Branislav Petrov, a former member and instructor of elite units and anti-terrorist police and defence forces, and practical self-defence instructor SDP

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How long have you been trained in martial arts and what you are all trained?

40 years ago, I first encountered the art of kung-fu, which was then very popular. Then I travelled to Burma, where I got acquainted with Burmese and Thai boxing, which in some elements differed. Whereupon I was very intensively devoted Thai boxing. In several specialist training camps, I abroad met and studied the other martial arts, from aikido, the Russian system to Krav Maga and others that were there being taught by various instructors of special units.

In doing so, it must be emphasized that the martial arts and skills that individuals learn in clubs and gyms, and achieve master titles cannot be compared with the dangers as a concrete fighting action of specialized military and / or police units may incur. Already on the very street where one may be attacked, the situation is completely different than in the halls, where there is the further implementation of the techniques learned. So, in real situations predictions cannot be made, so we need to be trained in all forms of violent attacks.

You have trained and worked with various athletes in martial arts in the world. Who have you worked with?

It is true that I have cooperated with various competitors, both champions in MMA, as in professional boxing in the world. Years ago, I worked with American Top Team.

After so many years of specialized training and experience in the field of defence and security you have also developed your own system of practical self-defence. Can you tell us more about this?

All skills that I have learned in forty years I learned so to the experience in the field and in specialist training I have added your new items and developed my own system of practical self-defence (SDP by Petrov). It is for self-defence, which is intended both for operation in urban than rural areas. It is the system also designed for defence and police-security structures, as well as for civilians. It is also intended for women, which are physically stronger than men who are mainly attackers. In women, it is necessary to activate those potentials they must be able to successfully defend themselves against the physically stronger attacker.

SDP is a specialized system of practical self-defence suited to all who want to feel the power and move towards the training like the training of the elite and special units.

You’ve been in several camps in Israel, France and Russia, where specialist training is carried out. You have also in your career trained and led elite and counter-terrorism units. How is the selection of candidates for these units performed?

In such units, can be selected unpunished, psychophysical healthy and able individuals. Members of special units in the implementation of tactical training are often exposed to situations that are life-threatening, so they can appropriately react and cope with the real situations. Members of special units must therefore be prepared for the execution of the most demanding tasks and unpredictable situations, that can occur in the field.

Training of candidates for members of special units is performed in very extreme conditions, so already in the first three days a half gives up. By the end of the training only 8 to 10% of all candidates who started training endure. During the training the communication between candidates is strictly prohibited. The task of instructors is complicate training in different ways, and in this way candidates are tested to see whether they are suitable for the most demanding tasks that await them in combat situations. Candidates also go through the various transitional phases of shooting blindfolded, learning martial arts to fight breast to breast, the training of mine explosive devices, dealing with situations if they are captured as hostages, etc. On the training marches of 4, 8 to 16 kilometres with a load of 50 kilograms are often conducted. The task of instructors is also reinforcing the power and will of candidates and bring them to perfection.

What is the most important in the training of candidates and then members of the special and the elite units of the police and defence forces?

Very important is the strict discipline and respect of the hierarchy. This also applies to the motto that more sweat in training means less blood in the battle field. Each member of the elite units is therefore characterized by discipline and courage, and with a strong sense of teamwork so for the country they carry out the tasks that even may cost them their life.

You are also an instructor of bodyguards and bodyguards of the highest representatives of the country as Prime Minister and others. How important are qualifications for professional bodyguards in performing tasks such as protection and security?

It is true that the level of training that I carry out for bodyguards, I also implement in the protection of the highest state representatives. Training bodyguards in general and in the field of self-defence is based on similar methods as in the special forces, of course, with certain specifics to operate in different environments and tasks, depending on where the protection of protected persons is implemented.

Andrej Kovačič                                                             E: andrej.kovacic@varensvet.si

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