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:
This past July, Forteza played host to Urban Combatives founder Lee Morrison for a three day seminar. Lee specializes in combining high intensity physical training, with the mental stress of scenario training. The Forteza Combatives classes are integrating many of these training drills and methodology into our weekly classes.
Sunday 10/12/2014 10am-5pm
Day 2: Military and police stick, as well as Filipino stick fighting. Hoch will cover striking, blocking, grappling and ground fighting. Hock has also organized Filipino single and double stick materials from so many FMA systems and programs down to their scientific, easily digestible essence.
About the Instructor
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The Chicago Swordplay Guild and the DeKoven Foundation – the same team that have brought you WMAW for over a decade – are please to present an event for students in the Noble Art and Science of Defense: The DeKoven School of Arms. This full, three day event features:
- A roster of leading instructors and experts in Renaissance Swordplay, including Devon Boorman, Puck Curtis, Tom Leoni, John O’Meara and Tim Rivera
- Introductory and in-depth classes in early 16th century swordplay, including Iberian “Esgrima Comun” and Bolognese swordsmanship;
- Expert instruction in the jewel in the crown of Renaissance Italian swordplay: the elegant rapier;
- A chance for extensive training in the mysteries of LaVerdadera Destreza;
- Lectures and demonstrations;
- A Contest of Arms with sword, rapier and their trusted companions, the buckler and dagger.
Located at the picturesque DeKoven Center, home to the Western Martial Arts Workshop, the conference is a retreat with attendance limited to the 60 students that DeKoven can host. Your registration fee includes entry, lodging and all nine, hot meals.
This is a unique event and a unique opportunity to train in a private environment with some of the finest modern teachers of the Art of Defense. Act now, because spaces will go fast. We look forward to crossing swords with you!
Dates: September 5-7, 2014
The DeKoven Center
600 21st Street
Racine, WI 53403
(Details for getting to Racine can be found on the WMAW website)
On campus; all rooms have two single beds. You will be able to request the roommate of your choice when you register, and we will make every effort to accommodate you. Lodging is from Thurs to Sat.
Nine hot meals.
$375. No cancellation refunds after July 1st, 2014
The Lost Martial Art of Sherlock Holmes is BACK!
Bartitsu and the old Bartitsu Club were key components as we were designing the Forteza studio. Designed as a way to introduce other martial artists to the unique “fusion” and “combat improvisation” of Barton-Wright, the one major request we had from students was a more structured way to introduce new comers to the fundamental boxing, kicking, throwing and stick-fighting skills upon which Bartitsu is based.
We listened, and after a year of fine-tuning, Bartitsu returns to Forteza on May 25th with a five hour workshop taught by renowned Victorian martial arts historian and Bartitsu Club of Chicago founder, Tony Wolf. A highly experienced martial arts instructor, Tony has taught Bartitsu intensives in England, Ireland, Italy, Australia, Canada and throughout the USA. Tony also edited the two volumes of the Bartitsu Compendium (2005 and 2008) and co-produced/directed the feature documentary Bartitsu: The Lost Martial Art of Sherlock Holmes (2010).
New “Introduction to Bartitsu” Course
But the relaunch does not end with the workshop. Tony will be ably assisted by Forteza instructors Nathan Wisniewksi and Treyson Ptak, who will then be taking the lead with our newly designed Introduction to Bartitsu course. Beginning June 5th, 6-week class is designed to instill basic striking, kicking, cane-fighting, grappling and safety skills. Perfect for those new to martial arts as well as those who are not familiar with the particular art which comprise Bartitsu, this course is high-energy, skills-focused and designed to lay a foundation that students will bring to on-going training in the Bartitsu Club of Chicago. The club meets twice a month for advanced training and “combat integration” – the unique blending of its component arts that makes Bartitsu an unique fighting art in its own right.
A Whole New World of Victorian Martial Arts
But Bartitsu is just one aspect of Forteza’s new Victorian Martial Arts program, which includes a wide-range of antagonistics, the study of fencing, boxing, wrestling and stick-fighting typically combined with physical culture (calisthenics, gymnastics and weight-training) that was popular in Britain and America in the late 19th century. Forteza’s Antagonistics courses include:
- Sabre and Bayonet Fencing;
- Stick Fighting;
- Bowie Knife and Tomahawk combat (most distinctly American weapons);
- Physical Culture; a truly “old school” workout regimen of calisthenics, Indian clubs, and more!
As we have done previously with our wildly popular Bowie and ‘hawk seminars, Antagonistics will be taught in a series of workshops and short courses, allowing students with limited time and busy schedules to get chance to sample the breadth of 19th century martial culture.
How Can YOU Get Involved?
Whether you’ve trained us before or are brand new to any martial arts, there are many ways to jump in to the relaunch of our Victorian Martial Arts program, and the sooner you get involved, the more affordable it is!
Bartitsu Seminar Date, Sunday May 25th from 12-5pm
$60, $75 at the door
Introduction to Bartitsu Course, Starts on Thursday June 5th from 7-9pm:
Length – 6 weeks
Cost – $125, discounted to $100 for seminar attendees!
Pre-register for both the seminar and introduction for $150, a $50 savings!
Continuing Classes: Bartitsu Club of Chicago Starts on Friday July 11th from 7-8pm:
Classes are on the second and fourth Friday of each month