Black Belt magazine makes Reality-Based DVDs Jim Wagner
Robert Young, Chief Editor of Black Belt magazine (USA), phoned me before the beginning of the year and asked me if I would make another Jim Wagner Reality-Based Personal Protection DVDs series. He wanted to start off 2009 with my DVDs. Of course I agreed and we finally settled on the taping dates of February 16, 17, and 18. The result of three days of work was three different Reality-Based DVDs, still shots for the covers, and photographs to be used in upcoming articles.
CLICK HERE to see Black Belt magazine's write up on the taping, and you'll also be able to play a video that takes you behind the scenes.
The taping took place at Hustead Studio just west of Los Angeles. A couple of weeks before the scheduled taping I invited all of my worldwide directors and a few local instructors. Coming all the way from Sweden was Peter Falk, Reality-Based Director for all Nordic countries in Europe, Sarwan Boodram, Reality-Based Director of Trinidad and Tobago, and Mitra Castano, Reality-Based Director of Canada.
Frank Mayson flew in from Dallas, Texas to appear in all three DVDs. Frank and I go back to 1979, thirty years ago, when we were training partners. I introduced him to Dan Inosanto and Richard Bustillo where we eventually trained together at the Filipino Kali Academy in Torrance, California. Frank is now teaching my system.
Helping with my Conflict Conditioning DVD was Mike DiGiovanni. Mike started training with me in 1986, twenty three years ago, when I was first forming the Reality-Based Personal Protection system, although it was not called that at the time. Mike was also the one who encouraged me to become a corrections officer with the Costa Mesa Police Department in 1988. Mike is now 70 years old and he demonstrated several conflict exercises and drills just as good as an in shape 25 year old. He is an inspiration to me, and I also let him have a talking role in the DVD to encourage viewers to stick with their martial arts for tactical and health reasons.
Two weeks ago when I was doing HUMVEE driver training with the California Army National Guard down in San Diego I heard some yell across the huge room filled with about a hundred soldiers, “Jim!” I turned to look and it was one of my Reality-Based instructors Sergeant Josh Womack. He had just got back from a year in Iraq and I had not seen him since he got back. It just happened that he was doing his drill weekend the same time as I was.
After catching up on what had transpired since we had last seen each other I invited him to help me out with the DVD series. He agreed and participated in the first day of taping.
He also brought his wife Dustee Womack who works for the Italian sunglasses manufacturer Kaenon Polarized.
Kaenon is having me test their new Hard Core sunglasses designed for athletes, which comes with the SR-91 patented lenses. The fusion of the SR-91 lens material and their proprietary Glare 86 polarizing element create an uncompromising combination of crisp optical clarity, up to 99.9% glare reduction, ultra-light weight, strong impact-resistance, and superior scratch-resistance. The unique result is a polarized lens that delivers accurate depth-perception, true color representation, and enhanced detail definition. In my DVD series I use the Hard Core sunglasses when using air guns for eye protection. The air guns fire a 6mm plastic projectile to simulate firearms.
Also assisting me with various scenes in the DVDs were Alex Haddox, Steve Vu, Butch Pierson, Michael Summers, Armen Avakian, Mike Delio, Andre Bustamente, and Shaun Huggins.
The DVD series was directed by Raymond Horwitz of Black Belt magazine. The tentative titles of the DVDs are HOW TO BEAT VARIOUS FIGHTERS, MOST IMPORTANT SELF-DEFENSE LESSON OF YOUR LIFE, and CONFLICT CONDITIONING.
The first DVD gives helpful hints on how to beat various fighters: how to beat a grappler, how to beat a puncher, how to beat a kicker, and so forth. The second DVD is quite unique in the fact that it narrows down the most important elements for a physical conflict. For example, there are many punches that are taught in all kinds of self-defense systems but I give the one punch that everyone needs if you only had one choice. So, if I was allowed to show you only one punch, and one that would most likely save you in a real self-defense situation, then it would be the forward strike with the rear hand in a closed fist position; essentially, the “knock out” punch. I go through the list one the one kick you need, the one arm block you need, the one choke escape you need, etc. It was Robert Young who came up with this idea, and I just filled in the spaces with the Jim Wagner Reality-Based Personal Protection system.
The final DVD is Conflict Conditioning modeled after my 8 hour course by that same name. In this DVD I give the viewer exercises and drills that prepare a person mentally and physically for physical conflict. These are exercises and drills I have gathered from around the world and ones I have created myself.
After taping when cameraman Ryan said, “That’s a wrap!” I was quite satisfied with the three projects. Everybody had been enthusiastic and each day had a lot of energy in the air. Finishing up with still photography was Rick Hustead. Rick and I work very well together, and when it comes to dramatic action shots he is the best.
According to Black Belt magazine the three DVDs should be edited fairly quickly and all three DVDs will be out on the market by spring time. Once Black Belt finishes production I will offer these new DVDs on my online store.
Foreign Directors get firearms training Jim Wagner
Firearms training for civilians in many foreign countries are very restrictive, and basically confined to slow fire target practice in a forward lane. In order to make my directors better trained than most foreign self-defense instructors, which includes the use of firearms, I took two of my Directors, Peter Falk of the Nordic countries in Europe and Mitra Castano of Canada, up to the Burro Canyon Shooting Park in the Los Angeles Mountains to become familiar with various weapon systems. Since these two directors were in Los Angeles to help me with my Black Belt magazine DVD series I took advantage of their free day to give them some trigger time. Also training along side them were Frank Mayson and Steve Vu.
All four of my students practiced standard shooting positions and basic tactical movement on the .45 ACP pistol, the AK-47 assault rifle, the M4 and M16 assault rifle, and the Remington 700 sniper rifle. We also got a little “bonus training” when the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department SWAT team popped some green smoke in the bay next to us; they gave us warning before they did it, and we took advantage of it when they did. The smoke came over across our targets as well.
I also had a chance to zero in one of my new assault rifles at 25 meters, and then was shooting a tight group at 75 meters. It also was beneficial for me in order to keep my other shooting skills sharp.
Frank Mayson had to leave the range early to catch a flight back to Dallas, he had a chance to go through all of the weapon systems I had available. Steve, Mitra, Peter and I finished up the day at Burro Canyon Shooting Park and then dropped off Mitra at the Los Angeles International Airport so she could catch her flight back to Vancouver, Canada.
The next day, Friday, February 20th, Peter and I went to the Joint Forces Training Base, Los Alamitos and then to the Orange County Sheriff’s Tactical Training Center in the city of Orange. Since we were in the city of Orange I took Peter to the exact location where the Jim Wagner Reality-Based Personal Protection system was born, which is Hart Park. I taught private lessons in this park beginning in 1986, which would eventually become the system which the world knows today. Peter flew back to Sweden the next day on Saturday. To let me know he arrived safe he texted me, "The eagle has landed."
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