"They came as targets, but they left as hard targets."
- Rift Recon Trainer Brian O’Shea
Rift Recon’s Art of Escape trainings are notorious for cramming boatloads of vital information into two full days of coursework, followed by an entire day of practical field application. The challenge of succeeding comes predominantly through mastering the sheer volume of material. So what happens when you only have 24 hours to absorb, apply, and come out on top of the entire course?
Nine participants in a corporate training in Los Angeles on June 28th got to find out. The group consisted of business professionals from an array of backgrounds: finance, advertising, aerospace, and the tech industry among them.
Lead Trainer and Rift Recon CEO Eric Michaud noted, “It was a very sharp, deeply motivated group - lots of Type A personalities. Their enthusiasm and focus certainly helped them conquer the compressed nature of the course.”
To accommodate the 24 hour window, Michaud and Assisting Trainer Brian O’Shea collapsed the curriculum into three modules: lockpicking, escaping restraints, and a new module called “The Art of the Con,” which combines social engineering and evasion techniques. Michaud and O’Shea then thrust the students into a high-intensity kidnapping simulation, where they had to escape their captors and rendezvous at the famous Grauman’s Chinese Theater, evading abduction and garnering multiple disguises along the way. Once at the Theater, students had to deftly employ social engineering tactics to engage and gain the trust of the locals, including the costumed actors performing in front of the Theater. They were tasked with getting them to “break character” and divulge their “secret identity”, aka personal information about their lives. Armed with this information, the students could then report back to Michaud and O’Shea and cross the proverbial finish line, and the trainers were thrilled to report that each participant excelled.
"It was rewarding for us as instructors to watch a very talented and competent group of people who are already wildly successful open themselves up to learning new skills and new challenges,” remarked O’Shea, “[The Art of Escape] taught them how to manage captivity, how to evade aggressors, and how to elicit valuable information from total strangers. Those skills could save their lives as well as save their businesses.”
“I’m really excited to see people taking both their personal and general security into their own hands,” said Michaud, “And I’m glad that Rift Recon can equip them with the tools to do so.
- Arianna Travaglini
Executive Assistant at Rift Recon