Our instructors bring to the classroom an exciting, entertaining and powerfully informative Verbal Judo presentation. Students will leave the class with new motivation and a collection of skills that can be put into
Call the Verbal Judo Institute at
(800) 448-1042 or e-mail us at
We will be happy to answer any questions you may have and assist you in your training event.
PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO READ THIS IMPORTANT NOTE TO OUR CUSTOMERS, OUR POTENTIAL AND FUTURE CUSTOMERS, AND TO ALL OF YOU THAT HAVE BEEN LOYAL TO US OVER THE PAST TWENTY YEARS.
WE ASK YOU TO PLEASE HELP US.
We have received numerous complaints from across North America of people teaching or attempting to teach the Verbal Judo program contents. Apparently most do not do it very well and many have hired trainers in good faith thinking they were affiliated with the Institute. When they did not receive the quality of presentation they expected they contacted us only to find these trainers were illegally using our name and copyrighted information. Since we do not wish to spend all of our time in court we ask you to hire only those you see on this web site listed as certified instructors. All others who are certified to train are restricted to teach only within their respective organizations and never outside for profit or not.
By these actions they harm us all financially and do even greater harm to the reputation of the Verbal Judo Institute. This becomes of even greater importance as we become more main stream and grow.
OUR REGARDS AND SINCERE THANKS
Our Staff and Founders
The late DR. GEORGE J. THOMPSON, PhD, PRESIDENT AND FOUNDER OF THE VERBAL JUDO INSTITUTE, INC.
His personal commitment to Verbal Judo was always evident; Doc maintained an active speaking and training schedule, despite a throat condition that reduced his ability to speak for extended periods of time. A throat cancer survivor for many years, Doc had recently undergone treatment to enhance his breathing. He passed away unexpectedly.
Although the untimely death of Dr. Thompson has taken the founder of the Institute and creator of the Verbal Judo program, he has left a very capable group of original member training instructors to continue his legacy.
Dr. George J. Thompson was the President and Founder of the Verbal Judo Institute, a tactical training and management firm now based in Auburn, NY. Doc Thompson, aka "Doc Rhino," had an eclectic background, having taught English on the High School level (4 yrs), English Literature on the university level (10 yrs), and served as a full and part-time police officer. Also a martial artist, he held Black Belts in Judo & Taekwondo. Doc has created the only Tactical Communication course in the world.
Dr. Thompson has written four books on Verbal Judo, each analyzing ways to defuse conflict and redirect behavior into more positive channels. The Institute offers Basic & Advanced courses in the Tactics of Verbal Judo. Doc received his B.A. from Colgate University (1963), his Masters & Doctorate in English from the University of Connecticut (1972), and he completed post-doctoral work at Princeton University in Rhetoric & Persuasion (1979). Widely published in magazines & periodicals, his training has been highlighted on such national shows as NBC, ABC, & CBS News, CNN, 48 Hours, Inside Edition, LETN, In the Line of Duty, and Fox news, as well as in the LA Times, NY Post, Sacramento Bee, and other publications.
Aside from his well known Police & Correction courses, Doc "Rhino" has designed special courses for educators, medical personnel, government & business employees, and the airlines. The Verbal Judo Institute has branch offices in Australia and Canada, and a national Team of instructors who teach from coast to coast. Doc has taught over 175,000 police officers, and his course is required in numerous states across the country.
Bachelorate, Colgate University, 1963.
Doctorate, University of Connecticut, 1972.
Completed post-doctoral work in Rhetoric and Persuasion, Princeton University, 1979.
Voted Outstanding Educator of America, 1975.
Certified Kubotan Instructor for police.
Guest Instructor on the Law Enforcement Training Network
Black belts in Judo and Tae Kwon Do.
Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion
Verbal Judo: Redirecting Behavior with Words
Verbal Judo: Words as a Force Option
Verbal Judo: The Verbal Judo Way of Leadership-Empowering the Thin Blue Line
LEE FJELSTAD, VICE PRESIDENT
The Vice President of the Verbal Judo Institute and an international trainer with a professional background that includes over twenty years of speaking and training experience, Lee is a highly animated, humorous, thought provoking, and entertaining presenter. He has instructed audiences on Verbal Judo in the United States, Canada, Scandinavia, the Caribbean, the Netherlands, and in England.
Lee has been interviewed regarding Verbal Judo as the subject of magazine articles ranging in interest from Conde Nast Traveler and Broker Magazine to sports publications like Referee Magazine, and in newsprint articles from the USA Today and the Wall Street Journal to small town newspapers. He has been seen and heard internationally on CNN, nationally on NBC, ABC, and Fox, in Canada on the CBC, and on local television and radio across North America and in Europe.
His professional experience includes five years as a Computer Operations Supervisor for a $130 million computer research and development facility working with classified materials, and an additional six years of work for the Federal Government protecting nuclear weapons systems and assets. He has also worked for s short period as a reserve police officer in New Mexico at the Sandoval County Sheriff's Department and trained close quarter combat to the military, self-defense and defensive tactics to the police, corrections, probation and parole, and military law enforcement officers in numerous states and self-defense instruction to federal and local government agencies as well as civilian programs for corporations, women's groups, and the airlines.
Lee has instructed martial arts classes and self defense seminars for over twenty-five years and retains 2nd degree black belt ratings in Shotokan (Japanese) and Tae Kwon Do (Korean) karate. He has also trained in Hapkido, Combat Judo, Arnis, and Aikido. His educational background includes degrees in English, Business, and Organizational Communication with additional work in Psychology and Behavioral Science. Along with Dr. Thompson, and Mr. Andy Sanano, a noted master martial artist from Rapid City, South Dakota, Lee created an instructional video on self-defense for adults and children called The Total Defense System," combining protective personal defense techniques with the tactics and strategies of Verbal Judo which sold internationally.
Lee now spends over 280 days per year traveling and teaching audiences to communicate effectively using Verbal Judo. His client list ranges from corporate and customer service industries, city and county government employees, to airlines, banking and real estate operations. Lee also still trains federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in both Verbal Judo and Self-Defense applications.
He can be reached by calling 941-350-9559
MICHAEL MANLEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS
November 11, 1952 -
January 17, 2016
Vice President and
National Trainer for the
Verbal Judo Institute,
Michael Manley passed
away on January 17,
2016. Mike, aka
“Verbal”, was taken from
this world too soon and
is survived by his wife
of 32 years, 3 boys, 2
grandchildren, a brother
and a sister. Mike will
be greatly missed by The
Verbal Judo family. Mike
was a police officer in
NYC for decades when he
was first introduced to
Verbal Judo. As a result
of his hands on
experience on the
streets of NYC and the
years of following Dr.
Thompson around the
country, Mike became one
of the Institute’s top
associates. He brought
mastery to the classroom
as a result of his
passion for Verbal Judo
and his ultimate goal of
keeping people safe.
Before his retirement
from NYPD, Lieutenant
Manley created, staffed
and administered the
Verbal Judo Training
Unit of the New York
City Police Department.
His duties included
Verbal Judo training of
15,000 Police Officers,
Executive Staff and
Civilian members of the
and credibility in the
classroom, he developed
into one of NYPD’s most
Prior to moving into the
private sector, he
assisted in creating the
Respect (CPR) program.
The program utilizes
a Verbal Judo technique,
which allows police
officers to generate
cooperation and defuse
hostility while treating
people with dignity and
During his tenure as
Vice President of
Operations for The
Verbal Judo Institute,
Mike coordinated and
oversaw the training
conducted by many
He also conducted
training courses himself
for law enforcement,
and customer service
representatives, to name
a few, throughout the
United States and
Mike was passionate
about his work, and was
a driven and motivated
speaker. He was an
honest and loyal
father, grandfather and
friend. Mike will be
Michael, may you rest in
"Excellence in Communication"
JOEL FRANCIS, National Director U.S.
Joel possesses extensive experience in adult training and education. He served for 20 years with the New York Police Department, and was the Commanding Officer for their Verbal Judo Training Unit. He was also the lead lecturer for the NYPD Courtesy, Professionalism, and Respect Program, and has trained officers in Interacting Effectively with the Ridership/Public, Defensive Tactics, and Firearms Safety and Proficiency.
After retiring from the NYPD, Joel served for 2 years as the Chief of Education and Training for the Baltimore Police Department where he successfully instituted a Uniformed Sensitivity in Action (USA) program, which incorporated civilians into the annual in-service training process by generating dialogue on such sensitive issues as racial profiling, police profiling, and how negative interactions with law enforcement affect children. He served as an adjunct Professor at John Jay College where he taught a course entitled Police Supervision in a Multiracial and Multicultural City and also taught Speech at Monroe College.
Joel is National Director U.S. for the Verbal Judo Institute. He holds a Masters of Science in Management, and has conducted seminars for law enforcement, security, educational institutions, customer service representatives, government agencies, hospitals, and private corporations throughout the United States. As an avid martial artist, he brings the martial arts philosophy and dynamic energy into every classroom to present a powerfully informative program.
"Better Relationships & Better Communication through Empathy"
After graduating with a degree in Criminal Justice from St. John's University, Tony joined the New York City Police Department in 1992. He served in the department for 22 years and was trained in Verbal Judo by its founder, Dr George Thompson. An avid martial artist, Tony adopted the state-of-the-art communication system recognizing that it was the one martial art that often prevented the need to use any other in the streets of New York City.
In 2010, Tony opened Arona Executive Services, a New York based security firm providing executive protection and secure transportation. He is also an instructor with the Executive Protection Institute where he teaches physical and verbal tactics, techniques and protocols in order to avoid or resolve conflict. Tony is also a volunteer member of the Police Organization Providing Peer Assistance where he helps police officers cope with both internal and external stress and ultimately prevent suicides.
He has been facilitating adult learning in law enforcement and the private sector for over 10 years and is a National Associate for the Verbal Judo Institute. Tony demonstrates his passion, support and humor when he presents the value tactical communication provides.
"Excellence in Tactical Communication"
Janine M. Paul
Janine brings her extensive and enthusiastic adult training experience to the Verbal Judo Institute. While most recently with the Tony Scott Vehicle Dynamics Institute, she was the Lead Instructor training Local, State and Federal Law Enforcement as well as Executive Protection Specialists, Corporate Security teams and various branches of the US Military. Prior to this she held the position of Officer/Technician with the United States Secret Service where she trained new recruits and operational personnel as instructor of Protective Driving at the James J. Rowley Training Center.
During her tenure with the Secret Service, she served as a uniformed officer on numerous details for the President and Vice President, as well as other foreign dignitaries. She was also assigned as Missions Liaison Officer as part of the Deputy Chief
of staff to handle all security issues, including conflict resolution, to approximately 500 foreign embassies in Washington, D.C.
Janine is a National Associate for the Verbal Judo Institute teaching the gentle art of persuasion. She is excited to bring her energy and enthusiasm in delivering Verbal Judo's powerful message and informative programs to a wide variety of clientele.
Verbal Judo World Offices
WILLIAM KING, DIRECTOR, AUSTRALIA
Bringing a Quality Tactical Communications Course to Australia
Verbal Judo was introduced into Australia in 1993 by Will King, who at that time was a sergeant with the Western Australia Police Service, and held the position of Senior Instructor with the police Tactical Training Unit. Unable to find any specific training in Australia in relation to tactical communication, Will traveled to the USA at his own expense and completed an intensive training course with the founder of Verbal Judo, Dr George Thompson.
Inspired by the credibility and power of the training in communications, on his return, Will introduced Verbal Judo to the Western Australia Police Service. After 2 years of training, studying, and utilizing the material, he returned to the USA and spent several months studying with Dr Thompson to further his knowledge and expertise in Verbal Judo.
"If only I'd had Verbal Judo 20 years ago," was one of my initial thoughts whilst sitting in my first class with Dr Thompson back in 1993. In fact that's a comment I hear regularly throughout my courses. At last, I had found a system that works - under all conditions, with all people. As a life skill the specificity and scope of Verbal Judo is immense. I can tell you, it saves a lot of worry, heartache, and stress. If you have the opportunity to attend, or your organization arranges a verbal judo course, DO IT!" - Will King, Director
In 1995, Will was awarded the position of sole Australian associate and trainer for The Verbal Judo Institute, Inc. USA, and commenced offering Verbal Judo courses and seminars to organizations and businesses throughout Australia under the business name âï¿½ï¿½Verbal Judo Australia.'
In 1997 Will left the Police Service due to the popularity and increasing demand for his courses and seminars in this unique training, and became the Australasian Director on behalf of Dr George Thompson, the President and Founder of the Verbal Judo Institute Inc, USA. Verbal Judo Australia is the sole provider of Verbal Judo training throughout Australasia.
Will has been invited as a guest speaker for training seminars throughout Australasia and the USA, and the subject of local and national newsprint articles and the current affairs program "Today Tonight" in Victoria. Over 20,000 people have received this training nationally.
DARCY PENNOCK, CANADIAN ASSOCIATE
Darcy holds a Criminology degree from the University of Alberta and a Police Science Diploma from Grant MacEwan Community College. He has been a provincially appointed peace officer since 1992. Darcy is currently employed as the Community & Crime Prevention Coordinator at the University of Alberta.
Darcy delivers a dynamic, high-energy presentation, based on Dr. Thompson's philosophy of 'Entertrainment'. He is committed to ensuring that his courses are entertaining as well as educational and thought provoking. He has taught both the Law Enforcement and Contact Professionals course across western Canada, from Vancouver Island to the Northwest Territories
BO MUNTHE, BORN APRIL 13TH, 1943 IN STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN
After spending 19 years in insurance and banking businesses Bo Munthe went in to full time Martial Arts training as a professional instructor. He started his Martial Art training 1958. He is nick named the Grandfather of European Ninjutsu (today known as Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu). Bo introduced this ancient Martial Art to the following countries; Sweden, Norway, Finland, Germany, Holland, Spain, Greece, England, Scotland and Ireland between the years of 1975
and 1985. He travelled numerous times to Japan for training in the Grandmasters dojo. In 1985 Bo was awarded Bu-Fu Yukosho in Gold from the Grand Master for his diligent work of spreading the art of ninjutsu. Bo holds the grade of kudan (9 dan) in Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu. He is also graded to kudan, 10 dan in Jiu Jitsu and 10 dan Tai Jutsu and awarded the title Soke, all in 2005 by Jiu Jitsu International. From the Swedish Budo federations he got the highest award for his work in Swedish Budo, 1997.
Bo has been working since the mid 1980s with violence prevention for the working groups in jeopardy of threat and violence in the workplace. He has founded his own system, called VAKSAMÂ®, as a tool for creating safe workplaces and work environment. He is using his more than 50 years of Martial Arts experience to create mental awareness, body knowledge, harmony for and an awareness of security for staff and employers.
DOUG HAIG, Senior National Instructor Trainer, the Verbal Judo Institute, Inc.
Douglas J. Haig joined the institute in 1991 at the personal request of Dr. Thompson and began his "Under Study" work with "Rhino" Thompson in earnest.
Possessing a style of training that complimented his own, George chose Doug to travel with him and team-teach all of his Instructor Classes for the last three years of life.
Doug's sense of humor was invaluable during the years George battled throat cancer and is incalculable still. His presentation style of injecting humor, excitement and thoughtfulness into each of his training session will ensure George Thompson's memory will never fade. In addition to teaching hundreds of his own training session, Doug worked together closely with "Doc" they created the Verbal Judo "Nuggets" audio series, still available for sale today.
Doug Haig brought to the Verbal Judo Institute a background of over thirty years of skill in police work and Law Enforcement and Military training experience. As a valuable member of "Doc" Thompson's original Verbal Judo Team his insight has helped shape and refine the Verbal Judo program and will continue to do so well into the future.
DON GOLD, AFRICAN DIRECTOR
Born and bred in the province of KwaZulu Natal (KZN), South Africa, Don was first exposed to Verbal Judo in 1994 and has been Involved in personal risk analysis and survival training for over 35 years, with more than 25 years police service. A founder member and handgun & unarmed combat instructor to the first intake of the South African Police Special Task Force (national SWAT unit), Don served as inspector of explosives (bomb disposal specialist), took part in many investigations, counter-insurgency operations and performed extensive undercover work. His last responsibility in the SA Police Force was chief police reservist for the KZN Midlands, with the rank of Lt. Colonel.
Involved in many aspects of the protection of VIPs including (among others) Dr. Henry Kissinger, Mr. Ian Smith and South African politicians (both past & present), Don has worked with members of US and Israeli Secret Services and was actively involved in the training of close protection officers and intelligence personnel.
As KZN chief instructor of Kimura Shukokai karate, Don is a 5th Dan black belt whose more recent martial arts experience includes eastern grappling, blade & stick systems, having received extensive training in Africa, Europe, the USA and the Far East. Don emphasizes confrontation avoidance when teaching various forms of personal security (including armed & unarmed defensive tactics, anti-hijacking, anti-rape and home intruder management).
Don is president of the Minimum Force Institute of Africa, which presents Verbal Judo, Compliance & Control (Conflict Resolution & Force Management), Close Protection and Flash Point! gun-fight survival courses to law enforcement and security departments. Based on natural instincts and skills, the methods and tactics taught on these courses are easy to learn. He has coached a number of SA National practical shooters, including 1998 North American IPSC Champion, Clint Rafferty.
His clients include municipal & provincial law enforcement departments, nature conservation bodies (including the World Wildlife Fund and Southern African Wildlife College, Kruger Park), many casinos from the major Southern African gaming groups and South African Airways. He is a consultant to KZN Provincial Government, KZN Wildlife and a number of private security companies.
Don writes articles on defensive tactics for local and foreign publications. He regularly presents his popular courses to government, corporate and other organized groups throughout South Africa and neighboring territories. He travels extensively both to learn and to teach.