Germany boasts 56 Reality-Based Instructors Jim Wagner
Germany takes the lead over the rest of the world in certified Reality-Based instructors. From November 12 to 16 I once again taught my Level 1 courses to a packed class. This seminar was not originally down on the books at the beginning of this year, but had to be added to the schedule recently as an overflow course to handle the large volume of German martial artists and professionals coming into the system. I taught these five courses (Defensive Tactics, Ground Survival, Knife Survival, Crime Survival, and Terrorism Survival), along with a Saturday Knife Survival course in Solingen, Germany just 30 minutes away from Dusseldorf or Cologne.
This was also the very first course where all modern safety protocols were followed. All participants were issued a large bag that each contained one hard shell helmet, a pair of elbow pads, a pair of knee pads, and wrap-around eye protection. In order for participants to engage in the activities of the courses all participants were required to wear their safety equipment at all times. This safety standard, originally pioneered by me and other police and military defensive tactics instructors over a decade ago, is standard operating procedure for professionals (police, corrections, probation, military), but rarely followed in the civilian martial arts world. I decided that it was time that Reality-Based Personal Protection not only adopt these training safety protocols, but that we would lead the way for the rest of the martial arts world.
While I was in Germany I continued my ongoing “war arts” research by going to the Wehrtechische Studiensammlung military museum in Koblenz 105 km south of Solingen. This museum was fantastic containing hundreds of firearms spanning German history. They had an amazing collection of Russian and Warsaw Pact weapons as well, such as the Mi-24 Hind attack helicopter, Cold War Mig fighter jets, and a couple Soviet tanks. The museum had a large display of military uniforms, Panzer tanks, and quite a few missiles. The WTS, as it is called, is owned and operated by the Federal Office of Defense Technology and Procurement and is actually a part of a Bundeswehr (German Army) military base. The entry fee was only 1.50 euro.
As I was heading to Koblenz the Federal Police had actually closed the highway just one exit up from the museum. They had evacuated 10,000 people from the area due to an unexploded World War II bomb found buried in the ground. It had been found that morning when a construction crew accidentally dug it up. The military EOD (Explosive Ordinance Disposal) was called in to disarm the bomb. Had the police blocked just one more exit I would not have been able to attend the WTS museum on Mayener Street.
Attending the Crime and Terrorism Survival courses was Detlef Ollesch, editor of Das Deutsche Waffen-Journal (The German Weapons Journal) who was there to do a story on the Reality-Based Personal Protection system based upon his own participation. The story is slated to come out in January or February of 2008.
Returning to observe some of the courses was one of my top German instructors Ulrich Rose. He is in the security business, and is also running an online shop called RB Reality-Based. On this site he sells some good tactical equipment, including the Jim Wagner Reality-Based Blade series. Also stopping by to see me and soak in some more course information was Manuel Schmidt, a Reality-Based Personal Protection instructor, who owns Swords & More out of the city of Hamburg.
Infantry magazine Jim Wagner
I received my two complimentary issues of Infantry magazine (July-August 2007 issue) when I got back from Germany. A little late, but at least I got my copies. This publication that is for the U.S. Army infantry and infantry-related units, published at Fort Benning, Georgia, has an article in it written by Major Leslie, a Ranger instructor with the U.S. Army, which contains the Jim Wagner Reality-Based Personal Protection Use-of-Force Ladder For Civilian Self-Defense.
A few months ago Major Leslie contacted me and asked for permission to use the graph. He is an avid reader of Black Belt magazine. Of course, I gave him permission to use it. The name of his article is Cultural Understanding: The Cornerstone of Success in a Counterinsurgency Environment. Although I cannot present the article, due to military sensitive information, he wrote, “Figure 3 is a civilian model designed by Jim Wagner, a world renowned law enforcement and military instructor. It is a good model and has applications that, although not designed for military use and are not cookie cutter solutions for Iraq, they could be a base line for Soldiers at the individual level.” Major Leslie included my website at the bottom of the graph, which was much appreciated.
In Memory of a Reality-Based student Jim Wagner
On Tuesday, November 13, 2007 Dutch Police Officer Tijs van Anker, 28 years-old, assigned to Schipol Airport, died of a massive heart attack in his bed.
Tijs had taken Knife Survival and Crime Survival with me, and was a motivated student. In fact, the day before he died he was training with his agency. The instructor that day noticed that he was looking a bit pale and asked him if he was alright. Tijs said that he wasn’t feeling very well. The instructor had him driven home.
The next morning his supervisor noticed that Tijs did not show up for his shift and called his house. Tijs answered the phone and told the supervisor he did not realize that he had overslept. He said that he would be into work in an hour. According to his girlfriend he hung up the phone, rolled over, and died. Tijs had no known health problems.
Tijs was a regular student of Mike Constantinides, Reality-Based Director of Holland, and those who trained with him were quite devastated. We of the Reality-Based Personal Protection organization offer up our prayers to the family member he left behind, and his co-workers at the airport.
Reality-Based instructor protects Hillary Clinton Jim Wagner
Recently Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton visited American troops in Iraq. Sergeant Joshua Womack of the U.S. Army, and long time Reality-Based Personal Protection instructor, was assigned to her protection detail.
Since his deployment to the Middle East over six months ago Sgt. Womack has earned the Kuwait Service Medal, the Iraqi Campaign Medal, and his Combat Action Badge. Prior to deployment to the Middle East he served one year in South Korea.
Sgt. Womack was one of my original students before the Reality-Based system was started, and he has appeared in a couple of my training DVDs. Sgt. Womack is scheduled to be home by Christmas.
Violence in Iraq drops Jim Wagner
Rear Admiral Gregory Smith has stated that attacks in Iraq have fallen 55 percent since approximately 30,000 U.S. reinforcements arrived in June. Iraqi civilian casualties are down by 60 percent across the country and down 75% in Baghdad.
Iran has also appeared to have halted the flow of arms across its border into Iraq. In addition, Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said on Saturday, November 17th that Tehran has helped to persuade the Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr to have his Mahdi militia to halt attacks.
For those coalition forces over there making a difference, especially those in the Reality-Based Personal Protection system, I say to you, “Good job, and come back home safe.”
Man is Conflict Jim Wagner
Before I had to teach my Level 1 courses in Germany on November 12th, I took off a couple of days to unwind in Brussels, Belgium. Just the week before my European trip I had been working for the State of California in combating the wild fires in Southern California officially known as Operation Fall Blaze 2007. One of my duties was to determine if any of the fires were terrorism related, which fortunately they were not.
Little did I know when I drove into Belgium from Holland that Belgium had been without a government for 150 days due to a deadlock about self-rule for Belgium’s Dutch- and French-speaking regions. The 4.5 million Francophones in Belgium believe that too much power has been handed over to the Dutch-Speaking Flanders.
Two days before I drove my rented car into Brussels the Flemish legislators voted to break up a bilingual Brussels area voting district, which made the situation worse. Each night on the television, while I was there, there were threats of the country splitting up. 50% of Holland supports the split according to one poll taken.
Fortunately for me there were not outward signs of instability on the streets. Hand I not been watching the news each night to brush up on my French I would have never known there was a problem. Life went on as normal.
What it did show me was that with man there will always be conflict. Ever since “The Fall” we have been at odds with each other. Conflict starts in the family, it creeps into friendships from time to time, and eventually works its way up to the government level. Of course, most conflict is resolved peaceably. Unfortunately, much conflict in the world turns violent. In Belgium the conflict is only words and a 25,000 person strong march on Sunday, November 18th. Yet in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, just to name a few, it is bombs and bullets.
There may be times of peace, but one must always be ready for conflict. When a family member or friend brings conflict you must do your best to calm the situation and find a acceptable solution. When that conflict comes by way of a criminal or a terrorist you must be prepared for physical conflict. The Reality-Based Personal Protection system is your insurance to increase your odds of survival.
United States may increase military role in Pakistan Jim Wagner
The U.S. Special Operations Command, headquartered in Tampa, Florida is proposing an expansion of U.S. military trainers in Pakistan to enlist tribal leaders in the frontier areas of Pakistan in the fight against Al Qaeda and the Taliban. The move will cost $350 million over several years, and the paramilitary force will be called the Frontier Corps consisting of approximately 85,000 troops.
Reality-Based in Holland Jim Wagner
On Sunday, November 18th I met with Reality-Based Personal Protection Director of Holland Mike Constantinides in Amsterdam to discuss next year’s courses we plan to offer there. Going over the 2008 over a hot plate of spare ribs we decided to offer Level 1 courses in Huizen (Amsterdam) from May 26 to 30 and a Defensive Tactics course for Bodyguards on May 31.
Although the Reality-Based Personal Protection system is steadily growing in the Netherlands the majority of Dutch citizens see no real need for self-defense training. Yet, violence is increasing in this country. While I was meeting with Mike a 72-year-old woman was stabbed in her home by a 12-year-old male burglar in The Hague on the Minstreetlstraat near Zuiderpark. The woman walked in on two youths who broke into her kitchen. One of the vicious boys picked up a kitchen knife and stabbed the woman and then fled the scene. Fortunately, the woman was not seriously injured.
The night before a 32-year-old woman was sexually assaulted in the Julialaantje street of Rijswijk. She was able to get away from the attacker because she fought back. Also that same evening a 39-year-old woman was the victim of a brutal robbery while she was walking along the Genestelaan in Laakkwartier. Two male youths on bicycles attacked her from behind. They knocked her to the ground and she struck her head on the pavement leading to her hospitalization. They had stolen her purse.
I found these three stories from just one small newspaper called The Hague Amsterdam Times. Just imagine if I had gathered all the reports for that weekend from all around the entire country. Although most Dutch citizens don’t think crime is a big problem in their country they paid 31 billion euro in taxes in 2006 to fight crime according to a study released by the Justice Ministry’s WODC Center on November 12th.
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