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Dr. George Thompson

Defusing violence in the classroom

Verbal Judo for the Education Professional is designed specifically for all administrators, teachers and other school staff whose duties require them to maintain order and to resolve conflict peacefully and safely.  Everyday, educators are called upon to deal with students, parents, and the community.  Students may be upset or frightened; parents and/or the community may be hostile.  Maintaining a professional face is crucial if educators are to remain under emotional control and be to find effective solutions to potentially violent encounters.  This program trains school personnel in the important and difficult art of generating voluntary compliance from difficult people.


Verbal Judo with Educators
Evaluating Schools: Verbal Judo Section

A Verbal Judo staff training program, through a collaborative partnership with the California Teachers Association, has trained approximately 3,000 school personnel in Verbal Judo. Verbal Judo is a tactical communication skill that enables the teaching professional and other school personnel to preserve order while maintaining their own and the publicās safety by appropriate presence and words.

We provide a course designed for teachers and other professionals assigned to the education arena. Students are presented with the techniques of Verbal Judo and how Teachers can employ those techniques when dealing with school administrators, parents, students, criminals and the community.

Attendees are taught how to defuse confrontations by responding to situations rather than reacting to personal feelings. The course provides very specific strategies and tactics which will allow the Educator to be flexible and professional while generating peaceful resolutions. The course emphasizes increasing personal safety and enhancing professionalism while decreasing stress and citizen complaints.

Upon successful completion of this course, the education professional will have a ready response and action plan for encounters. Lectures will be accompanied by video examples and "hands-on" practical exercises.

Topics include:

  • Using words to achieve professional purposes
  • Resisting the use of language to express personal feelings
  • Reading others and diagnosing a verbal encounter
  • Delivering words that are on target by understanding the receiver's point of view
  • Ensuring that what is said is interpreted correctly
  • Employing tactical empathy to stay in contact with the needs of the school and the students
  • Generating voluntary compliance from those who are under temporary emotional influences such as despair, fear, anger or prejudice




  • Enhance Personal Safety
  • Diffuse Potentially Dangerous Situations
  • Lessen Stress At Work And At Home


  • Enhance The Learning Experience
  • Enhance The Teacher's Reputation
  • Enhance The School's Reputation
  • Decrease Complaints
  • Decrease Vicarious Liability
  • Enhance The Ability To Articulate In All Arenas


Verbal Judo, or Tactical Communication, enables teachers to focus on the behavior of other's while maintaining their own and others safety and then use Appropriate Presence and Words to achieve a professional purpose.

Verbal Judo, like Judo itself, uses the energy of others to master situations. It contains a set of communication principles and tactics that enable the user to generate cooperation and gain voluntary compliance from others under stressful conditions. These tactics are especially useful when dealing with hostile, angry, upset, frustrated or disgruntled people.

Verbal Judo teaches a philosophy of how to look creatively at conflict, offering specific, powerful, and usable strategies to resolve tense situations. Teachers will learn to respond to situations rather than react to personal feelings. Additionally teachers will come to understand how to deal with difficult people and how to use conflict management tactics to diffuse confrontational encounters.

The course has precisely defined training goals that address concerns important to both the school and its individual teachers. They are:

SAFETY: Teachers use words to prevent confrontations from becoming violent situations, reducing the potential injury to teachers and those with whom they interact.

ENHANCED PROFESSIONALISM: Teachers recognize the impact their words have on others and use language appropriate to each encounter. Teachers perform professionally, thus creating a positive organizational attitude.

REDUCED VICARIOUS LIABILITY: Teachers who handle encounters skillfully and professionally are less likely to generate complaints and lawsuits. Teachers trained in Verbal Judo will be able to describe their reasoning and explain their actions according to professional principles.

This program is designed for teachers whose duties require them to resolve tense confrontations peacefully and safely. Verbal Judo is the top rated communication course in the country with over 600,000 graduates.


Verbal Judo teaches a philosophy of how to look creatively at conflict and then use specific strategies and tactics to find peaceful resolutions. Verbal Judo teaches a means of creatively examining problems and reaching solutions while preserving individual dignity and organizational integrity. Maintaining a "Professional Face" is crucial if teachers are to remain under emotional control during disagreements or conflicts and be able to effectively find solutions to these potentially violent encounters. Performance must always be part of the professional process; it ensures true professionalism in all working environments: with our student’s families, peers, and supervisors, with other departments in our school, and most importantly - with our primary contacts - students.

Schools can expect that once their staff are trained in Verbal Judo, they will know the following:

  • How to use Words to achieve professional purposes and how to resist using language to express personal feelings, thus controlling themselves inside so they can exert control on the outside.
  • How to employ empathy and the art of "Representation" to become Contact Professionals, maintaining self-control and staying in contact with the needs of the school and their audience.
  • How to effectively deliver words that are on target by first understanding the receiver's point of view, including the "Five Step" approach to persuading difficult people.
  • The art of "Translation" - to ensure that communication is on target and understood by the receiver.
  • The art of "Mediation" - delivering words in the form of a personal appeal, in order to achieve voluntary compliance from people who are under temporary emotional influences, ranging from uncertainty and confusion to anger, mistrust, and even prejudice.
  • How to use the four appeals of persuasion and the twenty-four principles of street smarts.
  • The five conditions where words fail and teachers must move beyond verbal communication.


Seminar Agenda

Verbal Judo

Tactical Communications


Educators And School Staff



The Goals Of The Course

Traits Of A Professional

Module One:

The Goal Of The Professional

The Tools Used To Achieve This Goal

The Habit Of Mind Necessary To Achieve This Goal

The Contact Professional

The Art Of Representation 

Module Two:

Communication: From The Receiver's Point Of View

Three Survival Truths Of Communication

Module Three:

Verbal Karate Versus Verbal Judo

The "Five-Step" Style Of Persuasion

Module Four:

How To Recognize When Words Fail And

Be Prepared To Move To Action: S.A.F.E.R. 

Module Five:

The Three Arts Needed To Be A Professional:

Representation, Translation And Mediation

Module Six:

The Four Appeals Of Persuasion

The Forty-Six Principles Of Disinterest

Module Seven:

The "Tactical Eight-Step" Meet & Greet

Module Eight:

What To Do:

If A Fight Breaks Out

If A Student Has A Weapon

If Confronted By An Angry Parent

If You Need To Document An Incident


There are five primary goals for teaching Verbal Judo: 1. - PERSONAL SAFETY, 2. - ENHANCED PROFESSIONALISM, 3. - LESS COMPLAINTS, 4. - LESS VICARIOUS LIABILITY and 5. - LESS PERSONAL STRESS. Teachers are safer when they use their words to achieve a professional purpose rather than express their personal feelings. The most dangerous weapon a Teacher carries is the "Cocked Tongue." He must use words as tools not weapons. Mind and mouth disharmony causes violence. Everything we teach in Verbal Judo can markedly enhance a Teacher’s ability to look good and sound good, as well as be good. The way we do what we do is often the difference between success and failure. This "Art of Delivery" results in Teachers generating fewer complaints and hence generating fewer lawsuits from their actions. Schools trained in Verbal Judo have seen reductions of up to 80% in complaints and an untold amount of dollars saved in lawsuits. All of this results in less stress for the Teacher and the School.


Module 1

In this module, we define and show how to become the consummate Professional. Presented is an in depth definition of Professionalism, defining its central goal: Generating Voluntary Compliance. The tools available to the professional are listed, with detailed emphasis on Professional Presence and Words. We present the philosophy of ‘mushin’ and show the employee how to become "The Contact Professional," the ultimate artist in representing the goals of the organization.

Module 2

The Teacher works in an arena of verbal assault. In this section, we teach them the skills necessary to present a "Professional Face" at all times. Knowing more about communication than the people with whom they interact enables them to become who they have to be to handle difficult situations. The module stresses that 93% of a Professional’s effectiveness lies not in his message but in his "Delivery Style." We teach not only what the delivery style is but also how to use it more effectively.

Module 3

Here we show teachers the difference between an offensive attacking style of language, Verbal Karate, and the professional re-directive power of Verbal Judo. We define our terms and demonstrate technique over brute power. We illustrate Verbal Judo in action through the "Five-Step" style of persuasion using real examples. If the Professional uses the five-step discipline, he CANNOT LOSE. We teach the limits of words and how to reach their maximum power.

Module 4

NO TEACHER IS SAFE IF HE IS TALKING WHEN HE SHOULD BE ACTING. Hence, we teach the five times when words fail -- summed up by the acronym S.A.F.E.R. -- and show how to evaluate the threat and move to other appropriate options.

Module 5

Contact Professionals are the great PERSUADERS in America. Here we teach the three arts necessary to change the way people may want to behave when they are under the influence of liquor, drugs, rage, stupidity or greed. How to influence difficult people to think better for themselves than they may naturally desire is the sum of the three arts.

Module 6

To show Teachers how to verbally "hook people up" for their own good, we teach the four basic appeals of Persuasion and arm them with 46 or more principles of disinterest or flexibility taken directly from cops on the streets. Knowing the four appeals enables Professionals to remain flexible in their approaches to persuasion and more efficient in their use of words. Knowing the ethical and verbal principles helps Teachers stay centered and focused on the goal of generating voluntary compliance rather than reacting to personal feelings.

Module 7

In this section, we teach the "Tactical Eight-Step", a safer and more powerful approach to greeting people, one that elicits far less resistance and misunderstanding and sounds professional and strong throughout. Put together with the "Five-Step Style", these two disciplines arm Teachers with a TACTICAL ADVANTAGE they have never had before. There is a better way to do business, and this is it!

Module 8

In this module, we give specific instruction on how to take control of difficult situations. Educators will be better armed and know what to do: If a fight breaks out - If a student has a weapon - If confronted by an angry parent - and If you have to document an incident.

For information:





"A Verbal Judo staff training program, through a collaborative partnership with the California Teachers Association, has trained approximately 3,000 school personnel in Verbal Judo. Verbal Judo is a tactical communication skill that enables the teaching professional and other school personnel to preserve order while maintaining their own and the publicās safety by appropriate presence and words."
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© 1997 - 2004 Verbal Judo Institute, Inc. 

Dr. George J. Thompson, President & Founder