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Monday, January 31, 2011


Saturday we had an awesome class. We went to an office setting (day off so no one was working) and we worked with Reality Based Scenarios (RBS). Being on location made it that much more realistic. Physically, you have to deal with corners, furniture, small hallways or closets, etc. Mentally, you are dealing with a space where you might not normally encounter violence, where your mind might be on code white instead of being more alert.

Kasey came up with some different scenarios involving scenes that are likely to happen to civilians in their homes or office: house break-ins, fake delivery people, disgruntled customers, etc. This is so much better than training for fantasy scenarios that might be cool and fun but unrealistic, and might even train you for failure.

Kasey got suited up and played the bad guy the entire class. He is a very good actor and RBS player. He looked and sounded angry, mean and violent. In case I have never mentioned this before, I would not want to be on his bad side.

The goal of the exercise was to either prevent him from doing bad things or to take him out. If we failed, we got injured and/or died in the process… no fooling around with him. But of course no one ever fails and dies in our school. If we did something that did not work, that would have gotten us killed in real life, we will replay it and tweak a few things until we get it to work so we can leave with the confidence that what we do works and that we CAN be the victor in a violent encounter.

We have practiced drills in the past where we had to diffuse the entire situation with Conflict Communication. Today was about what happens when this fails, when the fecal matter hits the air matrix dispenser.

This was very eye opening and it’s a great way to show you where your strength and weaknesses were. Everyone looked really sharp. It was just as much fun to watch than to perform. The debriefing was a great learning experience for everyone involved. We discussed the moral ethics, the legal implications and the possibilities of other solutions. We explained what we did, why we did it. We asked questions about the things we felt had not gone the way they should. We had peer review and comments.

My weakness was in the office setting. I was a bit too slow at switching mode from professional and courteous to ass-kicking-to-save-my-life mode. And a bit too slow can mean life and death or serious injury. There is a fine line when you know communication has failed and gone out of the window, and when you know violence is about to happen.

From a woman’s perspective, when you are confronted with a dangerous, violent and /or threatening situation, it will usually come from a man (or men) that will most likely be larger and stronger than us (or armed). It is a scary thing. (I have never been seriously threatened by a 7 year old boy playing checkers). If I think of myself as a weak and helpless person, that will not only affect the way I act but that will come across to my attacker and this will give him fuel. I need to think of myself as a 300 lbs gorilla. But at the same time I have to remember that I am not physically a 300 lbs gorilla and to not try to fight strength on strength with him/them. That is why we work with things like getting out of the way; do not stand right in front of an attacker where he can do the most damage. While it’s a good thing to be able to take a hit and keep on going, it is a better thing to not take a hit at all. A hard punch to the jaw might just knock me out. We also work on basic simple responses that will work on most of the situations encountered (counter ambush).

Violence happens quicker, more suddenly and harder than you can imagine.

There is a fine line to be achieved and I feel a lot more confident in my skills now. Those are things that cannot be learned in a dojo. This type of training is invaluable.

All in all, mission accomplished!

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