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Thailand 2011.

Tank Todd

Pictured at front Ken Richter Ranger Training Group Ltd. Director and Course Manager complete with a dozen pins and double sided titanium plate from shoulder to elbow and 30 staples, but it didnt stop him in the slightest.
Pictured at front Ken Richter Ranger Training Group Ltd. Director and Course Manager complete with a dozen pins and double sided titanium plate from shoulder to elbow and 30 staples, but it didn’t stop him in the slightest.

Todd Group and Ranger Training Group Ltd. instructing and course management team.
Todd Group and Ranger Training Group Ltd. instructing and course management team. 

The Todd group exported course to Thailand in November and December 2011 was again at full muster.

Instructors and exponents show their respect each morning on course with the raising of the flag.
Instructors and exponents show their respect each morning on course with the raising of the flag. 

Course exponents included phases 1, 2 and 3 courses of instruction conducted simultaneously in separate training areas.

Exponents travelled from as far away as Africa, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and were joined by Thai residents on course.

The phase 1 course of instruction included to Thai police sent to learn the Todd systems CQC as well as two anti-poaching Rangers from Africa and a very capable exponent from Canada.

The Todd group instructing team included the master chief instructor tank and Dr Steffan Eriksson as well as big Nick Betty a Todd group military senior instructor.

Our course manager Ken Richter and host along with General Chanit of the Ranger training group Limited broke his arm in several places just before the course having to have major surgery and a dozen screws and a titanium plate the length of his upper arm included to his other titanium aftermarket additions and this did not stop them from partaking as course manager.

Time at the Royal Thai Special Forces camp A-03 as always when fast and days were crammed packed with training practising and evening lectures on close combat related psychological medical skills and historical subjects.

Getting back to basics free of in doors gymnasiums protective gear and the like allows civilians to experience as close to military close quarters combat training as they can.

Phase 3 exponents tucked away under the jungle canopy practised specialist unarmed and armed lethal CQC and CQB.

Phase three ground combat utilising an improvised weapon a terrain supplied rock in this case.
Phase three ground combat utilising an improvised weapon a terrain supplied rock in this case. 

The phase 2 exponents felt the training field many times during decentralisation and ground combat and soon learned that such terrain is not only unarmed combat realistic but also is far kinder in relation to the aches and pains associated with training on mats in doors.

Phase two exponents incorporating phase one skills prior to executing phase two skills.
Phase two exponents incorporating phase one skills prior to executing phase two skills.

A group of phase two exponents post a good days training.
A group of phase two exponents post a good days training. 

The phase 1 course were a mixed bunch of confident and not so confident exponents that had a lot of new principles and skills to learn and once learned practice at initially an enabling level and being increasingly intensity up to a combative level.

Phase one technique to command.
Phase one technique to command.

Scotty assists phase one exponents.
Scotty assists phase one exponents. 

The week included breaks from training where exponents were able to complete the confidence course climbing and repelling tower and wall and jump from the parachute training tower.

CQC exponents tackle the confidence course







Master Sgt. Yao instructing correct parachute falling prior to the jump tower.
Master Sgt. Yao instructing correct parachute falling prior to the jump tower.


Phase one CQC instructor Nick Betty gets ready for the jump tower.
Phase one CQC instructor Nick Betty gets ready for the jump tower.

Parachute jump tower action.
Parachute jump tower action.

Group shot.
Group shot. 

CQC exponents on the shooting range



 

They also had the opportunity post confidence course to take the slide of life (flying fox) out over and down into the lake.

Post confidence course bathing by means of the slide of life


Exponents were taken to the annual military Winter Festival and had the opportunity to look around the many exhibits stalls and purchase local ethnic food.

By day five exponents had experienced the realities of military close combat training first hand and many had undergone reality checks in relation to what they believed would work and what actually did work without a studio environment and protective elements.

Some were injured and unable to test and others simply realised they were not up to the required basic level for phase 1 testing.

However they had achieved much just by fronting up and undergoing the training working with military close combat qualified instructors and worthy training partners an enemy party.

Combative conditioning training demonstrated by Tank utilising your training partners bodily weight and unceremoniously dumping them over your shoulder.
Combative conditioning training demonstrated by Tank utilising your training partners bodily weight and unceremoniously dumping them over your shoulder. 

Combative conditioning training demonstrated by Tank utilising your training partners bodily weight and unceremoniously dumping them over your shoulder.

Day six there were only three candidates willing or able to undertake the phase 1 test.

Reality checks are a wonderful thing and individuals as volunteers have the right to test or not test without question.

The three candidates two from Africa and one from Canada proved to be combative top ten-percenters and all passed the phase 1 test.

The week-long CQC course included phase 1 basic phase 2 advanced and phase 3 specialist courses of instruction.

The phase 1 course of instruction was conducted with emphasis on preparing candidates for the realities of phase 1 testing.

In the later stages of the week individual exponents received critiquing and individual skills adjustments to ensure they had the best chance of a successful phase 1 test.

With the intensity increased and the range reduced combined with all combatants employing the same system achieving the objective required commitment and correct executions of skills.

The favourable received post course comments in relation to exponents having never seen anything like this type of training before and how effective the skills were as well as the test phase being a real test of guts and ones skills capabilities is testament to the nature of the training and testing regime.

Phase one test battle handling exercises



Phase one test self-defence skills testing phase ambush at knife point.
Phase one test self-defence skills testing phase ambush at knife point.

Phase long weapon ambush disarming
Phase long weapon ambush disarming

CQC phase test ground neutralisation.
CQC phase test ground neutralisation. 

Combative Phase of Phase One Test




Combat milling toughner and sickner phase.
Combat milling toughner and sickner phase.

Ready status combat milling.
Ready status combat milling. 

Phase One Test Phase Entry Status Edge Weapon Disarming





Phase holds escapes
Phase holds escapes

The three successful phase one candidates.
The three successful phase one candidates. 

 Immediately after the CQC phase testing ended the survival course began.

The candidates were supplied with webbing a pack and wooden training rifle and were told if they did not have that rifle with them at all times the result would be push ups.

Kitted out and ready to go on the survival phase.
Kitted out and ready to go on the survival phase.

Knot tying with Master Sgt. Yao.
Knot tying with Master Sgt. Yao.

Knot tying practice.
Knot tying practice.

The lads get their kit.
The lads get their kit.


 

The course began with basic land orientation and navigation and the exponents being issued with a compass and map and taught how to read a compass and map were given bearings and had to find a location which they did. Col Sunny and Ken Richter oversaw this training.

They also learned knot tying in relation to survival and safety and held to build a shelter in the jungle.

The next day's lessons included instruction on what you can eat in the jungle and this included about 25 options in relation to plants and vegetables.

There were plants similar to sweet potatoes and also banana husks and a wide range of leaves and nuts and berries.

They even learned benefits gained from crushing up ants with leaves and inhaling it to waken your senses.

Next they learned how to find water including finding the right vines and cutting them on a 45° angle and holding them above your mouth and not contacting with your lips with the vine because if you do within 10 minutes you will have a crook stomach.

They also learned how to get water from this stumps of a cut down banana tree and also using a covered hole in the ground to achieve condensation resulting in water in your cup.

Next they were shown snakes including a viper cobra a king cobra and a small non-venomous snake.

The handler demonstrated many ways to handle snakes. The handler then took a black cobra cut the head off of it and buried the head.

He then drained the blood of the snake into a bottle of whiskey added the snakes gall bladder and General Chanit took the first sip followed by the other lads.

They were told the reason behind this is that it makes you stronger.

Now that the exponents had been taught how to find prepare and cook food they were given a combined navigation and food preparation and cooking exercise.

They had to locate food stashes by navigation in three teams and then prepare and cook the food.

The third station included red meat chicken fish and rice and the exponents had to set up a little camp and cook the meal.

The lads claim it was the best chicken they have ever eaten golden crispy and juicy.

Throughout the setting up of camp and the preparing and cooking of the food they had to go tactical pulling out sentries and staying alert.

They were then transported about 1 1/2 hours from camp A-03 to the jungle where they were briefed and given a set of coordinates and had to move according to patrol procedures through the jungle to a lake where they had to use small boats to cross the lake.

Then they set off on a 2 1/2 hour trek through the jungle covering undulating terrain including following a riverbed for over half an hour which was hard going with loose rock and sizeable boulders.

The group soon found out the difficulties of jungle navigation especially with the limited training they had previously done.

They agree they were at times far from covert and more like a herd of elephants.

The only wildlife they saw was a snake spiders the size of your hand and centipedes up to 20 cm long.

On reaching the designated location they began to set up camp hanging their Hammocks from trees and making a fire.

They had lost radio contact and once that was restored they were informed the camp was in the wrong place and they needed to move 500 m further on around a bend and re-establish the camp.

This was some two hours after they had set up camp put out sentries and were settling in for the night.

When they arrived at the correct location they were greeted by General Chanit Col Sunny Capt Ammo Master Sgt Yau Captain Ya and some troopers.

When the lads had set up camp again they were provided with cooked dinners.

The staff advised the lads that they were going to leave them for the night and once they left it was to be a silent and dark camp.

Sentries had to be pulled out and both entrances to the camp and maintained all night long.

They were told to expect an ambush and unfortunately being civilians once the instructors left they were far from silent and all too often used their flashlights. The reality being they would have been easy targets.

They quickly realised how difficult is to operate in no light as there was no moon out.

Sentry duty was one hour on every five hours so if you were lucky it was only once during the night.

Most of the guys were not prepared for how cold the jungle was at night and they described it as freezing.

There was all too much noise white light talking snoring and even a swallowed bug that lead to a coughing fit that lasted minutes.

At first light they broke camp and head out to a designated base where they were transported back to camp and debriefed.

The debrief highlighted if that was operational they probably would all be dead with the amount of torque and noise they made.

They also were not properly dressed to move through the jungle having short sleeves and a lack of faith protection etc.

They were mostly ill-prepared for the change in temperature night brought about in the jungle.

One of the lads Nigel had broken his collarbone in two places earlier in the week before the survival course and managed to complete the survival exercise phase.

All the lads learned much from this experience and from mistakes made which were well outweighed by the employment of new skills learned.

They were very thankful of the highly trained and skilled Thai special forces instructors.

With the presentation over all that was left was to spend the last night in camp with our gracious hosts and eat drink and socialise and plan for the next Todd group course to Lopburi Thailand in 2012.

We have established a Bangkok training facility as well which will assist with conducting specialist subject short courses of instruction and help with recruiting new exponents and identifying likely candidates for training and testing at camp A-03.

International exponents interested in an application for the Todd Group April 2012 phase one entry level CQC course and optional phase one test enquire below.

There will be another Todd group CQC course conducted in Thailand April 2012 and if you would like to attend and possibly phase test you can email your interest to [email protected]

Post course awards presentation Ken Richter and Tank Todd.
Post course awards presentation Ken Richter and Tank Todd.

General Chanit presents Tank with a Kings presentation watch.
General Chanit presents Tank with a King’s presentation watch.

 

 

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