“The Man in the Arena”

One hundred and five years ago, Theodore Roosevelt gave what would become one of the most widely quoted speeches of his career – “The Man in the Arena”. The former president—who left office in 1909—had spent a year hunting in Central Africa before embarking on a tour of Northern Africa and Europe in 1910, attending events and giving speeches in Cairo, Berlin, Naples, and Oxford, among others. He stopped in Paris on April 23, and, at 3 p.m. at the Sorbonne, before a crowd that included “ministers in court dress, army and navy officers in full uniform, nine hundred students, and an audience of two thousand ticket holders,” Roosevelt delivered a speech called “Citizenship in a Republic,” which, among some, would come to be known as “The Man in the Arena.”

In addition to speaking about his own family history, war, and the responsibilities of citizenship; Roosevelt railed against cynics who looked down at men who were trying to make the world a better place. “The poorest way to face life is to face it with a sneer,” he said. “A cynical habit of thought and speech, a readiness to criticize work which the critic himself never tries to perform, an intellectual aloofness which will not accept contact with life’s realities—all these are marks, not … of superiority but of weakness.” Then he delivered an inspirational and impassioned message that drew huge applause:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

The speech was a wild success.  “Citizenship in a Republic” ran in the Journal des Debats as a Sunday supplement and sent to the teachers of France by Le Temps. The speech was printed by Librairie Hachette on Japanese vellum, and was turned into into a pocket book that sold 5000 copies in five days.  The “Man in the Arena” speech was was translated across Europe almost instantaneously.  Roosevelt himself was surprised at its success!

President Roosevelt might be even more surprised to learn that the most famous section of his speech still resonates and inspires, even today.  “Man in the Arena” was quoted by President Nixon in his resignation speech. It was used by Nelson Mandela prior to the 1995 Rugby World Cup where South Africa defeated the favored All Blacks of New Zealand.  Washington Nationals player Mark DeRosa would read it to himself before big games, to include Game 4 of the National League Division Series in 2012.  DeRosa read it aloud to his teammates. “That’s a quote I’ve always gone back to,” he told the Washington Post. “I go to that a lot, I really do. I’ve done it since college. I like it because people think they know, but they have no idea what we’re thinking from pitch to pitch. With our backs against the wall I wanted to say something that brought us together, a little band of brothers. Go out and fight. See what happens. I felt it was fitting. It fires me up when I read it.” The team was victorious.

The speech has its cultural touchstones, too: One wonders what Teddy would have made of his words being tattooed on Miley Cyrus and used in a Cadillac commercial?

The partners of SSG have all been in the arena, have suffered greatly, and achieved mightily.  We hold close to our hearts these words of Teddy Roosevelt.  Stay in the Fight!



One of the most often overlooked, yet critical aspects of Personal Security is, Situational Awareness:

“Check Your Six”, “Head on a Swivel”, “Be aware of your surroundings”.  You have probably heard all of these before, but what do they mean?

As the names implies, “Situational Awareness” is simply knowing what’s going on around you. It sounds easy in principle, but in reality requires much practice.  This skill is ingrained in soldiers, law enforcement officers, and yes, government-trained operatives!  At SSG, we understand how important a skill it is for civilians as well. Ultimately, being aware of a threat even seconds before everyone else, can keep you and your loved ones safe.

Situational Awareness is a skill that can and should be developed for reasons outside of personal defense and safety. Situational awareness is really just another word for mindfulness. Developing mine has allowed me to survive multiple overseas operations in very high-threat environments.  This same ‘mindfulness’ has also allowed me to be more cognizant of what’s going on around me in my daily activities, which in turn has helped me make better decisions in all aspects of my life.

Our Situational Awareness Courses Include:

  • Defining Situational Awareness Detractors.
  • How to use your “Gift of Fear”.
  • What is the OODA Loop & How Can It Be Reset?
  • Travel Security & Intelligence.
  • Using Improvised Weapons.
  • Mobile Phone Apps that can save your life.
  • Actions during an Active Shooter Event (ASE).

SSG personnel have spent years in the field developing their Situational Awareness. This skill set is what has kept the SSG partners alive in hostile, high-threat corners of the globe.  Let SSG help develop in you this important skill. Most notably, the focus is primarily on developing your situational awareness to prevent or survive a violent attack.  However, these same principles will also help hone your powers of observation in all areas of your life.

Finally, here are just a couple of links to provide you a list of mobile phone applications that you can download and start using today.  Stay Safe!



Contact Shaffer Security Group for your Situational Awareness training course.

Knife Fighting – a lost art form.


Shaffer Security Group Welcomes JOHN HOOPER to our Training Team:

John Hooper is an ‘expert’ knife fighter and Empty Hand Combative Instructor.

Shaffer Security Group (SSG) has invited John to be a part of our “Training Cadre” for both our Military/Police and Civilian Tactical Courses.  John is an outstanding instructor and you will be amazed at his knife fighting techniques, skills, and knowledge.

John has been studying martial arts since 1997 and has been actively teaching since 2008.  He has trained in and taught several martial arts systems, including Old School Jeet Kune Do, Boxing, Muay Thai, Wing Chun Kung Fu, Jiu-Jitsu, WW2 Era Combatives, and several Filipino systems including Pekiti Tirsia Kali and the Inosanto/Lacoste Blend.

John is the co-founder of the “Raptor System” of Close Quarters Combat, which has been distilled from over four decades of combined experience in study, training, and fighting in the martial arts.  The system is adaptive in nature and is equally effective in any range with empty hand combat or weaponry.  Rooted in the proven fundamental principles of warfare, it is simple and efficient and can be utilized by anyone including Military, LEO, or civilian.
Courses are available with John for both Groups & Individuals.  Contact SSG today for more details or to have John put on a demonstration of his skill-set.

Is it safe to travel to the EU for the Holidays?

Is it Safe to Travel to Europe for the 2016 Holiday Season?

Shaffer Security Group (SSG) is please to provide an interesting article from “Forbes” magazine detailing the threats and dangers of traveling to the EU over the holidays.  

SSG teaches the best way to stay safe is to be aware of your surroundings and keep your head on a swivel.  Being Situational Aware is the best advice anyone can give as you travel to the EU or anywhere.

The SHAFFER SECURITY GROUP prides itself on maintaining close liaison with other security firms, police departments and intelligence agencies across the globe. These relationship allow us to provide you up-to-date, real-time threat assessments and risk analysis for your destination.  Our ties to many reputable, vetted and experienced security firms in the EU allows us to provide you a point of contact in the event you need immediate security assistance.  We can help you book a driver who is knowledgeable of the area, but also has specialized training to ensure you have an enjoyable and safe journey.  SSG’s many contacts with various EU police departments and with the FBI Attaches in U.S. Embassies can also be leveraged in the event of a critical situation.

Let us develop a travel security plan for you and your family as you travel this holiday season.  We can provide you professional drivers, security professionals, and keep you abreast of any threats during your travel.  Contact SSG for details.


JANUARY 2017 Tactical Training Course Schedule

Please find a listing of our January 2017 Training Courses.

7 JANUARY:  “Women’s Personal Defense Course” – Private Group

This Course is FILLED.  This is a Private Personal Defense Course held in the privacy of your home.  This course concentrates on Situational Awareness; Awareness Detractors; Response to Active Shooter Events; Self Defense; Basic Skills to Survive a Violent Assault; Survival Mindset.

8 JANUARY:  “Shooter Development Course” – Open to Public

This is a ‘marksmanship’ course!  This course is designed to teach you the finer skills of handgun shooting.  We will review the fundamentals and continue with more advance shooting skills such as ‘multiple targets’ and ‘close-in shooting’ techniques.  BEGINNERS WELCOME!!!! 

This is both a “How to Shoot” and a “Handgun Development Course” where you will increase both Speed & Accuracy with individual instruction.

A “License to Carry” (formerly known as a Concealed Handgun License – CHL) is NOT / NOT required for this training.  However, the course is designed for those who do not have a lot of handgun experience or have just received their License to Carry authority.

14 JANUARY:  “Tactical Handgun Course” – Open to Public

Our most popular course.  This is NOT a ‘marksmanship’ course!  This course is designed to teach you how to survive an ‘armed encounter’.  This is a “Handgun Fighting Course” where you will be taught how to use your handgun as a Combative Tool.  This is an “Advanced Shooters Course” and is NOT recommended for Novice Shooters.

15 JANUARY:  “For Women Only – Handgun Course” – Open to Public

We understand women need time away from their man!  We understand the husband, boyfriend or local cop is not the best choice when wanting to learn how to shoot!

This course will teach the ladies how to carry their weapon and how to use their weapon quickly, accurately and justifiably.  This course is perfect for those newly licensed to carry a concealed weapon!

This is NOT a License to Carry (LTC) Course! Nor is a LTC required.

What to Expect?  5-hours of the finest handgun training in the world, Situational Awareness Training, Increased Comfort with your Weapon, How to Carry Concealed as a Woman, Malfunction Drills – What to do when the gun doesn’t go ‘bang’, Loading / Reloading Drills, Quick Draw Techniques, Multiple Shots on Multiple Targets, Steel & Paper Targets, Develop Speed & Accuracy, Competition, Lots of Fun, Lots of Shooting – Safety First!

28 JANUARY:  “Scenario Based Training – Shoot, or Don’t Shoot?” – Open to Public

This course is perfect for novice shooters and will teach you how to ‘REACT & SURVIVE’ an armed encounter!  The course is designed for new shooters who have never been faced with ‘life or death’, ‘shoot or don’t shoot’ situations.  This course is perfect for those newly licensed to carry a concealed weapon!  There will be NO live-fire during this course!  This is a scenario-based course utilizing state of the art “Simunition” weapon system.

Our scenario-based training using non-lethal weapons system allows our professional, licensed, insured trainers to put you in stressful situations (scenarios) where you must decide… Shoot, of Don’t Shoot !?!

This course will utilize only “Simunition” weapons and ammunition supplied by SSG/CTG.  “Simuntion” is a ‘Non-Lethal’ system which uses actual weapons that fire a non-lethal, colorful, projectile that can be fired indoors without hearing protection.  The “Simuntion” system has revolutionized how the Military, Police & SWAT teams have trained.  This system has only recently been allowed to be used for the civilian population.  You will be some of the first to have trained with “Simunition” as a civilian. We will walk you through each exercise and insure you are comfortable and proficient with your weapon and with the “Simunition” weapon.

The “Simunition” scenarios will be “Force on Instructor” only; where you are placed in real-life situations and you must decide to “Shoot, or Don’t Shoot” in the stress-induced scenarios.  Students will be shooting the Instructor (acting as the “bad guy”) but the Instructor will NOT fire upon the student.

What Do I Do?

Greg,…What Do You Do?

I get asked this countless of times at social events, at the gym, or at conferences. My go to answer is: “I’m a Security Expert”.

In reality, there is so much more I do as a security professional.  As a result, I have to generalize it for the average person. The “elevator speech” or 30 second introduction may give people some insight to what I do.  However, it often doesn’t tell the whole story.  The “Whole Story” goes something like this:

“I create, manage, and implement security, intelligence, and training solutions designed to protect businesses, organizations, facilities, and people both domestically and internationally.” 

What I mentioned above is not what I do but what I offer to clients. What I do is comprised of tasks, disciplines, and training geared to support my clients. Recently I was retained by an international businessman.  This client required security solutions to protect his home, office, and himself upon traveling abroad. The client really fit into my wheelhouse of services, but I didn’t see this project as just an Executive Protection (EP) assignment. Though I have worked Executive Protection for years, what I was doing for this client was far more than being a body guard.

To Satisfy the Client’s Quest & Need for Security, I had to do the following:

  • Conduct a risk assessment to identify the critical assets and business processes.  This requires protection, analyze the threats, assess the vulnerabilities, and then move forward with a plan the meets the client’s needs.
  • To secure the client’s home and office(s) I had to do the following:
    • several site security survey’s,
    • research and assess the proper technology needed,
    • evaluate access control and emergency response procedures.
  • Given the nature of my client’s work and the location of his travel, I had to develop an intelligence program.  This Intelligence Program needed to address the geopolitical, natural, and criminal threats.  These “threats” could disrupt my client’s business and possibly threaten his life.
  • The most important element of executive protection is doing an advance prior to the client embarking on travel.  I had to coordinate with trusted partners in areas that I couldn’t reach myself. The intelligence is critical when doing an advance for a client.  My international law enforcement & intelligence agency contacts provide critical information in which to base my threat assessment.
  • On occasions that I had to undertake a protective role.  I had to do tactical training to ensure that my perishable skill sets remain sharp.  I had to do reality based training, firearms training, personal defense, first aid, to better serve my client.
  • In the case of a crisis, I had to do lots of policy writing.  It required my coordinating with my client’s legal team, insurers and my client’s family to ensure fast resolutions to a multitude of crises.
  • I wrote agreements with other partners to support my client in the event of a crisis.
  • I had to ensure the domestic office staff were well prepared to assess, communicate, and respond to a crisis.  Therefore, I developed training scenarios to test their situational awareness and response to incidents.
  • When realizing that the local first responders were not involved, I developed a tactical response plan to include police, fire & EMS that could be implemented to improve response efficiency.

So yeah,…. That’s What I Do?

Risk Management & Security Consulting.

Contact Shaffer Security Group for your Risk & Security Assessment and let SSG develop a strategic security plan based on intelligence, training & experience.

How Not to be a Victim


How Not to be a Victim:


Serial killer Ted Bundy once stated that “he could tell a victim by the way she walked down the street, the tilt of her head, the manner in which she carried herself, etc . . .” (Serial Murder, Holmes & Holmes, 2009)

Multiple studies have been done on how criminals select their victims. As such we have an accurate picture of what criminals look at in order to establish whether someone is vulnerable to victimization. Some of the most recent research on the subject confirms very startling notions.

On many occasions criminals have been asked how they choose their victims or why they fought back with a police officer. A lot of the typical answers are related to matters of natural selection. They choose victims based on comparative physical stature, perceived awareness, whether or not they are alone and gender.

This study shows that the criteria is much more limited. While the aforementioned reasons apply, this new study shows that body language and walking pattern are much more important.

The basic idea of the study was to show inmates 12 videos of people walking. Those 12 people also provided testimony as to whether they were ever victimized. Accuracy was judged on whether the inmates gave those people who had actually been victimized a 6 or higher in a scale of 10 to show vulnerability.

The inmates provided reasoning behind their selections. The study showed that inmates with severe psychopathy chose victims based on gait.  Their vulnerability rating also corresponded with individuals which had been previously victimized.

What does this mean to the average person? The way you carry yourself can help single you out or rule you out for victimization.  While there is victim selection criteria like your gender or age that you cannot change, you can stack the deck in your favor.  Walking confidently and not exhibiting behaviors of distraction such as fidgeting, fumbling with your cell phone, are easy ways to help rule yourself out.

In the simplest terms, do you walk like you have the ability to defend yourself?  Do you drag your feet and act like a wounded animal, or do you walk with confidence?

This was brought to my attention at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glenco, Georgia.  We were shown countless videos of police officers falling victim to an attacker due to complacency and ultimately how they carried themselves.  While you cannot control the people around you or their depravity, you can control whether or not you carry yourself like a victim.

Source: Psychopathy and Victim Selection: The use of Gait as a Cue to Vulnerability, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Angela Book, PhD, Kimberly Costello, PhD, and Joseph A. Camilleri, PhD, 2013

Survival Mindset

Survival is not a Skill Set, it is a Mindset!  All the skills in the world will not help you survive if you’re not mentally prepared to use those skills to deliver painful or lethal force.

Expert Marksman Clint Smith, Founder of the “Thunder Ranch”, former U.S. Marine and a shooting expert is famous for his humorous, yet thoughtful, quotes on “Gunfighting”.  One of my favorites is:  “If you find yourself in a fair gunfight, you’re not cheating hard enough”.

No truer words have ever been spoken.  There are no “rules” in a fight for life or death!  You do everything in your power to win that fight.  If you lose,… it will be the last poor decision (and only decision) you will ever make.  To lose, is to die!  Another “Clint-ism” is:  “The two most important rules in a gunfight are; always cheat and always win.”

So, this brings me to my next point,…. are you prepared to cheat & to win? Are you mentally able to do whatever it takes to survive?  Have you rehearsed it in your mind, or “role played” how you would survive?  Have you consciously said aloud, “I will take the pen that fell to the floor and stick it in my adversary’s eye until it disappears into his brain?”  Do you have the mindset to do heinous things to another human being in order to survive?

If you’re honest with yourself, you will probably answer like most of my students and say “No”.  I have had hardened SWAT cops, Counter Terrorism Operators and about 99.9% of my civilian students answer “no”.  When it comes right down to it,… if you’re not willing to prepare your mind and your body to say:  “Yes, I have the mindset and the ability to do heinous things to another human being in order to survive”; then you might as well give up now! For when the day comes when you are faced with fighting for your life – you will lose, you will die, because you weren’t ready, willing, and capable of extreme, no rules, stick-a-pen-in-the-eye violence.

SSG can help you mentally and physically prepare you for your worst nightmare.  We can instill the “Warrior Mindset” with training, practice, confidence, a little homework, some reading and most of all a ‘skill set’. SSG will design a personal protection course designed for your lifestyle, for your capabilities, for your life.  Contact us today for a free consultation.

Special Event Security Planning – 2016 Cattle Barons Ball, Dallas, Texas!

Special Event Security Planning & Operations

SHAFFER SECURITY GROUP (SSG) has extensive experience in Special Event Security planning for large or small scale, public & private events.  As a result, SSG was contracted to augment the security for the 2016 Dallas Cattle Baron’s Ball.  This years Ball is being held at GILLEY’s CLUB, located in Dallas, Texas.

Dallas Cattle Baron’s Ball- 2016:

The Cattle Baron’s Ball (CBB) is a not-for-profit, organization that has raised tens of millions of dollars for cancer research in Dallas alone! This ball is one of the most sought after tickets in DFW.  The estimated crowd of over 3,000 includes some of Dallas’ most elite, prestigious and famous citizens, athletes, politicians and socialites.

Gilley’s Club is a 91,000 square foot building consisting of a restaurant, entertainment area, meeting rooms, private function space and features a 26,000 square foot main show room.  Most famous for its “Urban Cowboy” film starring John Travolta, GILLEY’s is an ideal location for this “Boots & Pearls” crowd to get together to listen to great Country Western music stars and to mix & mingle with Dallas elite.

Gilley’s also erected a 9,000 square foot tent in the rear parking lot of Gilley’s Club which housed the main stage. This stage was the location where renowned music legend TOBY KEITH performed.

SSG was tasked to work with D&L Security (Contract Security Firm) to ensure the safety and security of its guests, the “talent”, and all the vendors who made the night such a success.  In addition, we provided VIP security; front & backstage security; security for entry into the “Green Room”; and augmented the security for both Toby Keith & Dwight Yoakam.

From Active Shooter to a Medical Emergency – SSG has you covered:

By using SSG, we provide your event with an additional “Intervention Capable Resource”.  That is, in the event a violent encounter, stalker or Active Shooter our personnel provide an immediate armed response.  Our Personal Protection Officers (PPO) are all licensed, insured, polite, professional and capable!  All of our PPOs have vast combat and/or police experience.  We are not the bearded, bro-bumping, tattooed, wannabee’s, wearing the most up-to-date combat styles.  We are polite, polished, professionals that blend into the environment, often unseen, until the moment we are needed.

SSG can assist in developing both a “Medical Plan” and an “Active Shooter Plan” to provide your event protection from civil suits in the event of an Active Shooter or Medical Emergency.  SSG’s “Risk Assessment” is essential to ensure best practices are in-place in order to provide a safer, more enjoyable environment during your event and protect you from litigation if needed.

Unsurpassed Experience & Professionalism:

So when experience counts & discretion is needed, contact SSG for a free security assessment for your next event.

Also see: http://shaffersecuritygroup.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=1120&action=edit

Handgun / Rifle Vehicle Combative Course



Your reaction to a situation literally has the ability to change the situation itself. Will you rise to the occasion?  Do you train enough to counter assault an armed attacker?

On 11/12/2016, SSG in cooperation with Consolidated Training Group (CTG) will host a  Handgun/Rifle Vehicle Combatives Course, to be held at our Private Range located at 4454 Bethel Road, Wetherford, Texas.

Training will begin promptly at 09:00 and end at 17:00.

The Cost for this course is $175.00


Combative Vehicle – http://ctgdfw.com/courses/combative-vehicle

Reserve your spot now by contacting me at: greg@shaffersecuritygroup.com

Train hard!

Stay in the Fight!