Greg Wilburn, Instructor / REDMAN / Dir. of Business Development

Like most, Greg was drawn to the fighting arts at a very early age from watching Saturday morning cartoons; Voltron, Ultron, Snake Eyes from G.I. Joe and of course Optimus Prime from Transformers. Along with the romantic notions illustrated in cartoons, Greg was fascinated with the Jedi in the Star Wars movies. Other cinema provided inspiration, most notably martial arts movies from Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris and Steven Seagal. However, it wasn’t until Aug of 1990 when Greg was 19 years old and serving in the United States Air Force during Desert Storm in England that he finally found an outlet for the calling he had felt his entire life.
Greg was introduced to Mike Smith, the founder of Kai Shin Kai Aikido in England. At the time, Greg was the only white belt in a room full of Black Belts. His skills developed quickly and the flame was ignited. Mike was a thoughtful teacher and instilled the warrior mind set. The desire to search out truths, wherever they may be, and to abandon the notion of martial arts systems in search of truth in combat for the protection of self and others.
After returning to the states in Nov of 1991, Greg sought out other Aikidoka and it was then he discovered that not all teachers are the same. Unsatisfied with his experiences Greg sought out to learn about combat arts. Taking classes in Goju Ryu, Aikijutsu, JKD Concepts, and Wing Tsun, he accidentally found an ad in the Eglin AFB paper for an Arnis seminar. This lead to the discovery of Sifu/Guro Billy Bryant, a grandmaster in Cadena de Mano, a complete Filipino fighting art. The seminar was 8 hours a day for two days and was the inspiration of a life-long pursuit. Fortunately, Sifu Bryant lived in the DC Metro area, which is where Greg returned to after leaving the AF in 1992. After a year-long search, Greg was reconnected with Billy, where he would drive 120 miles round trip, three times a week to train privately and semi-privately with Billy, with classes often lasting two hours.
After two years of training with Billy, Greg was drawn to further explore. It was here that Greg found George Lee, in Springfield, VA. At the time, George was the only person in the world that was verifiably certified to teach from the only two people left alive certified in JKD, by Bruce Lee, Ted Wong and Dan Inosanto. There were only ever three people certified by Bruce to teach JKD. Training once a week privately with George and practicing twice a week with a partner. Greg continued with George for many years, eventually adding Gracie Jiu Jitsu at The Fighters Garage in Arlington, VA along with others from George’s school. This was the time when UFC had just started and a revolution was happening where people were now forced to address the realities of combat. During this time, Greg was fortunate to participate in seminars with Ted Wong, Joe Lewis, Royce Gracie, Tommy Gong and others.
Having taken a hiatus from martial arts training between 1999 to 2006, Greg pursued hobbies in studying eastern and western Philosophy and raising a family. Greg returned to self-defense training in 2006 when he moved to Scottsdale, AZ with his family. After evaluating multiple schools in the area Greg made an easy choice to start taking classes at Reality Defense Training. Greg has taken hand to hand, knife, stick and firearms training while at RDT. His family, wife, two daughters and son-in-law have all trained at RDT. Greg has become an adjunct instructor and is one of four people that actively “gets in the suit” to provide Redman training, which is scenario based, adrenal stress, fear management training.