In addition to the standard Reality-Based Personal Protections courses of Level 1 and Level 2, which when completed teaches practically everything a person needs to know about self-defense and how to protect the people they care about in criminal and terrorist attacks, there are some subjects that can be expanded upon or that are entirely new altogether; these are known as SPECIALTY COURSES.
My first Specialty Course, titled Special Operations, took place on May 8 at the Jim Wagner Reality-Based Personal Protection School in Solingen, Germany; the "gold standard" for all reality-based schools and organizations worldwide (blacked out stage environment for atmosphere and ambience control, the first to introduce strict safety protocol standards and safety color code system, equipment stocked for 22 students, and stocked with props and special effects). Those showing up for this course were only police and military personnel this time, for this was a RESTRICTED course. In order to register for this course students have to be a sworn police officer, corrections officer, military, or government authorized contractor within the European Union (EU) or the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) presenting their identification and followed up with verification from Tobias (the Reality-Based Personal Protection Director of German speaking countries).
"The course Special Operations are techniques and training methods that I have picked up over the past 20 years from elite units all over the world that had me train them. The goal of the course is to not only make individual operators better at their job, or teach them new skills that they may lack, but to also reinforce command and control (leadership) in Warm and Hot Zones. Yet, teaching and learning is a two-way street. I came out of this course with a lot of pointers myself from a few of my students. Whenever my students have a comment, suggestion, or wish to show me a technique I am always open to input. One of my students is with the German Army Rangers and he showed me a battlefield rescue technique that I plan to start teaching in future courses and also to pass on to my own military unit in California responsible for training soldiers being deployed in Afghanistan and other conflict zones. I also had a student who works with the German military and is one of the top trainers and contributors for a new European terrorism rapid response unit. This man, who has attended several of my courses in the past to include many of my techniques and training methods in this new unit, is always a wealth of information and I don't hesitate to "pick his brains" for the latest information on his end, especially when it comes to the newest information for Tactical Combat Casualty Care. This "quiet professional" is a seasoned combat operator who had an interest in tactical medicine and has worked his way up the ladder in knowledge and skills, and probably one of the most knowledgeable persons I have ever talked to on the subject. I've had many great instructors train me in TCCC in the past, but this guy puts it in layman’s terms that everyone can understand and visualize. Of course, the police and security people in my course were great to work with because they were highly motivated, and their real-world experience made the course run smoothly.
At the end of the course I ran my students through a real-time scenario with everyone armed with gas-operated Airsoft assault rifles and pistols. Tobias and I were the terrorists, and we were heavily armed as well. After all, we instructors like to get in on the action as well, and our experience gives them a good challenge (I've played the role several times for the United States Army and dozens of SWAT teams, and usually inflict quite a bit of damage before I am "taken out.") The scenario was two active shooters in an industrial factory. This was not just the “story line,” but we actually had an entire factory at our disposal. The big rooms, machines, stairwells, and countless points of cover is the perfect 360 degree learning environment.
In the end I had a round go through my right bicep after an intense firefight. That put me out of commission, because the police officer moved up on me and had his muzzle pointed at my face and I was out of ammunition. I had my empty magazine in hand as he surprised me. I had already gone through two magazines, and I decided it was best to surrender; a great intelligence prize for the good guys.
About five minutes later, after a volley of shots rang out 25 meters from where I had been captured, Tobias finally was cornered and "neutralized." We both knew that with the high caliber of operators on the government's side that we would probably not be the victors, and that didn’t bother me at all. I always hope that my students win, because many of them will be facing the real thing after they leave my classroom. But not everything went exactly as planned. The good guys did have one man injured, a "bullet" impact against the ribs from a round that I shot, but the operator had a ballistic vest on. They knew their mistake and learned from it.
Last month I was in Carole, Italy teaching the same Special Operations course, and so it was quite a treat to be able to teach both Italian and German operators in such a short span of time.
The next day of training was back to the civilian-based course called Pocket Stick, Tactical Pen & Light, which was full. This is the second time I have run this course with the same positive results. A few martial arts schools even had two or more of their instructors in my course to take it back to their own schools spread out throughout Germany. Like all of my courses in Germany, Tobias was right by my side helping to teaching and making sure that everything went smooth administratively.
In this course I had a few beginners who had no previous self-defense training. Word is starting to spread throughout Europe that the Jim Wagner Reality-Based Personal Protection system is perfect for beginners, because the system is easy to learn and easy to teach. I stick to our tag line, It does not take years to learn self-defense. It takes days. I took beginners in this course and they were doing just as good as the black belts in the course. Every technique in our system can be mastered in just minutes. Put all these techniques together, and you have a system. If you can’t master a self-defense technique in five minutes, you need to throw it out, because you’re going to forget it, or not feel comfortable using it, when your life and limb is at stake.
One of my students showed me a new controlling/impact weapon called the G.EC.KO (pronounced "gecko") designed by Jens Richter out of Duisburg, Germany. It is in the same family as a pocket stick and it feels quite comfortable in the hand. This new weapon comes in five different colors, including pink. I always like being introduced to new weapons systems and testing them out.
The next day was another second time course titled Urban Survival. This is a unique course that no self-defense school in the world is offering. In fact, not even German citizens outside of the emergency response community are learning what we are offering in this Reality-Based Personal Protection course.
I start off the course with a lecture. It's an eye opening lecture about just how rapid people's lives can be turned upside down in a natural or man-made disaster. If you're not living on a farm then you probably rely on the grocery store to provide you with your food, drinking water, and even basic medical supplies. You also probably have to pull into a gas station to get fuel for your car. But, what would happen to you and your family if these supplies were suddenly cut off. Could you exist for the three days to two-weeks entirely on your own without outside assistance? Within hours of a major disaster all the stores and gas stations are emptied. We've seen this time and time again with earthquakes, tornados, tsunamis, floods, hurricanes and even acts of terrorism. If you're a German citizen, like all of my students were in Thursday's course, you are probably thinking, "How can food and fuel supplies be cut off, and I do without?"
Let me give you a not-so-far-fetched scenario. Israel and Iran engage in hostilities. The shooting closes the Strait of Hormuz and a good percentage of Europe's oil supply is cut off. In fact, a lot of countries are affected by the closure. The conflict lasts days or weeks. How are German delivery trucks going to get all the fuel they need if it is rationed? Who delivers the all the food to the stores? What happens if for some reason oil fields are targeted in countries that have remained neutral? It does not take much to disrupt the world economy; Al Qaeda has proved that a couple of times in the past decade.
However, we don't have to look at hypothetical situations to see how things can go terribly wrong and we are left to fend for ourselves. When the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan in 2011 thousands of people had to survive on their own because some villages and towns were cut off from the rest of the world, and the Japanese military and rescue workers could not get to everyone at once because of the widespread devastation. As the "civil war" rages on in Syria there are a lot of people today without electricity, gas, or life sustaining supplies.
The students knew by the time I handed them their training certificates that they were the very few in the martial arts community to possess these life-saving skills; post-conflict skills. After all, my system is called Reality-Based Personal Protection. The key phrase is "Personal Protection." We are not limited to just self-defense, but over the full spectrum of anything related to protecting oneself, family, or co-workers. Looking for victims after a bomb blast is going to carry over to looking for victims after an earthquake or visa-versa. Learning how to tie a good knot to move down a debris field can also be used for tactical rappelling by a SpecOps operator.
Early the next morning, before the sun was up, I was in a taxi to the airport and not soon afterwards on a plane back to California. Not only was I very pleased with how the courses went, but I also found out from the president of Boker (the world famous knife manufacturing company in Solingen) that my recent design for a small fixed blade had been approved and will probably be on the world market by Fall. Their goal is to have my new Reality Based Blade in the next Boker printed catalog and on their international websites (Argentina, Germany, and the United States).
Urban Survival is designed to teach the average person how to survive on their own with the available materials and food that surrounds them in an urban environment if disaster hits. For the hands-on portion of the course I started off with Search And Rescue (SAR) of buildings with light to moderate damage. Students learned how to form rescue teams and the responsibilities within a team. They learned about personal gear they should have on hand at home or in their vehicle, as well as some basic team equipment they may have to scrounge for.
After learning how to search a building systematically, get heavy fallen objects off of injured people, use triangulation of light in low-light environments, and even how to put a body into a body bag, the students participated in a realistic scenario. The scenario was a massive terrorist attack where a truck bomb damaged a building. Two search teams, and a medical team, had to go in and conduct a search, record and diagram the progress, and rescue the injured. With our training hall filled with thick fog from our professional fog machine, and our props that look like actual supporting pillars that have collapsed, along with bodies and body parts, the scene was quite realistic and very inexpensive to conduct. The students thoroughly enjoyed the effort that Tobias and I put into it, making it feel as real as possible. We have an excellent school with a lot of props to work with, and again, enthusiastic students really help to make for a good learning experience for all involved.
After the scenario it was some outside training: how to make a shelter out of building scraps, how to procure water and filter it fit for human consumption, how to get food when nothing is left on the shelves and how to safely cook meat (cat, dogs, rabbits, rats, insects). Don't worry; the small dog in the photograph is not real. It is a stuffed toy animal that I used to demonstrate how to skin a small animal. However, we skin and eat real animals when I conduct the Wilderness Survival course. I don't want to shock my Urban Survival city students who think that their meat comes on small Styrofoam plates covered in shrink-wrap plastic. I'm introducing them to the idea of slaughtering animals for survival in small increments by seeing the process on a fairly realistic substitute. Most urban dwellers have never been to a slaughter house or have ever hunted before. You’re not going to last long if you have to survive solely on vegetation and fruit within the city limits. Of course, I stress the point of stocking up on camping or military food to prepare for natural and man-made disasters. If I am at home in California when disaster strikes, provided my home does not go up in flames, I could easily last two months on just my supplies; that does not even take into consideration by ability to obtain small animals or eat some of the vegetation plentiful in my area that most people know nothing about.
Once we were back up in the classroom I showed my students my GO-BAG that I travel around the world with. This is the same bag that I stuff under the seat in front of me in an airplane, train, or bus. I always have enough basic supplies to keep me alive for at least three days without any other assistance. With the few tools that I carry I could last longer using my own Urban and Wilderness survival skills that I obtained from my United States Navy S.E.R.E. (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape) and German Special Forces instructors, and my own experience over the years. I love teaching courses like this because it refreshes my own skills, and I usually get a survivalist in my courses that I can pick up a few new pointers from, and in this case I did. It turns out that have of the students in my Urban Survival course were hunters, a few of them were active military with S.E.R.E. training, and one Portuguese forest fire fighter who gave the class some interesting information that I had never heard before, and I've taken a forest fire fighting course in the military; California has massive forest fires each year around September and October and the military wants all of the soldiers connected to the Army National Guard to at least know the basics in case they are deployed to a fire affected area. I was activated in 2007 by the State when we had 27 fires raging all over California. I never got close to a fire, nor did I have any desire to, but they sent me up to the capital of Sacramento to serve in the State military command center, which gave me the overall picture of how the government coordinates its efforts from the top.
Urban Survival ended with a brief lesson in tying common knots for survival situations. With some climbing rope and paracord the students learned how to secure equipment, attach an anchor point for going down over debris, and other useful applications.
Lieutenant Colonel Mike Remig: A man with a vision
Lieutenant Colonel Mike Remig, with the German Army, was one of my Reality-Based Personal Protection students like many others who have come to me, or I to them, from the world respected Bundeswher. Like many students in a similiar position (SpecOps, counterterrorism, Secret Service, undercover narcotics officer, etc.) Mike had me withhold his name from public view on my website. As far as the martial arts community was concerned he "never existed."
As I was teaching one of my courses a few days ago I heard the door open and a shadowy figure standing in the corner. It was my dedicated student and friend LTC Mike Remig. As soon as I was able to put my students on break I went over to shake Mike's hand and to see for what honor he had come to see me. Mike, a huge muscular warrior, shook my hand and said, "Jim, do you have any time to talk today. I’d like to run something past you?"
I responded, "In an hour I'm kicking my students free for lunch. Why don't we have lunch together and you can tell me what’s on your mind."
What Mike told me, as we enjoyed an Italian meal, was quite fascinating. It turns out that Mike had finished up his tour with "Operations," and was now in a position where the exposure of his identity was no longer an issue. He said to me, "Jim, you can post me as one of your instructors on your website." I retired in five years from the military, and I'm laying the groundwork for my new career after the Service. Then he went on to tell me that he had formed his own private company on the side, with the blessings of his chain of command, called UW-Safari.net.
UW-Safari.net is an organization that provides "protection" to international photographers who need to take the perfect photo in countries where security can be an issue, and where the wrong local contacts can steal you blind. "We are talking photographers from the Smithsonian Institute, National Geographic, and other major publications," Mike told me from across the table.
Professional and amateur photographers contact Mike and he sets up the entire trip from start to finish. All the photographer has to worry about is pressing the shutter release. Mike, and his many associates, get the best deals for airfare, hotels, and transportation. They hire local tour guides they have worked with before and trust. Then, and here is where the Reality-Based Personal Protection system comes into play, they provide around-the-clock security for their clients; in other words, safety and peace of mind. The places Mike and his associates are going to include currently politically unstable Egypt, South Africa, which if you have ever been there like I have you know that it has its fair share of challenges, along with South East Asian countries. Mike confided in me, "I had a few of my friends get me into this. I just did it for a little adventure and some pocket money. Then, to my surprise, it turned out to be quite lucrative."
Just recently Mike's business has opened up to the fashion photography world. Photographers wanting to photograph beautiful female models in exotic locations are certainly no experts in security, and they can't afford to have anything happen to their girls. That's where UW-Safari.net comes in. Mike and his boys make sure that the photographers, models, make-up artists, and wardrobe people have a safe reliable place to stay during the shoot. He then provides security 24 hours a day so nobody even thinks about harming his clients. Mike emphasized to me, "We'll go to almost anywhere on the planet."
Then Mike dropped the bomb shell on me, "Jim, as you know I have the highest respect for you, and this is why I studied under you, and you know from my position I have trained with the best. I want you to know that the Jim Wagner Reality-Based Personal Protections is the official system of my company when it comes to the skills of my operators."
That was a big honor for me coming from me who has been on several combat tours and is just about to ship out to Afghanistan for another deployment.
"I also want my clients to know that we are using the Jim Wagner system. Who knows? Perhaps we can even offer a package where they get some training from you directly. We will offer it anyway."
Mike then invited me to his next operation. Not to Afghanistan, but to his next photo shoot in Africa or the Middle East. "Come see how we operate, and we will take good care of you." And, there is no doubt in my mind that he would. He is a pillar of self-confidence and experience.
I said to Mike, "Not only do I want to be a part of this, and help you where I can, but I’m going to let the Reality-Based Personal Protection community know about your growing company." And, true to my promise you now know who Mike Remig is and UW-safari.net.
If you know anyone interested in using Mike's services, or perhaps you may want to use them directly for yourself on your next adventure, then don't hesitate to get in contact with him. As you know, I am very selective in whom I endorse, and it's not very many people, but with Mike you are getting a true professional. Also, and this is a personal request from me, please keep Mike up in your prayers for the next few months as he serves with ISAF. Thank you.
KNIFE CAMP Changing the Martial Arts in Europe
Before I taught my Specialty Courses in Solingen, Germany I taught my three-day Knife Camp that consists of four separate courses: Knife Survival, Knife Expert, Tactical Knife, and Knife Instructor. The first day of training began on the weekend on May 5. I had only had five days in the United States to catch up on administrative work and a couple of projects after teaching Knife Camp in Dawlish, England, but I was looking forward to my German seminars.
Once again I had a good showing, and by the end of the three days there were more certified Reality-Based Personal Protection instructors for Germany, Switzerland, and Greece.
I had two students fly in from Greece specifically to go back and teach my knife system to a population that has recently seen an astronomical rise in crime and economic uncertainty. Georgis Zacharopoulos and Tampakkais Chrysovalantis are both experts when it comes to ancient European sword fighting. They even co-authored a thick book about the subject and gave me an autographed copy. In addition they belong to an association that keeps the old sword fighting methods alive called ARMA (http://www.thearma.gr) with the headquarters located in the United States (http://www.thearma.org)
This is the third seminar in a row that I have taught Greek students attend; all with exactly the same purpose in mind. At the end of 2011 the first Greek citizen to fly to my courses in Solingen did it purely to learn how to defend himself and his family, and did not wish to have his name publicized. This man told me that the economic crisis in Greece was fueling a crime wave, and that after researching all the martial arts systems in Europe he decided upon the Jim Wagner Reality-Based Personal Protection system. Then in March of this year Mike Kondis attended my March Level 1 courses in Germany. Mike owns a successful martial arts school and martial arts shop. He told me that people were buying up machetes like crazy, and that he and other shops in Greece kept running out of stock. The average citizen is scared and many of them are arming themselves. The news media seems to just be interested in showing the riots and the Greek government arguing over how to solve their financial crisis, but are failing to report on the crime wave. The birthplace of democracy is experiencing some of its hardest challenges of late.
Both Georgis Zacharopoulos and Tampakkais Chrysovalantis told me that they both have a passion for teaching the old ways of the blade, but it is not realistic for today’s knife attacks. "This is why we came to you," they said.
It did not take me long to convert my Greek students' sword and dagger skills into workable modern knife skills. They were actually quite a challenge to the other students in the course. By the time they graduated on Monday they were quite efficient with defending against criminal and terrorist knife attacks as well as using edged weapons to protect themselves.
Around the third day, "George" and "Rene," as they wanted to be called, approached me after lunch break and asked me, "Jim, are you willing to come to Greece and teach your Knife system there? We know that it will be a big success." Now that I knew these gentlemen I gladly told them how to go about setting up a seminar. I know that Greece is going through some pretty hard times, for every day when I caught up on local and international news from my hotel room, their problems were always in the newspapers and on the television. If any group of people need good self-defense training right now it is the Greeks. The three of us are looking at a possible date at the beginning of 2013, for my schedule completely full for this year.
I also had a husband and wife team from Switzerland get certified by me. Fredy and Sandy Kuhn had been wanting to come to my courses for the last three years, and this time they finally had the chance. After it was all over they too asked me if I would be willing to come teach some courses at their school near Zurich, Switzerland. Well, not only do I like the city of Zurich, but Fredy and Sandy are good people. Together they own, and teach out of, the Wu Lin Martial Arts Academy located in Dubendorf; the German speaking side of Switzerland. As you might have guessed from the name of the school, they are very traditional-based. However, they saw the writing on the wall a few years ago and knew that more and more of their student base wanted reality-based training, and they are not afraid to open up a new market in their business.
The Kung-fu couple are fit and trim, and they both look too young to have been teaching for 30 years, but they have. At their main school, established 14 years ago, they have 200 students, and they created their own Wu Lin Association of satellite schools that total 900 students. For a small country, that's huge. After graduating Knife Camp, as her husband was buying the Jim Wagner Reality-Based Blade in the Messer Shop (Knife Shop), I asked Sandy, "What made you decided to come to me for Reality-Based training." She answered me, "We have been teaching Filipino Arnis for many years, and deep down inside I always felt something was missing. I also didn’t feel like we were adequately preparing our students for real confrontations. Then I saw one of your articles in Kampfkunst magazine (a top selling German martial arts magazine that I have appeared in many times) and got interested. When my husband and I went to your website we knew that this was what we were looking for, and we were right. This system is real. It’s what we needed."
Earlier in the day Sandy had asked me if I would give her some advice on what type of knife she should carry for self-defense. This was an unthinkable thought to her only a few days prior to attending my seminar. She wanted to know how to use a knife, not necessarily carry one.
During the first two days of intensive KNIFE CAMP training I put Sandy through a few realistic scenarios forcing her to defend against a knife attack using only empty hand techniques, and I told her to use any techniques, mine or hers, that she wanted to use against the male attacker. I then had her go through a couple more scenarios armed with a rubber training knife. Having the knife in her hand made a big difference in her ability to survive a violent attack; a "level playing field," some might call it. Immediately after the realistic experiences she came to the conclusion that she didn’t have a chance going up against an armed attacker with just her hands and feet, even though she and her husband have owned a Kung-fu school. She was convinced that the only way to survive an armed attacker was to be armed herself.
I took her into the knife shop on the property and showed her a variety of knives that would best fit her frame and the type of clothes she typically wears. For her my selection was small flat handle knife with a quick release sheath. I advised her to attach the sheath to the inside of her purse and have her hand on the handle of the weapon when going to or from her car, or when she feels she may be in danger. I told her, "You won’t have time to fumble around in your purse looking for your weapon if you are jumped. It has to already be in your hand ready to go (deployment). The moment you see someone coming after you the knife comes out." A woman who immediately gets slugged in the face has very little Will to Survive after that. Most are knocked out or too injured to continue; again, I'm talking about a vicious criminal who intends to do great bodily injury or kill his victim.
I told her that if she wanted to conceal a knife on her person, and on her lean body and tight fitting clothes there were not many options for concealment, I suggested that she wear a necklace and let the small knife hang between her breasts. She agreed with this second option as well. After all, she wouldn’t be butchering someone if she were to be attacked, but using hit-and-run tactics to get away. The primary goal of a woman in a physical fight is to escape. For Sandy's needs she just needed a sleek sharp knife that wouldn't come out of her hand easily and go for soft tissue areas; namely the face and neck; something she actually did full contact and full speed with our training mannequin. After I saw how well she handled herself in the course using my Reality-Based Personal Protection system against all the men in the class, some of them big security guards and from the German army, I knew that a small knife would be effective in her hand. I also made sure that she bought a black subdued blade with a black handle in order not to be seen easily by the criminal in low-light situations. Of course, in class we covered the legal issues of using lethal force, and she had a good grasp of when and when not to deploy a knife. I don't tell my students what to do; I just give them different perspectives and let them decide what is best for them within the framework of the law and their "reality."
Sandy told me that sometimes she does wear a pair of blue jeans or a nice warm ski jacket for casual situations; after all, she lives in Switzerland where it can be quite cool. For those occasions she decided she wanted the smaller version of the Jim Wagner Reality Based Blade, for which I applauded her. Her husband bought the original version, which is a bit beefier. By the time they were finished getting what they wanted for different occasions they had purchased over 750 euro worth of knives. To them this was a good investment in protecting their lives.
WOMEN: This paragraph is specifically for you. Every country has different rules and regulations concerning knives and whether or not you can carry them on your person or in a purse or handbag. It is best to check with your local law enforcement agency and get the advice of a few police officers, and make sure to document their names and badge numbers. If for some reason your jurisdiction does not allow possession of a knife then you can always buy a tactical pen, which you will use just like a knife using stabbing motions. You can’t cut with them, but put the point through a soft tissue area and you will most likely stop your attacker. Just go on any search engine and look up "tactical pen," and you’ll find a wide variety of them that you can have sent to you. Of course I recommend that you try Boker first for Europe and Boker USA for North America. They carry a wide selection of the top brand knives, including my own.
What I like about Fredy and Sandy is that when they decided to jump into Reality-Based they decided to jump in all the way. When they saw me using the Reality-Based Impact Head (a realistic hand-held striking target the same size and shape of a human head used to develop knockout punches and to strengthen the wrists for actual hand strikes in real conflict) for a few conflict drills they instantly knew that they had to introduce the product into their own school in Switzerland. I was the first self-defense instructor in the United States to integrate the Reality-Based Impact Head into a self-defense system, and the first one to introduce it into Europe. Since then military and police units all over the world have been purchasing the product, and in the past two years sales have picked up to the civilian market. Originally it was designed for the civilian market by Ray Long, but all the systems in the early days rejected, except mine, it "because it was too hard." When Ray first contacted me years ago I knew instantly, just from the .jpg image he sent me, that this would revolutionize the way people learn how to do hand and elbow strikes. When I eagerly opened the box Ray had sent me there was no doubt that Ray was on to something good. When I started testing it, I thought, "Too hard. It was less hard than a real human head! What did the traditional-based instructors want that he sent it to for evaluation?" Ray had come up with the perfect materials to compromise between a real human head’s boney hardness and something you can strike without breaking your knuckles, wrists, or hands. In the very first seminar I had my students try it, in a Defensive Tactics course I taught in Malmo, Sweden, my students fell in love with it, and it has been a valuable tool for the RBPP system ever since.
However, the Wu Lin Academy was not the only martial arts school attending my courses that purchased some Reality-Based Impact Heads with a desire to replace the outdated leather or nylon focus gloves (which are round, flat, soft, unrealistic, and gives the striker a false sensation), but Jorg Kuschel and a few of his top instructors as well. Jorg runs a very successful self-defense school in Germany called Kenju-ryu. Like the Kohns of the Wu Lin Academy in Switzerland, Jorg and his people are not afraid to incorporate my techniques and training methods into their current curriculum. Like Fredy and Sandy, they see the expanding market for Reality-Based. It's a system that uses time honored, and the most up-to-date, street and battlefield tested conflict techniques and training methods, and yet probably the easiest martial arts system to learn on the planet.
I've been in the martial arts now for 36 years and have studied almost every major martial arts system or have been exposed to it in some way or form. In addition, I've been training in military, corrections, and police systems for 34 years including: SWAT, bodyguard work, counterterrorism, and being hired by some of the most elite units in the world. I'm not stating this to pat myself on the back, but to say that I've seen all the trends in the martial arts come and go, and I see what the professionals, those who actually fight for a living, consistently stick to or return to. It's nice that after writing for some of the top martial arts magazines for the past 13 years, and putting out my information out on videos, DVDs, and YouTube that traditional-based schools are finally "seeing the light," and realizing that the Reality-Based movement is not a "threat," but also their road to success as well; not to mention possibly saving the lives of their students by giving them what they need to survive today’s modern criminal and terrorist violence, and even the proverbial "bar fight." I even enjoy the fact that many of my Reality-Based Personal Protection students are trying to take the system to greater depths like Alex Haddox who wrote the book Practical Home Security: A Guide to Safer Urban Living, and which I did a book review on, or even as recently as Mike Remig who is using the RBPP system to keep photographers and fashion models safe in troubled, but beautiful, places around the world.
Also earning their Knife Camp Instructor certificates were Dimitrios Raptis (another Greek, but lives and works in Germany) and Thomas “T” Weidenmuller. Both work for the same security company called SAFE: Sicherheits Service GmbH (http://www.safegmbh.de) Dimitrios is the owner of the company and “T” is one of his top agents. SAFE is one of several security companies throughout Germany that officially send their agents to me to be trained in a variety of personal protection courses.
In between courses in Germany I also worked on a few new You Tube video projects. I probably have around 20 videos in the queue waiting for editing, and I hope to have several out by the summer. The videos are getting a lot of good feedback, and most of the people who show up in my courses have seen at least a few or more. In fact, some people are coming to the system simply because of my You Tube videos; especially beginners. They see how easy I explain self-defense techniques on the videos and know that it will be the same in the classroom, only better, because they get hands-on supervised training.
Be A Hard Target.
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