How reality based threat training is revolutionizing self-defense training
By Wes Fox, Founder, CEO and Chief Instructor at United Defense Tactical
From members of the military, law enforcement, to civilians on the street, self-defense training is always the same – target practice at a range. It didn’t take me long to learn that this is not a dynamic or effective way to teach anyone how to educate themselves on how to be vigilant and stay safe. Self-defense should be framed and presented in a way that teaches you how to draw a weapon as a last resort, not as a knee-jerk reaction.
I’ve spent most of my professional career in executive protection/high risk security, PMC and as a longtime combatives instructor. It was in those fields, surrounded by experts whom we expect to be equipped with the skills to keep us safe, where I saw first-hand the disconnect between training and real-life situations. There is a huge difference between practicing self-defense moves on friends in a relaxed environment and finding yourself in a high-pressure, violent situation with seconds to react.
My goal is to change the narrative and conversation around what we perceive to be effective, safe ways to practice self-defense and educate ourselves as a whole to be a safer society. I want to bring necessary changes to the self-defense industry as a whole so that we can save lives and help each other save lives. My vision is to one day be able to provide reality-based training to everyone in the world in order to help them react quickly—and strategically—in a dangerous situation. There’s never been a greater need for self-defense training and education than right now. Look at all the people that are being affected by violent crimes. This isn’t just military, law enforcement, or people living in big cities—it’s your librarians, your cashiers, your teachers, your children, your friends, and you.
16 years ago, I first came up with the idea that would one day become United Defense Tactical. It relies on the concept of reality-based training— using realistic simulator technology, self-defense, and force on force— to mentally prepare people for how they would react in violent scenarios. I thought that creating fast-paced, interactive scenarios would better teach people how to safely assess and de-escalate a situation. The training I came up with employs advanced technology, immersive simulations, mindset, de-escalation tactics and more, to create a highly realistic training environment. It’s a cumulative and educational training experience without the risk and danger of training with live ammunition. So not only is training in this way more educational and more effective, but it’s also much safer.
I hope to make communities safer by creating an environment where everyone feels safe, confident and empowered to take their safety into their own hands. When we don’t provide palatable training and techniques for people on every skill level, we fail our population’s most vulnerable members. United Defense Tactical offers courses for every experience level and a wide range of personalized courses to ensure that everyone can be best prepared for life, whether you’re military, law enforcement, a civilian, or student. People want to know that they are prepared for whatever life throws their way, and this program we’ve created works to instill that confidence in people.
Virtual, reality-based training is the future for self-defense and many other aspects of tactical training when it comes to law enforcement and other professions, and for good reason. It’s safer, it focuses on education and prevention rather than violence, and it targets and trains all skill levels, making it accessible to more members of the community. Together, we can create a safer, more aware, better-protected community.