Back to All Events

Shivworks/Dr. William Aprill - Unthinkable (Integrated Skills Weekend)

Unthinkable is, in brief, a tour of the dark side of our society: criminal violence. In one very full day, attendees will undertake a fast-paced and interactive overview of how Violent Criminal Actors think as they decide whom to victimize, focusing on our demeanor and behavior for cues that we appear easily victimized. Hands-on training will introduce robust, effective techniques for managing interactions with unknown contacts, who may or may not intend us harm, including disarming an assailant armed if necessary. The day will finish with an in-depth review of the psychological and social development of VCAs, with particular attention paid to incorporating this knowledge into a powerful, adaptive mindset of self-protection.

Course Description:

  • How do violent criminals think of us, and how do they target us?

  • How are human monsters made, and born?

  • What do we do when faced with unknown threats, even against a drawn gun?

All these questions recall threats that any reasonable person would avoid at any cost. So why would anyone pay to spend a day immersed in exploration of those threats and more? Simply put, there is no way to develop an effective and adaptive defensive mindset without spending time in some fairly dark places.

This course will explore the above domains and skill sets, guiding students to the next step in developing their ability to protect themselves and those they love.

For participants in this course, a systematic approach to enhancing personal safety will be undertaken in an engaging and fast-paced format over a very full day of training.

Since defensive awareness is rooted in realization of risk, and since defensive preparation adds the commitment to mitigation of threats, unifying those elements in defensive decision-making will be the emphasis of this course.

It is the goal of the instructor to drag awareness of risk from the back of the mind to its very forefront, ensuring that an actual life-threatening scenario will not be the first time participants have honestly faced what will be necessary.

Participants in this course will be presented with some challenging truths about the world as it is and asked to make serious, personal changes in how they pre-pare for that world.

Classroom components will include intensive, interactive lecture including:

Fatal Choices: Understanding VCAs and Victim SelectionIn this fast-moving and interactive lecture participants will be led through contemporary theories and current, curated data on the process by which violent criminal actors select their targets for violent aggression. Particular attention will be paid to the internal mechanisms in play within the criminal psychology, the universe of signifiers around "good guy" behavior, demeanor, and attributes which may actually make selection for attack more likely, as well as considerations for responsible armed citizens to mitigate this risk. Previous iterations of this material have been presented to law-enforcement agencies and private citizen groups across the US as well as international LE educational events.Violent Acts & Actors: A Conceptual and Practical OverviewMany instructors present material on surviving physical attack, some address the aftermath of that defensive violence, however the preparation for being placed at risk or even physically attacked is given limited attention at best. This “pre-kinetic phase” is, in contrast, the entire focus of this course. In this wide-ranging and fast-moving program, attendees will be introduced to current understanding of the scope and scale of criminal violence, typologies of such violence, and an in-depth tracing of the developmental path of those who inflict such violence on others. Significant attention will be paid to translation from academic concepts and theories to actionable material with relevance at the street level. Attendees may hope to leave with a far greater understanding of the origins of and motivation for the seemingly senseless violence that wreaks havoc on so many communities, as well as greater insight into steps necessary to maximize their capacity for self-protection.

Practical instruction will include:

Interacting With Unknowns: Enhancing Safety in Daily LifeThe vast majority of people encountered in our daily lives are of no interest or concern to us at all. A tiny percentage are actively malevolent and mean us harm no matter what we do and must be actively managed with applied defensive skills. However, a much larger fraction exist in an ill-defined space between: a space where interest, concern, risk, and threat exist in and emerge from a fluid universe of signs and signals. In a series of controlled exercises, attendees will learn a simple, practical, and robust method for determining the appropriate course of action with unknown subjects. No prior experience or training in defensive tactics is required, no special physical gifts are necessary and the material is presented in a from-the-ground-up approach to allow conceptual understanding and physical grasp of an intuitive skill-set in a relatively short time.

Student Equipment List

  • Note taking materials

  • Training version of carry gun (optional)

Registration is managed by Eventbrite.

This class is part of our Integrated Skills Weekend, and is followed by Chris Fry's Small Knife Skills. You must register for each class separately!