Testimonial from John Lacy

“Brought out the Spartan Training Gear last night. The pressure tests went great and the suit performed admirably. The functionality of the suit is unbelievable. I would recommend this suit to any school where reality based training is taking place. The suit allows the defender to strike the attacker with near full power and speed. This gear is a definate plus at my school.

Thanks Marc Joseph for manufacturing something so useful to me and my class!!!”

John Lacy
Senior Instructor Urban Krav Maga America

A Testimonial from Peter Jensen

“Spartan Training Gear has become a critical element for my personal martial arts training. The Hoplite Training Armour allows a greater use of force during combative drills and sparring. The protective qualities reduce the risk of injury, yet the impact of an opponent’s strike is still felt, so a student maintains respect and understanding of an opponent’s power. Wearing the equipment is comfortable and does little to encumber natural movement. I highly recommend Spartan Training Gear for anyone serious about realistic and safe training.

Thanks for creating such a quality product!”

Peter Jensen
Major US Army Special Forces Officer
Combat Systema Instructor

Training with Deficits by Craig Flaherty

Preface: This is a must read. I’m taking the liberty of sharing this with my close friends who are police officers, trainers and their families. – Marc Joseph


For years I have been a trainer in one fashion or another. From time to time I have been approached by one person or another asking if they could participate in an upcoming course. The reasoning they gave for the question was they suffered from some type of physical deficit. Always they were welcomed with open arms and what ever concession that needed to be made was made. We worked around the limitations and not only did they learn and process the information imparted, so did I having to work around several different scenarios. I must admit though, when the class was over I really did not give it a second thought. I just went along with life until the next time the question came up.

In my adult life I have been in relatively decent shape. Training as a student in combatives and firearms kept me in shape. Teaching these courses did not hurt either. I was just going through life without much of a care.

March 24, 2010 I woke up early in the morning, and as normal proceeded with the beginning of the day. I did notice a burning of the eyes and little problem focusing. I just chalked this up to being early in the morning, As I progressed I quickly lost control of the left side of my body running into a wall. Knowing this was not right I called to my wife and we went to the hospital. Within a short time after a battery of tests I was informed I had suffered a stroke.

The next few days were spent in the hospital with the normal worries that go along with this type of event. I was lucky I spent three days in the stroke floor of the hospital and four in the rehabilitation floor. This is when I had several epiphanies as to my long term ability to teach combatives and firearms.

I had lost substantial control of my left side and had no prognosis when it would return. Through rehabilitation I started to work on every day things, but in the back of my mind I kept thinking I can’t quickly grasp with my left hand I surely cannot execute a magazine change or effectively deliver a strike. I had an upcoming weekend of Suarez International courses to teach in May and was concerned that not only I may not be able to teach in six weeks; I may not be able to teach in the foreseeable future.

I now had an appreciation for all those students that I have taught that had a concern with their own deficit. Could they perform to a standard? Would they be responsible for holding back the class? Would they be risking too much and embarrass themselves? These are all valid questions, and now I had a small understanding as to how this truly affected people and their decisions to train.

Once I was able to rehabilitate at home out came the unloaded firearms. And while off work and watching television I accomplished magazine change after magazine change. Not a pretty sight at first. Many a magazine skidded across the floor from me missing the magazine well, to just plain dropping the magazine. I started with an H&K USP the handgun with the largest magazine well I had on hand. I then was able to whittle my target area down to a magazine well of a 1911.

Once I was able to make a magazine change with little effort, I struck out to test my moving skills. I had been slowly getting my walking gait back up to where it had been, but things as fatigue and the effects of the stroke held my progress back. I decided it was time to try to get off the “X” and try lateral movement. As long as I moved at a moderate pace I was fine. Unfortunately for me, if I expected to teach a Close range Gunfighting class in the coming weeks, the instructor should be able to move a little faster that moderately.

As I attempted to move at a pace close to full speed, I met terra firma several times. This led to looks of pity from the wife and kids. My understanding of folks that have some type of mobility deficit increased. I kept getting up and trying, until I wasn’t falling very much. Now I felt I was ready to teach, but still in the back of my mind a little doubt crept in.

In the days and weeks before that May class I thought a lot of what I had gone through. Though my journey in no way compares to someone who has suffered a permanent deficit for what ever reason, it did give me a small insight into the problems these folks face.

As the class came closer I had similar questions of my self as a student with a deficit would have of me. Could I perform to a standard that would teach my students what they came to learn? Would I be responsible for holding back the class? Not giving them their moneys worth of training. Would I be risking too much and embarrass myself? More importantly would I embarrass Gabe and all the other Staff Instructors? Would I be hurting The Suarez International reputation?

The dreaded weekend of the class arrived. The weekend started with Introduction to Defensive Pistol on Friday and Close Range Gunfighting on Saturday and Sunday. Friday went without a hitch, but I was really worried about the Close Range Gunfighting class. The class went well with only a couple times did I notice a problem. Verbally I would falter a time or two, but when discussing shooting on the move in general and me demonstrating moving and shooting I stumbled. Other than that it went well. My confidence was renewed. I have only gotten stronger since that class.

What this diatribe is all about; for the most part your deficit is mostly a hindrance if you allow I to be. After all it is your fight you are going fighting. You need the skills to defend you and your family. That is your responsibility. If you are as lucky as I was and the deficit is short term, great train through it and go forward. If the deficit is longer term or you are just getting older and parts don’t work as well as they did. Improvise adapt and overcome.

This is where the instructor comes in. Communicate your concerns, and if at all possible I as an instructor should tweak the course to include you as a valuable member of the class. It is incumbent on the instructor to do this. After all, the course should be about the students, not how cool I am as instructor is. Train hard no matter what your deficit. The rest of the class may not even notice that accommodations have been made. You will be able to perform to the standard. You will not hold back the class. You will not risk anything and I will not allow you to embarrass yourself. That is the promise any good instructor will give you

About the author: Craig Flaherty is a Columbus-based active duty police officer, Investigative and Tactical team member and a Suarez International Instructor.

Perception Versus Reality: How Having Enhanced Gear Changes the Game in Your Training Arena

Jose Medina

Throughout my career I have had the opportunity to train in plenty of force on force training exercises as well as develop and coordinate scenario based training operations for law enforcement and military operators worldwide. I have had the privilege to don many of the innovative training suits in the market from the original REDMAN gear to FIST which was used for our live baton training. Then as time went on innovation came to life with a more light weight suit which made the ability to move faster and strike harder an intense reality change in how trainers and students create reality based training. In came the High Gear suit which made the ability to move faster and conduct role playing operations more realistically. The ability to create better role player scenarios, train in serious self defense training programs now came in the form of lighter weight impact reduction suits. So I thought…

In comes the Spartan Gear Hoplite Training Armour Elite Suit which added some major dimensions to the “perception” of impact reduction suits. You see, where the others have major place in our training arenas, the Spartan Gear Hoplite Armour Elite took it to the next level by adding some great features and on feature that is most important in how we train. The extra security velcro straps mounted on the helmets and the other suit attachment areas has made training even that much better without losing velcro strap attachments whether it is the leg straps or upper torso areas. But here is the real critical part: Colors and perception.

It is important to understand that people need to perceive and see assorted colors and descriptions of figures and shapes when confronting subjects in the the real world. Not everyone is wearing all black ninja outfits and there arenʼt many people wearing all red from head to toe in the streets on an every day basis. During critical incidents, witnesses may be asked about what or who they saw and they normally provide general information on the suspect or suspects. This comes from their “perceptions” and what their eyes see. This same process applies with law enforcement officers in the field where they will provide descriptions of subjects they see during their encounters. It is a very important aspect of training and it is needed to help officers deal with use of force situations. Whether it is active shooter training, SWAT training, self defense training or officer survival training, we must teach and educate our personnel the concept of “perception and observations” and color is one of the most important aspects in reality based training.


What the Spartan Hoplite Armour does for advanced trainers is provide assorted color torsos that allow for trainers to change up characters wearing the suits from Royal Blue, Crimson Red to Military Green. When training in very fast movement training systems where subjects move quick and operators move quicker to the threat the Spartan Gear color systems give the added element of descriptions of subjects without just sticking to the all black or red colors provided by other suits. In the end you want your operators to train and respond to the world of “reality” and the Spartan Gear Hoplite Training Armour Elite brings true perception to life.

Jose Medina is the President & Director of Operations at Awareness Protective Consultants, LLC. He is an 18-year police veteran, USMC, SWAT Operator & First Responder.

Read Jose’s complete bio here:

Find out more about APC and there programs here:

Screen shot 2011-08-02 at 11.55.38 AM

Feedback from the 2011 BTEC Self-Defence Instructors Program


As posted by our UK-based affiliate, Ger O’Dea of Dynamis Training & Insight

“Our Dynamis Self Defence Instructor Certification 2011, in partnership with NFPS Ltd, was completed on the 29th July with a new cadre of Self-Defence Instructors graduating from the programme.

The instructor candidates came from the areas of Community Safety, Prison Services, Health Services, Mental Health Services, Victim Support and the self-defence community.
Each candidate had to complete an extensive programme of online learning about the Law, Managing Training and the Science and Psychology of high-stress encounters before attending the 3-day course. All this online learning and course content was provided by the National Federation for Personal Safety (NFPS Ltd.) as part of the BTEC certification requirements.

Once on-site, the candidates submitted their completed course workbook and engaged in classroom discussions of the pre-learned materials, which culminated on the second day with a written knowledge-check and on the third day with peer feedback on their presentations.

Meanwhile, world-class self-protection coach Tony Torres spent hours and hours with the group, imparting his highly effective and practical approach to breakaway, disengagement and self-defence. For many, his ‘behavioural’ approach to self-protection, based on the natural behaviours and attitudes of humans in conflict, opened up many new perspectives on how they could enable and empower their learners to be safer.

At various points in the training, to increase comfort and safety for the candidates, the lead trainers incorporated the use of impact-reduction training equipment from Spartan Training Gear, most notably the Hoplite Vest torso protector. Using this equipment allowed the training to become more dynamic and was instrumental in pointing out how intensity could be incrementally added to a training programme safely.

The training venue itself was selected to give the candidates a visceral experience of training in self-defence, as the physical skill development sessions were carried out in a full scenario-area designed to replicate a typical Scottish street scene. This level of ‘training fidelity’ with the real world was a central theme of the course.

Lead Trainer Gerard O’Dea prompted discussions in the classroom about the relevance of this behavioural method for instructors, providing commentary from the point of view of programme design and development with an eye to the legal and liability issues which may arise where behavioural issues are not incorporated into modern training.

The mix of theory, practice and high-level discussion was a great success and candidates remarked on many occasions that the course carried a very positive energy throughout.


The candidates offered their feedback in formal reflective submissions at the end of the course.  A selection of their comments follows:

“Thoroughly enjoyed the course. It gave me numerous ideas and drills I can start to use with my students. Teaching standard was excellent and I’m very keen to attend future courses”
– Martial Arts Instructor, Edinburgh University

“Course provided me with knowledge, tools and skills I will take away and use. By the end I felt confident that I was going to be able to structure, design and give a class. The presentation to peers was actually very helpful in pulling it all together”
– Self-Defence Course Leader, HM Treasury

“A greatly presented course with a high standard throughout. Thoroughly enjoyed training with Gerard O’Dea and Tony Torres”.
– Martial Arts Instructor, London

“Found both Tony & Gerard to be very professional and highly competent. Behavioural Self-Protection concepts were new to me – enjoyed learning them and training them. Very impressed by these 3 days. Thanks”
– Martial Arts Instructor, Glasgow

“Tony and Gerard were very helpful. Would attend again!”
– Team Member, Community Safety Team

“The course was very well run, pitched at the right level for the candidates. I found the whole course interesting – the easy way in which the techniques move into one another was particularly interesting. The coaches were helpful and very professional.”
– Physical Intervention and Breakaway Instructor, NHS

“All parts fitted well together with the video/online presentations supporting the physical skills aspect. Both trainers were very knowledgeable, enthusiastic and related well to the delegates. Course is excellent in this format.”
– Martial Arts Instructor, Stirling

“The course was run very professionally and both instructors were able to answer all questions. The physical skills part was most interesting – thank you very much for spending the time to help us.”
– Prevention and Management of Violence and Aggression Lead, NHS

“The course was well structured and full of information and practical practice. It has been one of the most beneficial courses for self-defence for me”
– Senior Control & Restraint Instructor, Prison Service

“Thank you both very much! I found the course really stimulating and empowering!
– Conflict Management Trainer, Private Company

“I would like to thank Gerard and Tony on the excellent delivery of the most knowledgeable and interesting course I have attended”
– Team Member, Community Safety Team

“Fantastic course, engagingly delivered – many thanks!”
– Mental Health Nurse and Violence & Aggression Management Lead

Dynamis, in association with NFPS Ltd., will be offering future Instructor Qualification courses in Physical Intervention, Restraint, Breakaway and Self-Defence.

If you are interested to gain a BTEC vocational qualification and all of the knowledge which is incorporated on these courses, make sure to register your interest by e-mailing to be notified of future training and certification opportunities.”

Spartan Training Gear partners with Senshido International

UntitledSpartan Training Gear is honoured to announce a new corporate alliance with Richard Dimitri, one of the world’s leading authorities on hand-to-hand combat and creator of ‘The Shredder’, & Senshido International.

In the months leading up to this announcement, Spartan has already had the pleasure of providing our Hoplite Training Armour to several Senshido team members such asChristopher Roberts of SAFE International, Matthew Dyck of MFTAC and Jesse Lawn Close Quarter Combatives.

logoThis is the first time in Senshido’s 15-year history that certified instructors and team members will have access to Combat Training Equipment that has been personally endorsed by Founder Richard Dimitri.

“I’ve never been a fan of ‘training suits’ really, for the simple reason that for the last 17+ years of working worldwide with clients like the British SAS to International Women’s Movements, I’ve always found better, less expensive substitutes, so I couldn’t justify the cost when the home-made stuff we were using worked just as well. However, that was until the new SPARTAN GEAR came around. The HOPLITE TRAINING ARMOUR is, in my most humble of opinions, better than any other gear I have seen or used in my career as well as the most affordable for the amazing quality. I honestly couldn’t recommend them more.” ~ Rich Dimitri, Senshido International

This new partnership will also have huge benefits for Senshido affiliates worldwide.Active, certified and affiliate Senshido instructors will be receiving complete details on the program in the private Senshido forums shortly.

We’d like to welcome all members of the Senshido community to The Spartan Army. We look forward to a long friendship and a prosperous relationship.

The Spartans are coming to New York!!

161917_140570772667355_7206515_nSpartan Training Gear is proud to announce that it will be attending the Super Summer Seminars in Herkimer, NY. July 15-17, 2011.

Every year 200-300 instructors and students from all over the U.S. and Canada come together for a weekend of fun, friendship and training. Super Summer is open to any martial artist regardless of style, system or affiliation.

Representatives of Spartan Training Gear will be on site all weekend to demo and field any questions on our Hoplite Training Armour line of products.

The Super Summer Seminars martial arts camp was established in 1983 by Michael J. Campos, Director of the Zen-Do Kai Martial Arts Association. Having been involved in martial arts since 1959, and having trained long and hard in several different disciplines, Sensei Campos recognized the beneficial effects of martial arts cross-training. His goal was to create a camp for Martial Artists of any style or organization to meet and train so they could all improve by learning from each other. Super Summers has proven to be that vehicle.

In addition to special guest instructors each of the approximately twenty staff instructors offer over forty seminars where the participants learn techniques and training methods as varied as Aikido, Ju-Jitsu, Pencak Silat, Escrima, Jeet Kune Do, Wing Chun, TaeKwonDo, Tai Chi, ZDK system, Shotokan, Goju, Muay Thai, Grappling, Sparring, Boxing, etc.. Additionally seminars are offered on topics like fitness and flexibility, business operations, instructional skills and the psychological and law enforcement aspects of the martial arts.

Super Summer Seminars has long been recognized as one of the best camps available for program, organization, and value. Prof. Wally Jay called it “one of the best camps in the country.”


This year’s Special Guest Instructor is Scott Sonnen of Circular Strength Training & TACFIT. Here’s more on Scott:

Scott Sonnon, was the first U.S. citizen to formally intern in the USSR with the former KGB and Spetsnaz, be licensed by the Russian government to teach Systema and earn the former Soviet Union’s most coveted athletic distinction – “Master of Sport” in Sambo, serving as the USA National Sambo Team Coach and the USA Police Sambo Team Coach. An international champion in Sambo, Sanshou, Sport Jiujitsu, Submission Grappling and amateur MMA, he now focuses on coaching tactical fitness and defensive tactics to federal law enforcement agencies and military special operations units, and certifying trainers in Circular Strength Training and TACFIT.
Check out Scott’s website here:

For complete details on this seminar and to register, go to their website:
Become a Fan of their Facebook page:

We look forward to training with you. See you in Herkimer!

Seniors learn to stop being so nice with self-defence course

By Susan Pigg of the Toronto Star

Pauline Shea grapples with self-defence instructor Chris Roberts at a course in “preventative skills” aimed at seniors.

It takes just a split second for 74-year-old Anne Lappin to kick into attack mode as the muscular man grabs her from behind.

Her teeth are bared and she’s flailing so forcefully that he soon backs away. Then she steps forward to whack him one more time.

“That was the surprise element,” Lappin says later with a laugh. “I think maybe my basic survival instinct was coming through.”

The outburst has left self-defence instructor Chris Roberts shaking his head in shock.

“You wouldn’t do that in real life, right, come back at an attacker like that?” he asks Lappin.

“No,” the elderly woman says. “I’d run.”

After teaching self-defence to more than 100,000 high-school students over the past 16 years, Roberts, 46, is now taking on a completely different crowd: seniors.

The instructor for SAFE International is offering what he calls the “preventative skills” of self-defence through a few community centres in Toronto.

Although Roberts comes well protected — the final two weeks of the four-week sessions include a little physical interaction — the program is really more about using your brains rather than your brawn.

He stresses avoidance strategies first to protect against potential attackers: walking with confidence, trusting your intuition, not being too polite and always being aware of what’s happening around you.

“Seniors are a vulnerable age group. They’re very limited in what they can do physically, but most attackers are cowards,” says Roberts. “Just by looking at them, making eye contact, you’ve made them know that you’ve seen them and you might start yelling and attracting attention.”

The biggest mistake many seniors make is being too nice, says Roberts. Even if they feel unsafe in an elevator or wary of someone edging in too close for comfort, they tend to be too polite to ask the person to back off or walk away.

In fact, seniors tend to downplay their own fears: One woman at a recent session in North Toronto confessed she knew she was taking a risk walking home through a back alley, but was more afraid of the alternative, the bustling crowds of Yonge St. who might knock her cane and throw her off her feet.

“The most important factor is intuition,” says Roberts. “When you get that gut feeling that something isn’t right or feels unsafe, find the quickest exit out of the scenario. Don’t question your intuition. It is your sixth sense.”

Body language is key, he says. “Attackers look for people who they perceive to be easy victims … so walking with purpose and keeping your head up is an easy way to display positive body language.”

Asking for directions or the time are popular ways to distract a senior because they tend to turn their back to show the way or put their head down to look at their watch, Roberts warns.

Bank machines can also leave seniors vulnerable, he says. He advises women to withdraw only small amounts of cash, always during daylight and, if possible, when a friend is along.

If the attack is simply about money or valuables, Roberts says it’s best just to hand them over rather than risk getting hurt.

But he arms seniors with a few self-defence tricks, such as grabbing at soft-tissue areas (the eyes and face), to throw the attacker off and give you time to break away.

Sherri Bulmer, coordinator of older adult programs at the Central Eglinton Community Centre on Eglinton Ave. E., asked Roberts to teach the program after seeing a senior seriously hurt by a purse snatcher outside an east-end centre where she used to work.

She was surprised to see the group actually grow over the four weeks as the women — the average age was 77 — raved to friends about the program.

“I wasn’t sure what the reaction would be,” says Bulmer. “But I can see now that this is about power and control.”

To ensure the safety of both instructors and students, SAFE International, exclusively uses the Hoplite Training Armour by Spartan Training Gear in all its classes and personal protection programs.

You can learn more about Spartan on their site:

Follow Spartan on Facebook:

Stress Exposure Training – Part 3

This is the final installment of a three-part series on Stress Exposure Training written by Ger O’Dea of Dynamis Training & Insight

Hoplite Training Armour allows us introduce contact in a gradual, sensible and realistic way so that people can conduct those ‘personal experiments’ which are referred to by the SIT methodology.  Incorporating equipment such as the Hoplite Training Armour allows us to drastically increase the intensity of our training sessions compared to what we could achieve without it.

We can gradually build up the intensity of the confrontation experience for our trainees, while maintaining a low-risk training environment. Using our Hoplite Training Armour let’s us take the theoretical guesswork out of the training, SAFELY.

Even where we work low-intensity training sessions, with for example trainees who will have only one day with us, we can begin to give them closer-to-real-life experience of what it feels like to make aggressive contact with another human being.  This is something that many people have never experienced and which is deeply challenging for them.   Phase One and Phase Two of the SIT approach provide excellent preparation for this phase, even given just a couple of hours with the trainees.

Incorporating contact during training, which the Hoplite Armour allows us to do, has significant benefits.  It allows trainees who have never struck another person in anger, to do so for the first time.   The trainee can then go on to experience that moment again, and again.   Each time, she will ‘groove’ her response a little deeper, re-inforcing the decision she made, the tactical needs in the situation, the physical sensation of initiating a strike and the results it produced.   She will also be ‘grooving over’ any residual doubt, hesitation, fear or panic which she may have brought to the situation.

Specific to the Hoplite Armour, we can say with some authority that it allows the average person to use most of their capacity in delivering a strike to another person with a very high degree of safety for the person inside the armour.  A full Hoplite suit covers the whole body and allows maximum movement potential in all three combative dimensions – standing, clinched or grounded.   

Training according to this SIT model benefits when the role-player inside the Armour can closely replicate the behaviours that will be seen in reality (‘training fidelity’ which I will address in a following article), including the pre-assault behaviours and in responding with realism when impacted by the other role-players in the exercise.   

Hoplite Armour in particular allows the role player to broadcast pre-assault behaviours and impact behaviours extremely well because it is a lightweight, low-bulk suit which transmits small tell-tale body-language which are being broadcast.    This is highly important because our trainee needs to be able to react and respond to the earliest signs of confrontation (as shown by body language changes in the aggressive person) and also to the earliest cues of a physical assault when initiated. 

By experiencing the uncertain, spatially chaotic and rapidly-unfolding nature of high-speed scenario replication, the trainees become inoculated, to an appropriate degree relevant to the depth of their training, to it.  This is particularly successful if they are guided and mentored through the exercises by an experienced trainer who can use coaching methods to motivate them to persevere.

Want to know more?
All Dynamis Training Courses incorporate these advanced concepts in training for confrontation management.

They will be running the BTEC Level 3 Self-Defence Instructor Accreditation course on July 27th – 29th, 2011. The course will provide progressive self-defence, breakaway and officer safety instructors of all kinds with a framework for teaching self-defence which is legally sound, risk-aware and has a basis in the science and psychology of inter-personal conflict as discussed here on theDynamis Insight Blog.

Dynamis is the UK Authorised Dealer for Spartan Training Gear and the Hoplite Training Armour.

Stress Exposure Training – Part 2

This is the second of a three-part series on Stress Exposure Training written by Ger O’Dea of Dynamis Training & Insight

Applying the SIT model to Self-Protection and Confrontation Management

Phase One of training has to do with having trainees confront their own understandings of the nature of conflict and how they deal with it. A trainer may provide some exercises for the trainees – ‘thought experiments’ – regarding some conflict scenarios and garner the trainee’s response to this. Commonly, for example, a trainer might ask the trainees how they would deal with a much stronger opponent, with tattoos and scars and who looks ‘hard’, in order to provoke a discussion about the nature of intimidation.

This phase encourages the visualisation of conflict scenarios and the development of mental models, decision-making strategies and personal internal commitments to the issue of conflict. In our experience at Dynamis, a discussion of the law in regard to reasonable force and the case-law from that field offers an excellent vehicle for this phase of training as it has much to do with how emotional-cognitive decisions are made.

Phase Two of training has to do with skill development, at an intensity which gradually builds competence with the skills required to persevere and successfully manage the confrontation. Trainees are provided with relevant and effective skills which are comparitively easy to acquire given the amount of time they can devote to the training. We have written at length about the issues with much self-defence and breakaway training and the over-complexity, under-relevance of it here on this blog previously.

During this phase the trainees have the opportunity to rehearse the coping/confronting skills, re-imagining the process of the confrontation from one with a negative outcome to one with a positive outcome – reversing the ‘prey’ role which can crystallise in high-stress moments.

Trainees re-structure they way in which they approach the confrontation, using their internal dialogue and their internal associations differently now. Trainees develop, with time and opportunity, new problem-solving abilities which give them more options and alternatives during a confrontation – they begin, in short, to think more tactically about situations, because their level of stress-arousal is reducing as the problem becomes clearer and more familiar.

Phase Three of training provides the trainees with the opportunity to now apply their new skills in (again, gradually) increasing levels of intensity, although at this time the trainer should be focussing on bringing not just intensity but reality into the training. The focus here is on providing a variety of opportunities for the trainee to experience the entirety of the preparation which has gone before.

For example, in our training at Dynamis, the trainee will be placed in situations where they must now make decisions and take action based on their own beliefs and in accordance with Use of Force law, personal Duty of Care or Task Role, Risk Assessment, their ability to verbally manage the confrontation and then finaly their physical capacity to protect themselves or another. Running these scenarios can take from 15 seconds to 90 seconds to complete, depending on the amount of pre-assault verbal dialogue and the motivation/aggression level of the role-players.

The use of training armour can significantly effect the fidelity of this Phase Three training. At Dynamis, we use Hoplite Training Armour. In our next article we will discuss how the Hoplite Armour assists us to provide Stress Inoculation and Stress Exposure to our trainees.

Part 3 to follow…