Terrorism Survival Instructor Package: Why you need it for yourself and your students
Jim Wagner has been teaching police and military units counterterrorism techniques, tactics, and training methods worldwide since 1991.
Beginning in 1999 Jim Wagner first warned the martial arts community, through his popular, yet controversial, monthly column titled HIGH RISK in Black Belt magazine, and then a year later through Budo magazine in Europe, that terrorism would increase in Western nations. His articles and videos caught the attention of elite police and military units worldwide, and they had him train them at their locations: the U.S. Marshals Special Operation Group, the FBI, German national counterterrorist team GSG9, Argentinean State Police Special Operations Group, Brazilian SWAT teams, U.S. Marines Special Enforcement Unit, U.S. Air Force Security Forces, the Finnish Police Academy, the U.S. Attorney’s Office Anti-Terrorism Task Force, the Israeli Police Academy, and more. Shortly after September 11, 2001 (the date that the terrorist group Al Qaeda attacked the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and dove Flight 93 into the ground), Jim Wagner was the Team Leader of the Dignitary Protection Unit for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department in California. One of his deputies on the team urged him to create a civilian version of his system, and go public with it. “After all,” this deputy said, “there were no law enforcement officers in those planes up there to protect the victims. Civilians need your knowledge to protect themselves.” Then on January 21, 2003 Jim Wagner started teaching civilian self-defense instructors his one-day Terrorism Survival course along with four other courses: Defensive Tactics, Ground Survival, Knife Survival, and Crime Survival.
What you’ll learn in the Terrorism Survival course
Hand grenade attack defense
Small arms attack dynamic and defense
Conflict zone categories
The use of cover & concealment
Attacks from the perspective of the victims and of the attackers
Public transportation survival
Personal Protection Equipment
Sniper attack defense
Urban and rural environments
Bomb threats and building searches
Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear (CBRN) defense
Vehicle ramming defense
What you’ll learn in the Terrorism Expert course
Suicide bomber defense
Letter & package bombs
Vehicle bomb search
Vehicle ambush defense
What you’ll learn in the Terrorism Responder course
First Responders actions upon arrive to a terrorism attack
What you’ll learn in the Terrorism Survival Instructor course
Not only will you learn even more information and techniques than what is in the three other courses, but you’ll learn the training methods behind those courses that will make you a professional instructor that will qualify you to teach others.
Jim Wagner’s Counterterrorism Background: Why he’s qualified to teach you
Like any combat soldier in the United States Army Private Jim Wagner became proficient in a variety of weapons, he learned combat tactics, and how to survive a Nuclear, Biological, or Chemical (NBC) attack on a battlefield while attending Basic Combat Training (BCT), also known as “Boot Camp,” at Fort Jackson, South Carolina in 1980.
After the army, and several years in the field of advertising and marketing, in addition to teaching self-defense part time, Jim Wagner changed career paths in 1989 at the suggestion of one of his students and he became a corrections officer for the Costa Mesa Police Department in Southern California with the duties of booking and supervising prisoners. This is where he first got to know the criminal mind. A year later his department’s Special Weapons And Tactics (S.W.A.T.) team tapped into Jim’s unique talent for organizing and running realistic tactical scenarios, and he became one of the trainers. The very first scenario he conducted for the team was a mock terrorist attack by a fictional terrorist group named the Balearic Liberation Army (BLA). Jim was far ahead of his time back then, for terrorism was not even on most police departments’ radar.
On June 21, 1991 Jim Wagner graduated from the police academy and became a police officer on the Costa Mesa Police Department, a city with a population of 100,000 people. From 1994 to 1997 he served on the S.W.A.T. team as the Command Post Operations Officer, which meant that he had to be crossed trained in Command & Control, Intelligence, Logistics, Entry Team and Scout/Sniper. He had to know everyone’s jobs in order to do his properly, and to accurately advise the S.W.A.T. commander during actual incidents: raids, hostage rescue, and barricaded suspects.
During this time in his police tactical career Jim Wagner, with four other police officers, formed the private training organization HSS International, Inc. that provided tactical training to corrections, probation, law enforcement and military personnel. Within a few years the company spread nationally, and then internationally. After a while the demand on Jim to train agencies and units became so great that he quit his full time law enforcement job at Costa Mesa Police Department in 1999 to teach full time, and in 2000 he became a Reserve deputy with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (a jurisdiction of 3 million people. Because of his extensive experience teaching bodyguard courses to many law enforcement agencies and military units his department pulled him from the Search & Rescue unit he had been assigned to, promoted him to the rank of sergeant, and then reassigned him as the Team Leader of the newly formed Dignitary Protection Unit. Meanwhile HSS International continued to grow, and many of his contracts included counterterrorist (CT) teams. Not only did Jim teach them the skills he had become known for, but also Jim in return learned their techniques and tactics. It was a two-way street.
Sergeant Jim Wagner appeared on the front cover of Fighter’s Magazine, a Czech Republic martial arts magazine, in the December-January 2001 issue. On this European cover he is shown in tactical gear fighting a black masked “terrorist,” which was eight months before the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Then after the deadly attacks on United States soil Jim was once again on the front cover of a leading self-defense magazine - Black Belt magazine; a readership of 70,000. Like the Czech magazine Jim appeared in full tactical gear in the January 2002 issue. This was the first time the magazine had ever displayed a firearm on the cover since it was founded in 1961. The headline read SELF-DEFENSE IN THE MODERN ERA. Black Belt magazine chief editor Robert Young acknowledged that Jim Wagner was the leader of this new era. Many in the martial arts community, including well-known instructors, criticized Wagner for exaggerating the threat of global terrorism, which most saw as a rare occurrence. That didn’t stop Jim from teaching his Terrorism Survival in more and more countries.
The federal government was recruiting anyone with Special Operations experience to help fight the Global War on Terrorism, and Jim Wagner stepped up to the plate, putting his training company on hold, and he was sent to counterterrorism school at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLTC) in Artesia, New Mexico. After obtaining a Top Secret clearance he did 120 missions for the United States Federal Air Marshal Service. One of the highlights of his career as a federal agent was arresting a suspected terrorist that had boarded a plane bound for Washington, D.C. Unknown to the authorities at the time the suspect was first detected by Jim, who after yanking him off of a passenger plane, discovered “nuclear information” in the Pakistani man’s briefcase, and then two hours later the man was whisked away by the FBI. Months later, when the aviation sector had been made a “hard target,” Jim Wagner went back to teaching full time with HSS International, Inc., but that was short lived. Much had changed during his half a year absence, and not for the better.
On January 21, 2003 Jim Wagner went solo and started his own training organization he named Reality-Based Personal Protection, which included his 8-hour Terrorism Survival course, and for the first time in over a decade, he started training civilians again. The majority of his students were martial arts instructors.
In 2005 Jim Wagner’s book Reality-Based Personal Protection, by Black Belt Books, was published with one entire chapter dedicated to Terrorism Survival; a first for any self-defense book. Following the book was the video series. It was made in the VHS format, and when technology changed a few years later they were converted into DVDs. Most martial arts instructors in America and Europe thought that the information, and Jim’s Terrorism Survival course, was interesting and good to know, but not very relevant to their own lives or to the lives of their students. However, it was a course they had to take in order to be Level 1 Reality-Based Personal Protection certified instructor in those days. Despite the martial arts community’s inability to see what lay ahead, Jim kept warning people that radical Islamic terrorism was going to increase, and that active shooters would be more and more common place (office massacres, school shootings, and indiscriminant shootings in public gatherings never seen before). He urged self-defense instructors that they had better start training their students for this coming reality. Some did, but most did not.
In 2006 Jim Wagner became a Reserve soldier serving in a Military Police unit. Besides providing physical security for his base, and being subject to deployment anywhere in the State of California for State emergencies, Sergeant Wagner had the additional duties as a Combatives instructor for his unit and a Terrorism Liaison Officer (TLO) for his battalion; credentials he obtained through the Joint Regional Intelligence Center of the greater Los Angeles area. After seven years as an MP in 2013 Staff Sergeant Wagner transferred into the Security Forces, which was the Reserve component responsible for the complete security of Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos, California. A couple of months after working in his new assignment he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant First Class and assigned the additional duties as the top training sergeant of the unit and the Terrorism Liaison Officer of the Brigade by the Commanding Officer. Ten months later Sergeant Wagner was selected as the Team Leader of the newly formed Special Reaction Team (SRT), which is the military equivalent of a police S.W.A.T. team.
For a second time in Black Belt magazine’s history Jim Wagner found himself on the cover of the magazine, only this time wearing his Army Combat Uniform (ACU) clutching a combat knife on the February 2008 issue. The military had given him permission for recruiting purposes. After all, he had been training Army Reserve and Army National Guard troops for combat in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Kosovo, and America needed more warriors. A few months later BLITZ magazine, Australia’s top martial arts magazine, featured Sergeant Jim Wagner on their front cover with the headline THE PROTECTOR: Could Jim Wagner’s methods save your life? The article was all about surviving active shooters and terrorist attacks at a time when Australia had not even experience radical Islamic terrorism up to that point. However, Jim predicted it was coming even there. Of course, Jim taught his Terrorism Survival course in Australia adding to the list of countries.
On June 7, 2014 Sergeant First Class Wagner became the Noncommissioned Officer in Charge (NCOIC) of the Installation Support Command Security Forces (SECFOR), which would be the civilian equivalent to that of a Director of Security for a private security company or a patrol lieutenant of a police department. That is to say someone in upper management, but still deeply involved in the training of troops and the day-to-day operations. Due to the threat from Islamic State at this time in history Sergeant Wagner continued to train and prepare his 25 plus soldiers for various terrorist attacks that could occur on base or on its perimeter. During this uncertain time Sergeant Wagner continued to attend military and federal counterterrorism courses to increase his knowledge and skills.
On October 22, 2014 a radical Islamic terrorist killed a Canadian soldier in an ambush, and attacked the Parliament Building in Ottawa. A few weeks later Jim Wagner received an official letter from Member of Parliament Ryan Leef, who had been one of Jim’s former Terrorism Survival students in British Columbia in 2009, and he credited Jim for helping save the entire Canadian government. The Prime Minister, and all the top ministers of the government were in the building that day in one room. Because of the techniques and tactics MP Leef he had learned in Jim’s course he was able to immediately jump into action and order everyone in the room to barricade the doors and prepare a door ambush for the terrorists that would be entering, for they did not know at the time that there was only one attacker. The exact situation that had taken place on that horrific day at the nation’s capital was exactly like one of the realistic scenarios that Jim had his Canadian experience using Airsoft guns and actors.
In 2015 Europe saw a rise in radical Islamic terrorist attacks, first starting in Paris, and spreading from there. As the attacks increased martial artists and instructors remembered Jim’s previous warnings, and Terrorism Survival became a “must take” course.
On February 6, 2016 Sergeant Wagner was promoted to the rank of Master Sergeant (E-8), which is a senior level sergeant. After serving for 10 years in the military, for the second time in his warrior career, Master Sergeant (CA) Wagner’s official retirement certificate read “having served faithfully and honorably was retired from the California State Military Reserve on the thirteenth day of March 2016,” signed by Brigadier General Frank D. Emanuel.
Jim Wagner’s military training and experience is critical for your instructor training. After all, active shooters and terrorists are using war-like techniques and tactics. Couple that with his actual counterterrorism background, and you’re getting a complete package.
Immediately after retirement Jim went back to Europe to urge martial artists and self-defense instructors to start including Terrorism Survival in their regular training, and he began training up a new generation of martial artists. A lot of young people were coming to the system. The first stop on the tour was Rome, Italy - the symbolic capital of the Western “infidel” nations according to Islamic State, and who had stated that they would fly their black flag over the Vatican in conquest.
To check the final box of his long career in counterterrorism Jim Wagner went to work for The Walt Disney Company for six months in 2017; the 11th largest corporation in the United States, and one of the top three most recognized American companies in the world along side Coca-Cola and McDonalds. Not only did he attend State of California and in-house courses for dealing with the threat of terrorism in the private sector, but duties included observing, questioning, and inspecting literally thousands of people in order to prevent a criminal or terrorist attack.
All of Jim Wagner’s years of training and experience in law enforcement, the military, and private security in combating terrorism means that you’ll be getting the best.
Here is a partial list of agencies and units Jim Wagner has trained specifically related to counterterrorism:
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
AMTRAK Railroad Police
Department of State – Diplomatic Security Service
U.S. Air Force Security Forces (Edwards AFB, Vandenburg AFB, and Peterson AFB)
U.S. Army 19th Special Forces, Camp Roberts, Utah
U.S. Army 759th Military Police Battalion, Peterson AFB, Colorado
U.S. Attorney’s Office Anti-Terrorism Task Force, Oklahoma City
U.S. Coast Guard, (Sector Los Angeles, Sector Long Beach, Terminal Island, Alameda)
U.S. Marines Special Enforcement Branch, Miramar NAS, California
U.S. Marines Provost Marshal Office (Camp Pendleton and Yuma Air Station)
U.S. Marshals Special Operations Group, San Diego Office
U.S. Navy Provost Marshal Office, Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, Washington
U.S. Secret Service, Los Angeles Office and San Francisco Office
Drug Enforcement Administration, San Diego Office
Boston Police SWAT, Massachusetts
Dallas Police SWAT, Texas
Federal Bureau Investigations (FBI) SWAT, Phoenix Office
Fort Worth SWAT, Texas
Honolulu Police Department SWAT, Hawaii
Orange Country Sheriff’s Department, California
Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, California
State Police G.O.E. (Special Operations Group), Misiones, Argentina
Brazilian Air Force, G.E.P.A. (Special Operations Group Air Police), Brazil
Brazilian Military Police G.A.T.E. (Minas Gerais, Rio Grande do Sul, Bahia, Santo)
Brazilian Military Brigade Special Operations Battalion (Rio Grande do Sul)
Special Anti-Crime Unit of Trinidad & Tobago (SAUTT), Trinidad & Tobago
Amsterdam Police Department, Holland
Royal Dutch Marechaussee (S.W.A.T. and Schiphol Airport Counterterrorism Team)
AASW (Bodyguard School), Germany
Bulgarian Secret Service, Bulgaria
Bulgarian National Counterterrorism Team (SOBT), Bulgaria
German Military Police Instructor Cadre, Germany
Grenzschutzgruppe 9 (GSG9), National Counterterrorism Team, Germany