About Jeff Clancy and Jim Wagner's training of the DEA
Jeff Clancy was an agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), San Diego Field Division, and Defensive Tactics instructor, who hosted Jim Wagner to teach combatives (law enforcement self-defense) and protective services courses on a few occasions at the DEA San Diego Field Division.
When Jim Wagner first met Jeff Clancy in early 2000 it was at the San Diego Sheriff’s Department Training Academy where Jim was having a meeting with academy officials to teach instructors his own brand of defensive tactics called “combatives.” Jeff said to Jim while sitting along side the wall of the training room as observers, “It is an honor to meet you. I have been admiring your articles in Black Belt for some time now. I’m looking forward to learning some stuff from you.” This was to turn out to be both a good friendship and professional working relationship.
Jeff, at the time when he met Jim Wagner, had been a federal law enforcement officer for 16 years. During his career he had planned and participated in numerous narcotics interdiction operations with the DEA both in South America and Central America. Before serving with the DEA he was a deputy with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office and prior to that he served five years in the United States Marine Corps.
Jeff had already been a martial arts practitioner for 27 years having studied Hapkido, Tae Kwon Do, Jiu-Jitsu, Filipino Kali and Jeet Kune Do. Jeff had worked with Paul Vunak prior to hooking up with Jim Wagner who was one of the original founders and one fourth owner of the police and military training corporation called HSS International. Jim Wagner had created all of the combatives programs for his corporation and Jeff Clancy was eager to learn the new revolutionary system that was sweeping the professional community. The most popular courses Jim taught at the time were Patrol Combatives, SWAT Combatives, and Institution Combatives for jails and prisons.
Jeff Clancy was instrumental in getting Jim Wagner to teach DEA agents and other invited agencies. On June 15th and 16th, 2000 Jim was also an assistant instructor to tactical medic Ben Alexander (California CE Provider # 30-0093) at the DEA Field Office in providing tactical training while Firefighter-Paramedic Alexander provided all medical training.
In early 2001 Jeff Clancy’s biggest contribution to Jim Wagner’s original combatives program was two techniques that they worked on together in a small martial arts studio not too far from his office. At this time in history most law enforcement officers were saying that someone on your back, while you are face down, and they are pummeling you or if they had a choke hold on you while on your back was “a no win situation.” Jim and Jeff had seen this in scenarios and just could not accept that there were no solutions. They locked themselves in a studio and reversed engineered the two problems. After a few hours of working on all of the possibilities they discovered the required techniques. These techniques are taught today in Jim Wagner’s Reality-Based Personal Protection Ground Survival course. The two techniques, which are very familiar to all Reality-Based students and instructors is technique 11.01 Rear Ground Suppression and 11.02 Rear Ground Choke Hold. As every student can attest, Jim Wagner credits both himself and Jeff Clancy for developing these two techniques and now thousands all over the world practice them.
From October 15 – 18, 2002, one month after Jim Wagner resigned from the United States Federal Air Marshal Service, he and Chris St. Jacques (Canadian HSS Instructor and long time combatives student of Jim’s), instructed a Protective Services course sponsored by the United States Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) San Diego Field Division attended by DEA agents, U.S. Marines, and a few agents from Diplomatic Security (DS), which is the security and law enforcement arm of the U.S. Department of State. Jim Wagner had been a Team Leader for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department’s Dignitary Protection Unit (DPU) from 2000 – 2002 having had his most important assignment protecting the Treasurer of the United States Rosario Marin.
The Protective Services course Wagner and St. Jacques taught was unique in the fact that Jeff Clancy had arranged for the training to take place at Stu Segall Productions located at 4705 Ruffin Road, San Diego, CA 92123 just around the corner from the DEA office. This is a movie production company with several movie sets, which was ideal for scenario training.
At the end of 2002 Jeff Clancy assisted Jim Wagner with a photo shoot for Black Belt magazine with the publication’s first ever article about Air Marshal tactics. Jim Wagner had served as a Federal Air Marshal for over just six months up until September 11, 2002. Jeff appears in the photos as a “bad guy.” This opened the door for Jeff in submitting his own material to Black Belt magazine, which Jim encouraged.
Jeff also appeared in Jim Wagner’s new video at the time (2001) titled The Jim Wagner Knife Disarm Rule (for police and military). Jeff was a firm believer in Jim’s formula for dealing with knife attacks in confined spaces, and especially the sections related to tactical situations. Jim Wagner appears in tactical gear during the taping, and Jeff is the "bad guy" throughout the video. In the video Jeff introduces himself.