Dave Young

Arma Training Edged Weapons Agency Wide Instructor Program

Dave Young here.

Inmates are the masters at developing and using improvised weapons. Every year corrections officers seize hundreds of improvised weapons confiscated inside their facilities. Everything from a file down comb to sharpen toothbrush to melted down plastic ware.  There is no limit is their imagination.

Your safety depends on your understanding what to look for; how do identifying threat indicators during contact; managing distance to control position; knowing what your escape routes are; and understanding when it is time to disengage.

The class then provided realistic “hands on” and “weapons on” responses to an edged weapon assaults.

In addition, on the front-end, the class covered how to de-escalate the situation and the back-end how to follow through after the incident to keep everyone safe both physically and legally.

Watch the video link below to see the class in action.

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I want to thank all the trainers in the state of West Virginia to include the West Virginia regional jails instructors on a great job, energy and effort this week!  See everybody again soon!


Mall Safety Tip: Staying Safe in Large Crowds

Getting lost in the crowd is easy – not knowing how to manage your safety in large violent crowds can get you killed.

Being able to protect yourself and your family starts with the ability to increase your own level of awareness, educate yourself on what to look for, and understand how to develop prevention strategies for dealing with large crowds in malls.

Being able to protect yourself does not start with the ability to throw a punch or use a weapon. In fact, in many cases, if that is all the training you have had, you have not really been trained to defend yourself.

Incidents of violence in our malls are growing  and can overtake your quickly so you have to be ready to respond to these potentially life-threatening situations.

Our survival motto for this is “Escape first, then Barricade and, as your last resort, Defend you and your family.”

These are 3 fast tips to surviving mall violence and increase your ability to identify danger and enhance your situational awareness.

  1. Escape planning:   means you know where they are, and how to get there and where to go when you are there
  • Have a discussion with your family on the non-verbal and verbal cues for quickly returning together
  • Before you get out of your car select a parking space you can see the entrance of the store
  • Be mindful of the cover positions as to avoid running in an open uncovered area to your car (sometime the best route is the most direct route
  • This will help you in exiting the area quicker but help with family accountability when selecting a meeting place if things go bad inside the stores
  • Select your escape routes when you enter the mall, stores, and restaurants even in the open food court areas. Try to never put yourself into a place without an escape route
  • Position yourself in the areas and stores you are in while shopping to see others entering and leaving your area
  • If you hear gun shots when moving in the crowd quickly move towards cover. Many times when gun fire is present the people running blindly and in the open are shot.
  • If you are standing in front of a large crowd quickly approaching – immediately move to the side of the crowd place your shoulder against a wall with your other hand up and extend it from your body as watch carefully on the best direction to start moving to safety
  • Pay close attention to the direction of the crowd. Many times when trapped inside a crowd people tend to move with the crowd and this is dangerous as the only one knowing where the crowd is moving is the people in the front and MANY times these people were triggered by panic and are trying to get away from the people behind them
  • If you can GET OUT – DO IT
  • If you cannot get out find a safe place to go
  1. Barricade strategies:
  • Barricading options start with:
    1. Never select a place to hide in unless you can escape from it
    2. Pick a place you can see and hear danger approaching.
    3. Select a place where you can defend yourself.
  • Barricade considerations:
    • There is a difference between cluttering and blocking the doorway and barricading an entrance. Also does the door open inwards or outwards
      • Just piling items and objects in front of a door is not necessarily providing you with a barricade
      • Selecting large, solid objects that require strength, time and effort to penetrate the door is barricading the door and stopping bullets like desks, chair, filing cabinets
      • Carrying 12 feet of 550 parachute cord can assist in medical aid and help with door opening outwards, a small 2 oz. tube of superglue and a few coins in the doorway can assist in securing the door itself
      • Identify what are your positioning of cover.  If you hear the sound of a gun, the first thing you should do is immediate get behind cover this is a solid object that would protect you from any bullets coming in your direction – then carefully start to look around for the direction and area of the sound.
  1. Defense Tactics for large crowds: 
  • Many times when dealing with large crowds the best defense is a SAFE DEFENSE – this means to get to a location until the crowd passes
  • If you were unable to get out of the area and have to stay in place until help arrives quickly conduct a visual survey of the immediate area for weapons of availability
  • These are items in your immediate area you can use to defend yourself.  Remember when selecting a weapon for defense take into consideration what distance it will give you from the threat; what effort you need to put into using it and what exactly are you trying to accomplish.
  • Pick out your “Engagement locations”, rarely is allowing the crowd to enter the room a better option then defending them at the doorway. Plus when you select your engagement location you have the advantage!

Over all safety requires you to remain alert, be decisive and have a pre-planned response and the above strategy of Escape, Barricade and Defense will assist you in doing that.

Have a Happy and Safe New Year


City of Las Vegas DPS 2016 Verbal Defense & Influence Instructor Training I Video

Hi there.

This is Dave Young.

Check out this I Video showing the instructor training that being conducted for the City of Las Vegas Department of Public Safety.

Gary Klugiewicz and I had the pleasure of training with 16 instructor from the United States and Canada.

I was a great learning experience for them and us.

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Surviving an ambush of a police officer: What to know


This is Dave Young,  I am the director of training for Arma Training for Vistelar.

What does it take to survive a sudden physical assault from multiple subjects?

Watch the the article link and then read my commentary below.


Remain Alert, Be Decisive and Have a preplanned response is merely more than words.  It is a field proven philosophy from veterans who deal with real world threats on a daily basis.  We combine this with our 10-5-2 Proxemics and tactical strategies for staying safe and you will get positive results.

I often say in the “Real World” you cannot afford to be 10-2-1.  Meaning you cannot have a record of 10 wins, 2 loses and 1 draw.  That record equals to 10 survived, 2 trips to the ICU and 1 death.  Attacks happen anytime, anywhere and in anyplace.   There are no time limits, weight classes, referees, number of opponents or rules.

Surviving any attack on your life is both emotionally and physically exhausting.  Often I am asked what I think about other programs or self-defense and defensive tactics in regards to are they effective.  The reason this is a hard question to answer is there are 3 important factors that need to be taken into consideration.

  1. Real life officer factors;
    1. Physical abilities
    2. Mindset
    3. Prior training
  2. Training Program
    1. Is it a complete system
    2. Bits and pieces
    3. Just a few cool things
  3. Soundness
    1. Legally defensible
    2. Medically sound
    3. Tactically effective

The officer who survived this attack had all 3.  Great job!



Grandview, MO 2016 School Active-shooter Training I Video – Fire Drills, not Fire Talks

Active shooter attacks can be over as fast as they start. Learning how to make tactical decisions under stress and be calm under chaos is something you train for not just read about.

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It was nice to receive confirmation from the teachers around the state of Missouri on how this training prepared them for real world attacks as compared to the other training they attended and watched on PowerPoints and the videos they reviewed.

Understanding how to move in small groups under fire, respond correctly with emergency treatment for gun shot wounds, how to break windows and exit buildings, negotiate hallways and control yourself and your students when lives are on the line.

Training is much more effective when you conduct fire drills rather than fire talks.

Wichita PD hosts Verbal Defense & Influence Instructor Class


This is Gary Klugiewicz.

Dave Young and I are just finishing off a great week of training for the Wichita, KS Police Department. We taught a Verbal Defense & Influence Instructor Class. We had a great group of instructors the Wichita PD along with instructors from other police departments, training academies, and security companies. Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay is planning to implement this training throughout their organization for all law enforcement and civilian staff members.

Take a look at the I Phone video that Dave Young created to celebrate the class.

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Our thanks to the staff of the Independent Living Resource Center for the hospitality shown us during our training.

Ground Combat: Are you ready for real world situational training?

Hi There.

This is Gary Klugiewicz.

I wanted to share this I Video with you.   Dave Young, one of the founders of Vistelar and director of Arma Training is just finishing a Ground Combat Instructor Class at NWTC, a technical college located in Green Bay, WI.  Believe me when I say this wasn’t one those traditional, static, “slow for form” technique focused ground defense courses.  This was ground combat.

Dave Young says that “being on the ground fighting with a combative subject isn’t the best place for any police, corrections, or security officer to end up.  In addition, officers need to know their  “Survival Time,” which is amount of time an officer has to be able to protect themselves within their own emotional and physical limitations without losing the ability to make sound tactical decisions.”  This training allows officer to determine and defend their decisions concerning their “Survival Time”  that has been tested under real world conditions.  Watch the video and see examples of Situational Training Drills in action.

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It has always been my belief that when for whatever reason you go to the ground in a subject control situation and you are not cuffing, YOU ARE LOSING!   This class utilized Vistelar training methodology referred to as Situational Training Drills that put students in actual duty scenarios and allow them to train through the entire incident from initial contact through the encounter and following through after the incident.  Dave taught the instructor in this class how to survive and win during ground combat.  These instructor should be commended on their completion of this extremely demanding class.   It should be noted that the instructor who attended this class came from a wide range of backgrounds including police, corrections, and private security.   If your duty assignments can result in physical confrontation / assaults that may end up on the ground, this class is for you.   Are you ready for a very bad day?  This class will prepare you to be ready for that day and will help to guarantee better results.




Real World Handgun Retention: Situational Training Drills

Putting fighting for your life in context with Situational Training Drills

This week Dave Young is teaching a Ground Combat Instructor Training Program at the Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC) in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  This class focuses on real world training designed to prepare an officer to survive and prevail, i.e., win when participating in ground combat.   Weapon control is big part of this training in learning how to protect and defend your weapons.   This requires that an officer move beyond the learning of a specific tactic to being apply the tactic in Situational Training Drills like the one featured in the video link below.

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Dave Young explains that learning how to protect your firearm in any physical encounter takes controlled and safe simulations. You cannot talk about response options they must be conducted in the most realistic setting possible. Taking the environment, settings and situations into considerations to ensure the officers understand proxemics, interventions options and escalation strategies that promote officer safety and reinforce the public safety expected of today’s law enforcement. Ensuring the officer experiences the pulling, tugging, twisting and torquing of the firearm while being punched, bitten and assaulted prepares the officer to be “calm under chaos.” This is both critical and vital to preparing them for defending their lives!

Why Verbal Defense & Influence Training is so Important

Major Kevin Shults from the Broward Sheriff’s Office recently attended a four day Verbal Defense & Instructor Course that his agency hosted. Major Shults shut down their academy for a week in order to get himself and his instructors certified. The Broward Sheriff’s Office is planning to roll this training out to all their personnel. Watch the accompanying video where Major Shults gives his feedback on this course and the importance of training verbal skills. He makes the point that verbal conflict prevention and resolution skills must be emphasized in the defensive tactics training.

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We look forward to your comments on Major Shults’ feedback that you can post below.

Vistelar conducts a Verbal Defense & Influence Instructor Class at the Talking Sticks Resort & Casino

Gary Klugiewicz and Dave Young just conducted a VDI Instructor Class in Scottsdale, Arizona.  This instructor class that was hosted by the Talking Stick Resort & Casino so that they could create a large group of conflict resolution instructors to provide ongoing training for their line staff, supervisors, and security staff along with the law enforcement officers.  The purpose of this training was to provide a unified, coordinated response designed to prevent and/or manage conflict within their resort and casino.

This was a large class that drew attendees from across the United States and included representatives from the CO Department of Revenue, United Services Automobile Association (U.S.A.A.), Blue Water Resort & Casino, and a numbers of other law enforcement departments.

Check out the IVideo that illustrates some of the training provides that bridges the 5 C’s of Communication and includes how to initiate CONTACT, how to manage CONFLICT, how to respond to persons in CRISIS, how to control potential COMBAT situations, and how to bring CLOSURE to conflict situation.

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Gary and Dave would like to thank the Casino AZ management and staff for hosting and participating in this class.