Training Kindergarten Teachers To Use Violence


We’ve heard a lot about violence lately…

“Gun Violence”

“Violent Crime”

“Violent Altercation”

“Violent Video Games”

“Violent Sports”

“Violence on TV”


In fact, the message is so consistent and prevalent that I could understand if you might even catch yourself thinking that violence is bad from time to time.

But is violence bad?

True violence is disgusting. It’s disturbing. It causes a visceral reaction when you see it.  But is it bad?

If you had a chance to go back in time and ask liberated Jews at the end of WWII if they thought that violence was bad, what do you think they’d say?

They’d probably say that German violence was bad and Allied violence was good.

Do you think they’d criticize US use of violence in the process of neutralizing their oppressors…and maybe say we should have tried to understand Hitler better?

What about a hostage who finds the knife that was just pressed against her neck suddenly laying on the ground next to her dead former captor…who has a fresh, new hole in the bridge of his nose?

Do you think she’d criticize the use of violence by the person who saved her life? No. Again, I’m betting she’d say that the bad guy’s use of violence was bad but the good guy’s use of violence was good.

What about a college co-ed who successfully defends herself from being raped by crushing and breaking parts of her attacker to the point where they can never be repaired.

Was her use of violence bad? No, but her attacker’s use of violence was most definitely bad.

Was the “violent” training and practice that led to these 3 positive outcomes bad?

It’s complicated.

Violence is neither purely good nor purely bad and value judgements about violence are based on your perspective.

Think of any active shooter situation and the murderer’s use of violence was always horrible, but in almost every case, the length of time that they were able to murder people was limited by a moral and ethical person who also used violence.

Violence took lives. Violence saved lives. And in many cases, “gun violence” saved lives.

The more empathetic you are, the more disgusting, repulsive, and horrible violence seems and, ironically, the more vital it is that you become fluent in the language and art of violence.

Violent people don’t need to take a class on violence. They don’t need a course. They don’t need to learn how to do what they already do to control and manipulate people on a regular basis.

Nice, empathetic, peace loving people—the people who are the most repulsed by violence–are the ones who need to learn violence the most, because they’re the ones who are the easiest targets for someone who’s willing to use violence to get what they want.

In the times when posturing and verbal judo don’t work, if your attacker is speaking the language of violence, it’s too late to start learning the language.  You’ve got to know how to dance before you get to the ball.

Sheepdogs have this figured out. They live in the polite world, but are ready to flip the switch or turn the intensity knob and defend themselves and possibly others at a moment’s notice.

I want to share 2 quotes with you that are particularly applicable. The first is from Tim Larkin, creator of Target Focus Training.

“Violence is rarely the answer. But when it is, it’s the ONLY answer.”

People in civilized society are (fortunately) conditioned to negotiate differences with words, wild gestures, and sometimes touching, poking, and pushing. In a “civilized” society, the response for someone calling your mother a whore might be to puff your chest out, get bug eyed, and put on a show of trying to fight past your friends who are “holding you back.” Violence is not the answer. Maybe bumping chests or a punch or two, but not violence.

When someone cuts you off in a car, it might escalate to honking, flipping them off, yelling through your closed windows at them, tailgating them, and/or trying to pass them to “show them a thing or two.” Violence is not the answer.

But when a home invader comes into your house with a mask and a gun, they have crossed several lines that pretty much shout out that they are not interested in talking or bluster. They’re all business and you would be hard-pressed to find a good solution that doesn’t involve violence.

The second quote is from Navy SEAL Sniper, Chris Kyle,

One of my shirts from Chris

One of my shirts from Chris

“Despite what your momma told you, violence solves problems.”

Chris solved a LOT of problems in Iraq with violence. He saved hundreds, if not thousands of US and Iraqi lives in the process.

Violence solves problems when nothing else will…when all else has failed.

God used violence throughout the Old and New Testament when nothing else worked.

Governments and militaries use violence when nothing else works.

It’s the basis of law enforcement “use of force” training and almost all self-defense classes.

“Use the least amount of force necessary to solve the problem, and no more.”

But that only works when your ability and willingness to use force goes beyond your attacker’s.

What I mean is this…if your “violence volume knob” only goes up to a 4 and your attacker’s goes up to 11 AND he’s willing to use it to get what he wants, you’re going to lose a real-world violent attack every time.

Which is why it’s SO important for good people to train and practice the skills necessary to, as Ernest Emerson says, “turn their knob to 11” on instantly and on demand.

This is especially important for people who aren’t wired for violence.

It’s this ability to “go to 11” on command that allows an innocent happy-go-lucky kindergarten teacher to be both nurturing and caring when there’s no threat to her kids and EFFECTIVE in her response when she’s confronted in the mall parking lot after school by a guy in a hoodie with a knife to her throat. If she wants to survive to be the happy-go-lucky teacher tomorrow, she must have the ability to “go to 11.”

Not just with intensity, but with effective intensity.  A 130 pound woman hammer fisting a chest has a MUCH different effect than striking a throat with the same intensity.  Scratching the face leaves embarrassing marks…scratching the eyeball is life-changing.

Yet, how do you do this? How do you take someone who isn’t wired for fighting and give them the ability to “flip the switch” and take care of business if the need arises?

There’s 2 parts…

First is avoiding as many violent encounters as possible and that will be the best first step for many people who think they’re opposed to violence.

Regardless, the smartest and most effective way to “not lose” a fight is not to fight in the first place.

This means practicing situational awareness…and not the silly “look for bumps under clothes and bad looking people” that’s floating around online. I mean REAL situational awareness skills like what you can learn in Retired Navy SEAL, Larry Yatch’s course.

This is not a high-speed-operator course, but a situational awareness course that everyone from middle schoolers and non-tactical people to concealed carry holders, law enforcement, and military will learn from. If you don’t have it already, you can learn more about it >HERE<

Second, is the psychological ability to flip the switch and the physical ability to follow through on it. This means knowing exactly which targets on your attacker will stop the fight fastest, what bodypart to use as your impact weapon to have the most effect, and the body mechanics necessary to cause the most damage, regardless of your age, size, strength, or speed.

The training that I recommend the most for this is Tim Larkin’s Target Focus Training.

Some of TFT is pretty basic…like the fact that you should target the groin, eyes, throat, and other vulnerable targets that can’t be “hardened” by working out or get desensitized through repeated strikes.  You can get a list of effective strikes from a thousand or more websites and fly-by-night martial arts “experts”.  Just read the UFC’s list of prohibited strikes…really, a list of effective strikes is not special or valuable information.

What makes TFT special is the high level accelerated learning techniques that they use.

Originally developed for the SEALs, (Tim was in the Navy at Coronado. He had a catastrophic eardrum rupture during BUD/S [SEAL training] and they asked him to stay at Coronado for this project instead of being sent back to the fleet.) These accelerated learning techniques have been used, tested, and proven effective for almost 30 years.

I don’t want to spend a lot of time convincing you, but it’s incredible training and you’ll be doing yourself a favor if you find out more by going >HERE<.

With that, I want to ask you a favor.

There are hundreds, if not thousands of my readers who can’t get through to their loved ones that they need “violent” skills to protect themselves from violence.

And that having a volume knob that has the ability to go to 11 doesn’t mean that they’ll suddenly go there and stay there any more than having a speedometer that goes to 140 will make you a speeder.

So if you’re someone who is “more sensitive than most” who has gone out of your comfort zone to learn the craft of violence, PLEASE share your experience by commenting below and let us know what you’d tell someone to convince them of the need to learn some skills that may be a little uncomfortable at first.

And, if you’re someone who has successfully convinced relatives, friends, or loved ones who are “more sensitive than most” of the need for violent skills, please share what you said and what the transformation was like.

Questions? Comments? Anecdotes? Please share by commenting below…

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  • Don Brown

    Reply Reply November 15, 2015

    Having taught bit drown proofing and fighting from the purse while active duty, my biggest opponent was the base commanders wife. Although she attended FFTP, she broadly proclaimed she would never use it because “Her husband ran a tight base.”
    Some folks you just can’t reach.
    A year + her uncooperative attendance, she was mugged in a shopping center on Christmas Eve doing some last minute shopping.
    Attendance at the next class in January was 3X regular, and guess who sat front row center?

  • Mike Ptaszynski

    Reply Reply October 31, 2015

    Excellent discourse on the ostensibly offensive, but unfortunately and inherently necessary topic of focused and controlled violence. Your essay lends a great deal of clarity to a complicated topic. I plan to use it when facilitating the NRA
    Refuse To Be A Victim personal safety and crime prevention course. There is a module on options to dealing with crime if awareness and avoidance don’t work. This knowledge and understanding of violence will complement the discussion on developing the Survival Mindset. Thank you!

    • Ox

      Reply Reply October 31, 2015

      Thanks, Mike…for your comments, but mostly for the teaching you do.

  • Marcus Pickett

    Reply Reply October 30, 2015

    Learn it because you never know if you might need to fend off an attacker. Kindergarten teacher, remeber Sandy Hook. It feels better when you know the world is sh*t, and you might be the only things competent or responsive enough to step in. It’s past negotiating circumstances.

  • jerry

    Reply Reply October 30, 2015

    I have taken many of the courses that are mentioned in your article – all done after my time in the military, time as a police officer and a long career of working with offenders. None the less, I could not budge my wife towards learning any of this stuff until…. We live out in the country and there was a wide spread power outage following a big storm. Looting was reported in two small cities not far from us. As I put my plans into action I made it very clear to her that I could not defend our home by myself. Of course, that is not the time to begin her training, but, it scared her. It scared her enough to agree to start learning what she needs to know. She was surprised, in the process, to learn that some of her lady friends have ccw permits and carry. This includes one woman who had to use her firearm to protect herself. She now understands that the reasons for having a fire extinguisher in our home are the same reasons to know about firearms….

    • Ox

      Reply Reply October 31, 2015

      Happy for you, Jerry! That’s what every sheepdog male wants for his wife 🙂

  • DD Barnes

    Reply Reply October 30, 2015

    Trained with Tim Larkin’s team in Las Vegas last year. I learned skills which will protect me from violent attackers. Situational awareness needs constant improvement. When my s.a. lapses, Larkin’s training will save me.
    Do this class alone. This is not a time to socialize. Focus on the course as if your life depends on it. Then, return to your peaceful life. If you need these skills, they will work for you before you can think about it. The best value in life insurance.

  • Sam W.

    Reply Reply October 30, 2015

    Discussion with karate instructor: Sam you don’t hit very hard, what would y do in a street fight? This is practice I want everyone to go home, in a street fight I want to go home. There are targets I won’t hit here. My next match was a kungfu student, it wasn’t competition so when I was loosing anyway I started tapping strikes I would use in a street fight.
    Learn a self defense system.

    • Ox

      Reply Reply October 30, 2015

      Good job on the mental shift, but it’s important to separate practice, matches, sparring, and fighting. If you truly would use the same strikes in a street fight that you would in a match, you might want to add some additional strikes to your arsenal.

      Life or death strikes…like what you’d use in a self-defense situation when you’d be justified using a gun are different than what you want to use in a match.

      I used TFT concepts in fights in the 90s…but it wasn’t the targets, like groin, eyes, throat, small joints, etc….it was striking points that would cause spinal reflexes that caused their body to move in a way that predictably set up or enhanced my next strike.

  • Brock Hollingsworth

    Reply Reply October 30, 2015

    I have read and watched some of Tim Larkin’s material. It truly is an uncomfortable subject, because we look at violence as inherently evil. No individual in their right mind desires violence, but that’s the world we live in. I have had to work through the moral implications of learning violent skills as someone who lives by faith. I’m at peace acquiring these skills because violence really is neither good, nor bad. If you are not willing to do anything in your power to protect your loved ones, then you need to prepare for the possibility of unspeakable tragedy befalling them.

  • deedee

    Reply Reply October 30, 2015

    Just another quick comment. I have your Dryfire Training Cards & UrbanSurvival Playing Cards. Great stuff!

  • wes bear

    Reply Reply October 30, 2015

    You learn to swim so that you can live your life free of the fear of drowning. In other words: You learn “how to handle yourself” in the event you end up in the water. Sometimes you can’t avoid the water.

    • Ox

      Reply Reply October 30, 2015

      Good stuff, Wes. I look at it this way…

      I think swimming is a basic life skill and everyone should know how to do it so that they don’t become a victim of a swimming accident. But there will always be people who have a strong aversion to water and I think they should AT LEAST learn drownproofing techniques.

      I think EFFECTIVE self defense is a basic life skill that everyone should know how to do so they don’t become a victim of a violent attack. But there will always be people who have a strong aversion to violence and I think they should AT LEAST learn how to use violence as a tool.

  • Jeff Garren

    Reply Reply October 30, 2015

    My wife and I grew up in two separate environments. My wife in a self described bubble in a nice middle class neighborhood and myself in a poor section of town in a poor family. So I grew up seeing the under belly of society seeing knifings, shootings, gang fights, and violence in general as just a part of life. My wife saw none of this. I would like to say I said something that changed her mind to be more prepared or aware but although I said much, she would nay say it as me just being paranoid or overly “negative” in my outlook of humanity due to being ex-LEO and ex-Mil. Eventually she ran for village council, ran the safety committee and began to hear the same things I would say but now from the local police chief which gave it more weight. She would get exposed to all the crime going on in our little village that she would normally not be aware of due to her access on the committee. So she quickly learned I was not as crazy as she may have thought. That just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. After this she got her concealed carry, began going to classes with me, and now we do 4-6 training classes a year and/or seminars. She is much more accepting of my motto that “bad things happen to good people” all the time and my supplemental ” S#!t happens” so be prepared. One of the reasons we now carry matching Glocks so if something happens to me she has her own or can use mine. It’s an odd thing to say but it has actually turned into a bonding experience now that were on the same page and have one more activity that we enjoy and share together. Still can’t get her to take the Krav classes with me, but she has the flashlight, the knife, and carries a G26. So progress!

  • Glen Moorehead

    Reply Reply October 30, 2015

    I ordered several of your CD’s and asked my wife to participate in the training. She politely informed me that she doubted that she would resort to “injuring” another human being to such an extent as seen on vide Her attitude was that she would probably die before she would lower herself to the attackers level and go to her reward in peace.
    I was very surprised however when I put her in a situation where she was in the park with our granddaughter and someone tried to harm her precious grandchild. She informed me that she would resort to any means necessary to protect the child and only then would she practice with me.
    I might add that she demonstrated a hidden talent for violence and was glad that she now feels less vulnerable in a violent situation and performed with NO hesitation.She was particularly appreciative of the training on ” situational awareness”.

    • Ox

      Reply Reply October 30, 2015

      Thank you, Glen!

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