As many of you know, on March 11th 2017 I assisted in an Active Shooter Neutralization Seminar hosted by Krav Maga Maryland. For the past few days I've been thinking about what to write about the experience. Trying to sum up 8 hours of drills, defenses, scenarios, and the collective will of 115 people in a blog is no easy task. But I gotta try...
Let me start with a shout out to all of the talented and dedicated people of Krav Maga Maryland. This seminar doesn't happen without their vision, and hard work. Just the logistics of the event gave me a headache. Looking back I can only imagine the meetings, phone calls, the hours of planning, getting all the right people together, getting all the gear that we needed, and making sure everyone on the team knew what to do and when to do it was a victory in and of itself.
The effort paid off. I have attended a number of seminars and even led one or two, and in my experience this was the best run one I have ever been a part of. At one point we were ahead of schedule, which I have never seen before, allowing us to add a few bonus techniques.
On to the good stuff.
Have you ever seen 115 people decide that they were going to make their families, friends, and communities safer? I have. It is an awesome sight. It is an inspiring sight. If you ever have the chance, I highly recommend it. Essentially that is what happened on March 11th. A large group of people decided that if they should ever be faced with evil, they would fight back. A group of people decided that they were not going to be bullied by fear and arrogance. They were going to fight back. They were going to win. At the end of the day, that's all it really is; a decision. A decision that says " I will live. My loved ones will live. The people who are around me will live."
Everything else is schematics. Learning how to punch, throw an elbow, kick, or send an effective knee are the easy parts. Learning how to effectively disarm an attacker; not that difficult. Learning how to do so under stress adds some pressure, but nothing that you cannot train yourself to handle. The hardest part is making that initial decision. The hardest part is accepting the responsibility that you will be the difference between life and death. Once you make that choice, everything else falls into place.
So that is what happened. After 115 people made that decision, it was inspiring to watch them attack everything with passion, energy, and purpose. I love watching people get stronger, more confident, and more assertive as training goes on. By the time we got to the 8 different scenarios, you could feel the energy and excitement from everyone. All we had to do was let them out of the cage.
My partner Kirk and I ran the bar scenario. Or as we started calling it the Last Shot Saloon. We watched 8 different groups of people repeatedly take down attacker after attacker. We ran our groups through a number of different scenarios form one attacker, multiple attackers, one defender, multiple defenders, hand guns, rifles, multiple weapons. Nothing we threw at them fazed them. Even when blanks were being fired, and you could smell the gunpowder in the air, 115 people kept fighting.
It was awesome.
Stay tuned Valhalla peeps, you're going to get your chance to make that decision soon......