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

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Aim - Fire - Adjust!



Well, after a summer resurgence, it looks like fall may be on its way again. I love Autumn, but it's a short season. Before you know it, the snow comes and you find yourself in winter. Such as life. It can be difficult to take the time to be in the moment amidst all of the planning, doing and busyness. Not to mention the reminiscing distraction, fear or regret. It can be challenging keeping balanced.
Off to the Doc this morning... with the changing season, comes joint pain for me (probably a few of you out there too I'm guessing?!).

Dr. Eric does a good job putting me back together, and keeping me tuned up. He's an awesome chiropractor and does a physical therapy method called ART (Physical Release Technique) too. He works with a lot of professional athletes and although I don't give my endorsement to many chiropractors, but he's the bomb! ...And he's a great guy to boot!

             
Speaking of tune ups... No matter what you do in life. Whether it's a relationship, career, hobby or skill set. We all need a tune up once in a while. Just like this new endeavor of mine: the (almost) Daily emails. I have already had to adjust...

(1) Didn't really know to what extent other (marketing) activities would be affected (like my blogs and other standard marketing emails).

(2) Just realized a few days ago that I will have to bump my subscription level of my auto-responder, email service I use (icontact), due to the increase volume of emails I would be (potentially) putting out.

I'm sure there will be many other things that I will find out along the way...

Yep... Aim - Fire - Adjust

This adage holds true in conflict management as well.

In the thick of a stressful situation we often have to make quick assessments, act and adjust on the fly, so to speak.

Often times there isn't the luxury of a lot of in depth analysis and time to think.
As they say, "You have to think on your feet!"

In cases like these, it is good to have a pre-planned response...

...or at least pre-planned idea of what to do when it comes to conflict and emergencies.

Things like fire and tornado drills, first responder training, CPR and First Aid are all helpful.
Knowing what to do in an extreme situation such as an Act of Violence and Terrorism is also a circumstance where you hope that you had PREVIOUS training before you were faced with the event.


Not that you want to live your life in fear or hoping that a situation occurs, rather, being prepared if something were to happen, so you can live a healthier, happier, more prepared life.

Remember that the NEW PeaceWalker Life Membership Site will be up and running very soon!

What is it?!

'Insider Tricks' to:

~ The Most Effective Physical Defensive Tactics Out There!
~ Staying Cool Under Pressure
~ Understanding the Art of De-escalation, Negotiation & Persuasion
~ Becoming a Better Leader
~ Discovering How to Get People to Do as You Ask and...
~ Knowing What to do if They Don't Comply or become violent!

Information is updated (almost) daily with new material including:

~ MasterClass Workshops
~ Case Studies
~ Tips, Tricks & Tactics
~ Seminars
~ Webinars
~ Q & A
~ Backstage Pass (a behind the scenes look...)
~ Private Facebook Group
~ Basic Training Courses
~ Blog Posts
~ (Almost) Daily emails
~ Bonus Material
~ And More!

All the best,
~Craig

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Goal Setting is for Losers!



Here I sit at one of my favorite coffee houses and I am already realizing in order to obtain my goals things are going to have to change!
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As someone once said...
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"You can't get there from here..."

I started blogging in 2008 and have no plans on stopping, however it's time to cut back on the posts slightly to make room for new things.
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Even the thought of changing or *gasp* eliminating my 2013 commitment to write four blog posts per month is already proving more difficult to shed mentally than I expected.
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Have you ever had that in areas of your life?!
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Somewhere down inside of me I feel as if I am giving up. That since I made the commitment I need to continue to uphold it no matter what! And if I don't continue to do so, I failed in some way or I become some sort of loser somehow.
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EVEN IF IT'S TIME TO CHANGE!!
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EVEN IF THOSE OLD EXPECTATIONS ARE NO LONGER NECESSARY FOR GROWTH!!
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Even if it's TIME TO MOVE ON!!
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Hogwash I say!
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We have to continue to evaluate and re-assess our situation in order to align our goals, intentions and actions to where we are going.
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This doesn't mean giving up too soon!
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Remember everything has a process and takes time. You have to give the proper amount of time and attention necessary for doing what you set out to do, but still be flexible and open for change!
I remind myself that my blog wasn't (and isn't) a failure of any sort! As a matter of fact it is (and I hope will continue to be) a complete success!
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We've had some months with over 125,000 page views!! Which is AWESOME!
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Regardless... It's time to move on...
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When the winds of change are blowing strong, pull up anchor and set your sails!
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So, what are you holding on to that was once necessary, but now you do it more out of habit or worse yet, obligation? Something that doesn't fit anymore, or actually holding you back from future success? The old paradigm may not be fit any more. If it feels as if its time to start something different and the 'old' commitment is no longer fueling forward progress in the direction you'e aiming for... time to re-calibrate, chart a new course and boldly move forward!
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I see this a lot when helping people deal with conflict. Everyone has habits on how they deal with conflict. Some good, some bad. Remember to keep assessing your habits to make sure they are serving you and the situation at hand.
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Do what is necessary vs. what your habit is. This is DIFFICULT, because when it comes to conflict, we have developed habits on how we deal with our own emotions, how we deal with people and how we deal w/certain (uncomfortable) situations.
When we are under stress and emotions kick in it's easy to revert to our habits to try to get our way or get back to our comfort zone.
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I talk a lot about this in the PeaceWalker Conflict Communications Course, which is available on the NEW PeaceWalker Membership Site (Accepting Members SOON!). Where I tell you how to see your habits so you can determine whether or not they are serving you at the time.
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Last thing: Remember we have our Krav Maga 2.25 Active Shooter Preparedness Workshop coming up the second week in October.
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You protectors out there won't want to miss this one!
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Hurry though, it's filling fast!
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Click here for info and to register!
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You got this!

~Craig

Monday, September 25, 2017

Can't Hide Crazy (Part 1)



Yep, I've said it many times, "You Can't Hide Crazy." Although there are a number of ways I can go into how that principle applies to life, today I wanted to talk about how "we can't hide" our own crazy. Teaching leadership, conflict management and of course defensive tactics I often say that if you are a mess on the inside, it's hard to keep it together on the outside.When thinking about emotions and attitude you can either let the situation, person or emotion control you or you can decide to keep control of yourself. If you cannot control your own emotions, people can take advantage of this, circumstances can get out of your control and you will not be able to control anything else in your life. 

We all feel emotions, it’s natural, it’s normal, it’s good and it’s healthy as long as those emotions are not a detriment to you making decisions and you living your life.  Let’s face it, feeling intimidated, guilt, stress, fear, panic, loneliness, anger, worry, etc are natural emotions. However, if you let those emotions overwhelm you too much you will not always make the best decision. 

How do you prevent yourself from being burned out? 

Take a few minutes and write down as many things as you can think of that helps you to relieve stress and give you a more balanced perspective.

How do you decompress? Is it a cup of coffee in the morning, reading the paper, is it getting a nice sleep, time with your family, a yearly vacation, yoga, what is it? How do you re-focus?   

Here are some of the things that I've come up with that often helps maintain a foundational grounding:

1)    Getting a good night sleep and ample rest is essential.  Regular exercise is also very effective in helping you to maintain this idea of foundational grounding. 
2)   Good Fuel for your body! Eating a balanced diet, not too much sugar, not too much caffeine, eating lots of fruits and vegetables, eating good, lean, low fat meals is helpful. 
3)    Having quiet time, meditation, service to others is another very important aspect of this idea of foundational grounding. 
4)     Connecting yourself with something larger than you is huge in being grounded.
5)    Surrounding yourself with positive people, people that will help to inspire you, not people that will bring you down. 
6)    Reading inspirational stories, watching inspiring movies and this type of thing will also help to ground you and pull you through tough times.
7)     Continual learning.
8)    Closure, take care of your regrets, apologize to your mom for yelling at her last week at the family reunion, take that employee into your office and tell him what you think, ask him for forgiveness if you need to if you do a bad.  Take care of your regrets, have closure before it’s too late. 

9)   Surround yourself with good, supportive, cool people! 
10)  Don't Sweat the Small Stuff!!  Learn to breath, relax and let go! Thank

These things will help you to maintain a much better sense of balance and grounding in your life. The better balanced and grounded that you are, the less likely you are to become overly emotional during a stressful situation.  When some person experiences road rage because you took his parking spot, do you really honestly think that he’s upset because you parked in that space?  Is it just about that, or is it something, maybe many things throughout his life that led up to him being so angry about that one incident?  So really think about these foundational things in your life that can help you maintain your balance.  Greek philosopher Socrates said, “know thyself.”  This is a very powerful concept to embrace.   

Keep going!

~Craig