Ed CALDERON, police officer in Tijuana, México

Here is the original version of the interview, before translation into French.

PROTEGOR: Ed, can you introduce yourself to the readers of Protegor?

Ed Calderón: I’m Ed Calderón. I was born and raised in Tijuana México where I spent the better part of my younger years getting in to trouble. Spent some time traveling and living of the contents of my back pack thought Mexico and the US.

Later on in life I decided to dedicate does energy’s in to something more productive. So I enrolled in to a government program that was recruiting people with language skills for specific duties in the areas of law enforcement.

Spent the next few years working as a member of an operations group through out the north western border region of Mexico doing counter narcotics, anti abduction and high risk close protection work for a few high level government officials involved in the start of the Drug War. Took that experience and the training I got trough it and started to look for ways of preparing does in similar jobs and individuals that have to work in such Non-Permissive environment’s. I saw the need for skill sets that evolved elements of improvised weapons, escapology, counter custody and very specialized free hand material. I found Libre Fighting Systems to be a starting point for my search and personal bases for forming methodology.

I now run seminars and training specific to counter custody, improvised weapons us and unconventional freehand and edge and point work trough out Mexico and in the US.


PROTEGOR: Tijuana has the image to be an unsafe city. What do you think of this cliché?

Ed Calderón: It was for a time the most dangerous city in the world when two mayor cartels fought over control of its mayor drug routs in to the US. Back in 2008, Tijuana was a war zone with fire fights, kidnappings and corruption running rampant.

It has gotten a lot better in recent years, most of the violence now is relegated to internal fighting amongst the Cartels that still operate in the border region.

In all honesty. I’d be more worried walking around at night in Chicago than Tijuana.

PROTEGOR: If a foreigner plans to go to Tijuana, which security advices would you give him?

Know the « Endemics ». There are criminals active trough out the city. It is a good idea to do your homework as far as how they operate and how one might ID them.

Also have a plan of egress in case things get bad. Have an escape plan ready to get you to the border or airport.

Message any taxi numbers, hotel room numbers and travel plans to at least two contacts back home so that they might be able to follow your trail from a far in case something goes bad.

PROTEGOR: You’re teaching « personal security » in the US. How are structured your class?

Ed Calderón: I keep classes immersive. Taking students trough abduction scenarios from both the perspective of the victim and the abductor. In this way, they learn the mistakes some criminals make and what opportunities these create for escape in some scenarios.

I push them hard. And pressure is a constant.


PROTEGOR: In terms of « state of mind », what would be the best principle you would advice?

Ed Calderón: Keep breathing. Some say to keep calm and relaxed. I’d say the opposite. Use your survival instincts to their fullest potential, of you have some to live for make that someone in to your emotional drive to keep breathing, pushing through the pain and to fight.

One mas act with intention. Pure violent intention.

(examples (in case my question is not clear): agressiveness, peacefullness, retaliation, taking distance, no ego…)


PROTEGOR: In terms of defense accessories, and depending on the laws of each country of course, what equipment would you suggest as EDC?

Ed Calderón:

-Quality smartphone (good camera and GPS technology with messaging apps like TextSecure will be invaluable tools out there)
-Lighter (could be used to set someone on fire in a grappling situation, to cut bondage or to star a conversation with a smoker)
-Knife (small and concealable. As neutral looking as possible)
-A Trinity Bundle: (handcuff key, shim and diamond wire) if illegal custody is a possibility

PROTEGOR: Any plan to come to France?

Ed Calderón: I’m always willing to do so if the right group of people bring me out.

Thank you very much!