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Old April 23, 2001, 10:12 AM   #1
Betty
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I took my baton re-certification this past Saturday alongside my brother. (This is a yearly event.) It was at APPS in Nashville, with a reputable instructor, J. Buford Tune, who had enough awards and certificates from his long police service to fill up an entire wall. In the end, however, I was gravely disappointed in the class.

In brief, my last instructor took my $35 and “disappeared”, never giving me or the other members of my class the final certificate or card that I must carry on me. He would not answer my phone calls or return my messages. So, that is why we decided to find a new instructor.

There were about 20 people in the class, the majority being security guards in-training and correctional officers. There were only two women, including myself. My brother Phil and I were the only two non-security / non-cops. We did the classroom time and the written test, and then stepped outside to do our baton training.

I got paired up with the biggest sissy. This man was middle-aged, average height and build, but hit worse than a dainty little girl. I held up the padded shield and he tried to whack it with the foam padded practice baton. Tap. Tap. I could hardly feel a thing. Tune walked up and said to the man, “Do you like her (meaning me)?” My partner was a quiet man and lowered his head and mumbled something in response. Tune said, ‘Well, pretend she’s not a sweet little 105 pound girl and pretend she’s a six-foot-nine, 300 pound Hispanic gay male who wants YOU really bad. Now HIT HARDER!” Tap. Tap. I couldn’t help but roll my eyes while hidden behind the shield.Tune gave up on the man.

And then there was this other security guard in-training who was wearing a brand new white golf shirt, slacks, and shiny dress shoes. He definitely didn’t dress for the occasion properly, and adamantly refused to get his shirt dirty in the grass while the rest of us were prone for excercise. He just stood there and watched us. The entire time his attitude reflected “I don’t want to do this”. Makes me wonder how reliable both of these men were going to be as security guards.

It was not the other members but what I did not get out of the class that was disappointing. Last year, for my first certificaiton, it was an incredibly rigorous 8 hour long official ASP course that tested opening and closing the baton properly, closed and open baton strikes, how to deal with multiple aggressors, and weapons retention.

In this class, it seemed ultra-generalized with “whack, whack, whack the padded shield any way you want as long as it’s at a 45 degree angle”. I felt like I was on a fast food assembly-line. The class was definintely not reality-based like my previous one. We never touched a real baton, so we never practiced how to open and close one safely and properly, we never learned the closed baton strikes, and Tune said we weren’t going to go over the open straight-strike because he didn’t want us to “get hurt if we landed in the grass”. Oh, please.

In order to deliver the full effect of a baton strike, you must put the burden of your energy in your hips and legs, not just your arm. I was the only one who did this, out of constant practice and the fact that I really don’t have much of a choice with a rod fused to my back. So, I was the one who was generating the greatest amount of power in the baton, even though I was the smallest and probably the most physically weak in the class. Mr. Tune pointed this out to the rest of the class, but did not persue getting the others to use their body properly. And then next thing you know, class was over. It was very short and disappointing, and the other class members are going to go about only knowing the most basic of basic maneuvers without administering them properly or realizing their capabilities with the baton.

The lady handing out the certifactions looked at me and said, "You've had martial arts training, haven't you?" I said no. My brother piped up and said, 'She's just mean."

In the end, I retained what I learned in my first baton class and only got a little laminated card out of this one.
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Old April 23, 2001, 10:26 AM   #2
C.R.Sam
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What a shame. Sounds as if, instead of a refresher course, it was merely a revenue generator.

Have you considered reporting this to whoever oversees the program? Seems that the folks runnin the course don't deserve their certification to teach the class.

At least you didn't let them spoil your skills and mindset.

Sam
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Old April 23, 2001, 11:39 AM   #3
Betty
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Mr. Tune, the instructor, is also the owner and operator APPS. I just wrote him an email, and I am curious as to what his response is going to be.

I was hopoing that if I was pleased with this class, I would take one of the others listed, like the "Street Survival with Firearms for Citizens, Security Officers & Law Enforcement" which looked really interesting.

His website is here:
http://appstraining.com/
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Old April 23, 2001, 12:07 PM   #4
Betty
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I just got a response from my email and it is as follows:

Thanks for the questions, The reason is that you can't make chicken soup out of chicken s--t. And you see what we have to deal with. I do agree very much that the real life stuff is what everyone needs, but the course for the state is only 4 hours and if I did anything longer I would be out of business. I cannot make these people believe that the class is not long enough and needs to have more hands on. But, some of these people, and you could tell, do not even need a baton or anything else. I try to do with what they sent me, the best that we can. Most of these security people will never
last a week with the companies anyway and they do not want to spend a lot of time with them. We did the multiple aggressors in the past, but most of the cry babies went back to the companies and complained.

As you could tell most of the people that went through the class would not understand the process of the opening and closing. I do agree that more need to be put into the class, but again I try to do the best with what I have. I did show them how to close it without damaging the baton if it is stuck open, and most could not understand that.

I would be glad to refund your money, it that is what you want. I welcome the information that you have and the criticism to the class. I am not one to defend something unless it is complete wrong, and in this case you are
very right and again I have tried to get this fixed but the officers and companies will send their people to another instructor who does the class in about 1 to 2 hours and let them go.

I go over the basics and tell them that they need more, more, and more. They will not listen until someone get hurt, and then they will all be running back for more.

I wish all of my students had the fore thought and the willing to learn that you have. I was very impressed with what you did in the class and that is the reason that I pointed you out. As far as using the hips and legs goes,
it falls back to the same thing as before you and show and tell but you cannot make them do it unless they are willing to do so.

Thanks for the Email, and if I can help PLEASE do not hesitate to call.
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Old April 23, 2001, 03:24 PM   #5
STEVE M
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Sounds like you need to talk to him about teaching an 'advanced' course or some such that would be for dedicated people. Maybe even help instruct it. If not then try to become state certified to teach it yourself. If you open it up to civilians, you will have business.
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Old April 24, 2001, 05:26 AM   #6
Spectre
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He sounds like a good guy doing a hard job. Kudos on your dedication to your survivability.
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Old April 24, 2001, 08:42 AM   #7
Betty
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I think I'm going to go ahead and take the other course (Street Survival). Mr. Tune has an excellent resume and in talking to him, he definitely wasn't a dodo with a badge. It seems his class has gotten watered down to cater to what the security guard schools want their students to learn, and Mr. Tune has lost morale in his teaching but still wants to do the class.

He does have an advanced baton course, which people seldom want to take, but he says he will notify me when there are enough students to take it. In this class, he dresses up in the padded red man suit and "attacks". I saw pictures on his wall from those classes, and it sure does look menacing (and fun).
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Old April 25, 2001, 05:51 AM   #8
Battleaxe
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class

I found his comments insulting. Four hours is a lot if content is done right. Also he makes it look like the students fault. " What he has to work with?" Such weapons are hardly rocket science. If it takes five or six hours then do that. The state won't stop you from teaching MORE.
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Old April 25, 2001, 08:09 AM   #9
Glamdring
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Battleaxe: I think your misunderstanding his comments. It sounds like he started with quality instruction, that of course was difficult and a little challenging for the bulk of his students. And that his main CLIENTS [the security Co's], not the State, let him know that they were having to many complaints from their people that attended his classes.
And if he didn't keep those companies happy he would be out of business.
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Old April 25, 2001, 08:59 AM   #10
C.R.Sam
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Sadly; It sounds like there is a state requirement for certification to carry a baton. But no requirement for knowledge. So to be competitive, even a good instructor has to just give em the hours and the cert or the students go elsewhere. Instructors gotta eat too.

Sam...no answers, just tryin to think.
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Old April 25, 2001, 10:51 AM   #11
Recon
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I'm sure he is or was a nice guy and a good instructor, but his job is to teach the class. If one of his students goes out and uses the baton and gets sued guess who has to come to court and testify to the training he gave. Then he either looks like a damn fool or he commits perjury. I have been a PR 24 instructor and firearms instructor for 10 years you don't let the class dictate the course. That is the problem with things today everybody wants to take the easy way out. I'm sorry but the guy in the golf shirt would have been on the ground with the rest of the class or gone. I've thrown 2 LT's. off the range for not doing as instructed. Both times the Capt. backed me and they came back next time with a changed attitude. Do not compromise your principals for money!
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Old April 26, 2001, 10:32 AM   #12
Marty Hayes
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Having worked with security guards in firearms certification, I can certainly understand the problem. It is amazing. I would recommend that instead of receiving the refund, ask if the course fee can be applied to the next course, sreet survival I believe, and go for it.

Also, don't know what your predilection towards becoming a cop is, but from what I have read, you got the right stuff.

Go for it...

Marty
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Old April 26, 2001, 05:03 PM   #13
Betty
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I don't think I would become a cop for several reasons, though that was a serious option before I had started college.

I don't like putting myself in a situation where I am more likely to get shot at in my job choice. Getting stereotyped for using "racial profiling" or "police brutality" by ungrateful people also doesn't appeal to me. I like being off everyone's radar. Also, the rod up my back does put some physical limitations on me. Try leaning me backwards until you hear a loud snap. A cop once told me "that's what your partner's for" (backup), but I believe I've got to float my end of the boat.

Not being a cop gives me the option of running like hell instead of being obligated to handcuff a 6 foot 9, 300 pound doped-up man. It might also give me the sympathy advantage of bawling my eyes out like a little school-girl after a waste some scumbag.
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Old April 27, 2001, 11:46 AM   #14
Gunslinger
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Runt, that last post impress's me even more than I have been impressed with you in the past, which has been considerable.
I spent my entire adult life as an LEO and am now retired. My third wife (yes, I said third) was a police officer as well. We met on the job while working for Kansas City MO PD. She was all of five seven and weighed in at between 112 and 117 pounds at any given time. To this day, even though we have been divorced for several years and both retired nearly as many, if ever I needed a back up I'd choose her over all of the big, macho, hairy legged male officers I worked with.
Given your dedication and common sense approach I think you would make an excellent police officer. (That is the greatest compliment that I or any other officer can ever offer and I do not extend it lightly.) But, alas, given the same reasons you have illustrated in that post I would recommend against it. It pained me to tell my 22 year old son a couple of years ago when asked not to go into law enforcement.

But in a different time and under different circumstances I would be honored and feel perfectly safe to have you by my side in the worse brawl.
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