I started Rochester Personal Defense in 2003 after discovering that there
is a need for someone versatile to fill the gap between the small, feel
good seminars and the martial arts dojos.
My interest in self defense started in 1993 when I was 'introduced' to the world of firearms by my father, who was the organizer of a pistol match at one of our local gun clubs. Right from the beginning, I felt I wanted to learn everything and anything about how to shoot my best and the legal rights and responsibilities of carrying a firearm. Under my Dad's watchful eyes, I quickly worked my way up from the most basic levels to an intermediate point where I felt confident and secure with my skills. I started developing the mindset for carrying a firearm for self defense fairly early and it has since expanded as my skills have grown.
It did not take long to figure out that I was learning one solution of a wider set of problems. I started looking into other forms of self defense, such as hand to hand, sprays, impact type weapons, etc. I found myself attending many different schools as I learned. I went through a police academy and received a New York State Police Certification. I went to training facilities around the East Coast and took classes in personal combatives, tactical operations, SWAT training, baton, pepper spray, edged weapons, firearms, and evasive driving. All of the training and experience that I received from those classes has been whittled down and separated into what I offer in the classes I teach.
The basic idea that I believe in is simple: I want to be able to live my life without the threat or fear of something bad happening to me. I have taken steps to ensure that I will have a better than average chance of prevailing in any encounter or situation I run into. I will win and I will go home every night, no matter what the odds, no matter what the situation. This statement may sound aggressive or harsh, but it is true and it is the attitude that you should have or should start developing in your life.
I believe in the "why" behind the "what" in my training. For instance: when I am attending a class, I learn better and faster by knowing WHY I am doing a skill or tactic, WHY it will make me safe and WHAT that skill or tactic will do to get me my end result. I can translate this into my teachings. For instance: when I am showing a student how to counter a punch, I also show them how to set yourself up to counter a secondary attack as well as set up your own defensive attack. As the skill (the 'what') is explained, I also add in the 'why' which puts the skill into the proper context thus the student actually will learn faster and better.
Women and Self Defense
I have been teaching shooting skills and combative skills since 1998, and in the past three years have started to gravitate towards working with more and more women that are looking for self defense and protection training. In my teaching experience, I have found that it is difficult for women to even begin looking for an instructor or even somewhere to go to learn self defense.
Most women are restricted by society's view that they should not have to protect themselves so they do not actively seek any training. They tend to face a multitude of barriers or hurdles; the biggest one is actually locating a facility for quality, common sense training, and then finding a competent, easy going, professional trainer that knows what to present and how to present it to the female student without seeming demeaning or pompous. The latter condition is the most important.