personally I don't find it to be as efficient and what convinces me that it is an inferior method of striking is the fact that all of the old boxers who fought that way, once they retired and went on to train fighters themselves, never, as far as I can tell, ever taught their students to punch this way. If it was a better way of striking then you would have expected the old fighters that were taught to punch this way when they were fighting to have continued to teach it but by the teens/early 20's no one as far as I can tell still threw punches this way and hadn't for quite some time. Jack Blackburn was a contemporary of Jack Johnson’s. We can say with a fair amount of confidence that he was instructed in the vertical fist method of striking. And yet when you watch films of guys he trained in action, Joe Louis being his most famous, they never use the vertical fist method of punching.

    Comment


      ​​​​​​Part 3: The Lesson (continued)

      His idea about throwing every punch with knockout intentions in a self-defense scenario isn't so crazy as you really do want to just get things over as quickly as you can in a street fight which typically doesn't last very long anyway. However, he didn't understand why guys in Boxing don't throw with maximum power on every shot with the idea being that if you're going to be trying to hit the other guy why not try to hit him as hard as possible? From a self-defense perspective where a street fight might not last very long that makes sense but it doesn't really work out that way in Boxing. If you’re landing at 50% that would be a massive connect percentage and that still means that you're missing 50% of your punches. Against someone decent the connect percentage could be as low as 20%. If you're out there throwing bombs with every punch, you'll gas out in a few rounds like young George Foreman. If they are at all competent you have to set the other guy up for the big shots.

      He then demonstrated what he called the “Machin Gun” which consisted of a three-punch combination of straight punches down the middle with the emphasis on speed and punching with full force on every strike. According to Troy in all of the years that he’s been teaching and of the many times that students have had to call on the “Machine Gun” in a self-defense situation, it has never failed to be successful. In almost every situation the opponent was incapacitated with the first strike. Occasionally they were out on their feet or on the way down and a second shot was applied to finish them off. The third punch in the Machine Gun sequence? It’s never been called upon as far as he was aware of.
      At one point we hit some pads with the basic strikes and then as applied in the Machine Gun combination. Now I’ve seen Troy demo this before. Typically, he’ll have someone hit the pads conventionally (turning the punches over) and since he weighs well over 300lbs. none too surprisingly he doesn’t go too far. Then he’ll have them hit the pads as he teaches, with the vertical fist, and he practically gets bowled over demonstrating the far superior effectiveness of the RDT method of striking.

      Before class I commented to the guy that came with me that it would be interesting to see what Troy would do if someone willfully pulled their strikes when hitting the pad, the vertical fist RDT way. As it turns out he was working with Troy and while I certainly didn’t put him up to this, he later told me that he did in fact initially pull his strikes when hitting the pads, the RDT way and Troy still sold it pretty good anyway. Whether this was done intentionally or simply in anticipation that the strikes would be harder because he was expecting them to be, I couldn’t say. Only the guy actually holding the mitts could answer that one.

      The "Matrix" defense was problematic. They have you stand in one spot and try to parry or block every shot and straight up tell you that they're intentionally coming up short because it's a drill to try to teach you to defend with the idea that if you can defend the strikes without moving that it will be that much easier when you are able to move, move your head, counter punch etc. I undersood the concept but I was having a hard time with it as standing in one spot and not moving is fundamentally at odds with everything that I know. They also don't really seem to believe in moving your head which is also something that I have a hard time grasping and which made the Matrix drill very awkward for me to perform. Even as a drill I don't feel that standing in one spot and not moving your upper body or head to avoid strikes is a good idea or a good habit to get into nor does it feel natural (to me at least). Also, his idea about not moving your head (camera as he referred to it) is that it’s like when you watch an episode of Cops and the cameraman is running and everything is all out of focus. He feels that if your camera/head is in motion and so is the target that it will be harder to land. But as a friend of mine commented when I told him this "That might be if the lenses in your camera are fixed in one position, but lenses in my camera are able to move so this doesn't make any sense."

      Comment



        Part 4: The Lesson (continued)

        He briefly touched on footwork and everything was fundamentally correct, don't cross your feet, don't step with the wrong foot etc. But the problem is that when you watch the videos of his guys sparring that's all that they seem to do. They appear to cross their feet and step with the wrong foot with alarming regularity. I've never seen one second of video of them going full speed and really mixing it up and if such footage existed, I'm sure that he would have posted it online. All you see is very light contact sparring.

        Overall it was about what I expected. When you hear him explain it himself it makes more sense especially for the purposes that they're training for. But it reminded me a little bit of my old traditional martial arts training experience pre-UFC. In the dojo it all sounds great, makes perfect sense and seems to really work great too, just like they teach you...and then the day that you go 100% against a non-compliant opponent from outside the system who doesn’t do things as you might expect them to it all falls apart and the theories just don't seem to work out as well as expected as far too many of the guys who fought in the early UFC's found out.

        I don't doubt that he 100% believes in his system. Maybe it could work against an untrained attacker. But I'm still not convinced that any of his guys are going to be able to beat a halfway competent Boxer if they were to spar one. In no small part due to the lack of experience in taking full shots from a resisting adversary who also doesn't spar/fight the way that they do and who is doing things that they aren't expecting or used to seeing. The idea that you can simply eye gouge and bite your way out of any grappling situation is definitely going to be an issue if they ever get taken down in a fight particularly someone with a grappling background.

        As I left, I thanked him for his time and Troy said that he'd like to have us come back in again but didn't give a set time or date. Initially Troy was insistent that I attend at least six sessions and wanted me to attend all ten (and was unusually enthusiastic about the whole thing) but I never did hear back from him. I actually would have taken the ten classes with the potential of some sparring down the line but wasn’t that into it that I was going to press the issue. Also, I felt that it would have been a bit much to contact the guy asking for a bunch of additional free classes knowing full well that it was very unlikely that I was going to sign up there to train. I understand that he has a business to run and didn't want to waste a bunch of his time.

        Later as I gave a rundown of what the class was like to one of the guys who couldn’t make it (who is currently training in kickboxing) he asked about sparring because he was really up for it, but I told him that I can't see that they have anyone there who really can spar. Troy is 54 years old and by his own admission is 340lbs. He was sweating up a storm just standing there and teaching class. I can't see how he could possibly spar anyone. His senior guy Jeff is 51 years old so I can't see him sparring anyone either. The guy that I was working with, Frank, maybe could do it but he was actually a pretty nice guy and I’m not really sure if he desires to carry the mantle of RDT effectiveness on his shoulders alone. The guy in Troy's latest videos, Stefan, was a young guy and looked in decent shape but apparently, he and Troy have had some kind of falling out and he isn't teaching there anymore.

        So, who else does that leave there who can possibly spar anyone? The students who attend ten classes/lectures do a few drills and then maybe once a week attend the very light contact sparring sessions? Even if Troy's stuff was the greatest stuff ever invented these guys would be totally unprepared for a full speed, full contact sparring experience and would very likely mentally and physically fold the first time that they were hit hard because they've never experienced it before.

        All in all, you could probably do worse as far as basic self-defense instruction is concerned. But as I stated earlier this really isn’t my field so someone who is far more knowledgeable in the self-defense realm than I am would have to go down there and take the class themselves and then report back on it here. As for me I’m still skeptical of Troy’s claims of having as “open-door policy for people from other styles to come in and train. At whatever level of intensity, they want…at real combat speed.” Also I’m still rather unconvinced that they could so effortlessly defeat Boxers, kickboxers and mma fighters as claimed as I would have to see that one for myself to believe it.

        Comment


          Good job

          Comment


            Originally posted by Goldust View Post
            Part 2: The Lesson
            He showed their stance, which is a bit more squared off than I would prefer, but his reasoning, as far as I can remember, was based on allowing them to strike with both hands straight out from the shoulder like a piston. His position was that it allowed them to strike equally hard with both hands and was a more efficient method of striking. He didn’t care for the more angled stance that you would see in Boxing because he felt that it was less effective for punching which is debatable (personally I don’t agree with his contentions here). They also prefer to lead with their strong side forward.
            This is similar to what Peyton Quinn advocates in his teachings. I wonder if there's any affiliation between them.

            Comment


              Originally posted by andrewa View Post

              This is similar to what Peyton Quinn advocates in his teachings. I wonder if there's any affiliation between them.
              I'm actually a big fan of Peyton. Would you mind elaborating? I think he's one of the most rational self defense instructors out there.

              Comment


                Originally posted by andrewa View Post

                This is similar to what Peyton Quinn advocates in his teachings. I wonder if there's any affiliation between them.
                There isn't any affiliation between the two as far as I am aware. According to his website Troy originally came from Richard Ryan's old Dynamic Combat Method. As I recall there were some allegations thrown back and forth between the two when Troy broke off and did his own thing with Reality Defense.

                Comment


                  Originally posted by W. Rabbit View Post

                  I'm actually a big fan of Peyton. Would you mind elaborating? I think he's one of the most rational self defense instructors out there.
                  I bought Quinn's book (Bouncers Guide to Barroom Brawling) in the early 90's when i did kickboxing with Jean_Yves Theriault. It struck me at the time that Quinn advocated leading with the strong hand as opposed to the jabbing hand. His logic was if i recall correctly was that in a bar type situation there wouldn't be the room for you to adopt the traditional boxing stance and that you should focus on striking from a short distance
                  Last edited by andrewa; 3/07/2020 9:10am, .

                  Comment


                    Originally posted by andrewa View Post

                    I bought Quinn's book (Bouncers Guide to Barroom Brawling) in the early 90's when i did kickboxing with Jean_Yves Theriault. It struck me at the time that Quinn advocated leading with the strong hand as opposed to the jabbing hand. His logic was if i recall correctly was that in a bar type situation there wouldn't be the room for you to adopt the traditional boxing stance and that you should focus on striking from a short distance
                    Peyton advocates not starting a fight at all, but instead using your strong hand as a bridge to de-escalate situations.

                    It's not truly germane to this thread, but for context:

                    Comment


                      Jeebus, he loves to talk...
                      Falling for Judo since 1980

                      "You are wrong. Why? Because you move like a pregnant yak and talk like a spazzing 'I train UFC' noob." -DCS

                      "The best part of getting you worked up is your backpack full of irony and lies." -It Is Fake

                      "Banning BKR is like kicking a Quokka. It's foolishness of the first order." - Raycetpfl

                      Comment

                      Collapse

                      Edit this module to specify a template to display.

                      Working...
                      X