G/ACS July Seminar Overview


By now, if you’ve been following the site, you’re no doubt aware that I’ll be opening the doors here this July, and conducting the first Greyskull Academy of Combat Sciences event open to the public in quite a while.

This post will provide a course overview, so that you can learn exactly what will be covered, and what you will take away from this event as a registered participant.

The course runs for two full days, Saturday and Sunday, and is conducted at a fast and demanding pace. The cumulative stress created by the exhaustive work, and periodic introduction of new material and variables serves to inoculate the students against the stress of a real world conflict, and most effectively prepare them to be able to operate under less than ideal conditions. There are no Hollywood conditions here.

On Saturday morning we hit the ground running. We begin by learning the base layer on which everything else over the course of the weekend will be built. Students are taught a series of vital targets, and how to cause trauma and injury to said targets with the weapons of their bodies. Students will be presented with the nervous system reactions for trauma to each target, and begin to build their own “vocabulary” of knowledge of how to cause injuries, and exploit the spinal reflexes associated with each.

After participants are instructed in causing injury to a handful of targets under a variety of spatial conditions, they will then partner up and apply their new-found knowledge using our dynamic method of training. It is at this point that students begin to see how capable they are with such a seemingly small amount of knowledge of the subject. There is a disproportionate amount of time spent training in this manner in order to immerse the participants in the information, and force them to solve problems in real time.

Students learn that this system is not based on techniques, or predetermined responses to specfic attacks or situations. By learning principles, they see that they are able to solve problems repeatedly regardless of the situation, conditions, or context.

After a brief break, they will learn another series of targets (normally three or four at a shot), and then are sent out to apply the information once again. Their newfound ability to act, and cause a string of debilitating injuries with their new found vocabulary becomes very apparent at this point. Little emphasis is placed on how they look doing it at this point, with the focus being on how well they are able to access targets, understand the reactions, and the actual injuries they are causing, and to adapt under a variety of conditions (standing, on the ground etc.).

After lunch we return and introduce a few more principles, allowing everyone to rest a bit, and digest their meals. After the principles have been demonstrated, the class then incorporates the material into their training for another block of hands-on application.

After this, a brief presentation is given regarding facing common weapons such as knives and blunt instruments, and the participants are sent back out to the mats in order to apply their skill set against opponents armed with these weapons. The students experience a bit of an epiphany here as they realize that the skills that they have developed and applied during their long bouts of application throughout the day carry over entirely regardless of whatever object their opponent has in their hand.

This concludes the Saturday session for the participants, and begins the “hot wash” for the instructors, where the events of the day are assessed and any additional planning is made for day two to ensure maximum proficiency for each student.

There is always a dinner/drinks event on Saturday with class members who choose to attend meeting at a nearby restaurant and bar, and socializing/discussing the events of the day. These are always a blast at every seminar event that we put on.

On Sunday we start off with more mat time, making available all of the tools that were used for practice at the end of the day on Saturday. Participants are once again faced with “attackers” armed with weapons, and forced to solve problems in real time.

After a brief presentation on some of the idiosyncratic principles unique to the different weapons, we then send them back out to now use the weapons offensively against their partners. At this point the attendees are very comfortable fighting with empty hands, against an armed attacker, and equally confident and adept at seamlessly integrating any weapon placed into their own hands without any hint of focus or dependency on the tool.

Before lunch we cover the principles associated with facing firearms, and then, you guessed it, hit the mats to apply the information.

Upon return from lunch we address the principles associated with facing more than one attacker, and then force students to problem solve using their skill sets against two and three other people at the same time. This isn’t the movies, so nobody hangs back and waits their turn to attack, we make this look just like it will in real life, a bum rush of flailing arms and legs.

Students are then given a break and there is time for a detailed question and answer segment. Unique scenarios, concerns, and  considerations are the norm in terms of questions at this stage, and I make sure that everyone is satisfied with their answers, demonstrating or creating an interactive drill to address the question.

After the Q and A it’s “test time”. All of the skills that they have learned and applied throughout the course of the weekend are put into play as they are forced to solve problems over and over in a variety of different scenarios that evolve as we go. Knives, guns, baseball bats, multiple attackers, third party rescue, it all comes into play here. This is the most exciting portion for me as I see people who were newcomers to the subject moving, causing injury, and seamlessly integrating weapons, both incapacitating attackers armed with them, and using them themselves with skillful precision. It truly is a sight to be seen. It is during this portion that each student is assessed and given a pass or fail grade for their demonstration of their new skill set.

Students are then once again given time to ask whatever questions they may have, and allowed as much additional time as they want for follow up instruction on any of the material presented.

At that time, those who received a passing grade are issued a certificate stating that they have successfully completed the grueling course, and have demonstrated proficiency in the application of the material presented.

From there we part ways, and say goodbye for the weekend. Those who fly out later the next day, or are otherwise staying the night often get together for dinner and drinks again on Sunday. I make it a point to be in attendance for all of the get togethers.

The weekend truly will be an experience of tremendous value that you do not want to miss. I hope to see you there.

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