They say that once you’re a cop, it’s in your blood and always will be.
As a former police officer, international security consultant and self-defense instructor, I know how important it is to develop – and maintain – your combat mindset for all areas of your life.
During my 12-year law enforcement career as a narcotics investigator, tactical operator and police chief; I definitely realized that my true calling was helping – and protecting – others. But it wasn’t until I opened a security firm with headquarters in Dubai UAE, that I would gain the knowledge, experience, training and resources to do just that.
I’ve seen first hand what happens when bad things happen to good people. I’ve also seen what happens when good things happen to bad people. Neither is a good day. – Michael Saad
As a Bounty Hunter
At the ripe age of 18 – I started picking up skips for bonding companies in Alabama and Mississippi. After leaving the WWF, former wrestler “Dr. D” David Schultz (yea, the guy that slapped the crap out of John Stossel) became a bounty hunter up north and then opened a bail bond company in my home town of Dothan Alabama, where he gave me one of my first jobs, becoming a mentor to me in this business.
It was a different time, in 1993, than it is today.
I wasn't old enough to carry a handgun yet, so I bought what was called back then – a Pnu-Gun – which was a precursor for the bean-bag guns used by law enforcement around the world.
I also made it work by sometimes gift-wrapping a shipping box with one end open – and placing a sawed-off shotgun inside… then I would walk up to the door with it in hand. After a year or so of picking up the skips, I jumped on other types of investigations – from adultery to child custody.
As a Police Officer
During my time in law enforcement, I accomplished everything I set out to do.
As an honor graduate, I ranked at the top of my class in the Montgomery Police Academy – which was considered one of the most difficult police academy's in the country. At the time, Montgomery had an attrition rate that was comparable to LAPD’s Academy.
It’s been a minute, and my memory is a bit rusty, but I think we opened class with maybe 75 and graduated like 16. Most quit, but some were kicked out. The night before we graduated, an academy cadre told me that it was their mission to make as many cadets quit the first week as they could, by doing whatever they had to do.
We had 3 quit before lunch on that first day.
As an International Man of Mystery
Fast forward to 2010, and I was already a ‘world-traveler', despite being scared to death to fly.
Passing through Dubai from time to time – working my way back and forth between the USA and Afghanistan (where I was working bomb dogs at the time), I met several members of families in that region. These Royal groups made no judgment on the fact that I was not muslim, like I had experienced so many times in the other muslim countries I had visited, and treated me like a person – rather than just another stupid infidel.
It was because of the unexpected hospitality of these people, that I got lined up to open my first office in Dubai, and then followed up with another in Atlanta.
But, in reality, it was just to escape the homesickness
The first time I was asked to put on a self-defense workshop, I knew that I was meant to coach people. That group of ladies that came to Las Vegas for the 2010 AVN Awards walked away with as many life-saving skills that I could fit into a half-day block and I had a blast doing it.
At the time, I had my own private security company and traveled the world.
At one point, I had staff all over the world: Manila, Dubai, North America and South America… I even started the process of opening another office in Manila, but the Philippine regulations – egregious license fees (i.e. payoffs) and red-tape – proved to be too much for my patience.
My company worked in every place under the sun – from Guadalajara Mexico to Bahrain, to the USA, and even through Basilan Philippines – where we ran protection details, specifically tasked to counter the threat of the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group in the southern part of the country.
My staff handled most of the work that didn't require the firm's namesake to be there.
Aside from my company, I still maintained a ‘day job' – working high-threat details and was charged with the personal protection of corporate leaders, program managers, military commanders, U.S. Department of Defense and Department of State officials, as well as other State dignitaries.
Plain Talk: I helped prevent bad things from happening to important people in developing countries and other hostile environments.
This allowed me to save money and make the contacts that would give me what I needed to finally open up something I had been wanting ever since I first walked into a Muay Thai fight camp.
However – globe-trotting, dealing with the necessary evil of third-world-country payoffs and having to heavily screen contracts for some American clients that wanted our services – as more of an accessory, than a necessity – took its toll, so I sold my interest in the company in 2013 as I began to look for other ways that would also allow me to return stateside, permanently.
Welcome to my world.
There’s a feeling that all true tactical operators have – some call it on point and others call it in the zone.
Most people will never experience it, walking through life just another statistic waiting to happen.
No matter what you call it, it’s that 10-foot tall and bulletproof feeling of confidence that, when paired with focus and knowledge (and a little bit of optimism), it allows you to reach your highest potential in life.
As a police officer, I met countless victims that never saw it coming.
Hell, in Afghanistan, I knew – with very little doubt, that 95% of the people I came in contact with – either directly wanted to kill me, or wouldn’t lose any sleep over my brutal death, if it should happen.
I know what it’s like to go through my day with an elevated Combat Mindset. I know what it’s like to want to defend myself, my loved ones and the people around me. And, if you’re still reading, there’s a good chance you’re the same way.
I certainly know what it's like to be unable to protect someone – 50 feet away from me.
Granted, there’s a better-than-average chance that you haven’t been greenlit by some greedy bastards and most people won’t ever have to witness half their team brutally murdered.
While that’s a story in itself – best left for another day – your mileage will vary with your particular experiences, life choices and current location.
Do you have any more tips that might be helpful? If you liked this article, feel free to share it on social media so someone you know might benefit from it.
What You Can Do
The founder of Combat Mindset, Michael Saad, is a straight-forward and easy to follow Results Coach that helps athletes, fighters and tactical operators get mentally and physically stronger.