I decided in an effort to help people understand more of what makes the Psychology of Defense (PoD) course offered by SCSD a different experience that I would post some of the fundamental course values as they are implemented in a session.
Below you will find a "Day-2" scenario broken down to show a very important part of our Trainer program: Not being a human punching bag. It is essential to Participant (you) growth and improvement to apply their abilities to people that aren't going to go down too easy.
Before every course Trainers (the people in suits) go through safety training, and practice those skills on volunteers of various age, size and health levels. Communication and safety are paramount, but without Trainers working towards criminal goals the Participant won't get a realistic experience.
In the below photos a female Participant is protecting her child by offering him an avenue of escape from an attacker. Lets see how she does...
Trainer protects against her attack
Here I have circled an important part of a good combat simulation that provides a realistic experience for the Participant.
The circled area shows that Trainer is making sure to deflect her primary defense while reaching for her head.
This creates a level of realism not found in courses where the "attacker" is just a human punching bag that doesn't protect himself enough.
Notice the protective gear is human sized and not an oversized lumbering attacker.
Forward axis on both show commitment to attacks
In this frame she uses her lower body to attempt a strike to the attackers head.
Again notice the Trainer is attempting to control her by gripping her arm.
A closer look at the feet in both photos will show the high level of activity during a scenario.
The attacker being larger uses strength
Heres where things get important:
The Trainer pushes her backwards to disengage and stop the head-strike from making contact.
While not the ideal situation, her child is allowed to escape, and the Participant is not being given an "easy win"
Spotters will stop her from falling to the ground if she slips.
Attacker maintains visual contact and forward axis
Notice the energy level as the Trainer continues his attack. Since it was not defined ahead of time that the child was the only intended target, the Participant is now the primary victim... much like a real criminal engagement.
The participant is using a PMTP trigger and instinctually re-engages the attacker. That is why the Trainers left hand misses its target, she moved into him which was not expected.
Attackers balance and visual contact disrupted
Her ability to use basic PEKS skills taught in the Day-1 portion of PoD result in a solid elbow to the attackers lower jaw and neck.
The impact is enough to force the attackers head to turn and displace his balance. Notice his shoulders are now tilted over and away from his hips.
The Trainer is reacting realistically because he never knew the elbow was coming.
This allows her to disengage and use the same avenue of escape her son did.
In conclusion the would be child victim is given an immediate escape, and the Participant then applies some very basic skills to allow her to escape as well.
One of the most defined differences in a Psychology of Defense course is that we never pre-planned the moves she would do. It all played out with her using her own strengths, the hard elbow to the head was never "instructed" it just happened. Our Trainers are taught to be "safe but challenging" to participants.
Look back through the photos again and examine the angles and you can see how PoD offers more than human striking surfaces.
I hope this helps people see a portion of how we try to provide the best experience we can safely execute.