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Training Review: VDI’s Protective / Evasive Driving (PED) Course

Topic: Mobility, Automobile

Instructor/System: VDI is a specialty driving school headquartered in Englishtown, New Jersey, USA, but which also conducts mobile trainings worldwide and has some number of global affiliates teaching their methods. VDI was founded by Tony Scotti and is now run by Joe Autera — two recognizable names in the security / executive protection field. Per VDI, Scotti developed the VDI methodologies in the 70s in Bogota, Colombia, at the time a hot spot of kidnappings occurring in and around cars as people traveled from home to work and back. Their course offerings include protective/evasive driving, SUV and armored SUV modules, surveillance detection, and a five-day-long “Best Practices for the Solo Practitioner” course.

Content: VDI’s Protective/Evasive Driving (PED) program is a three day long course designed for “professional security drivers, executive chauffeurs, and protection specialists.” VDI goes on to claim that the PED class is a “must have” for executive protection and security folks, and this seems to be true: our class was almost entirely people currently working in exactly these fields. Read More

Training Review: Shivworks / SouthNarc – Armed Movement in Structures (AMIS)

Topic: Shooting, Pistol

Instructor/System: Shivworks is the one-man training operation run by Craig Douglas aka SouthNarc. Craig was a law enforcement officer in Mississippi for 21 years, including work with SWAT and undercover with narcotics — hence his original nom de guerre. Shivworks offers multiple classes around lone operator survival, perhaps most famously ECQC, his Extreme Close Quarters Combat class. Per Craig, the goal — of Shivworks, of tactical training — is that “you want the handgun skills of a USPA Grand Master, the empty hand skills of an MMA fighter, and the verbal agility of a stand-up comic.”

Content: The Shivworks Armed Movement in Structures (AMIS) class is a two-day course that addresses one task and starts from one assumption. The one task is how a solo operator, armed, can safely move through — “clear” — a structure with an unknown number of armed opponents inside. The starting assumption is that the task “sucks” and since there’s no perfect way to do it, you just try to make it “suck less.” Read More

Training Review: TMACS / Pat McNamara’s Combat Strength Training (CST)

Instructor/System: Pat McNamara is a 22 year US Army veteran, having served both with vanilla Special Forces and, for thirteen years, with 1st SFOD-D — Delta Force — before retiring as a Sergeant Major in 2005. In the training world, he’s primarily known for his firearms and combat tactics training, under his TMACS brand, but he also offers a class on his approach to physical fitness and readiness. Now in his early 50s, he remains a physical powerhouse and endless font of energy and enthusiasm. He is the author of Sentinel: Become the Agent in Charge of Your Own Protection Detail which covers some of the same topics as the class reviewed here.

Content: McNamara’s “Combat Strength Training” (CST) course is a one-day class on how to obtain and maintain physical fitness and readiness. The word “combat” in the title reflects two things. First, that the basic functional attributes developed are relevant to combat, specifically in terms of movement in the transverse plane, which McNamara believes is sorely underdeveloped in most combat athletes. Read More

Training Review: InSights Training Center’s General Defensive Handgun

Topic: Shooting, Pistol

Instructor/School: InSights Training Center is a shooting and tactical training school founded by Greg M. Hamilton. The school offers classes to military, law enforcement, and civilians in the Seattle, Washington area. While the school employs numerous instructors, Greg himself was the instructor for the class being reviewed here. Greg was a US Army Ranger and Special Forces soldier but also had his foot in the competitive speed shooting world and trained with folks like John Shaw at Mid-South. He’s definitely a bit of a wizard with a handgun but, much more importantly, he’s also trained numerous other people to be top-tier competitive shooters. Greg is brash, extremely cocky, and overflowing with opinions, but he has such a deep mastery of his subject matter that whether you like him or not, you’ll listen. He’s also a military history buff, so if you share an interest in the minutiae of 20th century war, you’ll find an eager interlocutor.

Content: The InSights General Defensive Handgun (GDH) course is a two-day course taking people with basic gun familiarity / competency and exposing them to concepts relevant to a “self defense” shooter. It’s a mix of simple-but-important practical shooting exercises interspersed with Read More

Training Review: Jared Wihongi and Marc Denny’s Tactical Clinch

Topic: Close Combat, Unarmed

Instructor/System: This course is co-taught by Jared Wihongi and Marc “Crafty Dog” Denny. Jared is a Pekiti Tirsia Kali (PTK) practitioner with some broader background in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Thai boxing, and working door as a bouncer. He’s been a police officer, including SWAT, and now makes a living as full-time combatives instructor — a telling note, given how little money there is in martial arts. Marc “Crafty Dog” Denny is one of the founders of the Dog Brothers, a group borne out the Filipino martial arts community who, a few decades back, decided to don fencing masks and hockey gloves and lay into each other at full force to learn “what would really work under fire and what would not.” Read More

Training Review: BSR’s Security Driving Course (SDC)

Topic: Mobility, Automobile

Instructor/System: BSR is a specialty driving school located at Summit Point Motorsports Park in Summit Point, West Virginia. BSR has been around for decades and teaches classes to the US military, law enforcement, government agencies, and civilians. Beyond their military work, BSR also provides training for the Department of State’s Worldwide Personal Protection Services (WPPS), the AFPAK Hands folks, etc. Lee Chewey, a retired Delta operator who’s gone on to be involved in a lot of security operations and security training work globally, is the Director of Training. Their course offerings include off-road driving, evasive driving, surveillance detection while mobile, and vehicle commandeering. They also offer some firearms courses. Being co-located at Summit Point gives them great asphalt tracks for the evasive driver training, as well as ample space for the off-road work and easy access to suburban West Virginia for the surveillance detection work.

Content: BSR’s Security Driving Course (SDC) a three-day course compromised of one additional day prepended onto BSR’s two-day Evasive Driving Course (EDC). Read More

Training Review: BSR’s Evasive Driving Course (EDC)

Topic: Mobility, Automobile

Instructor/System: BSR is a specialty driving school located at Summit Point Motorsports Park in Summit Point, West Virginia. BSR has been around for decades and teaches classes to the US military, law enforcement, government agencies, and civilians. Of note, BSR provides training for the Department of State’s Worldwide Personal Protection Services (WPPS) and the AFPAK Hands folks. Lee Chewey, a retired Delta operator who’s gone on to be involved in a lot of security operations and security training work globally, is the Director of Training. Their course offerings include off-road driving, evasive driving, surveillance detection while mobile, and vehicle commandeering. They also offer some firearms courses. Being co-located at Summit Point gives them great asphalt tracks for the evasive driver training, as well as ample space for the off-road work and easy access to suburban West Virginia for the surveillance detection training.

Content: BSR’s Evasive Driving Course (EDC) is a two-day course designed to teach evasive driving skills to people who are concerned about being targeted for attack while in transit via automobile. Read More

Training Review: BSR’s Unimproved/Off-Road Driving Course (UORDC)

Topic: Mobility, Automobile

Instructor/System: BSR is a specialty driving school located at Summit Point Motorsports Park in Summit Point, West Virginia. BSR has been around for decades and teaches classes to the US military, law enforcement, government agencies, and civilians. Beyond their military work, BSR also provides training for the Department of State’s Worldwide Personal Protection Services (WPPS), the AFPAK Hands folks, etc. Lee Chewey, a retired Delta operator who’s gone on to be involved in a lot of security operations and security training work globally, is the Director of Training. Their course offerings include off-road driving, evasive driving, surveillance detection while mobile, and vehicle commandeering. They also offer some firearms courses. Being co-located at Summit Point gives them great asphalt tracks for the evasive driver training, as well as ample space for the off-road work and easy access to suburban West Virginia for the surveillance detection work.

Content: BSR’s Unimproved/Off-Road Driving Course (UORDC) is a one-day course designed to teach basic off-road driving skills. Read More

Training Review: InSights Training Center’s Intensive Handgun Skills

Topic: Shooting, Pistol

Instructor/School: InSights Training Center is a shooting and tactical training school founded by Greg M. Hamilton. The school offers classes to military, law enforcement, and civilians in the Seattle, Washington area. While the school employs numerous instructors, Greg himself was the instructor for the class being reviewed here. Greg was a US Army Ranger and Special Forces soldier but also had his foot in the competitive speed shooting world and trained with folks like John Shaw at Mid-South. He’s definitely a bit of a wizard with a handgun but, much more importantly, he’s also trained numerous other people to be top-tier competitive shooters. Greg is brash, extremely cocky, and overflowing with opinions, but he has such a deep mastery of his subject matter that whether you like him or not, you’ll listen. He’s also a military history buff, so if you share an interest in the minutiae of 20th century war, you’ll find an eager interlocutor.

Content: InSights’ Intensive Handgun Skills (IHS) is a three-day, intermediate to advanced level pistolry class that seeks to improve shooter speed without losing accuracy. Read More