Adaptiv Concepts: Urban Escape & Evasion 101
December 29-30, 2018, Held at Blue Line Academy of Martial Arts, Wayne, PA (outside of Philadelphia)
Length: 2 days Cost: $275 Type of Training: Hands On / Interactive /Lecture
Skill Level: Beginner Prerequisites: None Instructor: Owner/Instructor Tom Leitner
Students: 7 with varying experience
I attended Adaptiv Concept’s course on Urban Escape & Evasion (E&E) the last weekend of the year. It was a two-day course consisting of lecture (discussion/audience participation was expected), practical application and observation exercises. The course was advertised as a beginner level course and the first in a series of 3 urban E&E courses. The level two will build on the skills learned and practiced in level one, in addition to introducing new skills. Finally, the level three course will review and implement all of the skills learned in practical exercises. Adaptiv Concepts maintain small student to instructor ratios, in order to make sure everyone gets one on one time and all questions are answered. Their goal is to make sure when you leave their courses, you won’t just know the material, you will understand it.
I went into the course with zero expectations and an open mind, as I approach every training opportunity. I have attended or taught courses that cover situational awareness and SERE (survival, escape, resist and evade) concepts before, but few with a specific focus on urban environments. I was looking forward to seeing how Tom pulls all the ideas together and presents them for Urban Escape and Evasion.
The course can be divided into two parts; Environmental Exploitation and Counter Capture. Day one was more lecture/discussion based, while day two was more focused on practical application. For the majority of day one, we discussed our environment and how it can be used to our advantage in a survival situation, including: the survival mindset, situational awareness, baseline, hard target vs soft target, preparation for travel (planning: area knowledge and endemics) and caches. Tom started the day out describing his view of a survival mindset and how he uses it in his everyday life.
He built a knowledge base for us to understand and exploit our environment, both at home and away. Tom makes everything an opportunity; exploiting successes, learning from failures and taking advantage of both. We started looking at people and places through the eyes of a predator, studying what makes a soft target and attracts predators. We discussed what things could become a threat to us and how they threaten our being. By the afternoon, we had moved into counter capture, focusing on lock bypassing skills.
We started day two by discussing the observations we made during the overnight exercise. Each student described some of their observations and how they met the objectives. Tom was able to relate each student’s observations back into the previous day’s lessons. We continued into counter capture with introduction of more locks and different techniques building on the previous day’s practice. We learned and practiced several techniques for defeating different types of restraints from handcuffs to rope. The second half of day two focused on resource acquisition and possible sources, surveillance detection and avoidance, basic principles of disguises and go-bags. Tom finished off the day with a discussion about self defense during escape and evasion.
The primary goal is to avoid the fight with our situational awareness. This engagement should not meet force with force, but serve as a means to break contact and continue evading. We may be tired, wounded, sick or just beginning to escape and will need all the energy we have to create time and distance between our threats. He identified targets on the body, that striking, will have more effect on our attacker and could provide us the ability to create time and distance.
Adaptiv Concepts’ Urban Escape and Evasion 101 course was two days of information and skills, focused on building a solid foundation for understanding the environment and how to exploit it, improving our chances of survival. Tom gave us skills we can apply every day and everywhere as part of our daily life, improving our security and awareness. Due to smaller class size, Tom was able to encourage student participation and create discussions. He was able to either draw out examples from the students or relate examples to their individual life experiences. If you are looking to learn about survival skills in an urban setting, this course series with its small class size, hands on approach to skills and Tom’s approach to teaching will more than meet your needs. I am looking forward to the next course in the series and applying the techniques learned.
My attendance in this class was comped with the request I would give an objective AAR and critique for Adaptiv Concepts and the Spotter Up community. Prior to the class I had not previously met Tom and I feel I would have given the same review had I paid for the course.
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