While I was shooting my new videos with Paladin Press, I had a chance to meet up with Mr. Bill Kipp, the founder of Fast Defense and play around with the brand new Gladiator Suit.
First, let me say that Bill is a great guy all around. I had a blast talking with him about self-defense, martial arts and a bunch of other topics. He explained to me how his Fast Defense program works and it’s a great way to train. I’ve done scenario training with the Red Man and other suits in the past but this Gladiator suit is the first one that really let me cut loose. Here’s a sample of what it looks like:
My first couple of shots were tentative but in the last few ones, I put a bit more power. Now I do indeed manage to strike Bill down with the left elbows but that’s mainly due to the angle of the technique, his stance and me outweighing him a bit. He did not fall because he was dazed by my elbow strike.
As you can see when we turn the tables, I take a couple of good elbows too. The result: zip. Nada. Nothing. It feels like you’re hit by a huge pillow. Or like somebody shoves you. But that’s about it. No pain, no “flash” as the impact lands, no grogginess, none of that.
Bill was actually kind enough to let me use the Gladiator suit for my video shoot. I had planned on doing a couple scenarios using protective gear but that would still mean I’d have to hold back and be careful not to injure my partner. With the Gladiator suit, this wasn’t an issue. At one point in the scenario, I palm-heeled my partner full in the face and then kept pounding him on the head and body while he was on the ground. I wasn’t holding back either. He told me he didn’t feel a thing. Which is all kinds of awesome for training purposes and will give some great footage for the video..
Here’s Bill in the Studio showing my partner how to use the suit:
It was flat out awesome to work with the gladiator suit and if you have a chance to do so, go for it. Bill is an extremely experienced and knowledgeable teacher who’ll give you some amazing training when running you through his scenarios. Good stuff!
Who rules Barter Town!?!
Josh Skinner says
That is really cool.
I mean, obviously, one of the main drawbacks of full contact training is the risk brain injury. In fact, I’ve written about the subject on my blog.
This isn’t an ideal solution (I’m not in love with how bulky it is)…but neither is sparring at reduced speed/power.
I think this tool can be a legitimate addition to anyone’s training.
Thanks for sharing this.
I did a full ‘Adrenal Stress Day’ with Malcolm Jones, in Engeland, last year.
The guys overthere used the ‘old-suit’, which was already impressive.
Especially the last part of the training day was a unforgetible experience: and a protection suite is then well needed!!
I wonder how, with the new suite, the impact on the neck is reduced – because the neck is the weak link with this kind of scenario training.
I will contact you.
In the Gladiator suit, your neck is VERY stable. It doesn’t feel locked into place and you don’t feel impacts in your neck at all. It’s really something else.