The past twelve months of Combatives training at Forteza has been so epic, we almost feel bad for everyone who didn’t get to train with us. Almost.
In 2014, Forteza played host to literally the who’s who of teachers in the field of Combatives and Reality Based Self Defense training. We kicked off the year with an in house Bowie knife seminar taught by Forteza instructor Keith Jennings. Students learned the basics of American big blade fighting, and with many of the students having some training in historical fencing or Martial Blade Concepts, everyone took right to the weapon, and Bowie knife sparring has been seen at the monthly Fight Night ever since.
In the Spring we hosted an Urban Survival course taught by Johnny Tsai. This informative seminar was one half lecture, helping students with contingency plans and how to assemble a bug out bag in case of a local disaster, and the other half we went out to the woods and learned how to build shelters, how to start a fire with a variety of tools, and even practiced some self defense skills.
In May, Forteza played host to Martial Blade Concepts founder and head instructor Mike Janich for a two-day seminar. Since Forteza instructor Keith Jennings is one of Mike’s senior instructors, and most of the students in attendance had a solid training base, we were able to really amp up the training and focus on the more advanced aspects of MBC training. On the first day, Mike presented a state-of-the-art seminar on the MBC forward grip knife curriculum. Mike tuned up everyone’s basics, and then got everyone rocking out on flow drills, combat applications, and even a bit of knife chess. The second day was a bit treat for all of the attendees, as Mike showed his seldom taught interpretation of classical Filipino machete and sword and dagger training. Mike was able to blend the traditonal aspects of sword and dagger with the logic of the MBC methodology into a brutally effective big blade system.
Forteza was honored to host Lee Morrison for an absolutely epic five days of training in July. Lee is a UK Combatives instructor who is know for both his soft skills training, helping students cultivate the proper Combtives mindset, as well as the hard stills needed to survive a brutal street altercation. And when we say hard, we mean hard. Lee spent two days doing private training with the Forteza staff, focusing on developing explosive power and bone crunching power. Then the two and a half day seminar pushed everyone to the edge. Everyone took some hard shots, and gave just as much as they got. The increase in skill level and overall toughness by the end of the last day was a sight to behold.
Self defense guru Hoch Hochheim taught a two day seminar in October. Hoch is a legend in the field, and was one of the first instructors in the United States to teach self defense removed from the hangups of traditional martial arts. Hoch covered a wide variety of material in his two day seminar. We went over his empty hand striking skills, knife vs knife, and his modern version of traditional Filipino stick fighting. Perhaps the best part of the seminar was hearing Hoch’s war stories of his police days, as well as the many martial arts personalities he’s met over the years.
Lastly, Forteza was extremely honored end the year hosting Kelly McCann for a two day seminar. Kelly is the most sought after instructor in the field of Combatives, but until recently his training was never available to civilians. Thankfully, that has now changed. After Keith trained with Kelly at his Civilian Training Center in Virginia, he had been trying to figure out a way to train with him again ever since. When Kelly announced we was taking his Kembativs training on the road, Forteza jumped on the chance to be one of the first gyms to host him. Students were introduced to Kelly’s boxing training, both in the sportive sense and bare knuckle boxing for the street. We also did some classic Combatives training, doing everything from self offense, to stick and knife, and the dreaded pocket stick. After a weekend full of bare knuckle boxing, chin rips, and combative throws, the amount of pain induced by the little pocket was almost comical, especially to Kelly. It was an epic way to end an epic year of training.
We are only a week into the new year, and 2015 is already shaping up to be an even better year of Combatives training. To meet the demand of our students, we are going to be offering more weekend focus classes on specific self defense topics, and launch our invite-only Forteza Combatives Club. Our first class of the new year is the Martial Blade Concepts Fundaments class. More details to come.
Also, for our first big Combatives seminar of the year will be hosting Dom Rasso of Dynamis Alliance for a two day seminar. We will be covering situational self defense, team tactics, car Combatives, and Dom will be showing the unique reverse grip knife tactics he used when he was an active Navy Seal. To register, please follow this link: