Category Archives: Random Thoughts

The War on Cops and The Death of Journalism

I wrote the following article in response to this published account of 8 officers shot in two weeks in one community:

We cannot rely on the media to do the right thing, or to report the truth anymore. They are no longer trustworthy, nor should they ever again be referred to as journalists. They have clearly not displayed any of that for more than a few years since the trend started to take hold that reporting FIRST was the primary objective, leaving the truth far behind. They now favor the blind-eye approach, to reporting anything regarding illegal actions against our LEO. In fact, you will only see articles when it favors their agendas – gun control, racism, use of force issues against citizens, or any inflammatory piece they can concoct to make LE look bad. They will never take the time to learn the law, read the UOF policies, or learn anything about violence the way our officers have to the hard way, and at their own expense too often.

This trend started during the last administrations last two years in office, leaving many of us dumbfounded. It started because of actions that appeared on the surface to some to be race related – without facts to support that viewpoint, even through today. It started because of the lack of education by too many ‘reporters’, politicians, and other no-name ‘celebrities’ who felt compelled to comment and were enabled to do so, again, without facts, but with personal and emotional outbursts that had no merit, or little at best. Social media is to blame as much or more-so than mainstream media is – it has given a platform to those that would abuse the freedom to expound although clearly irresponsibly, and because they feel compelled to say something – anything. And ‘anything’ is what we usually see/read. We give it weight where it’s not deserved. When the opportunity arises to educate them as to the error of their statements and ways, they turn a deaf ear – and that includes all of the mainstream media outlets. They don’t want the truth, unless it’s their version and fits their agendas.

Sure there is a lot of racism – and we are all guilty, it’s not just a one-sided deal as much as many would like to portray it. Sure there are bad cops – the good cops don’t want them either. Sure there are plenty of instances where we can second-guess the outcomes, but hey, you know what? We weren’t there. We weren’t the ones that had to make the tough decisions. Let’s try to remember that these officers are volunteers. YES. They volunteered to defend your rights, your life-style, your family.

They also are human. And like you, they make mistakes as we all have. But they also RUN to your house when you call. They run into danger, with little to no information. They have to sort it out all out in as little as 0 seconds. They have to determine who the good guy is from the bad guy. They do that willingly.

Because this is America, we have certain privileges that allow us to think differently, and often times that thinking is clearly skewed towards an agenda. Where once there was respect for our law enforcement teams, that has eroded thanks to the nonsense that we CHOOSE to believe through our choice of news media outlet ‘truths.’ It hasn’t dawned on most yet that THEY could be wrong, or that they would willingly LIE. Because they have yet to be taken to task for their lies, and pay a price, they continue to alter our realities with every falsehood that they push on us, without the benefit of background checks, fact checking, and educating themselves on the laws that are on the books before they publish the lies.

A by-product of this willful ignorance, and the diminishing of what used to be a respectable profession, was to destroy a profession that embodies men and women that willingly put their lives in jeopardy every day – for all of us.

I’ve been hoping for a turn-around event to happen that would start to quell this disturbing trend, but apparently the silent majority doesn’t have it in them to do the right thing and speak up and speak out. I think they’re too afraid of criticism, and are willing, at the expense of our officers, to let things be. It’s a trickle UP effect. If the majority don’t speak up, then the media gets the message that they can pull the wool further over our eyes.

The day will come when the lines will dwindle – the lines of willing recruits. The young and ambitious recruits that want to do the right thing, for their communities. The children that have grown into responsible adults, that want to make a difference. Those that are willing to give their lives for truth, and freedom. Your freedom. Those willing to protect your community, your neighborhood, your home, your family, your lifestyle.

When that day comes, and it’s coming sooner than you think, you’ll be picking up a phone that no one will answer on the other end. No one is coming to save you. No one. Because, well, you wanted it that way. You didn’t want Police to have the powers they’d need to intercede on your behalf. You didn’t want them to make the tough choices because you didn’t understand what it took to do that, and wouldn’t take the time to educate yourself about what it took to get them to the streets in the first place. You didn’t care enough or have what it took to step up and volunteer to do it yourself, but yet you want to discriminate without anything understanding of what it takes to become a Police Officer.

Sadly, these same officers are your friends, family, neighbors, or someone that you have a connection to however slim that might be. They are the ones that get to deal with the things you didn’t have the gumption to. They deal with the violent, the substance abusers, those pesky panhandlers, the thieves, the spousal abusers, the girl that hit your car and left the scene without a care, the guy that shot your dog – because he was in his yard, the truck owner that ran the stop sign and totaled your car – and has no insurance. You can fill in the blanks – they’re not coming to deal with any of that, because of your silence your lack of support, your inability to set the record straight. They’ve decided that it just wasn’t worth it. No future in it, and lack of community support is killing that profession, and it started with the media attacks, media lies, and the gullibility of the community to believe most of what was said, written, and daily ‘reported’ as FACT, without merit.

Crime is going up. Look at Chicago – where killing is rampant in the days since this trend started. When the police aren’t around to keep things in check, these trends start up. It can no longer be blamed on racism, because it’s happening in all of the communities – white on white and black on black violence out of control, and not enough blue men and women to respond. Their numbers are dwindling because of retention problems and attrition due to so many retiring – many before their scheduled dates.

You think it’s bad? You have no idea. The worst is coming, and you’ve not only allowed it, but you’ve welcomed it because of your lack of commitment to set things right, to support those that would give their lives for you. If you think it’s okay to kill cops, or won’t even try to get involved to change this status quo, then you are the problem. You have no one else to blame.

© Copyright 2019, tim boehlert

“It’s NOT Their Job!”

“It’s NOT Their Job!”

© Copyright 2018 tim boehlert

If you think/say “It’s not THEIR job!” when discussing Active Shooter events regarding possible training, you’re wrong. Please don’t take offense, but hear me out on this.

Until Law Enforcement and/or Medical Professionals arrive on-scene during and after an Active Shooter event, pretty much everything that would normally be ‘their’ job – is your job right now. These responsibilities can include threat denial (access/ability to start or continue the killing), notification (calling 911), wound treatment/victim care, stopping the threat through disarming or other physical methods (verbal de-escalation is off the table at this point), and evacuating or helping to rescue others and get them to a safe place.


It was mentioned to me that some people may be expected to undergo training on the new ‘Stop the Bleed’ program being rolled out to the public/schools/institutions – and then this quote comes into play: “that’s NOT their job!” You are absolutely right, but also very wrong at the same time.

Under ‘normal’ circumstances, most of us might agree with you, that it’s NOT their job. Your thought process is responding to the ‘normal’ aspect of what typically might happen during any other violent event where people are hurt or killed. But, even then, your ability to step up and perform some of these skills MIGHT be a contributing factor to saving those very same lives. You are also correct in thinking that that may be dangerous, and even crazy. Now consider that you MAY save a life, or not through your inaction. Can you live with the ‘or not’ option should you so choose when you could have chosen otherwise?

This isn’t about trying to turn anyone into a hero; it’s about doing the right thing IF you are capable of and willing to do so. Thinking “it’s not their job!” is normal, and expected, but we need to change the thought process and educate on WHY it IS their job if/when the opportunity presents itself.

Typical response times for most Law Enforcement agencies (FBI data, 2018) to an Active Shooter event is three minutes – nationally. If you’ve ever been in a fight, three minutes can seem like forever. Now, keep in mind that ‘arrive’ means that they appear on-scene – OUTSIDE. It may be quite awhile before they make their way to YOU. Now, your survival will depend on YOUR skills, and not theirs. Does that turn some dials for you?


We can agree that under normal circumstances teachers should NOT be expected to learn martial arts or gun disarms. They should not be expected to be triage practitioners or combat medics either.

It was in the not so recent past (1950’s) that a similar circumstance may have occurred – making it the responsibility of teachers to be Civil Defense Administrator’s for their schools – responsible for conducting and teaching bomb shelter drills. That shouldn’t have been their job either. By the 1960’s they were also expected to be Fire Marshals. Responsible for the lives of their children and being expected to set off fire alarms and evacuate their students to a pre-determined, safe location.

An Active Shooter event is this generation’s reality event. So yes, it’s NOT heir job, but denial is not going to change the realities of what can be expected to happen during such an event.

A lot of damage occurs during these events. The most egregious may be the long-term effects — the long-term/permanent psychological after-effects that can and will destroy individuals, families and communities. Living with the terror is one strong possibility. Living with the guilt of NOT doing something may be more detrimental. That guilt can extend out to those that say ‘it’s not their job.’ Because, only then will you see/experience the effects of the damage that that statement may have on another that MAY have been willing to do more than we should expect of each other.


I will agree that it should be a choice. I will also agree that certain skills belong only in responsible hands. How will we determine who is best, and who is truly capable? They may not be the same person.


In order to put this in proper perspective, we need to educate more extensively on how these events happen, and discuss in depth some of the personal choices we may have to make in order to survive or ensure that others survive. We need to also have an in-depth discussion about facts of what has happened to survivors of these events – including their emotional well-being. Better than most, they can tell us how they feel about the idea of training teachers/students/co-workers to be able to triage potential casualties during an event like this. They may be able to express why they think it may have been helpful or a necessary skill that they did or could have used during this stressful encounter. They may be the only ones besides the experts that can put teeth into the argument FOR such preparation and training.

For many years I did security at a hospital. We were never expected to provide and First-Aid, CPR, or even Psychological counseling to anyone in or around the facility -which included areas immediately adjacent to our property lines. We were always taught to ‘call it in’ to our Base operator, who would in turn notify the proper resources to advise/address the emergency situation. We were never taught nor expected to deal with emergent situations: sudden child-birth in a vehicle adjacent to property; heart-attacks; patients in emotional distress; drug overdoses; victim of vehicular accidents; gun-shot victims; stabbing/slashing victims; The public’s perception of our capabilities however was exactly the opposite! We were expected to do the right thing at the right place and right time, every time. We were never trained, and yet we may have been the first on-scene responders. The expectation is that you are there to do more than just to be there.


Do I feel differently because of all of those experiences? Absolutely. I did whatever was within my power to learn what and how to do many of the skills that ‘weren’t my job.’ I took all of the time and money out of my own pocket to get me closer to being able to do some or all of that. I attended seminars, read the material, watched the videos, got hands-on training. I educated myself. I did so because not only did I feel un-prepared, but also because I knew it was the right thing to do – for me as well as for others. I am different in that perhaps, but I’m not alone.


Maybe the argument to put forth is ‘is it the RIGHT thing to do’ vs. ‘it’s not THEIR job!’ We can only make our own personal choices. It may never become a mandatory commitment, or expectation, but inter-personal dynamics could become the determining factor in some instances. Peer-pressure to get involved, to get educated could be a strong factor to get you to go along with the program. That may be forgivable if you factor this in: we’re all in this together. If the SHTF, I may expect you to know how to care for a gunshot wound or knife laceration; I may expect you to know something about how to properly attack the guy with the gun if that opportunity presents itself; I may expect you to simply stop freaking out long enough to dial 911. The difference will be – you tried, or you didn’t.


Choices need to be made – now. Sometimes the ability to make those choices can and will change. Life changes, and your abilities will change, your attitude will change, and your thought process and experiences will change. Change is hard sometimes. This should only be about someone’s ability and willingness to take charge, do what they are able to until the experts arrive on-scene. Three minutes, or several hours – it all depends on the threat presented/present, the size of the venue, and the resources available to address all of that. It now becomes a choice, your choice. Under these circumstances it’s not an un-reasonable expectation. That choice, your choice, will affect your life, and the lives of others.


Act or defray? It will affect more than just one life, and it will likely have a long lasting after affect on yours, either way. It won’t ever be about success or defeat, only about trying – or not.

“It’s not THEIR job!” – my two cents.


© Copyright 2018 tim boehlert

What’s The Point?

Here’s a short presentation that I’d put together a few years back (2014) to try to educate other officers on what possible damage a ‘pocket knife’ might do in capable hands. It was in response to allowing these restricted items into a ‘secured’ facility. To conclude the presentation, I’ve included a graphic image at the end that depicts the point of what an innocent item (a pencil) is capable of doing::


For The Want Of A Nail: The OODA Loop – Is It Just A Sound-Byte?

copyright © 2018, tb
For those that know, this is a no-brainer. But, many have only learned this cursorily and may not implement it or give it it’s due. Many can tell you what the acronym is, but do they live it? Can they describe it in detail, in every day terms and situations that will create another student or convert a nay-sayer?
I’m going to do a deeper study of this, because I feel it’s important, and it’s also not well-documented – even by the originator.
In a lot of training this simple concept comes up, but it’s always just given a short intro and then we move on. I know time is always a constraint, so I’m wondering if there’s a better way to inject this material so that it hits home harder, and creates an avenue for further research and deeper understanding for students.
Here’s the thing. Anytime you present material that is difficult for most to truly understand (i.e. violence – it’s uncomfortable at a minimum, and downright difficult to understand and come to terms with) there needs to be more bricks and cement to pull it all together in a full program. So the learning needs to be compartmentalized.
Yes, having a short presentation is the product of attention span, availability, understanding and depth of knowledge of the whole. But, It’s the morsels that will fill you up and continue to nourish you.
Boyd’s material is one of those deceptive morsels – it seems simple, and rolls off the tongue easily, but do we really give it credence? Do we do Boyd justice by only glancing at it to make a relevant point to the rest of our presentation and then move past it as if it’s been understood or merely heard?
To me concepts are like the difference between learning a technique and learning the principles behind the technique – they both get it done, but if you understand the principle, the technique becomes secondary.
There are so many great opportunities out there to learn new material and/or explore ground already covered. I’ve enjoyed each one and brought something away each time. And more importantly, I keep coming back for more – to glean the deeper aspects. Boyd’s OODA loop is one of those that I feel needs more research and a deeper understanding, and perhaps just a bit more of the overall program real estate. Do we relegate it as ‘something to be aware of’ or do we give it a push and ensure it’s place in the overall presentation as a necessary component?
Food for thought, but I think it’s worth the consideration and investment. Tony Blauer comes immediately to mind for me because of how he’s made this concept work. He’s done a ton of research (I have it in my library) on the concept of flinch response. Sounds simple right? And it MAY be at first glance, and how some may present it similarly. BUT, understanding it on a deeper level takes more commitment from us. And it’s worth that extra effort. I can use it better if I understand it better. What’s not to like?
Having learned a lot about violence over the last many years, I kept whittling it down to advantage – it’s not your size (height, weight), but your mindset that will get you through. It’s what you know. It’s what you’re learned. It’s the simple over the complex – what will win in the end of an unexpected encounter.
The hardest part for most of us is coming to that conclusion – finding the art and forgetting about using the hard tools, because the secret is in the soft ones. It’s right in front of us, yet we may devalue it or ignore it because we’re tool-men, and not artisans.
copyright © 2018, tb

Deeper Teaching Questions

Deeper Teaching Questions

© Copyright 2016, tim boehlert


Yesterday (06/14/16) I listed some questions on a post by *a Martial Arts/SD instructor* that I felt were important to consider and discuss, specifically about Women’s Self-Defense, but really about all Self-Defense courses and all Martial Arts programs that promote their program as effective self-defense platforms.

My questions were meant to put a spotlight on what I find to be problems that I have seen over the last 8 years in Martial Arts in general that I also felt were worthy of consideration and open and frank discussion. Well, Frank couldn’t make it, so I welcome your input and feedback:

1) Does anyone teach about the other aspects of violence that will surely enhance a person’s abilities to deal with actual violence?:

  1. a) Verbal aspects:
    1. Verbal assault
    2. Verbal escalation
    3. Verbal de-escalation
    4. Verbal deflection
  1. b) Awareness aspects:
    1. Situational awareness
    2. Environmental awareness
  1. c) Psychological aspects:
    1. How you will be affected when it starts to go wrong?
    2.  How you will react to an extremely aggressive verbal assault?
    3.  How you will deal with an actual physical assault?
    4.  How you will deal with the aftermath?
    5.  How you will deal with the legal aspects?
    6. How you will deal with your reaction to your actions?
    7.  How you will deal with your feelings about your self-image?

2) How many start their programs/seminars with those aspects, and don’t immediately go to the physical aspects, the techniques or the principles?

3) Does anyone discuss ‘permission?’ It’s a concept that I learned about through Rory Miller, and I find that it’s an absolute MUST UNDERSTAND aspect for anyone to comprehend when dealing with violence. This needs to be discussed FIRST for anyone that considers taking a Self-Defense program. If you can understand Rory’s two-cents on this, it will make a huge difference in how you will be able to proceed with the remainder of your program. Your students need to first comprehend this concept and then accept it BEFORE you move forward. This will be one of the easiest but also hardest aspects of your program – easy to discuss, but hardest to accept. It represents a total mind shift to what we are accustomed to. It bends the golden rules of how most of us were raised, and that’s not going to be easy for anyone.

4) While I don’t ‘teach’ SD, combatives or Martial Arts, I do participate in my own way, and educate myself, and have been to other’s schools and seminars. I primarily read and view whatever I can – internet, books, blogs and videos, but I don’t recall ever seeing anyone discuss these specific aspects or advertise them either. You usually get the usual boxing gloves pic, or perhaps the Red-Man suit etc., but I never see the White Board, the students seated watching/listening to the teacher or other aspects – reading, or watching actual footage of assaults. I was just wondering WHY that is so, and if in fact it was just missing in the advertising, and/or in the actual classes. To me it seems of paramount importance to include this material up-front before even starting to teach anything about fighting back.

5) Does anyone teach about violence specifically? By that I mean, do you ever just gather and discuss what really happens in the world? Have any of you invited in a Dr. or an RN, a Mental Health Professional, a Law Enforcement Officer, a Coroner, a Funeral Home Director to talk about violence from their perspective? Do any of you actually show images of gunshot wounds, stab or slash wounds, and by that I mean the really graphic content?

6) Do any of you speak to the actual legal matters involved with Self-Defense? Do you speak to the legal system, the rights of the victim AND the aggressor? Show statistics of actual outcomes? Do you discuss HOW your training may be used against you in a court of law – pre-meditated actions that may likely be held against the victim that has trained?


I’m just really curious about HOW and WHAT we are actually disseminating to keep others safe. I deal with violence on a regular basis, and have lots of time to research, but also ponder about the outcomes. This is something to consider. While it may be done and forgotten after an altercation, are you prepared to step into court a few years down the line and testify as to your position and actions while ‘defending’ yourself? It happens.

Do you document these events, or teach your student to document properly? Have you prepared them for any of the legalities? Do you discuss justifiable actions and train HOW to properly explain your responses to violent encounters? Have you trained them to LOCATE witnesses and obtain statements from them or to direct law enforcement to them to do so? Have you given them the tools to create witnesses that will favor their side if called upon?

These are just a few of the things that I wonder about whenever I think about things that I’ve learned, and see missing, but that seem like as teachers we should be addressing.

© Copyright 2016, tim boehlert


Taking TSA to Task?

Taking TSA to Task?

I will give you my two cents of what I have just reviewed in brief and without the facts that should accompany an opinion on an event like this, but with the perspective of a security professional who’s job it was to screen anyone entering our facility.

source1: []

source 2: []

I will preface that with some background: I was a security officer at a health-care facility for almost 9 years. One of my daily mandated duties was to ‘screen’ anyone entering our facility for weapons. As a professional in today’s world, I took my job very seriously. I did the best I could within the ‘guidelines’ provided by the administration.

I also caught a lot of grief for doing so from people that should have been better informed, or perhaps felt slighted or even privileged. I can understand some of those sentiments based on growing up in what had been a much freer society until the events of 9/11. Sadly, that has changed many, many aspects of our society – “land of the free, home of the brave.”

During those years, I personally confiscated lots of weapons, including some that had me shaking my head. I learned how to do my craft by doing research, paying more attention than others doing the same job did, and by recognizing behaviors better. I learned about knives in particular, because in my experience that is what I would most likely encounter. I learned how to find the most likely concealment places, the most likely ‘open-carry’ spots, the ‘tells’ of carryin weapons, and really much more than made me comfortable.





I can also confess to being afraid of who and what I might encounter. It was never comfortable, I never enjoyed it, and I resented that the world had changed and that this was one change that we had to ‘get used to’ as a result of someone else’s behaviors and actions.

I was raised to trust people, unless or until they provided evidence to the contrary. If anything I was most likely to trust blindly. Times have changed, and we have to extend our education to encompass many things that now make us uncomfortable. One of those things is the extension of trust, which necessarily has to be more constrained, more limited.

To the point, I learned through experience that not everyone is as they seem. Too many feel privileged and even entitled to have to stop, provide proper identification and identify themselves and their purpose for entering a facility like ours. They feel that it’s a public facility, which it is not, and that it’s none of our business. I understand that, but that’s not the reality.

Here’s the reality – we are a target. We are an opportunity for those that would do us harm. We are an open-door to a highly valued mission that hasn’t yet happened. We are a high-profile training op for those that would strike merely to test their abilities, to test our weaknesses, for their gain, and media attention to themselves and their cause. Nothing more. We do what we can in a too-limited sense in my opinion to keep you and your family safe. I take on that responsibility to make you feel safe, to keep you safe, and so that you don’t have to.

I don’t want to let anyone down because I wasn’t vigilant. I don’t want my family to suffer because I let down my guard and let something or someone slip through our ‘net’ because of trying to be politically correct or to try and appease that ‘sqeaky wheel’ that we have been taught to grease, to avoid the spotlight of public scrutiny. There are people like me that do this job, because someone has to, someone else chose not to. I am willing to put my life on the line for those that don’t understand or even appreciate that what I do is for them.

One last thought. Just because you are in a public place don’t be fooled into thinking you are safe, and don’t be complacent. Public places are places where everyone is ‘welcome.’ Think about that, because I guarantee you haven’t.

I would often be treated rudely by parents because I’d caution them to watch their own children more closely, to not let them wander freely, and to never let them use the bathrooms unattended.

I knew who wandered our halls, they didn’t, and we wouldn’t want to ‘alarm’ them so as to not make them feel uncomfortable. More politcally correct nausea that defeats security and actually empowers those that would do us harm.

Pedophiles, rapists, spousal abusers, thieves, murderers, drug addicts, those with mental healt issues/histories, kidnappers, muggers – they are ‘welcome’ in a public facility, and you will never know because of the politcally correct rhetoric and/or perhaps because of the laws that don’t allow that information to be shared freely amongst us.


Here’s my summation of what I viewed and based on my limited understanding of the facts in this video. I would like to know who shot the video, because it does matter.


I was under the impression that this ‘action’ was mandated by his supervisor, who was present and also due to the mother’s behavior prior to this pat down procedure – I think she’d either refused to cooperate or stone-walled TSA efforts to screen the family. I’d guess in the minds of the TSA staff that that type of behavior sets off alarms, as it does for me. Her behavior brought this on as it raised red flags for the TSA staff I believe.

This action is inappropriate under normal circumstances to most of us, and that’s what the general public is used to. As a security professional though, mom’s behavior sets off alarms for me. If you’ll recall at sometime near or around this event authorities had discovered an even younger child ‘carrying’ wearing an explosives vest in another country.

I also know that TSA had changed it’s frisk rules giving them more freedom and ability to do more thorough searches. Again, as a security professional, it’s a needed advancement based on the current status of what’s going on in our world, but still upsetting to many.

It’s hard to say it’s right or wrong, it’s obviously more wrong than right based on our common morals in the country in which we preside, but they are viewing it as a safety procedure.

I haven’t reviewed the new procedure, and after viewing this again, I can’t find fault with how this TSA agent performed his job (at the request of his superiors) – he was clearly very thorough. Patting, using the back of the hands in some areas (appropriate). I know approaching the groin area makes everyone upset, but you need to understand that many (and I’m not saying this child or children at all) conceal contraband in, or near their genitals, and rectum areas because they know it won’t be searched.

This is a part of our cultural taboos. The reality is that I’ve seen and experienced the results of non-thorough checks. In one instance a gentleman pulled a bag of heroin (evidence) from his rectum and swallowed it in front of staff, which created an emergency extraction situation – he could have died as a result, and his action made it our responsibility to act.

In another, a female representative conducted a weapons search on a female. Eventually a knife was discovered after the female had been turned over to our staff from this agency. Where was it hidden? She later told staff. So, a criminal mindset will use their knowledge of our standards and their criminal mindset against those that would try to prevent it. It’s a moral difference that we need to acknowledge, and understand that it is a reality.

I believe in this instancel this search procedure was done deliberately to create an atmosphere of discomfort for the family (a strategy perhaps?), maybe to design an outcome whereby mom would confess to whatever she/they might be hiding, or to surrender any contraband?

It’s really hard to assess without having all of the facts. You will need to remove the emotion though if you are to view this event, in my opinion. While overly thorough, and if you disregard that it’s a child, it was proper I believe based on what I know at this time.

Primary & Secondary, LLC Netcast 04/17


© Copyright 2017, tim boehlert

During one of last nights broadcasts, the subject was about ‘picking an instructor.’ Now for me that crosses lines and disciplines – Use of Force utilizing your MA and UOF w/Deadly Force options. My ‘expertise’ but more importantly my experience is grounded in MA, and even that is limited, BUT with the proviso that I use it to do a job.

My question was: How do you know HOW to pick an instructor, if you don’t even know what you don’t know. To me that is the conundrum that many face starting out. Sure, after years of being actively involved you will make connections, as I have, and you might find the right guys, which I did, but I still feel frustrated that I wasn’t able to piece it together more concisely and quickly.

For me it was finding ‘the information’ that was going to show me and instruct me HOW TO – how to take down a pregnant but combative female; how to deal with an autistic ‘child’ that was physically an adult in most senses, and yet…; how to deal with a combative prisoner brought in from the Justice Center in full shackles, and yet left in my custody based on what the court required, all the while the armed deputies have removed those shackles, and are headed out the door; how to sit on a psych patient for an extended period, maybe an entire shift, without having any formal background in psych, no common ground, and with the direction to “not speak with the patients.”

See my point? How do you FIND the guy that can teach you ANY of that? It’s the same thing when trying to find a shooting instructor – first you need to know what your goals are, and likely that will change dramatically over the course of time and/or your career. You need to be able to filter out the BS – it MAY be relevant that he has MIL or LEO experience, and then again, that may be the LAST thing you need? HOW or WHEN will you really know if they can ‘help’ you?

Is combative shooting the same as competitive shooting? Of course not, but can you learn something through both? Sure. It all hinges on your abilities, their abilities and your ability to either pinpoint your needs together, or that you state unequivocally ‘I need help with xxx.’

It was refreshing to hear four experts discuss their specifics. Four guys with different programs, different audiences, different backgrounds, and different paths.

What I did like was that they all respected each others’ contributions. They all had VERY specific knowledge and education. I was particularly intrigued with one guy (Adam Wilson) that had recent MIL experience and how he transitioned his area of expertise to the civilian market. Just fascinating.

One guy (Mike Lewis) had MA experience and transitioned into firearms on a barter deal by serendipity! Another also ex-MIL, seemed like a student of training – someone that is smart enough to do the ‘instructor-thing’ smartly, by continuing to educate himself further – and they were ALL on-board with this concept. This gentleman was transitioning between opportunities and offered some really good information.

The other guy that spoke (Varg Freeborn) was from other educational and experiential opportunities . He spoke differently, honestly, and from experience that none of the others possessed. He was a bit more edgy, but it was also clear that he respected the others as they did he. He offered different insights as well. His experience was based on his lifestyle and that spoke to me differently. Knowing what I know, here’s a guy that I would want to train me – based on what I know that you don’t and on my specific needs.

I’ve always sought to find those instructors that had ‘been there’ and were able to ‘do that.’ No BS. No ego. Pure confidence. He had that and more. He wasn’t arrogant about it, only confident. He was ready and willing to share, and to his credit one of the other guys cited that he’d also have picked this gentleman to train with ASAP.

I’d train with any of them, as they all have what it takes, mindset, experience, CV, confidence in their own abilities, but most of all because they KNEW that they didn’t possess an entire education. They each sought out annually new training, new trainers, and to purely enhance their own abilities.

What was missing was the ego. These guys are pros without egos. They weren’t threatened by each other, they admired each other in fact from my take on it.

My point is that there ARE experts out there. You need to know what you need, and you need to know what you don’t know. To do that you need to ask questions, and explore answers with the help of time for reflection and time for re-framing once you’ve caught up or caught on. Take the time to ask the questions, make sure the answers work for YOU. They are not trying to make you the BEST. They simply provide a service to make you the best YOU can be.

It may be a long road, I can say that from experience. Be patient, listen more than you talk. Give respect to get it, but don’t expect it. These guys have some juju that you may never have. Don’t let your ego get in the way of achieving whatever it is that you THINK you need. Be open to other viewpoints, and keep in mind your goals are not theirs necessarily. That doesn’t make it not worth the journey. You may learn new things you didn’t know you needed to learn. It’s like that. I learned a lot last night during these broadcasts. I was able to participate, which was important, and I was able to ask questions and to receive thoughtful replies. My ego is boosted only in the fact that I was able to ask experts hard questions to either bolster my position, or to show me other views I hadn’t expected. Entertaining is not what I’d label it. Educational, and by happenstance from the RIGHT guys that you’d want to seek out, IMO.

Thank you all for enhancing my education, and above all for sharing YOUR viewpoints.

Scott Jedlinksi, Varg Freeborn, Adam Wilson, Matt (Prime) Landfair & Mike Lewis 

Freeze, Flight, Fight – Are You Fearless?

How do you suppose some people seem to be fearless in situations where you might not be?

I think that some of it is due to what you were exposed to during your early years and how others may have reacted to violence as an example. Were those moments of shock met with action, or retraction by others surrounding you at the time? How were your feelings surrounding that violence dealt with – at a young age?

You can’t train out evolution and biology, but you can train to recognize and respond to those built-in safeguards that we all seem to have. Some may not, or it may be graduated in others,   but it’s not without fault. You WILL be caught off guard, in a way that you haven’t thought of, THEN you will find out if your training worked.

Part of it is EGO – ‘what am I willing to walk away from or respond to?’ I think Marc MacYoung said this, ‘we tell ourselves stories’ – he’s on the money. We all do that. It’s what defines who we are – to ourselves, to our associates, family, friends. So here’s one of my stories, as an example: ‘I believe I will stand and defend during an Active Shooter event’, but I may never be tested, and only then will I know if I was buying into my own story OR if it was flawed.

I think I know what my beliefs and value systems are in the broad sense, right & wrong, and that it falls upon my shoulders to defend the lives of others – without all of the available information.

Often when I respond to a call for assistance, ‘help!’,  I arrive there and I freeze in a very specific way. I am unwilling to commit to hands-on UNTIL I have a better understanding of what has occurred previous to my arrival. That may appear prudent, or may spell disaster. My up-bringing has ‘taught’ me to question things before acting. Is it a ‘freeze’ response, or is it a conditioned STOP sign that I have trained in?

© Copyright 2015 tb 121915

Predator or First Responder?

” I haven’t ever thought of what I do as being a predator, and as a ‘first responder’, I am expected to face down violence, be summoned to meet it, and expected to overcome it, safely for all parties involved, BUT with a slant towards THEIR well-being more-so than my own. It seems unnatural, and I know deep inside that it’s NOT a good way to make a living. What kind of monetary compensation would you expect to get for facing violence daily? Or the possibility? Yeah. I believe you can mold behavior through education and training, but I don’t think it’s flawless – we all have the freeze inside of us, and we have ALL reacted that way under some circumstances. We can’t train that out, IMO, because it’s built-in. You can train to that goal, but it will never be removed – it’s all situationally dependent. And it will come out. The question is: will you recognize it and correct for it, and will that be enough?

© Copyright 2015 tb 121915

Gaining Willful Compliance

“Using verbal commands to aid in getting a situation under control can’t be underestimated – you have to tell them what you need in order for them to comply. One person should be doing the communicating. It needs to be slow, concise, and deliberate. Sometimes they fight back as their survival instinct has kicked in – they may be fighting to ‘stay alive’ only, and not fighting ‘you.’ They may be fighting your actions to control them – YOU need to make that distinction, it’s YOUR job to do that. Don’t take the actions personally. Treat it as a negotiation. Put it in context – it may be more than you counted on or outside your experience. It could be drugs, mental health issues, MR or Autism that you are seeing and dealing with. Don’t assume anything. Be the professional, and continually re-assess your actions. To get compliance sometimes you just need to explain your actions while you’re engaging them physically to get that. Your goal is to do so with minimal damage. Explaining yourself to them may make ALL of the difference. Use your Verbal Judo knowledge and skills to get that result – safely, and compassionately. Review often. Improve your skills continually.”

© Copyright 2015 
tb 061815