You may be proficient in all the disciplines of martial arts, and
you may know the right techniques in self-defense. But if you
haven't prepared for the emotions and fear that come with a surprise
attack, you're really not ready to fight back.
Bill Kipp, founder of FAST solutions and a world-renowned pioneer
in the field of personal protection and interpersonal conflict, came
to Martinsville, Greencastle and Ellettsville Friday and Saturday as
a guest presenter at Gentry Martial Arts. The program was well
timed. April is Women's Sexual Assault Awareness Month. But this
training is tailored for both men and women.
FAST is an acronym for "Adrenaline Stress Training." The
self-defense program recreates realistic scenarios that allow the
participant to experience what it's like to be afraid — in hopes
that they won't freeze up when they are personally attacked. The
FAST defense classes Kipp taught this week don't deal with weapons,
although there is a module that instructors can take in which
weapons are a factor.
Kipp is from Colorado and has been in the self-defense training
business for 17 years. He has taken his classes all over the United
States and around the world. Brandon Sieg and Todd Miller, owners of
Gentry Martial Arts, met Kipp at a Florida conference. Sieg was
intrigued by his premise of incorporating the "trauma factor" in
They researched this missing component from martial arts and
sought Kipp out for that reason. Sieg said they attended his
conferences in Louisville, Ky.; Pennsylvania; New Jersey; and
Tuscon, Ariz. He will travel to Las Vegas in May. This month, he
will go on to Long Island, N.Y., and Michigan to present the
training. It is the first time he has been in this area.
Gentry Martial Arts is located in Martinsville, Ellettsville and
DePauw University in Greencastle. Kipp said both men and women feel
fear, but they are taught ineffective ways of handling it. Men can
be too aggressive or macho, causing an attacker to come on even
stronger. Kipp said women are socially conditioned to be passive —
even when doing nothing puts them in grave danger.
Seig pointed to the recent abduction of Carlie Brucia in Florida.
The young girl was shown on a parking lot video walking away with
her abductor. She was later killed. Many people who watched the
video clip on television didn't understand why she couldn't get away
from her attacker. She wasn't bound or gagged.
"It isn't that she didn't know what to do — it was the fact that
she was scared into not doing anything," Sieg said. "We have all had
situations where we said to ourselves, 'I am going to do this or
that,' but when the time comes, we get startled and can only kick
ourselves afterward for not doing what we said we would do. FAST
helps make sure that doesn't happen when our families' well-being is
Facing down a predator
Sieg and Miller opened their martial-arts school in Martinsville
about five years ago. At first it was located on the square. They
have moved the school to 333 W. Washington St. in 2002. Sieg teaches
martial arts and self-defense at Indiana University and runs the
program at DePauw. Miller also teaches the disciplines at IU, which
has one of the top self-defense programs in the country.
Sieg said FAST classes start by teaching people how to establish
personal boundaries — both verbal and nonverbal — to deter a
predator during the initial verbal assault and what is called the
"interview phase." If this fails, Sieg said simple techniques are
taught in class that use full force against fully armored
assailants, known as "bulletmen." But in a normal classroom setting,
he noted that students can't really do the verbal assaults and hit
each other full force.
|World-renowned martial arts expert Bill Kipp, left,
shows instructor Jenny Dill how to use her knee to fend off
"Bullet Man" Derek Smith. Kipp visited Martinsville and
Ellettsville Thursday, Friday and Saturday for specialized
self-defense training with a team from Gentry Martial Arts in
Martinsville. Photo by Amy Hillenburg.|
"The real beauty of this program is the ability to back the
attacker down before it becomes physical — something that
martial-arts classes don't normally practice," Sieg said. "We are
greatly honored that Mr. Kipp is here to give our students, and the
rest of the community, the opportunity to learn this."
Kipp offered another unique training experience on Saturday. He
held a multiple assailants class, teaching people how to fend off
more than one attacker at the same time. Sieg said this multiples
class requires a number of instructors and is a rare occurrence. As
a matter of fact, Kipp said this was the first class of its kind
that he has presented in the Midwest.
The Gentry Martial Arts staff had to add a bulletman and a couple
more coaches to accommodate the training. Three were from
Indianapolis: David and Mandy Yoshida, and Shaun Watts, along with
Stephanie Brown from DePauw. Sieg said they were all student
instructors at Gentry Martial Arts. Jenny Dill is also a Gentry
Martial Arts instructor, as well as a K-3 literacy teacher at
Central Elementary in Martinsville.
Sieg said corporate training and team building in self-defense is
coming to the forefront, with businesses training their employees
how to handle threatening situations, gang behavior or sexual
"The multiples class goes beyond individual self defense
techniques. It's almost a combat program," he said.
Although kids can be taught to handle bullies through
self-defense training, Kipp said adults must be prepared to do the
"Bullies do grow up and go to work," he said. "People must learn
to deal with the coping mechanisms they've developed. They must
learn to draw boundaries, deal with verbal assaults and quit dancing
around the fear component."
Kipp said the FAST defense program is an incredible way to defend
yourself, as well as an incredible way to live your life.
"I love it when I see students start to change their posture and
their expressions, even after a three-hour course," Kipp said. "No
other program does this."
Anyone interested in more information about the FAST program can
contact Gentry Martial Arts at (765) 342-5600, or see the Web site
While in town, Kipp agreed to interviews for WCBK Radio, which
will be aired throughout the month of April.