Friday, December 14, 2012

Detecting a Two Way Mirror Spy Myths Exposed

Fear-peddling Fairies Aren't Doing You any Favors and Alarmist Santa Isn't Bringing You a Gift. 

 by The Self Defense Mythbusters in cooperation with Nottingham Sword & Shield Security, Hit Like a Girl, VIPER Violence Survival School and USA Martial Arts

Are you being spied on with a two way mirror?

Here's another one that keeps making its rounds.  A healthy bit of skepticism is important - especially when it comes to safety advice.  Be cautious of to whom you listen.  The truth will set you free and FREE advice can be the most expensive kind.

How can you tell when you are in a room, restroom, motel etc. with a mirror or a 2-way glass?
Here's how: I thought it was quite interesting! And I know in about 30 seconds you're going to do what I did and find the nearest mirror.
Do you know how to determine if a mirror is 2-way or not? A policewoman who travels all over the US and gives seminars and techniques for businesswomen passed this on.
When we visit toilets, bathrooms, hotel rooms, changing rooms, etc., how many of you know for sure that the seemingly ordinary mirror hanging on the wall is a real mirror, or actually a 2-way mirror (i.e., they can see you, but you can't see them)? There have been many cases of people installing 2-way mirrors in female changing rooms . It is very difficult to positively identify the surface by looking at it.
So, how do we determine with any amount of certainty what type of mirror we are looking at?
Just conduct this simple test: Place the tip of your fingernail against the reflective surface and if there is a GAP between your fingernail and the image of the nail, then it is GENUINE mirror. However, if your fingernail DIRECTLY TOUCHES the image of your nail, then BEWARE! IT IS A 2-WAY MIRROR!
"No Space, Leave the Place" So remember, every time you see a mirror, do the "fingernail test." It doesn't cost you anything.
REMEMBER. No Space, Leave the Place:
Ladies: Share this with your girlfriends, sisters, daughters, etc.
Men: Share this with your wives, daughters, daughters-in-law, mothers, girlfriends and/or friends.

This detection method is flawed and more folly than helpful safety advice.  Issue some pseudo-self-defense advice, tack on a nice diagram for credibility and an appealing tag line that rhymes and people are far more likely believe it then forward it on to friends.  Now ad some scary words in capital letters and throw in a few exclamation points and you have the beginnings of a viral internet letter or social media post.  Although people have pure intentions by passing these on, they are inadvertently perpetuating a common safety blunder that can suppress safety judgment, and scramble innate survival intuition.

The above example is not factual because the reflection of the mirror is determined by the manufacturing process, lighting, type of mirror, backing and coating.  The finger nail method is more likely to identify a first surface or second surface coating, both common mirror types.  All of these factors can create the conditions to thwart this urban myth test - a test which might lead to some undue anxiety or even embarrassing choices.

Detecting Observation Mirrors or Two Way Mirrors

Here are some better methods of detection of two way glass or covert surveillance:
1. Most two way mirrors are mounted into a wall, rather than hung on a wall.
2. Cup your hands around the sides of your eyes and press up against the mirror to block light. Often you can see through to some degree.
3. Two way mirrors tend to appear darker than regular mirrors and thus can prompt further investigation.
4. Rapping on the mirror can indicate if it has something behind it or not based on the sound.  Transparent mirrors tend to not have anything behind them and may produce a more hollow sound.
5. If you can turn off lights in your room it will be easier to detect as well.  The two way glass requires the light in the reflective room side to be bright while the observation side to be dark.  Often the mirror will be exposed if someone leaves the observation side dark room and leaks hallway light in through the door.
6. Angle a light source against the mirror such as a flashlight.  You will usually see light penetration on the other side.

So before Alarmist Santa brings you another free holiday gift, make sure it's not a lump of coal.  Peace on Earth, Goodwill Toward Mankind.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

John Nottingham Close Security Specialist

John Nottingham is an internationally recognized strategist on counterterrorism, dignitary protection, travel safety and close security. He earned his reputation through his unique experience and has demonstrated expertise in predicting and managing situations that might lead to violence. He is the Founder and President of Nottingham Sword & Shield Security and a Close Protection (Bodyguard) Training Academy and has developed and implemented a broad spectrum of security programs and protective operations. He oversees all aspects of company operations worldwide.

He taught close combat (combatives) tactics to the US Army Special Forces CQB Instructors and trains First responders in the use of force and successful outcome-based response to critical incidents. He holds a license for Private Investigation, is certified in Executive Protection, certified in non-deadly force, law enforcement force trainer, advanced threat assessment and an NRA firearms instructor. He teaches workshops on violence management and is involved in research on personal safety since 1995. He is the developer of VIPER Personal Protection Survival School, the most comprehensive 30 hour individual immersion security training program in the world.

Mr. Nottingham holds certificates from Bodyguard Training International, USA Bodyguards, Gavin de Beckers and Associates in Dignitary Security/ Protection and has coordinated and implemented protective details for clients and traveling executives worldwide since 2004. His team of agents have protected fortune 500 executives and dignitaries such as: the President of the United States, Hollywood celebrities, and individuals targeted for stalking. He is the developer, founder and CEO of Nottingham Training Systems, a leader in innovative Crisis Management solutions used by SWAT, Military Special Operators and Executive Protection Specialists.

Mr. Nottingham served as a Combatives Instructor in a USAR Special Forces Military Intelligence support unit. He was issued official unit duty orders to develop an experimental hand-to-hand, hand-to-weapon combat program for close quarters battle (CQC/CQC).  He was awarded a Special Forces Certificate of Appreciation for his efforts and innovations.  He participated in missions in defense of the US and trained troops for combat in the areas of escaping captivity, K-9 attacks, sentry neutralization, clandestine operations, close combat and emergency management concepts.

Mr. Nottingham has been studying martial arts since childhood and is a Master Instructor and holder of multiple Black Belts and instructor certifications and inducted in the the Martial Arts Hall of Fame as Master of the Year (1995).

Mr. Nottingham is a member of the American Society of Industrial Security (ASIS), owns a licensed armed security company in Arizona, and a Training Advisor for several protective organizations and agencies.

Mr. Nottingham has been featured on network television, radio and films and in national print publications in the US, China and Korea. Among his television and print credits, he has been featured in TKD Times magazine, The Arizona Republic, Channels 3, 5, 10, 12 and 15, Good Morning Arizona, and others.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Get Fighting Fit With IMPACT Phoenix Krav Maga Self Defense Classes in Arizona

Integrating the strengths of Krav Maga, Jeet Kune Do, Military Combatives and Functional Fighting Fitness Conditioning, IMPACT Phoenix Krav Maga is a program designed to bring individuals to a high level of fitness and personal safety efficiently and in a relatively short period of time.

Get Fighting Fit!
IMPACT stands for:

From losing weight, fighting fat, building strong, lean muscle to explosive strength, you'll be amazed at your physical and mental conditioning.  Using the same drills as Military, SWAT and professional MMA fighters, you'll ad new tools to defend yourself from:
  • Kicks
  • Punches
  • Grabs and Holds
  • Chokes and Grappling
  • Guns
  • Knives
  • Clubs

One of the secrets to IMPACT Krav Maga is it's unique PFS Jeet Kune Do element.  The drills are developed with "aliveness" to help you learn to be smoothe, efficient and adaptable.   You'll learn to problem solve and make critical life saving decisions even under stress.

More info and WEBSPECIAL here

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Rethink Women's Self Defense With Bodyguard Tactics Used to Protect VIPs

Special Savings on Hit Like a Girl Seminars
by Agent Rhonda Roth

Rethink Women's Self Defense
Saturday, July 28th
USA Martial Arts & Kickboxing and
Nottingham Sword & Shield Security Bodyguards
presents two Seminars by Agent Rhonda Roth
from the Hit Like a Girl seminar series 

10:00 - 11:00 am
The Handbags, Heels and Chocolate Experience
Only $39 with registration by Saturday, July 14th (a $195 value)
11:00 am - 12:30 pm
It's HOT - Pepper Spray & Weapons of Opportunity
Includes Police quality pepper spray and case
Only $95 with registration by Saturday, July 14th  (a $395 value)

Attend BOTH these women's only events for only $125 with registration by Saturday, July 14th
Register for both online, or email to register and arrange payment

Women only empowerment event featuring:
- Fine chocolate
- Fine fellowship
- Refined training
- Extraordinarily enjoyable experience

Bodyguard strategies for practical personal protection. Make no mistake; this is no average self defense course for women. This combination lecture and interactive course gives you technology used by professional protectors such as the Secret Service and State Dept. to protect dignitaries and VIPs. Learn to be your own bodyguard and ... Hit Like a Girl!

Not a woman?  Consider giving the gift of Confidence and Peace of Mind to the women you love!  Make arrangements for your gift by

Register yourself online for only the Handbags, Heels and Chocolate eventhere.

Register yourself online for only the It's HOT event here.

Ms. Rhonda Roth
Family Protection Specialist

Ms. Rhonda Roth is the founding director of Hit Like A Girl Personal Protection and a 3rd Degree Black Belt under Hall of Fame 6th Degree Black Belt Master John Nottingham.  She is a trained bodyguard, family protection specialist and has trained with three time Presidential appointee and best selling author Gavin de Becker.  Her skills include Advanced Threat Assessment and Management, physical intervention and stalking deterrence.

Ms. Roth is an accomplished martial artist earning a Third Degree Black Belt as well including having won a gold medal competing in Korea.  She has traveled to and trained in Korea (three times) and China with world champions and Grandmasters.  She is a Certified Instructor with over ten years of experience teaching all ages, public speaking in corporations, schools and other events.

She co-authored a book on the USA Martial Arts system of self defense as well as numerous other UMA publications and safety guides and is a respected authority on the subject of personal safety. 

  • Founder Hit Like A Girl Agency
  • Graduate of Gavin de Becker & Associates Academy for Protectors (included training with Tom Taylor, Governor Swarzenegger's personal bodyguard)
  • USA Bodyguards Advance Academy Graduate, Certified Executive Protection Specialist-EPS (including training with Tom Muzila, Agent for two US Presidents)
  • VIPER Personal Protection Level I, II & III Graduate, VIPER Level I Instructor and IMPACT Level I Instructor
  • Certified Level 2 in MMA Shamrock Submission Fighting
  • Gold Medal in international competition in Korea
  • Formerly Certified in CDT Levels I & III Non-Deadly Force System
    ASIS Trained with Robert Oatman, former Secret Service Agent
  • Certified graduate of The College of Martial Arts (MAIA) in 2002
  • Certified Level One Instructor in Jeet Kune Do Concepts and Filipino Martial Arts from Navy SEAL trainer Paul Vunak
  • Expertly trained in both stick and knife tactics
  • Certified Yoga instructor recognized by ACE
  • Break The Chain Foundation Children's Charity AZ Board of Directors
With a strong commitment to continued training and to providing safety skills and information to women, John Nottingham and Rhonda Roth founded HLG in 2007.

Nottingham Sword & Shield Tactical Training Center Suite 10
 USA Martial Arts Suite 9
4731 East Greenway Rd
Phoenix, Arizona 85032

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Rethink Women's Self Defense With Hit Like a Girl Bodyguard Principles

Rethink Self Defense!
Personal Security Principles for Practical Personal Protection
Learn To Be Your Own Bodyguard and Protect Those You Love         

Handbags, Heels and Chocolate 
Saturday July 28
10am The Handbags, Heels & Chocolate Experience 

It's HOT!
11am It's HOT!  OC/Pepper Spray & Weapons of Opportunity


Register online NOW at facebook Hit Like a Girl to reserve your space.

Nottingham Sword & Shield Security Bodyguards
USA Martial Arts & Kickboxing Phoenix
4731 E. Greenway Rd Suite 9, Phoenix AZ

First Seminar HHC Cost: $195 (only $39 if you register before July 14)
Second Seminar It's Hot Cost: $395 (only $95 if registered before July 14)

Sponsored by:
Nottingham Sword & Shield Security Bodyguards
USA Martial Arts & Kickboxing Phoenix Phoenix

For more information, visit Hit Like a Girl on Facebook or email
Hit Like a Girl was designed especially for women by a highly trained female bodyguard and personal security specialist.  Rather than using a fear based model like most self defense courses, agent Rhonda Roth developed Hit Like a Girl with an empowerment teaching model that educates, entertains and enlightens the issues and addresses the myths surrounding personal protection.
The Handbags, Heels and Chocolate Experience allows women to learn effective bodyguard protective strategies while enjoying delicious chocolates and in a supportive environment of friendship.

A mother, advanced Black Belt and award winning teacher, her down to earth sense of humor engage audiences and create lasting memories while delivering life-saving lessons.
It's a perfect gift to daughters headed off to University or to Mothers, friends, Aunts or loved one's for a peace-of-mind that is priceless.

The practical skills taught at Hit Like a Girl training instill confidence to:
  • ·         Detect danger early and avoid it
  • ·         Deter potential attacks
  • ·         Derail and de-escalate would be violent encounters
  • ·         Defend and escape to safety

 Info or registration:

For immediate release
Contact: John Nottingham

Monday, February 27, 2012

School Shooting & Office Attack Survival - Analyzing Four Ways To Survive a Shooter

Four Ways To Survive School Shootings and Office Attacks

Bodyguard trainer and Close Quarters Combat Instructor John Nottingham offers review, insight and analysis of an instruction video on YouTube on how to survive a school shooter or office attack.

Mr. Jim Wagner is a popular figure often featured in Black Belt magazine as well as other publications, including the internet, regarding self-defense, Police Officer training, and tactical survival instruction.  Here I will review a video of his from YouTube and offer some commentary.  My hope is that it serves to enlighten, improve discussion and be fuel for better training.

Don't get your undies in a bundle, these are only my opinion and not specific prescriptions.  If you want that, you'll have to come to one of our training events as it is a complex issue deserving adequate time and instruction.  This is not intended as a magic pill or quick fix.  By the way, never confuse knowledge for ability.

The video description reads:
Office massacre & school shooting survival-
If someone came into your work place, classroom, or any public gathering and started shooting people, and at YOU, do you know what to do to increase your chances of survival? As my student I'll show you step-by-step the four major survival options in an office massacre or school shooting: 1. Escape 2. Hide 3. Barricade 4. Ambush. You can also teach young children the first two options.
First of all, I agree with Mr. Wagner that even children can and should learn the self defense concepts, age appropriate of course.  I believe that self-defense is an essential life skill that builds inner-strength and a more civil and compassionate community.

School survival training can be done with an empowerment teaching model that doesn't scare them or cause them to worry unnecessarily.  However, my view is that it starts with parents in the home, teachers at school and an alerted citizenry ready to accept the reality of attacks, the propensity for violent behavior, abuse, bullying and how it is all related to the individual responsibility of self defense.

School Survival Video Review
Watch the video and follow along.
Note: The assessment stage here was mostly skipped. The video starts with the response to a stated threat. I didn't see mention of force multiplication, communication or weaponization (granted it is a segment of a much larger training program). 

Planned escape routes can be very helpful. Consider that most of us drill fire escape routes and this might be a good option.  The key is reducing exposure time to the danger.  The quicker route is usually best but that is based on the location of the shooter.    Multiple escape route options are advised.  
Look, listen, breathe, plan, execute and adapt.
We would emphasize the selection and difference between cover (can inhibit a round) and concealment (visual interruption), the importance of diversion and violence of action. Conceptually Mr. Wagners framework is sound in our view. 

Barricading is critical, even if it just delays to create a greater window of opportunity for escape. His choice for barricade is ridiculous, especially with so many better options available to him.  Simple testing would prove this.  Take quick inventory of what is around you that could be used as a weapon of opportunity or environmental geometry that could be used to your advantage.

A better option would be restricting handle movement and wedging things under and in the hinges of the door as a door stop, then the big desk in the room. Offices should be equipped with a security wedge and thicker doors for higher priority targets in my opinion.Preparation goes a long way.  As I learned in Boy Scouts, be prepared.   

A chair under the door handle as a wedge might work, depending on the chair and handle. A little practice here can go a long way.  Either way, use redundant mechanisms to block the door.  Plan on Murphy's law and use him to your advantage. 
School Shooting/Office Attack Survival Safety Ti: Distance creates time and options. 
Note also that drywall is of little protection from flying bullets. The door may be thicker than the wall. Consider your environmental geometry careful and refer to your assessment based on context.   

Personal Security Survival Note: Assault rifle rounds are likely to pass through most things in an urban environment.  Just because they can does not mean that the attacker necessarily will shoot through walls.  Our research shows that it is actually rare.
On the AMBUSH, a padded computer bag would not be my first choice, nor would I be standing as a big target next to door frame. A pen to the eye socket (specific targeting until desired result achieved) might be a better option. The goal isn't simply to "knock him", the objective is a disruption to the nervous system to elicit an effective physiological response and mental disruption (The V.I. of VIPER =Violence Interdiction) . We would also advocate overwhelming force by recruiting those around & creating a game plan you so you're not 1 on 1. 1 on 1 is an equilibrium- we want superiority. 

Be aware of prescription without diagnosis, overly ridged rules, assumptive language and the difference between others abilities and your own.  "Know thyself."

NEVER rely on the function of an unknown firearm, instead plan to use it in a manner that has the highest likelihood of getting a desired result. He makes a great point in NEVER assuming you have only one shooter in the scenario. Reverse engineer real crime scenarios rather than risk recreating them from movies and imagination. Isolate the key survival factors and train, train, train. Ask better questions, get better results.

We salute fellow Army Veteran Mr. Wagner for his work on behalf of Officers, Military and civilians in his efforts to help people stay safe.  He clearly has some solid concepts that we can agree upon.  We would emphasize some assessment, communication and force multiplication tactics as well.  For more information on Nottingham Sword & Shield Security Bodyguards Training or any NTS course, feel free to contact us at info@usa-martialarts.
GUARDIAN Family Protection | VIPER Personal Protection Close Quarters Combat Self Defense | Officer /Agent Survival | John Nottingham's IMPACT

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Passengers Subdue Airline Passenger Shouting "Alah is Great" on Continental Flight To Houston


According to reports, a passenger on a Continental Airlines refused to follow the rules given by a flight attendant.  Passengers assisted the flight crew in subduing the man until the plane landed and he was handed over to government agents.

Sources say that the airline attendant instructed him that he was not allowed to smoke an electronic cigarette on the plane. He became agitated and unruly.

Responsible Citizens, Alert, and Accepting of Reality, Are The True First Responders. When we decide that doing something positive is a better course of action than doing nothing and allowing evil to run it's course.

Without hesitation, passengers took action to support the flight attendant showing once again the power of an alert and aware public. It goes to show the power of a collective community who accepts life's risks and realities, including the need to take action to protect ourselves and others.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. " - Edmund Burke

I hope this shines as an example of the power of a culture ready to accept life's risks and live with confidence and a set of values that stand for freedom, liberty and looking out for one another.

1. Never doubt the power of alert determined people whom are willing to take action.  Note that they did not wait or abdicate their roles of responders.
2. Those who resist and refuse to be victims almost always increase likelihood of survival and thwart the attack.
3. It doesn't take special skills, weapons or knowledge to defend yourself.  Those things can significantly help, but play a secondary role to the will and determination to act and use our innate survival skills.  (Good training gives more peace of mind and options.)
4. Cooperation and communication are powerful force multipliers and offer significant advantage.
5. Stories like this can inspire others and help create a hero culture rather than a victim culture.  Despite the numerous media messages to the contrary, you do not have to believe the view that you are a victim in need of a new government agency to protect you.  Our security can come from our taking responsibility, trusting our intuition, willingness to take action and defend what we love... including our way of life.  
Land of the Free, Home of the Brave,

John Nottingham, PI, EPS, 6th Dan, PFS/DOM
Nottingham Sword & Shield Security Bodyguards
USA Martial Arts & Kickboxing Phoenix

About John Nottingham
JOHN NOTTINGHAM, PI, EPS – Since 1989 John Nottingham has trained law enforcement, military, men, women and children various forms of self-protection. John discovered for every tragic abduction, or attack there are people who escaped. Bodyguard, law enforcement, military trainer and Martial Arts Master John Nottingham set began a quest to learn what specific thoughts and actions helped each adult and child escape from their kidnappers. GOOD MORNING ARIZONA, Channel 12 Safety Team, and others invited John on their show to share his unique approach to personal safety, security, self defense and conflict avoidance. An Eagle Scout, Army Airborne Veteran, and Martial Arts Master, from bullying prevention to abduction options and learning to be your own bodyguard, John is an internationally respected specialist.
Listen to John Nottingham Discuss the USA Martial Arts Anti-Bully Program on the
Outreach Today Radio Show