What is your value to the people you hold dear and who hold you dear?” That may nudge them along toward being prepared with some kind of a safety plan, even if it is to just get a pepper spray, unarmed combat training, or something to assure their continued existence for the people they love and who love them.
We need to approach people that way, as opposed to saying, “You need to be ruthless,” or “You need to be a meat eater,” or, “You need to be a warrior.” Those are terms that just do not resonate with much of the population nowadays and I think it is a turn off.
eJournal: It seems these folks feel worried about their safety. What are their concerns and how realistic are they?
Werner: With a few exceptions, I find they have a generalized sense of unease. For them, I try to put it into perspective by suggesting likely scenarios they may have to address. I don’t have to do too much defusing of worry that the Ninjas will come from the ceiling because they haven’t been watching action movies.
eJournal: What kind of training are you giving them?
Werner: When we train, typically you’re on the firing line and your target is downrange and that is all that you have to worry about: what I call the myth of the lone gunman. But we are constantly out in the world with people around us, people that are important to us. How do we address those concerns?
Take home invasions, which almost by definition have more than one person involved. I’ve been compiling statistics on home invasions because being a quant, I accumulate data instead of making up scenarios. In many cases, what is going to happen is that the man is going to physically interpose himself in front of the intruders and the woman will have to be the shooter. It is a huge role reversal! I have incidences where the woman handled it beautifully and no member of the SEALs or Delta could have done better. Unfortunately, in another set of circumstances of which I know, the woman shot and killed her husband. So, I’m very interested in that concept of how we work together as a team, but that is very different from team tactics as taught in a military or police setting.
eJournal: Data gathering should create more realistic expectations on which you can train students toward responses they can actually execute in a fight, too. What is taught sometimes seems to be quite at odds at natural human reactions, so it is hard for students to have faith they can do it.
Werner: I don’t believe in the idea that we cannot train against nature. There are some things we can’t, but then there are things that are natural for us that we learn to stop doing as small children. Take potty-training. We train against nature, and we learn to do it very successfully all of our adult lives.
So in some cases, you may say, this is the natural response, but if you will do just a little training then you will not have that response or you can at least manage it. I want you to think about the circumstances and ask if that is what you really want to do.
I am a big believer in visualization and role-play, having people try it out, then ask, “Are you comfortable or is doing this another way at least acceptable? Then work on that.”
eJournal: Moving along, tell us a little about the classes that you teach. How is your training structured?
Below: One of Werner's students moves through a course of fire requiring target identification to avoid innocents, a very real world exercise for a relatively new shooter.