Activity Training

Sign up for our weekly newsletter addressing the spectrum of human conflict


Some comments from Gary’s clients

Treatment center success
“I run an adolescent treatment center. Verbal Judo has helped to sculpt a safe, secure, and consistent environment for my clients, their families, and my staff.

“Since implementing Verbal Judo into our everyday work environment my clients and staff are safer, calmer, and able to focus on their individual treatment plans, rather then be distracted by problems that occur simply by people untrained in professional communication. The staff is expected to pay attention to their tone, non-verbals, and content when they talk to the clients, their families, but also to each other. In a treatment environment you want to give choice back to the individual and their families, Verbal Judo does exactly that, gives the choice back to the individual.”
– Katie Dill

Empowering professionals to speak with authority
“Most officers spend about 90 % of their time listening and talking to people. Verbal Judo empowers officers to listen effectively and to speak professionally. It is easily learned and can be used and performed by all officers regardless of age, gender, status, or experience.

“Verbal Judo stands out as something officers use most often during their tour of duty and throughout their career. It has withstood the test of time and empowers officers to perform their duty professionally and safely.”
– Bob “Coach” Lindsey, Retired Colonel, Jefferson Parish, Lousianna Sheriff’s Office

Children’s Hospital manages families under stress
“At Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, we’ve adapted the principles of Verbal Judo to help us manage children and parents under stress, many of whom are experiencing the greatest challenges of their lives. By building a practical understanding of communication, through an easy to learn and apply lexicon of psychomotor skills that include patterns of speech and body movement–all of which are founded on SAFER, 8 and 5 and the nonverbal concepts of Verbal Judo, we’ve applied and when necessary we’ve adapted, interactive models to communicate with patients, families and employees inside the challenging clinical environment. We teach and practice VJ communications skills to communicate successfully with anxious children and parents, children with cognitive and developmental disabilities, brain injuries, psychiatric conditions, and patients in high levels of crisis.

“One of Verbal Judo’s many strengths is that it begins before the point where clients under stress are triggered into crisis. This is the first great failing of all the other systems I’ve studied. The second failing that VJ addresses and masters is what to do when we need to communicate with people who are actively resisting or in very dangerous states of crisis. VJ takes the practitioner past the point where most crisis intervention systems become exhausted. When violence is imminent or when we actually experience high-levels of violence, the other systems always seem to leave you wanting for what to say or do.

“The final point where VJ reigns supreme is its systemic applicability. Just like an effective and practical martial art, VJ is founded on basic and adaptable concepts that when learned and practiced can be applied across the continuum of human behavior. You won’t need to master one concept, then another, then another and another ad infinitum until you reach some lofty goal of competency. Learn these basics then learn how your clients communicate based on their particular challenges, e.g., autism spectrum disorders, and you’ll be able to communicate with anyone and manage their levels of stress and crisis. VJ teaches practical communications skills not just concepts. Speech is a psychomotor skill and managing people in crisis is not an intellectual or conversational exercise. You’ll learn what to say, how to say it, when to say it, and when not to say it. No other system does that.

“Having personally made a study of the top crisis intervention systems, even training as an instructor for some of them and using them in the field, I can honestly say that Verbal Judo provides the best foundation for communicating with patients and clients in the clinical environment. Presently, I teach Verbal Judo to clinical and nursing staff, social workers, psychiatric professionals, allied health and customer service professionals, educators and trainers, law enforcement and healthcare security staff, and hospital administrators and supervisors. As the success stories roll in throughout our 5,000 employee system, demand for training is ever increasing and we are training more instructors to meet the demand.”
– Joel Lashley, Behavior Challenges Trainer, Children’s Hospital, Milwaukee, WI

Making war-torn countries safer
“From the first day back on the street after completing my Verbal Judo Instructor course it has served me, my agency and my family quite well. I cannot imagine doing on-street police work without it. If you have doubts, please put them aside and take the plunge.

“I am currently in an international mission as an investigator of war crimes. Upon arrival I was posted in full uniform and worked with other officers from over 30 other countries. This is when you reach into your skill set bag and pull out everything that works. Guess what? Verbal Judo works! If you want to understand the “Art of Representation” wearing an American police uniform here is a great object lesson in this art.

“When the mission changed several months ago my assignment became plain clothes. So now VJ helps again with “Other Non-Verbals” (ONV). This is a great asset for a detective in comprehending all the other messages that are coming out of a subject besides the words. VJ techniques are exactly what is needed.

“I might add that your skill at communicating with your family, friends and loved ones will also IMPROVE, certainly a pleasant benefit to completing this course.”
– James G. Smith, Retired Detective, Milwaukee Police Department

Mental health applications
“My introduction to Verbal Judo took place in 1996. I was involved in a committee to reduce patient to staff assaults and reduce the patient seclusion and restraint hours at the hospital. I was also completing the Colorado Department of Human Services Master Instructor course.

“The final for the instructor course had two parts. One, research and complete a lesson plan, including goals and objectives, on a subject not well known to our organization, and two, deliver a fifty minute presentation on the subject.

“My friends at the local sheriff’s office had recently been trained in Verbal Judo. This sounded like the perfect subject. Before Verbal Judo, I was the type of officer, who when told by a citizen, “I’m a taxpayer, you can’t talk to me like that” my response was to take a nickel out of my pocket, hand it to them, and say, “here, you’ve been reimbursed.” Not ever having been trained on how to respond appropriately to verbal abuse or resistance, I realized that I was probably not the only person at the Colorado Mental Health Institute who would benefit from Verbal Judo training.

“I borrowed Dr. Thompson’s video training tapes and Gentle Art of Persuasion book. Therein was the answer, not only to my own inability to respond appropriately to verbal abuse and resistance, but also the basis for my final for the Master Instructor course. After presenting the information for the class, I presented the same information to the committee. As a result, the Colorado Mental Health Institute, made Verbal Judo training mandatory for all staff. That requirement remains in effect today.

“The benefits: Reduced complaints from patients; fewer staff assaults; reduced hours of patient seclusion and restraint; demonstrated professionalism and respect for all; and most importantly a safer environment.”
– Anthony L. Pinelle, Retired Chief of Public Safety, Colorado Mental Health Institute, Pueblo, CO

It’s about officer survival
“Verbal Judo provides the foundation for any truly effective law enforcement communication program. In researching and providing expert testimony on police use-of-force for over thirty years, I can definitively state that an officer’s communication skills are a major factor that serves as a foundation for almost all effective uses of force. Let’s start with and emphasize training utilizing our most important “officer survival” skill.”
– Chuck Remsberg, Calibre Press and Street Survival Seminar Series

Control tactics ‘born of the streets’
“Verbal Judo trains thinking cops how to use some of the post powerful ammunition available: the right words at the right times. George Thompson’s techniques are not some academic’s pipe dream of communications skills. They are realistic and proven control tactics, born of the streets and tested where lives are on the line.”
– Bill Lewinski – Director Force Science Research Center, Minnesota State University

Reducing risk
“The most important asset you have as an officer is your ability to talk to people. Communication is the key to success. Tactical Communication (Verbal Judo) addresses this need. It is a risk that we can and need to address.”
– Gordon Graham, Risk Manager, Attorney and Author

An essential skill set
“Verbal Judo is an essential skill set for the working street cop. It completes the balanced package of necessary survival skills for officers who are required to have a continuum of expertise in resolving confrontational situations.

“Officers without these skills are as deficient in their overall survival training as any officer that does not know how to use their weapon appropriately.”
– Kevin M. Gilmartin, Ph.D. Law Enforcement Behavioral Science Consultant

Brings back reason to irrational situations
“I am an enormous fan of Dr. George Thompson’s Verbal Judo program. We know that frightened human beings are no longer rational. As fear-induced, anger-induced or hormonal-induced heart rate goes up, vasoconstriction sets in. As the blood drains from the face, the blood also drains from the forebrain, and the midbrain (the part of the brain that is the same as your dog) takes over. The reason why you can’t have an argument or a rational discussion with a frightened or angry person is because there’s nobody home! You’re trying to argue with their ‘dog’ thru the mail slot.

“There are several ways to calm down a frightened person, but one of the most effective is to ‘talk’ them down. And Verbal Judo is a scientific, proven method to ‘talk’ someone down. Proven across the decades, getting the ‘acid test’ daily in police agencies world-wide, Verbal Judo is one of the most well demonstrated, effective, and useful tools that can go in any police officer’s tool box.”

– Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, author, “On Combat” and “On Killing”

Educational program easy to implement
“The lessons in Verbal Judo are excellent. Having both Chan and Gary speak is very useful, with their different perspectives on the same material. The car chat handouts and Power Point presentations are perfect additions.

“We appreciate that you include links to past lessons along with each new lesson, too. Being able to easily review past lessons is definitely helpful.

“Thank you for making this program available to us!”
– Lou Anne Yee, Co-Owner/Manager, Karate West, Fort Collins, CO

My market advantage
“My name is Jim Nam and own and operate a Gold Medal TKD dojang with 375 active members, and I am also an athletic director for a high school and Jr high school in my district.

“I joined Master Chan Lee’s Verbal Judo program for about month now and WOW! what a difference!

“There are 2 main reason I LOVE this program: First, it teaches effective techniques that have been taught to over 700,000 police officers (I use this statement in my enrollment conferences with great impact); and Second, Master Lee has made the material so simple to understand. As a result, my staff does an excellent job presenting it to the class.

“The staff loves it and I love it! This is the way the mat chat should be — interactive, not a lecture about the same old same old. Verbal Judo is so effective I will be using it in our high school and Jr high Physical Education. While everyone is talking about the recession, I’m not concerned because my school stands out from the rest in town due to Verbal Judo.”
– Master Jim Nam, Gold Medal TKD, Victorville, CA

Successful on the street, defensible in court
“Communications, i.e. Verbal Judo, is a key element in the justification of use of force. Unfortunately it is rarely well documented in police reports or in courtroom testimony.

“Due to my position and experience, I am quite often retained in Federal Court as an “expert witness” or consultant in use of force cases. Short of a “sudden assault” all force issues begin with communications (or the lack thereof…). The cases in which law enforcement prevails are the ones where officers attempted to communicate by using the “8 step” and then transitioned to the 5 step when appropriate and necessary.

“Then when words no longer were appropriate nor feasible juries and courts want to know “why the officer didn’t just continue to talk a little bit more.” Verbal Judo contains the answer to that ago-old question and clearly explains (S.A.F.E.R.) why the officer had to “ACT”. Reports and testimony that do not articulate that facet of the contact are by default deficient and probably “losers” in court. Officers’ will complain that “insurance companies just settled” when in fact the lack of report completeness and the articulation of the verbal component would have made all the difference!

“On another note, I have seen the 14th Amendment “equal protection” clause begin to haunt officers’ and departments in court, especially in the form of “racial profiling” and “biased based policing” allegations. The only way to overcome that charge is to demonstrate that we treat everyone with “dignity and respect” and the same. When a department’s policy and “habit and practice” are founded in Verbal Judo all citizens are treated equally and appropriately. Like it or not, a department and officers have to be insane (legally) and totally indifferent and unconcerned with liability not to embrace the concepts and tactics of Verbal Judo in this new age of policing.

“Save yourself a lot of headache and heartache and your department and community millions of dollars by “stepping up” to the Verbal Judo” way of doing business! Don’t let the criminals win the “criminal millionaire lottery” because of lack of professionalism’ become the “word warrior” and add Verbal Judo to your arsenal.”

– Bob Willis, Instructor, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, Green Bay, WI

Make this mandatory!
“More than a communication course, Tactical Communication through George Thompson’s Verbal Judo Institute, prepares the mind, tames the tounge and ultimately develop’s a warriors spirit and the ability to handle stressful and challenging communication situations as a professional peace warrior. Taking this course should not be an option, it should be mandatory for every cop in America walking or patrolling a beat.”
– Chief Deputy Jeffrey Parker, Sheriff’s Office, Jefferson, WI

My son can handle every situation
“My son, Ian, has been practicing Verbal Judo / Verbal Defense for a number of years now. It’s been very good for him.

“I notice a difference in his overall demeanor. He’s more relaxed, confident and self-assured. He can handle himself in all situations.

“I had a situation about a week ago when someone got very confrontational with me. I thought about Ian and the Verbal Judo and it made me take a step back, take a second and relax.

“It made me handle things differently than I otherwise would have. We appreciate that this bullying program has been exposed to us.”
– David Glazer

Dad, who also is an attorney, uses verbal defense at work
“My children are using verbal defense school and I as an attorney am using it in the courtroom.
“I know that out there in the real world, police, firemen and emergency responders are using this, too.

“It helps you diffuse the other side and keeps things on a very civil level. I think we should continue to use this for the rest of our lives.”
– Chris Sayrs

Skills last from childhood to professional careers
“My two children, ages 7 and 10, loved the bullying course. These are verbal defense skills that can be used all the way from from childhood through their professional careers.

“The thing about the course that my wife really liked was using a funny word to change, or use as a defense.”
– Joe Dorf

This is an important social issue
“What an important social issue you’re helping to tackle! Mercifully, (my daughter) has never been bullied … teased, but not bullied. She’s got good self esteem, is confident and, for the most part, not passive.

“I hope we never have to deal with this issue head on, but thanks for the language in case we ever do.”
– Patty Harrigan Mills

Playground supervisor: “I like the series”
“I like this series. I am in my 9th year of playground supervisor at an elementary school and many of the skills being taught are things kids can use.

“Kids sometimes on the playground don’t even realize they’re being bullied or the bullies don’t realize they are bullying. Sports dominance is such a huge factor. Teaching fairness, compassion and a sense of being humble is big.

“One of my favorite lines in a movie is from ‘Princess Diaries’ and it says, ‘no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.’ I’ve always tried to teach my kids this (my daughter more encounters needing the line than my son.) These videos seem to be on track with that concept.’”
Stacey Van Rens

College administrator weighs in
“This bully program is amazing. I went through the videos, powerpoints and info sheets. WOW! Very well orchestrated, and what an impact … I love the terminology . . . my favorite . . . . Bully Shield!

“Great work.”
– Liz Paape, Associate Dean of Public Safety, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College