Ask the Experts: Zed Defense

Welcome to the “Ask the Experts” series, where the Apocalypse Girls present interviews with fellow survivors. This week we present Charles Shepard, founder of the Ascension Martial Arts in San Jose, California. In addition to instructing Shaolin Kung Fu, Charles runs an annual Zed Tactical Response Force seminar where he teaches a zombie defense course.


“Ascension Martial Arts is dedicated to training people to live a better life. We have created a fusion based on more than 20 martial art systems to achieve your goals. We have even created zombie-specific empty-hand and short weapon techniques for the upcoming apocalypse. These techniques are easy to learn, easy to train and will be handy when you run out of ammo. After this training, you will not fear the zombies knowing you have the ability to beat the unlife out of them.”

What’s your favorite apocalypse scenario and why?

I think of all the Doomsday scenarios; Alien invasion, Communist take-over, Smurf movies, it is the Zombie Apocalypse that is the most alluring. Simply put, thinking creatures will make mistakes and you can capitalize them. The Zeds are unthinking, untiring and every encounter creates more of them. We are talking about being in the moment 24/7. This is the Zen of a Warrior.

Name one thing everyone should do to be prepared for the end of the world?

Move! Not move to the mountains or your fortress of solitude, but move yourself around. When you go to the store, park at the back of the lot and walk. Carry your groceries back to your car. “But carrying ten bags of groceries sucks!!!” Yeah it does. But trying to carry 70lbs of guns, water, tools and being chased by zombies is really going to suck ass. Being able to move will keep you alive and if you can move like a Parkour expert, you’ll live a lot longer.

Where’s the line between being prepared and obsessing over uncontrollable future events?

The Samurai believed in practicing with their katana daily and then letting it rest in the saya the rest of the day. Being prepared means you have your daily packs ready and a storage cache ready. Weekly training with your tools and weapons. Be obsessive is taking your Mossberg tactical shotgun to work everyday. Keep your sword ready, but never drawn.

What’s in your survival “bug out” bag?

I have two “bags”. The first is a day kit for 1 -3 days of survival time. It has water purifier, iodine for nuclear fallout, knives, antibiotic cream, duct tape, non-perishable MRE, smelling salts, and Claritin-D for my asthmatic episodes. This kit is to keep me alive long enough to reach my cache. My cache is a large version of the “day kit”. It also includes weapons, rounds, solar charging station and heavier items I do not feel like lugging to work everyday. The CDC website has a great list for survival gear in the event of a catastrophe.

What three things will you most miss about modern society?

Triple shot, Double Dutch Mochas
Super BurritoZilla from Iguanas (The four foot long one)
Honey Red Mead
And no, not going to miss facebook.

Which cultural institution would you die to defend? Electricity, the internet, printed books, etc.

Tough question. This implies a siege to defend. Zed’s will overcome any siege due to the fact, they don’t feel and they know the food is hidden inside. If I were to take a stand to defend something, it would be a viable water supply.

What’s the most important thing the survivors have to remember above day to day survival?

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. Paying attention to your movements, to your rest, to scavenging is going to pay off. One mistake could cost you. This will be your greatest asset and your greatest obstacle to success.

When do you open the door, i.e. how to you pick and choose between refugees, or do you leave them to their fate?

Our humanity is what separates us from the monsters. I cannot stand by and leave people to the Zeds. I think the greatest compassion will be opening the door to all refugees. And finalizing the suffering of the infected or the lost. The Zeds will not take another human life on my watch.

How do you make sure you aren’t caught short when the day comes, i.e. avoiding “I left my apocalypse kit in another car”?

Day Kits are not terribly expensive. It is good to have one where I spend more than 10 hours a week. I have four of them, one in each car, one at work and one where I train. Remember, these kits are to keep you alive long enough to get back to your cache.

For what person or thing would you break all the rules and go back anyway?

Family. Anyone who knows me, knows how unhealthy it is to get between me and family.

Thanks Charles!

Rule 1: Cardio,
Green Valkyrie

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Categories