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

Monday, September 11, 2017

9/11 Tribute & Training (Re-Post)



The New Jersey beach was silent as I warmed up with the the Camden County police officers in preparation for Lt. Col. (Ret) Joe “Marine’s” infamous partner combat conditioning course. The day was September, 11th  2015, the anniversary of a dark day. A day that most professional protectors are especially respectful of. A day that we hope is never repeated.
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I can think of many good ways to commemorate 9/11: Showing respect for those fallen; extending condolences to loved ones of the victims; giving thanks to the protectors who are now on duty and of course, training to be a better protector. And that is exactly what we were doing this past Friday, September 11th 2015, in the morning beach sand of a small New Jersey town not too far from where the Towers stood in New York City.  
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When we think of what happened and what we can do to prevent something like that from happening again, I am reminded of our diversity, our strength and our resilience. We are ALL protectors and each of us contributes in our own way. Some of us are professional protectors, be it firemen, police officers, military personnel, medics, nurses, etc. others protect in different ways, maybe financial, maybe helping with the clean up or the rebuild. In the moment of crisis many civilian citizens become the warriors and protectors of others who were hurt, frightened, or somehow incapable of protecting themselves.
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Out on that Jersey beach early Friday morning working side by side with those officers my mind was focused on my task at hand as Joe Marine put us through the paces. The bigger picture was that we were coming together as ethical warriors. Sharpening our skills to become better protectors to hopefully prevent another 9/11 from happening and when something does happen again we trust that through our training we are more equipped to deal with whatever we are up against.
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After we were finished making sugar cookies out of ourselves my friend and colleague Artie Mark shared his first hand experience of the 9/11 terrorist attack. You wouldn’t know it by looking at him, but Artie is the real deal, a true protector and hero. He is one of the humblest, coolest guys that I know. He looks like an average Joe. He doesn’t boast or act like some arrogant ‘delta bravo.’ If you didn't know him you wouldn't suspect that he spent over 20 years on some of the toughest assignments in New York, including a special crime unit that put him in the most dangerous neighborhoods in NYC. His job in those days was to seize illegal guns and drugs to of course protect people from the violence that was out of control at that time. I am honored to work with Artie and call him a friend.
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9/11/2001 began as a normal day. Artie was on his way to a court hearing when a plane hit the first tower. He was only blocks away when he got the call and rushed to the scene. Still believing that the incident was some accident Artie saw the second plane fly right over his head striking the second tower. It wasn’t until he heard about a plane hitting the pentagon that the realization came over him that we were under attack.
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Artie made four trips into the building helping people to safety. On his fourth trip Artie was helping an elderly woman leave the building, when he ran into an old schoolmate who he hadn’t seen in years. Now a NYPD officer as well, the two quickly reconnected. After Artie helped the lady, his old friend asked him to help him tape off the parameter around the first tower. An act that actually saved his life!
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While Artie scrambled to tape off the first building a bike courier (like the character Kevin Bacon played in Quicksilver or Joseph Gordon-Levitt in 2012’s Premium Rush) sped past the barricade. Artie yelled for him to stop, but in true New York fashion the courier ignored the cry. It was a mistake that cost the courier his life. The bike messenger got no more than thirty feet from Artie when a giant sheet of plate glass fell from the burning building cutting him in half, right before Arties eyes. 
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“It was just like out of a movie,” Artie said as he shared the experience. 
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A moment later the entire tower collapsed, causing Artie and anyone in the area to run for their lives for a moment, before returning to assisting others. 
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Artie said that if he hadn’t stopped to help tape off the first tower he would have certainly died as the building collapsed with him in it. 

“It was like the world was coming to an end.” Artie shared with me and the rest of the RGI team. 
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He, the other officers and emergency rescue personnel worked frantically to save as many lives as possible. Artie remembers the legs of his pants being soaked with the blood of the bodies that were exploding all around him from the people jumping out of the buildings. It was like the scene of a movie. Sublime. 
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A couple days before this beach training Artie picked me up from the airport. We drove through downtown Manhattan and he showed me exactly where he was standing when he saw the tower collapsed. 
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After the attack, Artie pulled security and search and rescue efforts on Ground Zero. 16/6/6: For sixteen hour days, six days a week for six months Artie and other NYPD/NYFD protected, searched and recovered the remains of the victims of the attack. In total, the attacks claimed the lives of 2,977 le and caused at least $10 billion in property and infrastructure damage; $3 Trillion in total costs. It was the deadliest incident for firefighters and law enforcement officers in the history of the United States, with 343 and 72 killed respectively.
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After Artie finished with his story and we took a moment of silence to show reverence and respect, he went on to say that he knows many of his fellow protectors (and many citizens as well) who suffer from PTSD from the incident, however he never did. He believes that it is his training regarding being an ethical warrior that shielded him from the psychological effects of the experience. 
This is why we train.
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Did I mention how much of an honor it is to know, work with and be able to call Artie my friend? I love you brother! Thanks for sharing some of your path with me! I'm glad you are here. My life and the lives of so many others are not only safer because you are here, we are truly happier whenever you come around. We know that anyone in need has a friend in your presence. How can we tell? You communicate it with everything you do, even when you don't say a word, we can even see it in your eyes alone.
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All the best & Keep Going!
~Craig

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

10 Laws of Life



I was cleaning out an old filing cabinet the other day and I came across this tattered piece of paper. At the top of the copy it said "sales success" in some 90's logo. The crooked, distorted text appeared to be a copy of a copy of a bootlegged copy. Anyway, I saved it because I liked what it said, so much so I wanted to share it with you, dear reader. So, without further ado, here are the 10 Laws of Life by some unknown author who may or may not have been employed at some (probably de-funked) 1990's "sales success" organization.  


Enjoy!


Life Law #1: You either get it, or you don't.
Strategy: Become one of those who gets it.

Life Law #2: You create your own experiences.
Strategy: Acknowledge and accept accountability for your life.

Life Law #3: People do what works.
Strategy: Identify the payoffs that drive your behavior and that of others.

Life Law #4: You can not change what you do not acknowledge.
Strategy: Get real with yourself about your life and everybody in it.

Life Law #5: Life rewards action.
Strategy: Make careful decisions and then pull the trigger.

Life Law #6: There is no reality, only perception.
Strategy: Identify the filters through which you view the world.

Life Law #7: Life is managed, not cured.
Strategy: Learn to take charge of your life.

Life Law #8: We teach people how to treat us.
Strategy: Own, rather than complain, about how people treat you.

Life Law #9: There is power in forgiveness.
Strategy: Open your eyes to what anger and resentment are doing to you.

Life Law #10: You have to name it before you can claim it.
Strategy: Get clear about what you want and take your turn.


...And there you have it!

Keep going!!

~Craig

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Shadow Blocking



Shadow Blocking... No it's not some mysterious undefeatable martial arts move, it is actually an option called "hide user" on youtube that blocks someone from posting on your channel. However, the person who has been blocked will not have been notified. Their messages will show up on THEIR computer if they are logged in to their account, but they will be the only person to see it. Interesting indeed...

You may be wondering how do I know this!? Well, I was checking my email last night after class and I see that someone posted a comment on a few videos. I'd like to say that I am excited to see comments, however I am usually first a bit hesitant. Why?! Because these are martial arts videos, where many people feel as if they need to exercise their negativity and pettiness. Apparently some people were never taught "if you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything at all" from their mothers. It's just an unfortunate reflection of where that person is with their life.

I check the half dozen comments left on various individual videos and they were just some troll saying obnoxious and hateful things. I delete them. One of them I report to youtube. The next morning, I wake up to find that there are two more messages that are even more obnoxious than the first ones that Zombie Savior left.

After the last barrage of trolling messages, obviously just deleting ZJ's comments aren't going to be enough. Being that I am really done w/this, I look for a way to block this person. That's where I come across how to "shadow block" or "shadow ban" someone from your youtube channel. Here's a video explaining how to do it: https://youtu.be/Vwi90iqQBCA

Unfortunately I have dealt with everything from stalkers, to haters, death threats and trolling... Come on guys get a life out there, you have more to offer the world than just your crazy!

Unlike The 3 Unequivocal Rules to Not Being Bullied post, in the case of trolls, the only real boundary to be set is by not engaging in more communications. Just sever the access to someone who isn't looking for healthy dialog and move on with your life.

Done and done...

And that is how and why I learned how to Shadow Block. =)


Keep an eye out for the new PeaceWalker Membership Site where we are building a community for sharing the Rosetta Stone to dealing w/difficult, disrespectful, even dangerous people. COMING SOON!


Keep going!
~Craig







Thursday, August 24, 2017

The 3 Unequivocal Rules to Not Being Bullied



bul·ly1
ˈbo͝olē/
verb
past tense: bullied; past participle: bullied
use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force him or her to do what one wants.

"a local man was bullied into helping them"


Bullying seems to be a buzz word that is thrown around a lot these days. So much so that it sometimes can feel as if its something new. As we know bullies have been around since the dawn of the human race. 


Here are the three unequivocal rules to not being bullied at school, work, or pretty much anywhere else! =)


#1 - QTIP - Quit Taking It Personal. A friend of mine (Todd H.) was a vice principal at a (number of) middle school(s) and he shared this acronym with many students and teachers who were dealing with static from others. Basically, don't let people get to you. Let the negativity roll off your back. Most of these people who are saying mean things don't know you. They are speaking from their dark place. It speaks to who they are, not who you are. Try not to let it affect you. 

#2 - Stand Up For Yourself - This doesn't mean "bully the bully." Rather, draw clear boundaries and stick to them. Drawing clear boundaries includes avoiding bad situations and/or leaving situations & relationships that are not healthy. Find Your Voice and Learn to Use It! When communicating your boundaries use your voice, body language, eyes, facial expression and YOUR ACTIONS! 

#3 - Remember You're Not Alone - No person is an island (even if we think so), but it can be easy to feel isolated and alone. Some may think that no one would understand, but if you can find the courage to reach out, you'll find that others are going through (or have gone through) things Just Like You! There's people out there that will lend a hand, but you have to reach out for it. Find a friend or ally. It could be a friend, peer, parent, co-worker, fellow student, teacher, supervisor, manager, commanding officer, counselor, principal, etc.

Keep an eye out for the new PeaceWalker Membership Site where we are building a community for sharing the Rosetta Stone to dealing w/difficult, disrespectful, even dangerous people. COMING SOON!


Keep going,
~Craig

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The 3 Astonishing Rules for Not Putting Up w/Other Peoples Crap at Work

Image result for trouble at work


Are you tired of the good ole' OPC (Other Peoples Crap) Syndrome at work? Do people treat you badly or take advantage of you? Do do your fellow employees or boss treat you with respect? Or do you frequently get dump on or disrespected? Even if you aren't experiencing any of this, you may still want to check these 3 Astonishing Rules out!


#1 - Be good at your job! 

Remember Hawkeye Pierce (Played by Alan Alda) from that old T.V. Show M. A. S. H.? Hawkeye was a smart a$$ , prankster and a bit of a f#ck off, but he was an excellent doctor! When it came to doing his job, he was awesome! Moral to this story is simple, people are more willing to cut you some slack and overlook a lot of your other quirky traits (at work) if you are good at your job.

This isn't as complicated as it may seem. You see most people spend a lot of time either trying to avoid doing the basic things that would make them more successful and/or they are so busy being distracted by their search for that "magic bullet" (the one thing that will solve all of their problems) that they neglect doing the basics really well. Here are some of those basic things that many don't bother to do:


  • Show up on time.
  • Do your job!
  • Don't take breaks or lunches that are longer than agreed upon. 
  • Be ethical (including being honest and don't take things that aren't yours).
  • Do what you say you're going to do.
  • Over deliver (When possible)
  • If your job isn't done, don't waste time doing things that pull you away from that goal
  • Keep work work, and personal life personal (live and online)



#2 - Create Allies Not Enemies

This statement should be self explanatory enough, however, if you're looking for further clarification, you can read an entire blog post about it here. Or take the quiz here.

#3 - Encourage Transparency 

I know this one sounds fancy or trendy or whatever, but it really isn't. Basically, it's harder to get crapped on when everyone can see it! Here are a few tips on how to do this:

  • Include others on emails from people who often crap on you. (cc)
  • If someone wants to talk who you don't get along with, make sure someone else is in on the meeting too.
  • Talk to your co-workers, supervisors, etc. when you are experiencing problems
  • Document as (and before) needed!
  • Use your work computer for work, not personal stuff

If you are getting crapped on in full view of others and they are either alright with it, afraid to do anything about it or don't care, maybe it's time to look for other employment.

Yes, there are many other things we could talk about, however we aren't... yet. Go try these things first and we'll go from there.

Keep an eye out for the new PeaceWalker Membership Site that will be sharing the Rosetta Stone to dealing w/difficult, disrespectful, even dangerous people more effectively. COMING SOON!

As always...

Keep going,
~Craig

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The 3 Golden Rules To STOP Getting Crapped On By People



Have you ever felt that people crap all over you?  Hopefully not, but if you do, here are the 3 Golden Rules to cure OPC Syndrome (Other Peoples Crap):


#1 Stand Up For Yourself! 

Quit being a doormat. Learn to say "NO." Communicate clear, fair, consistent boundaries. Expect to be treated with respect. Standing up for yourself can also mean knowing when to just leave a bad situation!

Don't play the victim. It's one thing being victimized, it's another thing all together playing the victim! It seems to be a popular way to "gain power" today (If that's how you want to look at it). Don't agree?! That's ok, just give it some thought.



#2 Don't Be An A**hole!

Yep, that's right, standing up for yourself doesn't mean being a jerk or making demands that are unreasonable or so one sided that you're really being no better than the person who was doing the crapping in the first place!


Strive for Most Good / Least Harm for everyone involved!

Be firm, fair, and nice. The strongest, toughest most dangerous Bad Mofo's I know are also the nicest, humblest people I know! Be so tough you can afford to be kind and courteous!



#3 Remember That WE Teach People How To Treat Us! 

If you consitantly don't like how you're being treated by others, at some point you have to look at yourself! Ask yourself, "How am I teaching people to treat me like this?" What am I doing to train others that it is ok to treat me with disrespect and/or to take advantage of me?

It's what you say (and what you don't say). How you act (and how you don't). How you treat others (and how you treat yourself). How you hold yourself. Your body language. Your expectations. Your tone. Your energy. The habits that you've developed, some that you might not even be aware of, that are creating your current experience.

Remember that old EF Hutton commercial where the announcer says, "When EF Hutton talks, people listen." You see some old guy in a suit go into a room and immediately all the people look over expectantly or put their hand up to cup their ears to listen. Cheezy I know, but it is a fine example of how we program people how to treat us. This happens in subtle and not so subtle ways that aren't just verbal.

How are you training people to treat you!?


Keep going,
~Craig



Friday, July 28, 2017

Early Footsteps From Judea




A couple of months ago I got a message from my friend Moshe Katz, founder of Israeli Krav International. He said he was putting out another book; an anthology of his blogs from 2010. It's called Early Footsteps From Judea: Krav Maga Blogs 2010. He asked me if he could include one of my old blogs, as well as write the introduction. I was honored to be asked to contribute and agreed to both of his requests. 
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Below is what I wrote for the introduction. If you're wondering about the rest of the book including which of my blog posts he used, well, you'll have to pick up a copy to find that out!



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It was a crisp winter day in Northern Michigan, Moshe Katz was speaking to a group of concerned individuals who came to learn how to feel safer, more powerful in their world. People who wanted to have a better understanding of why there are those out there who seem to want to spread fear, hate, and violence upon anyone who doesn’t believe in the same way that they do. A reality that the citizens of Israel are all too accustom, a reality that the people of the United States are beginning to wake up to.

One person politely asked Moshe his opinion regarding whether or not the Middle East would ever be at peace. A question that has been asked by many others over the course of time, ranging not in weeks, months or years, but spanning decades, centuries and millennium. The answer that Moshe gave surprised me. Not only because of its simplicity and honesty. Not just because of its truth.  But, also because of my relationship with Moshe. I don’t think the Moshe Katz that I first met some ten years ago, would have given the same answer as the Moshe standing there before the crowd on that snowy day.  

A decade ago, Moshe was just starting a new organization, Israeli Krav International (IKI). His mission began simply to teach people how to defend themselves as well as act as a goodwill ambassador for Israel and more specifically for Jews. His goal was to help people to defend themselves, and not live in fear. He did this by simplifying an approach that was accessible to everyone regardless of their limitations, age or athletic ability. and to share stories that inspired and taught. In his pursuit to accomplish this, Moshe travels the world sharing his vision and in doing so, he faces challenges to his own views and opens himself up to people and cultures with opposing beliefs that are sometimes much different from his own. Over this time I have seen him learn to embrace humanity with a more open heart and rather than fixate on our differences, focus more on that which connects us: Our humanity and our desire to protect. I’ve seen a change in Moshe that can only come from confronting one’s own way of thinking by exposing yourself to the world and its people. A change that is earned not given. A change that if embraced can leverage much greater things than merely teaching self-defense… No, not the same Moshe from ten years ago.

Moshe’s approach to Krav Maga, much like Judaism, is steeped in magnificent stories. Simple tales easily communicated to people from all walks of life. Stories that point to deeper truths. Stories that teach, protect and inspire. I remember reading his blog posts for the first time and wondering if the person who wrote them was anything like the words written on the screen in front of me. He shared his thoughts and insights very candidly, giving his unique perspective of the world he travels and of course, his Krav Maga.

Now you have the ability to read those very stories right here in this book, to enjoy and learn from. I believe his stories as well as his art comes from his sincere desire to share accessible tools to help everyone live a safer life. A life not necessarily free from fear, but rather one that has embraced fear and chooses to continue on in spite of it.

It has been exciting to not only witness, but also participate in the dynamic growth of IKI as well as Moshe, both as a teacher and as a person. What began as an outreach mainly to college campuses has developed into an international organization spanning well over 30 countries, hundreds of instructors and thousands of students worldwide. His dedication to the belief that everyone has the right to defend themselves comes through in the accessibility of what he teaches as well as his profound insights written on the pages you are about to read.

Before I sign off to let you enjoy the stories offered in this book, you may be wondering how did Moshe answer that question on that cold day in Michigan? This was his simple yet profound statement that not only applies to people in the Middle East, but people everywhere,  

“Resolution between Muslim and Jewish people of Israel will not come from political or government intervention, rather the chance for peace will come one coffee at a time. Two people getting to know one another, sharing stories and seeing beyond their differences. One person at a time.”
  

And now I hope you enjoy sharing in the insightful stories that Moshe Katz has for you in this book!



~ Craig



Follow this link if you want to pick up Moshe's new book, Early Footsteps From Judea: Krav Maga Blogs 2010
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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Control Calm: Gung Ho vs. Gung Shy






If you cannot control yourself, you cannot control the situation, it’s that cut and dry.  Here's an exercise for you.

Write down the following things:  

1)      What really pushes your buttons?
2)      What things are you afraid of?
3)      What makes you feel uncomfortable?
4)      What takes you outside of your comfort zone?  

Identify these things inside of yourself, understand what they feel like, identify them and try not to let whatever that is have control over you.  If you can name it, you can start to understand when you’re getting out of balance. It doesn't mean that things won't effect you, just that you are aware when you are off and can adjust accordingly.  

The whole idea of this practice is to work for balance.  If you strive for balance this is going to be more beneficial for you.  The balance between yourself and others begins with YOU being in balance inside of yourself. If something bothers you and you respond too gung ho, meaning that you’re too assertive, you can be too aggressive. This can sometimes cause trouble. It can also be detrimental to be too gun shy; being  too hesitant, too passive, you let people breach your boundaries, saying to them, “oh,  it doesn’t really matter,” but knowing deep down inside that it does. What happens is passive people often become passive aggressive people, they have boundaries that are not stated and when breached one too many times this type of person can begin to resist in a non-direct way.  If you let a bad situation go too long, it can end up blowing up in your face, so we want to strive for balance between extremes.  So, think about yourself and where you are on this spectrum. Are you too gung ho or are you too gun shy? If you’re too gun shy, you have to be mindful of it. If you’re too gung ho you have to be mindful of that as well. The better you can gain and maintain balance, the easier it is to see when things are out of balance within and around you!


Keep going,
~Craig