On May 30th a 15 minute program will air on German, Swiss, and Austrian television. The subject is my Reality-Based Personal Protection Women’s Survival course. It will then be aired a few more times after that according to producer Norma Twarz. It can potentially reach millions of people.
On Saturday, May 9th at 08:00 in the morning, I met with my female students at the Jim Reality-Based Personal Protection European Headquarters in Solingen, Germany. Among the women were two women from a security company, a 21 year old federal Police officer (Bundespolitzei – German Federal Police) from Wiesbaden, a self-defense instructor, a doctor, and women coming from all walks of life. Imbedded in the group was also reporter Alexandra Wenzel. Supporting her was a producer, a cameraman, and a sound technician. Helping me teach was Tobias Leckebusch, the Reality-Based Personal Protection Director of all German speaking countries.
We were really blessed to have good weather on the weekend, especially since I always take my students outside for urban survival drills first thing in the morning. Once outside I teach each woman how to walk confidently and how not to be a “soft target.” We then go through the parking lot and, like a criminal, look into people’s cars and determine which ones belong to a female and which do not. Once we peer inside we see how information we can glean from the contents inside or out: bumper stickers, license plate frames, stuffed animals, mail, identification tags, make-up, clothes, etc. I also teach my students how to properly walk to their vehicle and how to detect and avoid attack both outside and inside the vehicle.
After running through a few parking lot drills we then head out onto the streets of Solingen: a typical small German city. I teach the women to “pie corners” to avoid an ambush, what side of the street to walk on, how to choke points (surveillance term) points, how to know if they are being watched by criminal elements, what to do if they are being followed, and safe places to drive to if they are in their vehicles. Only a couple of times did the camera crew, or the producer, asked us to do an exercise over again so they could get a close-up shot. Due to security reasons we had a few of the women who could not reveal their faces or identities, so keeping those women out of each shot kept me on my toes.
Also helping me for the two days was Level 3 instructor Carsten Spiekermann. He not only helped with many of the scenarios, but he also took professional photos with his camera from time to time. He also had his wife, Marlies, go through the course. He tried to get her to go last year but she refused. This year she finally agreed. At the end of the course she told the entire class at our debriefing, “This course has changed my life. It has given me more confidence and has opened my eyes to the dangers out there.” I definitely saw the transformation in her, and that is one reason why I continue to offer Women’s Survival.
My female assistant instructor was Level 2 instructor Manuela Schebera and her boyfriend Georg Manz who played the role of attacker. Every time I teach my Womens Survival course these two instructors are there to assist. They also showed me their latest invention for sniper rifles – a floating angle indicator that has just been purchased by a European army. Georg is an inventor and has come up with some ingenious ideas related to snipercraft.
I was especially impressed by the 21 year old female police officer in the course. For such a young officer she was one of the best fighters I had ever had. Even if she were in one of my all male seminars she would rank up there. When I was doing knife attacks in a corner, and I had her pinned in, she pushed the knife away with one fast swoop and slugged me right in the eye followed up by a good kicked, and then fled as previously instructed to do so. I had a nice little cut under my right eye after that exercise. During the break I took her into our second training room with Manuela, away from the others who were civilians, and I showed her some gun retention techniques to make her safer on the streets in her police job. I have been in law enforcement for twenty years now, and I am currently serving as a Military Police officer in California. To my shock, in her one and a half years as a German police officer she has received no gun retention training nor knife survival training. Her father, a well-know police officer in Frankfurt, took my Knife Camp course last year and told her daughter that she needed to be trained by me.
All the women who had signed up graduated the two-day course. None of them quit, and they hung in there even though the course is both physically and mentally exhausting. Norma was especially happy with the results of the filming and believes the show will be a huge success.
A tough German group Jim Wagner
Once again I was at my European Headquarters in Solingen, Germany teaching my Level 1 courses (Defensive Tactics, Ground Survival, Knife Survival, Crime Survival, and Terrorism Survival). The five courses were from May 11 to May 15. Those graduating and receiving their Level 1 instructor certification from me were: Lorenz Bigler (Switzerland), Simon Jeker (Switzerland), Andreas Hartmann, Steve Hansche, Timo Cazor, Frank Marciniak, and Sven Kiensesberger (Austria). Carsten Spiekermann, Oliver Sell and Dennis Traband came in for a refresher.