Since 1994, we have been training people in harm’s way on the front lines of violence around the world. Our collective experience from living, training, and teaching in these places has contributed to the forward evolution of our programs.
In 1994, Tom Sotis was the first American combatives trainer to slip through the then-recent crack of the Iron Curtain where he ventured deeply into Russia training the famed Spetsnaz, the ultra-elite Ruby Beret Counter-Terrorism teams, and was the first American ever to visit a number of military installations and government facilities. Tom trained groups from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Criminal Investigation Division and other government and law enforcement groups. Trainers developed within the Karat Executive Protection and Security Agency who continue teaching our program.
The murder-by-stabbing capitol of the world, South Africa is another land of extreme violence where AMOK! has been serving people at every strata of society for 14 years. AMOK! has trained military and law enforcement personnel, executive protection and security personnel, and numerous civilians. Under the direction of Eddy Dorey, AMOK! enjoys a solid following of dedicated practitioners and Trainers who work very hard to protect their families and their society as a whole.
One of the world’s most dangerous places, everyday life for Mexican citizens can be a harsh and brutal reality. The powder-keg of violence festers quietly in sleepy-looking towns that erupt with shooting, torture, and executions. For entertainment, the cartels have been kidnapping busloads of people and forcing them to fight to the death in gladiator-type matches with machetes, hammers, and sticks. AMOK! has trained Special Response Units for the prison system but training the civilian population has been the main thrust of our activity in Mexico for over 10 years.
Iraq & Afghanistan
During the war, Gus Reina established an AMOK! training group at LSA Anaconda, Balad, Iraq on the largest military base in the country. Until very recently, Gus operated an AMOK! training group in Afghanistan working with members of the Special Forces community and military personnel. A lot of guys rotated through his group and were safer for having done so. We are proud of Gus, thankful for his service, respect the significant contribution he made, and glad he is finally home safe.
The cradle of civilization struggles with a significant increase in violence, particularly in Athens where heavily-armed police patrol in groups. Illegal immigration, has created major social challenges with special regard to criminal activity and economic bankruptcy has further kindled violent activity. AMOK! has veteran Trainers in Athens who have been training civilians for 10 years and Tom has been training the Hellenic Coast Guard.
In 2011, Nassir Bourgheya, an 8-year veteran of AMOK!, returned to Libya to protect his family during the revolution and ended up training people in hand-to-hand combatives which, after the revolution, Bourgheya was asked to be a Hand-to-Hand Combat Instructor for the Special Forces in Tripoli, but due to drastic changes in political developments, he resigned his appointment. While politically the country is a mess, the Bourgheya family continues training for their safety. This is another example of AMOK! helping good people in bad places.
AMOK! recently left its footprint in Cambodia when Tom Sotis, Andrew Smith, and Joe Howard introduced AMOK! to the Cambodian Special Forces and the country’s most elite Law Enforcement Counter-Terrorism personnel. They conducted training for GSS Private Security which operates throughout Southeast Asia. GSS is presently using our program for its highest level operatives and supervisors. We have been asked to return to commence with hands-on training and start developing trainers.