Mental armor

I promised a post about the KMG Summer Camp in Karlstad, Sweden. So here it is. The subject of the camp revolved around Active Shooter Protocol, with a twist; Active Killer Protocol. Because it’s not always a shooter. If the latest events around the world are to bring any insight to the subject, they’re not always shooters. Last year alone, in little quiet Sweden, we had two situations involving edged weapons. One was a random stabbing spree at IKEA and the other was a killing spree at a school with a sword. Yes, a sword. So the MO might have been different but the perp mentality is basically the same. Regardless, the underlying motive may differ from case to case – but the outcome is always the same. Fear and death. We had the privilege of taking part of some statistics gathered by an FBI/MI6 joint task force. I won’t go into detail about it all, but the numbers are less than delightful, albeit interesting. One of the presenters was actually a Swedish LEO that had met with the task force, and we had the opportunity for some Q&A.

The entire weekend basically consisted of training Krav Maga Global-techniques involving armed attacks, then putting them into realistic scenarios. We also spent many hours on Global Medical Trauma Training. Running, hiding, fighting during an Active Killer Protocol is one thing. But being trained in basic medical trauma training was one of the major takeaways for my part. During the final day of the GIC, we were given a crash course in first aid/CPR. This course however, included applying torniques and packing wounds, among other things. From that day forward, I always carry two torniques in my car and one in my training bag. That’s knowledge (and tools) that might save someone’s (including my own) life some day. Be it a violent attack or an accident of sorts. 

My favorite part of the camp, shouldn’t come as a surprise for those of you who know me, was the combat mindset session. I’ve advertised the course in my earlier posts, but I can’t stress enough how big of a role this plays in everything that you do. If we take the ASP/AKP scenarios, it all comes down to your mental conditioning. It doesn’t matter if you pack the hardest punch in the world, the swiftest kicks or the strength of a bull; if your mind is not trained to act, your body will not follow. So, what is mental toughness? Combat mindset? Mental conditioning? How do you train your mind? To be able to train your mind, you must first learn how your mind works. In a way, it’s almost like a muscle. If you want stronger legs, most of you know that you should probably do some sort of squat-excercise. Because that’s the way your legs are physically and mechanically built. By adding weight and squatting, you make the muscles, tendons and joins around your legs stronger. I’m not even going to try explaining how the mind works. Mainly because I lack the in depth knowledge of the physiological aspects. But also trying to summarize the knowledge that I have, in a blog post, would take me days. Because there are so many different processes, reactions and chain of events that are ongoing at the same time. The CMIC won’t make you an expert in the field, but it will bring you some insight and magnificent tools to develop yourself and/or your students. One of the creators of the course, Ole Boe, has written an excellent post about this and who better to explain it to you than the man himself? Click on the link to get a glimpse of the vast knowledge of this amazing instructor and teacher.

If you didn’t participate in this year’s summer camp, I strongly advise you to come to the next one. There are few places in the world that provide you access to some of the top instructors in the world in this field. Although I don’t know what next year’s theme is going to be. I know that I’ll be going, regardless. The training is amazing and the people you meet, even more so. Send me an email if you’re interested.

I wanted to finish this post, by writing about combat mindset. Specifically, mental toughness. Today, the world lost one of the mentally strongest people I’ve ever had the honor of knowing. I know that you’re in a better place now and I’d like to dedicate this post to you my friend. Stay strong and keep your scalpel close. See you in Valhalla.

In Memoriam
Joakim Eriksson1967-2016
“Death is only a problem for the living”