Category Archives: Random Thoughts

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

Verbal Judo & The Jigoro Kano Connection

“Doc has been very active over the last few weeks – nudging me in a few new directions! I’ve been doing some spending and research based on things Doc wrote in his second Verbal Judo book about the origins of VJ and the correlation between the verbal aspects and the physical techniques of Jigoro Kano. To better understand Doc’s intentions, I have to fully understand the connections to specific Jigoro Kano Maxims and techniques that Doc names and describes in the book. Trying to run down Doc’s reference to Jigoro Kano’s study at Oxford whereby he studied muscles and bones and determined that he needed to change some of his techniques based on his newfound knowledge of physiology.”

© Copyright 2015 tb 030215


“The choices you make while attempting clear communication can be the difference between having an average/typical evening and one that ends in the arrest of a person for taking umbrage with your message using less skillful methods.”

i.e. he pulled a knife after I asked him to leave! Yes, it actually happened something like that.

© Copyright 2014 tb 082814

Taxing GUNS to stop gun Violence?

From a recent FB post:

“We stopped cigarette advertising to prevent smoking, raised the cost of a pack and taxed them to the sky perhaps the same can be done for guns… “

You got me! I couldn’t STOP myself from at least throwing this against the wall:

My two cents: Taxing or changing pricing will do nothing – if they’re desperate and resourceful enough, they will find a way, like smokers did and do, to use your analogy. Laws change nothing as well, IMO – only those willing to abide by them will adhere to them. My recollection – 9/11 – box cutters weren’t legislated out of existence. My proof is that I confiscate many each week that try to bring them into my facility. It’s the INTENT and not the possession that is more of interest to me. Disarming US makes them more likely to use any means possible to do evil. I stand unarmed everyday to at least promote a vision of preparedness so that the public will feel a little more safe and at ease in a place that they SHOULD feel safe. Everyday I wonder – will it happen today? What will I do – with no training, no real support, no plan, and of course no ability to fight back that makes others feel comfortable. Guns makes people uncomfortable, but I see more knives everyday as a ‘norm’ – it’s part of our culture, and only recently has this become a social issue that raises alarm. The issue is too big for a few short ideas in a too short forum such as this. Suffice it to say that I have to disagree based on my experience and knowledge. If we disarm ourselves, we surrender – which is what their goal has been since day one. Legislation will NOT change that. Propaganda – advertising or pre-legislation media blitzes are one and the same – selling an ideology for ‘our’ side. We’ve lost our morals, raised a generation of self-indulged children, and given EVERYONE the right to claim ‘I’m SPECIAL!” – without earning that and forget questioning that – that would be politically incorrect. I see bad behavior every-single-day. Entitlement to do whatever I want because…. we need to change THAT. No laws will change someone unwilling to adhere to them, to respect them. It’s only their desire to do harm that gives them power over us while the rest of us line up like sheep…. and strip away our rights and abilities to fight back, to defend, to live freely.

© Copyright tb 2015

Security: Inconvenience?

  • Sadly too many people have no idea what a security person at a private institution does. Please check yourself before trying to access their facility. We provide security for everyone – you, your family, and our co-workers. We take it seriously because we have seen what many are capable of. We see the many weapons that people insist on carrying. We confiscate many, but can’t get them all – that scares me for your safety. We try to locate the bad apples and weed them out or check them with notification that we will be watching them. If I stop you to ask some questions, please understand that I am doing my job as best I can for your safety and mine, not to inconvenience you. Please stop using the term terrorism as if it doesn’t exist.Would it help if I scared you to educate you that MOST men carry folding knives into facilities everyday, and that we can’t possibly find them all – or box cutters, screwdrivers, hammers, chisels, hunting knives, folding knives, switchblades, razors, expandable batons, stun-guns, mace, pepper spray, handguns, ammunition, and almost every sort of device that has no place being on your person when you enter a hospital to visit a loved one? Well, it’s all true. Everyday someone is stopped and searched and we find these things even though the visitor has said NO when asked if he was carrying any weapons. It’s a fact.So, please check your attitude before you enter a facility that you expect to be safe in – we are doing the best we can with what we have. I’m sorry if it inconveniences you, that’s not my intent, but it is my job. I do my job well so that you can feel safe, not inconvenienced. Think before you speak, and if it really bothers you that we ask you to not only carry identity with you, but that you display it when asked to do so, consider some of the facts that I have provided.Coming into the facility inebriated or otherwise compromised is also frowned upon, and again, don’t take it personally – it’s for your safety and ours that we ask you to visit our facility some other day. Please keep your negative comments in check. This is only a small portion of what we face and/or prevent every single day, every single hour that we are on shift. We are not just sitting around, relaxing, and having fun – when you see what you interpret as an easy job that we have, know that in the next few seconds, minutes or hours we will be asked to intervene in a family dispute over a shared loved one, or have to deal with any number of criminals brought in by local law enforcement and left in our care, or asked to have someone leave the facility because they couldn’t behave properly, or assist a Nurse or visitor that was just assaulted by a patient or visitor, or any number of events that we have to walk into without any prior knowledge of who or what is happening.I am good at what I do, I take it seriously, and I am diligent in doing my job so that you can feel safe. Period. So please take a second today to check some facts, do some research, and please be more understanding when a security professional asks you to comply to his requests. We are here for you and your family, loved ones and their safety.
  • © Copyright tb 2013

Taking Responsibility… for yourself AND others!

In the most recent ‘event’, the shooter followed behind another person that was NOT aware of their surroundings, nor concerned enough to secure the door behind them. IF people would raise their awareness level, pay attention to actually securing things for themselves, and taking responsibility for others through those simple actions, many of these things would be avoided. It will never be eliminated, but we can reduce the occurrence of events using these simple actions. Pay attention to what and who is around you – close enough to affect your life. When you go in or out of a secured door, make sure you re-secure it immediately. Don’t wait for the pneumatic door arm to do the work, reach out and grab the handle and pull or push it closed. Keep in mind that your laziness/inattention/lack of responsibility CAN effect outcomes for others. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY. Raise your awareness level. Clear your plate between destinations – don’t immediately get your phone/ipod out and in your hands, scan your surroundings instead. Pay attention. Listen to your inner voice – if something seems odd/wrong, that’s your internal alarm going off – PAY ATTENTION to it! Make change first in YOUR actions. Don’t simply let someone follow you through a secured door. Challenge them, it’s NOT about not being polite, it’s about taking responsibility. If your facility demands ID you should too. Security is not just someone else’s job, it’s yours too. Educate yourself, get involved, and HELP stop the madness using these simple directives.

© Copyright tb 2013