Why does FWRD have the best training program in the Greater Sacramento Area? The answer is simple: Shadow Soldier and Sac Killa. This brother sister duo (aka Richard and Rena Garcia) is the force behind skating skills within this league and leagues all over California. With a focus on form, precision and consistency they set skaters apart from the pack, except when it’s time to pack-it-up, that is.

Shadow Soldier has been continually perfecting her 8-week training program year after year. She began developing it in 2009 using WFTDA minimum skills as a spring board. Minimum skills is a guideline of the basic skills a skater must have to be considered safe on skates and doesn’t touch the kind of skills the average competitive derby girl must display on the track. Shadow’s program, which she calls Fast Track, is a bridge leading over this gap, a bridge that most leagues don’t have.

Throughout this 8-week program Shadow transforms new skaters into boutable  derby players. She breaks down each element a skater needs to successfully navigate a track during play and puts those elements into digestible sections.  Students graduating from her program aren’t just safe to skate, they have more confidence, are less prone to injury, and are better prepared than the average derby newbie for their first bout. As a result, Shadow has been requested and paid by several leagues to share her expertise, including Bakersfield Junior, Tri-Valley and Shasta derby teams.

Sac Killa was never very good on roller skates but he has always been a student of discipline. From youth into early adulthood he played hundreds of hours of baseball and later in life he taught martial arts where he learned to remain calm while being stern. In 2011 he was asked by his sister (Shadow Soldier) to coach her derby league (then the Sacred City Derby Girls). While under his tutelage they rose in rankings from 8th to 7th and then defended 7th. During this time, Killa took it upon himself to learn the rules and nuances of roller derby by studying hours of bout footage and reaching out to other coaches and players that could better advise him. With the team he kept precise attendance and participation records so that everyone knew where they stood. Now he is Flood Water’s coach and he practices the same principles with the added advantage of fully understanding the ever evolving sport of roller derby.

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