Urban Escape and Evasion
By: Dave Asprey
December 23, 2010
So, being bulletproof doesn’t mean you can really dodge bullets…but what if you actually needed to? Last year, I took a 3 day course from onPoint Tactical that was basically a combination of “Great Escape” and “Dog the Bounty Hunter.”
The class was an equal mixture of executives, who traveled internationally (like me), and military personnel worried about serving in urban areas. It didn’t hurt that Playmate of the Year, Sara Underwood, was sitting behind me. It *did* hurt my wrists (those mangled wrists at 1:56 in the clip are mine…)
The instructors taught us what to do in a kidnapping scenario, how to escape from handcuffs, get out of a car’s trunk (that’s me in the black shirt escaping from the car’s trunk at about 2 mins 30 seconds on G4TV’s Attack of the Show video above), pick locks, change your appearance, and lose a tail. It was some of the most fun I’ve had in years.
The final exam involved being “abducted,” hooded and cuffed in a van, having to “escape,” and then complete a series of tasks in town (in my case, Santa Monica) while a dozen bounty hunters combed the area searching for me.
The only urban survival experience I had, prior to taking the class was my time in Nepal when the Maoists took over the country, and reading Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life by Neil Strauss, who also took this class.
So what did my Bulletproof Executive practice do to help me? The collagen I take makes me flexible to the point I was the only guy in the room who could pass my cuffed hands behind me to escape. The brain training gave me perfect calmness when I was hooded in a claustrophobic van, and my physical conditioning let me hop fences when bounty hunters were close. My greatest advantage was having enough endurance to continue the intense course for 3 days and still have fun!
I learned a lot about myself in the class that opened the way for self improvement. It’s easy to be calm when you’re hooded in a van knowing that you aren’t really in danger, but they do make it harder for you if you get caught. When the bounty hunters catch you, they tie you up and drop you off farther away, and you have to make your way back to the right area, with no money and no phone.
I *really* didn’t want to get caught. I had an awesome disguise that let me walk right past the bounty hunters without being recognized. My perfectionism led me to avoid risks I should have taken. For instance, I spent half an hour observing a bus stop where I was supposed to contact an “agent,” but I stayed hidden because I knew there was a bounty hunter in hiding waiting to pounce. I was shocked to hear that a classmate made himself visible, let the bounty hunters chase him, and trapped them in a store by leaving by the rear entrance. He was able to talk to the “agent” in less than 10 minutes and continue the assignment.
I walked away with an amazing lesson for my career: If I focus on not failing (not getting caught) instead of the mission (contacting the “agent” in this exercise), I’m less likely to succeed. This is a common mistake people make in business all the time, from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 company owners. A lot of my brain hacking has resolved issues like this, but real-world stress helped me to see that I had more work to do on staying focused on the mission instead of on avoiding failure. Success is not the lack of failure!
If you’re looking for the most amazing gift for yourself or a loved one, this class is a once in a lifetime experience. Call it Bulletproof fun!