Gallowglass Academy, Inc.
Training, Tradition, Defence.....     Short classes and seminars
About Us.... and Some of Our Classes

Training, Tradition, Defence

Gallowglass Academy, Inc.
P. O. Box 201
Leaf River IL 61047

Gallowglass Academy, Inc., provides an eclectic variety of short classes and seminars to the Student of Defence.  
Law Enforcement Officers and their Agencies will find a range of Police Combatives and Firearms Training Seminars.  
    Civilians also may choose among Martial Arts and Firearms-related classes.  
    The Scholar of Western Martial Arts will find classes on Rapier, Sidesword, and a variety of 19th-century styles, as well as workshops with guest instructors expert in other historical combat styles.

Gallowglass Academy, Inc., is happy to work with Writers, Actors, Book Groups, and Convention Planners to tailor special seminars and demos to your needs.

 C. Allen Reed  
Bringing over 30 years experience in law enforcement, Oriental and Western martial arts, Gallowglass Academy's Head Instructor is a firearms, baton and police combatives instructor for a Federal agency. He is a State of Illinois certified defensive tactics instructor, certified TASERtm instructor, and certified Pepperballtm instructor. He belongs to the International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors, the Illinois Tactical Officers Association, and the National Tactical Officers Association.
     Allen also holds the rank of Kaiden (equivalent of 7th dan) in Paracombatives Jujutsu, which he has taught at the Northwestern University Jujutsu Club for over 17 years. 
     Allen studies weapon arts of Medieval and Renaissance Europe, as well as 19th-century combat styles of Bowie knife, tomahawk, and Bartitsu. He is a past member of the Chicago Swordplay Guild, and has taught the Western Martial Arts for more than 10 years. He has taught the Rapier, and the Bowie knife, at Highland Community College in Freeport, IL. 
     Allen is an American Red Cross Authorized Provider/Instructor in First Aid, including CPR and AED Complete resume and references available on request.


   Where the heck is Gallowglass Academy?

Big Picture: Relative to the well-known landmark of Chicago, it's about 100 miles northwest -- south and west of Rockford, north of I-88.

Electronically:  Here's the general idea of Leaf River, courtesy of  

"You can get here, but you have to work at it"

  • There is no passenger rail service to Ogle County.
  • There is no public bus service to, or in, Ogle County.
  • A taxi company is listed in Mount Morris IL (5 miles away), but I have yet to check on their rates.
  • We're 20 miles off the Interstate.  There is, however, a small private airport about 7 miles away.  If that helps any.

Driving directions to the area

  • Take your best route to I-39 south of Rockford Illinois and north of I-88 (Rochelle); exit at Route 64, mile marker 104.
  • Head west roughly 20 miles, through the breadbasket of the nation, to Route 2, in Oregon Illinois -- our county seat. 

1)  to
RIVER VALLEY COMPLEX (our favored training venue): 

  • Turn right (north) on Route 2, enjoy a pretty drive along the ramblin' Rock River...
  • Turn left (west, and the only logical choice, the other being Quite Damp) at Route 72 towards Leaf River and Forreston.
  • In "downtown" Leaf River, turn left (south) at Main Street.  There's a green sign for the Library, which is just beyond RVC at 605 Main St.

 2)  to Mount Morris Coliseum (an occasional training venue):

  • Continue on Route 64 for 5 more miles to Mount Morris (home of the Freedom Bell -- personally blessed, I believe, by St. Reagan). 
  • Two blocks west of the in-town stop light, turn left (south), then go a block and a half, and cast your eyes to the left.  That's the back of the building.  Much easier to find than to describe how to find.

 3)  to Gallowglass Manor (our house*): 

  • From Oregon IL, continue on Route 64 for 5 more miles to Mount Morris (home of the Freedom Bell -- see above for St. Reagan connection). 
  • At the in-town stop light, turn right (north) at McKendrie, which will turn into Mt. Morris Rd.  Four miles along, Gallowglass Manor will be on the left, at 6372 N. Mt. Morris Rd.
  • If you get to the Baptist Church, you've overshot by a half-mile.

*By the way, Mapquest seems to think that "Gallowglass Manor" is north of Route 72, up on the gravel road.  It's not, it's SOUTH 1 MILE, ON THE BLACKTOP! but let's just let that stay our secret, eh?  We don't need to help the terrorists win, and the cows that graze that field can practice their social skills on the occasional visitor.  

 under new management in 2004! 
Mount Morris Motel, Ridge Rd at Rt 64 east, Mt. Morris, IL 815-734-4114 ($36 single occupancy -- $41-51 double).  Rooms are smaller than the Big Chains, of course, but freshened up! and now they've got a WWWeb presence!

White Pines Forest State Park (7 mi west of Oregon IL), 815-946-3817  (lodge $79 dbl occ)

Blackhawk's Trail Lodge (on the Rock River, Rt. 2, 4.5 mi north of Byron IL), 815-234-5544 (no pets!)

Lake Louise, Byron IL (815-234-8483) (cabins $70; hookups available)

Paddle Wheel Inn (Rt. 2 north of Oregon IL) 800-468-4222. "Standard" rooms $99 (incl 2 queen-size beds, contintental breakfast, mini-bar, use of spa & sauna

Chateau Lodge, 1326 N. IL Route 2, Oregon IL   815-732-6195

Pinehill Bed & Breakfast, 400 Mix St. Oregon IL  61061-1113
     $80-145 Phone:  (815)732-2067  Fax: (815)732-1348
     The property has 5 total guest accommodations with private bath, 3 with fireplaces.     


 Self Defense Classes

Upon request, we will schedule any class for women only, or for seniors only.  Just ask – please!

Defend Yourself!
Everyone – from teenagers to senior citizens – has the right to defend themselves, their friends and their families from violence. This one-day class teaches one method of basic, unarmed self-defense that is easy to learn in a short time. This 8-hour class can be broken up into shorter sessions on request.

Dressed for Success
We must find ways to keep ourselves safe, particularly at a time when we all are concerned about urban crime and other threats to safety, and despite stringent security regulations. This one-day class focuses on the use for self-defense of everyday items that are legal to carry anywhere. This class can be broken up into shorter sessions on request.

First Aid / CPR Adult-Child-Infant
Red Cross Standard First Aid and CPR, including AED.

Defensive Use of the Lockblade Knife
Many people carry a lockblade knife as an everyday tool, as well as a defensive weapon. In addition to tactics and techniques, this class will emphasize legal considerations for the defensive use of these knives.

"Some Like It Hot"  OC Spray Techniques
Pepper spray for effective, legal, and non-lethal personal defense.

"Hand Me Down My Walking Cane"
An ordinary cane, easily available at drug stores, is rarely challenged as a weapon, even at the airport.  Yet it can save your life in an assault.  We present some easily-learned strikes, deflections, and locks you can use -- even if you rely on a cane for ordinary walking. 

The DefenderTM
It's plastic, it fits in your hand (or pocket or purse), it does not look like a weapon, and it's not expensive.  But within a few hours, you can learn how to grip The DefenderTM and strike with it to control and repel even the largest attacker.  Class fee includes The DefenderTM and instructions.

 What Others Are Saying About Gallowglass...

Dan Maloy of Iowa for an insightful and complimentary review of 5/1/09 Bartitsu class -- read it at

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