Todd Group 90th Reunion Guest of Honour Ken “Blue” Curran is piped in by Johnny McIntyre with Major John Whipp retired waiting to introduce Blue.
Where do I start as this major event began with the Todd Group training team and committed, dedicated instructors and proponents undertaking upgrades and additions to Camp Todd many months before this very special occasion kicked off.
Several hundred members, former members, guests, and VIPs attended the week-long course, HQ open displays and 90th reunion celebrations. There simply is no other private European military CQC training organisation with the history and instructor qualification lineage in military European CQC and MSD of the Todd Group and this makes the group and achieving this very special milestone unique and unequalled. This was the largest combative gathering we have ever attracted in our 90-year history.
We conducted phase 1 basic CQC, phase 2 advanced CQC, along with phase 3 specialist CQB/CQC courses of instruction simultaneously between March 19 March 24 with phase 1 basic testing conducted on March 25. Having more than 20 phase 3 specialist proponents and the Todd Group HQ training team on course made conducting the course like clockwork.
Our guest of honour was Ken “Blue”Curran the last living World War II commando unarmed instructor from Down Under. Larry Jordan, a US Special Forces retired SGM and former S/F Chief hand-to-hand combat instructor and Maj John Whipp retired a former officer commanding unarmed combat for the Australian Army were VIP guests.
VIP guests Major John Whipp retired left and SGM Lawrence Jordan Right with guest of honour Ken Curran centre.
These three CQC lifers were guest speakers and all in attendance appreciated their factual words of wisdom and clear and precise instructing and service recollections. Members, former members, and guests enjoyed the opportunity to talk to them during the 90th celebrations.
Looking around the crowds of combative proponents and enthusiasts inside the mess hall at Camp Todd and outside around the barbecue area, I could see groups of old friends from courses from over the decades and some of my closest military CQC friends.
One regret was not having the time to catch up and talk to everyone in attendance and I apologise to anyone that I did not get the chance to thank for joining us for the special occasion.
There were fathers that had trained and tested accompanied by their children that have followed in their father’s footsteps training testing and achieving rank.
People travelled from overseas and throughout New Zealand to share in the achievement of this very special combative milestone.
The courses of instruction were conducted in three separate training areas at Camp Todd and progressed steadily during the week with exponents working their way through their respective training phase’s programs of instruction.
Camp Todd outdoors CQC training stands on the annual Australasian CQC course 2017.
All phases combined training was conducted during the week for some modules and phase 3 specialist proponents and instructors were assigned to providing individual instruction to phase 1 exponents on course to ensure phase test candidates were best prepared for the rigours and realities of their testing phase.
Mid- week all pers from all phases were transported into Todd Group HQ for an evening of combined phases training.
Walking MSD drills at Todd Group HQ.
Phase 3 specialist proponents underwent a half day of armed combat on the range as well as several days of non-ballistic weapons armed combat training at Camp Todd.
The phase 2 advanced course of instruction under the command and control of CQC Master-Instructor Howard Bell progressed through the phase 2 package diligently with high-level resolve, commitment and attention to skills detail.
All phases were introduced to dispatching and field dressing of a large boar that was prepared for the 90th anniversary spit roast and barbecue.
Camp Todd had been upgraded with some infrastructure work being completed and there was considerable outdoors specific CQC training equipment in place.
Friday, March 24 all phases were transported into the old Todd Group HQ where they met former members, guests, and VIPs to look over history room displays.
Over 90 years since Harry Baldock established our military unarmed combat and military self- defence training, we have gathered a lot of memorabilia and a lot of this was put on display.
From manuals and programs through to magazine and newspaper articles, books and photographs provided all in attendance with plenty to look at.
There were weapons displays from World War II and earlier that attracted a lot of interest and questions.
Weapons donated by Col Applegate and others including Harry Baldock’s very early original bowie knife were of considerable interest to the masses in attendance.
There was everything from covert weapons and restraint devices of yesteryear through to some of the most current weapons and devices developed for the military and police by the Todd Group.
March 25 was the phase 1 basic test phase conducted at camp Todd in the presence of our guest of honour Blue Curran and VIP guests, SGM retired Lawrence Jordan and Maj John Whipp retired along with hundreds of current and former members and guests.
Skills to command military CQC drills testing.
Seven candidates volunteered to undertake testing made up of two female exponents and five male exponents.
Having two female candidates is something unusual for Todd Group phase 1 testing.
Female candidates on the test phase.
There were more exponents on the phase 1 course of instruction that were not ready or prepared to test and this shows they are realistic and in tune with their current capabilities status.
The phase test layout changes with every testing phase, but the tested modules remain the same.
Last year the emphasis was on land and amphib CQC testing and this year it was on land and vehicle comprised threats testing.
Vehicle/Enemy Per threat.
Observers commented on the practical and at times brutal realism of testing and how there is no slack cut in relation to gender or the physical size of candidates.
Candidates simply have to exceed the required testing levels with high-level competency and uncompromising mental toughness and commitment.
The two female candidates and two of the male candidates achieved the objectives and passed their phase 1 basic testing.
CQC unarmed offensive assault stamp kick under CQC testing.
Candidate blindfolded and unaware of threat category to be faced.
CQC actions on testing phase.
Actions on under CQC testing.
Toughener and Sickener component on phase 1 test.
It was good to hear former members from years gone by state just how much more skilled the candidates are of today.
Striving for CQC excellence must be constant and we must never go backwards, military CQC and military MSD are living packages that must stay at the forefront of threats neutralisation. This includes weapon threats and combating and countering the most current of enemy styles and techniques. We maintain an ethos and modus operandi in relation to tactics and skills training provision and testing regimes that is current and proven to ensure our pers and best prepared to neutralise threats.
The proponent of today is considerably more skilled than in my early days and this is how it should be.
Interesting comments from high-level military instructors and Todd Group training team members included that this gathering was made up of doers not talkers or dreamers.
As Larry Jordan stated maintained membership requires not just loyalty but also honour.
Members must be of the highest integrity and must conduct themselves responsibly, not only in training but also in their general life.
Military CQC/MSD training is a privilege that requires exemplary behaviour integrity loyalty and honour.
They commented on the tenacity and courage candidates showed under testing up against enemy pers for some of considerably greater physical size and of considerably greater physical attributes.
The physicality and practical realism of Todd Group testing where controlled aggression in the execution of the most terminal unarmed skills is required ensures only those with the intestinal fortitude combative smarts and high level skills competency achieve rank and this is how it should be.
Everyone must complete the mandatory training requirements and pass the same testing phases in relation to objective achievement in all tested modules.
Enthusiasts who want to live military CQC the military way as close as a civilian can to the military under the command and control of military instructors and often on joint military and civilian exponents courses must step up with quiet confidence and commitment to CQC self-improvement to achieve rank and advancement.
The reality is if you are training to learn the best means of military self-defence to protect yourself you do not want to settle for anything less than the best of the best in proven tactics and skills.
There are no soft easy options for paper hounds or political passes and there is nowhere to hide under the testing regime.
This is why so many highly-committed individuals challenge themselves on Todd Group courses of instruction and gruelling testing phases. They simply want to be trained by the best in the best and understand there is no other way of achieving competency and advancement other than by being prepared to undergo intensive hands on training and testing the military CQC way.
The 90th anniversary was a huge gathering of military and civilian combative proponents past and present that all were attendance to celebrate this very special and unequalled achievement in European military CQC training provision.
After the test phase was completed the 90th anniversary celebrations commenced.
First up was a provided lunch for all in attendance followed by our guest of honour Blue Curran being piped in.
Maj John Whipp retired introduced Blue providing a brief on his military service and unarmed combat training and instructing history and record of service.
Blue spoke of his military service and of instructing military unarmed combat as if it was yesterday.
He gave honest accounts of training and service and then asked for questions from the floor.
Sgt major Lawrence Jordan retired and Maj John Whipp retired, then spoke of their history of military service and CQC instructing as well as their personal comment on the Todd Group and the celebrating of this very special occasion the 90th reunion anniversary.
Billy Graham, a leading New Zealand public speaker and motivational specialist who spoke at the 80th anniversary of the Todd Group, returned again, speaking on the importance of leaders and mentors that set and maintain standards making their understudies understand the importance of respect, hard work ethics and striving for their highest possible achievement.
The social evening program included a presentation of the 90th anniversary DVD that was made possible by the assistance of phase 2 then, now phase 3 proponent, Sean Lancaster.
Sean edited and produced the 90th anniversary DVD burning the midnight oil and on one occasion working right through the night without sleep to make this production possible.
The video presentation has received high level appraisal and positive reviews since its presentation at the 90th reunion.
It will soon be available for general purchase from the Todd Group HQ website DVDs section www.toddgroup.com
There was time for old mates to chat and guests to speak to instructors and our VIPs in attendance before supper and this special day and night coming to an end.
Sunday, March 26 before guests and proponents left for home was my opportunity to be the breakfast cook at camp Todd for our VIP guests, instructors, and proponents.
Arty BBQ, the very special piece of equipment made by Todd Group 2 IC Cowboy Mitchell, proved its worth feeding the masses during the course and celebrations and was used for this final farewell breakfast.
I have had the pleasure of spending the week after the course in the company of my close and dear friend Larry Jordan including conducting a phase 2 test where a single candidate in Sean Lancaster, successfully surpassed the phase 2 testing requirements by means of high-level competency and controlled aggression.
Over more than two a half hours of advanced CQC testing where mental toughness and combative physicality were essential, Sean maintained high level controlled aggressive physical output.
Having Sean deservedly pass his phase 2 test being promoted to phase 3 specialist proponent status ended the several weeks of preparation and conducting of training testing and formalities in a fitting and positive manner.
Already we are making ready to head off for intensive courses of instruction in Thailand, Germany and other undisclosed locations.
In the words of Ron Evans now we begin preparing for the hundredth reunion.
I have decided to make a 90th anniversary offer to genuine committed enthusiasts interested in European military CQC and MSD in the form of a buddy training offer to attend the upcoming exported course of instruction to Thailand our international hub country.
This offer requires two friends to apply and be accepted on course at the Navy base in Thailand for the April 24-29 course of instruction.
Accepted buddies will receive the following 90th anniversary special offer.
This special offer requires two new entry applicants to jointly apply for the Thailand Navy Base phase 1 course of instruction being conducted between April 24-29 2017. Both applicants need to meet the course joining requirements and be accepted for course joining.
The course fee will be a total of $1600.00 USD for two applicants which will be a total saving of $400.00 USD. This includes meals accommodation all training and transport to and from course.
Accepted applicants will need to pay their own airfares and other in country expenses.
The reduced fee applies to two applicants jointly applying being accepted for course joining and course attending.
Applicants need to individually complete and submit an online application www.toddgroup.com and email both applicants’ names and their email addresses to [email protected] requesting the Buddy reduced course fees special 90th anniversary course joining offer.
We get many requests for training from individuals and groups that cannot afford course fees, so this is your chance to attend and undergo the best of Todd systems training at a reduced course fee rate.
You need to apply within the next 10 days before this special offer ends.
The course joining instructions/information is posted on www.toddgroup.com along with the on-line application facility.
Competency and confidence combatively all begins with applying for course joining.
Those that want to be the best they can be in CQC/MSD apply for our exported course to Thailand our hub country for international courses and live CQC/MSD the military combative way getting as close as a civilian can to undergoing a military combative course of instruction.
Source: CQC Times