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