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Meet Troy Coe of Reality Defense Training

Today we’d like to introduce you to Troy Coe.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I started taking Martial Arts at a young age. I trained and competed for 7 years. Over time I began to realize that Traditional Martial Arts were not as effective as advertised in real life situations. In 1983 I met an instructor that had developed his own approach to fighting. I began training with him and after a few years, we began to corroborate on training methods and programs. The school grew and flourished for 8 years. In 1994 there was a major difference of opinion and there was a falling out. That is when I started Reality Defense Training. I had to basically start from scratch. I began teaching in the club house of the apartment complex I lived. Shortly thereafter I was able to secure the use of an aerobic room at a local gym.

In 2001, I was able to lease a dedicated location in Phoenix. It was a 1350 square foot space. The business grew beyond my expectations. In late 2006 it was suggested by a few of my more affluent students that I move my location to Scottsdale. They offered me their expertise in locating and negotiating the location. After some convincing I agreed, why not? The economy was booming, we were busy and would love to have a new place. Fast forward to July of 2007. I signed a 3-year lease on a 3750-square foot facility in the Scottsdale Air Park. Who knew what the next year would hold? There were 6 weeks of (TI’s) Tenant Improvements. The 3750 square feet was totaled from two 1875 square foot units. Mid-August 2007 we had a grand opening party with students and friends. Everything was going great! 2008-2009 was rough to state it mildly. Many people view martial arts as a luxury so when people began losing their jobs, homes and cars they quit training. We were a very heavy cash business. Fortunately, I eventually was able to downsize to one 1875 square foot unit which was affordable at the time.

In August of 2012, I had the wonderful honor of being inducted into the “Martial Arts Masters Hall of Fame”. I was presented with the Pioneer Award because of my unique approach to Martial Science. They say if you do what you love you never work a day. I love what I do, but I have worked hard lol.


Reality Defense Training – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Our approach at Reality Defense Training (RDT) is specific to survival-based (reality) self-defense with an emphasis on “Adrenal Stress Fear Management” applications. We operate a full-time facility in Scottsdale, AZ with nine instructors.

RDT has been a full-time teaching facility for 25 years. We offer both male and female oriented classes, including focuses on Hand-to-Hand (HTH), Knife/Stick, and Firearms. The instructor team is well versed in practical self-defense with an emphasis on no-rules survival-based self-defense. We do not teach or train MMA/UFC oriented sport “self-defense”. Not only do we focus on practical techniques, but we also put an emphasis on scenario-based training to develop awareness and to teach confrontation management and adrenal stress management. Without scenario based context, students are nothing more than choreographed dancers. Because most people are never exposed to real-world scenarios and never put into a stressful encounter before having to perform a technique, let alone having to fully defend themselves, they fail at defending themselves. Most people, when faced with fear and adrenaline, are not able to defend themselves the first time they are put into a training scenario. It is only through scenario-based training that people actually learn how to defend themselves (without having to be in a real fight). Repetitive technique training is simply not enough.

All classes are taught in Private and Semi-Private session (2 to 6 students per class). A session is held for one hour a week for a group. Unlike traditional based martial arts schools, you are not required to commit several hours, several days a week with a large group of differently skilled students to develop real self-defense skills. We do offer open sparring sessions a few days a week that is open to all students.

The programs at Reality Defense Training are Curriculum-based and very progressive. The learning curve is very steep. Each session will build on the last. We also offer one day “specialty” courses. In these courses, we present very immersive training programs. Everything from (Ground Fighting and Grappling Defense, Unarmed Weapons Defense and Takeaways, Multiple Opponents, and Adrenal Stress Scenario Based Training).

Reality Defense Training in unlike any Martial Art system out there. Come in for a Complimentary session. At the close of that (approx. one hour) first session you will be able to throw three, very hard strike in less than one second and stop a barrage of random punches. You will look like Neo in the matrix.

Our “No Excuse Self Defense for Women” is second to none. Women have completely different requirements when it comes to self-defense then men do. The women’s program is presented in 12 one-hour sessions. This can be scheduled for 2 or more sessions per week if time is an issue. We also offer a 4 to 6 hour “Fast and Ferocious” program where the most important aspects of the “No Excuse Self Defense for Women” are condensed into a one (4 to 6 hour) session. The focus of this program is to train women to deal with the types of attacks they are likely to face during a sexual assault. A man attempting to “man handle” her. Women must take advantage of the window of opportunity that a man doesn’t think the women will do anything but flail around. Our Women’s Program is taught by Kristie Sharp.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success to me is when I hear from a student that they successfully used the skills that they learned from me to defend themselves. Without exception over the years I hear the same basic thing from them. “It was over so fast and it was easy, a lot easier than I thought it would be”. When you are part of instilling real confidence into people you know you are effective every aspect of their lives. That makes me feel like I am doing something good.

One story that I strongly remember was a young high school boy named Blake was being bullied at school. He had by definition been mugged outside of school. He was on anxiety medication and was in counseling. After about 4 months of training his mother informed me that the doctor took him off the medications. He was forced to stop his training due to the “economic downturn” but he had trained for about 6 months at this point. One afternoon shortly after he stopped training his mother called me crying on the phone. She told me when he came out of his appointment with the psychiatrist the doctor followed him out and told her that he did not need to come in anymore. He didn’t suffer from anxiety anymore.

Anytime a student tells me that they feel more confident and aware of their surrounding, I feel like I am succeeding.

Contact Info:

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