Most self-defense classes focus on physical techniques. Although they make reference to the importance of awareness and avoidance, they typically begin their methods only after an attacker has initiated his attack.

On the contrary, true streetwise self-protection focuses on taking control of the situation before it gets physical. Through the use of awareness, avoidance, and proper verbal skills, most potential attacks can be thwarted before they ever take place—if you know what to do.

I have known Bill Kipp since 1995. In addition to training with him in arnis for more than a year, I have also personally gone through his adrenal stress training programs. After years of training in the martial arts for many years, I thought it would be easy. However, Bill knows how real attackers size up victims and creates scenarios that truly get inside students’ heads, replicating the terrifying gray area between verbal escalation and physical confrontation. In addition to providing the most realistic, adrenaline-charged physical training I’ve ever done, Bill’s course also taught me the critical importance of verbal de-escalation boundary-setting skills. To me, those elements were the missing link in the vast majority of self-defense programs. And that’s what inspired the production of this video.

In The Missing Link, Bill presents a step-by-step analysis of how attackers evaluate and select their victims, including the methods they use to test your boundaries and willingness to resist. He then teaches you simple, proven strategies that can enable you to take control of a situation through boundary setting and powerful verbal challenges. In addition to teaching you what to say, he also teaches you what not to say, ensuring that you not only have the ability to adjust your response to the situation, but also that you won’t end up provoking an attack.

The strategies in this video should be the first line of defense for all good personal protection programs. Whether you train in unarmed tactics, carry a less-lethal weapon, or carry a firearm, or all three, this information will complement your current strategies and give you realistic, effective options that will keep you safe on the street. This video is also great for loved ones who do not—or will not—take an active interest in physical self-defense skills. Because everything that it teaches involves verbal skills and boundary setting, it is much more “palatable” to people who want to stay safe, but aren’t ready to train in the skills of violence (yet).

Michael D. Janich