The backstory of Wodan Securitys Swiss Close Protection workshop is linked to the unfortunate Corona restrictions that lead to the cancelation of the International Bodyguard Conference 2020.
Just some weeks before the IBC should have taken place in the ATAC training center in Prague, the Czech Republic got set to “red” and the travel restrictions wouldnt have allowed most of the instructors or participants to visit the Wodan Securitys training event.
So as we already dropped our hopes to train with the team of Wodan Security this year, I got a call from Wodan Securitys CEO Ralf Kassner. Ralf basically told me “we are going to do it anyway, but in Switzerland!” and I just responded “Well, we are in!”.
As we arrived in Switzerland, I quickly checked in in the hotel, which was included and was better than my expectations on a event like this.
We put on our gear and drove to the range, which turned out to be a whole Swiss Army shooting range with a maximum shooting distance of likely 300m, which was pretty awesome. All participants received a schedule, face masks and everything else needed during those corona times.
Now, the almost 25 patticipants got divided into two groups and our group started with a “combat pistol” class, teached by no one else than Ralf Kassner and his fellow instructors. After the safety brief we started with basic marksmanship and then quickly advanced to shooting on the move, drawing from various concealed positions and other drills.
Everyone got picked up from his baseline and was brought to his next level. The pistol part was ended by a small competition. The group got split up into two teams. Each having a target set up with three coloured balloons, red, yellow and green. Every shooter just had one bullet and the team had to take out the red and the yellow balloon. Shooting the green balloon would have ended the exercise. To make it harder, before shooting each shooter had to do 20 push ups and then run like 200 meters to a set up point and then 200 meters back. After a team cycled completely the team moved closer to the balloon. We had like three cycles in the group and almost everyone got pushed to their limits.
After that we switched groups and got to the rifle range, where Max, Wodan Securities swiss instructor already waited for us and again, started with the basics of combat carbine training. Covering marksmanahip, emergency reloads, ready positions and tactical reloads. We then got into peeling away from the enemy and performed some peels and contact drills, it was great to actually do this on wide, open range like provided during this class.
As the evening came we drove into a restaurant for dinner and a small but very informative TCCC update, done by a European Tier 1 SOF Medic. The TCCC update also included how to specifically pack medical equipment into a low visibility package.
On the next day we started in the restaurant again. It was time for a theoretical group exercise, covering an evacuation from an embassy in a hostile environment during a natural disaster. Every team had to come up with an own plan and Ralf Kassner really gave us constructive feedback on the pros and cons of every solution.
After this our group visited Wodan Securities very own CQB facility, which was not only big but also featured a modular construction. Our first training was what is called the hooded box CQD drill. During this drill one attendee walks in a room with a loaded FX gun and then got his face covered with a box. The instructors set up ever changing scenarios which may included armed threats or unarmed civilians. After the setup is complete the box gets removed from the attendees face and he has to intuitively react to every new situation. This drill certainly improves reaction speed and situational awareness.
After some hours we changed groups and now headed to medical training. Which was first off the practical continuation of the TCCC update we had in the last evening. It was really great to train with a T1 SOF Medic and it was surprising to see how simple and effective his approach to tactical emergency medicine was. This really trimmed down my approach to march in a high speed low drag manner. The final exercise included treating a casualty under low light conditions in confined areas and was a really great tool to further settle our acquired skills.
The evening of the second day started with a BBQ and a little expo in which the main sponsor S4 Supplies from Germany showed of some of the latest gear and clothing. But we came for training and so the training continued with an excellent lecture performed by Thilo Ohrmundt, author of the book “close protection by reconnaissance”. Thilo, a former LRRP operator, shared a ton of knowledge in close protection and especially regarding his experience in close protection reconnaissance and advance work. It really shifted our perception more to the importance of good advance and recce work.
The last day started with a great lesson in Krav Maga, held by French instructor Leon. He definitely managed to find the balance between combatives and martial arts and picked everyone up on his level. All exercises and techniques where performed under physical stress, which also included catching some punches. His techniques where intuitive and yet effective and he really put a focus on kinetic force.
After sweating during Krav Maga we finally got to the CQB facility again and started with CQB drills. Ralf and his Team covered the basics and the importance of speed, surprise and agression during CQB situations. After everyone was set up we completed close protection specific exercises with simunition. Those included the extraction of a injured VIP during active shooter situations.
Our conclusion of the Swiss Close Protection workshop was that it wasn’t only a great training and networking event. Wodan Security showed that they were in fact able to set up a whole high class training event in a matter of days. I also like to to speak about Wodan Securitys Instructors. I think that their down to earth and almost pedagogical approach to training makes them exceptional teachers. You get decades of combined knowledge that literally gets shared and not thrown on you.
We are really looking forward to our next training with Team Wodan.
If you are interested in Training with Wodan Security, feel free to visit their website.
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