Why the “big boys” are coming to Reality-Based Jim Wagner
Why is the German Federal Police (Bundespolitzei), the German Military Police (Bundeswehr), state and city police departments across Germany, and private security companies sending their personnel and instructors to civilian Reality-Based Personal Protection courses? The answer is simple – the system is the most practical and most “reality-based” on the market, and has been for the last seven years.
I taught my final European courses of 2009 at the Jim Wagner Reality-Based Personal Protection Headquarters in Solingen, Germany. First was Level 1 (to be renamed Lessons 1 to 5 in 2010) from November 16 to 20, and then my Knife Camp on the following weekend held on November 21 and 22. Both seminars were a huge success in many ways.
Before teaching people how to survive today’s crime and terrorism I participated in a new “sport” that I had never known about up until Sunday, November 15th, and that sport is called Geocaching (“caching” from the French word cacher – to hide). Created by Garmin, makers of Global Positioning System units, this sport is like a combination of an Easter egg hunt and military land navigation. Small containers are hidden all over the world, even under water containers for SCUBA divers, and the GPS coordinates are given on their official website. If a container is found you sign a small log book that is always inside to prove that you were there and you can take the small gift that is inside, but you must leave something in its place. It was Reality-Based instructor Joachim Roux and his wife who took me to Gerolstein (an hour south of Cologne) to hunt for three locations. Joachim and his family had already completed 100 hunts before taking me. Gerolstein is where the famous mineral water Gerolsteiner Sprudel comes from and is bottled. Often at parties I see a bottle of Gerolsteiner Sprudel sitting on the table. Our first caching location was at the Geopark in Gerolsteiner Land. The container was under the metal handrail near a foot bridge. This was in the middle of a park where a fountain spews forth fresh mineral water right from an underground spring or “sprudel.” The name of this particular spring was the Mineral wasser der stadtischen Helenenquelle. All of us drank from it. It had the unique taste just like the bottled stuff. I even filled up a plastic bottle to take home with me like many locals do. It’s a town that gets free water, that’s for sure.
The second Geocaching location was the ruins of the Burg-Gerhardstein castle in the medieval town of Lowenburg just above the city of Geostein up on the mountain. Then, the third location was on the opposite side of the valley on the other mountain between the cracks of a huge rock. Getting there was quite a hike up a mountain trail. After our all day adventure Joachim and his wife took me to dinner in Cologne.
Level 1 was Defensive Tactics on Monday, followed by Ground Survival, then Knife Survival, Crime Survival and ending on Friday with Terrorism Survival. Those who earned their instructor certificates were:Axel Bohner (a doorman), Stefan Braito (from Italy), Christian Frobel, Nadine Kahlin (the first certified Reality-Based Personal Protection female instructor of Switzerland), Thorsten Kinkel, Guido Knumann, Peter Kolmann (a Paul Vunak instructor), Roland Liedtke, and Kai Martini. Recertification was awarded to Jochen Burlafinger, Bernd Israng, and Joachim Roux. Assisting me was Gerd Dorfelt, a true warrior and someone always sharing with me new techniques and products, and my German Reality-Based Director Tobias Leckebusch. Professional doorman Axel Bohner said, “Jim, this is the best training in my life. I can’t wait to do Level Two.” Axel was the only one to survive his fight in Crime Survival against multiple attackers.
One of Germany’s most respected military magazines, Kommando, decided to do a story on me, my courses, and my Jim Wagner Reality Based Blade series. For two days Soere Suenkler, the owner and publisher of Kommando, sat in on my classes watching me teach and taking pictures while one of his contributing writers actually participated in Knife Survival and Terrorism Survival to write about his first hand experiences. The writer is also a police officer with lots of tactical experience. He said to me, “Your Knife Survival course was incredible. I have never seen anything like it before.”
Kommando magazine is only two years old, but in that short time they have become the trade “magazine to read” for most tactical operators in German speaking countries. They even have an English language section in the back of the magazine. A few issues ago they featured my Jim Wagner Reality Based Rescue Blade, but the new issue that will be coming out with me in it is sure to draw more professionals to the system, as well as introducing my Boker products to new police and military units are not familiar with them.
Knife Camp was filled to capacity with a lot of high speed professionals attending. As such, extra help was needed and Reality-Based Personal Protection Director of France, Julien Nodier, and my Coordinator of Belgium, Nicolas Marucci, came to Solingen to assist me. My Dutch Coordinator, Harry Gorter, had made plans also to come out to help but he came down with a fever from the flu and had to cancel at the last minute. In fact, a few students who were signed up for both seminars got sick and could not come. Fortunately none of it was the H1N1 virus.
Also assisting was German instructors Georg Manz and Manuela Schebera. On Friday, the 20th, they took me out to dinner in the old part of Solingen at the Gräfrather Klosterbräu. It was a pleasant evening and great traditional German food.
The Bundespolizei (German Federal Police) of the Bundespolizeischule (Federal Police Academy) sent a defensive tactics and tactics instructor along with an instructor from a new elite unit formed in January called the Schutz in Kriesengebielen (SIK), which in English is the German Federal Police Close Protection Team. This new unit is responsible for protecting German embassies, consulates, diplomats, and other federal assets in conflict zones. Also sending instructors was the world known Brinks security company. They wanted two of their Diplomatic Security Germany unit, who provide security at the American Embassy in Berlin, trained by me personally. Another defensive tactics instructor of the Munich Police of the Einsatzhundertschaft (Riot Squad) came for the same reason. Two instructors from the Institut Für Sicherheit Paderborn (ISP) took Knife Camp in order to take back the information to their company. Of course there were several martial arts instructors from Krav Maga, Ju-Jitsu, Karate and Wing Tsun who want to start offering Reality-Based.
I only had one female in my Knife Camp. She was a medical doctor and she proved quite informative when we were doing hands-on training for stab wounds and shock prevention. She echoed exactly what I was teaching, and confirmed my information. The doctor also turned out to be quite a fighter; very tough and dedicated to the life saving techniques I taught her. She had heard about my course from a friend of hers who took it earlier in the year.
During the week I also met with Boker president Carsten Felix who approved my final designs for a new small fixed blade and a tactical pen. When these two projects are manufactured they will join the Jim Wagner Reality-Based Blade series, which had become quite extensive and meets the needs for many people. They will be released around springtime of 2010.
Director Tobias Leckebusch and I have selected all of the seminar dates for 2010, and here they are:
March 20 and 21 Knife Camp
March 22 to 26 Lessons 1 to 5
May 15 Kubotan & Tactical Pen
May 16 Children’s Survival: A course for parents and teachers
September 18 and 19 Knife Camp
September 20 to 24 Lessons 1 to 5
November 13 and 14 Women’s Survival
November 15 to 19 To be announced. Tactical courses
Steve Vu is now a true “martial” artist Jim Wagner
Steve Vu is now Private First Class Vu with the California State Military Reserve. He has joined my Military Police unit in Southern California and participated in fire team training with us on November 7th.
I first met Steve four years ago when he came to work for me when I was running a private executive protection team. He served under me for three years as an Assistant Team Leader, and today is a Team Leader with the same team. He also worked on a few Reality-Based Personal Protection DVDs with me in the recent past.
Steve had never served in the military before and told me that he always regretted that he had not. I told him about my Reserve unit and he decided to apply. After a few months Governor Arnold Swartzenegger finally approved his orders and he was sworn in as an American soldier in September.
Steve and I had our first opportunity to work together attending a fire team movement course (combat operations training) together. He was in my squad.
Now Steve Vu is a true martial, “war,” artist. HOOAH!
Copyright Jim Wagner 2003 - 2021 All rights reserved.