Israeli Combat Fitness/Medicine DVDs Set [DVD review/Radio Interview]

Mar 15th, 2012 | By | Category: DVD Reviews, Military/LE, News

Emergencies are called emergencies because we don’t expect them. They’re like ambushes in life. But, like ambushes, we can prepare for them. Such was the lesson I was reminded on the 16th February, when I lost my father.

He had been diagnosed with prostate cancer, cancer we thought all taken care of seven years through radiation therapy. It not only came back six months ago, but metastasized into his skeletal system. Not only did I lose my father, but then learned this last weekend, that I had lost my trout fishing buddy and birthday brother, Ronnie Montrose: prostate cancer is a true man-killer.

My family and I had elected to offer the more traditional form of elderly care, and shared hospice duties during my father’s last days. As it was, the moment, he collapsed I was the only one in the house, responsible for not only calling 911, but also trying to revive h im in time for the paramedics’ arrival. I did revive him and surprisingly it was that moment that would haunt me with guilt, not the end that he had died: it would take a while for me to come to grips with fact that I had stopped what would have been a fast and pretty painless from a body that was pretty much shot with all the cancer and then the race of trying to kill the cancer before the chemotherapy would kill end up killing the body. Chemo in this moment favored the cancer.

Like I say, we don’t expect these events, but we all do need to plan for them, no matter how much we want to avoid them. Funny how many look forward to the firearms and explosives, and even hand-to-hand preparation for combat, but how there are some, especially those who’ve never been in combat, who gloss over the first-aid, CPR and combat medicine training evolutions. “Hey, that’s why we have a corpsman,” is the ridiculous response. I don’t really know why, but perhaps it because while learning how to save someone long enough to get them to a rear area hospital, something in the psyche pops and gets past that fearless, God-like psyche that enables many to go into combat, that “Oh, shit, this is how I could really get waxed!”

But, for those who’ve grown past the initial level of training and have actually gone into combat, and were that corpsman, or combat medic, we say, “Get that training and rejoice in that training—no matter how much it might remind you of your own mortality!”

With that in mind, I had to see what the Israeli Combat Fitness/Medicine DVDs Set was about. This is yet another excellent quality offering from Garret Machine and his team at Mako Group. If you don’t know about Garret, he’s a longtime veteran of Israel’s Duvdevan Special Unit, a special forces group of the IDF. You’ll see that in the way medical aid is not the full responsibility of a combat medic, combat medicine does not just apply to the battlefield.

Considering all the landmines in the world, you never know when you might need to know "combat medicine".

Civilian First Aid vs. Combat Medicine

One of the first lessons learned in the combat medicine component of the DVD set is the difference between immediate care combat medicine and civilian first aid. How many people know that that providing CPR in response to certain combat injuries can actually kill the patient?  Yes, if you try to resuscitate someone with a hole in them, or an amputated appendage, you could dislodge the clotting the body is providing to prevent further blood loss.  Also, during combat, especially with a team member, there’s the fact the wounded is healthy and in good shape.  This is a consideration very much different, as say for my father, whose body was on its last legs, and hence he collapsed. So, who would be best served  by such DVD?

There’s the given of anyone working in law enforcement, military, paramilitary and intelligence fields. Garret and the subjects delivered the information in a manner that not only prepares the viewer with a variety of injuries related to combat, but also considers that some might occur during covert scenarios. That’s what I like about Garret’s background in the Duvdevan. These guys are not only very experienced in fighting the enemy in uniform, but also confronting the bad guys in civis, where keeping a low profile is of the utmost importance, even if your members take one  for the team—literally!

How do you immediately take out the threat, secure your area so that you also aren’t threats to each other with firearms loaded and cocked? These are questions that the average civilian responder in the US doesn’t presently deal with in the manner that it’s required by medical personnel in the Duvdevan, or the EMTs in Israel for that matter. In Israeli Combat Medicine, you’ll not only get a thorough understanding of the types of wounds you’re likely to encounter in a combat environment, but also the steps to make sure not only your wounded, but you, also, have the best chance of surviving.

But what if you’re never going into a combat environment? If you work in a construction environment, you’re as close to a dangerous environment as can be. As for the types of injuries, ever seen what a power tool can do to a person’s leg? What about a when a backhoe is driven by an operator who doesn’t see someone as he backing up and runs over the person’s torso? Yep, when your guts are spilled all over the pavement, it doesn’t really matter to the immediate responder whether you were ripped open by a grenade or large machinery (aside from making sure there’s no longer a pressing threat)—your job is to make sure the injured can live long enough, and with the least amount of pain, until they can be collected by medical personnel and transfer to the hospital.

Israeli Fitness

For those of you who had thought this was just another follow me ladies and gentlemen workout of DVD along the lines of Richard Simmons, Billy Blanks, and P90X, don’t be surprised that it’s really designed for those of you who are already in excellent combat fitness and just want to keep from losing what you’ve earned to demanding travel and poor nutrition options while working: It’s easy to stay in shape when you’re on base with all the equipment and perhaps even a running track and field. But, what do you do when you’re in a distant location with a security detail for a diplomat, envoy, or even in the private sector providing?

You can’t bring that equipment with you. If you’re lucky, you’ve got your weapons and your suit in a carry-on for a private jet. You have to use what’s available at the locations along the route. A hotel has a number of opportunities that rely on gravity. The best chance of a workout to keep in trim is going to happen just after a long 18 to 20-hour watch. There might be a chair, a table, five-gallon jug of purified water. You just don’t know. What this DVD does is get you into the mindset of a “workout opportunist”. You’ll look at your immediate environment, not as a likely loss of workout regimen, but a new and never ending collection of chances to work out.

For more information on training, books and DVDs, visit Mako Defense.

 For your daily commute on your MP3 player – Download and Enjoy Garret Machine of Mako Defense’s interview on GCT Radio:

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