On March 2, 2009 I started my Level 1 Reality-Based Personal Protection seminar with my Defensive Tactics course at my European Headquarters in Solingen (also known as the knife city), Gemany.
What made this particular seminar interesting was that half of my students were law enforcement officers, military personnel, or security agents even though it was my civilian targeted courses. Attending were military police officers from the German army, riot police officers from the Bochum Police Department (2. BPH Bochum), a Federal police officer from Berlin who is a Defensive Tactics instructor, and agents from various security companies.
On Thursday I met with television reporter Norma Twarz to go over the final details of the taping of my Women’s Survival course coming up in May in Solingen. She contacted last time I was in Germany and interviewed me. This documentary will be great exposure for the Reality-Based Personal Protection system in the German speaking countries.
On Friday, after the last course of the week titled Terrorism Survival, I certified 10 men as Level 1 Reality-Based Personal Protection instructors: Asip Murtezi, Samir Doubali, Oliver Sell, Dennis Traband, Anthony Nguyen, Philipp Kurz, Marco Hoffman, Roland Flaccus and recertifing Jens Worner and Peter Schmidt.
Asip Murtezi has the honored position of being the first person from the country of Macedonia to be instructor certified in the Jim Wagner Reality-Based Personal Protection system. Currently he owns and operates his own security company that does work out of Eastern Europe. Asip has the desire to bring the RBPP system to this region of the world. He speaks fluently Albanian, Croatian, and German. After learning the RBPP system he told me that he has a new goal – learning English.
While I was in Solingen I decided to treat myself to a cultural diversion since I had already visited all of the museums and castles in my past several trips. I decided on Tuesday, March 3rd to attend the Theater und Konzerthaus Solingen, to listen to the city Quartet play Ludwig von Beethoven’s String Quartet G-Dur Nr. 2 op. 18 (Allegro, Andantino, Prestissimo and Allegro assai mosso). It was very pleasant and the four musicians were superb: Martin Haunhorst, Shino Nakai, Johanna Seffen, and Thomas Grote. I was the only non-German in the entire concert hall; talk about cultural emersion.
Joachim played the role of terrorist, along with another instructor, and simulated a few realistic attacks using an AK-47 air gun similar to the attacks in Mumbai, India and the recent attack in Pakistan. After the students experience a few attacks I then had students play the role of terrorists with Joachim in charge of helping them accomplish this. After all, to defend against opponents you must get into their minds. The famous ancient Chinese general Sun Tzu wrote in his book The Art of War, “Know your enemy.” I have my students “think like a terrorist” by doing what a terrorist would do. It helps them understand not only the enemy, but it teaches them about the dynamics of a massacre like the one that happened in Erfurt, Germany a few days after my course (see the following story). Of course, my background in anti-terrorism and counter-terrorism with the federal government qualifies me to teach this course and pass onto my students reliable accurate information.
Joachim made certain that the students playing the role of terrorists knew how to safely operate the air guns that fire a plastic 6mm projectile at 1 joule along with scenario safety procedures.
On a few occasions I had lunch with my students across the street from my training facility at the pizza parlor. Many of the subjects we were talking about we picked up again and discussed them on our free time.
This first seminar of the year for Germany was very successful, not just because of the quality of the people attending, but because the group bonded from day one.
On March 7 and 8, immediately following Level 1, I taught my two-day Knife Camp in Solingen, Germany. Day one is the same curriculum as Knife Survival. For those who are Level 1 instructor certified this course does not need to be taken again. Day two is a brand new curriculum: more knife conflict drills and exercises, double knife training, sword training, and knife throwing. After the new material is covered all students are taught how to teach Knife Survival.
To become a certified Knife Survival instructor I break the class up into groups. I then assign the group to teach certain parts of the curriculum. From that group I call up individuals to teach until I am satisfied that the person is teaching correctly. If someone does not speak English I have a native speaker and former instructor, listen and correct the future student.
Like Level 1 the course was a success. I had members of the Berlin Police Department SEK, the German army, agents from security companies and a lot of good civilians who just want to learn and pass on this knowledge to others.
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