Course Announcement

I am pleased to announce the opening of registration for:

Violent Criminals and YOU: A Thinker’s Approach to Decisions about Personal and Family Protection

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

— The Art of War by Sun Tzu [Giles translation]

  • How do violent criminals think of us and how do they target us?
  • What do we need to do to avoid or counter their attacks?

This course is a collaboration between myself and eminent mental health professional, William Aprill. We have designed a course about personal protection that is intended for your brain rather than your trigger finger. William will be presenting his material about Violent Criminal Actors, how they think, and how your mindset preparation can position you to defeat them. I will be covering Strategies, Tactics, and the decision-making process with particular emphasis on avoiding Serious Mistakes and Negative Outcomes.

Defensive awareness is rooted in the realization of risk. Defensive preparation adds the commitment to prevent or mitigate threats. The objective of this course is for each student to unify those two elements into defensive decision-making strategies and tactics appropriate to their individual needs. The goal is that an actual life-threatening scenario will not be the first time participants have honestly faced and decided what will be necessary to survive and thrive in the aftermath.

Topics of the course

  • Understanding Violent Criminal Actors (VCAs) (WTA)
  • Strategies, Tactics, and Options for Personal Protection (STOPP) (CW)
  • The 5 W’s of Risk: Constructing an Effective Pre-Need Defense Paradigm (WTA)
  • The Environment of Decision-Making: Structure and Pitfalls (CW)
  • How VCAs Identify their Victims (WTA)
  • Decision-making drills – Recognition, Timing, and Triggers (CW)
  • Kidnapping/Abduction concepts used by VCAs (WTA)
  • Scenario based decision-making exercises based on actual events (CW)

Course details

October 8-9, 2016 – two full days of training

Classroom only, no shooting or physical contact involved

Norcross, Georgia

$400 for the weekend. Lodging, meals, etc. not included.

Registration available at:

Registration link

Bios of the Instructors

William Aprill is a licensed mental health professional with over 19 years’ experience across the continuum of clinical care. He presently maintains a private practice and consultancy specializing in post-traumatic interventions and other disciplines. William is a former deputy sheriff (Orleans Parish, LA, Criminal Sheriff’s Office) and Special Deputy US Marshal (Eastern District of Louisiana). He has presented his material on violent criminals and their decision-making, defensive incident aftermath, mindset development and defensive preparedness at numerous conferences and events throughout the country.

Claude Werner is a retired Army Officer who spent the majority of his career in Special Operations and Intelligence. Post military, he was Research Director of three commercial real estate firms and eventually became the National Director of Real Estate Research for Deloitte. He has been an NRA Certified Instructor in six disciplines for 25 years. For five years, he was the Chief Instructor of the most difficult shooting school in the world, the elite Rogers Shooting School, where he taught numerous Special Operations units and SWAT police officers. He blogs as The Tactical Professor.


“William Aprill is one of the most important thinkers in the defensive shooting world today. His insight into what makes criminal attackers ‘tick’, as well as his understanding of the psychological aspects of training and response, are valuable to everyone who has a firearm for personal defense.”

— Grant Cunningham, Personal Security Institute

“Claude is one of the deepest thinkers in the training community.”

— Rob Pincus, Personal Defense Network

“The gun is certainly a wonderful and very powerful tool, but it’s not wise to pin your survival strategies entirely upon the possession of that tool. [William] arms you with information. Critical crucial knowledge that may not be needed every day, but if the ‘Unthinkable’ actually happens to you it gives you enough exposure to know there is almost always something you can do to improve your situation. The exposure opens your mind…”

“Claude Werner is the preeminent researcher of armed citizen-involved shootings.”

— Ralph Mroz, retired Police Officer and author of The Street Standards blog

12 responses

  1. Looks great, Claude. Video it and sell the DVD!

    Good luck!

    Cheers m

  2. Reblogged this on Women and Guns and commented:
    Wish I could attend this out of state course.

  3. Claude I missed training w/ you @ the HITs revolver summit last Nov. but sure hope you & William take this OTR. I’m about to see him in Dallas, now you two together there would be outstanding IMO.

    1. There is a possibility of a Dallas class but we haven’t finalized anything yet.

      1. Understood Claude; hopefully the stars line themselves up nicely & Guy or DB/’lil Wayne will host you men. Given the 21 souls Guy has lined up for William, I’ll remain optimistic it would be viable for both of you.

      2. Bill Provence

        I would also be interested if you come back to the Dallas area. Please let me know. Thanks….. Bill

  4. Is there any chance that you might sett up a distance learning/video feed for the class?

    1. Given the interactive nature of the course, that’s probably not something we will do. In particular, my decision-making blocks just wouldn’t work in a distance learning format.

      One of my major issues with what little decision-making training there is available is the lack of repetition. One or two runs on a FATS machine is about the amount of reps most people will ever get. That flies in the face of everything we know about how to effectively learn skills. I’ve developed a method of running a large group repetitively through a series of decisional exercises. The interaction with other group members is a key part of it. No way to do that in a distance learning format.

  5. […] from two respected thinkers in the defensive training world: Claude Werner and William Aprill. Their new course, “Violent Criminals and YOU: A Thinker’s Approach to Decisions about Personal a…, has just been announced and it looks to be a superb event. It looks at self protection through […]

  6. […] that exists inside many criminals. That’s the main reason I teamed up with William Aprill for our Violent Criminals and YOU course. The more decent a person is, the harder it is for them to grasp just how evil and FITH some […]

  7. I hope you will venture back near the People’s Republik of Illinois, say Indiana, Iowa, MO, WI, take your pick. I just can’t make the Georgia trip. Best wishes!

  8. […] presentation was a small segment from our upcoming class, Violent Criminal Actors and You. Given the situation, I thought Strategies, Tactics, and Option for Personal Protection (STOPP) […]

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