David, who played the role of a rapist, said to me the next day, “I liked the transition that I saw. At the beginning of the course most of the students were afraid and apprehensive, but by the end of it I could see the confidence in them. That’s what I think is the most important thing about your course, it builds confidence in women.”
David was talking about my Reality-Based Personal Protection Women’s Survival course I taught on the last weekend of the month of June.
My youngest student was 17-years-old, and the oldest was 83-years-old. Some were single, some were married, others were mothers, a few were businesswomen, while others were students. It was a good cross-section of women in Southern California.
In the course women learned situational awareness, hand-to-hand combat, Knife Survival, and Handgun Survival.
Not only did David volunteer to be a “bad guy,” which left him a little battered and bruised, and requiring a couple of ice packs after it was all over, but I had three additional male assistant instructor role players. Helping me teach was Mike, a police officer, and Laura. I always like to have at least one female assistant helping me with Women’s Survival in case a student “loses it,” because a technique or scenario brings back bad memories. Well, that’s exactly what happened when one student recounted an experience that happened to her. As she told her story the tears started welling up in her eyes, her voice started to crack, and Laura immediately started to comfort her.
By the end of the course the women had learned that avoiding a fight is a lot better than getting into one, that using a weapon is easier than going toe-to-toe with a criminal, and if there is no weapon in hand then hit and run tactics is the strategy.
I’ve been teaching women self-defense since 1986, which is 32 years. Although for many women it is a very difficult course, both physically and emotionally, I get a lot of satisfaction from those who graduate knowing that they are more aware of predators, and they’ll have a fighting chance if attacked. To give you an idea of just how intense this course is CLICK HERE to see one Women’s Survival course I taught in Solingen, Germany where a news crew filmed it. Although the video is all in German, the language of self-defense in universal.
Hired gun – instructor
On June 22, 2018 I started teaching a group of men who had formed a shooting club at the beginning of the year. They hired me to make them better marksmen and teach them firearms self-defense tactics.
I put together a custom shooting course where I teach them techniques and tactics that I learned as a soldier, a cop, SWAT officer, and counterterrorist for the United States government. At the end of the first lesson everyone came up to me and let me know that it was “money well spent.” I had helped all of them tighten up their groups, and had done things they never thought possible.
The following week, on June 29, 2018 was Lesson 2, and I continued to build upon the foundation.
Until the members of this shooting club feels they have been sufficiently training I will be training them twice a week each month.
Keeping tabs on the police
As a former police officer, and especially as a Reality-Based Personal Protection instructor, I like to stay current on the latest police equipment, training, and tactics. After all, I still have police departments and private security companies have me teach their personnel. Therefore, I was thrilled to go to the Tustin Police Department Open House on Saturday, June 16, 2018. For those of you outside of the United States an “open house” is when the public is invited into a residence, a company, or government facility. When it comes to an open house for a police department that means that the police have displays, give demonstrations of their capabilities, and give guided tours of the police station to the public. In the United States this is very common so that there is good relations between the public and the police.
I was very pleased with the Tustin Police Department Open House. The part most relevant part to me, aside from the displays, was the SWAT (Special Weapons And Tactics) demonstration, and the K9 demonstration.
Back in Black Belt magazine
It had been years since my monthly column HIGH RISK was cancelled in Black Belt magazine. Then, quite unexpectedly, the editor of the world’s oldest martial arts publication, Robert Young, requested that I write an article about surviving a riot. After all, there had been several riots across the country due to the controversy over Confederate statues across the South, and conservative speakers invited to liberal university campuses.
My article, titled RIOT DEFENSE, appeared in the April/May 2018 of Black Belt magazine, and yes the magazine is only printed 6 times a year. Now that we are in the month of July, and this issue has been off of the store shelves for over a month, I have the article here for you to read, provided you continue to read and support Black Belt magazine in order to keep the martial arts community relevant.
So, why did Robert Young pick me to write this article? After all, they have a pool of many contributors to the magazine. The reason is because I have been in a few riots (once as demonstrator and twice as a police officer). I have also taught riot tactics to many police departments and military police units in the United States and Europe. Oh, and I almost forgot. There was another time when I was close to getting ripped apart in Johannesburg, South African when a friend and I were forced to stop our vehicle for a demonstration. Fortunately for us, at the last second the car in front of us moved forward just enough for us to escape into an alley and get to a street going the opposite direction. So, naturally, I have first hand experience in riots, and from different perspectives.
Now, you may never go out of your way to go to a potentially volatile demonstration, or an outright riot, but like what happened to me Africa, and other similar incident in the West Bank (I’ll spare you the details), you could find yourself accidently in the middle of one; being “at the wrong place at the wrong time,” and it would be good to know how to survive.