Monday, January 31, 2011

Lessons learned from recent Reality Based Scenario Training

We had an excellent training experience on Saturday.  I planned on blogging about it today but Lise beat me to it.  So instead of reinventing the wheel I just cut and post her blog.  Don’t worry I’ll add my 5 cents at the end, or interject my thoughts in italics  ( can’t let her have the last word)

Saturday we had an awesome class. We went to an office setting (day off so no one was working) and we worked with Reality Based Scenarios (RBS). Being on location made it that much more realistic. Physically, you have to deal with corners, furniture, small hallways or closets, etc. Mentally, you are dealing with a space where you might not normally encounter violence, where your mind might be on code white instead of being more alert.

Kasey came up with some different scenarios involving scenes that are likely to happen to civilians in their homes or office:  well, more likely to happen as opposed to pretending to be a ninja commando - house break-ins, fake delivery people, disgruntled customers, etc. This is so much better than training for fantasy scenarios that might be cool and fun but unrealistic, and might even train you for failure.

Kasey got suited up and played the bad guy the entire class. He is a very good actor and RBS player. He looked and sounded angry, mean and violent. In case I have never mentioned this before, I would not want to be on his bad side.

Besides being fun being bad, it is important to train against negative energy, ki/chi what every you want call it.  It is different sparring even full out with a friend than being screamed, sworn at, and attacked  buy someone who hates you and really wants to hurt you

The goal of the exercise was to either prevent him from doing bad things or to take him out. If we failed, we got injured and/or died in the process… no fooling around with him. But of course no one ever fails and dies in our school. If we did something that did not work, that would have gotten us killed in real life, we will replay it and tweak a few things until we get it to work so we can leave with the confidence that what we do works and that we CAN be the victor in a violent encounter.

The most critical issue I saw was the defender standing in front of the attacker trading damage – which Lise will expand on

We have practiced drills in the past where we had to diffuse the entire situation with Conflict Communication. Today was about what happens when this fails, when the fecal matter hits the air matrix dispenser.

This was very eye opening and it’s a great way to show you where your strength and weaknesses were. Everyone looked really sharp. It was just as much fun to watch than to perform. The debriefing was a great learning experience for everyone involved. We discussed the moral ethics, the legal implications and the possibilities of other solutions. We explained what we did, why we did it. We asked questions about the things we felt had not gone the way they should. We had peer review and comments.

My weakness was in the office setting. I was a bit too slow at switching mode from professional and courteous to ass-kicking-to-save-my-life mode. And a bit too slow can mean life and death or serious injury. There is a fine line when you know communication has failed and gone out of the window, and when you know violence is about to happen.

Recognizing that moment is a critical skill.  If talking is not working or making things worse – time to stop talking.  Prepertrators of asocial violence are PREDATORS.  If you can’t talk down a hungry bear, why do you think you can talk down a 2 legged predator?  The trick is recognizing that dude is a bear.

From a woman’s perspective, when you are confronted with a dangerous, violent and /or threatening situation, it will usually come from a man (or men) that will most likely be larger and stronger than us (or armed). It is a scary thing. (I have never been seriously threatened by a 7 year old boy playing checkers). I have but the members of my family REALLY  LIKE TO WIN
J  If I think of myself as a weak and helpless person, that will not only affect the way I act but that will come across to my attacker and this will give him fuel. I need to think of myself as a 300 lbs gorilla. But at the same time I have to remember that I am not physically a 300 lbs gorilla and to not try to fight strength on strength with him/them. That is why we work with things like getting out of the way; do not stand right in front of an attacker where he can do the most damage. While it’s a good thing to be able to take a hit and keep on going, it is a better thing to not take a hit at all. A hard punch to the jaw might just knock me out. We also work on basic simple responses that will work on most of the situations encountered (counter ambush).
Violence happens quicker, more suddenly and harder than you can imagine.

There is a fine line to be achieved and I feel a lot more confident in my skills now. Those are things that cannot be learned in a dojo. This type of training is invaluable.
All in all, mission accomplished!

Very nice blog by Lise, now my 5 cents.  Again for the most part every one looked very good.
Here is Lise killing me in the closet

The scenario was you left your house for a soda, pack of smokes, whatever.  When you returned home you door was ajar ( you know you always lock your door)  A smart idea would to be to call the cops.  However, the twist of the scenario was that you left someone you love in the house.  In Lise’s case it was her college aged daughter Kenzy. 

When people got “killed” was when they stood in front of the attacker trading damage.
Ram heads

Not to throw Jeff under the Bus here is an example of what I’m talking about

Jeff Security

I was just touching Jeff’s head to let him know he was exposed, but with intent Jeff would have had a very bad day

Even with all the counter ambush training that we do sometimes people still reverted to this.  Instead of punches swap that for a knife.  How much damage do you want to take.  Motion defeats strength.

Ok, a larger opponent is coming at you with momentum and intent do you want to plant your feet and hope you can hurt him more and faster than he can hurt you ?

Hey diddle diddle right up the middle

How about now?  If the tactic won’t work on a speeding locomotive, it probably won’t work on a larger opponent coming at you with momentum and intent.  Unless you as Superman (NOTE: you are not Superman)

Charles Nelson a WWII era CQB instructor exemplifies this concept.  He chose for his school the symbol of a Mongoose fighting a Cobra.

Mongoose vs. cobra

Notice the angles the Mongoose works.  Avoid, counter.  If an opening presents itself attack

Great day of scenario training, some glitches exposed and worked on. 
McClure Sensei used to say to me if I, or another Sensei comes up to you at a clinic and corrects something be happy because now you have something specific to work on.  Take their advice and improve.  Take your training to the next level.

Some advice to leave you with with – moving out of the way is always a good idea.  Keep doing it until the attacker hands you something you can use.  They will all but throw, lock, or punch themselves.  Trading damage is never a good idea because it means you are taking damage.  Even if you take damage move to where you are safer.

Train hard, train smart, be safe

Here is an example of how traditional martial arts can be awesome when done by exceptional people. 

Alvin protects Suzie

McClure Sensei makes this look effortless, but receiving it was not fun and I was looking for counter attack the whole time (Cobra) McClure took my motion and planted my on my face (Mongoose)  It’s always good when Cobra is defeated – Yo Joe!

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