The remarkable effect FAST Defense seminars have made in Grand Cayman have already had a ripple effect around the world.
Since launching here in March, requests for Fear Adrenal Stress Training by Bill Kipp and Debra Thomas have come from the Philippines, Brazil and England. Boston, Massachusetts is the next international stop.
FAST Defense has been taking Cayman by storm. With their vision to ‘Empower a Nation’, the international FAST team have really been inspired here.
Dik Chance is the European director of FAST and he is impressed by Cayman’s rapid adoption of the self-defence technique.
Based in Bristol, a city on the west coast of England, Chance is one of the most experienced self-defence instructors in the world.
Having been hit full power in the head and groin wearing a ‘bulletman’ suit in over 5,000 fights, he really knows just what ordinary people are capable of.
‘I’ve been bitten, stomped, elbowed and butted in addition to the usual palms, knees and kicks,’ smiles Chance ruefully.
He even had to go beyond the call of duty. ‘I was even stabbed in the groin during a ground scenario by a lady that, unbeknown to us, was high on prescription pain killers and had a metal training knife in her pocket.’ Thankfully, no permanent harm was done.
Chance is really fired up about the work being done within Cayman. One of his areas of expertise is in the development of programmes for different groups.
He has worked with businesses and teams around the world, devising adaptations of the FAST technology that meet individual training needs.
He feels this is especially exciting for not only the corporate bodies on Grand Cayman, but also the security forces and the education departments.
Along with Kipp and Thomas, Chance recently launched the FAST Combatives progamme which allows people adrenal stress response training week to week without needing the bulletman suits.
Chance, 43, has been working with survivors of violent abuse and also people with anger management and violent tendencies issues.
A martial arts expert for ten years in a variety of disciplines, including taekwon-do, kick-boxing and defendo, he noticed early in his training that it didn’t resemble the brutal reality of real-life situations he had been in.
‘That’s when I began to extensively practice ‘reality based self-defence’ training. I finally settled on FAST as the most realistic training system for anyone, regardless of background.
‘The FAST technology of tapping into people’s primitive emotional responses, allows great progress to be made with both groups in remarkably short timescales.
‘One of the major contributory factors in people that are recovering from abuse is that the trauma was inflicted by another human being.
‘Psychologically speaking, this is vastly more damaging than the effects of a natural trauma. The interpersonal nature of such violence makes the lasting effects so much worse.’
Chance has worked with many people, helping them to relive and rewrite this conditioning using stress scenarios.
‘With people that suffer from anger and violence management issues, similar breakthroughs have been possible by allowing people to use the controlled but adrenalised environment of the FAST courses to retrain violent and knee-jerk behaviours.
‘Under the effects of adrenaline when blood is diverted from all over your body to feed the major muscles groups, one area that loses blood is the brain.
‘This causes the brain to fall back to the more primitive mid-brain. The mid-brain contains the emotional centre hence why we often react emotionally to these situations.’
Through careful scenario training, Chance and his team are able to help people to identify their triggers and responses, and to retrain them to something more acceptable. They are even in discussions about working with violent young offenders to help them become more productive members of society.
Before working full time with the FAST team worldwide, Chance was a weapons specialist with the UK Ministry of Defence.
As a civilian working alongside active service personnel, he was often asked to do jobs that other civilians weren’t comfortable with.
He worked alongside mine warfare and special forces divers, and also within the underwater warfare communities.
Those 23 years of working with multi-disciplinary teams gave him the taste for working alongside the wide selection of people that need FAST around the world.
From teachers and children in schools to police forces, Chance has worked to develop programmes for them all.
‘One of the most exciting projects I’m working on at the moment is a parent/child course that will simultaneously train parents and children to operate as a cohesive unit when under threat.’
That doesn’t mean that he’s training them to fight together, rather he’s looking at the different roles each must take during all stages of a situation.
‘Within FAST, I want to train instructors and students around the world to make us a household name. I want to develop training programmes for people, business and organisations that allow them to be the most efficient and safe they can be.
‘I’m also keen to work more with people from the disabled community. We’ve done some work there; and I’ve certified a FAST Combatives instructor called Derek Mortland who is paralysed from the high chest down.’
Chance is in regular contact with Director of FAST Caribbean, Bob Daigle who has been working tirelessly to promote it here.
Chance hopes to pay Cayman a visit to help empower the nation. ‘Having realised that vision, imagine the sort of community it could be there. Cayman could truly be able to advertise itself as one of the safest nations in the world.’