Officer Safety Training

Team Dynamis is composed of Top Tier Subject Matter Experts and Officer Safety specialists who use state-of-the-art equipment to create ultra-realistic training for law enforcement and security professionals.

We develop, design and deliver training projects where your desired outcome is a more robust team whose performance in close-quarter contacts is efficient and effective.

Our three pronged approach enhances your team’s skills as follows:

1: Your team are trained to use a single physical operating system which is common across contact types and addresses all levels of force options.

2:  Your team are drilled in scenario-specific training evolutions which incorporate planning for failure moments and appropriate use of force decision-making evolutions.

3:  Your team are encouraged to use high-impact reduction gear which allows for intense but safe scenario replication and learning from desirable difficulties.

Please explore the information on our website here and contact us with any information you require about giving your team the highest-quality training.

To understand why officers need robust, reliable and properly refreshed OST training, one need only look at assault rates as reported by the PFEW.

Training Design and Delivery Model

Training Design Methodology

Team Dynamis offers a wide variety of specialty courses specially designed for practical,  realistic, safe and effective training and application to enhance survivability of trainees in the street, tactical team assignments, corrections and both conventional and elite military units.

All courses are taught by experts in the field that have dedicated their lives to developing and teaching integrated tactics to be used by those who must deal with fluid and chaotic Use of Force decisions that range from Verbal interactions to Defensive Deadly Force to Deliberate Deadly Force.

In an effort to help our client agencies to examine the systems they are using and to begin to incorporate more modern approaches to the training of their staff, our team has compiled a list of issues which we suggest should be covered by a robust and resilient system of training and preparation.

We promote a task-based approach to training design and delivery, incorporating an evidence-based methodology we have developed in cooperation with Professor Chris Cushion at Loughborough University School of health and sports science.

An effective system of training and preparation should incorporate the following criteria:

The training incorporates how survival stress impacts on perception

The training incorporates how changes in arousal effect physical performance

The training improves Reaction-Time using Mental Modelling

The training system addresses Stimulus Identification

The training system addresses Stimulus-Response Compatibility

Reflexive movements and defensive gestures are intrinsic to the training system

The skills being taught and assimilated are ‘low-maintenance/high-retention’

Simple solutions are preferred over complex ones within the training system

The system capitalises on what the learner can already do due to natural motor function

Progressive Intensity and Desirable Difficulties are introduced in training

Some stress-exposure and stress-inoculation is achieved in the training

The training system addresses intrinsic performer issues (motivation etc.)

In event-based training, events are embedded into training to achieve desired training objectives and provide opportunity for the trainee to apply skills in an environment representative of real world operational conditions.


Training Fidelity

Thought-leaders in the field of confrontation training recognise that the best way to design a training programme is to look at the types of scenarios in which our trainees may be faced with a performance challenge, and then place those scenarios at the very center of our thinking.


In this way, we ensure that the programme of training is relevant, effective and contextualised to provide the greatest benefit to the trainees when they need to put the skills they are being trained in, to use.


“training fidelity refers to the extent to which the characteristics of the training environment are similar to the characteristics of the criterion setting” PERFORMANCE UNDER STRESS (Hancock and Szalma 2008)


Ideally, the more fidelity the scenario exercise has with reality, then the better the result of our training, however it is possible to overwhelm the trainees with too high a level of fidelity and so cautious planning about the thresholds to which the training should cross / not cross are set in advance.


Our use of Impact Reduction Training Armour allows us to drastically improve and increase our level of training fidelity with role-players who can move naturally, broadcast congruous body-language and cues and then who can be impacted and controlled at close to full speed and full force by our trainees.   This level of fidelity could not be possible without the use of such robust and specially-designed gear.


Four-Phase Training Model

We understand that there is significant difference in what it takes to perform a task in a benign environment and what adequate performance requires in a hazardous or high-demand environment (such as the use of physical intervention or protection skills during a confrontation).

The difference in the effectiveness of training is how the contextual environment impacts on performance: “consideration of the contextual factors that impinge on task performance is critical to maintaining effective performance in real-world settings”  PERFORMANCE UNDER STRESS (Hancock and Szalma 2008)

The distinction between effective training and less-effective training, then, is the extent to which the training deals with and incorpoates these contextual factors which are (quite literally) part of the furniture in real-world scenarios!

We argue that the primary goal of any training programme is skill acquisition and retention, however high-stress environments include specific task conditions and require responses which differ from those found in the sterile classroom environment.


We use a four-phase model to structure our training:


1:  Cognitive analysis, breakdown and reverse-engineering of tactical problems

Trainees are taught how to breakdown ‘global stressors’ into specific short-term, intermediate and long-term tactical goals.  The trainees’ response to the stressor is re-packaged as being made-up of different components that have been identified and examined in detail.


2:  Skills Acquisition, Development and Practice Phase

The second phase requires focus on skills acquisition and rehearsal and it follows naturally from the initial conceptualization phase which came before it.   The specific skills that are taught and practiced in the training setting are then gradually rehearsed in more intense settings and are tailored to the specific stressors trainees may have to deal with in their poerational environment


3:  Exposure, Testing and Experimentation Phase (in-vivo scenario replication)

The next phase of training and preparation provides opportunities for the clients to apply the variety of skills they have learned to deal with the problem across increasing levels of intensity.    This is where the inoculation concept – as used in medical immunization – becomes evident.  Techniques such as imagery and behavioral rehearsal, modeling, role playing, and  graded in vivo exposure in the form of “personal experiments”  are used during this phase to increase the trainees competence.


4:  Detailed Debrief and Review of Performance including re-framing of objectives

Using video and in-person debriefs from experienced mentors, the process of refinement and re-adjustment of tactics and techniques is guided towards improvement in performance.


Our training is event-based – the event itself becomes the curriculum.

An event is defined as: “a specific task procedure with corresponding performance conditions.  Events may be discrete and singular or they may be multiple events connected into a series representing a longer scenario.  Events are defined to represent real world events and contextual demands.”

Officer Safety and Control Tactics

Course Rationale:

This course is designed to assist officers to survive an unanticipated ‘ambush’ attack during close-quarter interactions with subjects.   We focus on the most probable common attacks against officers and incorporate scientific methods to prepare officers to prevail in these envcounters.  The startle-reflex phenomenon and other behavioural responses to violence are core to the methodology.  The result is higher-performing officer whose tactics are resilient in the face of extreme violence.

Learning Outcomes:

  •  Attitudes required for high performance in combat
  • Instinctive Protection and Defensive Behaviours
  • Pressure Test Drills – Frames (Grab / Tackle / Headlock)
  • Pressure Test Drills – Instinctive Protection (Kinetic Assault)
  • Continuous Pressure Drills
  • Mental Model Training for Higher Performance
  • Weapon Development (Palms, Elbows, Forearms, Knees)
  • Engagement Development Drills
  • Attack Resolution Training
  • Chaos Habituation Training
  • Weapon Protection and Retention
  • Safe Search and Pat-Down Procedure
  • Arrest and Control Tactics
  • Transitional Control Tactics for Handcuffing

Officer Safety: Special Contexts

Advanced Combatives in Special Contexts – Ground, Knife, Restricted Positions

Course Rationale:

In any real assault there is a strong possibility that one or more of the combatants end up kneeling, sitting, reclining or laying on the ground or pinned or hampered, in a very confined space, over or under and obstacle or odd surface in a restricted position.  In other scenarios the assailant will use a knife or blunt trauma instrument which increases the risk to the officer.  This course addresses these scenarios with a comprehensive methodology and tactics.

Learning Outcomes:

[Ground-Fighting Fundamentals]

  • Tactical Sprawl from Takedown Attempts
  • Ground Protection Positions and Ground Movement
  • Surviving Strikes and Kicks while Grounded
  • Reversing and Engaging the Standing Opponent
  • Close-Quarters Getup and Disengagement
  • Surviving and Reversing Ground Control Attempts
  • Returning to standing positions from Ground combat


[Gun, Knife and Blunt Weapon Armed Assaults]

  • Secure Grip Drills from Close Threat Attempts
  • Pressure Test Drills (pull /push/ free hand punch)
  • Reverse & Engage Drills using Personal CQ tools
  • Reverse and Engage Drills using Environment
  • Surviving the Stab, Shank and Slash kinetic assaults
  • Avoidance, Deflection and Interception Drills
  • Passive and Active Draw Interception Drills

Impact Reduction Training Gear and F/X Simunition is incorporated into the later parts of the training, where available.

This course is often taught in addition to the Fundamentals Course to provide a broader scope to the officer’s close-quarter capability.  It builds on the principles from the fundamentals course and introduces new contexts and environments in which the counter-ambush methodology can be used to enhance officer survivability.  It is an excellent preparation for our CQB/SWAT Operator course.

Gerard O’Dea is the Lead Officer Safety Trainer for Dynamis and is supported in our professional engagements by experienced Close-Protection, Law Enforcement and Security professionals in the design, development and delivery of our tailored training programmes.

  • Specialist Personal Safety and Physical Interventions Training Consultant
  • UK Regional Coach for Functional Edge “9 Attitudes” Personal Safety Training
  • Certified Expert Witness on Conflict and Use of Reasonable Force
  • European Adviser for ‘Verbal Defense and Influence’ Conflict Management
  • Cardiff University Law School / Bond Solon Certified Expert Witness (Criminal Cases)
  • BTEC Level 3 Advanced Award in Advanced Self Defence Instruction (see other certifications)
  • 5th Dan Ryukyu Kempo Classical Okinawan Martial Arts and UK representative for URKA.

Prevention and Management of Violence and Aggression 15

“Since 1986, I have studied all around the world, exploring systems and meeting instructors from a variety of traditions and methodologies.  I studied Japanese at university, studied the old texts, lived in the culture.  My goal was then and still is now, to be able to answer the difficult questions about interpersonal conflict in the most meaningful, helpful way possible for my students. 

I have learned, and earned, my craft from some of the pre-eminent thinkers and coaches in the world, and retain close ties to those who continue to inspire me. 

In my corporate work, I primarily meet human services health and care staff, teachers, nurses, community workers of all kinds, contact professionals from the security, financial services and property sectors and from time to time I work with survivors of sexual assault or bullying. 

Dynamis Gym is the vital testing ground I established in 2006 where people with varying experiences with conflict come together to explore the reality of violence, aggression and the means to stop it or prevent it.  The environment is inherently a safe one where health, wellbeing (and injury prevention) are valued.

I often have only limited time with my students, but I am always inspired when the attitudes and methodology we use as trainers bring clarity to the problems of confrontation our people face in their life and work.

Where we have more time with individuals on a private basis, I have seen them transformed by our physical and tactical training – they emerge more confident, more aware, with fewer limiting beliefs.

My aim is that the training I provide is accessible and effective for every person who seeks it out – regardless of age, gender, size, occupation, past experience or expectations.”

Please visit this page to see a full list of professional qualifications for Gerard O’Dea.

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