Symbology of the Coat of Arms

There is a lot of symbology contained within the RBTA Coat of Arms.

At its essence, it appears to merely be a geometric pattern of Circles, Arrows and Chains.

But its strength lies in its simplicity just as its power is held within its complexity.

The triangular shape, or three sides of the

Chain, and the three Arrows symbolize the three interconnected Basic Combative Concepts of:




With the additional option – or the Golden option depicted by the Gold ring in the center – of Leaving.


Sun Tzu said that the true measure of success in conflict lies in victory without battle. Hence, this should be a guiding principle of all combative and defensive arts and training. That negotiation is usually preferable to combat, but that the preparation for controlled violence should never cease in case that more civilized method of conflict resolution is unavailable, inexpedient or otherwise falls short of a successful resolution.
The disparate directions of the Arrows symbolize that while the three Basic Combative Concepts are usually taught in a divergent manner – going off in different directions if you will – the core principles of Reality Based Training (the Golden Ring) bring each of these concepts together to make them stronger in a unified way, bound together and indivisible.The Arrows also come through the Chains at the centers of the lengths of the chains and at the corners, symbolizing that the Basic Concepts can provide the foundation, or cornerstones, of our civilization and, while they at times pierce society (shown by the breaks in the Chain) they are ultimately constrained by those Chains and are ultimately bound by the Golden Core – or the Values of society. While the presence of the Guardian may at times seem uncomfortable for society, such discomfort is often a basic necessity provided that the Guardian does not become the Tyrant. It has been said that man can live with out food or water for some time, but it cannot easily survive a day without justice or protection from evil. Equally true is that we must remain vigilant that the Guardian remain a servant of Society, not the other way around. This is why the Chain constrains the Arrows and not the other way around.Each length of chain is composed of Seven Links, alluding to the Seven Survivals. Many training programs spend an inordinate amount of time teaching participants to prevail Physically in a critical encounter. While this is obviously of utmost importance, prevailing Physically is only one aspect of victory during a critical incident. The victor must also prevail Emotionally/Psychologically, Spiritually, Societally/Socially, Professionally/Intellectually, Morally/Ethically, as well also Financially. A collapse in any of these Seven Survival areas could lead to a complete collapse of the individual, the organization or society itself. As in any symbology, there is included in the design several more esoteric meanings.


There are ultimately twenty-two links of chain when including the three lengths of seven and the separate center link. When the number twenty-two is divided by the base number of each length of chain, or seven, the irrational number “pi” is created – pi is called an irrational number since it is a number without end. In the RBTA Coat of Arms, this alludes to the irrationality of the never-ending struggle between good and evil, and the irrationality of the necessity to utilize violence as a means of achieving peace. Rationality can be restored by distancing the Core from the Chains which can symbolize our Transcendence over evil through the use of Golden principles.

 For those familiar with other mysteries, they might notice the similarity between the Golden Link in the center of the Silver Chain triangle to another mysterious icon associated with the Grand Architect.The Center Circle is also chosen to represent the Omicron – or the Fifteenth Letter of the Greek Alphabet. One definition of Omicron is a man who obtains enlightened knowledge of oneself and heritage; A leader, A scholar, and an example of finer brotherhood.The Omicron is the symbol and name of the RBTA Newsletter

Upon close examination of the Coat of Arms, it can be seen that each side of the triangle has a break in the chain – a missing link, alluding to the disconnection often found between the basic training concepts of Talking, Fighting, or Shooting, as well a disconnection through the methods by which each Basic Concept is traditionally taught. The break in the chain also alludes to the distancing of society from its Guardians – the Chain parts as the Arrows move between the Links – much as the Sheep is distrustful of the Sheepdog and moves away from him until the Wolf appears. During times of trouble, however, as depicted by the angular bends in the chain where each Arrow actually connects with the Chain, the Chain (or Society) wraps itself around the Arrow for protection until after the danger, or “pointy end”, has moved through.

Focusing on the central Golden Link, we begin to understand that Reality Based Training, and by extension the RBTA, is the missing central Golden Link that ties all training concepts together at their core since RBT is the hub from which all spokes inside an organization dedicated to the protective arts must radiate. It cannot be an “add on” to other programs that teach the core concepts of Talking, Fighting, Shooting or Leaving. The Basic Concepts must “move through” the central core. Such RBT programs must be an extension of an organization whose ethos is Reality Based Training-centric to ensure a Seven Survivals strategy dedicated to ultimate success.

One of the primary issues with conventional training is that it too often teaches participants what to do, while rarely teaching those participants how to think. Not surprisingly, it is the preservation of the personality that will ultimately carry the day during a critical incident. Yet absent actual experience, only Reality Based Training provides the experiential link to equally preparing the Body, the Mind and the Physical Support Systems for the realities that Police, Military, First Responders and Armed Citizens will face during critical incidents.

The Arrowheads and Feathers are decorated by the primary colors, Blue, Green and Red, symbolizing the commitment to the importance of teaching basic skills as a building block to higher levels of complexity, since an analysis of most failed encounters demonstrate failure at basic skills. Gold represents central principles, Silver represents the precious members of society and Grey represents the strength and hardness achieved through training and sacrifice. The Primary Colors also symbolize the professional communities served by the RBTA, which are Green for Military, Blue for Law Enforcement and Red for Emergency Services.

The Grey shafts of the Arrows are the same color of the metal that makes up the hardened exterior casing of the Chain links. While the Primary Colors often stand out, it is easy to overlook the darker Grey that makes up that hardened external casing of each link in the chain. While it is that hardened casing that provides much of the strength, it is the more precious metal inside that ultimately provides manpower, muscle and money to those organizations tasked with the safekeeping of that softer Silver contained within the core of the chain.

The Silver inner core, then, represents society, or its citizenry. While often seeming “Greyed Out” and relegated to the background, it is the Citizenry who ultimately provide the strength – and also the links in the chain – that makes our society strong. It is the quality of the metal contained therein that determines whether the chain will fail or hold. And if a link should ever fail then the whole of the chain fails. It is important that the Guardians should protect the Chain from the frictions of the outside world, yet it is ultimately the Chain that provides the resources to the Guardians to do so. Both must guard against corrosive elements since it takes only one failed link for the entire chain to break.

The flights of each of the arrows are six per arrow for a total of 18, the Age of Majority in many countries, and at which time one is entitled to bear arms, join the armed services and cast a vote. In a democracy, the exercise of the power to vote is equally as important as the power to wield a weapon of destruction, as the vote has at times been more devastating than the firearm. 18 is also the Age of Duty. And as it has done so many times in the past, Duty now calls those who come forward to serve to fly as straight and as true as the Arrows that symbolize each branch of service represented in the Coat of Arms.

Depicted outside the Arrrows and the Chains are two Grey concentric circles, circumscribing the name of the Organization. The Inner Circle of the surrounding Rings represents the Code of Unity and the rules of a civil society that bind us all together. “We few … we happy few … we band of brothers.”

The Outer Circle is the Shield that keeps away exterior evil and corrosive elements – it acts as the Phalanx which can rotate in an instant to direct its might against the outward evils of the world, protecting the civil society contained within. The words inside the concentric circles, the Reality Based Training Association, exists as the buffer between the outward evil of the world and the Band of Brothers that exists within, bringing all of the elements together to repel outside dangers so as to protect the Silver and Gold inside – the Citizenry and the Spirit that keeps us alive and our society thriving.

Ultimately, the RBTA is an organization dedicated to the unification of training philosophies, technologies and personalities. It will seek out the best and the brightest concepts, ideas, technologies and people with the goal being the encouragement of critical and breakthrough thinking in the Defensive, Protective and Aggressive arenas.