Exclusive Interview with Clint Emerson, Book Review: 100 Deadly Skills: Survival Edition

Clint Emerson SEAL, Ret; interviewBy Alexander Castiglione

Former SEAL and NSA operator Clint Emerson releases his new book today, sure to be a New York Times bestseller like his first release; 100 Deadly Skills.

Emerson purveys knowledge in a clear and concise manner, delineating what needs to be done with diagrams if necessary.

He also breaks down certain things the average civilian might not even earmark under the “survival tab” — like how to combat clear your home if you suspect an intruder, what should be in your nightstand. He also throws some stats about burglaries at you as food for thought. He even shows you the proper way to secure and detain an assailant.

In addition, some practical applications for how to take down a hijacker or spot a terrorist. In today’s climate of active shooters and inspired terrorism, these are valid and practical points.

100 Deadly Skills: Survival Edition The SEAL Operative’s Guide to Surviving in The Wild and Being Prepared For Any Disaster

In the 100 Deadly Skills book, he went over all types of content, like how to bulletproof a vehicle to how to shirk surveillance.

This book functionally weaponizing anyone who read it. He does it again, this time turning you into Bear Grylls or Grizzly Adams. And a lot more.

Emerson currently works in Crisis Management with his firm Escape the Wolf and has clients in various businesses.

He works with corporations and organizations to institute best practices and security policies, but wanted to find a way to get critical information – deadly skills- directly to the consumer.

This, he told SGPT in a recent interview, is how the 100 Deadly Skills: The SEAL Operative’s Guide to Eluding Pursuers, Evading Capture, and Surviving Any Dangerous Situationproject was born.

First, a brief review of the book: Anyone that’s been through SERE or E&E school will find some of the diagrams familiar, but some of these tactics and diagrams, are more refreshing. Emerson starts it off with some solid advice on how to make yourself crisis proof, and advice on an Every Day Carry (EDC) kit (which as you all know, we love here at SGPT) and what should be in your vehicle go bag. But he answers some of these more important questions: Do you know what to do in a bear attack? What about an active shooter scenario? Perhaps a natural disaster? Kidnapping? How to desalinate seawater with a soda can and plastic bottle? If you answered no to any of these, worry not. He covers it all and then some in his new book which comes out today, October 18th.

We then went on to discuss the content of the book, awareness, and all things deadly skills.

“In order to mitigate crises we really only have two variables,” Emerson explained. “Preparation, and response.” 100 Deadly Skills: Survival Edition addresses both of those aspects in spades.

“We address situational awareness a lot, almost too much, and as a whole it can be taxing and consuming,” Emerson continued. “There are several types of awareness. Personal awareness: like your demeanor, how you’re standing, what you’re wearing. Second is the cultural awareness, like knowing etiquette and protocols.” Emerson also commented that you should be courteous, especially when overseas. That business card you got from that seemingly innocuous conversation at the hotel bar could be your “get out of jail free” card if you’re overseas and the State Department simply just isn’t coming.

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“And third party awareness,” he added. “We’re always being watched; by cameras, by police, by agencies. Don’t give anyone something to latch onto.”

He goes over ways to make yourself less visible, and less of a target in the book – in a more practical and digestible manner than the first release. He doesn’t go over how to jump out of a plane, or break into a motel room here. He talks about awareness and decision making. We also chatted a bit about it in our interview.

He kind of rejects Col. Cooper’s color system which is taught often in CCW classes and security protocols. “There are 3 states: Alert, Pre-Crisis, and Crisis mode. The biggest piece of all of this is making decisions ahead of time,” Emerson said. “Decisions under stress won’t be very good ones, so you have to make decisions ahead of time. If this happens, or that guy crosses the street, I’m going to duck into this storefront. That type of thing.” Having decisions made ahead of time is where survivability increases, he added.

Then I had to ask him, since he does go over what are the ideal EDCs for every climate and environment you could encounter on earth, what are the 5 things you should carry everyday if you can. He gave us the following:

  • Cash and credit cards, “What you can’t get with one, you can get with the other,” he stated.
  • Zebra pen, or steel barrelled pen
  • Mouthpiece “Most people that aren’t fighters don’t know that it’s basically a shock absorber. It can turn a devastating blow into nothing,” he noted.
  • Carry a gun (if you can in your state, of course) “You need to know how to use it, and more importantly, how to draw it!” he qualified.  We ran this piece on SGPT a couple months back which echoes his points. “If you can’t, a fixed blade knife goes a long way,” he continued.
  • Loaded shoes: have a razor or handcuff key stashed in your shoes. He shows you how to do this in this release. (We reviewed some solid E+E kits on SGPT)

Then, of course, we asked how fitness plays a role in all of this. After all, we at SGPT are all about being strong, fit, and ready for anything.

“Fitness plays an immense role. Being able to lift your bodyweight is key, which is why I like heavy bags as you can see in the books. Human performance definitely plays a crucial role. And it’s one thing to be able to lift yourself, it’s another to carry someone else. And it’s also very mental; both survival and fitness. You have to want to do it. In fact, an FBI survey showed most victims wait for 2 things: death or rescue. A violent nomad, as we’ve come to call it, needs to be more vigilant, and more aware,” Emerson explained. “Train how you fight, and fight how you train,” he added.

We can go on and on about what’s in the book, and what I gave you are just a few – there are over 100 in his sophomore release. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, or haven’t the foggiest how to navigate using the stars, or make a fire without a lighter, do us and yourself a favor, and snag a copy.

Agent Bourne, you are now activated; score a copy of Emerson’s 100 Deadly Skills: Survival Edition.

Reviewed 2016. Updated 2023.

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