Saturday, January 26, 2008

Christian Martialism on a Budget, 3

So far, we have addressed the training of mindset & recommended the following resources:
  1. The Holy Bible $0.00 (assuming you already own a copy)
  2. By This Standard 0.00
In addition to a sense of justice, you need certain other mental traits to round out your warrior mindset. For this, I would recommend two books you may have to buy. One is Principles of Personal Defense by Jeff Cooper. It's $13.25 + $3.99 S&H from (You may be able to borrow it from your pastor -- if your pastor's name is John Knox.)

Cooper's book is short and an easy read, but don't let that fool you. Make it your 2nd mindset textbook (the Bible is first). Immerse yourself in it; memorize the seven mindset traits. Study them in light of Scripture, and then make them part of your meditation.

(In conjunction with Principles of Personal Defense, I recommend you study & meditate on passages such as II Timothy 2:3-4 and Ephesians 6:10-18.)

If Jeff Cooper's book (studied critically in light of Scripture) is Warrior Mindset 101, then Gavin DeBecker's The Gift of Fear (studied critically in light of Scripture) is Warrior Mindset 102. It costs $7.99 + S&H, but shipping is free if you order it along with another book I'm going to recommend, later. (This one is available in many public libraries or through interlibrary loan.)

Read DeBecker's book thoughtfully and empathetically. He uses true-life stories to illustrate his points, and you should let let the stories draw you in. Imagine yourself in the place of those people who suffered violence. But also be aware of the author's non-Christian worldview -- keep your Bible handy.

Memorize DeBecker's pre-incident indicators of violence. Understand them and be able to recognize them. In a year's time, this book along with Cooper's and your Bible will give you a solid foundation in the righteous warrior's mindset.

Training in Fighting Techniques:
Here is an area where someone with a lot of money can accumulate a lot of expensive instruction without gaining the desired knowledge and skills. It's often better to train lean & mean (or is it leanly & meanly?) with focus than to have all the bells & whistles that distract from the goal.

Providentially, the internet provides some incredible training information completely free of charge. I would recommend you begin with this blog. Re-read the post on the palm heel strike, and then the followup with the video link. Practice that one technique with your partner. Practice in ultra slow motion against each other's chins (foreheads, temples), with follow-through (slowly!). Then practice full force against a body shield, as in the video. If you don't have a body shield or focus mitt, improvise.

(Use a feed bag, pillowcase, etc. stuffed with sand, dry dirt, rolled newspaper . . . use what you have. In his comment on the first post in this series, Steven mentions hanging a striking bag. I once used a tree about 2.5" in diameter at shoulder height. I wrapped a couple of discarded foam cushions around it with duct tape. The tree had enough give to keep me from hurting my joints, but was sturdy enough that my hitting & kicking did not damage it.)

In addition to the palm heel strike, you should develop the skill of striking with your knee. My post on the calisthenic/training combo from Arwrology should help you here. As with the palm heel, you can practice with a partner. (Do it in slow motion to avoid injury, but wear a cup, just in case.) Practice the knee to the groin as well as grabbing his head and bringing it down to meet your knee as it comes up. (Did I mention to do this in ultra slow motion?)

If you follow the links in my post WWII Combatives, you will find demonstrations of both the palm heel and the knee blow. After warm-ups & stretching, every training session should include a practice of these fundamental techniques. You may add some others after a few months, but practice these until you can do them automatically with speed & power and no telegraphing. Then practice them some more.

The rest of your training time should include the development of body skills and perhaps some joint locking techniques. I believe one way to accomplish this cheaply is to train in jujitsu. In my next post, I am going to reveal to you what I have found to be the absolute best resource for a beginner and his partner to learn jujitsu on their own without an instructor. Did I mention that it's also free?

See "Christian Martialism on a Budget, 4".

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