DR. RODNEY KING ('COACH')

4th Degree Rigan Machado Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt and Creator of Crazy Monkey Defense, Weaponize-Your-Body, EDGE Defense, and the Monkey-Jits Program

HOMELESS AT 17...
TO WORLD RENOWNED
SURVIVAL SKILLS COACH

I grew up on the unforgiving streets in a housing estate on the South Side of Johannesburg, South Africa. My earliest memories are of planning routes to get to my front door safely. I was tormented by the gangs in my neighbourhood, and the bullies at school. I am a survivor of both mental and physical abuse by those closest to me my Mom. When I was 17 in another drunken rage my Mother kicked me out of the house, and as such I never finished high school. I found myself sleeping on the inner city streets of Johannesburg. With nowhere to go, and with no money, I enrolled into the army early, at a time where military service in South Africa was compulsory. I excelled in the military, serving as both the platoon sergeant and lead hand to hand combat instructor for my unit as part of the close protection arm of the military police.

After leaving the military, with no high school diploma and slim prospects in finding a normal job, I began working the door outside some of South Africa’s toughest nightclubs. I spent the next several years developing my fight skills, from working the door, to traveling to Thailand to train with my Muay Thai teacher Apidej Sit Hirun (to this day I am one of the few people he ever gave permission to teach under his name). After surviving a near fatal attack on my life inside the Doors nightclub, I decided to teach martial arts full-time. I took all my experience in martial arts… my years working the door, where I survived two knife attacks, a gun to my head, and 100’s of altercations… and began developing my own system. This became known as Crazy Monkey Defense and was one of the most successful martial art schools in South Africa until I decided to travel the world and coach full time. I continued to hone my martial skills, receiving my black belt in Jiu-Jitsu from Rigan Machado, and my subsequent four degrees.

I have been blessed over the years to have taught my survival skills approach to the US Army, Slovak and Thailand special forces. I’ve taught at various law enforcement agencies and close protection teams all over the world on how to keep safe and survive interpersonal violence. I’ve also had the privilege to teach my approach to inner management at companies such as Google, AirBnB, Facebook, and Singapore Airlines to name just a few.  In 2019, I was one of the keynote speakers at the DISPAX 3rd International Conference on Unruly Airline Passenger Behavior in London – where we presented on the importance of Mindfulness in Action and its place in Aviation Security.

With the courage and tenacity gained from years of survival skills training, I turned that into fuel to change every aspect of my life. I went back to school, completing my undergraduate work in psychology, earning my first masters in leading innovation and change, a doctorate in mindful-embodied leadership, and now a second masters in environmental psychology.

For over 3 decades, I’ve been dedicated to the pursuit of teaching real world survival skills on the mat, leading to the ability to defend oneself. Turning my anger and rage in my 20’s to a focus rather on exploring how the lessons from fighting can show up in life so a person can thrive. At the heart of my work today is the philosophy of self-reliance: knowing that you are equipped to take on the martial arts of everyday life more skillfully and win!

I have been blessed over the years to have taught my survival skills approach to the US Army, Slovak and Thailand special forces. I’ve taught at various law enforcement agencies and close protection teams all over the world on how to keep safe and survive interpersonal violence. I’ve also had the privilege to teach my approach to inner management at companies such as Google, AirBnB, Facebook, and Singapore Airlines to name just a few. In 2019, I was one of the keynote speakers at the DISPAX 3rd International Conference on Unruly Airline Passenger Behavior in London – where we presented on the importance of Mindfulness in Action and its place in Aviation Security.

With the courage and tenacity gained from years of survival skills training, I turned that into fuel to change every aspect of my life. I went back to school, completing my undergraduate work in psychology, earning my first masters in leading innovation and change, a doctorate in mindful-embodied leadership, and now a second masters in environmental psychology. I am also a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership & Management
and a Fellow of the Institute of Strategic Risk Management.

For over 3 decades, I’ve been dedicated to the pursuit of teaching real world survival skills on the mat, leading to the ability to defend oneself. Turning my anger and rage in my 20’s to a focus rather on exploring how the lessons from fighting can show up in life so a person can thrive. At the heart of my work today is the philosophy of self-reliance: knowing that you are equipped to take on the martial arts of everyday life more skillfully and win!

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