On August 30, 2008 I had the privilege of providing close protection for Captain Amir Tsarfati (Israel Defense Force Reserve) at the Maranatha 3 Mideast Crisis Conference in Santa Ana, California. Captain Tsarfati gave an update on the current political and military situation in the Middle East from and Israeli perspective titled Israel’s Response. I was in charge of a 10-person team providing overall security for the event and protective services for Captain Tsarfati.
Captain Tsarfati was born and raised in and around Jerusalem, Israel. He was the Vice Governor of Jericho for a year and a half when the Israeli Army had governmental responsibilities of the West Bank. When the Israeli government had plans to hand over this area to the new Palestinian Authority Captain Tsarfati was on the negotiations team with the Palestinians. He was the man who actually handed over the city of Jericho to the Palestinian Authority when the deal was made final in 1994.
I met Captain Tsarfati in 2001 when I was in Israel. I had been invited by Major Avi Nardia to train the municipal police and border police defensive tactics instructors my Knife Survival system. In 2007 I provided security for Captain Tsarfati when he came over to the United States, and of course again this August.
Still going strong at 70 years old Jim Wagner
Mike DiGiovanni is the man who suggested that I apply for the Custody Officer position for the Costa Mesa Police Department 20 years ago. He was also one of my first “reality-based” students in 1987. Last week, on August 29th he celebrated his 70th birthday and he only wanted one gift from each of his friends, and that was for everyone to attend his Body Flow exercise class at Gold’s Gym in Huntington Beach, California. I accepted his invitation and went through his one hour course.
Mike at 70 still trains in the martial arts, yoga, and teaches various exercise courses. He is the example that I use most often of how one can stay in shape and still have the warrior mentality. Over 20 years later Mike still attends my courses and gleans information from others.
Attending Mike’s birthday course was also my former Area III patrol partner Dave Dye, also known as the “Samurai Cop.” Before and after the course we talked about old times and projects we are both working on.
Back in the 1990s Dave and I were police patrol partners in Area III of the city of Costa Mesa. He was the Defensive Tactics instructor for the police department during my entire service with the department, and he had me help him teach at the Citizen’s Police Academy.
Harvest Crusade 2008 Jim Wagner
On August 15 and 17 I assisted with the Harvest Crusade at Anaheim Stadium in Anaheim, California on the security team. We had approximately 50 security agents for this event that had a total attendance of 109,000 people. I worked two of the three days.
I was assigned to the first base dugout. This is the main entrance and exit for the guest speakers and musicians linking the building to the field. My job was to make sure that these people were protected while waiting for their turn to walk up on stage. Probably the most famous of the people that I protected was American country singer Randy Travis; recipient of multiple Grammy Awards and Dove Awards. Randy Travis has recorded more than a dozen studio albums to date, which includes his album Storms of Life on the Warner Bros. Records label selling more than three million copies making him the first country music act in history to achieve multi-platinum status. In 1997 Randy Travis switched his focus to gospel music. I also secured the area for Michael W. Smith, Crystal Lewis, Dennis Agajanian, and two up-and-coming bands Leeland and Katinas. I was then on the second layer of security for speaker Greg Laurie.
Endorsement for Jim Wagner
In the latest Black Belt magazine October 2008 issue popular martial arts instructor Richard Ryan endorses Jim Wagner and other “reality-based” instructors. Here is what he wrote in his article 10 Commandments of Reality Martial Arts:
The fastest way to develop proficiency at reality martial arts is to seek out people and systems that specialize in this form of training because they will help you adapt the skills to your body. Some of the best instructors I’ve encountered are Walt Lysak Jr., Tony Blauer, Kelly Worden, Mike Lee Kanarek, Jim Wagner, Lamar Davis, Paul Vunak, Kelly McCann and Avi Nardia.
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