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The four tips for building your self-defense system will ensure that your system is ready when your life depends on it. There are many videos on YouTube® that one can find about the various aspects of self-defense. A growing body of work is on building active-shooter kits or bags, setting up body armor, or building a firearms range bag. My analysis of these presentations is that they fall short in telling the viewer about some fundamental aspects of building your firearms-related kit. These presentations assume that the viewer is already familiar with the fundamental elements of self-defense, CCW, and the law. Therefore, we will cover these essential aspects of building your system.

1. Familiarity with Your Self-Defense System

The most basic level of building a self-defense system with firearms is Familiarity. Familiarity requires training and experience. An important question to ask yourself is, how familiar are you with some firearm or tactical gear that interests you?

Moreover, becoming familiar with your self-defense system means to train repeatedly with it. If you do not regularly train with your equipment and gear, you will fail to employ your system in an emergency.

For example, how efficient are you at pulling out that AR pistol from your deployment gear bag in the trunk or back seat of your car during the mad-minute of violent contact with a  criminal? It is nice to be able to create a well-equipped active-shooter bag. It is quite another at being able to employ those tools in less than thirty seconds under duress. The accomplishment of this essential aspect of your system requires repeatedly training to use it in a stress-induced training environment.

2. Practicality of Employment of Your Self-Defense System

Your self-defense system should be built on the principle of practicality. Practicality will influence the kinds of gear that will become part of your system. Many aspects of urban survival and preparedness revolve around having tactical equipment. Unfortunately, many do not understand such gear’s purpose or how to use it properly within its designed purpose. Thus, a key question is whether or not a piece of equipment is practical for you. For example, if you do not understand how to use, wear, and set up body armor, you may want to consider a different option.

3. Accessibility of Your Self-Defense System

One of the more essential considerations for your system is accessibility in an emergency. Some people will recommend nicely outfitted bags or backpacks to be stored behind the seat or trunk box of their truck or in the trunk of their car. However, how accessible is that gear in an emergency?

There is a reason that law enforcement professionals carry rifles or shotguns in a rack in their cruisers and wear body armor under their uniforms. There is not enough time when you are being engaged with gunfire to fumble around with your gear. Therefore, ensure that your system is easily accessible in an emergency.

4. Other Considerations Regarding Your Self-Defense System

Additionally, there are many aspects to consider when preparing to defend yourself with your gear. These considerations are: understanding the mad minute and violence of action, the psychological effects of using deadly force, understanding the effects of weapons ammunition, and understanding the law and your rights to protect yourself.

A. Reacting to Contact

Finally, as you build your firearm-based system, you will need to be proficient in reacting to contact using your gear. In other words, you should be skilled at reacting to life-threatening situations when engaged by a criminal. Again, this means training regularly with your equipment. The U.S. Army has a saying, “train as you fight.” Thus, train with your gear as you would use it during a sudden, violent encounter. Therefore, use your gear in the training scenarios that will simulate situations that you are most likely to face.

B. The Mad Minute

Our previous article on staying safe this summer briefly mentioned the mad minute and the psychological aspects of combat. It is one thing to train yourself by shooting at paper targets and plywood cutouts. By contrast, it is quite another matter when shooting at an actual human being. In the mad minute, the violence of action will render you incapable of thinking through the situation if you are not mentally and physically prepared for such an encounter. Those that adjust quickly will be able to shoot, move, and communicate more effectively in a life-threatening situation. Thus, you must train in such a way that stress and surprise develop your reactions to violent encounters.

C. The Psychological Effects

The psychological effects of using deadly force against another human being will change you in ways that you will not understand. The leadership of the United States military continues to seek ways to mitigate the psychological effects of combat on soldiers. The taking of another person’s life should not be glorified or admired in any manner. Thus, your mental and emotional health will gain strength by understanding the psychological effects that you may cause yourself when preparing to use a firearm. Are you ready for that outcome?

D. The Law

The legal aspects are just as important as the others mentioned above. Despite how one may feel about the law, second amendment rights, or self-defense, the law governs how and when it is legal to defend yourself with a firearm.

As you build your system, it is imperative that your understanding of the law reflects how you will employ your gear in an emergency. If you know yourself, your equipment, and the law, you will increase your chances of successfully defending yourself in an emergency.

Final Thoughts

Your firearm-based self-defense system is an integral part of preparing for an emergency. There are cost-to-benefit considerations to think about when attempting to build such a system. The system that you create for yourself should be highly individualized. Furthermore, if you cannot afford the time or money to train regularly, it is an indicator that you should be focusing on the creation of your self-defense system in other areas until you can prepare adequately. Remember, there are many components to building a sound self-defense system. It will take time to create one, but it will be worth it when you need it in an emergency.

 

The five tips for personal security this summer will assist in your avoiding dangerous situations. The recent events of the last several weeks highlights the need to protect yourself. Those in the personal security professions will advise that personal protection requires a good plan. The rise of criminal and violent activity means that you can not take your security for granted. For example, many public parking areas post signs about not leaving valuables in your car.

As such, many people are obtaining a carry-concealed weapons (CCW) license and carrying a handgun. However, there is a psychology that comes with carrying a concealed firearm and being ready, willing, and able to employ it in an emergency. The analysis of military combat reveals that sudden, violent, and intense engagements can mentally paralyze even the best trained individuals. There is a name for this kind of sudden threat to your safety, it is called the mad minute.

Therefore, as you consider your personal security protection plan, you must account for situations that possibly will catch you by surprise. Military ambushes are an example of such situations. Most violent crime is perpetrated in less than one minute by catching the victim by surprise. Consequently, violent crime should be considered as a kind of ambush. These six recommendations can help reduce your risk for being a victim of a crime or violent activity

1. Vary Movements and Routines

The first way you can help increase your safety posture is to vary your movements and routines. It is helpful to leave at differing times and returning home if you commute to work. Criminals conduct reconnaissance on their targets. Many look for targets of opportunity.

Consequently, if you make it more difficult for them to assess your vulnerability, they will move on to another target. Thus, if you are a person who habitually leaves for work at 6:30 am, you might want to leave earlier or later by ten minutes every few days.

In the military, there is a saying, “Don’t be a creature of habit.” The saying is applies to movement security and personal protection. Habit and routine can guarantee your being noticed by people that may have criminal designs against you.

The principle, here, also applies to the routes that you take to go places. Leave for work using one route, but use a different route to get home. If you like to shop at certain grocery store, then vary where you park and the time of day that you shop. If you have to go downtown in your city, then vary how you get to the location and how you depart. Most importantly, do not loiter; get in, get out of your location.

2. Do Not Stand Out In A Crowd

Another technique to help increase your security and protection is by not standing out in a crowd. Some of the videos being posted of people being attacked by rioters show that they are standing out. The victims are wearing contrasting clothing, opposite colors, or they are by themselves. Some are so bold as to enter a hostile crowd wearing provocative clothing. That is not the best way to stay safe.

The military uses the acronym BLISS to help servicemembers to keep a low-profile. The survival and prepping communities call it being a grey man. BLISS stands for (B)blend, (L)low silhouette, (I)irregular shape, (S)small, (S) secluded location.

It is hard in an urban or suburban environment to employ this acronym literally. Yet, the concepts it reflects should be part of your security plan. You should blend in to your environment. It is essential to keep a low-silhouette. A person can keep their profile or outline from looking symmetrical by the way you wear your clothing. Your keeping to a small or secluded location comes with using building shadows or crowds of people to hide your movements from criminals targeting you.

3. Avoid Potential Danger Areas

The third way you can help increase your security this summer is by avoiding potential danger areas. Your avoiding potentially dangerous areas in your town or city will keep you safe in most situations. The most effective way to do this is to pay attention to the traffic alerts in your area.

Additionally, criminal and violent activity tends to be in certain areas of every urban or suburban area. For example, there are neighborhoods in Los Angeles that are well-known for gang activity. Consequently, the only people who enter these areas are those that live in those neighborhoods. Therefore, avoid areas as much as possible that have a reputation for criminal or violent activity.

4. Strength In Numbers

Your safety considerations should be one of moving with another person or in groups. The old saying that there is strength in numbers applies to the current climate of uncertainty. The U.S. Army teaches soldiers to have a battle buddy when going somewhere. The use of this concept keeps the likelihood of a problem to a minimum.

For example, many ladies like to go shopping with their friends. As things begin to develop in our nation, it would be wise to make this practice a habit rather than an occasional pastime.

5. Maintain Situational Awareness

The key to maintaining personal security at all times is maintaining situational awareness at all times. It is not only true when you are planning on a day out running errands, it is also true as you are moving from your car to a store, walking in your downtown area, or going on a trip.

When I was in Germany in 1990, there were times when we were told to avoid going downtown because of anti-nuclear weapons demonstrations. The purpose was to help U.S. servicemembers from getting caught up in a potentially violent protest.

The war on terrorism brought a new twist to maintaining personal security. It is important to drive and walk with a sense of staying sensitive to your environment. In Europe, we had to drive in such a way as to keep aware of people getting too close or attempting to block us in at a stop. The recent events where freeways were blocked by protestors means having an alternate route to access in an emergency. The ability to do that requires being situationally aware at all times.

Final Thoughts

Your personal security is up to you. It is essential that you are proactive and not reactive when it comes to your security planning. Understand the threats around you and have a plan to reduce their risk to you and your family. Criminals tend to seek out those they perceive are weak, unprepared, or vulnerable. These five recommendations are not a comprehensive set of techniques to guarantee your safety. However, they will increase your chances of ensuring your personal safety and those who are with you.

BIG CHANGES! The Urban SERE and Wilderness SERE course are now one 7 day hardcore course!

We have been running our SERE training program for civilians for years and we have always had two components to the course. Urban and Wilderness SERE training courses were each 5 day courses. Now they are one 7 day course that is more exciting than before! The wilderness SERE training module covers survival tactics in the woods, when security and stealth is your biggest priority. All the survival tactics taught have an emphasis on stealth. Our urban component covers more about kidnapping and urban escape and evasion, surveillance and counter surveillance, comms and travel plans, and much more.

Both programs are equally good and have very little overlap between the two. But because so many people are on a time crunch for training with their busy lives, we decided to roll both programs together to give you one comprehensive course that covers it all.  Most civilians don’t realize just how important this training is for them. Americans are the #1 target worldwide for the kidnapping industry. Just because your American, people in other countries think you are rich and before you know it you could be getting rolled up by some kidnap team. Statistically a civilian is far more likely to be kidnapped than a military member!

Many people are scared by the SERE training program, but that fear is totally unjustified. If your scared, your over thinking it! Most of the program is actually fun and exciting, not as hardcore as you might think. The interrogation phase is what most people stress about, and that phase is totally optional and you don’t have to do it to participate in it to attend the course. It is only about 2 hours out of 7 days of training, so don’t let the interrogation scare you off from the program. But if you do decide to participate in the Resistance Phase, you will be stun gunned, maced, and treated harshly. But after its over you will be immensely proud of yourself for not only surviving but escaping custody easily. And the more you use what we teach you, the less painful it will be. We have a 100% success rate of our students escaping illegal custody. You will get away after we get done training you. You’ll be able to escape handcuffs, zip ties, duct tape, rope, and much more! Anything that a captor could tie you up with, we will teach you how to beat it!

If you travel the world or believe one day you might need to escape and evade, then this is the course for you. We will cover all types of urban and wilderness survival tactics in this course and after the 7 days are over, you will be confident that you can survive just about any tactical survival situation. Check out the link below for more information on how you can get some SERE training!


The Lead Instructor: Sean Walker

Served 16 years with Delta Force. Participated in Tora Bora raid on Osama Bin Laden. Had 55 confirmed kills on the Kurt Muse raid. Sniper Team Leader, Master Breacher, Assaulter, and SERE expert.


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Greetings, Sigma 3 Family!

As many of you know, Sigma 3 Survival School has been experiencing exponential growth as of late. With this growth comes new and exciting opportunities, new classes, and new skill sets to be mastered. These changes are exciting and refreshing for us and we know that you will be pleased with the direction Sigma 3 is going as well.

We have been given many new opportunities for specialty classes that have previously been unavailable along with access to new instructors and sources of information, and SIGMA will be adding new, different, and exciting courses soon.

Like all growth, though, there are some growing pains as we move into new frontiers and find that some of the things that served us well in the past are not as vital to our continued growth and ability to serve our students and customers.

 

Curriculum Changes

We have some monster changes coming to our training programs and we will be dropping some programs and adding some new ones. We can only run programs that are popular and as the years have come and gone, we have learned what classes our students want the most. So in accordance with what our customers want, we are adapting to the changing business environment by adapting our programs to meet our customer’s needs.

We will be dropping the Tactical Scout Cert program and the SOLO wilderness medic cert program and replacing it with a list of specialty classes. Basically we will be recruiting other top training companies to come showcase their best courses for our SIGMA 3 students. We will be keeping the DSD tactical tracking program and both SERE courses, but all other programs within the tactical scout will be eliminated and replaced. We will replace the courses with specialty classes that are determined by our customers via polling. Some of the potential trainers we will try to recruit for courses include: Travis Haley, Kyle Lamb, Badlands Tactical, Mark Elbroch, Joel Hardin, and many more! Almost anyone you want to train under, SIGMA 3 can get! You will see changes in the website to reflect these changes soon. If you have any questions then please contact us for more details.

 

Maine Location Closing and Moving Farther South

We have found after the initial launch of our location in Maine, that it is too remote and to distant a drive for most people in the Northeast to attend our courses. We have tons of customers in the New York area and it is our goal to move closer to the New York/Pennsylvania line, so that more people from metropolitan areas can join our weekend classes as well as other programs. If you have any land in this area that we can use to host these events please let us know. There is substantial incentive for allowing us to use your land for training. But for now we will not be scheduling anymore classes at the Maine location.

North Carolina Update

We recently launched the North Carolina location that will be run by Eugene Runkis and Sean Walker. The location we originally picked may be in jeopardy due to lease issues with the land owner, so we may be moving the location to farther north on the North Carolina/Virginia border. Still up in the air as to what is going to happen with this training location. And Eugene is in the process of shooting his 3rd season for Hillbilly Blood, so his schedule is still up in the air also. As soon as we get some solid dates I’ll be sure to update everyone. But you can count on us having classes on the schedule for that area very soon. Just waiting on a few things to come through before posting the training schedule for NC!

Children’s Programs

Probably the single biggest question asked, is do we have any kids programs or classes that kids can attend. Our policy has always been to allow children in most courses offered, except for the advanced ones! But to add to that, we are going to start offering family packages that bring father/son and mother/daughter together in these training classes. And we will have special pricing for package deals, so that both parents and children can enjoy the benefit of world class training at a great price. We will also be starting a kid’s summer survival camp in 2014. Send the kids for a week of adventure and they will learn all the need to know about how to survive! More info on this coming soon!

 All in all, we have a ton of changes happening with SIGMA 3 and we appreciate your commentary and continued support. If you have an interest in some type of training, then please let us know what you would like to see on the schedule and we will try and accommodate your interests.

Thanks,

Robert Allen

President

SIGMA 3 Survival School

Why is Stealth Pivotal in Disasters?

 

We are all aware of the horror stories from refugees in disasters in the recent past. During Hurricane Katrina there were so many crimes carried out in a short amount of time that it truly boggles the mind how quickly some individuals can lose their sense of humanity in a life threatening situation.

 

Of all the priorities that we have to worry in a potential bug out there is one that rings in my mind greater than any other. SECURITY! Being ex military and also having more high speed civilian side combat training than I did in the military, I believe the number one concern for a well prepared refugee of a disaster is to make sure they are safe from people that intend to do them harm. There is no answer for dealing with the problem of security in a disaster scenario but that you should be prepared and have a high degree of training if you intend to not be a statistic. The key when getting out in a disaster is to go un-noticed, whether that be in an urban setting or a wilderness one.  If you’re not seen or noticed then you reduce your overall chances of being a target of attack. This is one of the key priorities that we train in our Tactical Scout program. Gun and weapon training is important but not near as important as our ability to move and the tactics we utilize in a fight! And this training is just as important for keeping us out of a fight as it is in teaching us to dominate the fight.

Students first learn how to move in the field and to develop their tactics before putting a heavy emphasis on shooting expertise. Because you can’t hit what you don’t see! It doesn’t matter if you are the best shot in the world, if you never see your enemy coming or going then your skills are eliminated from the equation giving the advantage to the most stealthy person in the fight! But that is only true in a wilderness setting. So let’s talk about the urban setting first by addressing the most important element of your security, which is to be the grey man. The grey man blends in wherever he goes and doesn’t attract un-wanted attention when moving through potentially hostile areas. Just as a animal doesn’t want to put off the vibe of prey, then neither do we. If you are noticed then you should want to appear as someone who should not be trifled with and that your demeanor is not one of invitation to attack. The grey man is the way to be and the best way to keep you out of a fight and safe from potential injury.

 

Don’t be a statistic! Get Training!

We have to remember that their won’t be medical help coming to us promptly should we be injured in defense of our resources. We don’t want to fight, but we also cannot afford to appear weak. Talk softly and carry a big stick. Once you have assumed the appearance and demeanor of the grey man, then you should be prepared to gather what you need with urban tools that are taught in our Urban Scout program. Once you have what you need to safely exit then you should begin your evacuation of the area until your in safe area.

 

Once into a place of safety outside the disaster area, we then need to immediately start addressing our personal survival needs. Shelter, water, fire, food, tools, and medical is the order of priority! And how to do all those things is for another article.

What I want to talk about is how we can solve future security problems by implementing absolute stealth in all things that we do. We first find our shelter location and make sure it is in an area that passers by wouldn’t easily stumble upon. I usually prefer to make my shelter in thickets, just as the animals make their beds in thick safe areas. These areas are natural protectors from storms and elemental issues. When I create my primitive or modern survival shelter, I then worry about water. But my shelter should be located relatively close to safe drinking sources anyway so these two priorities go hand in hand. Once I have established the easiest first two things, then I worry about fire, food, etc. But in everything I do I must make stealth and employ anti tracking measures into these thoughts. Remember it is always best to avoid potential conflict, because that is the only thing that can truly ensure your safety is to avoid possible deadly engagements. My advice to you, is to train in stealth for your personal protection, and how to stay out of a fight first and then engage in training on what to do if that engagement does occur. First don’t be the prey as your transform yourself into the dominate predator through training. And only through training will we ever be prepared to survive a deadly contact.