Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The logistics of training.

This blog will pick up where the last one left off.  Actually, I haven’t blogged then because all the time I have allocated for things like blogging have been dedicated to figuring out how I am actually going to pull off the class I described at the end of the previous blog.

Hence the title of this blog – The logistics of training.

It is one thing to have a neat idea, it is an entirely different thing to turn that idea into something tangible.


This is the approach I took

The raw materials I took from Rory and Marc can be boiled down to this
  • Chiron 2 day DT course
  • Principles and Concepts (unpublished manuscript)
  • Drills
  • Facing Violence
  • Logic of violence
  • Conflict Communications
  • Violence Dynamics
  • Force Physics

These things are generally taught in a seminar format and / or an academic setting

How do I square that with what I already teach in a Dojo setting?

I took the approach of mimicking a semester (10 week) long college course.

Tuesday and Thursday are class room
Saturdays are like “night class” (all of the material from the day classes jammed into one longer session)
Sundays (The New Class) are “Lab”.  To experiment on your own and come up with your own methods

On Sunday’s I’m more of a facilitator than an Instructor.  Primarily making sure no one gets hurt or blows up the lab.

However, there is a ton of “academic” stuff that I lump together under the category of [Things your Sensei / DT / Combatives Instructor never taught you, but should have]

Things we hit once a year with the Violence Dynamics seminar but that I feel I need to train more often, and that more people need to know (more on that to follow)

So, 4 of the 10 Sundays the 45 minute skill conditioning portion will be replaced with a brain conditioning lecture

Things your Sensei / DT / Combatives Instructor never taught you, but should have lectures:
(1) Human reactions to interpersonal violence
  • Human reactions to interpersonal violence
  • Your brain on violence
·         The Lizard [Hind Brain]
o       Survival instinct (rhythm , and ritual)

·         The Monkey [Limbic System]
o       Emotion
o       Social behavior

·         The “Human” [Neo Cortex]
o       Rational thinking
o       Judgment
  • OODA
  • Moral  / Ethical
  • Breaking the freeze
  • Legal  - Use of force

(2) Violence Dynamics
n      Violence Dynamics
        Social Violence
        Asocial Violence
n      Conflict Strategies
        Run – Escape / Evade
n      Predator Eyes
        De-escalation (Social Violence)

(3) Logic of Violence
  • Understanding how and why “bad guys” operate

(4) Awareness
n      Deterring Asocial Violence (You can’t de-escalating asocial violence) {Thanks Marc}
n      What the predator wants
n      Predator Counters
n      Awareness
n      Threat Assessment Scanning
n      Operator Mindset
n      After

I have been busy developing teaching tools to help me present this information.  Power Points for the lectures, lesson plans, and an excel program to help people understand the logic of violence and to help me generate custom training scenarios that are logical and meet the needs of individual students.

I feel I am ready to go.  I will be dong a test run starting this Sunday (October 7th) and running through mid November.


Training Dates:
Sunday 10 /7/12
Contact Controls & Joint Locks

Sunday 10/14/12

Sunday 10/21/12
Impact / Drives

Sunday 10/28/12
Counter Assault

Sunday 11/4/12
Ground Skills

Sunday 11/11/12
Vascular Restraints

Sunday 11/18/12
All classes incorporate scenarios and reality based drills.  If you want to participate in the scenario training 11/18/12 you must attend at least three other classes to learn scenario safety protocols

525 Railroad Dr
Elk River, MN 55330
(The Basement of the Elk River American Legion)

11 am – 1 pm

$75 for the entire course or $20 per session
This training is provided free to Law Enforcement and Military personnel

This will give me a chance to work out any bugs and refine the class for full 10 week implementation next year

By then I hope to have lots of students that want to work scenarios, so I plan on have scenario training on the lecture classes 4 out of the 10 weeks.

Of all the elements of the new class, I am the most excited about implementing scenario training for “civilians”. 
I have developed and run scenario training for Law Enforcement and Tactical Teams for the better part of a decade.

I even wrote a blog detailing how to run scenarios for your martial arts school based on that experience that was featured in Aikido Journal Online

But I haven’t really used this training method with my own guys very often.  Here is a video of some scenario training we did with Jeff who was a security guard at a medical electronics company at the time

Not to rip on Jeff but you can see from the video how his performance could have been enhanced by the - Things your Sensei / DT / Combatives Instructor never taught you, but should have lectures.

And Jeff is one of my guys; he has been to the Violence Dynamics seminar, which brings me back to:
I feel I need to train this more often, and that more people need to know this.

Case in point

This summer a Police Officer was arrested for assault.

Like any incident I review on the blog I make it clear that I am not second guessing or judging the people involved.  I am just trying to learn from the incident

Even more so in this case because I know and respect the Officer involved.  Dave ran my initial SWAT school, and just recently ran some advanced team leader tactical training.  He is a top notch Operator and from what I know of him a good guy.

But this summer, he got in a bad situation and the only information most people have about it came from the media (who are generally not friendly to cops) and the best buddy of the victim.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minneapolis police sergeant and SWAT officer — who was apparently angered by a loud cellphone conversation — was charged with assault Monday for allegedly punching a man in the head, seriously injuring him.
Minneapolis police Sgt. David Clifford, the executive officer of the Minneapolis Police SWAT unit, was in the Anoka County Jail on Monday. He is charged with third-degree assault, and is scheduled to make his first court appearance Tuesday.
"You wouldn't think a police officer would behave in this way," said Anoka County Sheriff's Cmdr. Paul Sommer. "It's kind of a shock to our system."
Sommer identified the victim as Brian Keith Vanderlee, 34, of Ramsey. The hospital was not providing information about Vanderlee's condition, but Sommer said that, as of Monday morning, Vanderlee was on life support and had undergone two brain surgeries.
Minneapolis Star Tribune spokesman Steve Yaeger said Monday evening that Vanderlee is an account executive in advertising sales at the newspaper, and spelled his last name as Vander Lee. A report in the newspaper also said that he is 43 years old.
The discrepancy in the spelling of Vanderlee's name and his age could not be resolved Monday evening.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Vander Lee family," Yeager said.
Sommer said video surveillance from Saturday night shows that Clifford and Vanderlee were seated at adjacent patio tables at Tanners Station, a steakhouse and restaurant in Andover, a Minneapolis suburb.
Sommer said Vanderlee was apparently talking loudly on his cellphone to a friend when Clifford got up and approached him. Sommer said the video shows Clifford appeared to say something to Vanderlee, who was still on his phone.
As Vanderlee was about to get to his feet, Sommer said, "Clifford strikes him with a closed fist, just once in the head."
Vanderlee fell backward and may have hit his head on concrete, Sommer said.
"From what I saw, there was no fight," Sommer said. "It was a one-sided assault."
Clifford, 47, of Andover, fled on foot. He turned himself in Sunday afternoon.
According to the criminal complaint, Clifford told police he was at the bar with his wife and others to talk about National Night Out, and that he "took offense to some language" Vanderlee was using and asked him to stop.
Clifford told authorities Vanderlee stopped using the offensive language for five to 10 minutes, but started using it again. Clifford said he went over to Vanderlee, and when Vanderlee stood up and cursed, Clifford punched him, thinking he was going to be hit himself.
"The defendant admitted he did not de-escalate the situation by talking to employees or moving tables," the complaint said.
According to the complaint, employees of the bar did not hear Vanderlee use offensive language and heard no complaints that he had done so.
Clifford has been placed on home assignment, and there is an internal investigation, Minneapolis police spokesman Bill Palmer said.
Palmer said Clifford joined the Minneapolis department in 1993 and has been a SWAT officer since the mid-1990s. He has no disciplinary action in his file, and has received two medals of valor and other awards. He was promoted to sergeant in 2008.
He also has worked for the United Nations as a police officer in Kosovo, Palmer said.
The name of Clifford's attorney was not immediately known. The Anoka County Jail does not accept messages for inmates.
Jeff Bienne contributed to this report from Minneapolis.
Here is an example of how the story was reported on TV
Mind you the person being interviewed was in the parking lot and never saw the alleged 15 step running start superman punch he described.

My point in sharing this is – If a top notch Operator like Dave with all his training and experience can get caught up in something like this.  Anyone can get caught up in something like this.

That is why the learning information in the “Things your Sensei / DT / Combatives Instructor never taught you, but should have” lectures is so important, and practicing using that information and those skills under stress in scenario training even more so.

I feel I need to train this more often, and that more people need to know this.

That is why I have gone through all the trouble developing the teaching tools (logistics) to provide this type of training.

Taking a neat idea and making it happen.

So again shameless self promotion

If you want to join us on Sundays c’mon over
If you want me to visit your school or if you want help developing this type of training yourself – contact me

Train Hard, Train Smart, Be safe


  1. It is a commonly accepted aphorism that "we fight like we train".

    You said, "My point in sharing this is – If a top notch Operator like Dave with all his training and experience can get caught up in something like this. Anyone can get caught up in something like this."

    In counter-point, I say that your friend Dave (who apparently works as the last surviving PBX switchboard "operator" in America?) undoubtedly fought as he had trained, to apply immediate, overwhelming violence to the opponent in a perceived confrontation. While an on-duty police officer doing so is (however questionably) going to be defended by the courts as necessary behavior, Dave-at-dinner-with-his-wife isn't "operating" as an officer of the court and thus both is and ought to be just as susceptible to the legal limitations on personal behavior as any other citizen. Dave didn't get "caught up in" any behavior he wouldn't have committed while in uniform it would seem, which calls into question the nature of that training IMO.

    Those who train police officers (to specifically include those who write the regulations/laws mandating that training) ought to examine the logistics of how and why their existing training doctrine contributes to this type of apparently unlawful behavior by their students. To the extent we do in fact "fight as we train" and fighting is only sometimes legal, maybe we need to adjust our professional training emphasis to include the rest of the student's life as well. Perhaps something as simple as an additional step in the conflict progression as "check for presence of back-up/legal jurisdiction" would accomplish sufficient a change to reduce the incidence of this type of occurrence both on and off the job for our country's police.

  2. I got so involved in this material that I couldn’t stop reading. I am impressed with your work and skill. Thank you so much.