Rethinking Personal Security (Podcast #14)

In this episode, my guest is Benjamin Drader, creator of the Combatives Personal Protection System – a highly intensive and comprehensive training program that incorporates physical fitness, defensive tactics, situational awareness, verbal de-escalation, and knowledge of the legal ramifications of self-defense.

The self-defense industry is full of fly-by-night “experts” who peddle expensive DVDs based on dubious credentials. Ben is not one of those. He spent most of his career in the public sector, running protective operations for American government VIPs (including a Secretary of State and two National Security Advisors), and has only recently made the transition to the private sector, opening a training facility in Washington, DC.

In this episode, we go deep into the subject matter, so enjoy!

Topics Covered:

  • Transitioning from running protective ops to training civilians
  • “Proactive Predictive Adaptive Learning” (PPAL) – A strategy for understanding what you’re doing in any situation
  • Ben’s free Personal Protection guide
  • Importance of a holistic approach to training
  • Understanding the fundamental movement patterns that underlie human motion
  • Correcting movement pattern issues as a prerequisite for training
  • Non-medical pain treatment with the Egoscue Method
  • Muscle overuse vs. improper use
  • Incorporating strength training into combatives work
  • Balancing hard workouts with recovery & nutrition
  • Adding stress inoculation to training
  • What it takes to “get beyond the freeze”
  • Threat detection, deterrence & de-escalation
  • Ben’s background in Krav Maga, BJJ and military hand-to-hand systems
  • Ben’s opinion of Tony Blauer’s SPEAR concept
  • Understanding levels of force and the “rules of engagement” on the street
  • Tactical disengagement
  • Specific tactics that Ben teaches
  • Legal ramifications of self-defense
  • Similarity of urban environments and war zones
  • Learning a small set of skills deeply vs. learning a large number of skills superficially
  • Domains of personal protection:
    • Threat detection
    • De-escalation
    • Stand-off weapons
    • Physical force
    • Tactical disengagement
    • Law of self-defense
  • Motivated sparring (differences between attacks to body, attacks to property, attacks to life)
  • SERE (Search Evasion Rescue Escape) training
  • Accepting responsibility for your own safety


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