Sunday, June 20, 2010

Separate Fantasy from Fact in Defensive Tactics and Survive

Separate Fantasy from Fact in Defensive Tactics

Your Survival Could Depend On It
By John D. Nottingham, EPS, PI, 6th Dan
One of the key difference in my approach and methodology in training military, law enforcement, security, first responders or individuals is that I am less technique focused. Thousands of hours of research and watching scenarios and actual footage of assaults clearly shows that technique is of less importance than the will to act, the approach to using physical intervention and the strategy in which it is implemented.
The elderly woman who sticks her thumb in the eye of her attacker isn’t doing a technique in the classical sense that most athletes, martial artists and DT trainers would have you believe is key. The eye gouge isn’t a technique in my book. It is a tactic based on an available vulnerable target. Her mechanical approach to gouging the eyeball isn’t as important as the fact that she actually created a traumatic injury. So much for YouTube learned Kung Fu-lery snake technique death touch.
It’s not what you do. It’s how you approach what you do. Are you spending all your time discussing the better mouse-trap or are you dealing with the rodent problem?

In this article I will share a key element to increasing officer/individual effectiveness in a short period of time. My goal is not to teach a martial art “style” or a particular collection of favorite “moves”. A bit of research will reveal that is in fact the majority of what is out there – “tricks”. Although that is highly popular and what sells, it has less do do with actual ability to protect one’s self than most realize. What is entertaining is not necessarily what is most effective.
My advice is not based on personal preference. Rather it is based on my professional recommendations for the mission, context, operator, environment and objectives of my clients.

My focus is to provide tools and experiences to alter belief system of the operator and adopt a mindset that lends itself to problem solving in a crisis situation. The goal is to have the brain recognize a particular reference point and from there be able to optimize a response with the tools, environment and context at hand.
This is usually done in the form of providing accurate information in conjunction with immersion training experiences to reinforce the concepts and principles. For example, we might set up a scenario for law enforcement that has them approaching a suspicious vehicle to make contact. We provide them with limited information and allow them to influence the context of the situation, or be influenced by the context of the situation.
In the end, each operator/agent is more readily able to prioritize the important survival information and separate out noise. They begin to make better, smarter decisions that enhance officer/individual safety and put the odds on the good guys side.
It all comes back to what my old Special Forces mentors taught me. Mindset, mindset, mindset. Where do you get it? Training, training, training.

John Nottingham is a Scottsdale Arizona based security training and protection specialist. His unique concepts have lead him to teach over 10,000 students in his career from all walks of life. He has dedicated himself to training those who protect others and create a more peaceful world.

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