De-escalation & Mindful Breathing

Specifically created to assist first responders before, during, and after intense and dynamic encounters to ensure enhanced decision- making.

California POST & STC Certified

Executive Summary

This 8-hour course was specifically created to assist first responders before, during, and after intense and dynamic encounters to ensure enhanced decision- making, and the ability to rapidly return from the fight or flight response. The immediate benefits are apparent, but this course also equips students with the ability to improve long-term physical and emotional health.

Students will:

  • Apply Emotional Intelligence analysis to self and others in reality-based scenarios
  • Apply techniques to help de-escalate a violent encounter
  • Apply self-management techniques during a tactical event such as an active shooter
  • Apply Breathing techniques to remain calm and focused in high stress situations
  • Read a suspect’s breathing pattern as cues to mindset

This is a physical class; warm up exercises, defensive tactics drills and movement scenarios.  It is highly recommended to wear workout type attire.


This course begins with understanding and then applying Emotional Intelligence analysis in the context of a subject stop. Next students learn how Mindful Breathing is an invaluable skill for a holistic approach to a positive and productive law enforcement career. Mindful breathing starts with breathwork for self-care and self-awareness. The number one killer of police officers for the last three years is suicide. In order to successfully de-escalate a situation, one must first start with themselves to ensure they are in the right mindset; present, focused and calm, before attempting to take on an external confrontation. Failure to do so is likely to make an already volatile situation even worse.

How conscious are you about your breath and its impact on you?  In this course learn seven different conscious breathing techniques to help you maintain or regain your optimal self.  How to breath when you’re driving whether your code three in a pursuit, calming down after a hot call or stuck at a red light.  How to breath when you are in a physical altercation to give you strength and mental clarity.  Tactical breathing to keep you in the “zone”, calm yet focused, implemented in a team movement, active shooter exercise. Breath work to keep you going during a long shift, as well as breathing techniques to calm you down when you get home so you can get a good night’s sleep. Learn the science behind the breath on how to tap into your Parasympathetic and Sympathetic Nervous Systems.  Your breath is the gateway into self-control.

De-escalation starts with you.  If you are not in complete control of yourself how do you propose you are going to be able to control someone else?  The breath techniques are a great way to gain your own self composure.  Once that is established, you can take in the big picture and evaluate how to possibly bring a volatile situation to a peaceful conclusion.

What tools or skills do you have that can be used to help de-escalate a situation?   This is an opportunity to share some of your own expertise on what has worked for you as well as learn from others on what has worked for them.  Some of the topics that will be discussed are; mirroring, reflective listening, body language, and empathy.   Specific dialogue will be introduced and practiced, dealing with giving directives and stopping disruptive behavior.

Course Information

Course Length: 1 day (8 hours)
Certification: California Board of State and Community Corrections (STC)
Cost/Tuition: $0 for POST reimbursable agencies / $125
Max Class Size: 24 Students
Prerequisites: None
Recommended For: Line level personnel and supervisors

Mailing Address:
17595 Mt Herrmann St.
Fountain Valley CA 92708

office: (888) 782-4969



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