April was a really busy month. A big chunk of it was working for the military. The first weekend of the month I attended the U.S. Army’s Wheeled Vehicle Operator course. This is the prerequisite for a soldier to drive any vehicle in the Army’s inventory. I took it so that I would be qualified to drove the M1165A1 Armored Expanded Capacity Utility Truck; basically a HUMVEE on steroids (the actual spelling is HMMWV). Four other soldiers from my unit were in the course with me.
Some of the things that I learned in this course are now going into the Jim Wagner Reality-Based Personal Protection system; techniques that every RBPP student or instructor should know. One of the techniques I let my Facebook friends know about was Rollover Prevention & Survival. This is what I wrote:
ROLLOVER! ROLLOVER! ROLLOVER!
By Jim Wagner
One of the reasons I enjoy being in the military is that I learn a lot of things; things that I can teach in my Reality-Based Personal Protection system. One of those things is what to do if your vehicle is about to roll over as you are driving, which can be fatal if you don’t know what to do. I’ve been in a rollover once while I was off-roading recreationally. It was a frightening experience. So, what do you do if it is about to happen to you? Maybe you’re a bodyguard trying to evade a chase vehicle or you were just ambushed and you need to drive out of the Kill Zone.
Rollovers usually occur when the driver is going around a corner to fast or due to abrupt steering. It can also happen you are driving on a slope of 22 degrees or more.
If you are the driving and you feel that the car’s Center of Gravity (CG) is shifting, and you have passengers in the car with you, it is your responsibility to yell out loud three times, “ROLLOVER! ROLLOVER! ROLLOVER! Obviously, if you only have the chance to get one “ROLLOVER!” out of your mouth, it is better than nothing for you passengers.
Before the rollover you need to be wearing your seatbelt or your chances of survival are greatly diminished. Seatbelts keep you from being ejected from the vehicle, which is the number one cause of death in a rollover. You’re not going to worry about the seatbelt malfunctioning and you being trapped in your seat because you should always have a knife on your or your “rescue tool.” Even passenger aircraft in the United States are starting to allow small knives back onto planes, which could be used to cut your seatbelt after a crash, which could also be in the form of a rollover.
The next thing you need to do is let go of the steering wheel and brace your hands straight up against the ceiling of the vehicle, or if that is not possible then one hand against a vehicle pillar (the metal frame that holds the roof of the car) and something solid in the interior. The problem with holding onto the steering wheel once the wheels lift off of the ground is that you will not be able to control the steering anyway, and your arms could end up twisting and breaking as the vehicle starts colliding with the ground, especially if the vehicle is equipped with air bags and your arms are in the way of deployment. Once when I was chasing a murder suspect on the freeway I collided with the suspect’s car when he crashed into the guardrail. I had no choice but to hit him; it was either driving into the suspect’s car, the police car in front of me driving by Officer Coute, or a huge concrete pillar holding up a bridge. The bad guy left me no choice in that split second. When I collided with the suspect’s car the airbag deployed and it felt like getting hit in the face with a baseball bat. The amount of force was tremendous. The airbag saved my life, along with having my seatbelt on, and I was glad I did not have an arm in front of my face at the moment of impact. It was also because of this accident that I always drive now with my hands in the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock positions, as opposed to the my old driver training before airbags where they recommended the 2 o’clock and 10 o’clock positions.
By bracing your arms against the ceiling or solid structures around you it helps to prevent your head being too loose and snapped. Your head becomes like a ball on a chain as the car rolls. Bracing tightens the muscles in the neck, shoulders, and back and perhaps your head will hit your deltoid muscle or bicep instead of the side window or support pillar when your body is violently jolted from side to side as the car rolls. Another technique you need to do the moment you go into a bracing position is to drop your chin down to your chest. This will help to immobilize the head. Again, you don’t want the “ball on a chain” whipping motion.
If by chance you are going to rollover anywhere near a body of water you need to yell out, “Water! Water! Water!” Yes, you’ve guessed it by now. Any threat of danger soldiers are taught to yell it out three times, like with a chemical agent approaching, “Gas! Gas! Gas!”
Of course, reading this article alone is not sufficient. You need to actually get into a vehicle and practice yelling out, “Rollover! Rollover! Rollover!” and then immediately going into a bracing position. Just this last weekend I taught my 10-year-old nephew Gary and my 9-year-old niece Manique this Rollover Survival technique while my brother-in-law was driving. We did it a couple of times while going to our location, and the children loved it. It’s a lot better use of their time than having them self-absorbed in a portable computer video game with their thumbs working like mad. Since I was not in my own vehicle, but in my brother-in-law’s vehicle, and not in the military HUMVEE or my own vehicle I trained in, it felt a little different, but I quickly fount the best bracing support position. The practice was just as valuable for me as it was the children.
In the Jim Wagner Reality-Based Personal Protection system we have many techniques that cover vehicle situations, and Rollover Survival is the latest addition so we can Be A Hard Target.
On April 13th I was called out of formation by my Commanding Officer. The colonel read the orders out loud to the four platoons. I was promoted from the rank of Staff Sergeant to Sergeant First Class; a senior non-commissioned officer position. Of course, with the new rank comes more responsibilities, but they are duties that I want to do. As a Reserve soldier it is an honor serving the State of California and the United States of America.
The rest of April was attending job related courses and security work. I also did a lot of preparation for Reality-Based Personal Protection courses coming up in May in France, Belgium, and Germany, but I’ll fill you in on that in the next newsletter that I will post.; some of it “breaking new ground.”
OVER HALF A MILLION VIEWS ON YOU TUBE
A couple years ago Nicolas Marucci, my RBPP Director of Belgium, suggested that I put some RBPP techniques and training methods up on YouTube. I took his suggestion and this April passed the half million mark in views of my videos on my YouTube channel jimwagnerrbpp. I currently have 80 views up on the channel.
I get a lot of people writing me, or telling me in person in my seminars, that they have learned a lot of good techniques from watching my videos. As a result I have 2,500 subscribers to my channel, all of whom I consider part of the Reality-Based Personal Protection family. If people are learning these life-saving techniques through my videos, then they are definitely a part of the system.
REALITY-BASED INSTRUCTOR OF THE MONTH DAVID PERRINGTON
When a solider, police officer, bodyguard, or other professional comes to me for Reality-Based Personal Protection is obvious that they want the skills that will get them home each night after the end of their shift. Many people’s lives literally depend upon what I teach them. However, when someone who does not have a high risk job comes to me I’m just hoping that they stick with their self-defense training should they ever be attacked by a criminal or terrorist; or minimum, to have situational awareness after they leave me. It’s not often that I have a civilian student decide to go into a profession where their martial arts skills are needed on a regular basis, but that is exactly what David Perrington did. He became a corrections officer working with prisoners.
The next article is from David Perrington himself, and how various Reality-Based Personal Protection courses helped him in his corrections officer job.
REALITY-BASED A MUST FOR CORRECTIONS & LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS
Anyone interested in pursuing a career in corrections or law enforcement would do well to train in Reality-Based Personal Protection first. It will give you a distinct advantage over other students in you class. Although all the Reality-Based courses were beneficial the following is a condensed breakdown of how Jim Wagner’s training helped prepare me for a job in corrections.
Defensive Tactics – This course contained the most used material of all my 15 courses (I am Level 3 certified) I have taken with Jim. All of the arm and leg strikes taught at the Academy were the same ones taught in the Defensive Tactics course. The chokes and holds portion of Jim’s classes were invaluable to me in the academy. Because of my experience, I was used by my instructors to help demonstrate choke defense. Students were allowed to try and choke me while the instructor watched and I am happy to say I successfully defended all choke attacks from my class. Weaker subject submission strikes are a valuable tool to have in a correctional facility where all use of force incidents are reviewed as well as a solid understanding of the use of force ladder. Another technique I personally used was the kinetic sensation response. An officer and I were escorting a prisoner to the cell and we both had a hand on him. I sensed the inmates body tense before he turned to attack us but because of my training I was able to intercept his attack and the officer and I were able to take the subject to the ground and no one was injured.
Ground Survival – The groundis the last place you want to be especially with 200 inmates walking around. Learning take down defense is a must for anyone, whether you are in law enforcement or a civilian in a self- defense situation. If you are taken to the ground learning how to fight from there could save your life. Jim’s Ground Survival is not Jiu-Jitsu but a military/paramilitary set of techniques intended to keep you alive.
Knife Survival – Knife survival training is an essential course for anyone in corrections. Your greatest threat in prison is from an edged weapon. Knowing how these weapons are made, carried and deployed gave me a mental and physical edge most rookie officers did not have. My practice of knife defense also provided me an understanding of just how fast and lethal an attack could be.
Crime Survival – An often-used attack on the correctional officers was to have a mixture of feces and urine thrown on them. Knowing the chemical attack defense would have been useful if this had happen to me. Multiple attacker survival is another group of techniques extremely useful to people in corrections.
Conflict Conditioning – Despite having been one of the oldest cadets in the class, I was awarded the trophy for “Number One (1) Overall Fitness”. Having your body in conflict ready shape is imperative to your safety and well-being. If you know all the defensive tactics in the word but cannot execute them because you are winded, you will lose the fight and perhaps your life.
Scenario Training – I use scenario training in the classes I teach and by preparing yourself mentally by picking up on pre-conflict cues you can often deescalate a situation before it turns into an altercation. You must be conditioned to the speed and violence of a real encounter as well as the compressed time aspects of you defenses. The closer you can replicate a situation, the more prepared you will be if you must defend yourself. Training in a sterile environment does not have the same sensory input as a Reality-Based facility
Improvised Weapons – We perform cell searches often and the ingenuity of the inmates was impressive. Any material that could be sharpened was used for shanks. I have found pieces of the yard fence, chunks of wood and even a broken piece of a plastic crate sharpened and used as weapons.
David Perrington is a Level III certified Reality-Based Personal Protection instructor based in Orlando, Florida with occasional trips to Atlanta, GA. He is available for training in Reality-Based self-defense, fitness, weapons and urban and wilderness survival. He can be reached at 770-789-9722 or email@example.com.
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