The Monster Under the Bed!

Some of you might remember back in the 1970's when you're teacher passed out the Scholastic Book Club Order Form!? I remember being so excited as I looked through each category to see if something inspired me. One of the choices they had was a magazine called Dynamite. It had all of the popular kid stuff like Fonzie, Leif Garrett and the Hardy Boys. One year in 1970 something there was a special edition that had 3D posters! If that wasn't cool enough, a few of those posters were my personal favorites... Monsters! Yes, I loved everything monster: Movies, masks, books, the old Revell and Aurora models, toys, and in this case 3D Posters!

Along with the poster you were given a pair of glasses typically cardboard cut out with plastic lenses, one red the other blue, because the posters were printed in two overlapping colors (red and blue). When you looked at the poster without the glasses it looked as if the printer screwed up because the printing was out of register. The red and blue lines ran over one another making the art almost indistinguishable until you put on those magical cardboard glasses! Then WOW the art jumped right out at you in 3D! 

As a matter of fact I owned the VERY poster you see at the top of this blog (Amazing I know! Please, try to contain your enthusiasm.) It's probably still at my parents house buried somewhere in an old box in a cubby hole somewhere in the attic.

This is the cover of that edition. Oh the memories! 
I can still remember the excitement of getting it!
(Gotta love the internet!)

In those glorious days as a child, wonder was abound. Because our imaginations were HUGE anything was possible! The good, the fantastic, and of course the scary monster under the bed! Yes, we all know that when the lights went out the monsters of the dark were there waiting to torment and devour each of us! 

It could be something we watched or a story someone told you. You know, bloody Mary, the haunted house on the dead end street, razors in the apples at Halloween, giant alligators in the sewer, the disappearing hitchhiker, the closet troll and of course the Monster Under the Bed!    

People come to me wanting solutions regarding personal & professional security. They are looking for answers. They are trying to keep themselves, their loved ones and their way of life safe from those who might take it from them in some way. They don't see it this way, but most of the time they want someone to save them from their own monster under the bed


No Craig, the threats I'm afraid of are real: 

Criminals are REAL!
Rapists are REAL!
Robbers are REAL!
Con-Artists are REAL!
Kidnappers are REAL!
Murderers are REAL!
Terrorists are REAL!

Yes, you are right, these types of behaviors do exist and bad things do happen to good people every day. However, the important question isn't are these things real? The bigger question is, how much of a threat do these things really pose to you in the big picture? If you are coming to me for Real training, then what should this real training consist of that would prepare you for real situations like these?

I'm glad you asked!

If you are preparing for your retirement, I mean REALLY preparing, how would you invest money? Would you put your resources into an IRA, 401k, a pension (if there is such a thing any more!), real estate, etc. OR would you take the money that you would spend on those things and invest it in purchasing instant lottery tickets and playing the lotto? 

FACT: There are REAL people who win the lottery every day! Thousands of people win money every single day! I'm not pulling your leg here. They really do! 

So, are you going to take your life savings and retirement investments and turn it all in to play the lottery? I hope not! The likelihood of you having a chance of achieving any kind of financial stability to retire on by investing in lotto tickets would be a very low probability. So, then why do people have this same mentality on other things like violence and security? They let low probability situations rule their decisions and mental focus. The fear mongering is staggering and counter productive. The monster under the bed growls at us, we pee our pants and cry out for someone to save us from it. At the same time we like listening to the scary bed time stories that reinforce our fears, just to scream for help when the lights go out. 

The monster under the bed is an externalization of our fears. It's easier to think that the monster that is going to get us is "out there." When in reality the monster that poses the greater threat resides in each of us and in the things we do everyday. 

Here's a few examples:

Last year I was asked by many people to teach a "Parent Protector" course, meaning parents wanted to learn how to protect their children from kidnapping, abductions and  the like. Because there were quite a few people who said that they were interested I set up a course. To make sure we had a good course, I researched the statistics and situations to see what types of problems were going on out there, so I could center the teaching around the reality of the problem, not the fantasy. 

At the beginning of the course I went around the room asking everyone of the parents there what their fears were, what they wanted to learn to defend from. Most of them described a situation where a stranger tried to rip or coerce their child from them in a manner like something you'd see on Liam Neeson's Taken or Mel Gibson's Ransom. 

After letting them describe what they wanted to learn, I asked them if they wanted to hear the stats of what was currently happening in the U.S. today regarding the subject. Of course they were all interested. 

Here's what I found the real story to be:

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® gathers key facts regarding the issues of missing and sexually exploited children and Internet safety and updates these facts and statistics frequently.

Missing children

  • The most recent, comprehensive national study for the number of missing children estimated in 1999: [1]
  • Approximately 800,000 children younger than 18 were reported missing.
  • More than 200,000 children were abducted by family members.
  • More than 58,000 children were abducted by non-family members.
  • An estimated 115 children were the victims of “stereotypical” kidnapping. These “stereotypical” kidnappings involved someone the child did not know or was an acquaintance. The child was held overnight, transported 50 miles or more, killed, ransomed or held with the intent to keep the child permanently.
  • According to the U.S. Dept. of Justice 56% of these 115 children were recovered unharmed, which brings the number to 51 successful child abductions.

According to there are currently about 74.5 million children under the age of 18 in the U.S. today. If this research is accurate, that brings the likelihood of your child being harmed due to an abduction from a stranger is about 1 in 1.5 million!

As a matter of fact in 2008 a journalist named Lenore Skenazy wrote a great story about letting her 9 year old kid ride the New York Subway alone.

She was lambasted by pretty much every mother in the U.S. but her decision was based on the statistics rather than "the Monster Under the Bed." 

So my question to the parents who attended the parent protector seminar was this:

Much like the logic of you using the lottery as a valid investment tool for your retirement; why would you train for something that has a 1 in 1.5 million chance of happening? And what can we train for that would be more beneficial?
Before I answer that I want to briefly tie in a couple other subjects that are hot topics of the reality self defense world.

The first is Sexual Assault. (I teach a program called Her Survival Guide that addresses subject this by teaching solid skills to ladies that are young and young at heart.)

Sexual Assault: 

Stats on Sexual Assault look something like this:
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, National Crime Victimization Study: 2009-2013:
Approximately 4/5 of rapes were committed by someone known to the victim.

82% of sexual assaults were perpetrated by a non-stranger.
47% of rapists are a friend or acquaintance.
25% are an intimate.
5% are a relative.

Basically sexual assault happens much more from the people you know, rather than the stranger in the "white rape van."

Terrorist threats:

What about terrorist threats? It's scary to think that you might be brutally beheaded, shot or blown up by some radical extremest... Hell, if you are on facebook at all or listen to much of the media hype, it amazing that you are alive at all amidst of all the violence in this world (Yes, if you haven't guessed, I'm being fetishist).  

But the reality of this type of situation is much different than the fear mongers would like you to believe:

The March, 2011, Harper‘s Index noted:

Indeed, the leading cause of deaths for Americans traveling abroad is not terrorism, or murder … or even crime of any type. It’s car crashes.

In fact:
With the exception of the Philippines, more Americans died from road crashes in all of the 160 countries surveyed than from homicides.
The U.S. Department of State reports that only 17 U.S. citizens (non-combatants) were killed worldwide as a result of terrorism in 2011. That figure includes deaths in Afghanistan, Iraq and all other theaters of war.

What are you telling me Craig?! That training to be Jason Bourne, 007 or Liam Neeson isn't going to help me? So what's the answer then? Why do we train? How do we train? Is it even worth training at all?

The answer is yes and no:

Yes, I believe that training is essential and everyone should be doing it. However the focus of what and how people train is typically the bigger issue.

Being that much of the real threats to our well being we run into can be summed up in these three categories:

1) Your mental and physical health! Most people reading this are most likely to die from cancer, a heart attack or a stroke rather than being murdered by a terrorist or kidnapper. Suicide ranks much higher than homicide as a means to your end.

2) Your relationships! Most of the threats we deal with are from ourselves and the people we know. The healthier relationships we have with ourselves and those around us the safer we are.

3) Auto accidents: Next to dieing from cancer or heart disease our biggest liability is auto accidents! So stop texting, be a better driver, drive less, or just walk!

So, where your training will probably really save your life is not in combat or the 'hard streets' of reality, but by helping you stay physically, mentally and emotionally healthy. By helping you gain and maintain healthy relationships.

As a matter of fact, when it comes to protecting yourself and others against potential violent threats your training really helps you by having a protector's ethic, awareness skills (you, others and environment), the right attitude (being part of the solution not problem), the ability to act appropriately, which includes the ability to communicate effectively, be a leader, doing the right thing that reflects most good / least harm for everyone during the situation.

Now don't get me wrong I believe that some methods of dealing with physical attacks are better than others, and I believe that what I train and the people that I train with are on the cutting edge of effectiveness when it comes to dealing with the spectrum of violence you could run into in this day and age. But, I also know that there is more than one way to skin a cat too. No disrespect, do what you do and I'll continue to do what I do. You're welcome to check out what I'm up to if you are curious. Stop by a seminar or class if you are interested.

As I like to say:
Train your body like a soldier -Train your physical conditioning & tactics as effectively as you can. 
Train your mind like a general - Think strategically, look at the big picture.  
Train your mouth like a diplomat - Learn to communicate to create allies rather than enemies, talk your way through things rather than increasing the violence.
Train your Heart like a Protector - Where ever you go people are SAFER because you are there. Physical safety is only one way of protecting people!
Be careful of letting the Monster Under the Bed control your decisions, your training, your happiness and your life.

Keep going,

P.S. - GET CONNECTED! Sign up for my [Almost] Daily email, where I'll send you Exclusive Tips & Tactics on Living a Protector's Life! 

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