On Terry Trahan’s Teachings and Methods – Terry Trahan and Erik Kondo


Commentary by Erik Kondo

Here is my take on Terry’s explanation of his personal protection methodology.

His basic methodology consists of utilizing four Primary Ways of conflict management which also incorporate some of the Natural Strategies as described by Rory Miller. They are as follows:

1. Avoidance – He avoids behaviors and situations that have a high likelihood of leading to violence. He is effective at escaping from potentially violent situations. Flight is the corresponding natural strategy.

2. Negotiation – He is effective at talking his way out of problems and potentially violent situations. This may include using the tactics of lying and deception.

3. Deterrence – He is effective at using the natural strategy of Posturing to create a deterrence. This may also include using the tactics of deception and bluffing.

4. By-Force – The corresponding natural strategy is Fight. But here Terry is making an important distinction about fighting. Due to his effectiveness of using the three ways of Avoidance, Negotiation, and Deterrence, his use of By-Force is only used as a last resort. The three prior methods serve as a filtering system that results in By-Force only being used in serious situations. And serious situations require highly effective and violent uses of force to resolve them.

His use of force is not intended for Monkey Dance style fighting. He is confident in his ability to resolve Monkey Dance fighting situations without the use of force via the other ways. Therefore, he doesn’t use or teach the type of methods that are commonly used in Monkey Dance fighting situations.

What Terry is describing is an Personal Safety Ecosystem where all four primary ways are interconnected to create an effective overall system. The effectiveness of his overall system depends just as much on his ability to use force as it depends upon his ability to not use force to resolve conflict.

For example, assume the existence of another person whom I will call Deadly Dan. Deadly Dan is extremely effective at using high level violence to resolve conflict. But he is not skillful in the use of Avoidance, Negotiation, and Deterrence. In fact, his behavior had the effect of putting him in conflict situations on a regular basis. As a result, when Deadly Dan entered into conflict, his primary recourse was to use extreme violence. Deadly Dan is now in solitary confinement in prison where he is literally forced by society to avoid conflict. Despite his skill at the use of high level violence, his overall Personal Safety Ecosystem was ineffective at keeping life safe from the consequences of his actions.

Given Terry’s lifetime of experience with violence, he has become highly skilled in the use of Avoidance, Negotiation, Deterrence, and By-Force. He has developed specific tactics and techniques that enhance these ways which have been proven to be effective.

If you want to learn more from Terry about his teaching methodologies, you can reach him via www.TerryTrahan.com.

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