Directions and Safety Guidelines for Leading the Two
Exercises that Should Preface
EVERY Restraint Asphyxia Program

[This page was UPDATED on November 10, 2006]

During the years I’ve spent researching, updating, and performing my Restraint Asphyxia – Silent Killer presentation (since 1993), I’ve developed TWO EXERCISES to SAFELY give presentation participants a “teeny, tiny, taste” of how INAPPROPRIATE restraint positioning can INTERFERE WITH BREATHING.
Although significantly less-restrictive than the “REAL THING”, these two exercises allow participants to personally experience how very difficult breathing becomes if they are put in a position that interferes with their BELLY’s ability to move – even though the participant is RELATIVELY HEALTHY and WELL-RESTED prior to performing the exercises!

Those who participate in these two exercises develop an impressive KINESTHETIC sense
(a personal “muscle memory”) of how being put in a position that
interferes with the BELLY’s ability to MOVE
interferes with the function of the DIAPHRAGM
– the largest, most important, muscle of respiration –

Once participants have gained this personal MUSCLE MEMORY awareness of the adverse effects caused by inappropriate restraint application, their receptiveness to – and UNDERSTANDING of – ALL subsequent restraint asphyxia information is DRAMATICALLY ENHANCED!!!

These two exercises BEST ASSIST students’ understanding of
WHAT Restraint Asphyxia IS, and WHY IT HAPPENS,
when exercise performance PRECEDES the
DIDACTIC EXPLANATION of restraint asphyxia
– and when exercise performance PRECEDES ANY method of

EXERCISE # ONE affords participants a teeny, tiny, TASTE of the respiratory
interference that is caused merely by PRONE-positioning.

EXERCISE # TWO allows participants to experience how respiratory interference
can be caused even when an individual is restrained in a SUPINE position,
IF the excursion of their ABDOMEN is interfered with.

BOTH these exercises are vitally important to participants recognizing the serious
DANGER of ANY kind of restraint that causes ABDOMINAL RESTRICTION.

[Exercise #2 also assists participants in their physical “RECOVERY” from the performance of Exercise #1!]

This webpage contains a “SCRIPT” that is interspersed with my RULES and DIRECTIONS for leading participants through these two exercises. It is also interspersed with explanation of the REASONS I came up with my rules and directions.
Once you have STUDIED the information provided on this page (reading this page at least two, three, or four times!), once YOU UNDERSTAND the reasons for my rules and directions, you can PRINT the SCRIPT ONLY version, and simply READ ALOUD from the SCRIPT in order to safely and effectively lead your participants through the exercises.

[Later on this page, I’ll provide LINKs to a “SCRIPT WITH INFO” pdf file
(one that contains the explanations of the rules, to help you study the exercises),
as well as a
“SCRIPT ONLY” pdf file.]

After you’ve performed the Restraint Asphyxia – Silent Killer program several times, and led participants through these two exercises several times, you gradually will become FREE of the “SCRIPT.” Once you’re free of the script, you’ll be able to OBSERVE your participants as they perform the exercises you lead them through!
When you can OBSERVE your participants’ performance of the exercises as you lead them, you’ll be far better able to help them achieve the BEST possible experience WHILE they perform the exercises.

AFTER you’ve become well-acquainted with the reasons for my exercise rules and directions, as well as EXPERIENCED in leading these exercises, feel free to alter the “scripted” phrases to better fit your own personal teaching style or service needs.
HOWEVER! Do NOT EVER alter the basic “content” of the exercise directions,
and do NOT EVER alter ANY of the exercise performance “RULES”!

When reading this page for the first time, you may recognize a “DRILL SERGEANT”
quality to the script.
If you do so, you are absolutely CORRECT!
Since a restraint asphyxia program is rarely allowed 2 to 3 hours for its delivery, participants MUST accomplish the exercises QUICKLY, so that the Instructor has as much time as possible to RUSH through the DIDACTIC PORTION of the restraint asphyxia presentation.

The MINIMUM amount of time required to provide the fastest possible RESTRAINT ASPHYXIA – SILENT KILLER program (including the exercises) is 1 hour and 45 minutes! If an RASK presentation is allotted any LESS THAN that amount of time, participants will NOT be “effectively” educated! In fact, I refuse to provide my RASK program in less than 1 hour and 45 minutes!
The only way to QUICKLY get through these two exercises is to CONDITION your students to respond to your directional cues IMMEDIATELY and WITHOUT HESITATION, at the very BEGINNING of your direction delivery! Hence, the necessity for adopting a “DRILL SERGEANT” manner of direction provision.
PLZ NOTE: When teaching in the UK (December of 2004), I noticed that UK participants did NOT require aggressive “orders” to QUICKLY ASSUME THE POSITION(s) and perform these exercises. In each city, UK participants universally followed my cues without a moment’s hesitation.
In all the years I have performed my RESTRAINT ASPHYXIA – SILENT KILLER program in USA Cities / States, however, I have NEVER experienced such universally-immediate participant cooperation with direction! Thus, my development of a “DRILL SERGEANT” manner of exercise cuing is based upon my USA presentation experience.
THAT SAID: If YOUR students QUICKLY follow your instructions without hesitation – on a REGULAR basis – you do NOT need to do the “DRILL SERGEANT” bit.
[THEN, AGAIN; You might want to do it anyway … just for “entertainment” purposes.
(It really is FUN for both participants and the instructor. LOL!)]

The Dark Navy Colored TEXT within the “script” below indicates
NOTES about the Exercise Rules & Directions, and the REASONS for same.
Those NOTES are not intended to be read aloud to participants!

And, NOW … HERE WE GO!!!

Directions and Safety Guidelines for Leading the Two
Exercises that Should Preface
EVERY Restraint Asphyxia Program

  1. Alrighty, then! EVERYBODY STAND UP and
    QUICKLY spread out about the room!
    Come on, People! QUICK, LIKE BUNNIES!
    Lets go! Move it! Move it! Move it! …
    People MUST move QUICKLY, especially at the beginning of the exercises! It is safe for them to move quickly while they’re rested. So, this is the ONLY place where you can minimize the amount of time it takes to perform these two exercises.

  2. If you are in the SECOND or THIRD trimester of PREGNANCY,
    please return to your chair and SIT BACK DOWN NOW!
    From your chair, you will OBSERVE those performing the exercises.
    This always gets a great LAUGH because at least ONE GUY (sometimes more) will begin heading back to his chair! But, this also is a very important SAFETY PRECAUTION!
    Women in the 2nd or 3rd trimester of pregnancy
    SHOULD NOT perform these exercises!

  3. Everyone ELSE, find some space on the floor and GET DOWN on your BELLY!
    Come on, People! QUICK, LIKE BUNNIES!
    Lets go! Move it! Move it! Move it! … DOWN ON YOUR BELLIES!


    your TASK during this first exercise is to
    STAY on your BELLY,
    OBESE INDIVIDUALS often will include themselves in this “JOINT-INJURED” group, even when they DO NOT have any kind of joint injury.DON’T WORRY ABOUT THAT!
    When merely placed PRONE, obese individuals will experience far greater breathing restriction than those who are not obese. Thus, obese individuals who are unwilling to perform the “grab your ankles” part of the first exercise, STILL will learn the “lesson” of how prone restraint interferes with breathing.
    HOWEVER! OBESE INDIVIDUALS often require “encouragement” (ORDERS!)
    It will be uncomfortable for them to do so, even under “normal” circumstances.
    After that, if they get back up to their elbows, leave them ALONE, asking only that they STAY ON THEIR BELLIES (in a PRONE POSITION)! They may have gone back up to their elbows because they TRULY COULD NOT BREATHE while they were pressing their shoulders to the floor!
    [HEY! These exercises are meant to be HELPFUL – not LETHAL!]

  5. If you do NOT have a NECK INJURY … SHOULDER INJURY …

    If you can’t reach your ankles, grab the back edge of your shoes …
    or, grab your socks … or, grab your pant legs.
    When participants are attempting it, but are having TROUBLE grasping their ankles (or shoes, or socks, or pant legs); gently ASSIST them to grab something near their ankles.
    IF SOMEONE DEVELOPS A LEG CRAMP while reaching for their ankles (or whatever), have them EXTEND that leg. Then, YOU should grab their foot, FLEX it, and cue them to PUSH against your hold on their foot. This maneuver will relieve the leg cramp. Thereafter, they can move more carefully into the “grab your ankles” position.

    BTW:If a participant is wearing a DRESS, or a SKIRT, or a SUIT,
    or a UNIFORM; she/he is NOT exempt from exercise participation!!!

    Those wearing dresses/skirts should lay with their feet pointing toward a WALL, or some other area where NO ONE is BEHIND them! This will protect them from “flashing” anyone.
    Those in a suit or uniform should simply find the cleanest possible floor space, and GET DOWN ON IT! (Really! I’ve put military types with TONZ o’ “BRASS” on their uniform down on the floor. You simply have to VERY STRONGLY ORDER THEM to get with the program!)

  6. Our FIRST EXERCISE consists of the following:
    While maintaining this position we are going to LOUDLY and SLOWLY,
    all together – IN UNISON – count from

    By “LOUDLY” I mean that EVERYONE will be YELLING
    – as LOUDLY as possible –
    while counting together, as a group!

    I’ll get you started … Yelling and Counting with you until we reach
    After that, I will STOP yelling and counting with you.
    as a group, while I wander around the room assessing
    the VIGOR! … and the VOLUME!
    with which EACH INDIVIDUAL is yelling and counting.

    During my wandering, if I discover ANY INDIVIDUAL
    who isn’t yelling and counting with sufficient VIGOR & VOLUME,
    EVERYONE will have to START OVER


    If the ENTIRE GROUP does not LOUDLY respond with
    “YES, MA’AM!” or “YES, SIR!” (or “YES DRILL SERGEANT!” LOL),
    you should YELL OUT:

    Apparently, only THREE (“5” – “9” – whatever!) PEOPLE
    have understood these instructions!
    Since I don’t want to repeat all these instructions unnecessarily,

    At this point, ALL participants should WAKE UP and yell out, “YES!”

    The count of “ONE–ONE–THOU–SAND” should be performed so as to take at least ONE SECOND.
    Additionally, there should be NO LONG PAUSE (to allow for “comfortable” breathing) between yelling
    ONE– THOU–SAND” and yelling the next number.
    The count should be regularly rhythmic, and should FLOW TOGETHER without more than a VERY BRIEF PAUSE (a quick GASP for breath) between the numbers:

  7. Alrighty, then! Let’s BEGIN Exercise NUMBER ONE!
    Thereafter, you can stop counting with them, and commence your
    wandering about the room, listening and observing.
    As needed: Remind people to
    “Hang on to those ankles!” … or,
    “Keep pressing those shoulders to the floor!” … or, exclaim,
    “I can’t HEAR YOU Mr. / Ms. So-and-So!” … or,
    “I CAN’T HEAR YOU, PEOPLE!” … or
    “SLOWER, PEOPLE!” … or
    “LOUDER, PEOPLE!” … or
    “Do you WANT to start over, PEOPLE?!” … and the like.

    Once the Counting is DONE, keep them in the position!:

    By keeping participants in this position while you explain THE REASONS FOR THIS EXERCISE, participants have an opportunity to truly FEEL how tired they became after only 30 seconds of “loud-recitation” performance while in the prone position – also allowing them to physically experience how difficult it is to “recover” from even extremely MINOR exertion, while STILL in the prone position.

  9. Now! Let go of your ankles and relax your shoulders.
    CAREFULLY roll onto your BACK –
    Please don’t roll into your neighbor or the furniture!

  10. EXERCISE NUMBER TWO is a two-part exercise.

    Everyone bring your knees up toward your torso.
    Reach BENEATH your knees and grasp your own wrists.
    BENEATH your knees and grasp your own wrists.
    BENEATH your knees and grasp your own wrists.

    As you repeat the cue about grasping “BENEATH” the knees, walk around and make sure everyone is holding their legs up from BENEATH their knees. Some participants may be slightly confused, and it may take a while before they get it right.
    If a participant cannot grasp their own WRISTS beneath their knees (many will NOT be able to!), just make sure they are grasping the UNDERSIDE of their knees.

  11. When I cue you to start Part One of this exercise
    – something I am NOT cuing you to do at this moment –
    You will PULL your knees UP and IN toward your torso,
    pulling your knees as CLOSE to your torso as you can get them,
    and then you will HOLD THEM THERE.

    You will KEEP pulling your knees in tightly toward your torso
    as we perform Part Two of the exercise.

    Part Two will consist of, everybody, all together as a group,
    taking a SLOW, DEEP breath INNNNNNNNN,
    holding it for a moment,
    and then letting it OUT,
    while STILL KEEPING your knees pulled in,
    TIGHTLY toward your torso.

    We will perform our breathing exercise in this position
    for at least three slow, deep breaths.

    Do you understand these instructions as I have provided them to you?

    If EVERYONE doesn’t immediately reply with some form of, “YES!”,
    just repeat the Drill Sergeant “Do you understand” question to re-focus folkz.
    Usually, by now, a repeat of that question it is NOT required!

  12. Very Good.
    Begin Part One!:
    Pull your knees UP and IN toward your torso,
    TIGHT, TIGHT, TIGHT toward your torso,
    and HOLD them there!
    TIGHT, TIGHT, TIGHT toward your torso,
    and KEEP them there!

  13. Now, everyone together, Begin Part Two!:

    Slow, Deep Breath INNNNNNNN …
    And let it OUT – Keeping those knees in
    TIGHT, TIGHT, TIGHT toward your torso!

    Slow, Deep Breath INNNNNNNN …
    And let it OUT – Keeping those knees in
    TIGHT, TIGHT, TIGHT toward your torso!

    Slow, Deep Breath INNNNNNNN …
    And let it OUT – Keeping those knees in
    TIGHT, TIGHT, TIGHT toward your torso!

    Well done, everyone!
    Let go of your knees. Let your feet fall to the floor.

    PLZ NOTE!: YOU need to take a VERY QUICK, deep breath in after EACH TIME
    you’ve yelled, “Keeping those knees in TIGHT, TIGHT, TIGHT toward your torso!”
    You don’t breathe WITH the participants, because you are cuing them during their breaths.

  14. Everyone got their knees fairly CLOSE to their CHEST …
    Some of you are more limber than others!
    Was anyone COMPRESSING their CHEST with their KNEES?
    Usually, at least ONE person will indicate an opinion that they were “COMPRESSING” their CHEST with their knees. However, even the most LIMBER person is physically incapable of “COMPRESSING” their own CHEST with their knees.
    SO! HAVE THAT INDIVIDUAL SHOW YOU (demonstrate) the position they were in during this second exercise.
    YES. Your knees are VERY close to your chest.
    But, NO, your knees are NOT actually “COMPRESSING” your chest.
    At his time, I grasp the soles of the shoes of the person who is demonstrating how they think they were “compressing” their own chest with their knees, and then I BRIEFLY (just a quick “push”) apply a TINY bit of force to the soles of their shoes, causing their knees to ACTUALLY compress their chest!
    Be CAREFUL! Only a TINY bit of force is required during that quick push!
    And be sure that you do not HOLD THE FORCE THERE – release the force immediately!
    [Thankfully, no one for whom this brief “push” of light chest compression MIGHT be “dangerous” is limber enough to get their knees TO their chest!]

    AS I perform the Quick Light Push & Release maneuver, I explain,
    “THIS is what chest COMPRESSION feels like.”
    Then I ask the participant,
    “Were you compressing your CHEST with your knees?”
    The answer is always, “NO.”

    Next, I ask, “Does anyone ELSE think they were compressing
    their CHEST with their KNEES during our second exercise?”

    Usually, no one else will claim to have done so.
    If someone DOES, just repeat the same Quick Light Push & Release maneuver (and questions) with them. Then, ask again,
    “Anyone ELSE?”
  15. So. We’ve established that NO ONE was
    COMPRESSING their CHEST with their knees.
    But, was it easy to BREATHE in that second exercise position?

    NO! It was NOT!
    Why not? Your chest wasn’t being compressed while you were in that position.
    So, WHY was it so DIFFICULT to BREATHE while in that position?

    Ad lib for a bit, if you need to!
    “What was the ONLY part of your body being restricted?” …
    “Exactly! ONLY your abdomen!” …
    “Yes! Your BELLY was restricted by your in-drawn KNEES!”

    … and so forth and so on.

  16. The LESSON of these two exercises is this:
    Whether performed on someone in a prone position,
    OR a SUPINE position,
    ANY form of forceful restraint that interferes with

  17. Very Good! Well done, people!
    Now, everyone SIT UP.

    Take a DEEP BREATH INNNNN … [pause]
    and let it OUT. [pause]

    This deep breathing pause is to prevent participants from getting up too quickly!
    Now. Carefully Stand Up and Return to Your Seat.

    If, at ANY time, you begin to feel Queasy or Light-Headed,
    STOP where you are and SIT BACK DOWN on the floor!!!

[NOW, You Can Begin Your
Restraint Asphyxia Presentation!]


Because no one is ever actually “restrained” from discontinuing either exercise position if they become too uncomfortable – and no one participating in these exercises is pregnant … or “ill” (“unhealthy”) … or has engaged in any extreme physical exertion prior to participation – NO ONE is at risk for dying due to RESTRAINT ASPHYXIA during performance of these two exercises!

If performed (led) correctly, the only time there is a potential “danger” for INJURY during these exercises, is when participants are RETURNING TO THEIR SEATS! If they get up and start walking too quickly, individuals who vigorously participated may become lightheaded, and may even FALL OVER! This problem can be entirely avoided if you adhere to the following TWO RULES:

  1. Get participants INTO the first exercise position QUICKLY …
  2. Get participants back to their seats (after the second exercise) SLOWLY!


Recently, it was suggested that participants would experience an even more dramatic – even more kinesthetically impressive – sense of how seriously forceful-prone-restraint (or supine abdominal restraint) interferes with breathing, if they were PHYSICALLY EXERTED BEFORE they performed the “Assume The Position” Exercises.
Brief and controlled methods of PRE-EXERTION were suggested – such as several laps of “brisk-walking” around the classroom’s perimeter … or, one minute of “Jumping-Jacks” performance … or, performing 50 Fast Sit-ups … and, the like.

I spent a great deal of time thinking about that entirely “VALID” suggestion.
Here are the things I considered, and the CONCLUSION that I came to: