Another Great Bracken Adventure

April 25, 2019

Format: Kindle Edition

Verified Purchase

I generally don’t read much fiction anymore, but Matt has changed that. In the past year I have plowed through three of his other books, and just finished this one – in under a week!


Matt has the ability to draw you in and hold you with his word-craft. His stories are riveting and believable. He uses his technical expertise and his well-fought experience to keep it moving along, and make it hard to put down.

Matt’s Trilogy got me started, and had me seeking out any of his other published works. The trilogy was so believable, and perhaps foreshadowing some of what we all know could be our possible futures.

If you enjoy a good and believable read, please give his work a notice.


© Copyright 2019, tim boehlert

How to Stay Safe in the Age of Terrorism

© Copyright 2017 Avi Nardia & Tim Boehlert

This 10 Question interview originally appeared in Black Belt Magazine, but has been edited by Tim Boehlert at the request of CRGI staff. We first published it back in 2015 but feel that as attacks are on he increase, poticularly from lone wolf terrorists using low tech weapons, it was time to repring it.

Q: Should the average person be worried about lone-wolf terrorist attacks?

A: Terror cells, like the Boston Marathon bombers, that are not connected by anything other than ideology will become increasingly common. In some ways, lone cells are more dangerous than organized terrorism because lone cells are difficult to monitor, control or discover. The more we go after the larger terror organizations, the more they will split into smaller cells. This is exactly what has  happened with the drug cartels.

Q: Do you think the Internet is becoming the prime tool for terrorist organizations to recruit lone wolves in any part of the world?

A: Yes, the Internet is a major tool today for recruiting, teaching and spreading terrorist ideologies around the globe. The Internet can be used to traffic information and gather intelligence, and as a meeting place for finding others with the same ideas. It’s very easy to create fake accounts, use them while they are viable, then disappear – maybe completely. Terrorists are becoming increasingly tech-savvy.

Q: Are there any parallels between how terrorists recruit lone wolves and how gangs recruit members?

A: Terror groups share the same mentality as gangs — exploiting hate, spreading anger and practicing brutality. Terrorists also practice the same indoctrination techniques as gangs. Using ideology to ‘persuade’ others that are malleable has been highly effective.

Q: As high-profile targets get extra security, is there an increased likelihood that soft targets — and civilians — will be attacked by lone wolves?

A: Nowadays, we are seeing sick people understand that the more brutal their methods, the more media exposure they gain. As governments and sensitive targets continue to invest in more security, we will begin to see more and more independent terror attacks on soft targets such as bus stations, schools and any place that will instill fear into the public. Terror’s main goal is to create an atmosphere of fear, for control purposes.

Q: In light of all this, what measures can people take to stay safe?

A: Citizens need to push for government to be less tolerant of terrorist ideologies. We also need to educate the public and law enforcement on terrorists and terror culture. It seems to me that people have too much tolerance for terror — sometimes even the police are more strict on normal civilian criminals than on terrorists who walk free among us. One must study and understand what terrorism is before we decide how to fight it. People must understand how terror feeds from the media.

Q: Is increased awareness the most important precaution a person can take?

A: Awareness of who lives around us is important, but it is also important that we protect our freedom from pervasive surveillance and a society wherein anyone could frivolously call the police and have a person arrested. Security and surveillance must be approached in a measured manner. We are seeing instances of abuse as a result of increased surveillance daily it seems.

We should demand more security in schools for our children. In and around our homes, people need to take it upon themselves to study and train in counterterrorism. You are the first responder, not anyone else, and if you always rely on someone else to arrive, they might be too late. We need to take responsibility for our own safety – at hime, at work, on vacation even. Simple things can make a difference.

Q: Do you recommend that people consider lawfully carrying a firearm — assuming they have an interest and have had the proper training?

A: It’s easier to carry a gun in a bag than to carry a police officer. If most normal civilians carry firearms, it will reduce crime as well as terrorism. Switzerland is an example of a country where most civilians own guns, and it’s one of the safest places in the world. People need to take more than just the standard 8-hour course as prescribed in many states. They should know how to use it, how to clean it, how to clear jams. They should know how to shoot in low-light, how to re-load, with either hand.

In Israel, firearm owners must complete 50 hours of training every year to hold a permit. We have seen many situations wherein the first responders were normal civilians who defended and stopped terrorists before any police cars showed up. We also have civilian police volunteers who get training by the police and carry police identification cards. These volunteers patrol sensitive areas and help prevent crime and terrorism. In my system of Kapap, we teach firearms, CPR, surveillance and counter-surveillance as part of our Martial Arts. This training develops awareness and the ability to effectively respond in emergency situations.

Q: How useful could a knife be in the hands of a trained martial artist who’s facing a lone wolf terrorist?

A: Knives are effective weapons and very important to study. The only problem is that it’s hard for a person to use a knife in a real situation. The knife is not a simple weapon unless you are well trained, and overcoming the psychological barrier of fighting with a knife is difficult for most people. People need a lot of training to overcome training that they’ve had since childhood – “Be Nice!”, “Don’t hurt them!”, ” Don’t be rude!” etc. These are simple examples of how we are taught to be courteous and kind, even when facing violence. To overcome this pre-conditioning takes a lot of specialized training. We need to learn to give ourselves to BE RUDE, to strike first – preemptively.

I would also recommend learning about the gun before learning about the knife. Nonetheless, knives are great weapons and are readily available — e.g. in the kitchen. Improvised edged weapons, such as a broken bottle, are also great for self-defense.

Q: How is fighting a person who’s willing to give his life for a cause different from fighting a mugger, a gang-banger or a rapist?

A: Most criminals are not ready to die. That simple fact makes self-defense easier because even rapists and other criminals are just looking for easy victims. Terrorists look for any victim, and therefore anyone is a potential target. Terrorists may fight to the death, which makes the fight very difficult to finish. This is why guns are better to carry than knives. A knife will also require one to be close to the threat, whereas a gun allows one to fight from behind cover. There’s a huge mindset difference. One’s goal is to get resources from you – cash, jewelry, sex. The goal of the terrorist is completely different.  Both may treat you as less than human, for different ‘needs’ to be fulfilled.

Q: Realistically, what chance does an unarmed martial artist stand against an armed terrorist?

A: The first rule is to never give up — regardless of whether you are unarmed and the attacker has a weapon. You should always maintain your awareness and carry your hand-to-hand skills, as well as your gun-disarm skills. Assuming that an attacker does not have a gun can be a deadly mistake.

***
Avi Nardia is a a former hand-to-hand combat instructor for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Reserve, the Israeli counter-terrorism unit YAMAM and the Israeli Operational Police Academy. He teaches the martial art of Kapap, as well as Judo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Krav Maga. Kapap is also being taught around the globe through a network of affiliated schools. Avi has produced a series of DVD’s through multiple vendor sources such as BUDO.

© Copyright 2017 Avi Nardia & Tim Boehlert

Another Page in the Book of Knowledge

When we discuss the many and varied aspects of violence dynamics, including preferences, techniques, styles and more, we should also keep a few key points in mind:

[01] Violence is different with every encounter. What worked once, may not work in a similar situation somewhere down the road, which effectively forces you to pick alternative responses, preferably before-hand, and no matter who you are or how good you give yourself credit for being. Don’t believe your own story, that’s the first thing that will get you in trouble.

[02] Limiting what you learn may be a great choice, but it could also cost you. For instance, if you choose to limit your exposure or your training for only specific types of encounters, you’ll come up empty when that doesn’t happen, but ‘this’ does.

Perhaps you should consider reading more about the differences between possible and probable events, and change your training, or modify it to the most likely (probable) scenarios primarily, but not to entirely discount the other possibilities?

[03] Violence in the form that most of us will encounter is going to be social-based, and not asocial violence. Thus, your goals may be merely to set social status, or to protect property, or maybe even to send a message/threat, implicit or otherwise that “it would not be wise to cross this line” or some such similar reasoning.

[04] Having a weapon on your person at the time of any encounter may determine to a judge/jury an outcome that you didn’t expect, foresee or plan for. Think of how others will see your actions – “You planned it.” Thus, a pre-mediation factor creeps in by the other sides legal team. And again, you need to understand your laws, because I can guarantee you that the arriving officials may not, and/or do not understand the laws concerning the UOF and threat of UOF when displaying/brandishing as an example a ‘pocket knife.’

I will give you an example of how and why my path differs from yours. In one of my jobs in a Security force function, we had to follow policies (those of the institution – the employer.) We were never allowed to strike, kick or throw anyone. Now if you’d already learned your ‘art’, a lot of your go-to options have effectively been taken off the table. What now? You’ll spend a lot of time un-learning everything you know about your MA or your combatives training.

We were also limited in our responses and options by local, state and federal laws. Have you got any familiarity with any of the typical laws regarding the use of force in your community? If you do, that’s a good start. Now, throw in dealing with a vulnerable population – the homeless, those with substance abuse issues, those with mental health diagnoses, those showing altered mental status (AMS) symptoms – which could include some of the above, but also consider the autistic, those with dementia and those with alzheimers disease.

Now, add these restraining factors:

[a] You are being watched and recorded in almost every interaction – by the institution, and many times by the public. And while the institution may back you up in your response, the public likely won’t. Why? because violence is ugly, no matter who you are. And the only way that you can even approach ‘getting it’ is by studying it, doing it and learning from it all, good and bad.

[b] You could be reprimanded, suspended, fired, sued or some combination of all of these possible ‘disciplinary’ actions. And then there may be the media exposure…

[c] There’s also a toll you pay – with every, single transaction. With some, you may feel confident beyond a doubt that your use of force (violence) was justified. but with many events, you’re going to question what you did, how you did it and more, if not now, based on how your work develops and the amount of support or lack of support that you receive along the journey. Unfortunately, you still need to make your own choices with almost every encounter. The toll may be feeling guilty, or bad, but another cost is in your future performance factors – will you step up the next time, will you throttle back your response stance for better or worse? Again, these are personal choices based on several factors – the law, the policy, your moral compass, the views of your peers, the views of the public or other employees that surround you.

[d] There are also environmental factors that need to be considered, maybe specifically in my model, but I’d say likely in yours as well. As a much used training example: after hitting another combatant, he goes down, and hits his head on a curb. He dies as a result of his injuries, and your actions. Your life as you knew it ended when he died.

Now of course there are times when you may have no worries, but I can’t think of a specific one at the moment. Even as an employee, whose job description cites protecting property and the public in/around your facility, and even if he’d pulled a knife on you, and you may have legal grounds to justify your actions, it’s not over – not by a long shot. Knowing your environment may convince you to re-think the options you choose to deploy in all or most of your actions. Sometimes that’s not possible, but you may have to plan that into your ‘threat response kit.’

Violence is an ugly option, but it’s also a necessary one when dealing with violent people. The only outcome should be in your favor, and in conjunction with all of the legal and moral lines that we all typically follow and/or are held to. There are more mental aspects to dealing effectively with violence than there are physical aspects perhaps, but years of study has shown me that, and your experiences may be different. One quote that I learned early on was: “to stop a violent act, you need to be better at violence than they are.” For me, that set the tone of every encounter. It started the ‘conversation’, helped set my mindset when ‘the dance sequence’ began, and added confidence at the beginning of every dance.

I dealt with hundreds of acts of violence over the years that I was active, and I can honestly state that I never had a plan other than to end it in my favor. I never used more than a few go-to techniques. I transitioned into control after the ‘attack’ with no abuse, no ego issues, and no threat of retaliation or to punish. It was never about punishment. When it was over, it was over – not personal, just a business transaction between two parties that didn’t view the transaction in the same terms you might say.

I can also state that I dealt with a varied population – MH patients, family members, friends and acquaintances, but also substance abusers, those at risk, child molesters, murderers, rapists, thieves, juveniles, men, women, transgender ad all of it’s associated labels and children. They all had one thing in common – they were all violent. The one takeaway for me is that it was a great learning time, with either willing or unwilling participants that all had one thing in common: they knew how to use violence. It mattered just a little about why, but you need to let that go too. Rather than to reject their reasoning, or to argue about it, you just need to embrace the fact that you may not change their minds, and when it’s time, it’s time. You need to pick the when, where and how. Everything else is open for discussion, but perhaps afterwards.

I’ve even had to address other Martial Artists. I had one technique that I used under those circumstances. It never got physical, despite their sometimes impressive attempts to convince me that I was not going to be able to stop them because of their knowledge, which was scary during more than one encounter. Any Martial Artist has this knowledge, and knows what my solution was. There was of course a backup plan, and that was just too easy – it makes me smile to think about it, because might isn’t always right. And that is a technique too.

Give choices – it MAY work… A lot of social violence is about saving face – learn that. Respect goes a long, long way, even when it’s not deserved or earned.

Learn to actively listen without feeling the need to respond – immediately at a minimum. Most of us listen half-heartedly while we are formulating a response. STOP doing that! Be conscious of it when you are doing it, and work at getting better at not doing it in the future.

Expand your vocabulary, expand your training potential, expand your capacity for discovering that you’ll never know it all, you’ll never be the best, or undefeated even. Embrace the possibilities, educate yourself, and share.

This knowledge, my knowledge, is specific, to and for me, because I know what worked for me. I wasn’t ever the best, but I was never the worst. I was effective, and had only a few close calls where it could have gone the other way, but the social aspect of the struggle was on the table and in play, to my advantage. I was maybe the most studied. I continue to learn, and expand my horizons and educate others based on my knowledge and experience, because it can make a difference for someone, somewhere – you’ll never know.

The book of knowledge is deep, and it needs to be shared.

© Copyright 2018, tim boehlert

The Cost of Collusion

 Warnings Unheeded: Twin Tragedies at Fairchild Air Force Base
by Andy Brown

Andy Brown has written a captivating account about a pair of tragedies that occurred at Fairchild Air Force Base in 1994, and within days of each other. One is an Active Killer story with mental health issue underpinnings, and the other is a story of denial, privilege, abuse of authority, and the good-ole-boys-network syndrome. Both stories have tragic endings, that left me unsettled and with too many questions. Both stories also offer great insights and information, and both offer great lessons to be studied and learned – if we’re strong enough and smart enough to do that.

 

 

Reading this book brought back a lot of (bad) memories, and frustrations that I’d experienced over an almost 9 year career working in a regional health-care facility as a Security Officer.

Andy interweaves the two stories throughout his text with ease. The first story captivated me as it was at times like reliving some of my past experiences in mental health. In this story you will learn something about mental health illness. You will also learn about ‘the system’, and how difficult it is to diagnose a mental health illness in the first place, but also how difficult it then becomes to treat something that hasn’t been clearly defined, nor clearly agreed upon by teams of mental health-care professionals.

You will also learn about how ‘the system’ can be and is manipulated – by both patient and provider.

Clearly we all lost in the end. The price was paid by too many, and that price is still being paid – by too many and for far too long. You will encounter many who stepped up and used their talents to save lives, including the author himself. You’ll experience the chaos that surrounds these events, as if you were there as it unfolded. Hopefully you’ll see and perhaps understand better, and likely for the first time, what price is paid by those we call hero. You’ll definitely feel like you’re in the story as it unfolds.

The second story unfolds simultaneously, but in what may seem like a totally different world. You’ll see and understand how power corrupts. How despite denials that the signs were there. Many, many others saw and reported their discomfort in what they’d seen and or experienced. How one man risked his career to stop the madness that ultimately cost the lives of more innocents. You’ll learn more about the inner workings of a government entity, how rank and idolization blinded too many (in postions to STOP the madness) for too long, and for the wrong reasons.

There is a lot to process in this book. The ending chapter pages were personally very disturbing to me. It made/makes me mad, and sad, but I hope that it opens the eyes of some, and starts new conversations – with new insights, and better information.

There are those among us that step up for all of the right reasons, and do what we can’t or won’t do. We owe it to them to either educate ourselves BEFORE we speak or to remain silent until we know better. Those very same people deserve our respect and our support, for they pay a cost we can’t comprehend and don’t necessarily see.

© Copyright 2018, tim boehlert

2011-2018 Review

Taking stock of the last year, and previous years opportunities leading up to today, and looking forward to new challenges and accomplishments in 2019.
 

Starting in 2011 I was fortunate through the wonders of serendipity to meet my teacher/trainer/sensei/friend, Avi Nardia. At that time I was still looking for better solutions to the problems that arise when you are required to address violence in some of it’s many forms.

 

I’d started my search in 2009, and was lucky to find other like-minded professionals that had already done the hard work, and come out on the other side with new-found knowledge. And here’s the kicker—they were all willing to share their knowledge.

In 2011 I’d started to venture a bit to share some of my knowledge and talents with some of those very same teachers.

 


 

I edited my first book by Peyton Quinn, after doing a read on another one of his novels. I was thrilled to be asked to help out, and the result is Musashi’s: Book of Five Rings, In Plain English.

 

In 2012 I ‘encouraged’ some would say, but I know the author would agree, I pushed Rory Miller to put out one book that became Talking Them Through: Crisis Communication with the Emotionally Disturbed and the Mentally Ill. I asked a few of my contacts to also help provide feedback and input. I am so very blessed to have been able to contribute to a book that is close to home, and thankful to have found Rory. His work was the start of a journey.

 

 

In 2017 A(well, really 2015.. wait, 2012… yeah, 2011) I was able to not only Edit, but contribute and co-write many of the stories found in 2017’s Sensei On The Road, with Avi Nardia Sensei. This book is a compilation of many of our published articles (Budo International and Conflict Research Group International) that we were lucky to have a chance to do, plus other material that Avi put together outlining just some of his travels around the world training.

 

In 2017, I was again sparked to get re-involved in doing research on Active Shooter events and subsequent training. I stepped up my professional credentials a notch and got re-involved in the community’s response. In January, I read a new book on the subject by Aaron Jannetti, and wrote a review for him on Amazon.com, which I think was received well by the author. Immersing yourself in these events is difficult at best. Reading his book brought out some of that difficulty, but in a very good way. His work and his efforts are to be applauded. To my knowledge his work is the first that I’ve seen that is truly on the right road to getting help out into the community that needs to read it, hear it, see it and experience it. Kudos Aaron.

 

 

In early summer 2018, I was asked by author
Alain Burrese if I’d help him with his forthcoming Surviving a Shooter book. As with Rory’s book, I added my two cents, did a lot of editing, and I think his book is another on that needs to see the light of day for those seeking answers to the AS event. Alain is a trainer in this are of expertise as well, and has come up with a good book that will surely help others.

In late fall (early winter?) I was asked by Loren W. Christensen if I’d help him with some editing for a new book that he’d been working on. Loren is also one of my early influences, and fluent and frequent resources that was able to keep me safe in a violent environment for many years through his writing and teaching output. He had been working on a book and started to send me chunks of it. I not only helped out, but learned at the same time. Loren really doesn’t need anything more than just another set of four-eyes like mine before he releases any of his work. Truly. Not only is he a great teacher, but a mentor as well, and a very prolific author – with over 60 published titles to date. A very humbling experience, for which I am grateful.

 
©Copyright 2018, tim boehlert

The Right Stuff.

Logically Emotional in Parkland: A Unique Perspective
Kevin Reichard

 

I’ve just finished a read of a soon-to-be-released book that tells one family’s story about  the mass killing of students and faculty on February 14th, 2018 at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

 

 

 

The book kept me fully engaged because of how it was written as much as for why it was written. Within a few short hours I had consumed 3/4’s of it—in one sitting. It was that riveting.

I have studied Active Shooter events since that term/label came into general acceptance many years ago. I’ve done a lot of research on the subject since 2012, and have read a lot of the how-to books, attended some of the local AS training seminars as well as that training provided to the public by the DHS, and I’ve pondered many of the difficult issues surrounding these events for the ensuing years.

I have my personal thoughts, and have come to some of my own personal conclusions. I also have zero first-hand experience, like most of us.

 

What makes this book unique is partially because of who wrote it. That can also be split again into because of who wrote it. Confused? The author is the parent of 2 of the students that were in the school when the event happened, and the uncle of another one. He’s also easily more studied on AS events than most of us, which comes into play.

I hate to call this book a story but it really is. It’s a first-person’s view from the ground of what happened that day in a small community where too many believed that something like this could never happen.

 

I literally ran through most of this book because it was that captivating. It drew me in, and held onto me. I couldn’t stop, and I didn’t want to either.

Okay, so the core of this book is about the family. How this event changed lives, changed ideas, changed plans, changed perspectives, and changed kids that weren’t ever prepared for this. There is just such a great model here of what the American Family symbolizes to many of us. It’s a firsthand look into the atomic family—a dad that works hard to support his family, maybe with an un-conventional day-job, but I guess that depends on your outlook. A mother that gives back to the community in her own way and through her job. Two sisters that are on the verge of adulthood, but maybe just a few short years away.

Here’s the fallacy: The thing that will never happen here… does.

 

It all starts with a text message…

Through the first few minutes, then during the course of the ensuing  hours you will learn what it could be like for you, for your family.

One major difference from this point on is that you start to learn more about how this family functions—so many differences from the ‘norm’ that I’d guess most families adhere to. There is so much to learn from because of those differences though.

There truly is a lot to be gleaned here. Lessons that we need to pay attention to, and ultimately a conversation that needs to be had.

Having no expectations going in, I came out having my own at the end of the book, and here’s my hope:  I hope that you will purchase this book first and foremost for the best reason possible. Secondly, I hope that you’ll see it for what it has turned out to be—a call to all of us to come together to find workable solutions that will save lives. Thirdly, I hope that you’ll start to consider that we’re all in this together—even if and when we don’t agree on certain specific issues. We need to solve this together, there is no other alternative.

 

My thanks to the author, and to his family for sharing an event that had to be doubly difficult to re-live through this books birthing process. As tragic as the events were, it is uplifting to read and hear such a strong message from those who could have as easily turned away, and left us all with nothing more than speculation, and bad information that is all too often spoon-fed to us by the media—and with their agenda in mind, only.

 

©Copyright 2018, tim boehlert

Street Lessons, A Journey

I have been an avid reader of Loren’s materials for 10 years. I own about 40 pieces that he has published – books, e-books and DVD’s. For me, Loren is one of those interesting guys that you’re lucky to find – not only is he a martial artist, but he’s also a retired police officer, and veteran.

 

I had been looking for help with how to deal with violent people in my new profession, and Loren was one of the very first authors that I was able to find that could answer my many questions and provide helpful ideas and techniques. His materials were very helpful and rise to the top of the pile because of his background and experience dealing with violence.

This book, made me smile (his references to Robert Koga), made me laugh (too many stories to count), and had me learning some new ideas as well as techniques.

Loren shares some of his experiences as an MP in Saigon, during the Vietnam war. He also shares some hard-won wisdom from his 20+ years as a police officer in Portland, OR. His writing style is easy to read, thoroughly enjoyable, and you will learn something along the way.

There are very few authors that impress me as much as this one does. His knowledge, and his pay-it-forward style proved very helpful to me personally. I’ve often promoted his work, because he has been partially responsible for my safety for many years, no small feat. I’ve learned a lot along the way, and again, with this new book, gained new insights into some of the behind-the-scenes background that made this man who he is today – the good, along with the bad. The mistakes made, the lessons learned, and his work ethic.

BUY this book if you want a good read. Kudos to Mr. Christensen.

© Copyright 2018, tim boehlert

Knowledge to be Mined!

Knowledge to be Mined!
November 15, 2018

 

Loren is one of my favorite and most prolific authors in the world of martial arts, and policing. I’d found him many years ago while doing research on ways to keep myself safe in a violent environment. Thankfully, there were some rules in place, but sadly ZERO training options that addressed that violence in any meaningful manner. I decided to find my own helpful resources, and during that time found the multitude of items that Loren had already produced to that end, which include several books and DVD’s on how to control violent people.

Keep in mind that this information is not solely for law enforcement or martial artists, but is relevant to anyone that cares to come out of an encounter in the best possible manner. Violence is many things, and I can tell you that after years of dealing with the violent, that you want to seek out a teacher like Loren. I can also tell you that this is NOT a technique book, in the traditional sense, unless you are open-minded and understand that violence is not just a physical entity, but also a mental game.

Loren is good with both. And his years as a martial artist, and his service to his country in Vietnam, and then his 20+ years of policing, which included gangs and riots amongst his other every-day duties, more than qualifies him to teach and talk about those experiences.

This book covers a lot of ground. Each War Story has meaning and purpose. Each individual chapter has depth and tokens to be shared. Most of what is in here is knowledge to be gathered and pondered. Some of it you already know maybe, but a lot of it came at a cost. I am thankful for his journey, and more so that he chooses to pass on his knowledge to guys like me that can truly benefit from his triumphs and pitfalls.

There is just so much in here that had me smiling, or nodding my head – ‘uyup.’ You will get great insights on how to deal with everyday encounters. Perhaps you’ll be thankful for what he has provided to keep your community safe, even because he likely has no idea of how his experiences have benefitted guys like me, and that has benefitted your either directly or indirectly.

Be thankful that there are people in the world like Loren. Be thankful that he is one of the good guys. Be thankful that he can also pass on his knowledge in many forms so that you didn’t have to pay the price of admission, but got to see the show anyway, because he did. I am.

© Copyright 2018, tim boehlert

Another Page in the Book of Knowledge…

Another Page in the Book of Knowledge
© Copyright 2018, tim boehlert

When we discuss the many and varied aspects of violence dynamics, including preferences, techniques, styles and more, we should also keep a few key points in mind:

[01] Violence is different with every encounter. What worked once, may not work in a similar situation somewhere down the road, which effectively forces you to pick alternative responses, preferably before-hand, and no matter who you are or how good you give yourself credit for being. Don’t believe your own story, that’s the first thing that will get you in trouble.

[02] Limiting what you learn may be a great choice, but it could also cost you. For instance, if you choose to limit your exposure or your training for only specific types of encounters, you’ll come up empty when that doens’t happen, but ‘this’ does.

Perhaps you should consider reading more about the differences between possible and probable events, and change your training, or modify it to the most likely (probable) scenarios primarily, but not to entirely discount the other possibiltiies?

[03] Violence in the form that most of us will encounter is going to be social-based, and not asocial violence. Thus, your goals may be merely to set social status, or to protect property, or maybe even to send a message/threat, implicit or otherwise that “it would not be wise to cross this line” or some such similar reasoning.

[04] Having a weapon on your person at the time of any encounter may determine to a judge/jury an outcome that you didn’t expect, foresee or plan for. Think of how others will see your actions – “You planned it.” Thus, a pre-mediation factor creeps in by the other sides legal team. And again, you need to understand your laws, because I can guarantee you that the arriving officials may not, and/or do not understand the laws concerning the UOF and threat of UOF when displaying/brandishing as an example a ‘pocket knife.’

I will give you an example of how and why my path differs from yours. In one of my jobs in a Security force function, we had to follow policies (those of the institution – the employer.) We were never allowed to strike, kick or throw anyone. Now if you’d already learned your ‘art’, a lot of your go-to options have effectively been taken off the table. What now? You’ll spend a lot of time un-learning everything you know about your MA or your combatives training.

We were also limited in our responses and options by local, state and federal laws. Have you got any familiarity with any of the typical laws regarding the use of force in your community? If you do, that’s a good start. Now, throw in dealing with a vulnerable population – the homeless, those with substance abuse issues, those with mental health diagnoses, those showing altered mental status (AMS) symptoms – which could include some of the above, but also consider the autistic, those with dementia and those with alzheimers disease.

Now, add these restraining factors:

[a] You are being watched and recorded in almost every interaction – by the institution, and many times by the public. And while the institution may back you up in your response, the public likely won’t. Why? because violence is ugly, no matter who you are. And the only way that you can even approach ‘getting it’ is by studying it, doing it and learning from it all, good and bad.

[b] You could be reprimanded, suspended, fired, sued or some combination of all of these possible ‘disciplinary’ actions. And then there may be the media exposure…

[c] There’s also a toll you pay – with every, single transaction. With some, you may feel confident beyond a doubt that your use of force (violence) was justified. but with many events, you’re going to question what you did, how you did it and more, if not now, based on how your work develops and the amount of support or lack of support that you receive along the journey. Unfortunately, you still need to make your own choices with almost every encounter. The toll may be feeling guilty, or bad, but another cost is in your future performance factors – will you step up the next time, will you throttle back your response stance for better or worse? Again, these are personal choices based on several factors – the law, the policy, your moral compass, the views of your peers, the views of the public or other employees that surround you.

[d] There are also environmental factors that need to be considered, maybe specifically in my model, but I’d say likely in yours as well. As a much used training example: after hitting another combatant, he goes down, and hits his head on a curb. He dies as a result of his injuries, and your actions. Your life as you knew it ended when he died.

Now of course there are times when you may have no worries, but I can’t think of a specific one at the moment. Even as an employee, whose job description cites protecting property and the public in/around your facility, and even if he’d pulled a knife on you, and you may have legal grounds to justify your actions, it’s not over – not by a long shot. Knowing your environment may convince you to re-think the options you choose to deploy in all or most of your actions. Sometimes that’s not possible, but you may have to plan that into your ‘threat response kit.’

Violence is an ugly option, but it’s also a necessary one when dealing with violent people. The only outcome should be in your favor, and in conjunction with all of the legal and moral lines that we all typically follow and/or are held to. There are more mental aspects to dealing effectively with violence than there are physical aspects perhaps, but years of study has shown me that, and your experiences may be different. One quote that I learned early on was: “to stop a violent act, you need to be better at violence than they are.” For me, that set the tone of every encounter. It started the ‘conversation’, helped set my mindset when ‘the dance sequence’ began, and added confidence at the beginning of every dance.

I dealt with hundreds of acts of violence over the years that I was active, and I can honestly state that I never had a plan other than to end it in my favor. I never used more than a few go-to techniques. I transitioned into control after the ‘attack’ with no abuse, no ego issues, and no threat of retaliation or to punish. It was never about punishment. When it was over, it was over – not personal, just a business transaction between two parties that didn’t view the transaction in the same terms you might say.

I can also state that I dealt with a varied population – MH patients, family members, friends and acquaintances, but also substance abusers, those at risk, child molesters, murderers, rapists, thieves, juveniles, men, women, transgender ad all of it’s associated labels and children. They all had one thing in common – they were all violent. The one takeaway for me is that it was a great learning time, with either willing or unwilling participants that all had one thing in common: they knew how to use violence. It mattered just a little about why, but you need to let that go too. Rather than to reject their reasoning, or to argue about it, you just need to embrace the fact that you may not change their minds, and when it’s time, it’s time. You need to pick the when, where and how. Everything else is open for discussion, but perhaps afterwards.

I’ve even had to address other Martial Artists. I had one technique that I used under those circumstances. It never got physical, despite their sometimes impressive attempts to convince me that I was not going to be able to stop them because of their knowledge, which was scary during more than one encounter. Any Martial Artist has this knowledge, and knows what my solution was. There was of course a backup plan, and that was just too easy – it makes me smile to think about it, because might isn’t always right. And that is a technique too.

Give choices – it MAY work… A lot of social violence is about saving face – learn that. Respect goes a long, long way, even when it’s not deserved or earned.

Learn to actively listen without feeling the need to respond – immediately at a minimum. Most of us listen half-heartedly while we are formulating a response. STOP doing that! Be conscious of it when you are doing it, and work at getting better at not doing it in the future.

Expand your vocabulary, expand your training potential, expand your capacity for discovering that you’ll never know it all, you’ll never be the best, or undefeated even. Embrace the possibilities, educate yourself, and share.

This knowledge, my knowledge, is specific, to and for me, because I know what worked for me. I wasn’t ever the best, but I was never the worst. I was effective, and had only a few close calls where it could have gone the other way, but the social aspect of the struggle was on the table and in play, to my advantage. I was maybe the most studied. I continue to learn, and expand my horizons and educate others based on my knowledge and experience, because it can make a difference for someone, somewhere – you’ll never know.

The book of knowledge is deep, and it needs to be shared.

© Copyright 2018, tim boehlert
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