Finishing School……..


IRT Red Rock Spring Intensive Photo 6

Since moving to Vegas over four years ago this has come up a half-dozen or so times from new practitioner’s.  I have had a lot of experienced martial practitioner’s coming to train in IRT over the last few years.  People with instructor backgrounds in the Chinese, Indonesian, Filipino, Brazilian martial arts and more.  Just last week one of my students mentioned that IRT for him is like a finishing school.  What he missed in the Martial Sciences with the first couple of systems he studied he is getting now with IRT.  He mentioned even better that he had a lot of apprehension coming into train in IRT because he was worried that he would have to learn new fundamentals and that they might conflict with how he moved.   I personally am a very eclectic martial practitioner.  I have a very diverse background and when I set up IRT I had to find a methodology to make everything work together.  This took quite awhile but the methodology works in that it allows a practitioner to keep the skill sets they bring to IRT, build on them and adapt easily into what we do.  It also allows practitioner’s who have put in the time and effort to really go anywhere in their martial training and feel at home and confident in that setting.  I have had many a military person comment to me how easily IRT blended with Army Combatives or MCMAP (Marine Corps Martial Arts Program) or law enforcement commenting how easily it blended with their training as well.  The framework in IRT blends and allows the practitioner the ability to explore anywhere they want and grow!  The following is from a long time IRT practitioner named Mike Hammer.  See what he has to say about his training in IRT:


by Mike Hamer on Wednesday, August 22, 2012 at 9:15pm ·

In the last 6 years INSTINCTIVE RESPONSE TRAINING© aka IRT has turned me into a well rounded martial artist who is familiar with many different styles. When I first started training in IRT I had already been training in aikido (read more about aikido here for almost a year, so needless to say it felt very awkward at first learning techniques of destruction rather than harmony. I was so used to just blending with attacks rather than actually being the attacker. Learning the movement and footwork associated with attacking was difficult for me at first. Learning to strike efficiently was one of the first things I started picking up on, practicing with empty hand strikes, kicks, sticks, blades, and various other types of weapons. A lot of our striking is based on Filipino stick and dagger arts, Muay Thai, Taekwondo, Kickboxing, Budo Taijutsu, and Boxing. When it came to more defensive and reactionary techniques such as grab escapes, throws, wrist locks, disarms, and getting off line of an attack, I felt a lot more at home due to the Aikido training I had at the time so I enjoyed that aspect a little more and had an easier time learning it for the most part. Grappling in our system is largely based on BJJ, and was something completely new to me as well. Having already trained learning how to stay calm and relaxed, I found that if I stayed relaxed the same way I did when practicing aikido, that a lot of the movement was fairly simple to grasp (simple, not easy! ) After a couple years I was ready for my first test. This included demonstration of various things ranging from basic self defense, striking empty handed and with weapons, grappling (submissions and transitions), free form movement, padded sparring with empty hands and with sticks, submission grappling, breaking, and oral/written exams. Successfully moving to the next level really helped fuel the fire I had for learning more about the martial sciences, and I felt pretty well rounded as a martial artist in general. I occasionally visited different schools/dojos during this time and felt at home wherever I went. What I learned in IRT made it very easy to walk into someone else’s dojo and be able to jump right into whatever they were practicing without missing a beat (ok maybe one or two beats, but none of what they were teaching was something I hadn’t already learned in some way or another) They might do it a little differently than us, but the fundamentals I acquired by studying IRT served me well wherever else I trained! Throughout the years Brian Vancise (Founder and head Instructor of IRT) has brought in various martial artists from around the world to teach seminars and help us grow in their particular style they were teaching. Among these other instructors I would say that the one I enjoyed training with the most was Grandmaster Jerson Nene Tortal of Dekiti Tirsia Siradas Kali. Here is a video clip of him teaching here in Alma (not saying that the other instructors weren’t all awesome as well!) Master Brian has also taught many seminars himself. Each one focusing on a specific part of the martial sciences, and were all invaluable to helping me take my skill sets to the next level. Among these seminars my favorite one by far was when I had the opportunity to train with him in Las Vegas. We trained espada y daga (stick and dagger) on top of cliffs and mountain peeks, including a little hike to a 10,000 ft peek on top of a snow covered blizzard. If you want to see our training from this seminar you can watch it here! . In A few more years I was ready for my second testing. This included more of the same, but of course with more advanced curriculum and more intense sparring (at this point I had already started using real rattan sticks wearing only knee/elbow pads and a fencing mask…ouch!) During my training I have been able to apply techniques learned in IRT in a somewhat real environment as well (cagefighting) to my success. This taught me a lot about how important stamina is in a violent encounter, and it was a lot of fun! I only did that a couple times because I don’t really think its worth risking your health so that fight promoters can make money off you and I didn’t plan on ever going pro with it, but I was able to walk away with a victory both times and I think I owe that to my training in IRT. Today I have reached the point where I am getting pretty good at teaching the material ive learned to others, and I hope to reach Associate Instructor level (the first black belt ranking in our system) within the next year. During the course of my IRT training I have fell in and out of the loop a few times for whatever excuse or reason I might have had at the time. However I have always managed to persevere through the sometimes lack of motivation, personal problems, or whatever at the time was keeping me from training. I always manage to return with a new appreciation for my skill sets and the martial sciences as a whole, and I will never truly stop walking the path at anytime. Sometimes I get distracted on the things I might encounter on my journey down the path, but for me, there is no other path to travel. I am not seeking a destination on my path, for I know that the real destination is the journey itself. Much love and respect to all!!

Sequence 01.Still005

This letter was a real pick me up for me and everyone who trains that I see grow has inspired my own training.  The methodology taught in IRT will allow anyone who is willing to put the time and effort into it the ability to grow and expand their Martial skill sets.  Whether you are in law enforcement, the military, a civilian or interested in mma.  We can help you along the way and if you put in the effort you will be rewarded.  Finishing school might be a really big statement but IRT will make you a broad-based martial practitioner with a strong chance to defend yourself in a violent encounter!  That and you will have an inquisitive mind in the Martial Sciences and want to grow and explore!

Hit The Mats!!!

Brian R. VanCise

Note: This blog is opinion only and neither Instinctive Response Training LLC or Brian R. VanCise are responsible for any third party actions.

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About Brian VanCise

Hi my name is Brian R. VanCise and my passion is the Martial Sciences. I have trained almost my entire life in the pursuit of martial excellence and I teach a world class curriculum in Las Vegas, Nevada. Contact us at: 702-326-3622
This entry was posted in martial arts, self defense, personal protection, instin. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Finishing School……..

  1. Mike says:

    Thank you for posting this Brian 🙂 I forgot all about it until just reading it again. I think I needed that.

  2. Your welcome Mike. Your written word absolutely has inspired and motivated me as well. 😉

  3. I wish you were able to make it as well Mike! However, on the bright side I will be back in Michigan before you know it and we will get some great training in! Keep training and stay motivated!!!

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