Jim Wagner

Tactical Flashlight, MRE, QuikClot and a Space Blanket: Why Jim Wagner Recommends These Travel-Safety Emergency Supplies

Protecting Others: Self-Defense Strategies and Tactics for Third-Party ProtectionEditor’s Note: This article is an adapted excerpt from Jim Wagner’s acclaimed e-book Protecting Others: Self-Defense Strategies and Tactics for Third-Party Protection, now available in the Black Belt Store!

A lot of people seem to drop their guard when they are on vacation. They are so preoccupied with having a good time that they forget that criminals prey on unsuspecting tourists. Although having a good time is the primary focus of any vacation, situational awareness must remain paramount to protect yourself and others with you. The same is true for the business traveler. You not only must take precautions at your workplace, but you also must be just as vigilant when traveling to unfamiliar destinations and checking into a hotel.

Part of protecting others is having tools and items you need for a wide variety of incidents while you are traveling. A Go Bag is a tactical bag that has essential emergency supplies in it that you can grab and take with you immediately. A Go Bag should not stand out or attract any undue attention. You don’t want anything that looks militaristic if you plan to use public transportation. You want it to be a bag that looks like it could have been bought in any travel store, and stay away from any bright, flashy colors.

As a professional traveler and a person with extensive tactical training and experience, I carry certain personal equipment with me at all times anytime I travel both on my person and in a Go Bag. I suggest that you carry the same items that I do. Let’s go over each piece of equipment.

Individual Equipment

Tactical Flashlight, MRE, QuikClot and a Space Blanket: Why Jim Wagner Recommends These Travel-Safety Emergency Supplies

PHOTO A: I am in my typical traveling attire. I wear a shirt that has lots of pockets and pants that have lots of pockets. I also wear sturdy boots that have a zipper along their sides; this helps me get through airport security quickly.

PHOTO B: Attached to my key chain is always a small LED light. A light, even a small one, can be used in a variety of tactical situations in the event of a subway attack, a smoky tunnel or a blackout. It is also useful in everyday situations, like finding a light switch in a dark room.


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PHOTO C: Always have a throwaway wallet to give to the criminal should you ever be robbed. Inside this wallet are fake family photos. You don’t ever want the criminal to have photos of your own family, but having photographs of children, even if they are not your own, may get some sympathy from the criminal. You can also say, “Please, don’t shoot me. I have a family.”

PHOTO D: Inside your throwaway wallet should be some promotional credit cards. They are cards sent by credit card companies and usually have the impression “your name here.” They look like real credit cards when they are in the wallet pocket; a person can’t tell the difference. If you don’t receive these promotional credit cards in the mail, you can always take an old credit card you no longer use and cut your name off it. Also in your throwaway wallet, always carry enough cash to satisfy a criminal. I actually purchase things using the throwaway wallet so that if I am under criminal surveillance, the robber will see me hand him the same wallet that I was using to make my purchase. For a woman, I suggest wearing a money belt where personal identification and credit cards can be kept. There are companies that make form-fitting money belts for women. All other items, such as makeup, brushes, breath mints, etc., can be kept in the purse.

Related Martial Arts Books, E-Books,
DVDs and Video Downloads

Related Books, E-Books, DVDs and Video Downloads

Jim Wagner’s Reality-Based Personal Protection: Terrorism Survival

Reality-Based Personal Protection

The Ultimate Guide to Reality-Based Self-Defense


Tactical Flashlight, MRE, QuikClot and a Space Blanket: Why Jim Wagner Recommends These Travel-Safety Emergency SuppliesPHOTO E: You must be prepared for car fires, structure fires and terrorist chemical attacks. You want a compact smoke hood that is designed to filter out not only toxic fumes from a vehicle or structure fire but also chemical weapons that a terrorist might use in a public place.

PHOTO F: I always carry a pair of flexible nylon handcuffs with me. They usually run less than $5 each, and two or three can fit into the change pocket of a pair of pants. There is no metal in them so they can go through any metal detector at an airport security checkpoint. I carry a minimum of two on me because they are one-time-only devices. If you pull it too …

Jim Wagner: How to Handle Bomb Threats

Bombings are the most favored method of attack by terrorists. In recent years, bombings have only increased, not decreased. The following paragraph was taken from an al-Qaida training manual that was found in a safe house by the U.S. Army in Afghanistan. It reads:

Explosives are believed to be the safest weapon for the Mujahadeen (trans.: holy warriors) that allows them to get away from enemy personnel and to avoid being arrested. An assassination using explosives doesn’t leave any evidence or traces at the operation site. In addition, explosives strike the enemy with sheer terror and fright.


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For those of us who live, work or travel through big cities, a bombing or bomb threat is part of our “reality.” Therefore, it is important that you know how to detect a device (pre-conflict), what to do at the moment of attack (conflict) and how to recover from the attack (post-conflict).

In this piece, we will focus on pre-conflict device detection.

Jim Wagner on Bomb Threats by Phone

The most common crime dealing with bombs is a bomb threat called in by phone.

Although most bomb threats turn out to be false, many criminals and terrorists will give a warning before detonating their dangerous package. These callers are mainly interested in destroying property, not killing people.

Because this form of terrorism is the most common, it is important that you know how to handle such a situation.

When you receive a bomb threat, you need not immediately panic. If the caller wanted to blow you up, he would have. The goal is to stay on the line as long as possible with the caller in order to gain intelligence (or “intel”) for the police.

Near the phone, especially for high-risk businesses, you should have a bomb threat card that lists the following questions and where you can write down the answers as the caller is speaking:

1. Name of the person who spoke to the caller
2. Telephone number that the call was received on (in cases of multiple lines)
3. Date and time of the call
4. Exact words of the caller
5. Background noises (street sounds, machinery, etc.)
6. Information about the caller:

  • male or female
  • estimated age
  • accent or speech impediments
  • attitude (angry, calm, disguised, etc.)
  • educational level (professional, street slang, etc.)
  • familiarity

Searching for Devices During Bomb Threats

If you do receive any bomb threats by telephone, it is important to know how to search for an improvised explosive device.

Many people think that the police will automatically come, evacuate the building and put all their resources into searching the building. However, that is not always the case. If the police reacted like this to every bomb threat they received, they would be doing that job exclusively and every criminal, terrorist and practical joker would be taking advantage of the police.

In most situations involving bomb tghreats, the police will rely on you to let them know whether it is a credible threat — and they will most likely have you or your associates look for anything suspicious. After all, you are familiar with your surroundings and would know whether something is out of place, whereas the police would not.

They will warn you not to touch anything should you find a suspicious object, but you will be the one to find it and alert them to it.

Sinister Motivations for Fake Bomb Threats

If you are the type to panic and evacuate everyone outside because you think the place is going to blow, then you may be herding people into the “kill zone.”

Many terrorists “test” an organization’s security system and evacuation plan by calling in false bomb threats, then doing surveillance on the location to see where everybody goes. Then they may come back at a later time and plant their deadly device.

The next time they call in the bomb threat or pull the fire alarm and everyone goes rushing outside to a predetermined location, they have a car bomb or other device waiting for everyone.

A Systematic Response to Bomb Threats

If you are tasked to search a building, you should have a systematic approach. The one I teach goes like this:

Responding to Bomb Threats — Step 1

First, go into the middle of the room, then stop, look and listen. If you have a partner, he can take the other half of the room.

If you have not observed anything unusual, then begin a search from the bottom up. Start with items on the floor and work your way up toward the ceiling one imaginary level at a time. Think of searching upward like a three-layered cake until …

Jim Wagner DVD Trailer – Knife Survival

The knife is the most common weapon used by criminals and terrorists, with the average knife attack lasting a mere five seconds. Knife Survival will take you step by step through the 12 angles of attack, the four primary blocks, the proper grip and the Jim Wagner knife-disarm rule. Includes proven conflict drills designed to increase your speed and reaction time: the feeding drill, the one-for-one drill and the freestyle drill. Jim Wagner draws on more than three decades of experience in martial arts, police, military and special operations. For many years, Wagner wrote Black Belt’s High Risk column. His methods are used by many elite forces, including the Israeli Special Forces, FBI SWAT and Germany’s GSG9 unit. Wagner is the creator of two Reality-Based Personal Protection DVD series, a multi-topic DVD series on survival tactics, and the author of two books: Reality-Based Personal Protection and Defensive Tactics for Special Operations, with the third (Protecting Others) in production for 2011 release. He remains in demand around the world, where he preaches the gospel of reality-based fighting, a genre he single-handedly defined.


Jim Wagner DVD Trailer – Crime Survival

Personal protection and self-defense go beyond the proverbial bar fight. It’s about surviving modern criminal conflicts such as strong-arm and armed robbery, carjacking, gang violence, assault and battery, caustic chemical attacks and other assaults. Crime Survival from Jim Wagner’s Reality-Based Personal Protection DVD series includes step-by-step instructions for protecting other people the way bodyguards do. Learn about police contact, courtroom survival, the Jim Wagner gun-disarm rule and ways to survive multiple-assailant attacks. As a well-known defensive-tactics instructor, Sgt. Jim Wagner draws on more than three decades of experience in martial arts, police, military and special operations. For many years, Wagner wrote Black Belt’s High Risk column. His methods are used by many elite forces, including the Israeli Special Forces, FBI SWAT and Germany’s GSG9 unit. Wagner is the creator of two Reality-Based Personal Protection DVD series, a multi-topic DVD series on survival tactics, and the author of two books: Reality-Based Personal Protection and Defensive Tactics for Special Operations, with the third (Protecting Others) in production for 2011 release. He remains in demand around the world, where he preaches the gospel of reality-based fighting, a genre he single-handedly defined.


Self-Defense Expert Jim Wagner with Boker Knife

Reality-based self-defense expert Jim Wagner, recorded in the Black Belt booth at Trexpo West 2009 at the Long Beach Convention Center in sunny Southern California, explains the details of his new knife from German manufacturer Boker.