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MARTIAL DIRECT- The Directory of Martial Arts Schools & Instructors

Richard Dimitri

Interview (cont.)

[Martial Direct] Do you recommend that people intervene in situations like you just described?

[Richard Dimitri] That's a tough question. There are way too many variables to take into consideration for me to comfortably give a yes or no answer. That would be irresponsible.

Suffice it to say that it is part of my personality, that I am very comfortable with my skill level, that I intuitively acted based on circumstances in the moment taking several things into quick consideration. It's up to the individual to make that decision for themselves, however don't ignore the situation either.

The very least one can do is make a call, attract attention or authorities. But doing nothing at all and walking away in my opinion is as bad as committing the act yourself.

[MD] What do you think about the use of handguns? For or against?

[RD] I am all for handguns as long as the individual and his family (that which lives with him) are well educated on the subject.

It is my belief that those who are licensed to purchase and own a handgun should by law have them and all who live in the same household take a course/seminar that will teach them about the proper use of a handgun, safety and security measures, home security, etc., in order to minimize the senseless accidental deaths that occur in households across North America.

You can argue that people die in car accidents etc., which I agree is true. So why the f!#$ add to it by being uneducated and irresponsible with a deadly weapon in the house?

[MD] Are there any books on the market, besides your own, that you recommend for people?

What about "The Gift of Fear" or "Strong on Defense"?

[RD] Oh yeah, many including the ones you just mentioned. I highly recommend Sammy Franco's books, they are amongst the best out there. Geoff Thompson as well. Very different style than Franco's but excellent as well.

I also like Marc MacYoung's books, especially his earlier ones. I also recommend James LaFond's "Logic of Steel" & "The Art of Profiling" by Dan Korem.

Other authors I like which aren't necessarily 'self-defense' per se, but much of what they preach are adaptable to reality based defense are Dan Millman, Anthony Robbins and Deepak Chopra.

Inspirational to say the least.
[MD] Do you treat women's self-defense any different than for males?

[RD] Not much differently. The only difference is in the reason behind the attacks and the actual behavioral aspects of the attack in question.

Behaviorally speaking, a man attacking a woman will be much more confident and less weary than if attacking another man. The nature of the attack will differ but the retaliation won't.

[MD] Does your wife train with you?

[RD] Yes, she does. This is how I met her 7 years ago actually, through the classes.

[MD] You have said that you're grappling classes consist of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Catch-as-Catch Can Wrestling. Why these 2 arts?

[RD] Simply because I find them superior to other forms of 'grappling' per say.

I was fortunate to train and learn from pro wrestler Ian 'Vampiro' Hodgkinson, who is an excellent grappler.

I was also certified by former Grappling Arts Academy (now Bravado Jiu Jitsu) founder Sylvain Moroney.

[MD] Certified as what exactly? Instructor in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

[RD] No, not Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, I was certified in 'Grappling Arts Academy' as a black belt and instructor which at the time was a grappling system based on BJJ.

The founder was a Canadian Jiu Jitsu Gold Medallist and I trained with him privately for a few years acquiring my black belt. I was training with him to enhance my ground game because at the time (1994) all I had as a grappling base was Greco-Roman wrestling.

[MD] Why do you use sportive combat arts like BJJ, wrestling, boxing, MMA, etc. to help train for "reality"?

[RD] Great question. Because it enhances an individual's survival. There are 5 ranges a fight can occur in and will usually transfer from range to range during the fight: Kicking, Boxing, Close quarter Combat, Grappling and ground fighting (I separate grappling and ground fighting because you can grapple standing up).

The way I see it, there are two types of fighters (if I can borrow a line from "Rocky 3" here for a minute) those that fight great, and those that are great fighters.

You don't need to be a 'great fighter' to survive a potentially violent confrontation. I've had women who've taken but a 6 hour seminar with me and never train prior to or after the seminar, successfully defend themselves against violent armed rapists months after taking the seminar.

They didn't need to be 'great fighters' or train in the athletic or combative aspect of the system.

Those who wish to pursue their training and wish to make the transition between being someone who "fights great" to being a "great fighter" will then dive deeper into the training and learn the 'sportive' side. However, the sportive side we do is different then the sportive type of MMA, Boxing or grappling you will encounter in other schools. It is less limited. Forever incorporated in the training are the grim realities of the street.

For example, in our Phase 2 classes, our students carry mock (wooden) knives on them at all times and are instructed to attack using the knife, anyone, anytime from the moment someone walks into the school to the moment they leave. This could be during a grappling match where one of the participants will all of a sudden pull his trainer out and go 'Manson' on his partner or it could even be a third party who will jump in at anytime of his choosing to go for the kill.

This enhances awareness of concealed weapons and multiple attackers at all times.

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