Green Ops x 5.11 ABR Academy – Knife Oriented Self-Defense

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I had the privilege of hitting the Green Ops “Knife-Oriented Self-Defense” seminar at the “5.11 ABR Academy” at the new-ish 5.11 Rockville store on Sunday. It was pretty cool! It was only 1.5 hours long, so this isn’t an AAR so much as a quick writeup with some pictures in case anyone’s interested in it.

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There were about a dozen people there. The instructor was a guy named Jeff Smith, with extensive protection detail and .mil experience. He was at the Ellifritz class I took, so I spent the first couple minutes after arrival trying to figure out why he was so damn familiar-looking. The topics covered were:

• Selection and carry
• Threat indicators
• Navigating a violent encounter
• Consideration of the aftermath

The class reminded me a lot of the talk-y portions of the Greg Ellifritz class, just a little bit higher-level and abbreviated. There was the usual assortment of knives to look over, discussion of where to stab someone, how to recognize you’re going to be attacked, and how to tell the cops you just stabbed a dude in self-defense (hint: don’t lead off the 911 call by saying you stabbed someone). I thought it was also interesting to see Jeff’s take on certain topics and how they were presented to a less hard-core crowd… Greg loves centerline fixed blades, and so do I, but you can’t concealed carry those in MD, so there wasn’t as much focus on them. It was also not 5.11 product focused, which was nice – I think maybe in the future, having one of their products on hand to demo would make sense, assuming it’s not trash (5.11 sells Benchmades, so there’s options!).

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While the class wasn’t mind-blowing for me, it was delivered with obvious expertise, and the audience did seem to learn a lot from it. I like the in-store seminar concept that 5.11 “ABR Academy” is using, and I’m hoping we’ll see something medical-oriented in the future. If your local 5.11 store has a seminar with a good instructor, give it a fair shake… you might learn something!

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