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Posted on November 29, 2022 by in Uncategorized

CCW Safe Podcast – Episode 110: Todd Fossey

Hosts Rob High and Phillip Naman are joined by Todd Fossey of Integrative Defensive Strategies to discuss firearms and self-defense training. They discuss Todd’s background and how he has developed his philosophy and methodology of training for all aspects of self-defense.You can learn more about Todd’s company at



Rob: Good morning everybody. Welcome to the CCW Safe Broadcast. I am Rob High in Oklahoma City, again, joined by my co-host Phil Naman. Phil is back home, is that right?

Phillip: Yes. I’m in a home.

Rob: A home, in another of his homes.

Phillip: It’s off-grid secret location.

Rob: I see that. We have a very special guest today joined by Todd Fosse. Todd’s from Minnesota. He runs Integrated Defense Systems up there. He’s the founder and lead instructor up there. Todd, good morning brother. Good to have you.

Todd: Rob. Good to talk to you. It’s an honor to be here.

Rob: Good. Yes, outstanding. Phil, what do you have been going on? You guys getting ready for the holidays?

Phillip: Yes obviously we’re having it at our house too. Not quite the mob at the high home in Oklahoma from what I just heard, but we’ll have it here and was able to go do a shooting match last weekend, and I’m going again this weekend, so life’s great.

Rob: Outstanding. How’d you do?

Phillip: One day I did great, the other day I did really about the worst you probably could. Halfway through the course, I realized that my scope mount had wiggled loose, and so if I had any chance of hitting a target, I had to try and hold it down while I was shooting off of obstacles. Just another day in the life of me, but the best part was I had a great, everybody saw it, had a great built-in excuse for my performance so that was fine.

Rob: I can only tell you from personal experience that those seem to be the days that you learned the very most.

Phillip: Yes they are very long, so those days end up being very long, so you have the opportunity to learn the most.

Rob: Absolutely. Todd, how you doing, brother?

Todd: Man, I’m doing great. Life is good. I’m a very blessed man. Everybody watching, happy Thanksgiving Eve. Hope everyone has a wonderful day tomorrow. Training’s going great. Life is great. Honestly, I have nothing to complain about, Rob, thanks for asking.

Rob: Awesome, buddy. I’m curious, how did you make your entrance into this world? I know most guys on this end of it are either military or law enforcement background. Give us your history and how you came into it.

Todd: Yes, I have a unique background with how I got into this. I was a bouncer for a long time and I lived in LA for 10 years and I ended up in the entertainment industry as a writer, producer, director there. Some of my early training and combatives came from bouncing on the Sunset Strip. We were going hands-on three to five times a night, so there’s a lot of experience there, but as I got into the film industry, I started to make friends with people who were technical advisors on films. I was a firearms enthusiast. This is back in the mid-’90s. They said to me, “Hey, don’t go to the range.” I’m like, “I’m in LA where else am I going to go?” They said, “Come with us.”

There was I would say it’s a secret location that they would go, and I would go there and I would train with them. I wouldn’t call them my instructors, but I would imitate what they did, and they would give me little tips along the way. That opened my mind up a lot to other approaches. Along the same lines actually probably in a more important way, parallel to that, I actually have a background in psychology and human performance, human dynamics, technically psychophysiology.

I had a private practice in this particular discipline professionally for 15 years. As an amateur, actually going back to the age of about 10 years old. I started really getting into studying human performance and the science of skill acquisition. I’ve had the honor and the privilege of coaching some of the top performers in the world, top athletes in the world, top performers in different ways in the world. I lectured at medical schools, by the way, for about 15 years on a really nerdy topic called Psycho Neuro Immunology. That’s in a little bit different conversation, but the terror attack happened at the Westgate Mall in Kenya. That date changed my life when I saw that happen.

I had been studying Krav Maga and MMA at the time, and I had been in the earliest stages of integrating that with the firearm, and I decided, you know what? I’m going to have some really white-knuckled prayer here. I asked my wife’s blessing, and I decided I was going to take this on as a full-time endeavor. That was about 13 years ago now. Integrative Defense Strategies was born, and now here we are.

Rob: Outstanding. I met you here in the city as you were a presenter at the Guardian Nation Conference. Do you have a schedule that you set, that you go nationwide, or is most of your stuff from your home base and people come to you?

Todd: It’s mostly people coming to me. Integrative Defense Strategies has a program called the Apex Program where we certify instructors in our unique style of training from actually all around the world now. I’m honored to say that we have our first affiliates in Europe, now in Germany, but 40 across North America, and now we have a couple in Germany as well, and it’s starting to spread throughout Europe.

Rob: How long– go ahead.

Todd: What’s that? How long is? A lot of it is, I always wanted that, I always wanted to have a model where people came to me, to my training facility. I would say 75% of the training that I do is that. Then also our model is more of a martial arts model where we have memberships that we sell, and people locally come all throughout the week to take classes with us on an ongoing and continual basis, which is really important. I hope we can get to that during this conversation, but then I’ll go out, people will ask me, they’ll host me, they’ll ask me to come out to do different types of courses and seminars throughout the year, so it’s really a combination of both in the ratios about 75, 25.

Rob: Very nice.

Phillip: What’s your website with your schedule on it and your calendar of events?

Todd: The website for the instructor courses is, we have two different websites. It’s called is where the instructor schedule’s at. Then we have an online program where people can train with us virtually. We have a streaming service with about 16 different courses that’s very unique and we think highly effective. That’s called, where people can become members there of our streaming service, and they can train from home, they can train with anywhere, or with training partners.

That’s the whole idea is to remove the barriers of entry to training so we can encourage people to have more of an ongoing and integrated approach toward their training. That’s our goal, that’s our objective. One of our mottos is no more soft targets. We want to have good people out there that are trained and prepared and ready to respond to the level of skill and measure. Then our other motto is, don’t be a gunfighter, be a fighter with a gun. That’s a pretty extreme paradigm shift for a lot of people, but there are very real reasons why we’ve taken on those mottos.

Rob: There are so many folks out there that have that false illusion that the presentation of a firearm is going to be enough to solve their bad situation.

Todd: Yes.

Rob: This was really eye-opening the way it was presented to Phil and I.

Phillip: I was just going to bring that up. Yes.

Rob: I couldn’t count the numbers of times that I witnessed this as a police officer where we were kicking a door in, serving a search warrant, going after a bad guy. You’ve got an absolutely known real deal bad guy, and you come in and you’re armored up and you’re fully loaded and really ready to address pretty much any threat that’s thrown your way. It’s a very aggressive, hard entry and to go through room to room, and all of a sudden you’ve got two or three kids in a room that are playing video games that aren’t even phased by it.

Paul Sharp was the one that articulated this. He was talking about these kids. The only thing that they were concerned with is you’re blocking my view of the screen I can’t see my game. They were that immune to that stuff, and those very same kids, that’s the environment they grow up in, and that’s what portion of them grow up to be. You point a gun at that kid he’ll suck through his teeth, you ain’t nothing, you can’t shoot me. That’s a harsh reality to somebody that doesn’t understand that that doesn’t scare people.

Todd: No.

Rob: If you’re not prepared to use, it may get used against you.

Todd: Yes, and just to add to that as police officers, you at least have a reasonable expectation of compliance. We’re seeing more and more case all the time where people are being non-compliant, even with law enforcement. For a concealed carry holder the expectation of compliance is probably, with my observation anyway. My anecdotal observation is that that expectation is even lower for concealed carriers.

Rob: Yes, for sure.

Phillip: It’s an important thing what you just said Rob and I talk about it all the time, be a fighter with a gun, not a gunfighter. If something can be solved without the presentation of the firearm you are way better off. Rob will get more sleep. He won’t be out flying around fixing things all over the place.

Todd: [laughs] Well to take that a step further which is really one of the big motivations for what we do here at IDS. The primary design of our approach, we call it in the world of motor learning and skill acquisition is called representative design, training design. We’ve built our design based on available crime statistics and raw data and the crime statistics and data actually shows that if we remove the incidents of gang warfare, that the overwhelming majority of aggravated assaults are going to be an ambush-style assault that are happening with an edged weapon or some type of blunt force weapon.

We have to remember that also, there probably isn’t going to be the time for us to present our weapon. We’re probably going to have to fight our way to it, assuming that we’re justified to do so. To add to that, and I would say this is even more important, is that 80% of assaults are going to be simple assaults where people are reasonably in immediate fear of just simply bodily harm, not aggravated bodily harm, or substantial bodily harm or a reasonable fear of death even.

That’s really the primary– I could go on and on for days but those are the primary motives for why we have that motto be a fighter with a gun is because you’re probably going to have to understand how to work and have the sensitivity to work at contact distance so that how to conceal your weapon. You know how to conceal the intent that you have with it so you’re not telegraphing that intent. You know how to retain that weapon, you know how to access it, you know how to have a good base and a good foundation. You understand the principles of the fight and we do that all within our rules of engagement as citizen defenders.

Rob: Yes, that’s a great–

Todd: That’s the objective.

Rob: That’s a great point. Again, there’s several things that are common themes on the show with Phil and I, and one of those comes from one of our founders from CCW Safe, Stan Campbell always tries to get it in people’s head to respond to this situation in the same way you would without a firearm. What would you do if you weren’t armed? If that is, do your very best at de-escalating and removing yourself from that situation. That’s the right call.

Phillip: Well, and Stan even developed programs for de-escalation. That was a huge, huge emphasis for him about– and you, Todd, were talking about you worked as a bouncer and you probably realized early on that you could make any situation pop up, handle the way you wanted it to. If you want to go hands-on, you were going to go hands-on because that’s the way you push those buttons. If you wanted to deescalate it because you had a date later, you didn’t want to have a black eye, then you went the other way. So there’s a lot of control you have the way you approach a situation yourself as to that outcome.

Todd: There’s no question. My background is in behavioral sciences and the psychology of violence and the psychology of violent criminals is a big part of what we teach. It’s truly a multidisciplinary approach where all of these disciplines are interdependent upon one another. We don’t put things in silos isolated and disconnected and compartmentalized from one another. They depend on one another all the time, so the firearm, the combatives, the decision-making, the psychology, the use of force, the tactics, the legalities, the science of skill acquisition all have to be baked into the cake together.

Just to add to what you’re saying there, what I think is an important point based on my experience in my background on the psychology of violence is that de-escalation and conflict avoidance is an extremely valuable skill set to have that needs to be practiced. However, when we’re dealing with a psychopath or a sociopath or a malignant narcissist who’s already made up their mind that they’re going to use violence to get what they want, then for me personally, I changed the term from de-escalation to deterrence because that psychology only understands two things.

They understand strength and they understand weakness, and they don’t understand anything else, and there are times [crosstalk]– Right, they understand strength and weakness and so there are times when de-escalation can actually attract aggression because they’re perceiving that based on their distorted point of view as you being submissive or weakness to them. There’s a time to have a really strong command presence where you’re taking charge of that situation and you’re deterring that. You could define that as de-escalation too. We just use the term deterrence at that phase of [crosstalk]–

Phillip: De-escalation is not capitulation.

Todd: Right and I think a lot of people think that it is.

Phillip: Yes. I shouldn’t assume for you, but I would think that in your de-escalation moves you’re doing simple things like again, you have a calm voice not a fearful voice, but you’re also doing things like putting an angle in or stepping to the side and just getting out of the next moves way before it happens. The interview position that Rob talks about a lot is like, “Hey man, chin down [crosstalk]–“

Todd: Yes. We teach the same thing. Yes. We call that defence position and on the legal side of things for you guys, what am I showing? I’m showing that I’m an unwilling participant and it’s also a great offensive and defense position. Then witnesses can also say non-verbally, his body language was saying that he wasn’t, he was an unwilling participant in that interaction. The fewest number of solutions to as many problems as possible is the goal and this solves an awful lot.

Rob: Mine goes step by step by step and it becomes, as soon as you’re in that bubble it’s here.

Todd: That’s right.

Rob: It’s simple. It’s non-threatening but when you become more aggressive, that’s when that comes into play and everything else comes in and everything gets into a preparation phase.

Todd: Absolutely.

Rob: Exactly like you posted or you talked about here just a minute ago, we had a recent case, just amazing, kind, wonderful gentleman. Gary and I had to run on this one and it became a shooting incident but this guy has an aggressor and he immediately starts trying to bring that down and this guy was an aggressor. He was just a [unintelligible 00:18:46], an older man. It wasn’t like you’re running into a 23-year-old kid that’s feeling all cocky today. This guy was an older gentleman, not even gentleman. This guy was an older punk that really just is intent on intimidating and escalating and our guy the whole time is trying to get away from this.

It’s just like you said, I think the perception on the other end was weakness.

Todd: That’s right.

Rob: All of a sudden our member gets distracted by a female that’s with the assailant. When he turns his attention now the assailant-

Phillip: It’s hit.

Rob: -just like you said you’re talking about that ambush assault. He turns his head all of a sudden he gets cold-cocked and never sees it coming and it’s such a blow, he thought he’d been shot. You get things like that, that if you’ve not done the preparation to understand an ambush assault you are behind the eight ball-

Todd: Big time.

Rob: -and your reaction time and ability to recover from that and get in the fight is absolutely critical. It’s not anything that you can sit there and go–

Todd: You can’t intellectualize it.

Rob: No.

Todd: That’s a big problem in our industry, I believe, is that we have a tendency, the industry wants to intellectualize these things and people get a false sense of competense because they’ve heard about it. They’ve learned about it, but they haven’t trained it. They haven’t had real human interaction on a repetitive basis in these different types of situations. That’s the whole point.

In the motor learning world, this is called ecological dynamics. We’re learning through ecological dynamics with real human beings in real-time, that are working in a way and training way, there’s representative of how violence actually happens in reality. What the aggressor is displaying during these randomized scenario exercises are the different types of pre-violence and pre-attack indicators or not, that allows the student to be able to make those types of accurate observations, and then even more importantly, how they’re going to respond to it.

They’re making split-second decisions on an ongoing basis. That requires time and practice. Then on the legal side of things after that, what does that help them do? That helps them to articulate why they made the decisions that they made in their legal statement, during the after-action aftermath and while they’re interacting with you guys or hopefully they’re not doing any sooner than that.

Rob: That’s another big deal is, and I’m going to divert just a little bit, it’s one of the things that we have available for our members, is the ability to help form your statement because you may be looking at the things that make this a self-defense incident, and justifiable in the use of force itself. We’re also looking down the road towards the civil action as well. Something that’s perfectly okay to tell a criminal investigator here is going to be twisted and used against you in a different realm in civil court.

Even if it’s nothing more than just softening the verbiage and going– I’m not telling you what your story is. I’m asking you to find your story. If we use this word, instead of this word, it may be a little bit more advantageous to us fending off something down the road.

Phillip: It’s going to be reviewed in a different timeline. One of the things that Todd said about the steps, the training there’s do this, do this. Clear the gun whenever, [coughs] excuse me. How many times have you heard the phrase, stop, drop, and roll? A couple thousand. Have you ever seen anybody catches on fire? What do they do? They know stop, drop, roll? What do they do?

Todd: They run.

Phillip: They’re doing the Richard Pryor imitation because the motions happen and all logic goes out the window. It’s important that you have your motorized stuff like you’re talking about there, Todd.

Todd: Yes, we’re either trained or we’re untrained. When we really truly understand how competence is developed, there’s really very little in between. It’s either burned into your cerebellum as an unconsciously competent response or it’s not. Under stress, that’s what we’re going to default to. This is where the slips in capture. He’s talking about slips and capture error. This is where the slips and capture errors happen. By the way, actually, I’m also a FSI certified for Science Analyst on top of that. I have an understanding of how these things work.

Phillip: I’m just getting smarter, the longer I speak with you. So I appreciate it.

Todd: I don’t know about that. I’m just trying to make myself look good, but the point is that we really want to do what we can actually do to instill real competence, not the cognitive illusion of competence. You guys are probably familiar with the Dunning-Kruger effect. The Dunning-Kruger effect is a psychological phenomenon where low knowledge and low ability people suffer from what’s called an illusory superiority.

In other words, they believe that they’re superior, their skills are superior to what it actually is. Then the other part of it is they suffer from what’s called a metacognitive inability to recognize their ineptitude. They can’t see how bad they are what they do, and they believe they can do far more than what they can do. They have a false sense of confidence. This is the thing that–

Phillip: There are fantastic YouTube channels with those– starring those guys all the time. It’s amazing.

Todd: Yes, on the other hand, there are fantastic YouTube channels that are actually fanning the flames of the Dunning-Kruger effect. A lot of the training that’s happening out there does the same thing because there’s a payoff. There’s a dopamine hit that people get when they have this illusion of success that they’re having during class. My belief is from my experience, I want to give my students a real healthy dose of reality but I also don’t want to destroy their confidence.

I want to give them a healthy dose of confidence and a healthy dose of reality at the same time so that they can learn to understand or at least know what they don’t know before they can move through all those stages of competence. Otherwise, we’re just fatting– I call it fattening people up for the kill. I don’t want to do that. I want people to have a very real understanding of how violence actually occurs and what their actual abilities are.

Phillip: I think what I’m hearing you say is, if you give them the reality up front, that confidence will come later. They’ve got to realize where the starting point is.

Todd: To add to that, on the motor learning side of things is I want them to solve the problem. I don’t want to give them the problem and the answer, and then have them solve that one problem and that one answer over and over and over again. The variables in violence, you guys know better than I do, are unpredictable and unrepeatable. If all we’re doing is giving people repeatable variables, and we’re giving them the answer to repeat over and over and over again, what do they think?

They’re going to believe what? “I’m good to go.” While in reality, these variables don’t repeat themselves and they’re very fluid, and they’re very dynamic. The speed at which things happen, and what our responses are going to be under stress and compress time in the level of force and violence people, most people they aren’t prepared for that at all. They really aren’t. Usually when they believe that they are, because I’ve seen this literally thousands of times those are the people who are the least prepared.

Phillip: You trained MMA back in the ’90s. You probably had–

Todd: I still do.

Phillip: Very awesome. You probably had people who came in from other very structured martial arts, and karate. They have these katas, they have these systems that they go. The MMA side is chaos and we’ve seen this time and time again. It doesn’t mix well. There’s tournament-style fighting, and then there’s in the alley, and you see a rude awakening oftentimes.

Todd: Yes. Well, just because people are accustomed to dealing with preset variables. They’re in a predictable environment, the learning and performance environments, there’s three different types. There’s the predictable learning environment, there’s a semi-predictable learning environment, and there’s the unpredictable learning and performance environment. Then just to add to what you’re saying, MMA is extremely close. When the ecological form of learning when we put a firearm on, that’s a variable that changes the entire ecology.

We have another saying at IDS that says that context dictates strategy. It’s not straight-up MMA, we call it modified modern MMA that has been adapted to self-defense specifically for the armed citizen defender. The decision-making around having that weapon on you and the decision-making of self-defense and the rules of engagement are going to be very different. That person took a swing at me and I choke him unconscious, well, I just used excessive force.

That person took a swing at me and I took him to the ground and I broke his arm. Now I went from bodily harm to substantial bodily harm. I could see how that could be interpreted anyway as possibly using excessive force or if I don’t have any training at all, and I panic in a self-defense situation where someone is throwing punches at me and then I don’t know what else to do. I go to my weapon, I have it taken away from me or I go to lethal force because I haven’t learned how to operate with all of my options within that full use of force continuum.

Rob: That’s exactly the point. There’s so many of these guys and you just identified who they are that think that adrenaline is going to be the magic drug that makes them invincible. Where they’re going to rise to the occasion. Oh my God.

Todd: “You don’t know me, bro. I see red,” and their gun is the magic talent. They have the magic drug and they have the magic talent at the same time and that’s a recipe for catastrophe.

Rob: I still get asked a lot why I don’t make my primary carry style appendix. It’s really comfortable as far as just standing in the office or anything like that but so as a three o’clock position for me. The thousands and thousands and thousands of reps that I have doing retention drills on my three o’clock far outweigh anything I’ve done in appendix. The other side of that is, I find when I go to the ground, the appendix really hinders me.

I need my hips. I need to be mobile. I’m a grappler. It’s what I do. I know how to move on the ground and it really limits me. Unless I’m carrying a subcompact, I’ve not really found the firearm that makes that a comfortable option for me. I don’t try to discourage anybody from carrying their, I understand you can get to your weapon really fast, you get a really great speedy presentation in first round on target and all of that stuff.

Todd: It’s not that much faster.

Rob: No, it’s not.

Phillip: I think exactly what you just said there, Rob, is you’ve got thousands and tens of thousands of repetitions from– Why would you change. Unless you’re just trying to make a flashy YouTube video showing off your abs, you pull up your shirt all the time. It’ll increase our viewership [crosstalk] if you start doing that.

Todd: To add to that, IDS, Rob will be familiar with what I’m talking about. I just want to add to what he’s saying, based on what our observations that have been here. IDS my school is a lab, and all the students that come here know that they’re lab rats. We’re constantly working literally as a laboratory. It’s a laboratory environment where we’re challenging our own thesis, we’re challenging our own ideas. We want to get to the truth, not just what we are selling. You know what I’m saying?

Our priority is a preservation of life. What we found is that the appendix position conceals really well and tends to be more comfortable and very convenient position. However, when we really get into the nitty-gritty of how combatives happen, creating dominant angles is an important part of it. It’s very difficult to create a dominant angle that is optimal for retention when our weapon is directly in front.

When we have a weapon at the three o’clock position, we can blade and we can create an angle that’s optimal for it. We can also use the ground for retention. We can use the wall or a barrier for retention. I could go on for hours but you get the idea. When we’re talking about the appendix position, whenever I’m rolling with somebody and they’re carrying appendix, I know I’m going to get their gun because I know they can’t create an angle.

No matter what position I go to, there’s an opportunity for me to get my hands on that weapon. Something that I want to point out, and I want people to know that I believe strongly in my heart of hearts, that personal protection is exactly that. It’s personal. You get to choose, you get to decide what is best for you. However, as a seasoned professional, with a lot of experience and observation with this and lots of different ways and carry positions, I just want to share that so people can take that into consideration.

The past three o’clock is even worse. Right now the retaining from behind being able to access it having it squirt out on the ground or against the wall or a barrier becomes– It’s a very slow presentation at the same time. These carry positions are things that take time for you to get pressure testing under so that you can make informed and educated decisions.

Rob: Now the thing if a guy comes in and he throws an under hook and I go really hard heavy with an over hook and I crank it down and I pull that arm down and I’m in the five o’clock position, I’ve just dropped his hand down to my gun.

Todd: Exactly.

Rob: It’s the things that people haven’t thought through and it’s an experience thing. We talk about the numbers of reps that comes for something to become autonomic. It’s not a conscious thought. It’s just you do this I do this. It’s the way my body reacts and reflex. It just does it like this because it’s done it so many times. In the martial arts realm or the wrestling realm, combat sports, the number that I’d always heard from when I was even little was 10,000 reps, 100 times a day for 100 days, and their chores, 100 times properly.

Todd: Here’s a metric for people to think about along those lines in the development of competence. In terms of the creation of unconscious competence, or the autonomic level that you’re talking about, and at the neurological level, it’s called myelination. People can look that up. If you’re curious, you want me to elaborate on that, I’m happy to do it. In order for myelination and unconscious competence to occur, there’s a couple of things I’d like to address with it.

The first one is a minimum of 20 minutes a day of practice for 12 consecutive weeks per skill. Then to add to that again to what Rob was saying, at IDS here’s what we believe, because we know how the variables of violence work. It’s not repeatable. It’s never the same twice. It can’t be. What we aim to do is take an ecological approach. I know I’m using a lot of big words because there aren’t other terms that I can use.

I’ll give you an example of that. Our goal is to have repetition, without repetition. In other words, we’re utilizing a principle without repeating the exact same thing every time because the variables are not going to be exact. What we want to develop is what we call feel and flow. You have the level of reflex you have to understand the feel and flow of any fight. It doesn’t matter how small or microscopic that level is all the way out to the macro level of a lot of large-scale warfare.

The feel and flow and the principles of any fight are exactly the same. I’ll tell you what those principles are. The four principles of winning any fight are going to be distance management, timing, transitions, and dominant angles. Then we have all the nuances in between, how are we ever going to learn to develop those principles, or understand the interactions of those nuances when we’re standing across from a silhouette target, over and over and over again?

Our belief is we want 95% of our training to be with an inert weapon, like a SIRT pistol, about 2.5% of our training to be with NLTAS like simunitions or other forms of NLTA, non-lethal training ammunitions like UTM. Then 2.5% is live fire because live fire is so limiting and that way we can validate our weapons flow in our field with the live weapon, while we’re still getting this full breadth and depth of integration as the majority of our time and training. That’s the goal. Again, to repeat myself, that’s the goal and that’s the objective. You’re either trained or you’re untrained and there’s very little in between.

Rob: Do you have a live fire range out at your farm?

Todd: Not on my farm. I have one five minutes away that I’m a member at. Then there’s a place here in Minneapolis is called a Scale Regional Training Facility, which is a law enforcement and military training facility that I have a contract at. Have a 60,000-foot square, or 60,000-foot shoot house and five-story [unintelligible 00:38:28] tower and high tech ranges and mat rooms.

We do a lot of our training, either here at my location, or over at that Scale Regional Training Facility. Then a lot of my personal live fire practice happens at the member Ranch, where I’m a member at just five minutes from where I’m standing.

Rob: Nice, very nice. Because, this is really interesting to me, and I want to know a little bit more about it. Your online courses, explain to me how those work.

Phillip: I’m reviewing them right now.

Todd: There’s an entire progression that we call the IDS roadmap and people can consume these. There’s 16 or 17 different courses that they consume in any way that they want to. There’s a special interactive technology called LearnDash, which is nonlinear. People can consume it in different ways. They can interact with it. They can leave comments and questions. It keeps track of their progress. It gives them reward for their progress.

What it’s really designed to do is for people to train anywhere. If they have a dojo or a gym or arrange if they want to train out they can watch these videos and these drills and this learning progression really, and they can do it in their garage. They can do it from home, their backyard, wherever they want to. The majority of it happens with the SIRT training pistol. That way they can have safe interactions and they can work all these details out that I’m talking about on an ongoing basis, that’s the whole goal. It’s curated in a way where we have basic fundamentals, handling, think safety, things like that nature. Then we have what we call pistol craft where people can work drills if they don’t have a partner, they can work drills in three dimensions, 360 degrees. In a way that’s as interactive as possible with audio recordings that create variables and variation to what they’re going to be doing with call target exercises.

That’s the moving targets we have all kinds of stuff there, that’s what we call the pistol craft section. Then we have what we call the weapons-based combative section where we’re teaching people weapon retention, clench fighting, grappling, war work. We have a lot, again, the edged weapon defenses, impact weapon defenses, things of that nature so that we can really get a true understanding of how all these different dimensions work.

Detect, deter, defend, understanding the five stages of violent crime with partners so that you can do role plays and understand how these things actually work with integrated combatives along with your pistol craft. Again a truly an ecological approach that’s done in a streaming service, a membership service that people can do online. I’ve never seen anything else out there like it. We’re very proud of it and we’re always looking for ways that we can improve it every single day.

Rob: That’s really cool I’m interested in looking into that.

Todd: It’s is the website.

Phillip: Well, if you forget that and you go to because it’s got less letters for people like me, you can get to that site also. It gets you over there.

Todd: Thank you thanks for pointing that out. This is IDS websites where people are interested in becoming instructors and then the is for the end user who’s looking to do more autonomous training at home.

Rob: Very nice.

Phillip: I just signed up.

Todd: Oh, great. Thank you.

Rob: In doing your instructor-level courses, how many of those do you do annually? What’s your class size? Give us a rundown on how you set that up.

Todd: I do between 12 and 15 annually so about one a month, about one and a quarter a month. We have eight different levels of certification and each certification course lasts for three and half days and they’re 10-hour training days so they’re getting 35 hours of training per course. They work their way all the way up from level one all the way to level eight, it’s a very in-depth course.

Most of the people that we attract to that course are people who are either they’re firearms people that are looking to supplement their firearms training with the integrated combatives. Or they’re people who have a background in MMA or Krav Maga or their martial arts that want to integrate the firearm and take all these things and put them together. To us at IDS these disciplines are indivisible, to me the combatives is firearms training and the firearms training is combatives training. They go hand in hand.

Rob: Well, it’s the numbers. We got so many people out there that have watered stuff down so incredibly overwhelmingly that so many people don’t understand that martial arts are military arts, they’re fighting arts.

Todd: That’s right.

Rob: That’s all it is and all of those are the same that’s why I really I’m envious of the name for your stuff, integrated defense systems.

Todd: Integrative, yes. It’s not layered right, to me to take a layered approach I’ll just say it is an error. Instead of creating a layered cake blend all the elements together so they are interdependent upon one another. I wouldn’t brag about taking a layered approach because now you’re admitting that your approach is fractured. The part is not the whole. We want to be careful that there’s a correlation so it’s easy for instructors to claim that the part is the whole because there’s a correlation. There’s no correlation if they’re training these things separately, it just doesn’t work that way.

Rob: Well, I like some of your other approaches too. I was a high school wrestling coach for a long time and blessed enough to be in really talent-rich programs. I’ve been out for two years now but our last group of kids that I was involved with there’s eight of them wrestling at the college level right now but we always referred to our practice room as the lab.

Todd: Absolutely.

Phillip: Because we don’t just do step A, step B, step C, step D, we give you unique, horrible starting positions. You’re the defensive wrestler right here but we’re still in a neutral position but he’s in on a single leg and he gets it however he wants and we got 30 seconds for somebody to score, ready, go.

Todd: Yes, and the great thing about the lab is in challenging your own thesis is that that way you’re always evolving, right? If we look back at what the firearms training world let’s just use that for example and we look back 20 years ago we say, “Well, that’s some outdated old school shit.” Well, guess what? What we’re doing right now is also outdated in and old school and some of it is actually 50 or 60 years old that we’re still doing today.

Our goal is to say never be satisfied with where we’re at. How can we grow? How can we evolve? What’s new information that we have? As instructors the analogy they like to use is my wife works in surgery every single day, she trains surgical teams. If there’s a surgeon or a surgical team that is out of date with their methodology from 18 to 24 months they get sued for malpractice.

While we are doing the same stuff that we were doing 40 or 50 years ago and the stakes are just as high for us and my wife would say, “Your job is harder than ours because we control the variables and you don’t.” The stakes are just as high, life and death are the stakes so this is why we’re so passionate about making sure that we are on the absolute cutting edge of our knowledge and our ability.

I seek out, who are the top motor learning experts in the world? How can I interview them? What are the books that I can read? What are the conferences that I can attend? It gives me the latest information so that we can really stay on top of it.

Rob: Well, that’s another aspect of it. It’s one thing to put yourself through the physical grind and learning and doing these things but also the mental aspect. It was something we’ve talked about this on the show before, Phil and I have discussed this at length, the psychology in your preparation.

Todd: That’s right.

Rob: The guys that compete at the very highest, highest levels. The last time I competed internationally and this didn’t account for anything as far as my cardio or my strength training but my on the mat practice was about 20 hours a week. That’s a lot of time on the mat, that’s a lot of wear and tear on your body, you can’t really press a whole lot more onto your physical body without causing overtraining and damage and starting to break down and actually becoming worse. I can do the mental reps and I can learn how to do mental preparation.

It’s something I taught– I was the training coordinator for the largest police department in Oklahoma and I ran that for about nine years. It was something I always stressed with our recruits was to put yourself mentally, whether you’re sitting in the dark or whatever, laying in bed, getting ready to go to sleep and put yourself in the very worst position you could possibly think of. You walk in and this happens how do you respond?

Todd: Absolutely.

Rob: If I’ve responded previously I’m not nearly as likely to go into the freeze portion of fight, flight, or freeze when I hit it for real.

Todd: That’s right. Very well said.

Rob: It’s just one of those that is preparation is everything and we have to cover every single aspect of it. I love that you guys are going towards the mental preparation as well.

Todd: It all goes together. Those things that can’t be separated. One of the things that the science is showing that we can do is we can decrease the amplitude and we can scale training larger or smaller so we can increase the amplitude and we can increase and decrease the scale. I’m 52 years old, I think I spend about 15 to 20 hours on the mat right now still and when I roll I usually have most of the time three-quarters of the time I have a training gun on when I do. There are reasons for that. The point I’m trying to make is now, especially at my age I’ll, with my training partners, I’m like, “Listen, I just got a map here. I just have to work really super light, so at least I’m getting some feel.” It’s important that my body’s recovering right now and my mind too.

I still want to get my touches. I still want to get the reps without the reps at the same time, so that way I can be– and I’m encouraging others too. That way we can be sustainable over a long period of time.

If I have an injury or I can’t get on the mat, I’ll go watch class or I’ll do the mental training that Rob was talking about. That way we’re always staying on top of it.

Rob: What else do you want to tell us about?

Todd: Oh, man, that’s wholly open-ended questions. You must be a lawyer or something.

Rob: It gets to open the door.

Todd: Here’s what I’d like to talk about. I’ll speak from the heart. I’m going to ask that the firearms training community opens their mind. I’m going to ask that they steer away from training with a trainer just because they happen to be an online celebrity, or that they happen to be status although I like to call it evidence over eminence. I’d like to challenge the firearms training community to challenge their own ideas and to challenge their own thesis.

To take a look at what are the realities of violence? What are the real patterns of violence? What does the data actually tell us? How does it actually work? To seek out training that is representative in its design of how violence actually occurs. The use of a firearm in reality for regular people in self-defense is far less prevalent than other forms of self-defense. We want to make sure that we’re having that full spectrum of training and be careful with what training organizations and instructors are calling things.

I like to call for semantic accuracy. I’d like to call for intellectual honesty. If an organization is called this, think critically and ask yourself, “Is that what they’re really doing, or is it just what they’re saying they’re doing?” When they’re teaching you something, they’re using buzzwords. Write them down and find out is that what they’re actually doing or is it just what they’re calling it. Because words matter.

As attorneys, you can understand that. Words become beliefs, and beliefs become paradigms. I’m asking for the industry to challenge its own thinking and to open its thinking up and to become more semantically and intellectually honest. As an instructor, as a student, if you have limitations of things that you don’t know, things that you don’t have skills in, say, “This is the portion of the training that I’m covering,” but know that it’s not enough.

There are very few places out there that actually teach a full integrated approach. Don’t imply that you’re teaching an integrated approach when you’re not. I saw a meme from a very popular up-and-coming organization the other day that said, “We train hard, so we fight easy.” I said to myself, “You don’t fight at all.” The analogy that we use is the difference between figure skating and hockey.

To us, generic marksmanship is figure skating. Hockey is the equivalent of being a fighter with a gun. There’s overlap of that but let’s be careful that we’re not conflating one thing for another because people who don’t know any better will believe that they’re playing hockey. They’ll try to do a triple-toe loop in the middle of a hockey game. That’s probably not going to work out very well for them.

Rob: He obviously lives in Minnesota. He [inaudible 00:54:23]

Philip: Did you get any of that lake-effect snow on you?

Todd: What’s that?

Philip: Did you get any of that heavy snow this week?

Todd: Oh, yes, I’ve got snow on the ground right now. It’s supposed to warm up though this week.

Philip: Don’t get to 30. Don’t you know?

Todd: [unintelligible 00:54:43] You know what’s up. Northwood’s up here.


Todd: That’s what I want to talk about.

Rob: I’m going to pile onto that too. As a law enforcement trainer for decades, you talk about a group of people, and I’m going to really target this at command structures that are so averse to change. I got really blessed with a horrible situation. We had a couple of officers in our agency that were involved in a use of force. It was not really long after Rodney King. It evolved expandable batons. It looked horrible. The media had full video of the thing. It was just ugly. The bonus was our director of training said– he calls me up to help look at this as subject matter expert, and says, “I need to know the answer to two things.

I want to know why the stuff you guys teach doesn’t work, and I want to know what these guys did wrong.” It’s my very first interaction with the director of training. It was like, “Oh my gosh.”

Todd: Is that all?

Rob: We go in and we look at it and he says, “Okay, how come the stuff you teach doesn’t work?” I said, “Because you’ve handcuffed us. I have to stick by your curriculum. All I can do is that. The stuff that you have given me will only prepare these people for average size, average strength, and zero skill. They won’t handle anything outside of that. The guy that we’re talking about in this video is enormous. He’s 100 pounds plus more than the officers and very apparently remarkably stronger and-

Todd: Determined.

Rob: -determined. It just looks horrible.” He goes, “Was there anything they did wrong?” I said, “Absolutely.” Most people think they got what it takes to do this. Far more people can discharge a firearm than they can use really incredible force against a human. It’s not in our nature. It can be in everybody’s nature once you’re backed into that corner. Don’t expect that to be the magic cure because usually, you collapse under that pressure. These guys are using batons, but it goes against what’s in good people to take metal pipe and hit somebody as hard as you can.

When I teach you to use a stick, my intent when I swing it is if I’m striking you in the arm, my intent is to break your arm. My intention is to break a bone because I want to end this right now. I want to gain control and finish. It’s not about injuring, it’s not about anything else. It’s about control. That opened the door wide open. He said, “All I ask is that you bring whatever changes you want to me.” The only thing that we were never allowed to do was bring any neck restraint. That’s because they’d had a death in the city jail caused by a jailer. The city attorneys just fought that 100%.

When done properly, it’s a really safe technique. I’ve done it thousands of times. I’ve never caused an injury once. [crosstalk]

Philip: Think about this, Rob, there might be a case where your officer is rolling around on the ground and he knows he can’t do that when that might be what he has to do to subdue at that– again, now he’s going to go with something else.

Todd: That’s right. He’s got to go to something higher than what he can actually do. He actually creates a higher level of force.

Rob: For us, it wasn’t absolutely forbidden, but you had to be at lethal force. I actually did it in a fight. A partner of mine and I were really involved and that was the only thing that would work for me. I can articulate my ability to put that into place because he’s trying to pull my partner’s gun out of his holster. My partner was going, “Rob, he’s trying to get my gun, he’s trying to get my gun,” easy enough. I still had blowback from command saying you can’t do that and I said, “Trust me on this, run it up the chain, I can do that. I can do this.”

Philip: The other choice was shooting the guy on the side of the head.

Rob: That’s where I went with it and I said, “I need you to do this for me. You let me know if your preference is for me to never ever do this again and I won’t, but next time, I’m going to hit him in the head with a 45. I’m going to shoot him dead,” because that’s where we were at. That was the only other option right then. Everything that we had done over and over as you can see in the report, is well documented. Everything is articulated, it failed, it did not work.

Todd: I think it’s magic, it’s just supposed to work every time that the attributes and circumstances are always going to be the same like it’s just this vacuum where everything just magically works.

Philip: Then you add these guys cracked out of their head on whatever they’ve smoked drain cleaner that they’re smoking these days. They don’t feel anything. They could be operating with severe injuries and still going 100% at their capacity.

Todd: They can keep operating with lethal injuries.

Philip: That’s right.

Todd: Hey guys do you mind if I read something to you that I think speaks to this institutional inertia that we’re talking about?

Philip: As long as you do it theatrically. [laughs]

Todd: Okay, I’ll do the best that I can. You guys have a background in psychology and this is a cognitive bias known as system justification bias also known as status quo bias so listen this out. Let’s check this out. System justification bias is the tendency to defend and bolster the status quo. Existing social, economic, and political arrangements tend to be preferred and alternatives disparaged sometimes even at the expense of individual and collective self-interest. Even if people know what you’re teaching and what you’re talking about is superior to what already exists, they will still disparage it so that they can uphold the status quo.

Rob: Very true.

Philip: That is deeply entrenched in the Second Amendment Community. Just to give you an example,–

Todd: It’s sacrilege to say anything other than the status quo. Ask me how I know.

Philip: [laughs] Yes, it is. I like long-range shooting and I like to create things meaning cartridges, so we do wildcatting and dreaming what if this could do this? How do we design that? I like that. Some of the blowback you get is why. You can do it with a 308. It’s like, “This is better, this does have more options, this can do this, why you don’t need that.” It’s like, “I didn’t ask you that question. We’re creating something different.”

Todd: Exactly, let’s continue to grow, let’s continue to innovate, let’s challenge the fringes of the status quo, why not? There’s this really weird thing that people get insecure when their axioms are challenged and I say, “Hey challenge my axioms. I want to challenge my own axioms. Is it okay if I challenge yours?” This is the idea.

Philip: Socially, we also call that Crab Pot socialism, where you’ve got the crabs you don’t need a lid on it because one crab keeps pulling the other crab from coming out of the pot and makes it easy for the fisherman. He doesn’t have to control everything, they control themselves pulling each other back down on top of themselves.

Todd: That’s right. Getting back to what Rob was talking about, for now, I think law enforcement to me is the best example of it right now. I think it spills over into self-defense for non-law enforcement as well is the fact that society as a whole, I believe, needs to start having a more realistic expectation of human performance under extreme stress in compressed time under horrible circumstances. We’ve really been trained by the media that everything should look perfect at all times and that execution should always be perfect. That’s just not reality.

I think that it’s unfortunate that law enforcement– by the way I’m fairly critical of law enforcement training because I care, that law enforcement is one of the few professions where you can actually go to prison for doing your job the correct way. I don’t think that people understand that. We have to offer support and training, but we also have to have a realistic expectation for even the most well-trained with all the best attributes in the world, perfection. If everyone in law enforcement was a Navy SEAL, that’s another conversation, but it’s still an environment where perfection under those extreme circumstances is going to be extremely rare.

There are forces out there that want to jump on every flaw and turn it into this thing that it’s actually not. It’s one of the things that I want to get at with why I’m so excited to work and have– I’m a member by the way, why I like to work– I call it working with you. I think of you guys as my team because I know I don’t have to educate my defender because my knowledge and skill and experience is going to far exceed his or hers. Now I have a team of people who understand the feel and flow. They understand fore science, they understand use of force, so now I can go, “Phew, I can articulate myself fully and know that my defense is going to understand what I’m talking about.”

To me, in the communities that I run in, that’s why I’m pushing you guys so much out there. It’s like, “Guys, you understand, these places that you have insurance with they can’t track what you’re doing. They can’t track what your decision-making was or what your statement is actually saying. You need to rethink this and take a look at CCW Safe because these guys go hands-on, these guys had that background and they are a premiere.” I call you guys [unintelligible 01:07:46] You’re like a premier boutique that actually cares and gets into every detail. They understand things with the depth and breadth that others in the industry don’t.

Rob: There’ll come a day, but it’s going to be years down the road, they’ll come a day when people will be able to hear from this most recent member that we went out with. That’s all he kept talking about is “You guys are here. I can’t believe what you’ve done, I can’t believe you’re doing this, I can’t believe I talked to Don West, I can’t believe the care. I feel so at peace now knowing that it’s not just you’re there to pay for this, you’re there to help. You understand what I feel.” That’s a big deal.

Todd: That’s a big deal.

Philip: Think about that gentleman in that situation, what if he had somebody else who just said, “Okay fine, here’s a check, good luck.” He’s got to fight his way out of every situation.

Rob: There are absolutely programs out there that that’s exactly what they do. Then you get somebody that– oh Stephen Maddox. Stephen was charged with murder and we’re the only ones in the industry that have defended somebody on a charge like that. He was exonerated, he was acquitted, but at a great cost to him personally. He speaks very openly, very freely about all of this. He also speaks about the services that he received for this. He says explicitly, “You could have given me $1 million and said, “Here go fund your defense.'”

Philip: He’d be in jail.

Rob: He would not have had a clue how to get going, not a clue. To be able to have people that have those kinds of connections nationwide. We’ve got competitors that want to say, “We’ve got these guys on retainer and blah.” It costs money to keep people on retainer. If I’ve got Phil as my attorney.

Philip: You’re in trouble there, sorry.

Rob: Phil is involved in a really big case when I’m involved in my incident, guess what, Phil doesn’t have time to break away and come help me. If Phil says he does, he’s probably sending a junior guy from the firm to come in and do the ground. I didn’t pay for the junior guy. I need the best. I need the guy that is the guy. It’s such a big deal to have that kind of-

Todd: Support.

Rob: -support and network. We’ve talked about it on the show multiple times.

Philip: I think though, Rob, sometimes it’s like people don’t– I’ve been around CWC Safe for a while now. People don’t realize it off the bat that it’s not a sales pitch. This is where you guys live, this is what you guys do. After going back to Oklahoma and meeting the whole team there, it’s like, “This is a dedicated group. They’re serious and they are professional. It’s not a gimmick. These guys actually–” I don’t know how many miles you have on your airplane miles this year, but they go to the locations, they do their own reports. Rob is a seasoned investigator. Sometimes you guys actually are finding more evidence and giving it to the departments. Sometimes that stuff happens.

To have that on your side for the cost of a membership is really priceless.

Todd: Just the amount of stress, if I’m putting myself in that situation and I pray to God, I never am. If I ever to be in that situation, the level of mental strain and stress that that would take off of me, the toll that that would take knowing how it’s going to affect my wife, knowing how it’s going to affect my business. All of the what-ifs and the worst-case scenarios that play through your head, knowing that you have a team that’s that dedicated who really gets it, man, you–

Philip: Who gets it.

Todd: Who really gets it on the level that we’re discussing today and far beyond. To me, there’s no amount– charge me 10,000 a month. There’s no amount of money that could replace that. That just means everything.

Rob: It’s a very complex thing. Most criminal defense attorneys are going to sit here and tell you that 98% plus of their members are guilty. We’re going to try to blow some kind of hole in the police’s investigation to reduce this or eliminate the charge or whatever. They know that I’m working for a guy that’s full of crap and he’s not a good guy or he just made a really bad mistake today. That’s not at all what we’re doing. We’re covering-

Todd: Everything.

Rob: -salt of the earth people. These are such good people that find themselves– it’s rare. We don’t have a shooting every week, but when we do, it’s the first time those people ever realize how widespread that thing goes. It’s one of those things that your family is involved, the other person’s family is involved and it just goes out from there and there and there. It just gets–

Todd: Especially in these days with the world that we’re living in, I’m not a person who holds back and I’m not a politically correct person, because if I do that, then I won’t talk about things that are important that we need to discuss. If the audience can bear with me here, I don’t think your audience is going to have a problem with this. We’re living in a world where we’re experiencing political railroading and in self-defense cases.

That adds a whole nother element to it where there are people who are absolutely justified to any objective mind at all who are still going through hell because they’re being politically railroaded. It’s even more important in this day and age that you’re going to have a team that is fair and objective and that is going to fight for you when the whole world is fighting against you.

Rob: It’s another part of our service that a lot of people don’t– we do so many things beyond what is written in our terms, and it’s because every time we publish something else, everybody else wants to rewrite their terms, and go, “Oh, we do that too.” All the time. We’re getting ready to do that on a large scale and it’s just going to blow our competitor’s minds. They’re just going to just like, “You can’t do that.” “Yes, we can.”

Philip: As a consumer, you don’t just want to with somebody that’s, “Oh, these guys are the biggest.” You want to make sure that they have the coverage or this celebrity’s over here, this celebrity’s over here. You know what, there was a lot of celebrities pushing FTX if I remember correctly. [crosstalk]

Todd: [laughs] Last they were pushing a lot of things.

Philip: They pushed a lot of politicians, they pushed FTX, so read the fine print.

Rob: It’s a big deal. Gary, my partner always tells people that guys, there’s a lot of good companies out there that do exactly what they say, read the fine print. Because they’re going to do exactly–

Philip: Exactly what they say.

Rob: If you take a plea agreement or you’re found guilty or anything else like that, if they are truly an insurance, which most of them are, it is against the law to ensure a criminal act. For that purpose, they have what’s called a clawback or recruitment clause. They’ve gone to trial and they’ve done this, this, and this. Then, “Oh, by the way, you lost. I need you to pay that back, guys. I’m [inaudible 01:17:19] pay that back.” That’s a big deal.

Philip: There’s little salt in the wound.

Todd: Big time. That’s adding another wound.

Rob: Oh, it’s horrible. Absolutely horrible. That to me, it’s the greatest scam ever. We’re going to take [inaudible 01:17:40]

Todd: What’s their motivation? It’s a built-in conflict of interest. It’s a win-win for them.

Rob: You have a bias to deny. If you don’t have to cover them, you’re not going to cover them. It’s just crazy. It’s a big deal. I’m incredibly honored to work for an organization that’s like this, but even more so, our entire ownership group, our personal friends of mine. I was a member before I was an employee, and when that opportunity came for me, I immediately pulled the plug in law enforcement and jumped. I’ve never worked for a better organization ever. It’s just absolutely cream of the crop. The guys that are driving this ship are so forward thinking and when these new terms come out, it’s going to be so exciting because people are going to go, “They do that?” Yes, we do.

Todd: I can’t wait to hear about that.

Rob: It’s going to be really cool.

Todd: It’s exciting.

Rob: Phil, you got big plans, everybody coming to your place? What’s going on?

Philip: We are hosting. Like I said, I think we have about 1/3 of the people that are showing up at yours, but it’s still a big money. We got 17 people coming. Which is big for most people, but all of a sudden, I’m feeling like I’m underperforming. You got 45.

Todd: [laughs] Rob’s got everybody feeling insecure.

Rob: We got four generations worth. It’s stacked deep.

Todd: You got half of Oklahoma at your house.

Rob: We’ve got a good group for sure. It’s a big time of year for us. It’s something that everybody looks forward to. My daughter’s already been texting me this morning. “Hey daddy, are you bringing this? Are you bringing this? Are you bringing this?” “Yes, I got it. I got it.”

Philip: Awesome.

Todd: Good times. Us to be thankful for.

Rob: Yes, for sure. On top of that, everybody is a cook in my family. There’s lots of places I can walk in and then I can own a room in the kitchen and I can’t do that at my mama’s house.


Rob: I can’t do that. I’ll bring a lot of stuff.

Todd: That’s a good thing.

Rob: Good, yes, for sure. It’s an incredible feast. Like you said, we have so much to be thankful for and just a great time for our family and, also for the CCW Safe family, and we thank everybody. Any takeaways for us Phil? Any parting words?

Philip: I say no and then I have parting words, so there’s more contradictions. The psychologist on the air here is going to have fun with that one. I think it is important and I’m finding this for myself personally, that the next evolution in my training because it hasn’t been integrated from the start, is the retention side. I don’t know. I’m actually doing active things in January. I’ve got two sessions, a couple of days sessions that I’m doing in January focused on that because I don’t have a law enforcement background.

I’ve never trained gun retention. I’ve never wrestled with a gun on my hip before. I don’t want to have to in real life, but I’m putting myself through two sessions in January just to bring myself up where I need to be.

Rob: That’s a good start, bro.

Philip: Because I wasn’t integrated from the beginning.

Todd: There are case reports that suggest that 31% of violent encounters end up on the ground.

Philip: Oh yes.

Todd: 60% of those are by accident, 40% are intentional. Having that stuff is important. Again, bear with me here but I’d like to put forward for your consideration to have that be ongoing practice because the retention for that experience that you’re going to have will start to leave you within about an hour after you’ve completed the training.

Philip: I’m not even going to go then.

Todd: [laughs] Stay with it. There’s this guy on the show with us, his name is Rob. I bet you he would be willing to touch hands with you on a regular basis.

Philip: He’ll ragdoll me. I don’t know if I want that today.

Todd: I think you know a few people that can help you out with that.

Rob: [unintelligible 01:22:47] How about you, Todd, you got anything, takeaways, anything for people to keep in their minds?

Todd: Yes. For those of you out there who feel as though you have it in your DNA to be protective over the flock, I want you to know that there are people out there, like the two gentlemen that I’m on the air with today and myself who support you. That we’re living in a world that wants to shame you and blame you for being a good person who has the ability to use force appropriately. That somehow that’s a bad thing, that you’re an evil person because of that. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Be bold with who you are. Seek out like-minded people who can train you and lead you and guide you in the right way. Share it with others because there are other people out there that are in the closet so to speak, that are afraid to step out because they too have it in them to watch over the flock. Violent crime is going parabolic right now. Where I’m at Minneapolis, in the last 18 months alone, just in carjackings are up 640%. It’s all over the place.

This is the time for us to be proactive about the cultivation of our skills and to be bold in the sharing of our beliefs. In this way, we give other people permission to do the same thing. This only leads to a better and safer world. Jesus, Himself said, “After I’m gone, if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.” That wasn’t a suggestion. That was a command. That’s something that I hold very near and dear to my heart and we want to use force as our very last option.

When we do, want to make sure we know how to use the appropriate level of force and we want to make sure that we have the options to meet the full spectrum of force so that we’re responding in a way that is decisive and confident and with skill, and with measure. That’s going to require ongoing practice and training, not intermittent, not one or two, or three days a year, or the occasional weekend getaway. This is something that needs to be ongoing. I strongly encourage you to take that approach toward this lifestyle, this way of life, and if the services that I provide at can be supportive of that, great. If you can find someone else who can be supportive of that, great.

Rob: There’s a means to keep that where you can stay active and stay tuned up. One of those is to find a buddy to train with. If I’ve got somebody that can go take this class with me, even if we can’t find anything close to make it a regular thing, at least I got somebody I can train with. Now you’ve got online opportunities with people like Todd. There’s something else that we’ve touched on before, and I think it’s very important that you vet your instructors.

I don’t have any reservation to recommending guys that are from the private sector, the military sector, the law enforcement sector. You’re going to get incredible nuggets from every single facet of those communities. Understand there are lots of guys out there that have put in the work and done things in the past that have become comfortable and stagnant in their development.

Todd: That may not apply to you.

Rob: [laughs] I would like to encourage you to find people that come highly recommended not by idol worshipers, but by guys that can go, “Hey, I went through Todd’s class. I went through so and so’s class.” That instructor can go, “Are you still learning? Are you still seeking out education for yourself? What is the last place you trained at? What are you doing to improve your stuff?” Because this stuff, it’s a lifelong pursuit. It’s something that you should get better at. We shouldn’t diminish. We shouldn’t take steps back. It’s a really big deal. Todd, thank you so much, brother, for hopping in and joining us today.

Todd: I’ve been on a lot of podcasts you guys and I’m not just saying, this is a huge honor for me to be on this show. I’m a big admirer of your work and of your organization. Really, thank you guys so much for having me on and letting me open up and share a little bit about things that I’m passionate about.

Rob: Absolutely. It’s a big deal for us too, buddy. Phil, you guys have a wonderful holiday.

Philip: You too, boss.

Rob: If you need anything, you reach out and holler at me and I should be around for the rest of the week at least owing an emergency call.


Rob: Anyway, we appreciate everybody for tuning in. Thank you guys so much. We look forward to seeing you again next week and so long for now.

[01:28:52] [END OF AUDIO]