Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Training w/a Busy Schedule

Training at Caliber 3 Counter Terorism & Security Academy
Efrat, Israel



Well, I'm back from Israel, Thanksgiving is over, and I'm sitting here in my favorite coffee house writing to you. 

(Actually I'm writing you for the second time. My first 45 minutes attempt got wiped out aaaaggghhhh! and now I'm starting again!)

I want to share a common question that I received from a student who trains here with me locally at our Martial Arts Academy. 
.
Don't worry though, it's not a martial arts question. It's a question that you can benefit from whether or not you train in martial arts.

The question is how do you keep training when your life doesn't seem to allow you the luxury of time? 

Family responsibilities. Career pressure. Maintaining a healthy relationship. Having friends and a personal life. Keeping your sanity. All of these things weigh in on your time... Resulting in you feeling that you can't train in these PeaceWalker skills.


Time to Train The PeaceWalker Lifestyle...

I totally get the problem of finding time to train. And to add fuel to the fire, how do you manage when life changes coming up, like career responsibilities and increased family obligations?

Training for Life is difficult... 

My First Suggestion Is...

Develop your practice so that it extends beyond training in a class.

For me, this path, this training has contributed so much to my success in life that I see it much more than just conflict management, self defense or working out. It's a way of life for me, so I've learned to carve out time for it, because of the importance I've placed on it for my bigger picture.

Most of my instructors have not been local, so I had to (and still do) go to train with them as much as I can. Then I take that knowledge home and train it on my own, until the next time I can go back to train with them. 

It Doesn't Have to Be Difficult...

That's one of the reasons for developing the PeaceWalker Membership Site. So that people will have access to tools, and community, so that they can train whenever & where ever life allows.
Here are a few more suggestions for keeping your training connected to your life:

1) Keep training on your own - Dedicate sometime every day or week to training PeaceWalker Skills.

2) Find a training partner who you can get together with to train... Someone you gel with. Arrange time to get together with them as much as you both can.

3) Sign up for the new PeaceWalker on-line membership site when it's available (in a couple weeks). 

-Tons of Training Videos Updated Regularly. 

- Access to the entire Online PeaceWalker Conflict Communication Home Study Course. 

- Weekly MasterClasses and case studies w/guest instructors that show you how real people from all walks of life are using the PeaceWalker approach to live safer, more successful lives.

- Leadership, Conflict Management & Self Defense for the Real World! All at your fingertips whenever you have time to learn!

- The site was designed for someone just like you. Someone w/a busy life who wants to continue to stay connected to this PeaceWalker LifeStyle! 

- Membership is less than $1/per day! No risk, cancel anytime. 

4) Come to our LIVE Protectors Conference Coming in 2018!

5) Come to one of our LIVE monthly tactical seminars in Michigan.

                            If you're local to Grand Rapids:

6) Come down and watch one of our regular Krav Maga classes. If you like it...

7) Register for an upcoming Krav Intro Session and then...

8) Go to as many classes as you can...

But regardless of what you do...

Keep Going...



The goofy smile I get after a good day of training at
Caliber 3 Counter Terror & Security Academy in 
Efrat, Israel

November 27h

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

What's Everyone's Problem?



Is This Thing On?!?

Do you ever wonder if anyone is listening? Does it ever feel like you are just floating in a sea of isolation? Alone and vulnerable.

We strive for connection. We strive to know that we are going to be alright... That someone has our back in this sometimes big scary world.

Even the thought of going to war feels good in a weird way when you have your com padre' at your side. In our relationships we want to know that the other person is in our corner and is there for us if we needed them. We want to belong to something bigger than ourselves. That it all somehow has a purpose. That it's worth it. That WE'RE worth it! Worth the strife, the work, the trouble, the toil. Worth the good, the bad and even the ugly that we all have gone through and will go through during our lives.

It's About Community...

Feeling connected and that we belong is a HUGE need that we have as human beings. If you want to be a good leader you have to have a connection with those that are by your side.The better sense of connection you have with the person or group, the easier it is to manage conflict, work out your difficulties and come to a resolution. This is One of Our Biggest Troubles...

One of the major hurdles that we currently have in our country and communities is that we seem to be feeling LESS CONNECTED! That feeling is causing a lot of conflict and MAKING CONFLICTS WORSE.

Police don't feel connected with the communities that they are protecting.

Citizens don't feel connected with the police who are there to protect them.

Liberals aren't feeling connected with the conservatives.

Muslims aren't feeling connected with the Jews.

Jews aren't feeling connected with the Christians.

Black people aren't feeling connected with white people.

Americans aren't feeling connected with Mexicans.

Straight people are feeling connected with gay people.

Poor people aren't feeling connected to rich people.

People working in production aren't feeling connected with people working in administration.

Student's aren't feeling connected with the teachers.

Teachers aren't feeling connected with the parents.

Women aren't feeling connected with men in the workplace.

Bald people aren't feeling connected with folks with hair.

Connected people aren't feeling connected with disconnected people.

You get the idea... But You Don't Understand... It seems as if everyone wants everyone else to understand them.

I get it! We want to be understood and respected. And when we don't feel understood, listened to, respected and protected we begin to push back. And we're experiencing a LOT of PUSH BACK right now.

Why?

I'm not a sociologist, but I think we are in a really interesting time!

A time of change!

A time of power!

A time of growth!

A time where we have a lot of opportunity!

However, I find it interesting that although we live in a time where we are more connected  than ever before, in many ways we feel more disconnected and overwhelmed than ever.

Why?

Two things really:

(1) OUR TRIBE IS EXPANDING!

Which brings us to the thing that is responsible for this...

(2) Technology!

The same thing that is helping to bring more information and positive connection is also the cause for bringing these negative things to light too..

Our differences...

Yep, that's right, I believe we are feeling growing pains, I'll call the middle kid syndrome.

We are striving for respect, to feel recognized and appreciated in an ever growing tribe. We have more connection, yet feel disconnected, raw and exposed...We want to know that we matter and we will be protected as we are. As police, as citizens, as gay, as straight, as conservatives, as liberals, as black, white, Jew, Muslim, rich, poor, etc. etc. That our LIFE has VALUE and will be respected. That we will be treated with dignity and respect beyond our labels...

Oops... But That's NOT What We Said...

We're fighting over respect and recognition. Safety and security. We are fighting over dignity and human rights, but we are looking through our deeply held labels that we see as our identity. We think we are saying, "respect me as a person." But that's not what we actually say. What we end up saying is, "respect my label, my assumed identity." Respect my straightness... or my gayness. Respect my religious perspective. Respect how I believe and who I believe I am... because that is what I believe to be my identity.

So when you disrespect my label, belief or what I value. I perceive that you are not respecting ME!

We have a bit of an identity crisis. We cannot even separate our own beliefs and relative values from our Life Value. Not everyone is going to like or necessarily respect our relative differences. But here's the thing...

We don't have to!

I don't have to agree with or like the things you do. However, if I disrespect your value as a human being up to and including violence. That's not right and will be typically met with resistance and more conflict. I have to separate your Life Value from all of that.

We have to look beyond our labels...

Our paradigm is shifting. It has to in order to accommodate our growth. It is time that we see beyond our relative differences to the one thing that really connects all of us...

We Are All Human Beings...

Maybe if we first saw each other as living human beings and we held that value first... Maybe by holding that connection as the fundamental launching pad for everything else, it would be easier to work through all our differences? I don't know, but it's a good place to start...

Yes, of course we have differences. It would be boring if we didn't. Our differences make the spice of life! But our strength is by recognizing our sameness, our common similarity. That's where our true power lies when it comes to working out our differences.

...Our LIFE VALUE

You want to get above the argument? You want to get beneath to the foundation of conflict resolution? Start with the Value of Human Life! Connect with THAT! The rest is Just Details!

Get Connected / Stay Connected

One of the major benefits of being part of the PeaceWalker Movement is not just the loads of great information that you'll have access to...

It's really about being connected with a Community of good people.

So, to help accomplish that, I have set up a private facebook PeaceWalker Community group that will be open for members in the near future.

Being part of the PeaceWalker tribe will give you access to all of the training, the tips tricks and tactics.

The MasterClasses are there so you can learn how other PeaceWalkers are using these tools and this perspective to be more successful in their careers and lives. 

And how you can too!

So stay tuned for the NEW PeaceWalker Memebership site Opening SOON!!

...In the meantime, enjoy this wet fall day!!


All the best

~Craig

Monday, November 20, 2017

Training for the Long Haul



I'm sitting here in my favorite Ikea chair w/my feet propped up, sipping on a Yogi Egyptian Licorice Tea. Listening to a Robert Plant concert from last year and talking with you.  

Thanks for spending a moment with me today...

Training for the Long Haul... Injury Prevention & Rehab

It's a bit of a rainy day. I'm a little achy. 

It's easy to look at the things you can't do. It's easy to let the minor (and not so minor) injuries, aches or pains hinder your training...

...or prevent you from training all together!

Don't let things like this get you down. 

This is what we talk about on Dr. Eric DeLamielleure  MasterClass on the PeaceWalker Membership site!

Here's our topics:


Answers to the 3 Critical Mistakes Most People Make When Recovering From An Injury. 

Top 5 Things Men Over 40 Can Do to Prevent Injury When Exercising


This MasterClass along with all of the other courses, workshops, and material, will be available soon on the PeaceWalker Membership Site! 

Membership is Opening SOON! 

Stay tuned!

In the meantime, here are a few tips to keep you going even when you don't feel like fighting the good fight in training on any given day...

  • Go easy on yourself! It's ok to change your routine to accommodate an injury. Yes, some injuries just need rest and time off. However, many minor injuries can be worked around. 
  • The best way to stay in shape is to never get out of shape! (Friend & mentor, Bob Barss shared that line w/me at a recent lunch. Great advice!)
  • Workout appropriately. Meaning be realistic with yourself about what you do and how much you push yourself (or don't). Some push too much, others not enough. Find balance.
  • Create a well rounded workout that incorporates: Strength, flexibility, stamina, coordination & structure... and sustainability! 
  • Remember being fit & being healthy are two differentthings. They are not mutually exclusive no more than are they synonymous. 
  • Don't forget body maintenance: Regular check ups and physicals, body work like massage, acupuncture or pressure, chiropractic, etc. are also essential for the long haul of PeaceWalker Training!  
  • Find a rhythm. Do what works for you, so you can Keep Going!
  • Remember, if you don't take care of your body, where you going  to live?!
Keep these things in mind when it comes to training and the Long Haul!


You got this,
~Craig

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Attack: Meeting the Situation Head On!




It was a good few days. I was invited to a friend (Buyu and fellow protector, Tony N.) wedding out in Philly. It was an honor to be invited to be a part of their special day. So, I packed up my car and headed out to Pennsylvania.

I have a few friends who have trained w/me who live out in PA, so I figured I'd visit one (Jim B.) who lives half way from here to Philly.

He and his wife are renowned artists and have a cool place up in the mountains. They were gracious hosts.

Jim took me to a artist retreat center he teaches and then we went hiking around Ohiopyle State Park, followed by some well deserved beers!

The next day I drove the other 4 1/2 hours to Philly for Tony's wedding.

Which, BTW was OFF THE HOOK!

It was held at Bryn Athyn Cathedral and was probably the most beautifully elaborate wedding I've ever been to in my life! Like in the movies! It was crazy!!

I spent the day and part of the evening with friends and their family and then back on the road to 
Michigan.

Oh, I have to mention, the drive was GORGEOUS! Going through the mountains of PA when the trees are changing color is something you have to see sometime in your life! SPECTACULAR!
Yes, the Protectors Life can be a good one if that what YOU CREATE.
             
ACTION - Meeting the Threat Head On!

So far when talking about ways to deal with a Terrorist or 'Lone Wolf' Threat, we've introduced this idea of:

AVOID - ESCAPE - AMBUSH - ATTACK

We've talked about all of these strategies except ATTACK.

When and why would we CHOOSE to Attack in a situation like this?

Simply, to do one of two things:

Survive

Protect Others

Lets NOT over complicate things. The whole idea of this process is to save lives (including your own) in the face of extreme danger.

ATTACKING the situation or in this case the attacker head on, is ANOTHER option to be used IF the situation warrants it and the timing and opportunity are present.

So, the WHY and WHEN of using this strategy is:

To Save Life

Only as a LAST Resort

The opportunity presented itself

...it should be a last resort!

...but you need to know when to implement this aggressive approach!


All the best,

~Craig

Monday, October 30, 2017

Ambush vs. Hiding



My '2nd' Mom turned 70 the other day. Who is my '2nd Mom? I have a friend who I've been hanging around since I kindergarten.

I've know them for over 40 years!

(Yikes! am I really THAT old!?)

I think I was over to his house more than my own as a kid.

Needless to say his Mom over the years became my 2nd Mom.

...Anyway we had a surprise Birthday party for her and seeing three generations of people who I've 
known my whole life and I feel are more of a family to me than friends...

...It Reminded me how important our relationships are...

How important living a good life is...

It reminded me why being a protector is so important!

It reminded me on WHY WE TRAIN!!

For Life...

Yes, our own protection, of course...

But, even more so to help protect others too...

      
...That brings us back to our discussion...

Avoid - Escape - Ambush - Attack

What happens when Escaping isn't an option?!

We already (briefly) talked about Avoiding or Escaping one of these overwhelming instances...

Now lets discuss what I mean by AMBUSHing rather than just hiding during an event like this.

Before we talk about this subject, I want to clarify that these strategies are not necessarily linear. 

Where you would do one than the other...

Or that you would do them as a continuum either...

Rather, you have to choose which is most accessible and appropriate for the situation.

You may have to begin with one strategy and than move to another one as quickly as needed.

ALSO, please keep in mind that we are talking about dealing with a situation that you tried to AVOID if at all possible and you are now forced to choose BAD over Worse!

Why do I use the word AMBUSH, rather than just HIDE?

Think about the two words for a second:

What do you think of when you think of HIDING?

How empowering does that feel to you if you have to go from passive, defensive mindset of hiding 
and hoping that you won't be discovered...

...to then maybe having to shift to directly verbally or physically defending life (your own and 
possibly others) if you come face to face with the assailant?

The mentality of 'hiding' and 'hoping' can be an additional psychological barrier, making it more difficult to shift gears into action IF you have to.

Now, think of how the thought of laying a trap to AMBUSH the person if they come in the proximity 
of your position and looks as if they are going to discover your location.

Yes, of course you are hoping that you are not discovered, however you are also psychologically 
preparing yourself to be more assertive about the strategy and preemptively focusing on a tactic to attack the attacker if necessary...

Rather than focusing on your fear and being a victim. You focus on what you CAN DO in that moment.

You focus on the plan to eliminate the threat if necessary to protect yourself and others.

It changes your mindset to that of a survivor, rather than victim.

REMEMBER I am NOT advocating this necessarily as your first and/or only option. We are exploring different possible strategies to handle this extreme situation.

Hiding & barricading can be a portion of your strategy for ESCAPING or AMBUSHING, but they are only a portion of the equation...

Does thinking about AMBUSHING someone feel different to you?

Does it feel more powerful?

Does if feel like you have some control over your own fate, even if it ends up worse case scenario?

Does it feel different even if you don't have to use the tactic, because your whereabouts is not discovered or the assailant moves on?

...or like 9/11's flight 93 where the passengers resisted and although they themselves perished, they saved other lives...

I know, these are pretty serious things to be considering, but it's easier to work through things and consider options before, rather than during!


For Life...

~Craig

Friday, October 27, 2017

Should You Escape Before Bad Turns Into Worse?!



Escaping a Bad Situation:

Today would have been a "Perfect" Day. The weather has been simply gorgeous: Crisp. Sunny. Cool, but not too cool. Warm, but not too warm.

The leaves are just starting to change, but falls in the air.

I had a great run!

...and then remember what happened in Las Vegas, and it brings me back...

Not in a bad way, but there is a heaviness that is undeniable...

And it gets me to thinking again...

About life...

About Real Things...
                
              ...about when things are less than perfect (to say the least)...

Avoid - Escape - Ambush - Attack

Should I Stay or Should I Go?!

My last email talked about ways to Avoid an act of terrorism and/or a "lone wolf" act of violence. 

Today I want to discuss ESCAPING.

First of all, we need to talk about the 'IF.'

Yes, that's right, you read that correctly 'IF' I should try to immediately escape... Strange subject I know, but when you train w/me we tend to explore things from many angles...

NO, I'm not talking about martyrdom, vigilantism, trying to be 'a hero', or any of that.

I'm talking about starting with the WHY!

One of the times I was in Israel, I had a conversation with one of the Krav Maga instructors. He recounted a story about the difference between a person from Israel and the U.S.

(BTW - I have heard many different versions of this story... Just replace "Israeli" w/Marine, Navy Seal, American... etc.)

He said:

The difference between an Israeli and everyone else is that people from Israel run toward the shooting.

(Regarding a terrorist attack) Rather than thinking, I'm glad I wasn't there. They think, I wish I was there to help. Maybe I could have stopped it, or helped in some way.

Please keep in mind I am not saying this is either true or the 'right way' to think. I am simply stating that there are a lot of different ways of thinking about this situation.

And how YOU think matters!

Yes, I believe that any 'normal' human being tries to avoid danger, violence and death.

But then I remember that these types of situations are extreme and ESCAPING is one of the strategies.

There have been many incidents where someone decided to stay and help others:

•            Prof. Liviu Librescu - 2007 Virginia Tech Shooting - This 76 year old (Holocaust Survivor & professor) held the door of his classroom shut while the gunman attempted to enter it. Although he was shot through the door, Librescu managed to prevent the gunman from entering the classroom until most of his students had escaped through the windows.

•            ...or this story from a couple weeks ago about Illinois P.E. teacher Angela McQueen who grabbed the 'lone wolf' shooter’s arm and subdued him after he opened fire in Mattoon High School’s cafeteria. *Read more: http://therightscoop.com/meet-the-hero-high-school-teacher-who-stopped-a-gunman-from-massacring-students/#ixzz4uGr5nFFM

I don't know the full details of what happened in this weeks Las Vegas Mass shooting, however I know that even amidst the chaos and casualties, there are numerous accounts of people helping others.

PLEASE READ THIS BELOW...

This blog post IS NOT advocating staying and/or confronting the assailant(s) and being a hero, rather it is about approaching the situation as clearly as we can and ASSESSING what we believe to be the best strategy for the circumstance.

We will address each strategy to see which might be best suited for the situation we face: Avoid - Escape - Ambush - Attack

As Major Elliot Chodoff of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) so elequently put:
"People usually don't have a difficult time choosing from good or bad. However, most people have a very difficult time choosing bad from worse."


For Life...

~Craig

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Should You Run, Hide or Fight?!



Today's a little different...

Why? Because, I'm NOT at one of my usual coffee houses.

Nope, I'm actually at *drum roll* Starbucks at the mall... (Don't Judge!=)

If you know me at all you know that I'm not a Starbucks kinda guy. But, I'm here trying to use my 
time wisely in between appointments.

I must admit though... I don't know if I can make it through this cup of joe... It's just not 'my cup of 
coffee.' (Da dat da psssh). Sorry couldn't resist!

I'm here in flip flops trying to hold on to the last remaining warmer days before fall really takes a 
hold of us!

...and then I heard the news about the mass shooting in Las Vegas...

...and now I'm back to thinking about some 'heaver' things...
             
Some Thoughts On Active Shooter/Terrorism Preparedness
If you trained at all w/me you'd know that I don't subscribe to living in paranoia and no I'm not a 'preper.'

I believe in being aware, empowered and skilled.

There is no sense in living a life that is filled with fear, suspicion and hate.

It's too negative.

Training to be a PeaceWalker is about having a Good Life!

Then I get the news of the latest mass shooting event in Las Vegas and I feel the heaviness of the situation...

I'll be honest, in the shadow of this event in Vegas, I am now struggling w/this marketing campaign that I started well before it happened.

As a matter of fact, the seminar was scheduled last year. I've been running ads for several weeks.

I wrote this bulk of content for this email (and the two to follow) before the Vegas shooting event occurred.

The irony isn't lost on me, however I know there are no shortage of "Ambulance Chasers" out there in my position...

My view of being caught up in an act of terrorism or active shooting event is like winning the lotto in reverse! Meaning if you won the lotto that's a good thing, if you somehow got caught in an active shooting or terrorism event it would be equally unlikely... only bad.

I sometimes play the lotto, but I don't plan my retirement on it.

I train (and teach) how to deal w/situations like this, but I don't plan my life around the event.

I LIVE, prepare ad be aware the best I can and if s#it happens...

I deal w/things the best I can.

Period.

Which brings us to...

Avoid - Escape - Ambush - Attack

When it comes to Terrorist and Active Shooter Situations, the US Homeland Security has put out a simple message to civilians on how to respond: Run, Hide, Fight.

I'm not going to argue with them on the point, however I would like to propose a slightly different way of looking at things.

I like to think of things a little different... I would rather think of it this way:

AVOID - ESCAPE - AMBUSH - ATTACK

Although we will be went over these strategies in much greater depth in October's Krav Maga 2.25 Active Shooter / Terrorism Defense Workshop (Available SOON on the PeaceWalker Life Membership Site), I thought I'd share some of the basics of each strategies beginning w/Avoidance.

Avoid the situation if possible. Meaning that you stay aware of people, situations and things that are going on around you, you might not only avoid a bad situation in the moment; if the red flags are spotted soon enough, the entire ordeal could possibly be avoided altogether!

FBI statistics state that all of the active shooting and terrorist events in the U.S. showed warning signs BEFORE the event occurred. The person said something or did something that could have potentially tipped someone off to their intent BEFORE it occurred.

According to the Israel Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Israel has hundreds of attempted terrorist attacks per month, many being dealt with by civilians.

...Many being detected BEFORE something bad or worse happened.

Awareness... Awareness... AWARENESS!

Now, I'm not blaming anyone for missing the warning signs of the attacks that were successful, I'm just saying that the more vigilant we are, the more red flags we see and act on (appropriately).

What Red Flags? 

Good question. 

Here are a few things to watch for:

The Eight Signs of Terrorism:

Surveillance. Someone recording or monitoring activities.
Elicitation. People or organizations attempting to gain information about military operations, capabilities, or people.
Tests of Security.
Funding.
Supplies.
Impersonation.
Rehearsal.
Deployment.

Now, I know some of the above terms might be a bit lean on explanation, so if you want a more expanded definition follow the link below.


According to a recent article published in The Spectator, where journalist David Patrikarakos interviewed an Israeli counter-terrorism agent; quoting him saying:

'Combating the threat of the lone wolf – and avoiding more draconian anti-terror legislation – comes with greater public awareness.'

‘If, for example, you see your neighbour going out at 3am every night or see him or her buying a lot of knives, or carrying a suspicious backpack. Look at Anders Breivik,’ the counterterrorism official concludes, ‘all the red flags were there before and no one did anything. People need the courage to speak up. Every tip can lead the authorities to something much bigger.’

As stated in Gavin DeBecker's book, "The Gift of Fear" simply states, listen to your gut. If it feels wrong it probably is. So act on it. In this case tell someone... Report suspicious behavior, situation, or 'thing' to the authorities.

A buddy of mine (Chad) would always say,

"If it looks like a cat. Smells like a cat, Acts like a cat. It's probably a f#n Cat!"

Yea, I know it's a little different from what De Becker is saying, but my point is we often are (just) oblivious to what's happening around us and when we DO notice something we sometimes doubt ourselves. Well we're saying ...Don't!

If it smells like a cat...

Oh, speaking of cats, one more list of Red Flags, this one is for Active Shooters, otherwise known as "Lone Wolf Shooters" (Nope, no connection w/my nick name Mike G.=)

Identifying the red flags and potential active shooter signs within your midst could save your life, and the lives of your coworkers or (fellow) students.

Bullying/Intimidating Behavior. ...
Paranoia or Conflicts with Others. ...
Obsession with Weapons. ...
Deteriorating Work Habits. ...
Significant Personal Problems. ...
Poor Social Skills or Antisocial Attitudes.

7 Possible Signs of a Workplace Shooter - Aegis Protective Services

Well, that's plenty enough info for today...

I'll fill you in a little on the other strategies (Escape, Ambush & Attack) in later emails...

Don't worry, I'll only cover one at a time.


Keep going,
~Craig