Category Archives: training

People skills and personal protection

While reviewing some files in my reading list, I came across this gem. It’s from an article called The best advice for today’s music industry was written 80 years ago

In his closing keynote presentation [at the DIY Musicians Conference] called “How to Make an Extra $100,000 from Your Music Next Year,” Martin [Atkins] ran down a long list of creative cost-saving and money-making suggestions, peppered with commandments like “Don’t be an asshole” and “Whatever the fuck it is, get the fuck over it.”

At the heart of Martin’s talk, though, was this quote:

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

Dale Carnegie wrote that in 1936, in his book How to Win Friends and Influence People.

Martin’s first suggestion brought to mind a comment one of my first bosses in the real estate business made about one of the brokers in our office. “That guy needs to take a Dale Carnegie Course. Twice!”

Dale Carnegie Training has an excellent eBook abstract of Dale Carnegie’s writings available for download on its website. The eBook is called Dale Carnegie’s Secrets of Success. Here’s the link to it. I have two well-worn hard copies, from when it was called Dale Carnegie’s Golden Book, one of which I keep on my desk.

golden-book-nov

Secrets of Success is recommended reading for everyone, regardless of what you do or your personal philosophy. Those who are churned up about recent political events, on both ends of the spectrum, should take note especially.

What does Dale Carnegie have to do with personal protection? Let’s keep in mind that unlike natural disasters, personal protection against criminality involves a social transaction between two people. Those two people might be:

  • You and a Violent Criminal Actor
  • One of your loved ones and a Violent Criminal Actor
  • A trainer and you
  • You and someone you are trying to teach, either formally or informally
  • You and someone you are trying to influence to make decisions about personal protection

Since I am a trainer and educator, I’ll address the last two points first. Recently, a trainer and blogger posted a 4,128 word rant about numerous shortcomings an acquaintance of his had. The rant was very pompous and disdainful. Some of the shortcomings related to personal protection and some were general life ‘flaws.’ No doubt the trainer’s object was to give his readers some food for thought about how they might have shortcomings similar to the acquaintance’s. However, Atkins’ first comment, “Don’t be an asshole” immediately came to mind as I read it. The overall tone of the blogger’s post was “this guy’s an idiot and I’m sooooo much smarter and better than him.”

No one likes or is influenced by a pompous asshole. Unfortunately, I see a lot of pompous assholiness in the training community. I’m not immune to being that way, either.

The Be a Leader section of Secrets of Success makes several germane points.

  • Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly.
  • Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.
  • Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.

Another aspect of the training community I often see is a lack of connection to the everyday lives that our students live. There are several worthwhile items from Secrets of Success in this regard.

Become a Friendlier Person

  • Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
  • Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.

Win People to Your Way of Thinking

  • Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.
  • Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.
  • Throw down a challenge.

So, I’m going to throw down a challenge to the training community.

Get a job; a real job where you have to fill out a W-4 when you get hired. Just like the jobs your students have.

Right now is a golden opportunity, no pun intended. The end of the year is a relatively slow time for training and there are numerous seasonal positions available in the retail sector. Target, WalMart, and Sears, among others, are all hiring for temporary positions through the end of the year. If you don’t like wearing a uniform, Macy’s and other high end retailers are hiring and will give you an even better environment to test your hypotheses. Get a temporary job in a retail store for a couple of months. Walk a mile in your students’ moccasins while carrying the heater and all the gear you tell them to EDC. See how it works out for you.

If you get fired (or arrested) for a weapons violation or you decide you can’t carry all that crap while working and interacting with people all day without getting made, you owe me a drink. If you work at least 30 hours a week for six weeks in the retail environment with your full EDC loadout, I’ll buy you dinner. Full time sworn LEOs, 16 hours a week will fulfill the challenge. Totally on the honor system; I’ll accept whatever outcome you tell me you had.

In our Violent Criminal Actors class last month, William Aprill talked about the difference between odds and stakes. The payout odds for my offer are about 5 to 1 in your favor. The stakes; well that’s a different story.

Next time, we’ll discuss the relevance of people skills to The Deadly Mix and Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted 2015. Until then:

phil-esterhaus

 

 

Pride and fear

“when pride arrives, logic [leaves].” –Samurai Rising

I would say the same is true of fear, which is one reason I don’t care for the “I was in fear for my life” mantra. When we in the industry teach fear to our students, I am concerned we are setting them up to make bad decisions.

Following through

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Although this sign was at a church, it’s applicable to many aspects of our lives. Interestingly, I saw it while thinking about the 1,000 Days while driving a surveillance detection route I don’t usually take. Synchronicity, as Jung would say.

Working the 1,000 Days has brought a clarity to me about the value of following through on what we start. One of the things that I have noticed is that training classes frequently don’t include a followup program for students to follow. Insights Training Center and Mid-South Institute of Self Defense Shooting are the only two I can recall that gave me a takeaway. I include the NRA Marksmanship Qualification Program Defensive Pistol I course of fire as a followup for people who take my short classes.

I want to make sure that the students who come to our Violent Criminal Actors and You course have a followup program also. Since it’s not a physical skills class, I have to approach the followup program in a different way.

This is how I’m going to do it: the next 10 people who sign up for the class will get a personal one hour telephone consultation with me about how to develop their individual program. Since everyone’s situation is different, each consultation will be personalized. I ordinarily charge $125/hour with a two hour minimum for training and consultation, so I think this is an offer that has value.

Those who have signed up already will also receive the one hour consultation. I want to get the consultations finished within a month after the class, so that will probably be as many people as I can accommodate. This will be an interesting way to me to followup on what the students gain from the class and how they plan to implement their education.

James Yeager‘s philosophy that training is just a down payment has always appealed to me. So, I’m going to put my money where my mouth is and help our students follow-through.

Hebrew Hogger 2016

Hebrew Hogger 2016, held in Nashville, has come and gone. It was a great one day training event held to defray the costs associated with a justified self defense shooting by a member of our community. There were 58 attendees, some of whom came from other States to attend. Six presentations were given, both in the classroom and hands-on. There was no livefire firearms training at all. Following are a few of my notes from the speakers. If I have butchered anything they said, it’s my responsibility.

Dr. William Aprill – Violent Criminal Actors

  • Get VCAs to pick someone else; fail the interview.
  • Too much eye contact with VCAs can trigger their aggression.

Dr. Sherman House – Becoming the Civilian Defender

  • Better to have an option to avoid a situation than to have a tool to get out of a situation.
  • The importance of Defensive Driving training.

Dana McLendon, Esq. – Dealing with the aftermath of a shooting

  • The goal is to go home without dealing with law enforcement or emergency medical services.
  • Mitigation of risk.
  • Very few people will attend training events like Hebrew Hogger because they don’t think deeply enough about the issues associated with personal protection.
  • Assume everything is being recorded. He noted how often recordings of incidents include a shout about being posted to WorldStar.
  • A shooting may happen in an area where you are unsafe afterward. You may need to arrange to meet the police at some place they specify. Do NOT simply flee the scene.
  • Trials are now about stories and narratives.
  • A shooting is likely to have at least a five figure cost, assuming it doesn’t have to go to trial. The incident leading to the Hogger is a perfect example.
  • “You will rarely regret having said too little.”
  • His favorite movie lawyer movie is My Cousin Vinny because he thinks it’s the most realistic.

Know the rules Input

Eli Miller – emergency wound treatment. I wasn’t able to attend this one because of all that was going on.

Dr. William Aprill – disarms. I couldn’t attend this one, either.

Andrew Branca attended and contributed copies of his book the Law of Self Defense to the cause. He and I had an interesting discussion about the tortured nature of personal protection law in some areas of the country.

My presentation was a small segment from our upcoming class, Violent Criminal Actors and You. Given the situation, I thought Strategies, Tactics, and Option for Personal Protection (STOPP) would be the most appropriate. Some of the highlights were:

  • “Immature strategy is the cause of grief.” –The Book of Five Rings
  • Parallels exist between the Book of Five Rings and Boyd’s work
    • “…timing of cunning by knowing the enemies’ timing, and thus using a timing which the enemy does not expect.” – The Book of Five Rings. This is a more succinct way of expressing Boyd’s O-O-D-A Loop.
    • This is a link to a free download of Five Rings
  • If you have any weapon at all and aren’t familiar with the law about self defense of your State or any State you travel to, “You are wrong as two left legs.” One of my First Sergeants was fond of saying that to our Beetle Baileys.
  • At least be able to cite the number of the code section for your State. Don’t assume the police will even know it exists, much less know where to find it.
    • 16-3-21 for Georgia
    • 39-11-611 for Tennessee
  • I provided several references – ACLDN pamphlet on What Every Gun Owner Needs to Know about Self Defense Law, The Law of Self Defense, Deadly Force – Understanding Your Right to Self Defense.
  • The importance of Defensive Driving training (echoed from Sherman’s presentation)

A lady who attended and I had an interesting discussion about the differences between 20th Century feminism and 21st Century feminism. Her interpretation is that 20th Century feminism was based on actual empowerment and the desire for true equality. She contrasted this with 21st Century feminism, which she feels is based on inherent victimhood and the need for safe spaces, which she cannot identify with. The discussion came about from the Woman’s Gun Pamphlet I posted a while ago. She and her husband had driven 14 hours to attend the one day training event.

Without going into details, the event was necessitated by the unfortunate politics a shooting resulted in. It’s a great case study of how a very justifiable response can be muddied when the recipient is politically connected or a prosecutor is politically motivated. Even justifiable shootings can have enormous consequences. It emphasized to me the need to think ahead of time about the third battle ahead of time.

The extremely cool morale patch for the event is available for sale, for those who would like to make a contribution to the cause but couldn’t attend. I will post an update with the purchase link when it’s available.

Hebrew Hogger patch

 

Sidenote: I have made a small update to my Indoor Range Practice Sessions eBook. The download now also includes a separate Excel worksheet for logging the results of your practice. The Excel worksheet is included in the price. I will be emailing it to previous purchasers shortly.

IPRS image

Mindset and Decision Making

Then I guess it will just be time for him and me to be with Jesus.

Caleb Causey of Lone Star Medics related a mind-boggling story recently about one form of mindset. He posed questions to some friends in the context of encountering two burglars in their home. The concept of giving scenarios and asking people questions about their anticipated reactions is often far more effective than pontificating about what they ‘need’ to do.

The friends are a couple who have a 10 year old son. The wife is a petite woman who is a practitioner of boxing; good for her. What Caleb did was to posit a scenario of initial violence and asked her what she would do. She replied she would fight them. Since the scenario was two burglars whose combined weight was three to four times hers, he continued escalating the scenario in his questions. In the event her resistance was overcome by the two burglars, the sequence of escalation he gave was:

  • her being badly beaten in the fight,
  • her being raped,
  • her child being raped,
  • both of them being murdered.

The lady’s reply to the escalation of murder was the above quote about ‘being with Jesus.’ She apparently had accepted that as an outcome. However, her husband, who was listening to the conversation, did not find that acceptable. At the time of the conversation, they owned no weapons, other than perhaps a butcher knife. While butcher knives can be used to defend one’s family, especially when wasp spray doesn’t work, it’s unpleasant and quite messy. The questions and subsequent conversations led to a better understanding of their options and possible decisions for defending themselves.

Make good decisions model

A few days later, I related the story at dinner to another friend. His comment was “people with that kind of mindset really don’t understand what the events leading up to ‘being with Jesus’ are going to be like.” The beginning (assault) and end (being with Jesus) can be grasped but the process in the middle is much harder for people to understand. The Petit family murders  are an example of just how horrible the process can be. I’m not sure if Caleb had the Petit murders in mind as he was talking to the couple but his sequence of events was very similar to the horrors the Petits were subjected to.

It’s hard for good people to understand the depravity that exists inside many criminals. That’s the main reason I teamed up with William Aprill for our Violent Criminals and YOU course. The more decent a person is, the harder it is for them to grasp just how evil and FITH some criminals are. A mental health professional is in a better position to describe that than a trainer who teaches physical skills. It’s also why we’re offering a discount when bringing a family member; family members are part of the decision process.

My friend at dinner also made the comment “Two days sitting in a classroom is a long time and might be tiresome.” That’s understandable, which is why William and I are teaching in alternating two hour blocks of instruction. I’ve taken many many weekend classes and I know hearing the same voice continually for 16-20 hours can be a chore, regardless of how engaging the instructor is. Splitting it up will help keep things from being monotonous in our class.

He and I also talked about teaching decision-making. For a long time, I have had reservations about how the industry teaches decision-making. He’s been to a Force on Force class I was a role player in for many years, so I asked him “In the crawl/walk/run training progression paradigm, where does Force on Force fit?” “Run” “How many repetitions of decision-making did you get in those eight hours of training?” “Six or seven”

His answers reflect my reservations about our current methodology. Giving students a few ‘Runs’ with a simulated gun in a FATS machine or with live role players does not represent a particularly effective adult teaching methodology, in my opinion. What we essentially do is throw someone in the deep end of the pool a couple of times and then call them a combat swimmer. ‘What’s wrong with that picture?’ as the saying goes.

To improve on this, I have devised a process where students will get dozens of repetitions of decision-making with the full range of the personal protection options available to them in a few hours. The patent application for the process is not yet complete, so I’m not at liberty to disclose more than that. I can say it will be an experience unlike anything else in the industry. Because the full range of options will be available, the process is NOT limited to gun owners. Excluding the full range of options is a major weakness in our current methodologies and my process corrects that. Family members may have a different opinion about what the appropriate options and decisions are, at least for them.

Mindset and decision-making; think about them hard, regardless of what training you choose or choose not to take. My research into Negative Outcomes has made me realize how much more important they are than the weapon or caliber debates the gun community loves to indulge in.

I have a friend who will kill you with a .25 Lorcin and there’s nothing you’ll be able to do to stop him.

–a well-known and respected trainer

Violent Criminals and YOU course information

RIP Jim Cirillo

Jims card lighter redacted

Today is the anniversary of the 2007 death of Jim Cirillo. He was a wonderful guy and a good friend of mine. His wit, wisdom, and profanity will always be remembered by those of us who knew him.

Jim was a firearms trainer, par excellence. He was also one of the founding members of the NYPD Stakeout Squad. Jim’s book Guns, Bullets, and Gunfights is one that everyone who is serious about personal protection should read.

Jim wasn’t only a highly accomplished marksman; he was also a master tactician. My notes from the lecture where I met Jimmy are attached here. Jim Cirillo notes 05192001. Despite being from 2001, they’re still timely today.

Massad Ayoob wrote an eloquent eulogy about Jimmy, saying more than I can in his article Lessons of Jim Cirillo.

An excellent book about the exploits of the Stakeout Squad is Jim Cirillo’s Tales of the Stakeout Squad, written by Paul Kirchner.

I’ve previously written about one of the Stakeout Squad’s lessons.

An article about the Stakeout Squad appeared in New York magazine in 1972. The Deadly Score of the Stakeout Squad.  The article probably led to the eventual disbanding of the Squad for ‘efficiency’ reasons. The Stakeout Squad was highly ‘efficient’ at permanently removing violent criminals from the streets, which was no more acceptable in 1972 than it is today.

After surviving 18 gunfights, Jimmy was killed in a motor vehicle crash. That’s ironic and another reason I recommend that everyone who is interested in personal protection should take a Defensive Driving Course. The course can pay for itself. Georgia law requires that insurance companies reduce your premium 10% if you take it voluntarily. Many insurance companies will give you a break even if they’re not required to. That’s a good Return On Investment for $30.

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RIP Jimmy, we’ll always miss you.

Course Announcement

I am pleased to announce the opening of registration for:

Violent Criminals and YOU: A Thinker’s Approach to Decisions about Personal and Family Protection

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

— The Art of War by Sun Tzu [Giles translation]

  • How do violent criminals think of us and how do they target us?
  • What do we need to do to avoid or counter their attacks?

This course is a collaboration between myself and eminent mental health professional, William Aprill. We have designed a course about personal protection that is intended for your brain rather than your trigger finger. William will be presenting his material about Violent Criminal Actors, how they think, and how your mindset preparation can position you to defeat them. I will be covering Strategies, Tactics, and the decision-making process with particular emphasis on avoiding Serious Mistakes and Negative Outcomes.

Defensive awareness is rooted in the realization of risk. Defensive preparation adds the commitment to prevent or mitigate threats. The objective of this course is for each student to unify those two elements into defensive decision-making strategies and tactics appropriate to their individual needs. The goal is that an actual life-threatening scenario will not be the first time participants have honestly faced and decided what will be necessary to survive and thrive in the aftermath.

Topics of the course

  • Understanding Violent Criminal Actors (VCAs) (WTA)
  • Strategies, Tactics, and Options for Personal Protection (STOPP) (CW)
  • The 5 W’s of Risk: Constructing an Effective Pre-Need Defense Paradigm (WTA)
  • The Environment of Decision-Making: Structure and Pitfalls (CW)
  • How VCAs Identify their Victims (WTA)
  • Decision-making drills – Recognition, Timing, and Triggers (CW)
  • Kidnapping/Abduction concepts used by VCAs (WTA)
  • Scenario based decision-making exercises based on actual events (CW)

Course details

October 8-9, 2016 – two full days of training

Classroom only, no shooting or physical contact involved

Norcross, Georgia

$400 for the weekend. Lodging, meals, etc. not included.

Registration available at:

Registration link

Bios of the Instructors

William Aprill is a licensed mental health professional with over 19 years’ experience across the continuum of clinical care. He presently maintains a private practice and consultancy specializing in post-traumatic interventions and other disciplines. William is a former deputy sheriff (Orleans Parish, LA, Criminal Sheriff’s Office) and Special Deputy US Marshal (Eastern District of Louisiana). He has presented his material on violent criminals and their decision-making, defensive incident aftermath, mindset development and defensive preparedness at numerous conferences and events throughout the country.

Claude Werner is a retired Army Officer who spent the majority of his career in Special Operations and Intelligence. Post military, he was Research Director of three commercial real estate firms and eventually became the National Director of Real Estate Research for Deloitte. He has been an NRA Certified Instructor in six disciplines for 25 years. For five years, he was the Chief Instructor of the most difficult shooting school in the world, the elite Rogers Shooting School, where he taught numerous Special Operations units and SWAT police officers. He blogs as The Tactical Professor. www.tacticalprofessor.com

Endorsements

“William Aprill is one of the most important thinkers in the defensive shooting world today. His insight into what makes criminal attackers ‘tick’, as well as his understanding of the psychological aspects of training and response, are valuable to everyone who has a firearm for personal defense.”

— Grant Cunningham, Personal Security Institute

“Claude is one of the deepest thinkers in the training community.”

— Rob Pincus, Personal Defense Network

“The gun is certainly a wonderful and very powerful tool, but it’s not wise to pin your survival strategies entirely upon the possession of that tool. [William] arms you with information. Critical crucial knowledge that may not be needed every day, but if the ‘Unthinkable’ actually happens to you it gives you enough exposure to know there is almost always something you can do to improve your situation. The exposure opens your mind…”

GunNuts.net

“Claude Werner is the preeminent researcher of armed citizen-involved shootings.”

— Ralph Mroz, retired Police Officer and author of The Street Standards blog

HEBREW HOGGER 2016: Training and Pork-Raiser

My class for this One Day Conference in Nashville on July 31 is called STOPP.
Strategy, Tactics, and Options for Personal Protection
This class focuses on helping students define the Personal Strategy that is appropriate for them. After defining an appropriate Strategy, students will learn the Tactics and Options that are most relevant to their personal situation and Strategy.

Numerous other instructors will be presenting as well.

Name that class!

I am pleased to announce that Dr. William Aprill of Aprill Risk Consulting and I have teamed up to create a class about the intellectual side of personal protection. It’s a class designed to work your brain in preparation for the period before an assault to avoid it and, if necessary, rout the attacker.

He will focus on the psychology of Violent Criminal Actors and Victim Selection. My part will cover Strategy, Tactics, Options, and Decision-Making Exercises. This will be a full weekend of learning about how the criminal mind works, how to avoid being picked for victimization, and the decisions necessary to preclude and defeat criminal attacks.

All training will be in the classroom. There will be no shooting, gunhandling, or physical contact involved. However, there will be a significant number of decision-making exercises using a new method I have devised. Every student will leave the class having made decisions to use lethal force, non-lethal force, or no force numerous times.

We would like to solicit some input on what to call the class. The titles we’ve come up with so far, some wordy and some short, don’t really please either of us. William likes The Deep End: Knowledge-Based Management of Criminal Violence but that’s wordier than I like. He wasn’t much for my idea, Those Crazy Criminals, and How to Outthink Them.

So, I am creating a little contest. Send me your suggestion for what you think a good name for the class would be. Only one entry per person, please. William and I will pick the Top Five entries. Each of the Top Five entries will receive a complimentary set of my newly updated Pistol Practice Program and Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make CDs. Entries can be [preferably] emailed to tacticalprofessor@gmail.com or as responses to this announcement on my Tactical Professor Facebook page.

I’m also offering the combination set of the Pistol Practice Program and Serious Mistakes at a 25% savings on my webstore. Anyone who purchases the new combination set and then becomes one of the Top Five will receive a full refund, including shipping.

The schedule of the class dates will be available in the next few weeks. The initial class will be held in the Atlanta area in early Fall. Other cities around the country will follow.

Thanks in advance for all of your suggestions.

Vet your sources

Please accept no advice or references with regard to personal protection without vetting it directly from the source. That includes anything I say. I try to cite where I get my information but anyone can be mistaken. There is no shortage of misinformation floating around and not all of it comes from gunshop commandos.

Already this morning, not one but two examples of why this is important have been brought to my attention. Another was made apparent last night.

In the first example this morning, a friend and client of mine shared some utterly incorrect advice that was given to her by a local law enforcement officer. My response came from my old website.

Only accept legal advice on firearms and/or self-defense from the POLICE or OTHER LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES OR OFFICIALS if it is in writing on official letterhead signed by a sworn senior supervisory official of that department in his or her official capacity or a current official document of that department bearing the department’s insignia and signed by the current head of the department (Chief of Police, Sheriff, or Special Agent In Charge). Verbal (not in writing) advice from law enforcement personnel may be in error and will have NO standing in a court of law.

It is rare that you will ever get anything in writing and signed by a senior official of the PoPo. There’s a reason for that. The police rarely know the nuances of the law and frequently do not keep up on changes in the law. Last night’s example was the result of a Sergeant using an outdated legal codebook when developing a briefing. His Captain, a friend of mine, fortunately reviewed the briefing prior to it being given. When asked to cite his references, the Sergeant pulled out a five year old codebook. The section he was citing had been changed.

If you want legal advice, go to a legal expert or read a book by a legal expert, such as Andrew Branca or Massad Ayoob. Don’t ask the police. They probably don’t know as much as you would like them to. This also applies to firearms training.

2. This morning I read an article in one of the online NRA Journals that referenced “FBI Crime Statistics.” Whenever you hear or read something that cites “the FBI,” assume it is the result of a game of Chinese Whispers.

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FBI information is so rarely cited correctly that your can generally assume what is being said about it is more likely to be wrong than right. Personal Defense Network published my article What Do FBI Statistics Really Say About “Gunfights”? It’s worth reading.

When it comes to using force or training/practicing to use force, either lethal or non-lethal, you have to know what you’re doing. That means doing your own research, not relying on someone else to do it for you. At the very least, do an internet search for “use of force [your State]” and find the statutory code for your State.