How “my” System D came about:
When people read or hear about my life’s achievements, whether as a musician or in my parallel “careers”, they all comment on what an amazing life I have and they also assume that it was always that way. As it turns out, it was quite a journey.
I was the little kid who was afraid on the playground, bullied until I was 14 and told, at 17, that I would never be the trumpet player that I dreamed of being.
These accomplishments were made possible by a combination of factors, but most importantly, my experience with a Zen Master in 1979-80. I applied his teachings in all my endeavors and becoming a successful professional musician, playing trumpet, was just the start.
It was after an “incident” during a performance at Lincoln Center in NY, in which I intervened to help a colleague, that some friends and colleagues suggested I share my knowledge. I subsequently obtained certification as a CPR instructor and taught a class at that theater.
It was then suggested that I take it a step further and share my 30+years of knowledge and experience to help others. Dealing with fear, anxiety and stress has been part of my everyday life from “Stage Fright” as a performing artist; to taking risks as a racecar driver, a soldier, an EMT, a firefighter, a canyoneer and a Lieutenant with New Jersey Search And Rescue.
Since I enjoy teaching, I thought it would be a nice way to pass on skills I had acquired over the years, to people who could use them in everyday situations, as well as in extreme, unusual ones.
Coming up with a name for my “program” was quite simple since the French term “Systeme D” already exists and encompasses ways to be resourceful in dealing with just about anything and everything.
My course helps people from all walks of life, deal with their own “inner demons”, fears, anxieties, and stress that can be found in everyday life, as well as give them the skills and knowledge necessary when faced with medical emergencies, fires, building collapses, aggression, vehicular emergencies, weather emergencies, preparedness and survival.