Hello there, this is Mike Delvaux.

Gary Klugiewicz and I recently conducted a Simulation Instructor Development class at a Department of Defense facility. This class is well known for teaching transitions from firearms to less lethal weapons to empty hand control tactics.

With this group we introduced VDI concepts as well. Mind you, most of the people in the class are former military and many were not accustomed to worrying about verbal tactics in their interactions with others. Once we began to understand what can be achieved through the use of effective communication we came to the conclusion that everyone, even military personnel, can benefit from generating voluntary compliance, cooperation or collaboration with others.

Although this was primarily a tactical instructor development class we worked on meshing the verbal tactics of VDI with the physical tactics they were already familiar with. They were shown and then practiced the universal greeting. Then they practiced their physical defensive tactics. Then we had them mesh the two together when we simulated a sudden assault while they were still talking.

They did struggle at first but eventually were able to effectively utilize both their physical skills and their new-found tactics for effective communication. One of them even commented, “This is how it’s going to happen in the real world”.