TRS-DDA Basic Tactical Driving Course – Drive like a spy
The Tuason Racing School Driver Development Academy (TRSDDA) recently held their first Basic Tactical Driving Course at the Mega Tent in Pasig City. Attended by individuals with high regard for personal security and safety, the course was a full day of adrenalin-pumping, hands-on learning directly from the experts.
“This program is special for us because it combines skills learned in the race track and the expertise of our security specialists. We have always wanted to offer this program that we believe is both timely and practical,” said JP Tuason, Founder of the Tuason Racing School. “Participants will learn how to protect themselves and their loved ones using their car as a two-ton weapon and other skills,” he added.
Divided into three parts, the one-day seminar covered (1) an introduction to personal security by Daniel “Snooky” Cruz; (2) Hands-on tactical driving exercises by the TRS instructors; and (3) Tactical protection and self-defense exercises by Tim Waid.
Situational awareness is key to survival
How many times have we heard of ambushes done in broad daylight at a stoplight or just when the target was getting out of his vehicle? Experts say that eighty-five percent of personal attacks happen on the road. That is why they stress the importance of practicing safety and security awareness techniques to avoid unsafe and potentially dangerous environments while driving and while getting in or out if your vehicles. Criminals are getting bolder, so whether you are the driver or the passenger, high risk, high profile, or not, it is best to know what to do in any situation.
Another important topic discussed was how much personal information vehicles reveal about their owners, ready to be exploited by the bad elements. You know those stick-figure decals with each family member’s names on your rear windshield? Yes, they need to go. School and village stickers are another giveaway – especially if you only have one of each. And let’s not even get into vanity plates.
Without realizing it, we are giving total strangers so much personal information that they can use against us. Those, coupled with a strict routine can prove very dangerous.
Drive like a spy
Driving is a useful skill that has many practical applications outside of the racetrack. A vehicle is not only a means of conveyance but is also a two-ton weapon and escape device.
Before even getting behind the wheel of the Peugeot 308 station wagons and 3008 SUVs provided for the exercises, participants were taught how to conduct a thorough vehicle inspection of their vehicles. While it may sound too tedious to do every time you enter your car, high-risk persons have nothing to lose and everything to gain by following the steps to ensure that their vehicles were not tampered with.
Like any self-respecting driving seminar would do, the lecture continued with instructions on proper seating position, mirror adjustment, as well as how to make the fastest seatbelt egress in case of an emergency.
The fun part of the practicals was learning how to execute evasive driving techniques. Though some of them may sound basic, having to do even the simplest maneuvers at high speeds to simulate an escape changes the ballgame entirely. The following exercises are included in the basic level:
- Figure of 8
- Figure of 8 in reverse
- Slalom Exercise
- Brake & Turn
- Y –Turn (or a three-point turn)
- Taking over a disabled driver (2 techniques)
- Bootlegger Turn (or the forward 180 handbrake turn)
- J Turn
Close body combat
Equally important to personal safety is knowing how to conduct one’s self when attacked with a knife or a gun at close range. Depending on the situation, sometimes victims must engage their assailants to have a better chance of escaping and surviving the assault. Instructor Tim Waid demonstrated moves based on Pikiti Tirsia Kali, a close combat-oriented system that focuses on edged, impact, and improvised weapons like a tactical pen and a flashlight. Waid also shared his techniques that are based on body mechanics and geometry, and if executed properly, can be lethal to the receiving party.
Learn from the experts
The TRSDDA is the road safety arm of the Tuason Racing School. Backed by many years of racing and studying in different racing schools and motorsports facilities around the world, TRSDDA also has programs on Defensive Driving, Motorcycle Safety, Heavy Equipment Handling Safety, Auto Maintenance, and 4x4 Vehicle Training.
Daniel “Snooky” Cruz has more than 27 years of security and tactical experience under his belt. He has served in different capacities in numerous organizations such as the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA), the US Drug Enforcement Administration, the Artemis Tactical Training Facility, and Orion Support Incorporated, and the like. He is currently the director of Comprehensive Research, Probing (CRP) Consultancy Services Inc.
Tim Waid is a former US Marine who came back to the Philippines to learn the Pikiti Tirsia system. Waid is currently one of the few westerners with a rank of Tuhon or Master –level Instructor in PTK, and heads the Pikiti Tirsia Kali Global Organization (PTKGO). He is a recognized Subject Matter Expert on Military Close Quarters Combat, Law Enforcement Use of Force and Defensive Tactics, and Executive Protection/Close Protection Tactics. Waid also instructs military units, law enforcement agencies, and private security forces worldwide in Operator/Officer survival and specialized tactical training programs, and is credited for introducing and integrating the Kali system into the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
While these are skills you pray you never have to use, knowing how and when to use them may mean the difference between life and death. (Because knowing is half the battle – G.I. Joe)