I used to be my moderately impressive bookcase recently when I noticed that my literary tastes are form of …dark. I wish that I used to be talking about dark, as in vampires or medieval times and even your basic murder mystery. No, I mean I actually have books on ancient martial arts, terrorism, firearms, police officer survival, edge weapons, stalking and rape prevention, etc. Then, after all, I actually have the odd doomsday thrillers. If my home were ever searched, I’m sure I’d find yourself on the Department of Homeland Security watchlist. I can pull down a couple of volumes on how you can make improvised explosives, how you can launder money and even how you can pick an armored vehicle for family protection in a violent world. You would possibly think I’m a bit of paranoid at first glance, but not exactly…

Because the early eighties, I actually have been a police instructor tasked with training officers how you can survive a dangerous job using dangerous tools. Officer survival has develop into an obsession with me and I made a decision early on that one of the best ways for me to pass on this information, was to really have the knowledge. All cops have seen their share of violence and danger. Now we have all witnessed horrible crime scenes and have long since stopped shaking our heads in amazement that folks could treat others with such bizarre and inventive types of chaos. I enrolled in quite a few armed and unarmed response classes and have become in instructor in too many programs to list here.

A number of years back, I put together a couple of thoughts on what I believed were personal protection skills mandatory to assist each police and civilians survive. It was simply listed under three categories: Awareness, Avoidance and, Defense. I believed then, and still do to a level, that if you happen to were in that condition ‘orange’, you might anticipate most danger and avoid it. Failing in that, there have been some basic items that could possibly be taught, bought or supplied that might help protect us. It never fails to amaze me how crime and violence all the time manages to evolve, keeping us (good guys and protectors) off balance. Just whenever you think carrying a pistol with you offers an awesome measure of security, some fanatic intentionally drives a plane right into a constructing. Just whenever you think that your martial arts training dollars were a great investment, we discover a world of mutants who don’t reply to pain the way in which they’re presupposed to. I won’t even get into the suicide bombers at this point in my comments. So, where are we headed with our survival training today?

At one time in my police profession, I used to be a member of our SWAT team. We trained for each possible scenario we could provide you with. Normally we gleaned some lessons from other agencies failures and successes. We never really failed ourselves, because we were well trained, you see. If we could visualize a mission, we’d buy the needed equipment, and seek training. We evolved into paramilitary team that might solve most problems with firepower, trained negotiators or simply plain patience. Today, there are usually not enough hours within the day or days within the week to cover the entire threats. Nonetheless, we still are expected to have an appropriate response prepared.

Realizing that 99% of our contacts don’t involve the judicious use of deadly force, agencies began to emphasise so called “less lethal” techniques and technology to save lots of them from liability. We’re still waiting for the Star Trek phasers to hit the market, but until then we’re forced to make use of what we now have. Let’s begin with a working description of what’s meant by the term “less lethal.” These are tools and techniques which might be developed to assist us gain control of a violent person with a low probability of causing death or serious injury. Death can occur, but we are able to truthfully say that we tried to avoid it.

There are numerous weaponless defensive tactics programs that claim to supply the practitioner the abilities mandatory to fulfill violence with love. Pardon my sarcasm, but that is not reality. Pressure point tactics have all the time been suspect, but gained favor when politicians saw it as humane and fewer more likely to cause a lawsuit. It was abandoned after we were in a position to persuade the bosses that the violent folks on the market had the power to disregard pain and really didn’t appreciate our honest efforts to softly persuade them to stop their antisocial behavior.

Batons, Mace, pepper spray, TASERs, long range impact weapons ( bean bags, SAGE guns, etc.), Kubotans and tools were tested, issued and remain as options. All of those tools, together with Verbal Judo skills of communication, remain in our arsenal and may be accessed when appropriate. Nonetheless, they will only help us if we now have them when we want them. All require manual training and much more importantly, the precise frame of mind to employ them when mandatory. So within the parlance of law enforcement, we now have a Use of Force Continuum (or Matrix) to decide on the precise level of force to make use of against a selected level of threat.

During a recent training session I conducted with private security personnel, I noticed that each one of those decisions were mind boggling to the category and almost to a student, they preferred martial arts and firearms. I’m not referring to the years of discipline, ‘know yourself before you may defeat your enemy’ style of martial arts either. I’m talking concerning the Ultimate Fighting Championship stuff they watch on television. Empty hand destruction, or shoot ’em! Not a really large arsenal for private or legal protection. Being so under prepared signifies that much of their game plan relies on luck. I’d moderately play the lottery.

With the assistance of some colleagues in the manager protection field and a few uniformed security officers and personal investigators, I floated a brief survey to see if there was an awesome deal of emphasis on less lethal training and equipment within the private sector. The outcomes were predictable, but raised some concerns as well. Listed below are among the responses I received. (I’m still receiving the responses)

1. Have you ever received less lethal training? 80% yes

2. What style of defense training?

a) Unarmed defensive tactics-80%

b) Pressure point tactics-40%

c) Friction lock batons-60%

d) Pepper spray-80%

e) TASER-0%

f) Long range impact weapons (Sage guns, bean bags, etc.)-0%

g) Kubotan/ Persuader-40%

h) Nunchakus- 10%

i) Other less lethal tools-60%

3. Was training documented and retained in your records? 40% yes, 60% no

4. Ever used techniques or tactics that were taught? 40% yes, 60% no

5. Ever use deadly force? 10% yes, 90% no

My unscientific reading of those results would indicate a necessity for training in less lethal techniques and technology. There are about one in five security professionals which have little or no training in conflict management. This concerns me because an awesome majority of those also feel the necessity to get their Concealed Weapons Permits.

This can be a very unscientific survey and was used to generate discussion; nevertheless, most who responded were prior or current law enforcement officers. Although no concrete conclusions may be made by these responses, it does point to a necessity for added tools to be added to our tool box. The difference between a street fighter and knowledgeable is the period of time we spend weighing the implications of our actions. Whether it’s protecting a client or a member of the family, we should be ever mindful of end results; physical, psychological and legal.

Does our training reflect reality? Or does it merely reflect wishful considering?

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