20 Feb 2017
February 20, 2017

EPT Training And The Poisoned Chalice

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Sometimes we can get caught up in the latest trend of a particular aspect of training only to our detriment. This can often lead to a “Poisoned Chalice” situation where it looks very good when you first get it, only to do great harm in the long run.  Nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about, it’s happened to the best of us. With the amount of ever increasing social networks and the ease of creating a “training video”, the Executive Protection Team (EPT) training instructor has an endless supply of opinions and experts to turn to. How do we then, filter what is legitimate, functional and practical for you and your team?

Most of the training instructors on EPTs, at least one’s I have trained, already have a plethora of experience to ground themselves in. that said, I have to believe there are those who don’t? in either case, it is fairly easy to be led down the training rabbit hole. This can happen in any aspect of an executive protection training, but here we will focus on one, as an example.

Let’s take a simple aspect of Firearm disarms. A small portion of most EPT’s training curriculum. I can almost guarantee most if not all Executive Protections Specialists (EPS) know at least one method of disarming a subject pointing a gun at them. Maybe it’s the “World’s fastest gun disarm” technique, maybe it’s a Krav technique, maybe it’s a variation. In any case the point is most will know at least one. Now, how many EPS can show at least one effective method of disarming a subject pointing a gun at the principle? Hopefully the answer is all of them can. After all, you are there due to the threat to him, not you. But, I find this is not necessarily the case. Now as I you read this, some of you are saying “yes, I would just shoot them”. In which case, if the situation dictated, we could agree, if your armed. How about when you don’t have the luxury of being armed?

Let’s take a look at the recent situation where the Turkish police officer shot the Russian ambassador. To my knowledge there was no EPT in place for him but even so we can still observe and learn a few things. Let’s say there was an EPT in place at this event. And let’s say, for argument sake, that this Turkish Police officer was ingrained into the EPT as a courtesy and was in place exactly where he was. Let’s also say for arguments sake that the Russian EPT was not armed due to them being in another country.



So Where do you believe the members of the EPT would be standing? I am guessing, depending on your team’s tactics and protocols, you may have a couple members fairly close by the Turkish police officer. So here comes the 64-dollar question, how would you have disarmed him? That’s a rhetorical question asked simply to provoke thought if you did not immediately know an answer.

Similar scenario occurred when Ahmed Dogan, the leader of Bulgaria’s’ ethnic Turkish party was confronted by a gunman. Same question, slightly different circumstances.

So how do we know we are finding the most effective yet applicable training we can? Well, sorry to say there is no definitive answer or I would have patented it.

What I will say is that I test my principles, techniques and tactics with a qualifying test that I will share, in part, with you. Any time I believe I have found something I want to incorporate into any program I apply the following criteria:

  • Is this applicable to the (fill in the blank) program? If so, how?

  • Is this Principle – Tactic – Technique effective?

  • Is this “” easy to learn?

  • Is this “” easy to retain?

  • Is this “” easy to practice?

  • Are there other forms of this ______? If so why this one?

Now, is this an exhaustive list? No. but it just shows that you can vet some of those amazing videos with even a few simple questions.

Again, we used one of many techniques in a vast amount of training an executive protection specialist must be knowledgeable in. This can obviously be applied to a great amount of the training an EPT is exposed to. This was simply an effort to remind you to look at the big picture when you select training protocols, programs or systems. Hope it helps.

Be good!