Unfortunately, mass shootings are occurring too often.

The FBI reports that there have been 317 mass shootings in the U.S., where four or more people have been killed, from January to October 2017. 

"We can wish this  statistic was not so, but it is," said Sensei Timothy Loomis, of the Silent Mind in Twinsburg. "We can put it out of our minds and hope it doesn’t happen again, but it will. Or, we can prepare for the possibility that we may have the misfortune of being in the middle of one of these horrific events."

Loomis recently attended a tactical training session on mass shootings sponsored by the Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt Federation, in conjunction with the Mayfield Heights Police Department. The group faced surprise scenarios with the police officers firing real guns loaded with blank cartridges. 

"These scenarios were about as real as it can get," Loomis said.

The training presented strategies and tactics that Loomis believe everyone should know regarding mass shootings or active shooter situations.

As such, the Silent Mind is dedicating 2018 to training the public how to prepared and survive a mass shooting or active shooter event. The business has developed programs for organizations and individuals for just this purpose. Level 1 training is designed for businesses and churches to prepare their employees and parishioners.

Level 1 training offers certain cold truths: The first thing to know is that you will freeze.  Loomis says it is common for people to do so when faced with a situation they have never encountered. 

"Without training, most individuals will stay frozen, making them an easy target for the shooter," Loomis says.

What, then, is appropriate action? 

The only appropriate action, Loomis says, is to get to safety as quickly and efficiently as possible. If confronted directly, attack the attacker before they can shoot, he says. 

"The first strategy is to assess the situation," Loomis said. "Appropriate action cannot be effectively taken until the situation has been assessed. Assessment must be made quickly."

Level 2 training at the Silent Mind addresses preparation. This teaches people how to spot and tactically address potential active shooters — and take action before the shooter does.

Level 3 training is an all hands-on, self-defense program, employed only if it becomes necessary to physically confront an active shooter. Contact the Silent Mind at 888-463-6179.