Origins Of Vistelar Tactical Training
The beginnings of Vistelar’s Tactical Training programs date back to the early 1980s. Since then, these programs have evolved under the leadership of Gary Klugiewicz and Dave Young, Directors of Training at Vistelar – with input from a large number of tactical subject matter experts.
We often get questions about the origins of our Tactical Training programs so we created this document to answer those questions.
Gary Klugiewicz’s initial training in defensive tactics was in Karate under the direction of Sensei Ed Lopez and, later, in the Kyokushinkai-kan system (Mas Oyama, Full-Contact or Knockdown Karate) under Shihan Miyuki Miura. Gary won two North American Knockdown Karate championships and competed three times in the world championships in Japan.
Gary was hired as a corrections officer at the Milwaukee County House of Corrections in 1976 and, in 1979, he became a deputy with the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department. The next year he began his training career with the Sheriff’s Department recruit academy.
In the early 1980s Gary was introduced to Daniel Vega, a crisis intervention specialist, who coined the phrase, “All defensive tactics must combine verbalization skills with physical alternatives.” From then on Gary’s training always included both.
Gary was a major contributor to Wisconsin’s Defensive & Arrest Tactics (DAAT®) training system (based on Kevin Parson, PhD groundbreaking RISC Management System), developed in 1982 and still taught today.
In 1982, Gary formed ACMi (Active Countermeasures Instructional) Systems of Unarmed Blocking and Striking Techniques in conjunction with Bob Willis and James Smith, two nationally recognized defensive tactics instructors, in order to offer his specialized training outside the Sheriff’s Department. Gary operated under this brand until the formation of Vistelar in 2009.
Between 1986 and 1990, Gary was a national instructor of Calibre Press’s Street Survival Seminar®. During this time, he assisted Charles Remsberg and Dennis Anderson, founders of Calibre Press, with a major upgrade of the program. He was also the technical advisor for their award-winning Surviving Edged Weapons video, which is still in use today.
In 1986, Gary developed his Principles of Subject Control (POSC®) training program for correctional, healthcare, and mental health professionals that incorporated material from the DAAT program and was developed with input from:
- Charles Remsberg and Dennis Anderson of Calibre Press
- Marty Drapkin, former correctional training coordinator, Wisconsin Law Enforcement Training and Standards Bureau located in Madison, Wisconsin
- John Meyer, president of TeamOne Network
- George Thompson, PhD, founder of the Verbal Judo Institute
- Jane Dresser, RN and Director of the Medical-Psychiatric Counseling Center
- Dave Grossman, author of On Killing
- Karen Stentz Huebner, PhD. and president of Purposeful Development Associates
- Larry Nadeau, founder of R.A.D. Systems of Self Defense
… and many others — including Dave Young, Pete Jaskulski, Rory Thelen and Mike Delvaux, who joined forces with Vistelar when it was founded years later.
During the 1990’s, Gary was promoted to Lieutenant and later to Captain within the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department. He spent over seven years supervising the Special Management Team (SMT) at the Milwaukee Country Jail, which was responsible for over 350 mentally ill inmates. Gary retired from the Milwaukee County in 2001 after 25 years of service.
Following his retirement from the Sheriff’s Department, Gary spent three years with the RedMan Training Division, three years within Wisconsin Technical Colleges and five years with PoliceOne.com/CorrectionsOne.com – as a subject matter expert, instructor and contributor.
During his career Gary has also been an adjunct instructor at H&K International Training Division (later, Team One Network), a board member at Force Science Institute, Chair of American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers (ASLET), board member of Wisconsin Jail Association, active member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA) and International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors (IALEFI).
Over the years, Gary has developed programs for police, corrections, healthcare, mental health, security professionals and the military, including team tactics training for SWAT, CERT, and Crowd Management Teams. He owned the CERT registered trademark from 2003 to 2013.
Gary has often been called to testify as a use-of-force expert, defending scores of officers in legal proceedings.
Gary met Dave Young, a Director of Training for Vistelar, in 1992.
Dave started his career by working in some of the toughest streets in California, including Inglewood, Watts and Compton as an undercover security agent for Sav-On Drugs Store Chains in 1980. In 1985 he was a sworn corrections and law enforcement officer in the state of Florida and in 1988 enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. During his commitment to service he served as a military police officer, gate sentry, patrol officer, watch commander, criminal investigator, black-market investigator, primary marksmanship instructor, Special Reaction Team (SRT) team member, leader and SRT Commander.
Dave ended his active duty service as the Training Non-Commission Officer in Charge (NCOIC) of training at Marine Corps headquarters. In 1994 Dave received the Navy Accommodation Medal for his development and implementation of the Defensive Tactics Development Course from the United States Marine Corps.
In 1996, after receiving an honorable discharge from the United States Marine Corps, Dave was appointed the Director of Training for Federal Laboratories in Bennington, VT and developed their non-lethal weapons training and certifications. In 1999, Dave was appointed Director of Training for Armor Holdings and assumed the responsibility of merging their non-lethal and impact weapons training.
During the 1990s, Dave developed the Suspect Control and Arrest Tactics (SCAT™) officer survival program offered by Caliber Press, which impacted the way officers view their options in real world encounters. This program was developed with input from:
- Gary Klugiewicz
- Dave Grossi, Lieutenant Rochester Police Department
- Ed Norwki, Police Academy Director of Milwaukee Area Technical College
- Bob Willis, Police Academy Instructor, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College
- Chuck Herrera, Lead Firearms Instructor, United States Capitol Police
- Nicholas Mudredzo, Lieutenant Metropolitan Police Department Washington, DC
- John Desmond, United States Secret Service, Special Agent
During the 1990s and 2000s, Dave joined forces with Gary Klugiewicz on many occasions to develop programs and products to improve officer safety and survival. Together, they developed the Use Of Force Manager course for law enforcement, RedMan’s training for the Disturbance Resolution (DRS) suit and other training programs that integrated verbalization, defensive tactics and non-lethal and lethal weapon handling.
In 2002, Dave joined Gary within the Wisconsin Technical College system where they developed tactical training programs used by several colleges within the system. These programs were provided to police, corrections, security and military personnel throughout the United States.
They have delivered their training throughout the world, including Canada, Mexico, United Arab Emirates, Dubai, Germany, United Kingdom, Europe, South Asia and the African Regions.
During his career Dave has been an Advisory Board member at Force Science Institute and Police Marksman Magazine and he currently serves as Chairman for PoliceOne.com’s Advisory Board and is on the Advisory Board for Police Magazine. Dave is an active member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors (IALEFI) and Georgia Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors (GALEFI).
Over the years Dave has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, People Magazine and CNN and has hosted several television shows for the National Geographic Channel on police tactics and technology.
Gary and Dave have had hundreds of their articles and videos published on personal and professional safety and security.
In 2009, Gary and Dave joined forces with Allen Oelschlaeger, a business executive, to form Vistelar, a consulting and training organization focused on addressing the entire spectrum of human conflict. At Vistelar, Gary is the Director of Training for the company’s verbalization training programs and Dave is the Director of Training for the company’s tactical training programs.
To further enhance Vistelar’s program, Dave and Gary collaborate with a wide range of other subject matter experts in both the verbal and tactical management of conflict, including Jack Hoban, president of Resolution Group International, Bill Lewinski PhD., of the Force Science Institute, Master Chan Lee, owner of JK Lee Black Belt Academy and many others.
Vistelar’s tactical training programs leverage Gary and Dave’s deep expertise, more than three decades of experience, and extensive industry collaborations. As a result, they’re unique in these respects:
- Each program includes the appropriate level of training using the four essential elements of any training program related to conflict: 1) risk assessment, 2) verbalization (“communicating under pressure”), 3) tactical response (“when words alone fail), and 4) review/report methods.
- All programs cover approach considerations, intervention options and follow-through considerations.
- Programs can be configured for a wide range of market sectors and audiences, including public safety, healthcare, business, athletics, education, military and more.
- All tactics taught have these unique attributes:
- Gross-motor-skills-based – most tactics requires just three steps to apply
- Effective regardless of strength and physical size limitations
- Same technique for both standing, sitting and ground defense
- Many tactics don’t require pain to be effective
- Medically sound – uses anatomically correct techniques
- Courtroom defensible – no terminology confusion
- Tactically sound – proven in real-world situations
Vistelar offers over 50 tactical training programs (view complete list) that can be configured for a wide range of audiences (e.g., law enforcement, corrections, private security, healthcare, education, military, EMS/fire), including a complete catalog of personal safety awareness, defensive tactics and tactical team training – as well as these more specialized programs:
- Manufacturer-independent non-lethal weapons and munitions
- Active shooter and school safety/security
- Crowd management – negotiation, containment and control
- Risk management, non-verbal cues and proxemics
- Counter combative tactics
- Bystander mobilization strategies
- Weapons control and defense tactics
- Concealed Carry Survival Tactics
- Use-of-Force debriefing and reporting strategies
To learn more please contact us.