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An Intern's Perspective - MDTA Instructor Training


For two weeks in February, we had the Principal Reality Based Self Defense Instructor Karl Thornton, and fellow MDTA member Matt David, out here with us to train Ruth and Mechelle toward achieving their green belts. They were very busy and exhausting weeks. 

He trained them every day rigorously and unrelentingly. It was amazing to watch them in action as an outsider who doesn’t know much about self-defense. The way that they all take and give punches and elbows to the face and ribs, all while smiling and joking around, is something to be in awe of.

Just two days into his trip here, Karl announced that Ruth and Mechelle would be grading. Basically, this meant that the girls would be testing to achieve their green belts. As far as they knew, they would be grading next time they went to Australia, next year (2018). They had just a couple days to perfect the techniques and moves to pass and receive their green belts.

The grading for a green belt requires the participants to demonstrate techniques and drills at the green belt level. This includes higher resistance towards hits (strikes to the head) and exemplifying the understanding and practical use of the various strikes, finishing techniques, and disarming and defending against weapons that come with being at the green belt level. They then have to put all of this into practice with what is called ‘full contact scenarios’. This is when someone plays the attacker, and either Ruth or Mechelle have to defend themselves and fight them off. They go through various scenarios in one grading. Some armed, some not. All of it is straining, both psychologically and physically.

Post grading, both Ruth and Mechelle were covered in bruises, grazes, bumps, and pain. It is just kind of expected. As Karl says, “there is always pain, bruising and sometimes injuries during grading, all of which are no reason to quit. You push yourself mentally and physically.” Both girls passed and received their green belts. They are certified through the World Combat Association (WCA) as Modern Defensive Tactics Australia (MDTA) NGO-RBSD Instructors trained and qualified in a specialised field of Reality Based Self Defence.

“NGO-RBSD Instructors are certified in: Female Personal Protection, Female Ground Defence, and Basic Third Party Protection. The certification is authorised based on the techniques required for specific environments within Thailand and Burma, and they both graded for their MDTA Green belt and Unit 4 of their next certification process as Full Pure Reality Based Self Defence Instructors.”

We then moved onto the team training where Moo Ra and I joined in on learning Ground Defense techniques. The entire thing was amazing. There is nothing like having that light bulb moment and finally getting the hang of a certain technique. We hear from people, “this is what you should do if someone ever attacks you”, but actually getting to put it into practice is completely different. You actually get to see what really works for you and what doesn’t.

It was then that I also got to see Mechelle and Ruth in action. When they teach a class, they break down the moves and go slowly to really exemplify how it works and how effective it can be for you as an individual. During scenarios, it’s all very fast paced and violent, and it has to be.

Along with Ground Defense techniques, we learnt a bit about Proxemics and how to position yourself in a way to provide the best outcome for survival. After training with Karl, I have an albeit small but more comprehensive understanding of the psychology and physiology of self-defense.

Upon returning to Australia Karl says, "As I return from Mae Sot, I am filled with pride and admiration. The GAI Team are achieving success and growth. My visit there also drives home the importance of our work and commitment to the GAI team through MDTA”. 

He also clarified a point on Social Media that is regularly misunderstood about our team. Karl wrote, “Let me make one thing clear, I hear the word “empowering” women a lot lately. MDTA is not about empowering women. We are about building confidence, self-belief and freedom of choice. In the case of female self-defense, we are about building the skill-set of psychological and physical freedom to have the right to defend oneself against those who try to control women with fear, intimidation and mental and physical control. We shouldn’t have to empower women, we just need to respect and treat them as equals”.

By Kenzie Roberts

For further information, please contact:

Media Relations | Global Alms Incorporated

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