Seminars & Workshops

Seminars & Workshops

Free Annual Seminar and Workshop

One Free International Seminar-Workshop Every Year

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Precision Training Systems

Von Forell canine Education, an International training and development company, offering Workshops and Seminars that are innovative, effective training programs for creating extraordinary dogs and extraordinary handlers for any outcome.

Our “Seminars/Workshops” are the foundation in learning, specifically designed to bring about positive and permanent shifts in your quality of training. They are designed for you to view the training of animals with entirely new possibilities.

These possibilities are mostly possible once you have developed a particular way of thinking.

Our three books are the foundation of new possibilities, specifically designed to bring about positive and permanent shifts in your mindset, World View and quality of training.

They are designed for you to view the training of animals with entirely new possibilities supported by valid science. Science that was discovered over seventy years ago, which has taken a lifetime to work out and apply the information appropriately to training dogs. 

Our books are a combination of our life experience supported by the animal learning sciences so that you no longer have to search endlessly.

For those who wish to put this knowledge into practical experience, we offer our seminars and workshops so that we can assist your efforts in real time.

We offer one Free International Seminar-Workshop every year to any group who wishes to enhance their growth and development. Conditions:

1. A formal request is made in writing.
2. Expenses are covered by the host organisation.
3. Flights are confirmed and booked in advance.
4. Preferred dates are September/October but not limited to.

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Seminars and Workshops With a Difference

A Transformative and Informative Learning Model

Our program is grounded in a transformative learning model rather than an informative learning model. Informative or additive learning increases what one knows, adds to one’s skills and extends already established capacities by bringing new knowledge to an existing worldview and frames of reference.

Transformative learning, by comparison, gives people an awareness of the underlying structures in which one knows, thinks, and acts in the world. From that awareness comes a fundamental shift that leaves people more fully in accord with their own possibilities. While most people are familiar with methods for producing outstanding results, they recognise certain realistic limits to what seems possible.

Please view our video taken at the Australian Working Dog Conference in Sydney, Australia, on the topic of Working Dog Breeding and the Relationship to Training.

  • Our Dog Training Solutions utilise the dogs full genetic potential and combine it with quality learning. 
  • Enables you to experience a positive, permanent shift in the quality of training you deliver not only to your dog but to your clientele.
  • Redefines the very nature of what is possible in training dogs. You won’t believe how everything you do has an impact.
  • Help you create a future of your own design in the Dog World by someone who has been involved professionally since 1980.

In our research, 97 per cent of people surveyed said Von Forell Precision Training made a profound, lasting difference in the way they trained their dogs. It is specifically designed to bring about positive and permanent shifts in the quality of your thinking. It provides the freedom to be entirely at ease no matter where you are, who you’re with, or what the circumstance and feel the power to be in action effectively and not be overwhelmed by the ‘audience effect‘.

Participants overwhelmingly report that their interaction in our events yield not only insights and improvements, but provide lasting results that expand and unfold over time.
Once you see what is possible, you will never observe and interpret behaviour the way you did in the past.

From our observation, the average owner or trainer spends most of their time fighting unwanted behaviours. Some of these behaviours can be traced to the dog’s genetic predisposition. However, for the most part, the dog learns behaviours that have been reinforced time after time. In other words, they are behaviours that may have been inadvertently taught.

It is from these unwanted behaviours, whether it be in a show, competitive training or just at home, that many tricks and gimmicks seem to spring into existence. These methods, in general, do not correct the problems but merely mask or aggravate them. Once the undesirable behaviours have developed, training is never as simple as it could have been and is often very frustrating for both the handler and dog.

At this point, a very promising young dog has become nothing but a horror to work, live with or continue to train.

When did it all start?

Was it as early as the first ‘signal’?

Besides the fact that the dog will learn what behaviour to perform when it acknowledges a ‘signal’ it simultaneously learns how it feels. This is where foundation training begins. What the dog has discovered during its foundation training will have a lasting effect on its performance, for better or worse. During stress or problem solving the dog will always attempt to access its foundation training as a point of reference. It is at this point in time where the dog and trainer must learn how to ‘communicate‘ or ‘speak‘ the same language.

This critical stage requires firsthand knowledge of animal learning, patience and how to teach.

Von Forell Precision Training offers you complete training opportunities for any promising young dog. We will show you how to reinforce its genetic potential with the soundest training systems available. Our seminars and workshops are specifically designed to bring about positive and permanent shifts in your quality of training. They are designed to help you view the training of dogs with entirely new possibilities. 

Finally, we include the current state of Global Breeding Practices, and the ‘Reflexive‘ impact the ‘environment‘ has on behaviour. We cover what the breeder must know about proper trait selection, developing their puppies and what they should be teaching their puppy owners because this ‘critical information impacts’ the type of dogs we end up in our community.

Please view our video taken at the Australian Working Dog Conference in Sydney Australia on the topic of Working Dog Breeding and the Relationship to training.

These events are for participants who wish to achieve excellence and to deeply understand the “mathematics of canine behaviour and all the ugly variables that potentially exist”.

The information below is designed to provide you with some understanding as to the overall structure and focus of our events.

We commence with a general opening statement and then discuss the history and current global position of the working dog world. I will elaborate on my belief systems, philosophy on breeding and training dogs, my position on positive and negative learning and all the possibilities they create.

We shall also discuss how to create and develop a proactive puppy or adult and illustrate the advantages as to why this active training component is so critical and how to achieve it, as it is the underlying theme in the system. The vital part is not only in creating a proactive dog but equally a dog that is able to learn the circular relationship between active and passive states, instilling a ‘loop’ that concentration leads to motivation and back again. 

We will cover the importance of the reinforcing the power of self-discovery, helping dogs know how to “learn to learn” and help them ‘believe’ that they manipulate their environment to access reward. We will cover active and passive marking techniques and show you why one mode creates concentration while the other creates motivation and how to link the two to via classical conditioning. Shaping puppy behaviour is a vital part of the program. 

This sets the dogs up for a successful working career.

The entire system is about creating a robust animal, which is all possible within your own home and provides the ideal distraction-free environment for optimum learning. It is my firm opinion that group classes in the initial stages of learning can be inhibiting and that the best way to teach a dog properly is to create a distraction-free environment. Once this is established, I will then guide you on how increasing distractions further enhance and solidify your dog’s target behaviours, and lock them in. 

In fact, distractions will become a signal for reward.

An exciting aspect of this system is that it rapidly improves your relationship with your dog and maintains harmony throughout its life and working career. A system that is a to a large degree maintenance free.

Why?

Because the ‘target behaviours’ are thoroughly understood by the dog and are not pressure based. A dog subjected to pressure based training systems quickly learns to dislike the ‘contextual exercise‘ or learning altogether.

I will also show you the use of prompts and containment fields to assist the concept of error-less learning, and how modern training aids only amplify your dog’s responses, with a thoughtful application. The learning systems are designed for people who want to establish an excellent working relationship with their dog, control their family pet, compete at a high-level Competitions or dramatically improve the management of their Tactical Police Dog.

About the Presenter

Kris Kotsopoulos has been involved in the breeding and training of Working dogs since 1980. He has worked with first-time dog owners through to the most demanding Law Enforcement Canines, their handlers and World Championship Competitors. Kris and his wife Tonia are breeders of Dobermanns and German Shepherds under the kennel name ‘Von Forell Australia’. His dogs and training philosophies have been incorporated into many training systems by competitors and Law Enforcement Agencies. 

Kris’s workshops are designed to give you a clear directive of how dogs learn, what drives them, how to improve learning due to purposeful guidelines, and how to shape behaviour for a dynamic, focused and harmonious performance. This is an opportunity to learn the latest cutting-edge training systems to deliver spirited, compliant animals on cue.

Having devoted over 37 years of his life to research, development and education of the working dog, paired with extensive work in the area of animal welfare and nutrition, Kris has now expanded his professional horizons by sharing his knowledge with the general community and as a consultant for a range of Government agencies, breed clubs, IPO clubs and animal welfare groups.

Genetics and the environment certainly affect animals and their performance, however what effects them more so throughout their life is having access to quality nutrition. Kris and Tonia  has solved that problem by developing a super premium dog food and Cat food. www.performadog.com.au

As a result of his enthusiasm and dedication for higher and deeper knowledge, Kris has acquired an in-depth understanding of raising, developing and training dogs for a variety of purposes. Kris has gained a sound understanding of what motivates animals to behave the way they do and just as importantly, how to apply this knowledge to achieve specific goals. Kris currently shares this knowledge by operating both National and International training programs, seminars and workshops, each individually tailored to meet the needs of the general community, other trainers and government agencies globally.

Kris has implemented a variety of systems ranging from basic domestic obedience to the most demanding competition, police, prison and professional security animals with an emphasis on correct, open and uncomplicated behaviour with stimulus control. He is truly committed to breaking down barriers that exist for dogs and their owners and believes that through consultation and cooperation with all individuals, groups and agencies that desire to be extraordinary this barrier removal can be achieved.

“Purposeful, meaningful relationships between handlers and their dogs to create extraordinary dogs and extraordinary handlers is our mission.”

Please email your request for Seminars/ Workshops

The study and delivery of Canine and Handler Training can be a complex and daunting task at the best of times. As with all technologies, the face of canine training has changed dramatically in the past decade; in fact, it has changed dramatically in the past two or three years. Very best practice, at the ‘cutting edge’ of development, is central to my mission statement. It is our job to provide the most current training and teaching models for a wide-variety of training packages. We start out by emphasising effective skill acquisition, real-time experience and practical credibility.

Effective skill acquisition: Our number one priority. Participants must be able to apply the skills they have acquired. The techniques, although on the cutting edge of development, are simple and easy to learn. These techniques are designed to work in an aggressive, non-cooperative scenario. Although our training methodology serves to provide the best possible foundation for ongoing study and skill development, it is our number one goal to produce results that allow participants to operate effectively in the short term. That is; be able to defend against, efficiently subdue and arrest larger, stronger and highly motivated offenders more effectively. Our emphasis is on highly effective, short term skill acquisition.

Real-time experience: This is not a theoretical approach to canine and defensive tactics training. We take a hands-on approach that allows the participant to clock up valuable hours of real-time experience. While theoretical training and the development of fine-motor and technical skills may offer something over the long term, there is no substitute for actual, full-blown, hands-on experience. This ‘hands-on’ experience, combined with a sound methodology, is what produces results.

Practical credibility: Participants of our training model are required to attain standards that reflect a high level of both practical and conceptual credibility. During violent confrontation not everything goes as planned; hence we don’t advocate or teach a set of tricks or moves that work only under ideal circumstances. Participants acquire skills that are designed to cope with the flux and change of close quarters combat coupled with the complexity of managing a driven Canine. Upon completion of the training, participants should have clear understanding of the logic and underlying strategies of best practice Canine and Defensive Tactics training.

We all know that the landscape of law enforcement today is vastly more complex than that of even a decade ago. The old model for Canine and Defensive Tactics training followed the ‘one size fits all’ approach; and two or three decades back, there were few viable alternatives. Nowadays though, ignorance is no longer a plausible excuse, and it is expected that professionals keep abreast with best practice in all areas of training – including Canine and Defensive Tactics.

The Problem: There are two parts to the problem. The first being that most large Law Enforcement agencies are merely overwhelmed with operational duties, administrative considerations and the like, that they just do not have either the time or the resources to be keeping abreast with changes in Defensive Tactics training models – most of which are taking place at an accelerated rate within the private sector. The end result of this is that the Canine and Defensive Tactics training models in use tend to be decades ‘behind the times’. The second part of the problem is that operational needs vary greatly from agency to agency and from group to group within those agencies. The idea of one all-encompassing Canine and Defensive Tactics training package that will fulfill everyone’s needs is simply a myth.

The Solution: In as far as it is practicable to do so, everyone should be trained in a Core Competencies Canine and Defensive Tactics package that reflects absolute best practice by today’s standards. The emphasis here should be placed on DEFENCE – with the primary goal being to maximise survival opportunities and safety for the operator. Operators remain at higher risk than at any other time in history. This needs to be resolved. And it is an extraordinarily simple task to do so.

On top of this Core Competencies package, there need to be some Operationally Specific packages that are tailored to the very specific needs of the specialised groups. Some groups need an emphasis on Canine Assault – Take-down, Control & Restraint, while others may need to focus on Explosive and Narcotics searching two very different types of training. These add-on Training modules need to be married on to the Core Competencies package but be explicitly tailored to the operational group’s needs.

Our part in the solution: It has been our life’s work to stay ahead of the trends in breeding, training and the overlapping fields of animal learning and defensive tactics that operators employ on a daily basis. A significant part of our work each year is devoted to seeking out the very best systems and people globally in all facets of training and animal management – thereby keeping ourselves at the very cutting edge of developments in both teaching and training methodologies. We also spend a considerable amount of time and resources in reducing and structuring all that research into meaningful training models for a wide variety of groups – in both the government and private sectors. During the past decade, we have been able to provide a unique bridge between new developments in the private sector and the continually changing needs of the government sector. As a consultant to a broad cross-section of both the military and law enforcement communities, we come to the table as a subject matter experts with the big picture in hand. 

The Defensive Tactic arm or our organisation specialises in the tailored-design of Defensive Tactics packages for Military, Law Enforcement and Security personnel. We begin by assessing your specific needs and then tailor a package or number of packages that would best suit your needs. We do this using the very best-practice defensive tactics training models and strategies necessary for effective restraint and control in both standing and ground-based applications.

Law Enforcement organisations have repeatedly attempted to adapt either sports or martial arts as a ‘use of force’ option with little or no success. Please understand that what we have to offer are tailor-made programs, that take into account cultural, environmental, timeline and other operational factors so that we achieve the best possible outcomes in the shortest amount of time.

A part of our training philosophy is to build a high level of confidence in personnel, through the acquisition of the correct and tailored combination of the following skill-sets:

  • Structure-based defence vs attribute-based defence
  • De-escalation and verbal skills
  • Striking & covering training models
  • Takedown strategies
  • Ground control skills
  • Counter-grappling and disengagement strategies
  • The non-compliant offender: Cuffing and restraint strategy
  • Multiple opponent survival strategies
  • Edges weapon: defensive strategy Working in teams
  • Working in crowded and tubular environments

Training Coordinator:

John Will began his martial arts training in 1972. With a basic grounding in amateur wrestling, Goju Kai Karate and Taekwondo. He first left Australian shores in 1975 to study the indigenous martial arts systems of South East Asia; with many of those years spent in Indonesia learning Pentjak Silat.

In the late 80’s, he founded Australia’s leading martial arts magazine Blitz; which gave him the means to travel and research the martial arts in many an exotic location.
The next twenty-five years saw him take more than 100 overseas training trips; including stints in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan, India, Mongolia, the U.S.A and Brazil. In ’82, he entered and won gold in the first World Silat Championships held in Jakarta, the first and at that time, the only non-Indonesian to accomplish that. His friendship with long-time training partner Richard Norton, opened many doors to him in the Unites States, that perhaps would have been closed to most people. So in the late 80’s, he began training with such notables as Benny Urquidez, Gene LeBell, Shuki Ron, Pete Cunningham, Rorion and Rickson Gracie and the Machado brothers.

In the late 80’s, friendship with Rigan Machado allowed John to travel to and train in Brazil. He was the first non-Brazilian to undertake a study of BJJ in Rio de Janeiro. There, he was exposed to a broad cross-section of Brazil’s best BJJ coaches, and so began his serious investigation of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He was finally awarded the rank of black belt by Rigan and Jean Jacques Machado in 1998; making him one of the ‘BJJ Dirty Dozen’, the first twelve non-Brazilian BJJ Black Belts in the world and the very first Australian to do so. Since, he has pioneered BJJ in this country; paving the way for many others (John Will now holds the rank of 4th degree Black Belt in BJJ).

Up until that time, John had taught Shoot fighting (a term used to describe MMA before it spread to the wider martial arts community); but upon being graded to black belt under the Machado’s, he felt the time was right to promote and develop the Brazilian art in the Australasian region.

Along with an American- based BJJ Black Belt, David Meyer, John founded Masterclass Curriculums – an organisation that has successfully provided a professional BJJ and MMA curriculums to over 1000 schools throughout the USA and Europe.

His schedule is a demanding one, even by international standards. John now conducts over seventy BJJ seminars throughout Australia and overseas, each calendar year. The growth of BJJ in Australasia has, to a large extent been as a direct result, of his conventional seminar circuit.

John has produced champions at national, international and world level – even in the Black Belt division – but when pushed on the point, has this to say; “everyone in my class is a champion – they demonstrated the attitude of a champion by just making the decision to do something different; to leave their comfort zones and take up martial arts training – what we have to offer is for the benefit of all people, not just the great athletes.”

The last few years have seen John take a far more active role in the development of cutting-edge law enforcement defensive tactics programs. He now works with various groups, such as Aircraft Security Officers (ASO), Australian Federal Police, Police Tactical Group operators, Special Operations Personnel and Military personnel both at ADFA (Australian Defence Forces Academy in Canberra and at Quantico in Virginia, USA) to improve their arrest and control procedures.

Between writing books, running seminars, travelling and training with the worlds martial arts elite, our three-time winner of the Blitz – Martial Arts Hall of Fame Award, can still be found most often, at his school in his hometown of Geelong in Victoria – Australia. The Fight puzzle site (www.fightpuzzle.com) is his effort at reaching more people and taking the concept of BJJ and MMA instruction to another level.

Anyone wishing to learn more about John or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can find information on the website www.bjj.com.au.

Our Aim Is:

“Purposeful, meaningful relationships between handlers and their dogs to

create extraordinary dogs and extraordinary handlers.”

Please email your request for Seminars/Workshops.