On May 26 and 27 I tried something new – Knife Camp. This was a two-day seminar that went beyond my one-day Knife Survival course which I normally teach. It was basically a trial run for some seminars that I will be doing for the world famous knife manufacturer – Boker based out of Germany, but with offices in the United States and Argentina.
The first day of the course is essentially the curriculum of the Knife Survival course. It is the second day which is the difference. On this day I cover a lot of conflict drills I don’t have time to cover on day one such as The Leap Frog Drill, Walking the Guantlet, more double knife drills, Low Overhang Drill, and more.
Something you don’t get in most knife courses is the chance to throw knives. For added knowledge I also included Japanese throwing stars (shurinken in Japanese). Since my facility is very stark, and nothing can be damage, I set up a large wooden plank and we let the knives and stars sail across the room at various distances.
Unlike day one I also had the chance to go over where to conceal a knife, various carry systems, and knife types for various uses: civilian, bodyguards, police and military.
The course was an excellent chance for me to test the new curriculum, and in 2008 it will be officially launched. Not only will it be a two day course offering additional training methods and information, the second half of the second day will be devoted to certifying instructors who wish only to teach knife conflict and not the rest of the Reality-Based system. Those not wishing to become instructor certified will not have to sign up for the second day if they do not wish to.
Conflict on a passenger aircraft Jim Wagner
I am currently working on a book for Budo International that will be printed in several languages. This book will be about aviation security, and I am contributing one chapter of this book. It was publisher Alfredo Tucci who called me up a week ago asking me if I was willing to work on the project. There are several martial arts experts authoring this book, each getting a chapter of their own.
I often write for Budo International, printed in Europe, not only articles, but I have a book already out by them called Defensive Tactics for Professionals and Civilians, which is available on my online store. I also have 11 DVDs out on the market with Budo, and will be offering them on my online store soon. I have had titles out since 2000, but have sold them mostly to my European customers.
The following paragraphs are a taste of what will be in my chapter:
The days of a terrorist cell taking over a passenger aircraft in flight is highly unlikely. It could happen, but the terrorist will not be successful in the sense that they could turn it into a missile like they did on September 11, 2001 flying two aircraft into the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon building in Washington, D.C. If you remember your history Flight 93 was also taken over by an al-Qaeda cell. Many passengers had contacted their family members when they were skyjacked and were informed about the fate of the other skyjacked aircraft. They decided not to go along with the terrorists’ plans and tried to take the aircraft back. In attempting to do so the terrorist pilot decided to dive the aircraft into the ground at Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Although they all died in the attempt those who fought back were considered national heroes because they prevented the plane from ending up in the White House or the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.
When I was a United States Federal Air Marshal we had reports of five different aircraft over a period of two weeks where a single Arabic man on each flight jumped up while the aircraft was climbing after takeoff and ran towards the cockpit. Each man upon reaching the door of the cockpit immediately got down on his knees and prayed to Allah. Although no laws were broken the result of such action was predictable – each man was beaten up and held down until they landed.
I believe that al-Qaeda had recruited some volunteers who had no criminal records, and had them test the system to see how security elements would react. What they discovered was that the passengers themselves were willing to defend the aircraft. So, after these men were regrettably released from custody they probably went back to their al-Qaeda bosses, with their fat lips and black eyes, and told them that it was not a good idea.
For terrorism in mid flight you are probably looking at a bombing just after takeoff or just before landing while the aircraft is over a major city, that, or a chemical attack.
What I believe to be a more likely scenario is a terrorist takeover of an aircraft while it is still on the ground during the boarding process. It will probably go down something like this. There will be a couple of “mechanics” or “food catering employees” who will enter the aircraft. They, of course, will be wearing imitation or stolen uniforms and bring out the guns. They may even hand a few weapons to some “passengers” who were boarding. Within moments their will be shouting and perhaps some shooting. They will attempt to take control of the aircraft within 60 seconds. For 15 to 30 seconds there will be chaos and panic. It is precisely at this time you must act. If not, you will be at their mercy.
1. Select a seat with the best Position of Advantage (POA). The best place to sit in an aircraft takeover is in an aisle seat in the very back. Upon hearing or seeing the commotion up front you will have more reaction time.
2. Make sure your seat belt is off until just before take off. My general rule is when the flight attendants have their seat belts on I have mine on. Of course, in order for them not to bother me and ask me to fasten my seat belt when the seat belt warning sign is on I just undo my belt and overlap it so that it looks fasten when they pass by. In a conflict you do not want to take time unfastening your seat belt.
3. Run to the rear exit and open the emergency door. Familiarize yourself with the emergency procedure card in the seat pocket in front of you. Know how to open all emergency exits and rehearse it in your mind. Remember that the escape slide will not be activated at the time of your escape. The doors are “armed” only when the main cabin door is closed and the aircraft is ready for departure. After the main cabin door is closed this is an unlike time for a ground takeover.
4. Jump from the door. In most passenger aircraft the drop to the tarmac is a long way down depending on the type of aircraft. What I teach my students in my Reality-Based Personal Protection Ground Survival is to quickly lay your chest down on the floor, slide your lower body out of the plane until your legs are dangling, slide yourself out of the door until you are hanging by your finger tips, let go and when you hit the ground do a Parachute Landing Fall (PLF) to avoid any serious injuries.
5. Run underneath the aircraft. A terrorist is unlikely to jump out after you, but if you expose yourself you will probably be shot at. The terrorist will not be able to see you under the aircraft’s belly.
The downfall to this escape method is that it will probably not happen if you are traveling with others, unless they are all experts in Reality-Based. You would have to grab onto whoever was next to you and drag them out with you, which can be done, but means extra lost seconds.
Copyright Jim Wagner 2003 - 2021 All rights reserved.