Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Will Your Self Defense or Defensive Tactics Function Under Stress?

A Closer Look at Heart Rate and Performing Tactical or Defensive Tactics/Self Defense Under Stress
By John D. Nottingham, founder Nottingham Sword & Shield Security & Training, co-director of training at HelixTactical.com

Bruce Siddle "Sharpening the Warriors Edge: The Psychology and Science of Training"
Loren W. Christensen "Defensive Tactics: Modern Arrest and Control Techniques for Today's Police Warrior"
Dr. Hal Breedlove "Survival Stress Reaction"
Lt. Col. Dave Grossman "On Combat"

  • Why is it that trained law enforcement, military, and even Black Belts can have difficulty performing under stress- when it matters most?  
  • What are the effects of adrenaline induced stress response of the human body?

Let's look at it from a physiological point of view...

Notice: The following statistics are based on an average person and exceptions do exist.  Training and other factors can influence the functionality, response and duration of these effects.

Around 115 BPM (Heart Beats Per Minute)
Loss of fine motor skills ie finger dexterity and eye-hand coordination.
Result: Difficulty in unlocking coded door lock, locate, select and manipulate a key to open a door.  Multitasking difficult.

Around 145 bpm
Loss of complex motor skills IE movements involving a series of muscle groups such as eye-hand coordination, precise tracking of movement and precision timing.

Around 175 bpm
Tunnel vision and loss of depth perception, initial loss of memory of what took place (though reports indicated there is usually a 30% recall ofter the first 24 hours, 50% after two days, and 75-95% after three to four days.)

185-220 bmp range
Hyper-vigilance IE "deer in headlights".  Often characterized by performing actions that are functionally useless such as continuing to turn a doorknob on a locked door.  Often, individuals are unable to move or scream.  If they do move, they sometimes do irrationally by leaving their place of cover.

In my next article I will discuss some factors that influence the natural human reaction to survival stress and how training can not only reduce these effects but agents can inoculate themselves to be able to perform even during times of stress elevated heart rates.


Sources and recommended reading:
Bruce Siddle "Sharpening the Warriors Edge: The Psychology and Science of Training"
Loren W. Christensen "Defensive Tactics: Modern Arrest and Control Techniques for Today's Police Warrior"
Dr. Hal Breedlove "Survival Stress Reaction"
Lt. Col. Dave Grossman "On Combat"

Arizona Security Guard Training School and Info for DPS Armed and Unarmed Guard Card Job Requirements

NTS TACTICAL_______________________________
Official training division of http://ScottsdaleExecutiveSecurity.com   Fighting.net

The official training firm for Nottingham Sword & Shield Security (NSAS)

Director of training John D. Nottingham former co-director of training HELIX TACTICAL 

Arizona DPS Certification Training Class for Armed and Unarmed Security Guard
This security course is approved by the Arizona Department of Safety (DPS) to grant the pre training certification needed to get hired and licensed as an unarmed guard. This class will also satisfy the renewal training certification needed for license renewal of an unarmed guard card.

Our instructors come from police, military, martial arts and executive protection tactical backgrounds as well as having years in the security and investigation industries.

Related Awards, Degrees or Certifications:AZ DPS guard card and our certification for private security.  
Cuffing, Tactical Communication, Taser, OC Pepper Spray, ASP Baton, Threat Assessment, Patrol Combatives, Advanced Handgun, CCW, Carbine, and more.  
Related Jobs or Careers:Security guard, bouncer for a bar or night club, private security such as malls and schools.  Executive and Close Protection (Bodyguard), Undercover security, protective details, threat assessment specialist, security officer, FBI, Homeland Security, Corrections, Border Patrol, Sheriffs Office, and Police Officer.
This is primarily ilt training
Course Level:basic
Duration:1 days
Training Presented in:English

Training Provided by NTS TACTICAL Security Guard Academy
Two Training Campus Locations
Tempe and North Phoenix

What people are saying about John Nottingham's Training

John, (John Nottingham was at the time contracted to teach at HELIX Tactical/Arizona Security Professionals)

 Just a quick note, to thank you, and all of the cadre and staff, at AZ Security Professionals, for yesterday's unarmed security guard training certification class.  It was a fun, enjoyable and highly instructive session, which very much surpassed my expectations.  Having been in the Arizona Security business for over twenty years now, as a client receiving contract guard services, and as an employee of a contract Security company, I've seen a great deal of sub-par training and operations.  ASP is definitely the cream of the crop, and I was so impressed, with everything I saw.  More to the point, your training style, broad knowledge, of a wide range of topics, and delivery is exceptional, and it was crystal clear, that you are a true professional and gentleman, with a tremendous amount of zeal, for your job and chosen profession.  Thank you again, John, continued good luck to you, sir, and maybe our paths will cross again.  Take care.

Steve Cantor

11 August, 2010
Dear Jim Harter,
I just wanted to tell you that you guys saved my life.  When I left class taught by your instructors (John Nottingham, Alex "Ski" Szelagowski, J. Harter), it changed my life.  I even changed my diet.  I am now better aware of how things can go wrong very quickly and now possess the skills to do something about it, while using what I was taught.  If you guys needed a cheerleader, I would be your 300lb cheerleader.  I loved it...loved it.  I thought I was a bad ass, until you all proved me wrong and showed me what I did not know.  WOW...WOW"
Thank you,
Marcial Rodriquez

Training saves lives, reduces liability and increases opportunities for promotion and increased pay.  We recommend that you find a training company that best suits your goals, needs and location.  If you don't get training with NTS TACTICAL, please get training somewhere.



Arizona Security Guard training school

Arizona Security Guard training school for DPS licensing certificate.

Security Guard Card Info

Nov 25, 2008 ... Licenses from other states are not recognized in Arizona... on the links to the left to learn more about each type of security guard card.

Arizona Department of Public Safety. Unarmed Security Guard. 8 Hour Training Syllabus. February 2, 2007. This syllabus was developed by the DPS Security

Security Guard - Arizona Department of Public Safety

 - 6 visits - May 29

Complete the 8-hour security guard training course. ... The agency name will appear on your Armed Security Guard card...
www.azdps.gov/license/Licensesecurityguard.asp - Cached - Similar

Where do i go to get a guard card in Phoenix, AZ? - Yahoo! Answers

Renew Armed Security Guard Card in Arizona - Armed Guard Training

Arizona Armed Guard Training - AZ DPS Armed Guard Card Class - Phoenix Armed Guard School - AZ Armed Security Guard Training Class.
www.desertwestfirearmstraining.com/arizona armed security guard training_renewal school az DPS armed guard card.html 

Professional Training and Certifications for the Security Industries, Groups, and Individuals

AZ DPS Certifications

  • Security Officer Basic 8 hr DPS Cert 
  • Armed Guard 16 hr Cert
  • Basic Guard Renewal Cert
  • CCW - Carry Concealed Weapon Cert

    NRA Certifications

  • Basic Pistol
  • Home Protection
  • Advanced Pistol
  • Rifle

Additional Certifications

  • EFR - Emergency First Responder [First Aid]
  • Baton [ASP and other Expandables]
  • Tear Gas OC/ Pepper Spray
  • Officer Street Survival

Sunday, September 19, 2010

How To Select a Security Training Company for AZ DPS Licensing as an Armed or Unarmed Guard?

How Do You Select a Security Training Company for AZ DPS Licensing as an Armed or Unarmed Guard?

How Do Most People Find Guard Certification Training?
Surveying students as they come through our AZ Guard Card Certification classes has revealed some interesting facts.  When asked why most of the students chose a particular company, many reply that it was an internet search that landed them on a particular website.  The others usually reply that they were referred to us from professionals in the field, agencies and other organizations.  Most of the participants are seeking employment, recertification (annual refresher training required by Arizona DPS) or looking for a different experience than previous training.

"Beyond the basic Guard Card Class"

Top Rated Reviews and High Scoring Surveys
When I first as assigned the job of teaching the AZ State mandated 8 or 16 hour guard certification training class my goal was to create a great training experience for the participants and give them the best opportunity to acquire employment or advance in the security industry.  At the time I was contracted to teach at HELIX TACTICAL, a division of ASP.

Reviewing past class exit surveys was one of my top priorities and the results were impressive.  Of the course reviews, ALL of them stated that the course either exceeded expectations or rated it "outstanding" in their opinion.  That's a pretty impressive track record and a credit to the previous ASP cadre of instructors (including its owner Chief Jim Harter). They were also some big shoes to fill, but I knew my specialties could ad a new dimension to the course.  Our team teaching approach ads something unique, interesting and useful from each of our specialties and experience.

Since that time my firm has made even more improvements and gone even more beyond the basic State requirements.   http://ScottsdaleExecutiveSecurity.com

*  Interactive video and real world examples and demonstrations
*  Hands on training that helps more people learn, use and retain skills
*  Practical tactical skills that translate into more effectiveness in the field and respect on the job
*  Higher standards to increase the likelihood of being hired or promoted because of the requirements and reputation of the NTS/NSAS training quality
*  Valuable tips and advice on getting hired and promoted in the rapidly expanding security industry
*  Special guest subject matter experts such as UFC Champ and Hall of Famer Dan "The Beast" Severn-wrestling, mixed martial arts and no holds barred fighting legend.  In fact a recent training with Dan Severn was offered free of charge to former clients...  Just one more reason to choose NSAS.

NSAS students comments and input continue to shape the courses.  From now doing more interactive training, learning important liability reduction, security surveying, tactical communication skills (and even a bit of executive protection tips) the students stay interested and engaged.  It also allows us to preview some of the courses we offer at NSAS for clients continued and advanced education.

In addition Nottingham Sword & Shield Arizona offers several convenient locations which feature:
*  Convenient training campuses off the freeway in East and West Valley/North Phoenix
*  Designated professional classrooms
*  2" Swain MMA mats to improve safety and comfort
*  Full snack bar with refreshments, JS NITRO supplements, coffee, tea and soda
*  Police, Military, Law enforcement supplies including hand cuffs, tactical flashlights, batons, retention holsters, pistol/duty belts, pepper spray, TASER, Shirts and brands such as Bianchi, UnderArmour, Fobus, Blackhawk, 5.11 Tactical, Safariland, ASP, Winchester, and Peerless
* Comfortable individual desk tables
* Easy to read Powerpoint presentations, handouts with integrated up to date video and sound
* Fingerprinting station, instant photos

Mention this blog article for an additional $10 off your next training.

Sample courses:

  • Patrol Tactics, Contacts and Tactical Communication for control and limiting liability.
  • Cuffing Course: Restrain, Secure, Maintain
  • Weapon retention
  • Officer Survival including debunking commonly held myths that get officers killed in the field
  • OC Pepper Spray
  • Tactical Communication
  • Advanced Threat Assessment
  • Security Reports
  • CCW 
  • Advanced Handgun
  • Advanced Carbine
  • Executive Protection
  • Ground Survival - Neutralizing modern MMA tactics
Contact Information

North Phoenix Scottsdale Paradise Valley Area Center
SW Corner of Tatum & Greenway
4731 E. Greenway Rd Suite 10
Phoenix, Arizona 85032
Partner resource: http://Training-Classes.com 

Friday, September 17, 2010

New Unconventional Approach to Women's Self Defense

Is this how you feel about most conventional women's self defense training? Hit Like a Girl agrees and is doing something about it. They want you to question everything you have ever been taught about women's self defense by teaching you how bodyguards protect their clients.
+ HIT LIKE A GIRL: Women's Self Defense Seminars (The ABC's of Self Defense)

Hit Like a Girl is more than just a cool T-shirt slogan. It's a brand that women will be hearing more of as word continues to spread. Headquartered in Scottsdale and Phoenix Arizona with branches in Texas, Wisconsin, Utah, and Washington, Hit Like a Girl's brand of Self Defense is catching on.

This isn't your Momma's self defense program at the local YMCA or corner Karate Dojo. In fact, the instructors will tell you that their advice flies in the face of conventional wisdom. You won't be hearing failed self defense advice such as "be aware of your surroundings" or "you can be attacked anywhere- at anytime" unless it's to dispell those commonly held myths. Nor will you be hearing a hard sales pitch on the latest gadget like most self defense trainers do. With the HLG Team, you will be given tools that successfully help protect celebrities and would normally cost thousands to learn.

Our Goal...

is to teach bodyguard security skills to women in a fun, supportive atmosphere that fosters a sense of empowerment and awareness. It is entertaining, safe and rewarding. Plus a portion of proceeds are donated to charity.

Self Defense Foundations From Proven Security Strategies

The core of HIT LIKE A GIRL Women's Self Defense Training is Gavin de Becker's methods of protection. Graduates of Gavin's Academy for Protectors, it's founders incorporate unique protective strategies used to secure celebrity and VIP clients from one of the world's leading firms.

Here is the worlds leading expert on self defense and predicting violence on one of many of his appearances on the Oprah Winfrey Show.


Rather than a typical womens empowerment self defense seminar model, Hit Like a Girl teaches women and teens professional bodyguard tools and tactics to think like a protective security agent. The instructors share the information in a professional, relaxing manner that puts participants at ease and uses a healthy dose of humor.

Citing real life examples and success stories, women often find that they have more power and options than they have often been lead to believe. Each event is tailored to the individual or group based on risk factors. The training events can range home parties, office parties, to keynote speaking and corporate training.

Basic Info



Detailed Info


Company Overview:

Hit Like a Girl home and office parties were founded by two dedicated Bodyguards and Black Belt Martial Arts instructors. HLG presents unique strategies for personal security in new, entertaining and an enjoyable manner.


Fun Empowerment of Women with Bodyguard Strategies for Personal Protection, Peace of Mind emphasizing Brains Over Brawn. Empower Yourself with Peace of Mind Our Women's Only Self Defense Series is a great way to give you the edge in personal protection – all in a comfortable, safe training environment. Come in and let our staff pamper you while we teach you effective personal safety skills. Products:

Training Seminars, Home Parties, Books, Tasers, Pepper Spray, and Personal Security Strategies for a Bodyguard's Version of Women's Self Defense

Training Classes: Tasers, Kubotan Self Defense Keychains, Mace, Pepper Spray, Krav Maga, CCW, hanguns, dogs, weapons of opportunity, stalking stalkers, verbal judo, locks and training for mental awareness and intuition for self defense.

For more information or bookings contact info@usa-martialarts.com

Telephone 602-896-8721

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Bodyguard Training Self defense and Kickboxing Martial Arts Fitness Karate Taekwondo Phoenix

Did You Know That Most Bodyguards Have a Background in Martial Arts?

From Taekwondo, Kenpo, Karate, Kung Fu, Ju-jitsu, Judo, to BJJ, MMA, Muay Thai Kickboxing, Reality Based Self Defense, and Jeet Kune Do the styles of martial arts are as diverse as the men, women and children who practice them.  Millions of people around the world practice martial arts as a recreation, sport, family activity, healthy exercise, cultural education or empowering lifestyle.  

Olympic Sports of Taekwondo and Judo
Taekwondo and Judo are both Olympic Sports as well as martial arts methods with traditional values and components.  Wrestling, arguably the oldest martial art of all (and related to Gladiatorial Pankration) is also an Olympic sport.  Fencing is also an Olympic sport.

MMA, Boxing and Kickboxing - The UFC Octagon
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), Boxing, Muay Thai Kickboxing, Greco Roman wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu comprise the primary martial arts found in the highly popular cage fighting events.  While many fighters have backgrounds in traditional martial arts such as Taekwondo and Karate, these events favor the systems and styles that have full contact and resistance training.

More than the particular label or brand of the style, the instructor and coaches are usually what is most important.  The drills, skills and conditioning that they develop as well as the strategy and tactics to employ are the keys to victory.  

For the professional bodyguard or protector, the martial arts offer tremendous opportunity for personal development.  Here are just some of the ways:

1. Health, Fitness and therefore readiness
2. Injury prevention, coordination, increased flexibility
3. Positive attitude, ability to cooperate with others
4. Leadership, self discipline and motivation
5. Problem solving and creative thinking
6. Stress management and positive outlet for energy
7. Camaraderie, teamwork and esprit de corps  
8. Cultural appreciation, etiquette, language and customs
9. Observational skills
10. Protective physical intervention skills 

Whatever style or background, each have value for the professional protector.  From bodyguards, law enforcement agents, military or security, the martial arts is one of the best training options one could be involved in. 

Self defense and Kickboxing Martial Arts Fitness Karate Taekwondo Phoenix
USA Martial Arts Phoenix
4731 E. Greenway Suite 9
Phoenix, Arizona 85032

    Tuesday, September 14, 2010

    How Effective is Your DT Really? Can You Perform When It Most Counts?

    Will You Be Able To Perform Under Stress When It Most Counts and Your Life Is On The Line?

    Bodyguards, Police, Security and Protective Agents - A Nagging Question
    Every LEO Police, Guard or Close Protection Agent (bodyguard) needs to have confidence in his or her ability to get the job done and go home safe to one's family.  When push comes to shove, do you really have what it takes do avoid injury and liability?

    Learn The Truth About Your Real Abilities
    This blog article is not designed to disparage any training method you have had, rather it is to encourage operators to ask honest questions that get to the truth and purpose of their training.  It could be a starting point that eventually saves your life, or that of another person.

    Are you learning proven, effective techniques and strategies that are best for you?  

    A scientific method or process is considered fundamental to the scientific investigation and acquisition of new knowledge based upon physical evidence. Scientists use observations, hypotheses and deductions to propose explanations for natural phenomena in the form of theories. Predictions from these theories are tested by experiment. If a prediction turns out to be correct, the theory survives. Any theory which is cogent enough to make predictions can then be tested reproducibly in this way. The method is commonly taken as the underlying logic of scientific practice. A scientific method is essentially an extremely cautious means of building a supportable, evidence-based understanding of our natural world.
    The basis of all of my firms training is efficacy.  
    That is, it doesn't matter what big name teacher you had, what "undefeatable" system you learned or if you tow the blue line with the minimum Academy training.  It doesn't matter how cool your gear looks, what muscles you have built or that you "can float like a butterfly and sting like a bee." Knowledge is never to be confused with ability.

    Just because you know something doesn't mean you can use it.  

    Knowledge without ability to implement is nothing more than persuasive conversation and interesting trivia.  YOUR ability is the factor that matters most.  When push comes to shove, can you deliver when needed? Can your partners and buddies depend on you?  Can you depend on your ability to execute good judgement and skills and bring to bear the necessary attributes to survive or properly manage a violent encounter?
    So how do you know if you can actually perform in the 4-6 most critical seconds of your life?
    One of the best methods we've found is through continual testing.  This reveals one's ability to think under stress, assess situations, and match skills and a strategy to the problems.  Some of the most important elements in our training include Adrenal Stress Conditioning, Stress Inoculation Training, Situational Strategy Selection in Scenario Based Training.  Although simulating combat is never the same as actual combat, we've found it to be the best way to safely training and quickly improve an individuals skills and abilities.  

    You'll find this is a consistent training pursuit among elite units such as SWAT, Special Forces and other Special Operations units.  Why?  It provides quick and accurate feedback for adjustment.  It eliminates a lot of guesswork and the human emotions and opinions that often cloud feedback.  
    Experiential education trumps all others.  The idea is to immerse the individual in the situation so that they have real time problems to solve.  Then, using after action reviews (acrostic AAR in military jargon) the individual is given the opportunity to critique themselves before the instructors do and build on the experience.  The instructors can then provide solutions and suggestions for the individual to try on the next round and immediately implement the corrections.  It is not only highly effective, but highly rewarding because it builds confidence through competence.

    If you would like to test your skills or sharpen your abilities I invite you to visit http://ScottsdaleExecutiveSecurity.com for some internet training specials and upcoming course dates.  Mission specific and force specific training solutions are developed on a case-by-case basis.  

    John Nottingham works under contract with HELIX Tactical , Arizona Security Professionals and other agencies to provide cutting-edge training and testing for "Protectors", ie Military, Law Enforcement, Security and Corrections.  He is the owner of Nottingham Sword & Shield Security tactical training and executive protection firm based in Scottsdale/Phoenix Arizona USA. http://scottsdaleexecutivesecurity.com

    Sunday, September 5, 2010

    One Size Does Not Fit All for Training

    Our Subject Matter Expert & UFC Champ Dan "THE BEAST"
    Severn Teaching Defensive Tactics to Police Officers

    One Size Does Not Fit All for Training
    The Problematic Nature of Generic Training
    Military, Law Enforcement, Security and First Responders Training
    by John D. Nottingham http://NottinghamSwordandShieldSecurity.com 

    Law Enforcement Officers including Police, Military, Security and various other protective and response agents engage our services to assess their skills and advise them on enhancement drills and tools.  LEOs, even DT Instructors, despite their training, all too often attempt to apply the same techniques in every situation.

    "We never rise to the level of expectation. We fall to the level of our training." -Special Forces maxim
    Disparity: Size, Mechanics, Leverage and Structure
    One example is when many LEO's attempt an arm bar on a person considerably larger than themselves expecting it to work the same as it would on a subject smaller (relative to themselves).  Of course, this is not isolated merely to arm bars.  While in discussion, the officer would likely point out that it would be a problem and consciously make the logical decision that a different tactic should be used. Yet in the scenario or on the street they revert to the same move.

    This fact is confirmed with video footage of both training and live video of street scenarios.  The result is most often, escalation of force, thus higher risk to the LEO, increased liability and increased variables to manage.  The higher number of variables to manage, the slower the response time, and the higher the risk to officer safety and general liability.

    We discovered and employ methods to overcome this common training problem.
    1. Train for proper assessments and prioritization
    2. Let them play both roles of LEO and subject with resistance
    3. Allow them to resist and adapt without warning or set ups - keep it dynamic and fluid
    4. Scenario based training with various body styles and fitness, flexibility, pain threshold, and attitudinal attributes.  Human conflict is dynamic, therefore the training must be as well.
    5. Force problem solving situations into the training equation and do video analysis, after action reviews, encourage positive peer instruction and honest feedback
    6. Objectively test

    Training for Safety - Go Slow
    One of the key benefits of our system is the safety mechanisms in place to protect the trainees, yet still develop highly effective skill sets and attributes.  Of course this is not to advocate a plethora of techniques either.  This would be in contradiction to Hicks law - one of our foundational guiding principles.
    "Slow is smooth, smooth is efficient."-Special Forces maxim

    Highly Adaptable Tactics
    Instead, our recommendation is a small set of highly adaptable tools, tactics, concepts and principles that emphasize superior assessment, strategy, psychology, leverage and positioning.  The best way to describe it would be adding a turbo charger to existing training.  It usually does not replace training, it enhances it through functional drilling and application training.

    "We are sometimes criticized for our slow motion training.  However, when we get to the testing phase, we enjoy watching the nay-sayers eat crow as they are forced by clear evidence to praise the performance of our clients.  It's one of our secrets to safety.  If you're injured, intimidated or discouraged - you can't train."
    The Situation Dictates The Response
    Granted, you have to start with a foundation of basics that develop body awareness, assessment skills, and a few tools (techniques) that work in most situations.  However, a problem facing most "standardized" training programs is the lack of transferability, adaptation and proper application.  Given the constraints of budget, allocated training time and the prevailing "blue" doctrine, this will continue to be a challenge.  With that we will continue to have officers sneak over to us to build their confidence and enhance skills that they are too intimidated to admit or unwilling to reveal to their department.  Government is historically slow to react.  We're happy to serve.

    Maintain the public trust and lead by example.
    Train.  It's not a suggestion, it is your duty.

    For more information about John Nottingham or NTS Tactical
    * Photo: courtesy Master Brian Van Patten - USA Martial Arts Antioch Illinois.

    Saturday, September 4, 2010

    7 Life Lessons from Army Airborne School

    7 Life Lessons from Airborne School
    From Leg to Wearing Wings 

    Silver Wings aka "The flying ice cream cone"
    "C-130 rollin' down the strip. Airborne Daddy gonna take a lil trip. Stand up, hook up, shuffle to the door. Jump right out and count to four.", we shouted cadence as we ran at O'dark hundred (so early the sun isn't up and it doesn't even matter what time it is.).  How fortuitous.
    Airborne Maroon Beret
    Our feet were pounding ground at Ft. Benning Georgia, home of the Airborne Ranger.  My BDU pants were still wet and itchy from sweat and sawdust from the day before in wicked Georgia humidity.  But you just don't care.

    The bangs, bruises, achy joints, swollen knees, potential concussions, all fade in the excitement of jump school.  The energy of hundreds of solider's motivation and anticipation permeate the air.  Inspiring shouts of cadence and encouragement echo from the darkness as units do PT.   Such is a morning for an "Leg" in Airborne Paratrooper school.
    A "Leg" is a derogatory term, used by airborne soldier whom have earned their "wings", for non-airbrone infantry. NAP=Non airborne personnel.  "Nappy Leg", a reference to their mode of transportation into battle.  Few things are lower to an Airborne Special Forces or Ranger unit.
     The Military taught me many lessons and Airborne school was unique.  It was a study in psychology, a process of getting people to do something completely unnatural and dangerous.  To convince a human being to jump out of a perfectly good airplane is one thing.  To have them excited about doing it as a means to get to a job, while carrying all of your equipment, is another.
     "Motivation, aggressiveness, discipline, and the fortitude to never say die.  That's what it takes to be an Airborne Soldier."
    Step by step process:
    1. Jumping on the ground (visualization)
    2. Mock door (simulation)
    3. 34 foot tower (research showed the Army that they could get a soldier to jump at 34', they would likely exit an aircraft)
    4. Swing Landing Trainer/Lateral Drift Aparatus (it has a alternate names as earned expletives)
    5. "Might Ungawas" 250 foot free Fall towers

    I have been attacking my fears for most of my life so this was somewhat a natural fit.  Airborne school was another test, just like Black Belt.  I have always had a fear of heights but I wasn't going to let my mind get in the way of this.  Airborne qualification was required for me to serve in my Special Forces Unit.  Ad that to the facts that my Grandfather was a WWII Paratrooper and my Uncle was Airborne (Vietnam), making me 3rd generation Nottingham to have the coveted Jump Wings.  I wanted to test my mettle.

    The Airborne program was one of the best engineered and instructed schools I have ever attended.  From beginning to end, the design was efficient, intense, rewarding and highly focussed.  Some of those lessons I learned from that experience I still use today in my martial arts school.

    Airborne School Lessons
    1. Motivation leads to determination - kill the "quit bug" while small
    2. Get control of your mind and emotions or they get control of you
    3. Surround yourself with other motivated people - flee from weakness
    4. Great instructors cannot be underrated - pay attention to detail and the experience they share
    5. Get over yourself as an individual - don't believe the limitations you or others place on you
    6. Make incremental steps but just keep stepping
    7. The human mind, body and spirit can go far beyond what you think

    Bonus lessons from Airborne School
    8. Seeing bicepts riped off the bone and a girl who "bounced" in a wheelchair from the cycle before us is sobering
    9. Riding buffers like bulls can entertain young men for hours.
    10. Ranger Joes rock!

    After three weeks of training, 5 jumps (one with a hole in my chute) I graduated US Army Paratrooper "Jump School".  I was fired up to be able to wear jump wings, a maroon beret and jump boots.  No longer a nasty, nappy leg, it felt great!  Only later would I learn from my SF unit that I was merely a 5 jump chump until I jumped with my team (Blackhawks, HH3, UH1H, lower altitude, night jumps and more).  But that's another blog.

    I had the time of my life at Airborne School. A day didn't go by without me laughing and being amazed at the professionalism, edutainment and infectious positive attitudes of the Black Hats (Instructors).

    One of the proudest moments of my life was when my Airborne veteran Grandfather (WWII Purple Heart) pinned my wings on my chest at the graduation.  He passed away several years later but I still have that picture displayed next to my maroon and unit green beret.  I also have the lessons I learned from the unforgettable experience to use today.  I hope I made him proud.

    Friday, September 3, 2010

    Advanced Threat Assessment and Management - PINS

    Threat Assessment and Management 
    PINS: Pre-Incident Indicators - Red Flags for Workplace Violence and Predicting Violent Behavior

    The following passage is excerpted, with permission, from Gavin de Becker’s book, The Gift of Fear.
    Pre-incident indicators (PINS) typically manifest themselves in several ways. Close scrutiny in the workplace is essential when dealing with a difficult or concerning employee. While the use of check-lists is no replacement for professional assessments, arming supervisors with this information empowers them to watch for red flags.

    There are no short-cuts for high-stakes predictions. Adults typically do not communicate their violent intentions as often as teenagers who act out similarly. Adults are more likely to ‘hold their cards close to their chest’. With adults, there may only be the utterance of a threat, even a veiled or indirect threat or what appear to be merely passing comments. All threats and concerning comments should be taken seriously.

    According to Gavin de Becker, PINS fall into the following main categories:

    1. Inflexibility – The employee resists change, is rigid and unwilling to discuss ideas contrary to his/her own.
    2. Weapons – S/he has recently obtained a weapon, has a weapons collection or makes jokes or frequent comments about weapons.
    3. Sadness – S/he is sullen, angry or depressed. Chronic anger is an important predictor of violence. Accordingly, chronic anger should never be ignored. Signs of depression include changes in weight, irritability, suicidal thoughts and references, hopelessness, sadness and loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities.
    4. Hopelessness – S/he has made statements like "What’s the use?", "Nothing ever changes anyway", "I’ve got no future". S/he makes suicidal references or threats, or s/he makes or describes plans consistent with committing suicide (gets affairs in order, sells off or gives away possessions). Pessimism is an important predictor of problems just as optimism is an important predictor of success.
    5. Identification – S/he identifies with or praises other perpetrators of workplace violence. S/he refers to, jokes about, or is fascinated with news stories about major acts of violence. S/he is attracted to violent films, magazines (Soldier of Fortune), violent books or gruesome news events.
    6. Co-worker Fear – Co-workers are afraid of or apprehensive about him/her (whether or not they can articulate their reasons). This PIN seeks to capture the intuition of co-workers.
    7. Time – S/he has used Threats, Intimidations, Manipulations or Escalations towards management or co-workers.
    8. Paranoia – S/he feels others are "out to get" him/her, that unconnected events are related, that other people are conspiring against him/her.
    9. Criticism – S/he reacts adversely to criticism, shows suspicion of those who criticize him/her and refuses to consider the merits of any critical observations about his/her performance or behavior.
    10. Blame – S/he blames others for the results of his/her own actions and refuses to accept responsibility.
    11. Crusades – S/he has undertaken or attached him/herself to crusades or missions at work. This is particularly significant if s/he has waged what s/he might characterize as a "one-person war".
    12. Unreasonable Expectations – S/he expects elevation (promotion), long-term retention (job security), an apology (for some perceived slight), being pronounced the winner in some dispute, or found to be ‘right’.
    13. Grievance – S/he has a grievance pending or s/he has a history of filing unreasonable grievances.
    14. Police Encounters – S/he has had recent police encounters (including arrests) or s/he has a history that includes assaultive or behavioral offenses.
    15. Media – There have recently been news stories about workplace violence or other major acts of violence. Media reports on these subjects often stimulate others who identify with the perpetrators and the attention they got for their acts.
    16. Focus – S/he has monitored the behavior, activities, performance, or comings and goings of other employees, though it is not his/her job to do so. It is statistically significant that nearly half of all stalkers show up where their victims work and companies would be wise to understand this dynamic.
    17. Contact – If s/he was fired, s/he has instigated and maintained contact with current employees, s/he refuses to let go and appears more focused on the job s/he just lost than in finding other employment.
    Gavin de Becker cautions that while no single PIN can carry a prediction, and not all serious cases will contain the entire list, the foregoing are some warning signs to which to be alert. Forewarned is forearmed. 

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