No styles, no systems, no rituals, no lineages, no masters, no labels, no belts, no katas, no uniforms, no dogmas;

Only the process of self actualization & personal expression of truth through functional combative movement and fitness.

On a purely physical level, we share how to individually and collectively use all of our natural tools as well as extended ones, offensively and defensively in a strategic and tactical manner and in all ranges of combat.

We're put through functional physical fitness training where we learn to push ourselves through our own perceived limitations. We also have much to offer on nutrition, health and optimum performance.

On a more cerebral level we learn about the psychology of violence, fear, stress & confrontation management skills, deescalation strategies and holistic survival tactics.

As the mind navigates the body; by challenging personal self defense dogmas and individual & core belief systems, personal growth and evolution occurs.

On a human level, we learn about the ripple effect and the moral, legal, and ethical consequences of our chosen actions while self examining our darkest emotions. We are encouraged to question everything, to learn to think for ourselves, to be more accountable and research everything we learn and to be open and responsive to life without judgment.

On a personal level, the training can make you face and slay your own demons.

Everything shared here is highly encouraged to be individually researched, to “absorb what is useful, add what is specifically of your own and disregard the rest.”

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The How To's of Realistic Scenario Replication PART 1:

The following is an exert from one of our best selling packages "The Scenario Replication package" DVD and Manual and appeared prior to that in our Bible of Hand to Hand Combat vol #13 circa 1995:

INTRODUCTION: What is scenario-based training?

Scenario based training is an efficient method of training situational responses that allows the students/participants to learn and apply their knowledge and skills as they participate in realistic situations. This method of training and learning allows students to move from theory to practical application of skills in all areas and helps create the proper mental blue prints needed to survive a violent confrontation. When students learn to apply their skills in scenarios, they are better prepared to react appropriately in real fights and confrontations as the mind develops the appropriate files to deal with the circumstances in a familiar setting.  Law enforcement officers, military personnel, fire fighters world wide use this method of training successfully. 

Realism is an important aspect to maintain when replicating scenarios. The environment should be real or replicated as realistically as possible, complete with realistic opponents and partners. To further provide a realistic simulation in this environment, the student/participant should have as much of a free range (both physically and strategically) of action as possible; their actions should not be constrained by what the instructor’s or said system or style they train in envision the student should do. We refer to the student’s desired actions and responses in the moment as ‘guided chaos’. 

If we were to isolate one single goal of scenario replication training, then it would be to maximize this guided chaos through tactical and strategic implementation based on realistic and researched behavioral doctrines. However, since scenario replication training is a learning tool, there are specific training goals and formulas for every given scenario. In order to achieve those goals, the instructor needs the representational flexibility to formalize the goals for the scenarios, to script them out in a conceptual manner, and have a way to dynamically modify the scenario to ensure that the proper or most desired results are achieved by the participants.

We define the instructor’s goal to specify the exact scenario he wishes based on experience and/or research and factual events and the participant’s lifestyle as ‘tactical selection’. The purpose is to attempt to find a balance between ‘guided chaos’ and the ‘tactical selections’.

Achieving this balance lies in the monitoring of the participant’s actions from beginning to end. As the students execute their actions, those actions may begin to lead them down a path that diverges with the goals that the instructor has specified (I.e. defuse this situation at all costs yet the situation went physical due to the ‘good guy’s’ failed attempts or lack thereof for example). Monitoring the student and recognizing this possible divergence from the training goals of the scenario is a key element of improving the efficiency and enhancing the survivability in a given situation as every situation is filled with many layers and shades of gray. 

Once a divergence is recognized, the student must be encouraged in some subtle yet realistic manner to find a solution more suitable to the pre-defined scenario. The fact world news changes as well as which actions to execute to create this change becomes the instructor’s burden to maintain his/her research. Once something has gone off course, how do we reconcile the current state of the situation with the desired response in both a realistic and applicable manner?

This is where the following formula comes in, to aide the trainer and the participants in creating a 3 dimensional, realistic scenario replication training system.

Occurring Problems in Confrontations

When interacting alongside other human beings, there are behavioral elements which may alter outcome and create possible problems or situations outside the initial one dictated by the scenario in question. The root of all of these problems can be traced to actions based on emotional and behavioral interaction, something that is sorely lacking in many systems of defense today.

We have classified these problems into three different categories:

  1. Inter-relationship Error
  2. Personal Error
  3. Variable Error 
Inter-relationship Error

When you see most scenarios being run, they are generally one on one or two on one where the bad guy(s) attack the intended victim, a few words are exchanged then the physical portion kicks in.  During a confrontation however, we sometimes are not alone. We may be accompanied by a friend, a relative, a parent, a child etc. Therefore working with a partner or more is critical to the strategic development in order to accurately create the mental blueprints and accomplish the goals given by the instructor. In the course of going through a scenario with other trainees, fulfilling the goals for this could be hindered by the mistakes caused by the interaction between the student and his/her partners; therefore communication between all parties is critical.

For example, ‘John and Jane’ are sharing a drink together in a bar.  A guy looks at her and walks over to her making a pass at her and insults John, something to the effect of “Why don’t you drop this fag and come with a real man?” John steps up and tries to defuse the situation but the individual shoves him back, he decides to go preemptive and his girlfriend grabs his arm by the shirt sleeve pulling him back and begs him to leave the bar now.  John turns to her for a fraction of a second to acknowledge her and the guy throws a haymaker.  John flinches catching it off the top of his head and ends up tripping over his girlfriend and they both fall to the ground, John on top of her.  The guy proceeds on trying to stomp John but he also lands some solid blows on his girlfriend.

These are Inter-relationship errors that may occur.  Depending on the given situation and individual with you at the moment, the tactical implementations will be affected by the behavioral elements of your relationship with any given party or even some other character‘s behavior that the student couldn’t foresee that would render the situation worse.  It is not as simple or as easy as “head-butt, knee then elbow.”

We always propose to allow the scenario run its course prior to re-establishing the scene in order to experience success.  The instructor should have a global real-time view of the environment and its surroundings. The first responsibility of the instructor is to recognize when and where the scenario is diverging from the goals specified and to pinpoint and debrief once it has run its course allowing the participants to relay their point of view based on the experience.

It should also be noted that some of the behaviors mentioned above are actually realistic and made by the teammates, while others may be improper actions taken in a given situation that still went awry based on the ‘bad guy’s’ perceptions in the moment. Making a distinction between the two is important; improper behavior in relation by any participant (especially that of the bad guys’) should be pointed out.

While the response is not always obvious, it is the instructor’s responsibility to have researched and understood the behavioral elements of the chosen bad guy.  There is a vast array of character choices when choosing the behavioral aspects of the intended bad guy.

The layers have to be instilled, the more character layers, the more realistic the response and situation will be.

For example, if you choose the ‘mugger’ character and build a scenario around it, it is important to understand that there are many different types of muggers and each will have different perceptional reactions to the responses of the intended victim.  Is he a ‘seasoned’ mugger? Has he done this many times with success?  Is it his first time? Is he on parole and absolutely does not want to ever get caught? Is it a crack head that’s off his last high and caught you on your last dime? Is it just a down on his luck dude that made a bad choice at ‘this particular time’? Each one of these ‘character’ types will require a different strategic implementation and tactical response which in turn may lead to a different physical response with each determining the rest of you and your families lives.

Personal Error

The participant will also make behavioral errors. Typically, an error in behavior can and will cause a deviation from the expected (congruous) behavior of an individual in a particular situation.

Knowing when the student is following incorrect behavioral patterns, even though it may not directly affect the situation’s outcome, is imperative to point out in order to efficiently teach the student proper behavior in a given scenario. For example, most students will ‘act’ differently in a scenario than the way they would ‘react’ in a real given situation. If the instructor sees this and catches the fact that the student has made a behavioral error and doesn’t pin point it, it can alter the mental blueprint and state of the mind set of the student and negatively reinforce that behavior.

For instance, if the scenario dictates the possibility of defusing a situation but the student goes pre-emptive too early, the instructor may instruct another participant that the student didn’t account for to attack the student from behind with a knife stabbing him in the back. This would give the student the experience to learn by example, a viable learning tool for students to avoid making costly mistakes as well as keeping them in line with the ever evolving possibilities of the scenario. Through this type of response, the instructor must be used directly as an educational force for trainees in an interactive environment.

It is imperative for students to ‘step out’ as it may, of the scenario and establish the proper mind set the replicated time frame suggested in order to react as realistically as possible and avoid acts of bravado or actions that in ordinary circumstances would never even be conceived.

Variable Error

Variables are unforeseen circumstances created by the environment, the moment, the time of day etc.  As we always say, the situation will dictate the response.  However, the situation may create unforeseen variables that need to be dealt with in the moment as they unfold. 

For example, you create a one on one scenario where the bad guy is mouthing off and shoving the ‘good guy’.  He shoves a little too hard and the good guy trips over a curb and lands on someone else behind him who wasn’t initially involved in the situation.

The unforeseen variable in this case is? There are two.  The first, is the street curb, the second being the third party who has nothing to do with either of the original parties or the unfolding situation created earlier. This third party gets pissed off and shoves the good guy back from behind causing the good guy to trip over a school bag or brief case (insert whatever appropriate object to the situation here) and falls to the ground.  As he attempts to get back up, both the bad guy and third party begin to stomp him down.  Unforeseen variables such as the curb, the third party and the bag on the floor, affects the outcome.

If the student prepares for these through the scenario training and establishes the most desirable response in a given situation, he is then creating the proper mental files to deal with these types of variable errors that may occur in a much quicker and in a more tactical frame of mind then if he would be completely caught off guard had he never experienced them before.

Creating variable errors can include weather conditions, wetting both the good guy and bad guy in the scenario with water all over their arms/bodies in order to replicate a rain fall will alter physical tools because the wetness of the arms and hands may possibly make grabbing and anchoring to a certain degree extremely difficult due to slipperiness.  Be creative in creating variable errors but always remain within a realistic vicinity and one that parallels the participant’s lifestyle.

Defusing some shit. :`)

Multi Tasking refers to the juxtaposition of these problems: the necessity to direct groups of students to work together to encourage an action to happen in the scenario that is difficult for a single participant to achieve. The training knowledge is recapitulated in the instructor or a chosen student to lead the replications; we do not need to distribute all of the scenario’s information or sources to the entire students involved in order to establish the surprise mind set. 

However, in order to avoid the scenario diverging from its intended purpose, the students need to be given some goals or behavioral directions that will help bring the scenario to its intended direction. Therefore giving each minor participant a behavioral base in which to work from is imperative as well. I.e. One minor participant may be a man standing in line at the bank machine behind the intended victim and told to just react as he would if he had absolutely no training whatsoever as the situation unfolds.  His reactions may affect the outcome and perceptions of the major players.

Executing the intended goals of surviving and in the process making sure no one else gets hurt/injured/killed in consequence of ones actions introduces a new problem of flexible coordination and communication in the teamwork involved. Everyone involved must incorporate team synchronization, environmental and individual monitoring and spontaneous repair abilities to maintain a coherent and correct overview of the parties involved goals and plans.  As stated earlier, communication between parties becomes critical. 

Train intelligently and diligently.
Rich Dimitri

PART 2 coming soon: