Two masked men wearing hoodies and wielding handguns burst into the Pine Eagle Charter School in this tiny rural community on Friday. Students were at home for an in-service day, so the gunmen headed into a meeting room full of teachers and opened fire.
Someone figured out in a few seconds that…
Train for it like it’s real. Doesn’t get any more real than this. Not doing anything isn’t helping anyone. Better people are scared and alive than unprepared and dead.
make your training real
a friend of mine sent me this video, and i cannot emphasize enough that if you are training in self defense, YOU MUST MAKE YOUR TRAINING REAL—if your training partner(s) aren’t making it a real-life-worthy simulation, and they’re just “calling it in”—tell them. if it still doesn’t work, get a new partner. watch the video below because THAT is what we’re training for. what good are your techniques if you’ve been overcome with adrenaline to the point of freezing?
watch it. it’s not safe for work (unless you have headphones), but watch and learn.
February 14, 2012 at 1:19pm
A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of men better than himself.
— John Stuart Mill
10 week jiu jitsu course; class #1, move #1
So, a change from the normal “krav talk” to start the year off—my gym is offering a 10 week course in bjj with the renowned “Lethal” Lana Stefanac. Knowing i need improvement on my ground game, i’ve signed on and i’m pretty stoked about it.
The first class was no let down. we started with a mild warm-up to get the blood moving and the limbs limber. then we went into our first of two techniques:
The Rear Naked Choke
this is a “blood choke” meaning it cuts off the blood flow to the brain. no blood to the brain, no oxygen to the brain. no oxygen to the brain, you go to sleep. period. in about 3-4 seconds. when it’s on right, it’s very effective, and very fast.
we learned this choke starting from the ground, sitting behind our opponent. in the numerous video’s i’ve watched, there are a many ways to play this choke, but we were taught some really spot on pointers when they showed us how to do it. the steps are:
1. you have your opponents back
2. have your opponent in a “seatbelt grip”
3. your head is smashed next to your opponents head
4. use your head to push your opponents head into your bicep
5. release the seatbelt and grab your ops trap
6. with your free hand, push the ops shoulder away, sinking them deeper into your arm
7. as you push on the shoulder, slide the arm up so your hand holding onto the ops trap can switch to your own bicep
8. on your “up-stretched arm” rotate your palm to face you and slide it behind your ops head, grabbing your other bicep or shoulder
9. now take the arm that is around your op, and press that elbow down into the ops chest as you…
10. pull your shoulders back into their sockets, and upwards with a strong shrug
the combination of pushing into their chest as you choke in an upwards motion forces your ops head into a shitty position and closes/distorts the triangle created by the space in your arms—the space in which your op is trapped. closing that space around their neck cuts off blood flow to the brain and puts them to sleep.
what was really nice about this class is that we spent almost an hour working with just the one technique. we spent about the same amount of time working on the second technique too. but that’s another post. for now i’m replaying the move in my head, in slow motion. reliving the chokes to make sure the mov is burned into my brain.
here are some video’s that show the rear naked choke, although their instruction is different from what we were taught, the concept is the same.
from Bas Rutten:
from Matt Hughes:
from the US Army:
and of course, from MMA Candy:
one thing i’ve noticed in some of these videos is that they’ll perform the choke while there’s still a LOT of room between the bicep and the ops neck. (the last link is especially guilty of this) everything should be TIGHT and SNUG. no pockets of space, that space means your op can potentially escape. remember—NICE AND TIGHT!
December 25, 2011 at 9:41pm
Are you ready for the Zombie Apoco…er, I mean New Year????
I was just turned onto this website. Pricey, but they make some really nice blades:
If you’re in the market for a new blade though, be it a pocket knife, hunting knife, or zombie slaying sword, here are a couple other sites that might interest you:
- for the budget conscious http://www.coldsteel.com/
- if you’re unsure—this is the “amazon” of the knife market: http://www.knifecenter.com/
- and if you want something “battle-ready”, check out TOP Knives: http://www.topsknives.com/
And remember—guns run out of ammo, and they’re loud. [;
Be the change you want to see in the world.
— Mahatma Gandhi
So, I want to talk for a minute about self defense…
Many of you who follow my blog are also practitioners of Krav, or soem other form of self defense. That’s great. I’m a strong believer of the idea that force is sometimes needed to protect either yourself, your loved ones, or even a stranger(s). But there is another form of self defense that some of you may know about, and some of you may not. I first came across this method in the movie The Peaceful Warrior. There’s a scene where the protagonist is mugged by a few guys, and his instinct is to ask his teacher for help—i.e. he wants his teacher to kick their ass because he knows his teacher can—but instead, his teacher (nick nolte’s character) tells the protagonist to give the muggers his money. then he tells him to give them his pants. and his jacket, his watch, everything he has—he must give to the muggers. the idea is that if the person or persons mugging you are willing to risk their freedom for some petty cash or belongings, then they are in deeper need than you. this idea was very recently brought to mind by a gentleman in New York who did exactly the same thing:
I found this story on facebook, and as such, i reposted it. it in turn received a number of comments and re-shares. but what struck me funny was someone commented that we need more people like this. i agree, we DO need more people with this mentality. but instead of just thinking “yeah, we need more people like this…” why don’t we each decide to change how we think about these things, and actively decide to do this ourselves? it seems simple enough, and it doesn’t take much more than a conscious effort to hold this new mindset. If we want to see change in the world, we have to start with ourselves. If we change how we view the world, we’ve effectively made the change we were seeking.
So… yes, knowing how to defend one-self is important. but more important is learning how to recognize another fellow human in dire need—more-so than ourselves—and learning to be open to that person, and actively doing something to help create a change in that persons life as well. when you read the story, its amazing how much the mugger has changed within the time of the mugging, to the end of a dinner.
I’m not exactly a “god-fearing” man, but i did have to go through a 12-step program a number of years ago, and i’ll share this quote, because it fits:
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things i cannot change, the courage to change the things i can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
the key is being able to recognize the difference between the two. and Mr. Diaz had the courage to change the things he could, as well as the wisdom to know that he was able. So, know that your first option in self defense does not have to be a physical attack, but it can be a verbal defense. Just don’t go shouting in your attackers face, that WILL backfire (don’t ask how i know this…).
Peace and love. and remember, it all starts with You!
November 18, 2011 at 3:34pm
We all need a Cato in our life.
Talk about being prepared for the unknown and the unknowable! A wonderful compilation clip of Cato attacking Inspector Clouseau by surprise.
Extra Credit: Identify how you would handle the attacks if Cato were attacking you. [;
October 31, 2011 at 11:39pm
Would I rather have been shot with bullets, or “Non-Lethal” rounds?
They may be “Non-Lethal”, technically speaking—but they sure as fuck aren’t nerf rounds. Be careful if you find yourself too close to the action!
2003: Police Violence Shocks Activists, Others at Port of Oakland Protest
The protesters took the city to court, and Oakland eventually awarded $2 million to 58 demonstrators for police abuses.
An anti-war demonstration at Port of Oakland turned violent this morning when Oakland Police opened fire with wooden dowels, sting balls, concussion grenades, tear gas and other non-lethal weapons when protesters at the gates of two shipping lines refused an order to disperse. […]
“Our guys were standing in one area waiting to go to work, and then the police started firing on the longshoremen,” said Henry Graham, the president of ILWU Local 10. “Some were hit in the chest with rubber bullets, and seven of our guys went to the hospital. I don’t want to imply that the police deliberately did this, but it doesn’t make sense.”
Left: A protestor, who refused to give her name, bears the wounds after she says was hit by Oakland police weapon during a anti-war protest in Oakland, April 7, 2003. P: Paul Sakuma
Right: Berkeley resident Clay Hinson who was shot once in the chest and twice in the back during an anti-war protest, shows his wounds to an Oakland Police sergeant, April 7, 2003. Oakland police fired rubber bullets and wooden pellets on Monday to disperse hundreds of anti-war protesters in what was believed to be their first such use against U.S. protesters since the American-led war on Iraq began. P: Tim Wimborne
Rubber bullets to the face? REALLY Oakland?
September 27, 2011 at 3:00am
The importance of footwork.
a funny thing happens when you shrug off a skill that you’ve spent a good deal of time cultivating. when you come back to that skill, you think it’s all still there, in your head. and it is—kinda sorta. this is also called “being rusty”.
i am definitely rusty.
while all this crossfit training is all swell and good—part of the reason i got into crossfit was to develop the strength and conditioning to further my krav. today was a good day for krav. as posts before this, it has been, literally, a couple month’s since my last krav class. the decision to go tonight was based on the level of soreness in my legs from last weeks work. i saw today as an “active rest day”. it was active, but there was no rest. sweat poured off me the entire class, as is the norm when taking krav. and even though i’d intentionally taken a level 1 class because i knew before going in that i need to reacquaint myself with the movements, what i wasn’t counting on was how sluggish i felt on my feet.
in crossfit the emphasis is to keep your weight in your heels for the majority of the movements. air squats, back squats, kettlebell swings, dead lifts, cleans, snatches, presses—they all require you to drive through your heels and explode upwards through the hip. in krav the emphasis is to stay on your “toes” so you can be agile, and quick. here one second, over there the next. to put it simply, the crossfit knocked the krav out of my feet. so now i sit here pondering footwork and how to improve it.
the cost of poor footwork:
- tripping over your own feet.
- being slower… to the kick, to the block, to the defense, to the attack…
- it could cost you the fight.
why is footwork important? being able to control the movement your body is everything. if it wasn’t for footwork you wouldn’t be able to dodge, weave, or slip a punch. you wouldn’t be able to snap off machine-gun groin kicks. you wouldn’t be able to burst into the attackers attack. you wouldn’t be able to dance around your attacker and pick them apart.
to throw some possible training drills on the table for footwork, i dug around and found these:
Bruce Lee on footwork: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxTg6f_fYT0&feature=related
Muhammad Ali on footwork: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iM6JHnA5Xo&feature=related
The New Zealand All Blacks doing some footwork drills: http://vimeo.com/23347924
Some Dude (youtube user kyryllo ): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6y0YYBUGP0
“Throughout history, survival has favored those who are clever, tough and fortunate.
Natural selection operates impartially and without mercy; weakness and lacking the ability to adapt or overcome is an evolutionary dead-end. Only the strong survive. A harsh climate or hostile environment naturally produces a tougher and hardier creature; consequently, the weaker die off at a higher rate.”
This is from a pdf book entitled Brain Over Brawn by Clint Cornelius, and can be found here: http://brainoverbrawn.com/. It’s a free download, and so far (I’m on chapter 4 currently) I’m finding the thought’s and perspective in line with my own. Sound, logical, and simple to understand. If you CrossFit, this book is for you. If you train in Krav Maga, this book is for you. If you’re an athlete, this book is for you. If you want to be healthier, and fitter, this book is for you.
Thank you Kieran for introducing me to this book.
and now for something completely different.
a friend of mine posted this on facebook and i think it relates to my absurd fascination with zombies. just, whatever you do, don’t go googling for images of this shit—it’s really fucking gross.
a question to all of you.
i’ve noticed more people subscribing / following my blog. thank you!
currently it’s centered around krav maga and my general (and not so general) thoughts on self defense. i’ve mentioned that i crossfit in previous posts, but i’ve generally kept most of my thoughts on crossfit to myself.
is anyone interested on reading my thoughts on crossfit? or should i keep the focus on krav? (they DO compliment each other very well)
textbook… (pun intended)
it’s been an unusually long time since i’ve posted here, but one of my krav teachers recently posted this on facebook, and i felt compelled to share it here.
“BROOKSVILLE, Fla. – Prosecutors say they are not going to charge a Florida high school teacher who punched a student in a video that was recorded on a cell phone.
Prosecutor Brian Trehy said students who witnessed the punch said the student made contact first and the Tampa Bay-area teacher was responding.
The 64-year-old Sandra Hadsock was arrested last month after she hit a student who was calling her vulgar names. The veteran teacher says she hopes she’ll be allowed to return to the classroom, but it’s still unclear if that will happen.”
this is a textbook example of how you should defend yourself should the need arise. and by all means, if you feel threatened, don’t wait for them to throw the first punch.