I arrived at Schiphol International Airport on November 7th making this my third trip to Amsterdam this year. The reason is simple – the Jim Wagner Reality-Based system is growing rapidly in Holland and some “big guns” are coming to the courses.
During this trip I had a chief of police, who wishes to remain anonymous, come to me for some training. This chief is not just anybody, but the Defensive Tactics instructor for the Schiphol Police Department; a department of 2,000 police officers, customs agents, and a full counter-terrorist team. Since Schiphol is one of the main airport hubs of Europe and its security is of vital importance to the European Union. The Reality-Based Personal Protection continues to draw professionals because it contains material simply not covered in most police departments and military units. Professionals are flocking to the system because of its simplicity and “straight out-of-the-box use.”
As always Mike Constantinides, the Jim Wagner Reality-Based Personal Protection Director of The Netherlands, made things run smoothly. Months ago I originally had plans to go to Sweden only to teach, and when Mike found out that I would be in Europe he asked me if I could squeeze in some courses in Amsterdam. I had just finished training a United States Army infantry unit in Southern California on Sunday, November 5th, so I was able to squeeze in a few courses. I taught Ground Survival on the 8th, Knife Survival on the 9th, and finished the week with Crime Survival on the 10th. Then on the morning of the 11th I flew to Copenhagen International Airport an hour away.
After spending a week in Malmo, Sweden teaching my Level 1 courses, I returned to Schiphol International Airport. When I arrived a few hours later Mike Constantinides and I took off to go give a Reality-Based demonstration at the Sportcentrum Amstelpark. This fitness facility, run by manager Robby de Ruyter, is one of the largest and most popular fitness centers in all of Amsterdam. Mike, along with some of my top Reality-Based instructors, gave a 15 minute demonstration. Afterwards, we were all invited to the Back to the Seventies party that started at 10:00 pm featuring live music.
On November 20th I taught my Conflict Conditioning course, which is a Level 2 course, and on the 21st it was Improvised Weapons. This later courses teaches how to use everything except a knife and a firearm. One of my students was a prisoner transport officer for the special unit Dienst Vervoer & Ondersteuning (Transport Service Support) of the Dienst Justitiele Inrichtingen (Justice Department).
On Wednesday the 22nd I was once again back at Schiphol International Airport, only this time it was to head back home to make it for the American holiday Thanksgiving. I was a little jet lagged, but I did enjoy the holiday with my family.
The Reality-Based system is growing in Holland, thanks to Mike Constantinides. He is constantly promoting the system, and it is amazing the type of people he is contacting. Last time I was in Holland I taught literally the five top Defensive Tactics instructors for the national police department, including the chief of police in charge of the Defensive Tactics program. I also had a chance to once again train Erik Hein, editor of Mix Fight magazine; Holland’s top martial arts magazine. Erik told Mike that I was, in his opinion, one of the top self-defense instructors in the world. In his job he has had the opportunity to train with all of the big names. So, to hear that from Erik is quite a compliment. Then, when I arrived home I received a nice email from Erik on November 24. He wrote me the following:
I just wanted to congratulate you for the Black Belt magazine (Hall of Fame Self-Defense Instructor of the Year 2006) award.
I am perhaps the most critical martial artist and journalist in Europe. I come to see and train with everybody. I do my research 24 hours a day, and I have met with the likes of (he names some of the top names in the business) from all over the world. And Jim, to date YOU HAVE THE BEST PROGRAM I HAVE EVER SEEN ON THE MARKET. The content makes more sense to me every time I see it, and I see how important it is.
Your teaching style and teaching methods are among the most effective, and the most fun, than any I have seen.
I hope you will continue the good work and that we will meet again in Holland.
So, what is in store for the future of Holland and the Reality-Based system? To start with we have already selected course dates for 2007:
March 26 to 30 Level 1
May 7 to 11 Level 2
November 12 to 16 Bodyguard School
Mike and I are also working on a DVD series titled Conflict Conditioning. On this subject matter Mike is definitely my most skilled instructor with many original ideas. He also teaches a weekly course at his Reality-Based school by the same name, and his students absolutely love it. These DVDs are going to be a must for anyone teaching the martial arts, not just Reality-Based instructors.
Ring Sports magazine
Article about the Reality-Based system in Holland.
The last time I was in Holland back in July I told my Terrorism Survival students that Holland has a terrorism problem like all Western countries. There are many jihadists who regularly state, “First Europe, and then the United States.”
The Dutch newspaper Metro (Woensdag 8 November 2006) ran an article titled Jihad-wervers gepakt (Jihad Recruiter Caught). The story claims that six people have been detained for questioning by the police for recruiting potential jihadists; five men and one woman.
The investigation of this case began November 2005. The suspects are believed to have produced inflammatory literature and a movie to recruit jihadists to fight against the infidels. The also are believed to have produced false travel documents to get into Iraq.
Although the Dutch population does not to seem to see the impeding danger of Islamic terrorism the police officers coming to my Reality-Based courses acknowledge the troubles brewing just under the surface, and the sense that Holland will be next on the hit list. Ask any good Muslim what they think of the Red Light District in Amsterdam and you will get a straight forward answer that it’s the Devil’s Den. It embodies the very thing that the Islamic world fears from the West. Most Muslims see Westerners as decadent and godless. A walk through central Amsterdam only bolsters those beliefs.
Since all Western countries are potential targets of Islamic terrorism Reality-Based Personal Protection will continue to offer our ever popular course TERRORISM SURVIVAL.