Second That!

Rory has put together some great information, that I have not seen elsewhere. This presentation is long – 175 minutes, and you will want to get out a piece of paper or three and take some notes, especially if this is all new to you.

I have been drinking in the Miller Well for a few years now, so I’m used to his presentation, and I always go back to re-read or listen AND for more. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it here – Rory is a DEEP THINKER. This is not an easy label, as you’ll only get it when you GET IT. Oddly, on my second viewing I caught him saying ‘you won’t learn anything new’ after going through this material. Well, he’s correct on some levels, but don’t let that stop you from proceeding. He’s basically saying that you already know this stuff, you just don’t KNOW that you know it. And he may be correct for a certain demographic, but I beg to differ. It’s deeper than that even. You will only come to his conclusion once you GET IT, and I think that many won’t get it until they do.

I often try to compare notes with other professionals in my circles, and even at times they don’t get it. They just drink at the wrong wells, buy into falsehoods, and for lack of a better analogy, put their heads in a hole and wait for the BAD to pass by. Rory has a solid handle on the information, based on his vast experience dealing with the BAD. He has a solid understanding too of how things work – things that we may instinctively know, but it’s not floating on the surface for us. You have to stir the waters to bring it up, if you can open yourself up to this material. For me it’s a necessity – the more I know, or can know, the better equipped I’ll be to deal with it. You can”t buy this information any more affordably, and it will take more than a few viewings to take it all in and really understand it. It’s not for everyone, although it should be.

I highly recommend this outing from Rory. It will be invaluable to any THINKING MAN/WOMAN that truly wants to prepare themselves with ALL of the tools that would be necessary to be a contact professional – whether it be in Security, or Law Enforcement, or even in the Health Care field – EMT, Nurse, Dr. This information is invaluable to anyone that wants to really understand violence – all of it’s nuances, it’s flavors, it;s underlying tones. If you deal with it by dealing with it, you need this information – it’ll answer a lot of questions, and help keep you safer. If you defer to others to deal with it, you can still benefit from the knowledge herein. It’s a must for my library, and I recommend it for yours as well. Educate your mind.

Learn as much as you can about violence, and learn as much as you can from Rory and his circle of friends – they all bring something to the table that you can’t get elsewhere. They are furthering our ability to deal with violence, opening our minds to things that we don’t want to think about, and puling back the veil on this thing we call violence. I put my trust in Rory, because he has and does, and I’m trying to. With his help, I’m getting there, safely, and informed beforehand! This gives me so many options, opportunities, and advantages that I didn’t have five years ago. Thanks Rory.

© Copyright 203 tim boehlert

Mindset CHANGE dead ahead!

October 3, 2012

Scaling Force: Dynamic Decision Making Under Threat of Violence (Paperback)


Rory Miller and Lawrence Kane have put their heads and collective experience together to author a new book available here:

It’s titled ‘Scaling Force’, and it’s jammed full of good information and advice that will surely help many understand the LEGAL definition of the legal term ‘self-defense’, and will guide ANY martial artist through the legal maze that may result from the use of your chosen art in an altercation.

This book will also clearly define the many variables that are involved, and the pitfalls that you may face if you choose to use your training – it can come back and bite you! I don’t mean to discourage anyone – this is going to be a great read, and for many it will be a revelation! Reading through the who’s-who of forewords and beta-reader’s quotes will clue you in to the seriousness of the subject matter – quotes from many notable martial artists, including Marc MacYoung, Alain Burrese, Loren W. Christensen and Ian Abernethy get right to the heart of what you have in store for you to consider.

The reality of ‘self-defense’ as you may be currently taught in the dojo is anything but the reality! Your MA training is incomplete without this text – you are being taught wrong. Simple as that. If your MA dojo is teaching you about the legal implications, they are doing YOU a disservice. Period.

This book will tell you WHY, and teach you about something that used to be called The Force Continuum in Law Enforcement circles. In today’s society we believe too much of what we see on T.V. or read on the internet forums. Self-Defense is a buzzword used by many to take your money and in turn provide you with an incomplete program. It’s taken me personally a few years to get to this mindset, and trust me – I’ve invested a lot of hard earned funds into developing solutions that would work for me and with my given set of circumstances. I was lucky to find Rory a few years ago, I own and have read and or re-read ALL of his output to date. I encouraged him to publish a book last year that I felt was important, and that would help many in my field break some new ground. I connect with Rory’s writing and experience – he’s got an easy manner of expressing difficult concepts and/or ideas. He doesn’t sugar coat things, but slaps you in the face with what the reality is – often in a very humorous way, but often with no B.S. or glossing over.

If you even anticipate being in a situation where you’re likely to have to use your training, save yourself GRIEF> BUY THIS BOOK AND READ IT. It’ll save you money, heartbreak, and untold anxiety. This book is another in a continuing series of books about VIOLENCE – as authored by both Rory and Mr. Kane. They’ve put out some of the best books on VIOLENCE that I’ve found on a subject that I thought I knew something about – until I read THEIR books. Now I KNOW differently. I was only kidding myself, and was also steeped in what T.V. has provided me with over a lifetime of exposure. Do yourself a HUGE favor – BUY THIS BOOK – but you better read it and more importantly UNDERSTAND what you are reading!

I highly recommend this book to everyone. Defend yourself FIRST by being well-informed – and this book will set you on that path. Read the quotes provided by many from the MA community and those from the LEO community as well – they pull no punches. Read/consider/re-read, let it all sink in, and read it again. Understanding violence, understanding ‘self-defense’ as you currently think you know it are likely totally wrong. Really.

© Copyright 2012 tim boehlert

Rape Exposed: Why we need to affect change in the ‘Judicial’ System!

A review of ‘Sex Crimes’ by Alice Vachss


I have to say I was very reluctant to BUY this book. I have an aversion to things that make me uncomfortable, and the title alone does that for me.I bought it anyway, and put it on the fast-track of my reading list.

It’s not what I feared (or I’ve gotten ‘used’ to ugly things) and yet it was extremely informative, and in some places the author actually made me laugh or smile, in the context of the moment.

Here is a woman that has done everything within her power to make change, to make a difference, and has had to fight to do so. She’s had to fight a system that is archaic, a system where prejudice is rampant and openly displayed. She’s also had to fight the politics of her business, and then there’s the law.

God bless her to have the gumption to go to work every day to repeatedly face the ugly. The scenarios that she’s faced, the cases that she’s fought and won, the lives that she’s affected, and the amount of BS that she’s had to endure all the while are nothing short of… I couldn’t have done it with as much heart as she had.

The legal system is broken for these victims, the law IS to blame, but so are many of the other ‘pieces’ that make up that system – the ‘collaborators’ as she so aptly labels them. These are the people in and around the system that either discriminate, minimize, or allow these crimes to go unpunished. They include the Judges, the Defense or Prosecutors, and sometimes the investigators.

Words take on a whole new meaning here. What you think may be an open and shut case, is anything but. How some criminals use the law to their advantage is criminal in and of itself. There is no justice in a lot of what goes on – it’s more about bargaining, lessening the seriousness of the crimes, minimizing the meaning of what really took place as opposed to how counsel would present it to our juries. I’m not letting the jurors off either.

It’s shameful how ‘business’ is conducted in our court rooms, made all the more disgusting by these specific crimes and how it’s ‘dealt’ with to mede out ‘justice.’

This book doesn’t provide many answers for me, but instead it poses a lot of questions. For me it was an education on more of what’s wrong with our world. I couldn’t be more disillusioned with the facts of how this great champion of rape victims was treated, with the amount of stupidity, arrogance, and evil that she had to wade through merely to do what is right – within the confines that the law provides to these victims.

Now I understand why I’ve stayed away from politics all of my years. The system is corrupt beyond my wildest guesses. All in all, Ms. Vachss, my hat is off to you. I want to thank you for having the courage to do ‘that’ job, in the manner and under the circumstances with which you did for so long. Sometimes the good fight is the best thing you can hope for. Exposing it will be helpful, and naming the collaborators is a good start.

I am reminded of some good lawyer jokes, but here is one lawyer that is truly out for justice, who stands for the truth, not just because it’s her job, but because it’s who she is.

This is an important book – you need to read it for yourself to understand why, and you can pick out your own reasons. Thank you for writing this book, and I hope you continue to expose us to more of your world, because what you do is important and more-so, the right thing to do. But there’s also a new list of things that we need to address if there is to be justice for these victims, and it has to start with us, and now we can because of your work and what it has exposed.


© Copyright 2017 tim boehlert

Options for Police Officers During A Traffic Stop

Options for Police Officers During A Traffic Stop

© Copyright 2017 Dan Donzella & Tim Boehlert

In March I had the good fortune of networking with a gentleman on Facebook that seemed to agree with some of my postings – and he had some very good insights to add. I’m always reluctant to reach out and ask too many questions for fear of pushing people away, because in my business, it’s always hard to find like-minded professionals. And while it’s great therapy for me to exorcise some deep-seated thinking, it’s often disturbing to others not acclimated to what I did for years.

I’d like to introduce you to Dan Donzella. Dan is a Martial Artist, an Instructor/Consultant for Police Departments and also a Firearms Instructor. I had asked Dan outright if we could have a phone conversation – I was very curious about his thoughts and experience, and wanted to develop a conversation off-line. We spent over an hour poking around some dark corners, and I finally had to pop some disturbing questions on him! Lo and behold, not only did he agree, but also HELL YEAH! He agreed with my viewpoints.

Understand one thing about some of our civil servants. They are not always forthcoming with talking about, let alone sharing information that is of a specific nature. They generally don’t talk about the job with outsiders, in my opinion of course. I’ve found that many are reluctant to get into specifics or to talk about issues. I’ve also found that training is never discussed.

During my many years of security employment I’ve sought to learn from others – and who better to teach a newbie than a certified Police Officer? I also seek to give back – teach them things that we’d do, based solely on our own abilities or our guidelines. Knowledge is useless if it’s not shared.

In a nutshell, it was great to finally get to the one thing that always bothers me – training. Can we talk about some of it? What are your thoughts about what is taught? Did you see stuff that bothered you? Can we do better? What would you do if you could?

While we have a lot to explore, Dan was kind enough to accept a challenge from me to write his very first article. Dan is a teacher, but not a writer, and we both have that in common, and although he has more ability in many areas than I, we both want to teach better. Dan sent me a few lines of an idea, and I had to wring the rest out. I added my stuff, and took a co-writer option to encourage and guide him through the process, and my expectation is that the next article will be his entirely – and even if I have to edit it, we will strive for autonomy!

What follows is the ‘interview’ process that we undertook after that first phone call where I’d planted the seed to encourage him to share some of his expertise.


TB: Dan, I don’t know much about your background, but you seem to have ties to LE in our community, and we seem to have some very exclusive friends in the MA arena as well as some common friends in the Police community. I also know that you spent some time with a local PD, and did some DT training with their officers. Can you expand on that a bit?

DD: In 2007 a proposal was made to create a Regional Police Academy for numerous police departments. The purpose of this Academy would be to provide standardized training to new recruits while eliminating overlapping policies and tactics and providing a much-better prepared Police force that would be more well equipped to work together with other agencies.

The Department knew me because I had previously taught some of the high-ranking officers. The head of this project felt that the weapons retention course was out of date. He felt that it was inadequate because it was driven by a defensive mindset – strictly addressing problems from a defensive stance. I put together an offensive minded course that was so well received by the movers and shakers that I was then given the task of assessing the Defensive Tactics program and to try and put together a more-modernized version for new recruits as well as seasoned officers.

In doing so, I started by assessing the weapons retention training. Because I am a firearms instructor, and had spent some time on the streets with many of the officers, I was able to find several things that I felt ‘we can do better.’ After being exposed to some of the current training, I knew that I’d have a lot of work to do.

TB: I can’t imagine what it would be like to have the responsibility of designing any program for Police Officers – where do you start, what do you prioritize, and how do you cram it all into such a short program, yet provide them with a responsible end-product?

DD: As you may have guessed, it’s nearly impossible to cover all aspects of police work in a school setting. Your FTO (Field Training Officer) and years of experience are crucial parts of a larger puzzle that isn’t the same for any two recruits.

After completing my new Weapons Retention curriculum I began working with the various units within the Police Department. Each job is different though. For instance Traffic Division vs. Street Patrol. I had the unique opportunity to work Traffic Division with the Captain of that division for 2 years. I was getting a lot of questions from officers on “what if’s”, and the most common question I got was about how to extract a person out of their car. What they were asking me was “is there a ‘best’ way to remove the person and not have it end up escalating into a all-out brawl?” What gets taught universally in academies is that officer safety should ALWAYS be their first priority.

TB: Can you share any of the issues that you discovered in the field?

DD: The major mistake that I witnessed in the field was that the officers would reach in over the driver with their entire body and with both hands to unfasten the driver’s seat belt. This simple and too common method/error would expose the officer’s firearm, leaving the officer vulnerable to possible attack.

TB: You see a lot from a different perspective once you know more – based on years on the street, and/or in other training that you’ve pursued. So, based on this ‘mistake’, how did you address it?

DD: What I came up with were the following changes for those stops where the officer was dealing with a non-cooperative, non-compliant and possibly combative citizen:

[1] The officer should first place his/her right knee against the driver’s hip. This limits the driver’s ability to move offensively against the officer, and also allows the officer to ‘feel’ any sudden movements, but still allows a reasonable degree of control.

[2] Next, the officer places his/her your right forearm across the driver’s jaw-line turning their head away and towards the passenger side of the vehicle. You may ask why the forearm across the jaw? This is a control situation where the officer may need to assist the driver to unbuckle their seatbelt. The driver may be non-compliant for any number of reasons – medical emergency, or perhaps just being plain uncooperative. Reaching across the body without controlling the head in this manner could give the driver a means of pulling the officer into a chokehold. The forearm might actually not even touch the driver but still creates a safer entry technique. Prior and on-going assessment of the situation is always critical. The driver might fake a medical condition to gain surprise or advantage allowing them to get the upper hand on the officer, so always be on your guard.

[3] If needed, i.e. with a combative suspect, apply directed pressure against the driver’s head and into the headrest, rearward momentum. Unbuckle their seat belt with your left hand. Most drivers will​ exit on their own once they realize that the officer has experience with this behavior and advantage. There’s an old saying in the fighting arts, “Where the head goes, the body will follow.” By using this pain compliance technique, whether the suspect is feeling pain or not, the positioning of their head in this manner and using the suspect’s weight against them bypasses having to deal with their combativeness or resisting limbs to an extent, and is much safer for the officer. It’s called pain compliance for a reason, and it is a legal demonstration of the use of less-than-deadly force.

[4] Instead of fighting with the suspect while citizens are filming you, reach around and behind his head, insert your finger into his carotid artery (the brachial plexus region of the exposed neck) or up under the jaw into his glands with your right hand, the mandibular process. Pull his head up and back, out of the door and down towards the rocker panel. Be patient, as your fingers will penetrate more if the driver resists, making it even more effective and the driver will eventually lose his grip on anything in the car, including the steering wheel and fall out of the vehicle, where he can be cuffed and searched.

[5] It is actually possible to cuff them hanging out of the vehicle. It is a painful technique but with no lasting injuries. The exact same entry using the knee and forearm can be used in any situation entering the suspect’s vehicle. Use it in a much more forceful way if the driver is reaching for a weapon. By smashing him with your knee, elbow and forearm on your way to the hand reaching for the weapon.

So, while some drivers will grab onto the steering wheel, and some have even locked their feet behind the brake pedal, this technique may provide a best-defense entry and extraction strategy, safe for all, because some officers would hit their arms or try to peel their fingers off of the steering wheel, and some would be bitten as a result.

TB: I’ve heard the saying that goes something like this “the threat determines the outcome” and I always took that to mean, that they choose to fight or not, to cooperate or not, and when it’s over – you simply oblige them – and I’m not saying this is true nor the reality for you, but in my world it was often very true.

DD: I firmly believe compliance of a suspect relies solely on the experience of the officer. Use of a baton correctly can be useful also, but too many times the public sees that as just an unjustified beating. That can be very bad for a department’s reputation. Use of levers and knowing how the body works is the future of training. Other countries are already way ahead of the U.S. in this process because of their lack of firearms.

TB: I have not heard anyone say that before – and in those specific terms to be exact. It’s taken me more than a few years to understand the levers/body equation and how that knowledge can be more useful to us. It took me about two years to come to terms with that and reset my compass to that path – learning more about body mechanics and math vs. muscle and strength. Sometimes it still looks bad though, even when it’s not. How do you address ‘how it looks’ issues?

DD: I have patterned the majority of the arresting techniques that I teach in a way so that they look as non-aggressive as is possible if being filmed. Every department has to deal with the advent of this trend to capture everything the Police do while performing their duties. It does matter how it looks as much as how effective it is, which should always be the officer’s priority.

TB: Times have certainly changed. Respect for the law is a thing of the past, sadly. And the media has all but gutted the Police Officer’s ability to get home safe every day. Because of their lack of understanding, one-sided and under-researched articles, and outright deceptive reporting practices, our officers are in more danger every day. The media has painted them as thugs, and with the thought that all they want to do is to use force irresponsibly. That has impacted how the public responds and acts when coming into contact with officers.

DD: An officer stops cars all day long, never knowing what to expect. Sadly, there are too many road rage confrontations, and while some citizens solve it by displaying verbal outbursts only, others end up using deadly force.

Every officer wants a safe traffic stop where the driver of the stopped vehicle stays in their vehicle, the officer does his job, whether it be issuing a warning or writing a citation and then to have them both get back on their separate ways. Unfortunately, today a pleasant, non-combative stop can turn into a shoot-out. It happened just today, again, to a new officer, who was killed by the driver after a ‘routine’ traffic stop. No stop is ever routine, and the word ‘routine’ should be banned from every Police officer’s mind.

TB: Anything else that you’d like to share Dan?

DD: We all have seen videos of bar fights and how some bouncers handle the situation. Inexperienced ones get in the brawl and throw punches and toss patrons around. For a club that’s a bad ‘solution’ which can ultimately result in lawsuits, losing their liquor license or losing the business due to adverse reactions from their patrons. An experienced​ bouncer wants to defuse the mayhem. He can handle the patron with total control using different controlling techniques while adapting to his resistance and without causing harm, which is a sheer pleasure to watch!

In conclusion, constant training and improving not only your skills but also knowledge in your chosen field is a must. You must upgrade yourself, training facilities can last only so long and they must be upgraded as well. Having teachers who ‘think out of the box’ are crucial in this endeavor.

TB: I’d like to thank Dan for taking up the challenge and for sharing some unique insights about his training ideology. It’s good to know that there are teachers like him out there that our Police Officers can utilize. And depend on. Dan and I have both seen the effects of incomplete training and we’ve both sought to change that status quo in our own ways. As teachers, we both agree that more can be done, however. We need to get beyond the false sense of security that ‘we’ve learned all that we need.’ That simply is not true.

© Copyright 2017 Dan Donzella & Tim Boehlert

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 

Math and Science in the Martial Arts

Math and Science in the Martial Arts

© Copyright 2017, tim boehlert

The title alone could speak volumes if I knew more, and was any good at math. I don’t, and I’m not. Unfortunately the saying that ‘youth is wasted on the young’ is true here. I appreciate education now more than I ever did.

Over the last few years I have sought to bolster my library by exploring the more technical aspects of what we do as Martial Artists. It actually started with some materials that I bought from TFT (Target Focus Training, Tim Larkin) — which I sought out based on his marketing.

Back in 2008, when I had started my career as in Security, I’d also started my second journey in the Martial Arts at the age of 53. It was a necessary evil, but I gladly took it up because I needed fast and effective solutions to what I was about to face.

After reaching Purple Belt in Kenpo I started to look for other ‘arts’ that might be a better fit for my specific needs. My son had a friend that suggested that I look at Krav Maga. Hell I couldn’t even pronounce that then! She knew what I did for a living, and thought it might have what I needed, but cautioned me “it’s very brutal!”

The macho side of me said ‘Hell Yeah!’, but the responsible side of me said – ‘stay away!’ Responsible went out the window. I got on-line and started looking around. I was looking for a package deal, an all-in-one solution, and I was new to this. I bought one of the more expensive packages that I could find, packaged as a 17 DVD disc set, it seemed like a good idea for the money. I placed an order direct for the Commando Krav Maga set, based on the marketing once again.

I started to watch once the package arrived and wow! I’d never seen things like this before. It was hosted by Moni Aizik. What I’d learned was that Moni was based (then) in Canada – just a few hours away. As I jumped ahead in his series of DVD’s, I came across one that may featured footage of a seminar that he’d given, and there I found Avi Nardia, my teacher. Avi and Moni are friends, both sharing some things in common – Martial Arts, Military Service, both exports from Israel to the United States, and both urged to do so by Jim Wagner. Fact check that, but I think that’s correct.

What I liked about Avi was his calm. Avi was taking the students to school, Avi style.

Avi is a well of information, deep and rich. He dissects everything with a very critical eye. Through him I have learned some of how to do the same.

Small-circle JuJitsu by Wally Jay may have been the earliest book that I bought that explained things in a mathematical or scientific way.

I found Tim Larkin on-line. Here’s a guy that has a specific niche, and with a very well planned-out course. In a nutshell it’s all about breaking people. This to takes some time to assimilate. You need to know the context, and I think once you get that, it makes sense. Again, not what I thought I needed. But….

… the information was good and relevant in some respects. Tim’s program is not Martial Arts, it’s intended for those who need self-defense, and in his product, it’s about efficient ways to shut your aggressor down. Period. Exclamation Point!

What I eventually found was the beginning of what this article is all about – math & science! In the Lethal Leverage series you will find a treasure-trove of information related to dealing with anyone who may seek to harm you.

The accompanying book is less than 100 pages, double-spaced text, and with some very good illustrations. Tim’s partner, Chris Ranck-Buhr, does a lot of the writing. This product is designed with your survival as it’s main goal. It’s not a sport-system.

Starting on page 31, you are introduced to three classes of levers. The purpose is to describe and understand what they are, how they work, and then how they are applied. We are introduced to new terminology and concepts that are key to understanding and using this material in the field.

On page 61, we are introduced to the joints of the body and what TFT describes as Base Leverages. There are six that you will need to understand. You learn about each joint, and how it works, and it’s limitations – known as it’s pathological limits.

Over the next 30 pages you will learn about each joint, and what, and how to break each and every one of them. This is not to say that you should, but if you found a need to do so, it’s here. For most of us, it will be good to know where the limits are but also how these wonderful things work. Only then can we use it to our advantage.

Think about a simple arm-bar. A typical arm-bar requires that you apply force to three joints in tandem and in succession, quickly – the wrist, the elbow and the shoulder. So, as an example, the wrist can be moved in six directions, anywhere from 20° to 90° before reaching it’s pathological limits, then the elbow rotates, and the shoulder is a ball-socket and thus has the largest range of motion available. When you learn about these ranges for each joint, the light bulb will go on, trust me.

Doesn’t everyone wonder why a throw works, and how? Well I used this information to learn more about Control & Constraint. Now I could understand how to make some of that work better for me.

I knew in my first year of Hospital Security that I was going to need to find other ‘solutions’ to my ‘problems.’ I knew that I couldn’t compete size for size or against muscle forever. Knowing and then admitting to that fact that led me to do this research.

I later found two books by Martina Sprague. Fighting Science is the first book. In a nutshell, it’s all about why things work or don’t and how to improve that ability in your techniques. Physics is the key here – Torque, Kinetic Energy, Power, Force, Momentum…. you get the idea? It’ about getting around size and strength, which is universal I think, right?

Martina’s next book, The Science of Takedowns, Throws… introduced things like timing and balance to her previous leverage and momentum studies. What this all really comes down to is not using muscle, but using what you have against what your adversary has, by using this knowledge to your.

If you really want or perhaps need to know more, I can recommend the following two books:

[1] Human Body Dynamics by Aydin Tozeren. If you want to study math as your primary goal to understanding the how and why of the body, this is likely a good choice. It’s about human movement and mechanics of how the body moves. You will learn about muscle and bone structure, joints, laws of motion, and all of the mathematical formulae associated with movement, etc… not for the weak of heart or nimble of mind!

[2] Biomechanics of Human Motion by Emeric Arus, PhD. This book was written with the Martial Artist in mind. You’re going to learn about such things as Kinematics, Kinesics, biomechanical and physiological human motion. Because this is more about how things work specifically in the Martial Arts, it’s a great reference, again laden with math formulae.

Here’s a few more to consider looking at:

[3] Fight Like a Physicist by Jason Thalken, PhD. Jason’s approach is to talk about fighting and the use of physics – to your advantage. Now thus far, all of these books have applicable information in them, and not just for Martial Arts, but also for Self Defense methods. You will have to explore, and perhaps you will discover that tiny missing piece that puts it all together for you. There is some really good fight info in this book – transfer of energy, efficiency, angular velocity, and yes even brain damage.

[4] The Anatomy of Martial Arts by Dr. Norman Link and Lily Chu discusses in how some of the techniques work – but specifically what muscle groups and bone structures support those movements. Good to know. By adding some of this knowledge, you may be able to start to see the connecting dots when it comes to understanding how to generate power for example.

[5] Book of Martial Power by Steven J. Pearlman. In this book you will find a set of basic fundamental principles. Complex force, economical motion, penetration, extension, and the dynamic sphere are introduced. Reading the back cover quotes, I’m now seeing the names of friends and mentors who’ve already beat me to finding this particular book – damn! I guess it comes highly recommended!

[6] The Principles of Unarmed Combat by Mark Jacobs – a book about empty-hand combat. More technique and insider information. Covers the gamut of strikes, throws, chokes, submission, and even sacrifices!

[7] Vital Point Strikes by Sang H. Kim. This book is about meridians, pressure points, targeting. Very well illustrated, and covers a lot of ground including training drills.

These are just a few examples from my personal library that may take years to get through and truly understand.

The more you know and understand, the more likely it is that you’ll make smarter/better choices when you need them, and perhaps with less effort – by using the math and science that you now know. It’s not the technique that is important, but in the knowing of what makes it work. If you understand how, you can design your own techniques and solutions.