Violence Dynamics Vancouver 2017

What is Violence Dynamics?

Simply put, Violence Dynamics is the study of violence and the people who inflict violence on others. Understanding how violence happens, how your body deals with violence, and how to choose and deploy an appropriate level of force in response is crucial if you want to survive a violent encounter. Real violence happens faster and harder than most people’s training takes into account.

The Violence Dynamics seminar (VioDy) takes principles and concepts that usually take professional users of force years to comprehend and distills them into a common language for dealing with violence.

Created in Minnesota in 2010 by Kasey Keckeisen, Rory Miller, and Marc MacYoung, VioDy has become an annual event, with spin-off seminars in Edmonton, AB; Oakland, CA; and Ashburn, VA. We brought VioDy to Vancouver for the first time in 2017! This page serves as an archive of that first event. For updates on future events of this nature, sign up for our VioDy-specific newsletter:

The Weekend

VioDy Vancouver took place on: Friday, Dec 1st to Sunday, Dec 3rd, at the Rhodes Wellness College on the corner of Howe St. & Helmcken St. It's an easy walk from both SkyTrain lines, and close to some of the best lunch spots in the city. Courses ran from 9:00am to 6:00pm.

The Courses

Subject to change, but here's the plan! Courses with titles in blue are core Violence Dynamics classes.

Context of Violence - Rory Miller
Friday 10:00-11:30 (Room 1)

In this talk, we explain the 7 things that make something a self defense program in our eyes. The material is drawn from Rory Miller's book Facing Violence.

Power Generation - Randy King
Friday 11:30-1:00 (Room 1)

A principle-based class on different methods of generating force, and how to combine them.

Logic of Violence - Rory Miller
Friday 11:30-1:00 (Room 2)

This lecture-based class helps get you into the mind of a predator. You'll learn that we may not think that differently from them; we just solve different problems.

Violence Dynamics - Kasey Keckeisen
Friday 2:00-3:30 (Room 2)

This class explains the difference between social and asocial violence. The distinction is crucial to understanding what problem you are dealing with, in order to reach for the right tools for solving it.

Strength & Mobility - David R. Packer
Friday 2:00-3:30 (Room 1)

Learn some ways to get stronger and move well, as a martial artist and as a human in general. The focus will be on bodyweight exercises, so minimal equipment is needed to practice on your own.

Plastic Mind - Rory Miller
Friday 3:30-4:30 (Room 1)

This class is a great tool for getting out of your own head! Rory will teach you ways of becoming a more effective fighter, by being someone else.

Post-Violence First Aid  - Scott Dineen
Friday 3:30-4:30 (Room 2)

So there’s been a stabbing… What now? Scott will cover how to provide quick and efficient immediate care for bleeding wounds, and compression-only CPR.

Panel Discussion - Jordan Both (moderator)
Friday 4:30-6:00 (Room 2)

Topic & panelists TBD

Escape and Evasion - Randy King
Friday 5:00-6:00 (Room 1)

This is a class on getting away! Randy will talk about the 4 things you can do in a self defense situation, and then run you through drills that reward escape.

Logic of Take Downs - Kasey Keckeisen
Saturday 9:00-10:30 (Room 1)

A principle-based throw and takedown class.

Conflict Communication - Tammy Yard-McCracken
Saturday 9:00-12:00 (Room 2)

This is the lynchpin of the Violence Dynamics program and by far its most popular class. Build a paradigm for understanding and de-escalating complex situations on the fly.

Dirty Dozen - Randy King
Saturday 10:30-11:30 (Room 1)

Randy will go over a prescribed set of self defense strikes that are easy to learn. This class incorporates fun and dynamic drills to get you striking in a more effective manner.

Physical De-Escalation - Courtney Rice & Kaja Sadowski
Saturday 12:00-1:00 (Room 1)

Violence happens on a spectrum, and there is a lot of middle ground between politely asking somebody to stop and gouging their eyes out. This workshop will cover the lower end of the spectrum, including pain and mechanical compliance techniques to deal with aggressors who are persistent but not life-threatening.

Pre-Attack Cues and Boundary Setting  - Randy King
Saturday 12:00-1:00 (Room 2)

In this class, Randy will discuss the other side of counter ambush. Learn how to see things coming before they happen and how to vocalize why you did what you did in a fight.

Scenarios - John Irving with special guest Cst. Matt McKinnon
Saturday 2:00-3:00, 3:00-4:30, 4:30-6:00 (Rooms 2 & 3)

Practice making correct decisions under pressure, and following through on your use of force techniques, in a series of realistic tactical scenarios with trained role players.

Ground Control - Kasey Keckeisen
Saturday 2:00-3:00 (Room 1)

Kasey will teach you how to use your body weight and limbs to control someone while causing discomfort.

Police Judo - Toby Hinton
Saturday 3:00-4:30 (Room 1)

This workshop introduces a range of core techniques from Police Judo, a grappling art that adapts traditional martial arts skills to the challenging world of law enforcement. Learn how to take down and control an opponent safely.

Strength vs Structure - Tammy Yard-McCracken
Saturday 4:30-6:00 (Room 1)

This class is all about how to use your structure to defeat their strength. You'll learn to work smart, not hard, and defeat opponents who are considerably more powerful than you.

Counter Ambush - Rory Miller
Sunday 9:00-10:30 (Room 1)

This class focuses on operant conditioning and making sure you're not taken out of a fight before you start. We'll work on developing a sudden response to surprise attacks.

Prohibited Weapons - John Irving
Sunday 9:00-10:30 (Room 2)

How does Canadian weapons law actually work? What counts as a punch dagger or a gravity-assist blade? Are any 1980’s ninja movie weapons still legal? John will answer all these questions and more in this show-and-tell lecture.

Knife Defense - John Irving & David R. Packer
Sunday 10:30-12:30 (Room 1)

Build your understanding of the biomechanics of knife combat and the psychological benefits of realistic training, while collecting concrete tactical tools for surviving and succeeding in a knife fight.

Force Law - Kasey Keckeisen
Sunday 10:30-12:00 (Room 2)

A lecture and discussion of Canadian self defense law. Learn what you're legally empowered to do when you're faced with violence, and understand the legal consequences of taking action.

Targeting - Randy King
Sunday 1:30-2:30 (Room 1)

Get an introduction to the VioDy team's 4 area general targeting system, designed to help you do as much damage as needed under duress.

Drug Addiction Prevention - Toby Hinton
Sunday 1:30-2:30 (Room 2)

A community oriented and evidence-based presentation on the mechanisms, costs, and prevention of drug addiction, with a special focus on Vancouver’s ongoing fentanyl crisis.

Cheating  - Tammy Yard-McCracken
Sunday 2:30-3:30 (Room 1)

This class is a clinic on all of the ways to cheat in a fight. Tammy has been a small person her whole life, and has developed a whole bag of tricks for defeating people who'd outmuscle her in a a fair fight.

Threat Assessment - Rory Miller
Sunday 2:30-4:00 (Room 2)

This class is exactly what it sounds like: learn how to make quick threat assessments in the real world.

The Dojo vs. The Street - David R. Packer & Kaja Sadowski
Sunday 3:30-5:30 (Room 1)

Tired of arguing about whether a technique will work "in the street"? Want to introduce stress testing to your classes safely? We'll introduce a training model for taking any martial technique from the safety of a martial arts class to the chaos of a fight, and back again.

High End Use of Force - Kasey Keckeisen
Sunday 4:30-5:30 (Room 2)

This class is about using lethal force when it's needed. Our focus will be on neck cranks and breaks.

Who is Violence Dynamics?

We want to make VioDy Vancouver special, so we have brought together 10 world-class instructors from across North America.

The Travelling Circus

Rory MillerRory Miller

Rory Miller is the author of a number of books, including Facing Violence, ConCom and Violence: A Writer’s Guide. A seventeen-year veteran of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office Corrections Division, he has served as a deputy, sergeant, tactical team member and leader, mental health specialist, trainer, and investigator. In 2008, Miller went to Iraq as an advisor to the Iraqi Corrections Service. Since 2011, he has been a full-time writer and teacher.

Kasey KeckeisenKasey Keckeisen

Kasey Keckeisen is an experienced Police Officer, SWAT team leader, and SWAT training coordinator. He is the United States Midwest Regional Director for the Edo Machi-Kata Taiho Jutsu organization, and the Minnesota State Director for One-On-One Control Tactics. Keckeisen holds 6th degree black belts in Judo, Jujitsu, and Aikido and a black belt in Taiho Jutsu. He is also a catch wrestling and bareknuckle boxing enthusiast, and a terrific dancer. Keckeisen, along with Marc MacYoung and Rory Miller is a founding member of Violence Dynamics. Keckeisen runs Judo Minnesota.

Tammy Yard-McCrackenDr. Tammy Yard-McCracken

Tammy Yard-McCracken is the owner of Kore Krav Maga and a globally certified expert level Krav Maga instructor. She is the third woman ever to earn an expert rank with Krav Maga Global (KMG) in North America. Yard-McCracken is head of KMG's international women's division & is adjunct training staff at a Washington DC area tactical training range.  When she is not training she has 25 years in as a professional counselor specializing in trauma management, neuroplasticity and mind/body medicine.

Randy KingRandy King

Randy King is a former club and personal security specialist, with many years in charge of security for bars, events and private clients. He is the co-owner and founder of KPC self defense and has been teaching full time for 10 years. He is a Filipino martial arts and Krav Maga “expert” who specializes in civilian self defense and edged weapon defense. King is the star of Randy’s Rant on YouTube and the co-host of the Talking to Savages podcast.

The Locals

Toby HintonSgt. Toby Hinton

Toby Hinton is a sergeant with the Vancouver Police Department. He is an instructor with in the VPD’s Force Options Training Unit, and helped develop Vancouver's Police Judo. He is a founding member of the Odd Squad Productions Society, and starred in The Beat and Through a Blue Lens.

John IrvingCst. John Irving

In his 25 years of service as a police officer and over a decade as a Use of Force Instructor, John Irving has developed and run tactical training programs for agencies across the country, and has been an integral part of training local law enforcement officers through the Justice Institute of BC and Vancouver’s Tactical Training Centre.

Scott DineenScott Dineen

Scott Dineen, owner and head instructor of Primary Care First Aid is a full time professional fire fighter and first responder instructor. Within the fire department, Dineen is also a confined space and high angle rope rescue instructor for its technical rescue team. As a Red Cross instructor, he has a background in teaching first aid to the general public and training new Red Cross first aid instructors.

The Valkyries

David R. Packer, Head Instructor, holding a longswordDavid R. Packer

David Packer is the head instructor and co-founder of Valkyrie Western Martial Arts Assembly. He has been practising both eastern and western martial arts since 1980. He also has a wealth of experience in security, self-defense, and tactical training. He has worked as a bouncer and security contractor, and has designed and delivered self-defense and intervention training to a range of audiences - from emergency responders to single teen mothers - since 1998.

Courtney RiceCourtney Rice

Courtney Rice is the current president and co-founder of Valkyrie Western Martial Arts Assembly. She has trained in Western Martial Arts for over a decade, and has a well-deserved reputation as a fearsome wrestler with a killer guillotine, and a skilled swordswoman with both the rapier and longsword. She currently works as a roleplayer at Vancouver’s Tactical Training Centre.

Kaja SadowskiKaja Sadowski

Kaja Sadowski is the current vice president and co-owner of Valkyrie WMAA. She trains primarily with the rapier, as well as boxing, wrestling, stick fighting, and knife fighting. Since 2015, she has been an active participant in realistic scenario and tactical training for first responders at the Vancouver Tactical Training Centre, and has been a guest instructor for the Vancouver Police Department’s 2016/2017 Community Safety Officer class.


Are you interested in sponsoring VioDy Vancouver? We have a wide variety of sponsorship packages available to fit your needs. Email for more information.


I've never done martial arts, but I'm interested in self defense. Should I still come?

Yes! VioDy has something for everyone, at all skill levels. You will learn a ton, and have a lot of fun.

I'm not a law enforcement officer or use of force professional. Can I come?

Yes! You do not need to be a professional to enjoy the benefits of the seminar.

I'm an 8th degree black belt/pro MMA fighter. Should I bother?

Yes! First of all, self defense and violence dynamics are very different than traditional (or non-traditional) martial arts. Second, you wouldn't have gotten that good without realizing that there's always something new to learn about a subject you thought you knew well. Third, VioDy covers a lot of non-physical skills too. Fourth, there will be some advanced classes, as well as opportunities for private training with the instructors. Fifth, seriously, these are some of the best teachers on the continent, all together for the very first time. Why would you not?

Can I sponsor an attendee?

Heck, yes! This is still a Valkyrie event, after all - people helping each other is the cat's pyjamas and we will always facilitate it. Send us an email if you would like to provide any level of personal sponsorship, or to inquire if there are any sponsored spots available.

Can I volunteer?

Heck, yes! We'll need helpers to wrangle attendees, buzz people in, make sure the instructors remember to eat/drink, etc. Send us an email if you would like to volunteer.

I've bought my pass. Do I need to pre-register for individual courses?

No, but you might want to. There will be two courses running at once for most of the weekend, and space will be limited, so if there are specific courses you for sure don't want to miss, it'll be a good idea to reserve a spot. If you're happy to go with the flow and soak up the knowledge, throw your cares into the wind and drop into whichever one isn't full on the day. 

*If you have a 1-day or 2-day pass, the membership will default to starting on Dec 1st. Please let us know which day(s) you plan on attending so we can set the dates correctly so you can pre-register.

Can I register for a single course?

You bet! Registrations for individual courses are now open - just go to the calendar page and fast-forward to December. Costs will vary.

Do you have designated course tracks that I have to sign up for?

No. Some of the courses cover material that's a bit more advanced, while some focus on basics, but all are open to everybody. We've tried to pair them up in the schedule to give you good options - you're gonna have to make some hard decisions though! To help you plan, anything in Room 1 is a physical class, and Room 2 & 3 are mostly lecture-based.

Can I book private sessions with the instructors when they're not teaching?

Yes! Details are still being ironed out, but most of the instructors will be available for at least a few private sessions in their off-time.

I'm coming from out of town. Where should I stay?

Since it's right downtown, the venue is literally surrounded by hotels. Here a list of what's available in a two block radius:

Ramada Vancouver Downtown (~$125/night)
Century Plaza Hotel (~$130/night)
Best Western Chateau Granville (~$155/night)
Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Downtown Vancouver (~$175/night) - this one's right across the street
Comfort Inn Downtown (~$175/night)
Marriott Residence Inn (~$185/night)
Howard Johnson Vancouver Downtown (~$225/night)
Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre (~$235/night)

It is very easy to get to by public transit, so if you find another better/cheaper place to stay elsewhere you'll be fine as long as it's close to any of the SkyTrain lines.

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