Tuesday, December 31, 2019

How the Grinch 'Schooled' Whoville






We're at the end of the holi-daze!

That's the two-ish weeks surrounding Christmas and New Year where work schedules, social events, family stuff and other holiday type festivities intersect with our regular schedules, resulting in a strange 'twilight zone' type feeling, where we aren't quite sure where or when we are in the time/space continuum. Past, present & future meld together with work, family and friends.


How the Grinch 'Schooled' Whoville


Yes, the Grinch can be a crotchety, termite-infested soul with a heart two sizes too small...

However, there are a lot of beneficial things we can learn from him as well...

Especially as it comes to defensive tactics!


Check out what we can learn from how he totally "SCHOOLED" Whoville:


1. Tactical Thinking

Coming up with all those successfully elaborate plans on the spot -- especially when under that kind of pressure -- is a pretty handy skill to have in ye olde self defense "tool box."


2. Leadership Abilities

Even from an isolated position on top of his mountain headquarters, he was able to motivate a small team to carry out a covert night mission against a force much greater in numbers and resources.


3. Ability to Act

While it's true the Grinch is being a jerk when he cleans out Whoville, it's hard not to admire his ability to pull off his plan (in one night!).

(We have to also give some credit to Max who pulled the sled...)


4. Problem Solving Abilities

Through the Grinch's ability to improvise, adapt and overcome, he was able to get out of numerous tight spots, from acquiring adequate transportation, to employing an effective disguise to infiltrate Whoville...

And lets not forget, when he was caught mid-operation by Cindy Lou Who, he employed his verbal communication abilities to resolve the situation without incident or violence.

Feats like this prove the Grinch is capable of all kinds of creativity and problem-solving feats and miracles.

And, some pretty clever ones at that...

Who knows... Maybe he was in the Marine Corps?! =)


5. Diplomacy

Yes, the Grinch STOLE Christmas -- looting an entire town of tens of thousands of smackeroos worth of gifts, presents and food (he even took the last can of Who Hash!).

Yet, somehow he was still able to make up for it and he was even given the honor of carving the roast beast!

Wow, talk about diplomacy skills!

(He could have a career in politics...)


These aren't the ONLY LESSONS...


Here are 2 Bonus Lessons from our Grumpy Green Friend to fill your holiday stocking up with...

(1) Always remember that there are admirable qualities even in people we don't like and who are doing dastardly deeds! They're still human, with the Good, the Bad & the Ugly coursing through their souls, just like us.

AND MAYBE THE BIGGEST LESSON IS...

(2) It's easier for everyone to make better choices (and yes, maybe even change), when we separate people's Life Value from their beliefs & behavior... (yep, even the disrespectful, illegal, even dangerous stuff...)


OK, that's it for today.


I hope you had a Merry Christmas... And are getting the most out of your Holi-Daze time!


REMEMBER>>>>>

If you want to learn how to better protect yourself (& others too!) and gain a new sense of confidence knowing that you can deal with the spectrum of conflict & violence that life sometimes throws at you...

Here's your chance!

Learn the entire PeaceWalker Approach one email at a time by signing up for my FREE [Almost] Daily email... www.peacewalkersubscribe.com


And as always...


Keep going,
~Craig

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

The Strangest Holiday Advice (That's Good Year Round!)





So, I was getting some last minute gift wrapping and merriment done when I heard a knock at my door...

Now...

I Know It's Christmas Eve...

... and you probably want to get the rest of your wrapping and stuff done so you can get to bed at a decent time, but I HAVE to tell you about this crazy little guy who showed up at my door.

He was short, about 4 feet tall.

He also had weird shoes that curled at the toe.

And even more weird, he had pointy ears.

I asked him who he was and he said he was a messenger from Santa!

Apparently, Santa is getting older and slower, and he's a bit concerned about his safety when he delivers those pieces of coal to those folks on the naughty list tonight!

He is worried about being able to handle himself if he is confronted by some of these folks who may be a bit worked up, emotional... even violent!

He wants to make sure he has the tools to deal with the type of conflicts that he's likely to run up against tonight!

He doesn't want to burn any bridges w/people, but he doesn't want things to get more ramped up... or *gulp* violent!

Santa knows how this time of year can be really stressful for people!

He said he wanted to know how to have the confidence and skill to be able to deescalate a situation AND know what to do if things get 'carried away'.

Good Ole Santa wanted to know how to handle 'Mr. Naughty List' (Jacked up on a bit too much eggnog and brownies)!


So the big guy in red wanted my advice.


Can you believe that?

So here's what I told this messenger to tell Santa:

When it comes to trying to deal with conflict in a social setting, here are 7 guidelines to surviving those moments that the holidays often bring:

(1) Work toward Most Good / Least Harm For Everyone. (You can call it 'Christmas Cheer or Holiday Spirit' ...Goodwill toward mankind... Whatever...)

(2) Know that you can’t change peoples behavior only yours. (It's their own actions that put them on the naughty list...)

(3) Set the Pace. (Take the high road and lead by example!)

(4) Teach People how to treat you & act in your presence.

(5) Set clear Boundaries w/yourself & others.
 
(6) Know your deal breaker in every circumstance! (When it's time to shut up or just leave!)

(7) Have a Simple Plan if your boundaries are not respected. (Exit Strategy)


Let's face it...


There's a reason we only see some of these folks once a year!


...But you still don't want to make a scene or get on your mom's bad side by going all 'Krav Maga' on your brother-in-law or cousin because he wants to keep talking politics or bringing up that time you streaked naked down the street when you were 8 years old! =)

Anyway, so that's that.

This is the plan I have for Santa.

He said he's looking forward to joining the Private PeaceWalker Membership when it opens up again to new members in early 2020!

(You can get on the waiting list here: https://peacewalker.net/about)

I told him good luck tonight and I'll keep him in the loop about the membership.

As for you my friend...

I'm wishing you and those you love a GREAT holiday season...

Merry Christmas!

Happy Hanuka!

Festivus for the Rest of Us!!

Thanks for being part of my journey in 2019 and here's to an even more exciting and prosperous 2020!

I'll talk to you soon!


Warm wishes,
~Craig

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Converting Anxiety to Action!




As promised, the last part of the 'Lessons from a Frogman' is a good one!


Let's first quickly recap:

These tips came from a conversation during a recent Active Response Training Seminar that I was teaching. Joe, who was there, is a retired Nave SEAL. He contributed to class with a few really good conversations and tips.

Those tips have been the topic of our last several emails.

Mental Rehearsal and Mental Scripting were the last two subjects we talked about.

Now we're going to wrap it up with...


ANXIETY CONVERSION!


What is it and why is it so important?

Here's what Joe had to say about that:

Now there is one more thing that should be taught to our Warriors and that is Anxiety Conversion. This helps combat ESR (Extreme Stress Reaction).

When we are at a high level of anxiety that is negative, research shows that shifting from anxiety, a negative state of high arousal, to calm, a positive state of low arousal, is both extremely difficult and counterproductive.

It's difficult because anxiety has a powerful momentum of arousal. It shifts our heart rate, our breathing rate, and activates the release of hormones designed to keep us vigilant, alert, and awake.

It's important to stay calm, but still be at a high level of arousal for action.

We need to shift from Anxiety (negative) to Excitement (Positive), it is all mindset and how you perceive it,

"I get to kick some Ass vs. I'm going to get my Ass kicked."


Bruce Lee said it best,

"When you find yourself in a room surrounded by your enemies you should tell yourself "I am not locked in here with you, you are locked in here with me." This is the kind of mindset you should have if you want to succeed in life. Get rid of that victim mentality."
 

Tactical Grounding

Joe's perspective was well received and spot on (as if you needed me to validate that!).

In the next email I'll give you a quick 3 step process that aligns your body and breath behind Joe's mental conversion to effectively 'reset' your anxiety from 'Whoa' to 'GO!'


More From the Frogman...

If you would like to hear Joe's entire Protector Summit Interview along with other U.S. & Israeli Military Vets about how to better protect yourself, your family and community better, then click below for details.


That's all for now.

Talk to you soon.


Keep Going,
~Craig

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Mental Scripting, Survival & Peak Performance





Continuing on from last weeks blog...

I was sharing some solid advice from Joe, a retired Navy SEAL regarding the Protector Mindset.

Our conversation was during the recent Active Response Training Seminar down at the Krav Academy this past month.

I broke our conversation down into three (3) posts.

The first dealt with Mental Rehearsal, which we discussed about three emails ago.

Well, the next concept, Mental Scripting is similar to that,  but with a couple  IMPORTANT NUANCES.

Check it out...

Mental Scripting: Is when you mentally walk through a scenario in your head, reviewing what could possibly happen in a situation.

For instance, lets take an active shooter event.

You go to the movies, sit down and mental script out a scenario where you imagine someone coming in with a gun and starts shooting...

In your head, map out what you'll will do, where will you'll go, what happens...

~ Where is the cover?
~ What exit do you run to?
~ How do you shield & protect your wife?
~ Do you use as a weapon or tool for distraction?
~ Etc.


Don't Miss This Important Detail!


THE SEED OF VICTORY...


In this Script, you always come out winning!

ALWAYS!!

Plant the seed of victory, while at the same time add in an injury that you have to overcome. Maybe you get shot in the leg and have to apply a tourniquet or your wife does, maybe someone or you attack the guy, how fast do you respond to help out or gain control of the weapon, etc.

Play it out in your head, run into adversity and set backs. Yes, you experience pain, but in this script, you work through it and still come out on top!


Simple, But Important...

This simple, yet important tactic can make the difference between surviving or not!

Remember, you are an AmeriCAN... Not an AmeriCAN'T!! =) =)  hahaha!


Anxiety Conversion?!?

It's the last of the three concepts Joe shared in that talk...

AND it's pretty important if you want to perform better and survive under stress during a situation where it matters.

BUT...

You'll have to catch the next post to hear about that one! =)


Protector Summit Again?!


In a word... NO!

It's done...

If you missed it, but still want want to hear what 20 U.S. & Israeli Military Vets can teach you about developing a Protector Lifestyle and how that identity can help you to protect yourself, your family and community better, then you may want to check out the recordings of the interviews!

Click below for Unlimited Access and listen to the interviews anytime you want!

[Plus you still can get all of the bonuses too!]



Until next time...


Keep Going,
~Craig

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Frogman Mindset Part 1 - Mental Rehearsal





Remember last week's 'Future Pacing' blog on mindset, where I paraphrased my Navy SEAL com- padre' Joe K. and said...

"Joe feel free to chime in..."

Well, he did... (Thanks Joe!)

WARNING - "CRAIG-ISM" ALERT:


I have to admit, every time I hear from Joe, I think of that Jimmy Hendrix song! 

"Hey Joe, where you goin' w/that gun in your hand..."

(Sorry... I can't help it!). =)


Anyway...

Joe wrote a very thoughtful email that I asked him if I could share w/you...

He shared three different processes that a Warrior or Protector can tap into when building mental toughness.

*Because I've been trying to keep these blogs shorter, I'll share the first one here and save the others for the next email or two.

The first principle he shared is...


Mental  Rehearsal:



Mental Rehearsal: That is simply rehearsing a technique, move, procedure, etc. Whatever that skill is, break it down to a set procedure, that is always done the same way.

An example would be the emergency procedures for your parachute not opening, defense against a particular gun attack, or hitting a baseball, etc.

Basically, you go through the steps of properly doing that action repetitively in your mind's eye, visualizing the steps that take you from start to finish. It could be any technique or 'move', like shooting a handgun, throwing a punch, doing a hip throw, clearing a room, etc.

Doing it mentally has a lot of benefit, however when you physically practice it you build in muscle memory. Even though muscles don't have real memory the neuropathways are established and reinforces the movement and allows you the capacity to unconsciously perform that skill w/o 'thinking' about it. Make sure to be working toward getting the details right, because, because perfect practice makes perfect.


Another Winning Quote...

Joe shared this quote from Bruce Lee (also a favorite of mine!)...


"When you find yourself in a room surrounded by your enemies you should tell yourself "I am not locked in here with you, you are locked in here with me." This is the kind of mindset you should have if you want to succeed in life. Get rid of that victim mentality."
 ~ Bruce Lee
 

Hear More from Joe and 20 other US & Israeli Vets and Security Experts on the Protector Summit, where they share tips on how to protect yourself, your family and community better by developing a Protector's Lifestyle!

Click this link for full details and to Access!

Hurry... This link won't be up forever!




Keep Going,
~Craig

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

How 'Future Pacing' Can Save Your Life




Recently I taught an Active Assailant Preparedness & Response Workshop at our Krav Maga Academy out in Grand Rapids, MI.

It's not my favorite subject because of the nature of the situation, however due to my long standing relationship w/Israeli instructors and perspective, I started hosting and teaching terrorist/active assailant prep & response seminars quite a while before they were widely taught... or embraced by the public... Way before Homeland Security and other government agency (federal, local or otherwise) began developing programs, let alone private outfits.

Anyway... This last seminar I had a guest who attended. A rather humble guy that you'll recognize his name if you took a look at the Protector Summit speaker roster.

Joe, is a 26 year Navy SEAL Veteran, who currently is the Senior Security Consultant at SEC: Security Education Consultants an organization that specializes in training organizations on security issues.

Our workshop style is very dynamic. We have unique exercises that maximize group learning. Not to mention, my seminars it's not uncommon to have some folks with experience and it would be a shame for everyone not to leverage the body of knowledge that's available.  

Joe contributed very important things at the workshop and he was very gracious at sharing his experiences as a soldier as well as an instructor and coach.


More Than 'Positive Thinking'


One of the common themes that we continued to build on was Mindset...

Although the situation we were learning to deal with (an active shooter) was very deadly, the odds were severely stacked against us due to many factors...

HOWEVER, if we were to have a chance at surviving this, we had to have the proper mindset.

If we focus too much on the problem, the fear and what we couldn't do, our chances of survival diminished...

HOWEVER, if we focused on Solutions, What We COULD Do and What the Next Step was, we would have a greater chance at succeeding, which in this case was saving our own Life and the Lives of those around us who we may be trying to protect.

Joe opened up to share with the group...

"When you're in a situation like that, in your head you have to see yourself winning... When thinking about it in the moment... You NEVER Lose when you play it out in your head... NEVER. No matter how bad, you have to think like the survivor."

I'm paraphrasing a bit, but that is the gist of it. (Joe, if you're reading this, feel free to chime in... Hopefully I didn't slaughter what you said too much...)

This type of thinking is a bit more than just Positive Thinking. It goes by many names:


- Positive Visualization
- Mental Rehearsal
- A Winning Attitude
(or the Neuro-Linguistic Programming term made famous by self help guru Anthony Robbins...)
- Future Pacing

Whatever you want to call it, it is essential for your Combat Mindset (or any other Mindset for that matter)!

It's natural to think about what can go wrong and what you're up against... Especially in dire situations where people could be hurt or killed, it can seem like focusing on a successful outcome seems unrealistic, naive or even arrogant. But, combining good training with the mindset that focuses on a winning outcome actually betters your odds at being successful in pretty much anything put in front of you.


Winning Quote...


You may have heard the quote...

"I wouldn't have believed it if I didn't see it."

That's all well and good, but a more powerful way of thinking is...

"I wouldn't have SEEN it if I didn't BELIEVE it!"

And in matters such as these... That thought along with direct action may give you the courage to make it happen, changing the odds for yourself and others!


More on Mindset...

If want to hear more about what Joe and other Protectors have to say about how to develop a Protector's Mindset, don't miss the PROTECTOR SUMMIT!!

Click below for details on getting Unlimited Access to Joe's and over a dozen other interviews  anytime you want!



Keep Going,
~Craig

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Lessons From an Old Marine




Yesterday was Veterans Day and although I did send a quick shout out to all of our boys (and gals) out there who served, I wanted to take a minute to do a better job of it...

I want to recognize all of you who chose to serve in the Armed Forces. You chose a path that many of us in this country never do. Yes, there are some of you around that were drafted, but you STILL CHOSE to serve rather than abandon that call by way of draft dodging.

You may have went in to protect and serve your country. You may have went in because you wanted to invest in yourself in some way, training or college benefits. You may have went in because a judge 'suggested' it, to blow shit up... or the adventure of it...

Whatever the reason, you wrote a blank check and gave it to Uncle Sam that may have included sacrificing your life for a cause larger than yourself regardless if you realized the weight of the implications at the time...  

Thank You!

I hope you realize the level of service you provided. I hope you saw and still see clearly what it means to hold that position. What the fight was and continues to be for...

To protect and serve life is the highest calling. I believe that our Constitution and Bill of Rights works to do exactly that. However it is just a paper tiger unless we have people like you who are willing to put their life on the line to uphold what that agreement declared.  

Thank You!


Lessons From an Old Marine...

My dad was a Marine. He came from a very poor family. Due to lack of resources and other opportunities, he decided to go into the military. He hadn't graduated from school yet, so, he lied about his age to get in. Not only was he looking for opportunity for himself, but he wanted to take some of the burden off from his mom and siblings financially.

At a young age he was a protector...

He wanted to protect his family. So, in 1959 he joined the Marines and from his very first paycheck, he sent that money home to his mom to help support his family.

He got his GED as he served as an MP in Okinawa and the Philippines. He saw the ugly side of the segregation, race tension and riots. He got out in the mid-sixties when our country was building toward the Vietnam War. 

He didn't really talk about his service (to me anyway) until he was retired. It didn't sound like he really enjoyed his time in the Marine Corps, he said he did it out of necessity. 

Although he is very patriotic, I think he went in to protect his family more than his country. However he ended up Protecting and Serving both and for that I am grateful. 

Thanks Dad... I Love you. 

I have always been inspired by your example. You taught me how to be a protector... How to be a man. You were a man of few words. Your actions continue to teach the lessons... You lead by your example of what it means to be a true Protector...

I wouldn't be doing what I do today if it weren't for your example. 


Summit Honoring Our Vets

The Protectors Summit is a tribute to many of the Vets that I know and work with... 

It was a way to both honor them and serve you!

I interviewed over 20 U.S. & Israeli Military Vets / security experts asking them how they transitioned from soldier to civilian protectors AND how you and I can protect ourselves, our families and community better! 

You'll be surprised at some of the things they had to share.

Click below for details.




Talk to you soon!



Keep Going,
~Craig 

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Aware-a-noid & the Perfect Weapon




Great Hearing From You!


The stories from my run struck a chord with folks...


Many of you wrote to me...

And for every one person who writes, I know there are many others who were intending to but didn't quite get around to it... No worries, I still feel you!


Words of Advice on Defense...


Thank you for all of the comments, suggestions and well wishes regarding that running incident the other week.

READ ABOUT IT HERE:




I'll admit, it's a bit ironic that I am getting all of this advice about self protection, sense I make a living at teaching personal defense & conflict management and all! =)

I think it's a good thing that you all care enough to take the time to write to me! IT'S WHAT THIS WHOLE PeacWalker Community IS ALL ABOUT! We have each other's back!!

I was looking for some engagement on this and that's exactly what you brought!

Choosing the Perfect Weapon...

I got advice regarding weaponry ranging from:

Better start carrying your pistol again...

Pepper spray...

Bear spray...

Personal Alarm...

Taser...

Get a dog...


New workout suggestions ranging from:


Change your jogging route...

Buy a bike and go to a local riding trail...

Get a gym membership...

Go swimming at the Y...

Planet Fitness is cheap and has treadmills...



Puppies, Pistols & Pepper Spray


I used to carry when I ran... That had it's own set of challenges, so I switched to pepper spray...

For years I carried it...

In time out of convenience, it went from my hand, to my pocket...

One day, I was quickly approached by a big dog not on a leash...

It happened so fast, I totally forgot about the pepper spray in my pocket, and didn't even think to draw it until after.

Luckily puppy was just a very excited 85lbs lab \ pit mix that ended up just like being pet and scratched behind the ears...

Time went on... a lot of time...

One day I forgot to bring my spray altogether...

Then I did it again...

I realized I lost the canister and needed to buy another...

The details get fuzzy after that...

But, nothing happened when I ran, so I put off getting another.

You see, in that respect, I'm like pretty much everyone else...

Guilty as charged!


A Weapon is a Tool...


But, here's the difference...

Weapons can be very powerful TOOLS!

Firearms, knives, clubs, OC Spray, Tasers... All good if used in context during the right situation with the right intent.

But the most powerful thing in the equation is the Mindset of the person wielding that tool.

If you are going to use any tool, weapon, you have to be ready and able to use it AND it must be immediately accessible in your time of need, otherwise it is useless to you!

This rule applies to ANY weapon! It doesn't matter if its a pistol, pepper spray or an atomic flame thrower!


Ambushes & Bamboozlement!


If you find yourself being caught off guard, ambushed or all around 'bamboozled', even your skill, accessible weapon and enthusiasm to use it will be greatly diminished. Maybe so much so to turn the scales of the situation from bad to worse.


Mindset & Awareness


Having the right mindset and situational awareness is important regardless of having a weapon or not!

Even with my lack of weaponry during my jog, I held the right mindset and awareness that gave me an advantage even in the compromising situation.

Having no distractions like headphones or extreme exhaustion, I was able to see and assess each of the individuals and situations before they occurred and as they changed.

Having the right Mindset gave me the the ability to establish a Plan A, B, C, D, etc. That can make all the difference in your presence and if push comes to shove, your survival. It's all a part of helping you be a tougher target. Even when the situation makes you vulnerable.
 

Environmental Considerations...

As I told you before, I've been running that route for decades. I grew up there. Rarely would I have any problems... And none like the ones I experienced last week, not that those were that terrible.
.
Could I choose to run in more populated urban areas?!
.
Yes, however..
.
I CHOOSE to run alone on the trails. It's a calculated risk, like traveling, going to concerts and eating bacon! (mmmm bacon!)
.
It isn't a high crime area... but it is secluded which can sometimes attract certain types of activities.
.
If things like this continue to occur I may have a change of heart regarding my beloved route.
 .

Aware-a-noid


Conflict & violence can happen anywhere, so be ready regardless of time or place... you may or may not have access to a tool...

REMEMBER...

YOU ARE THE WEAPON!!

Be aware, but not overly paranoid (that's no way to live).

Years ago at a seminar a buddy of mine, Buddha, called it Aware-a-noid!

...It stuck!


Calculated Risk...


Your Life is a calculated risk... CHOOSE WISELY!

As for me...

I bought some pepper spray and I'm keep my options open on running routes!


Hear More Stories...


If you want to hear some more stories from U.S. & Israeli Military Vets and Security Experts regarding building a Protector's Lifestyle, check out the Protector Summit!

Click this link for full details and to Register to Save Your Spot Today!


Talk to you soon!


Keep Going,
~Craig

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Tips He May Attack You





On my last blog post, we talked about how Foundational Grounding affects your ability to maintain Situational Awareness.

Today I wanted to get into a bit more 'boots on the ground' and share a few tips on what I call:

PCI's or Pre-Contact Indicators. Basically, warning signs that the person you're engaging with may become violent.

You see, when a person feel stress, it effects the mind, emotions and physical state. The body goes under certain physiological changes and those changes come out in behavior.

Here are some red flags or PCI's that research, history and experience have indicated as a precursor to someone lashing out with violence.

This list is NOT a complete list, as a matter of fact, if you see something that's not on it, please go on PeaceWalker Project Facebook Page and share it:



Here we go...


Head & Face:

Eyes bulge
1000 mile stare
He ignores you
He pays too much attention to you
Squints
He assesses your body parts and gear as potential targets./
Dry mouth
Clenching: Teeth, jaw, hands, arms, etc.
Tensing muscles
Facial twitches
Nostrils flare
Veins bulge
Chin tightens or drops
Tightens neck


Verbal:

Change in voice: High to low. Low to high. Fast to slow. Slow to fast. Quiet to loud or loud to quiet.  Lot of talking to quiet. Not talking to talking.

Threatens or promises of violent behavior
Announces that he's going to hurt you
His words become erratic, disjointed and distracted.



Hands & Arms:

Clinches fists
Fingers drum surface tops
His hands tremble or shake
His hand wander to positions such as near weapons on or near him.
He rises up or adjusts position nonchalantly.
Scratches head, yawns or stretches


Body:

Rises up from a seated position
Tries to wander
Gets too close
Assumes an aggressive stance
Blades body away from you
Takes off his jacket (Funny I know, but it actually happens!)
Bends at the knee / lowers his stance
Heel and/or toe tapping
Positions near potential weapons
Positions himself very near to you
Starts to walk away


There's More...

When I have more time, like in a course, I teach a rundown of 4 categories:

1) Distance, Position & Body Language
2) Emotional State & Voice
3) Face & Eyes
4) Hands & Weapons

But I wanted to keep this post somewhat short, so I just gave you some of the highlights. =)


Keep In Mind...

One Red Flag doesn't guarantee that there is an eminent attack on its way... You have to pay attention to the signs and understand that human behavior has patterns, however it can be somewhat unpredictable as well. That's why being able to control your "Tactical Space" or the place of advantage is so important!

But... That, my friend is a discussion for another day in another post.



Keep Going,
~Craig

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

8 Surprising Awareness Tools





Man, we've been having some beautiful weather lately! Autumn is my favorite!!

For those of you who read my Isolated and Alone posts earlier this month (Oct. 2019), you may be wondering if I'm still jogging my old route...

Yes, I am...

I'll be honest, I re-routed for about a week, before (quite literally) going back down that same path again. And now I do mix up my route a bit more.

Risky?!

Maybe...

I hadn't seen any of those guys there before... or since (so far). Nor have I had any real problems in that area in all the years (decades) I've been running there.

Things like what I experienced a couple weeks ago can happen anywhere...

Yes, they have more of a chance to occur in certain places more than others. Isolated places are definitely one place where mischief and more can transpire... So it's good to stay in well populated places if you have concerns.

Also, there are certain locations that have a greater amount of crime and violence depending on the area. This area isn't a crime ridden area.

I still like my alone time, and I know it comes with certain risks...

So, was my chance encounter a fluke?!

Possibly...

I'll keep my ears a little more open and my eyes peeled... And if I keep running into suspicious or potentially dangerous people I may have a change of heart, but for now, I'll keep doing what I do.

Yes, I have taken up carrying again while I run...

But what?!?

A firearm? pepper spray? knife?  taser? Flame Thrower?!

Good question...

I'll let you guess what you think I opted for... =)



If You Only Knew...


If you only knew what, where, when how (and sometimes even Why) someone was going to get violent, it would be much simpler to deal with the situation.

We talked about being alert & aware...

In the programs I teach we cover Awareness Skills where you take into consideration yourself, others (including potential threats) and the situational environment...

Good stuff...

If you can see warning signs BEFORE something happens it's much easier to prepare for whatever 'It' is.



Here's The Problem...


When thing happen in isolation and we are present and focused it's easy to see the warning signs...

However, that's NOT typically how real life works. Oh, no, that'd be too easy!

We have to see these warning signs amidst Real Life of multi-tasking, busyness, boredom, stress, distractions, family, career, financial pressure, sickness, vacation, kids, life changes, late nights, early mornings...

Basically fitting 10lbs of crap in a 5lbs bag!


That's Where Things Get REAL!


This is why 'Functional Grounding' is SO IMPORTANT!

If we are just going through the motions so to speak... We can become distracted by our own lives... and that can result in lacking Tactical Awareness, also know as Situational Awareness.

Staying clear, alert and aware is easier when your life is in balance... Functional Grounding is a fancy term for living a balanced life. Taking care of yourself.

Now I could give an entire course on this (hey wait a minute... we DO have an entire course on this!), but not now. Today I'll just share this...


8 Surprising Awareness Tools!


1. Physical health:

It's easy to let things like exercise and diet go by the wayside once life get busy. But that's the only body you're going to get and it needs to carry you until the end of the game. That's why it's critical to continue to keep your body strong and healthy enough to enable you to do the things that make life worth living. Simple not easy! Here are the basics: REST: 8 hours per night & some vacation and down time every so often. DIET: Nothing crazy, just reasonable amounts of healthy fuel. EXERCISE: Strength, Flexibility/Mobility, Stamina/Cardio. Keep moving!

2. Family:

How balanced do you feel with your family? What's your relationship like with your spouse? Your kids? How about your parents and extended family members? Family ties are the tightest relationships you should have in your life no matter how busy things get at work. Family are truly the largest part of your support network and you'll never miss them more when you're at your lowest point.

3. Social:

Do you have a robust network of friends or not? Do you have a group of folks like you hang out with regularly, maybe go shooting or Krav class? If not, it's time to start building these kinds of relationships. Having people around you that you like and trust is one of the best indicators of living a long life. If you are sacrificing relationships like these because you're too busy, you're clearly not in balance.

4. Financial:

Are you living paycheck to paycheck? Hand to mouth? Do you spend what you make? Or are you saving some for a rainy day (and retirement?!)?  If you're working too much, and you don't have the money you need, something is clearly missing in the equation. Financial stress can crush a person and family. Mind your spending habits. Another simple, not easy step.

5. Career/Job:

It doesn't matter your job or profession... Even if you love what you do, its called work for a reason! It's not good to hate going into your job day in and out. And it's not just the job, it's also the life that it creates for you and your family. You have to weigh all of these things out. It's worth measuring how all that time you are investing in your work is paying off... Not just financially!

6. Civic:

How much time are you able to invest in the things you care about in your community? That can mean anything from volunteering to serving on the PTA or coaching a sports team-anything that turns you on when you give of yourself. Think of it as your attitude of gratitude. If you haven't made enough time to give back, you're missing out on a real emotional payback, because you are rewarded by the act of giving. And the key here isn't just signing checks-time and talent are the real gifts.

7. Personal Development / Expression:

Make sure you save some time for yourself. Hobbies, travel, retreats, whatever excites you, but do something 'just for you'. It'll make you better at everything else too!

8. Spiritual:

The final aspect of living a balanced life is your spiritual side. Connecting to something bigger than yourself! This could be anything from taking a walk in the woods to making a trip to church, synagogue, temple, mosque, or whatever fills up your spiritual cup. We need to renew ourselves when we're down-and it's something that can be easily neglected. Sometimes our personal pressures and problems seem insurmountable... Connecting to something BIGGER than ourselves, helps us to put those things in a better perspective.


Lifestyle?!

That's why building a Protector LIFESTYLE is so important!

You can be a beast at whatever the skill is required to take care of the situation, but if your life is wrecking you, it may inhibit your ability to deploy that skill in the moment.


It's a Marathon... AND a Sprint!

You can't spend your entire life sprinting!

Sorry!

You'll eventually burn out, crash into a wall or blow a gasket!

Yes, there are times when you'll have to 'Sprint', but remember, you're in this for the long haul, so if you think you can sprint all the way through, you're in for a rude awaking!

You gotta know when to put on the brake and when and how to 'floor it'!

That, my friend is the art!

If you want to really protect yourself, your loved ones and those in need, you'll have to be able to have the capacity to do both!

If you're interested in hearing how other 'hard chargers' are doing it, then Subcribe to my FREE Newsletter the [Almost] Daily Email (...don't worry, its more almost than daily!)


See you next time!


Keep Going,
~Craig

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Alone & Outnumbered (part 2)





October... one of my favorite months!

Because I didn't want my last blog to be too long, I didn't tell you the rest of the story of my jogging incident...

(I know right?! I wish I was making this stuff up!)

If you didn't read the first part of this story, go back to my Sept. 26th email to read part one. (If you're new to these emails, no worries, I'll be posting part one in next weeks blog next week.)

So...


I Get Passed the Troubled Youth


I can hear their voices fading in the background, which reinforced to me that they in fact were just blowing some adolescent smoke.

...It may have been a different story had I stopped and fully engaged them.


My Sigh of Relief Only Lasted a Second...

Still jazzed up and prepared for a confrontation, I came around the next bend to see a white pickup truck in front of the train trestle that I have to cross to get to the other side of the creek.

When I saw the white pick up truck and the guy wearing the reflective vest, I figured they were from the construction company that had been there a few weeks ago digging a new drainage ditch. 

I sighed a breath of relief thinking that I have some back up if those kids came around for some trouble...

And I'd be wrong...


From the Frying Pan to the Fire!


You ever see one of those low budget horror movies where just after the character narrowly escapes being taken out?!

You know, they see help... 

Relax...

Then...

WHAM!!

Just when you thought was safe, something bad or worse happens!?

Well, it was kinda like that...


No Place to Go...


Picture this...

I'm about 2 3/4 miles into my run... Alone, in the woods... Down a trail... 1/2 mile from anyone who could help me... Just about got into a physical altercation w/4 guys... They're still behind me, so I can't go back... Trees and more woods on either side of me... A truck in front of me is blocking the only bridge that crosses the creek to continue not only my run, but to the closest way to safety...

Initially, as I said, I thought that truck and the two guys were construction or rail way workers...

But...

As I get closer and start going around the truck, I see that these are NOT construction workers...

Rather they look like a couple guys fishing...

No big deal, right?!...

Wrong again...


There were two of them...


One wore filthy gray sweat pants and a Poison concert shirt that looked like it hadn't been changed since their first album came out in 86'.

The other had a construction style reflective vest. He was missing all of his front teeth and looked haggard and worse for wear.


If Looks Could Kill...


The guy w/the sweat pants looked at me suspiciously and aggressively... With disdain, dislike, even hate in his eye... A 'Who the f*ck are you, and what the h*ll are you doing here look on his face...

I don't know if things went from bad to worse... but one thing was for sure, I wasn't outta this mess yet...


(Jesus.... Really!? I thought... I'm just trying to get my workout in gang!)

"You Run'n?" Sweatpants asked me with edgy tone and look of complete contempt on his sour face.

I thought...

No wise ass... what's your first clue?! My running shoes, drenched shirt, sweaty bald head, or hard breathing?  Of course I'm f*n running...

But, that's not what I said...

"Yea, getting a jog in... You guys fishing?" I responded with a bit more of a sarcastic edge than I had intended.

"I used to fish down here when I was a kid...' Catching myself and trying to lighten the moment.

The reflective Vest man seemed way more jovial. And asked if I ever got any? (Fish).

I said that I would rarely get anything, but that was a long time ago...


They Looked Suspicious...


Something was up...

These two looked suspicious...

One was too jovial, the other too ornery...

I think they thought I was a cop or DNR, checking out what they were up too.

I'm convinced that they were up to something illegal. Either drugs, illegal fishing... a warrant out on one or both of them... Something...

Who knows, maybe it had something to do w/those kids?

I don't know, but either way, I wasn't going to stick around to find out...
 

His Hand Went Toward His Waist...

As I was making my way around the truck, Mr. Sweat Pants hand went toward his waistline...

I thought...

Oh, f*ck... Here we go!

I was about 8 feet from him...

Too far away from him to get a hold of him...

Yet close enough to be an easy target if he had a gun...


My Breath Caught in My Throat...

I was ready to do what I could...

But luckily he seemed to just be tucking in his shirt. (It didn't look like he was indexing a weapon...)

Maybe I was just being overly paranoid because of my last incident w/those kids?

I don't know, but I kept moving passed them regardless...

I yelled back over my shoulder, wishing them good luck and crossed that bridge the fastest I ever had.

Before long I was back out on the main road reflecting on the couple strange and dangerous encounters I just had.

As long as I've been running this route I've never had very many problems... let alone two incidents in a row like this. 

I couldn't get home fast enough...

I had enough 'adventures' for today!

Maybe It's time to rethink my running route?!


Keep going,
~Craig



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Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Bjj Would've Been Suicide!





For decades I've been running the same trails by the Krav Academy w/relatively no incidents, so I figured yesterday would be like every other day...

Not quite...

About two and a half miles in to my run...


I Noticed 4 Guys Walking...


They were young, I'd say high school...

I could tell the leader, he was the one out in front of the other two smoking a cigarette.

Big kid, a bit taller than me and filling his white t-shirt w/an athletic build. The guys that trailed slightly behind him were a little smaller than me and looked subordinate to the guy leading the pack.

In all the years I've been running that trail, I rarely run into anyone let alone trouble...

Once in a while I'll see a vagrant, fisherman or fellow runner, but typically my biggest worry is dogs. (Last year I was bit by someones little yapper... but that's another story for another day...).

So, as I got closer, I do what I always do; give'em a wide berth, try not to look exhausted, look at them in the eye and say, "How's it going Gentlemen?"


At First There Was No Problem...


A couple of the guys shyly said "hi"...

But, as I pass White Shirt, he lets out a plume of smoke, sneers and with a mean spirited laugh says,

"Want a cigarette?"

Had I been quicker on my feet, I might have had a witty, but disarming comeback, but I didn't, so I just kept running.

I didn't get but a few yards from them when the smack talk & threats come...

"F*ck you!"

F*cking a**hole!

"We're going to F*cking kick your a**."

"F*cking pussy!"


Tired, 1/2 Mile from Any Help & 4 on 1...


Now, I've had my fair share of run ins, so I had a good idea this was just a bunch of adolescent monkey dancing, but...

There were four of them...

They were young...

And Big...

I was tired...

And a half mile from the main road...

I didn't have my gun...

And I didn't want trouble...


The Adrenaline Kicked In...


When I jog, I pay attention, no earbuds...

Anytime I see or hear someone when I'm out running, I'm alert...

But as soon as I came on these guys and saw White Shirt my adrenal glands gave me an 'extra boost'.

My mind went to a few scenarios of 'what to do'...

Plan 'A'...
Plan 'B'...
Plan 'C'...


Could I make it to safety?

...Unlikely, if they decided to run after me. They were younger, the big one was most likely stronger... regardless they were fresh and less than half my age... And I was tired!

Taking on four guys is a recipe for ER or worse...

This is not a time to grapple with them figuratively or literally...

If they stopped me and deescalation didn't work what options did I have?!

My gun!?

Nope, I wasn't carrying...

Krav?!

Improvised weapons?!

Yes, I had my knife on me, but really didn't want to have to use it...

However, I know how the mob mentality could go from bullying, to assault, to worse pretty easily.

Things could get UGLY!

I wasn't looking to see how any of that would go, but I knew...


This Could Go South Fast...


WTH ~ Feels like I'm in 8th grade again facing a group of high school bullies...

But I'm 49 years old and this isn't grade school!

Luckily (and pretty predictably), I kept running, they kept yelling, the space between us got wider and nothing more came of it.

I was ready because you never know what could happen...

I was grateful for my training, because it gave me options, clarity & confidence...

But also the dose of level headed-ness that is necessary to keep yourself out of trouble...

And maybe even a snowball's chance in h*ll of surviving the violence that sometimes become unavoidable...


When Nice Isn't Enough...


Many people believe that being nice and respectful is enough to get you out of any situation...

They'd be WRONG!

Yes, its a good place to start, but you need more!

You need to be able to take care of yourself in situations like these (and others), when it comes to dealing with the spectrum of human conflict!


I Call It Being a PeaceWalker...


PeaceWalkers are everyday people who train to protect the Life of self & others. We belong to a unique fellowship of individuals who have the clarity, courage & skill to effectively deal with the wide spectrum of human conflict. We are motivated by Life & Love more so than fear & hate. PeaceWalkers lead from the front and dedicate ourselves to personal growth and constant training in pursuit of being a protector. We are capable of great empathy, diplomacy and as a last resort, violence for the purpose of protecting the Value of Life. We have the resolve and ability to do most good, least harm for all as we embrace our will to Live, Protect & Inspire.

Don't Just Take My Word For It...

Hear what  other Top Security Experts, Soldiers and Military Veterans have to say about how to be a better Protector and building a Lifestyle that will help you in everything you do!

On-Line Protector Summit!!

For a limited time, it's Absolutely FREE!

Click this link for full details and to Register to Save Your Spot Today!



Have a great day!


Keep Going,
~Craig