January 23, 2012
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: 
http://www.videojug.com/film/how-to-do-bas-ruttens-rear-naked-choke

from Matt Hughes:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPPRz0NLVkM

from the US Army:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YS8XwlLqtmg&feature=related

and of course, from MMA Candy:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UValwUGfD4k&feature=related

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
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:

http://zombietools.net/

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:

  1. for the budget conscious http://www.coldsteel.com/
  2. if you’re unsure—this is the “amazon” of the knife market: http://www.knifecenter.com/
  3. 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. [;

October 28, 2011

Hmmm …

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!

magalomania:

kateoplis:

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? 

(via pandarican)

June 26, 2011
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. 

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/krokodil-the-drug-that-eats-junkies-2300787.html

June 26, 2011
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)

June 17, 2011

yup. prepare. for the unknown. and for the unknowable. crossfit <3.

akahornet:

breathe….

(via abovemundane)

June 7, 2011
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.

http://news.yahoo.com/video/us-15749625/25485379

"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. 

March 17, 2011
back to basics—or—Black is the new Black…

a single thought has been occupying my mind lately and it’s foundational movements. krav maga has its set of foundational movements, as does crossfit. both krav maga and crossfit emphasize spending the time to learn the basics properly so when one moves up to more advanced movements (or in the case of crossfit, heavier weights), they should have an easier time with it because their foundation is solid and strong. sure, it feels great when you can do a workout “Rx’d”, and yeah! doing weapon defenses is fun… but what’s the point of even going there if all of your basic movements are shit? if you can’t punch properly, or you’re wasting energy by bouncing around like a fucking kangaroo, what’s the point of learning to defend against a gun? isn’t the point of learning the moves to master them? if you haven’t mastered the previous movements the latter movements will suffer. if your air squat sucks—guess what?—your squat at 135# is gonna suck, as is your squat at 225#. checking your ego at the door helps. asking coaches, teachers, and friends for feedback also helps. the key is recognizing your weak points, then working on them until they are no longer weak. now move onto a new weak point. repeat.

"i’m not afraid of the 10,000 punches you’ve practiced once… i fear the one punch you’ve practiced 10,000 times."

the beauty of taking the time to master each movement is then learning exactly how much energy to put into it—for me, this efficiency of movement is my ideal goal, it’s my dream. it’s that epiphany moment that you din’t realize happened because you’ve been doing it instead of thinking about it. and what’s the litmus test to know if you’ve achieved this mastery? making it look easy. 

—this rant was aimed at me as much as it was you. party on dudes!

November 4, 2010
"I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. And because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something that I can do."

— Hellen Keller

November 4, 2010
Day 112? god, i’ve lost track.

its been so long, i’ve forgotten where i left off on my day-count. 2 months have past (give or take) since the last sincere krav post. 1 year anniversary has come and gone. the Tough Mudder was attacked and completed. my wind recovery is much, much faster. and my 1 rep-max’s for the dead-lift, military press, squat, and bench-press have all improved. a lot has happened since last we spoke, and there’s a fire at my ass again. 

during the hiatus i’ve been cross-fitting like a mad man. the intent was to focus on training for the Tough Mudder event, which was anticipated to be difficult, borderline stupid-difficult. the extra training helped, but the event was slightly underwhelming. it was still pretty crazy, but i thought there would be more.

the world series (which our freakish Giants won!) gave me an excuse to take a break from training. that small break was enough time to ponder over what some new goals should be. one of the goals that floated to the top was more krav. two belts in one year isn’t bad, but i think i could have gotten three. on the other-hand, submerging myself into cross-fit has opened up a new door into understanding my own body mechanics, and the levels at which my body can operate (which is now above and beyond anything i imagined possible beforehand.) 

in a way, this hiatus was my “off-season” from krav. spend time getting stronger and improve general physical fitness to increase your capacity at your passion.

this idea gel’s firmer every time i think about it. at art center, taking a term off or lightening the load every so often was needed, especially in the cases of burnout. rest gives the brain time to let the things you’ve learned sink deeper into your mind and allow opinions to develop. football has an off-season, so does baseball. so does soccer. so does basketball, and snowboarding… but with cross-fit and krav, there is no defined “off-time” which leaves it up to the practitioner to decide when to pull-back and  rest and recuperate. take inventory of what’s happened. 

myself, i’ve never been more jacked up (injury-wise) than the last couple months. when you’re passionate about something, the inclination is to hit the gas and “GO GO GO GO!” all the while ignoring the waves of pain your body sends because what your doing is too damn fun. oddly, cross-fit injuries total for more than those acquired in krav. interesting little fun fact.

a goal developed during the hiatus—to further my krav training and understanding. can i make it two more belts in 1 year? i don’t know. i want to see how green belt training goes first… 

Level Two techniques covered: Training From The Wall

  •   back breaks
  •   front breaks
  •   front and rear chokes against a wall
  •   the finer points of working from the wall

wall basics: 
the wall is like the ground, only vertical. if used properly, it will cover your back from attackers (this is good). the mechanics for a back wall break or a front wall break are EXACTLY the same as those for a back fall break, and a front fall break. eh, see? wall…fall…get it? wall break? fall break? they’re the same but different? (vertical vs. horizontal? Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?) 

a detail with the fall/wall breaks as i remember it—you want your arms to slap the ground/wall at 45°, JUST as your shoulders meet the surface. ideally, the surface impact will occur across the palms > forearms > upper back (sans head—DO NOT MAKE CONTACT WITH YOUR HEAD!). the slap itself is meant to tighten up all the muscles in the impact area so you don’t get injured. also, impact should occur on the forearms, NOT the elbows. impact to the elbow can lead to defeat because you’re too busy jumping around complaining about hitting your funny bone. so don’t do it!

chokes against the wall:
tuck your chin. the attack will most likely go in and up and be VERY frightening, so time is of the essence. tucking the chin in time can preserve the path of the airway and possibly buy a few more precious seconds. like chokes with a push, the arm should shoot upward and maintain rigidity. ear to bicep! when breaking the choke, the shoulder of the non-raised arm needs to dip so the shoulders are angled. this dip allows for a smoother and faster twist, thereby initiating a more powerful break of the choke hold. when pushed from the front, turn the head to one side—which ever arm is in front of your eyes, THAT arm shoots straight up. 

other details when working from the wall:
use the wall against the attacker. deflect their punches into the wall; defend and attack—many defenses will allow for grabbing the attacker and driving them into the wall, use it! when facing multiple attackers, do not lose focus and give your back to them. use the wall to your advantage, use it to gain height on back kicks, or generate more power. when in the fighting stance, bring the arms higher to cover the face and neck. 

adios.

September 2, 2010
Did I mention? I'm making BACON! (boo-YAH!)

August 30, 2010
Days 104, 105, 106, 107, 108ish: arrrrgh!!!!

focus has been difficult to come by these last few weeks. a myriad of distractions have successfully diverted my attention away from krav maga. i’m not exactly sure when or how this began, but i do know that preparing for the orange belt test, and the test itself were a bigger drain on my psyche than i expected. since passing the test i have taken 2 level 3 classes, and only a total of about 5 krav classes in general. in the last week i’ve taken 2 level 1 classes, but i must get back on track and begin with the level 3 classes in ernest. 

another distraction has been my sprained back. my best guess is that when i came back to crossfit after my orange belt training, i think i went too heavy, too fast. after one week of solid power lifting workouts, i noticed my lower back began to “act funny”. i laid myself up for a whole week, went in to see a chiropractor (who also goes to kmsf) and promptly began the recovery process. this recovery process has done a couple things for me: 

1. it has made me more aware of my posture, both in and out of the gym. this has lead to me correcting my form on many of the lifts we do in crossfit, which is nothing but good. number one fix that’s made the biggest difference: fixing my squat. now i know what kat means when she tells us to drive with our glutes and hams. before i was driving with my quads.  

2. it forced me to do some research on the biomechanics, anatomy, structure, and mobility of the human body which means more knowledge for me about what’s hurting, why, and what to do to make it stop hurting. (on a side note, this research has lead to more thoughts on why the human body has been designed as it is)

3. it has forced me to add a stretching/yoga-ish routine everyday—this hasn’t happened since my days working at steven’s pass. very grateful to be doing this again. 

so, as of today, my back isn’t yet 100% (and i can’t tell if i’m being a dumbass and over working it, or if it’s just taking a long time to heal) but armed with the homework assignments the chiro gave me, and the new Mobility WODS (MOBs?) from SFCF’s Kelly Starret, i am able to do the workouts—period. so for the last couple weeks i have placed my focus on crossfit and conditioning so i can strengthen my back and core muscles. not to mention i need the conditioning for the up coming Tough Mudder race that i have committed myself to on October 9th.

now, if work could chill out for a little bit, i’d be able to focus on training again. but if work slows down too much, then i won’t be able to train…

August 30, 2010
Day 104: Head Rotation / Knife Play

short, simple, too the point. this is from a classes i had a month ago.

level 2:

  • head rotation
  • catching head from a shoot
  • catching head from mount / buck n roll.
  • elbow escape
  • shooting defense

level 3:

  • inside defense
  • 360 defense  w/wo knife
  • bar arm and carotid choke
  • all chokes from behind
  • knife defense - bar arm

August 30, 2010
"The thoughts that carry our attention away [during prayer or mediation] are never insignificant thoughts and they never arise at random. We lose our focus precisely because these thoughts need our attention and we refuse to give it to them. This is why they keep sneaking up on our attention and stealing it away. This is how it is that we come to know ourselves as we settle deeply into the act of prayer [or meditation]."

— Rabbi Allen Lew

July 14, 2010
"Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going."

— Jim Ryun