Monday, March 31, 2008

Sucker Punch (Overhand Right)

A former bouncer whose experience I trust has stated that an overhand right is one of the two punches favored by sucker punchers (FYI: the other is a hook). I ran across this short video of a street fight in which the overhand right is the deciding factor. Actually, since the overhand right was the first punch thrown, and the other guy went down immediately, I guess calling it a fight is misleading.

Words of caution:
  1. The events leading up to the overhand right include a barrage of offensive language from the bigmouth guy who eventually gets his lights punched out (I turned the volume all the way down);
  2. The person capturing the event on video is part of a crowd, and I think he/she tries to remain in the background without calling attention to his/her activity -- thus, people do move in and out of the way of the action;
  3. The beating that the sucker puncher gives the unconscious bigmouth is brutal and disturbing, but I recommend you watch it a) to recognize the orc mindset you may have to deal with and b) because after the beating, the initial punch is played again twice in slow motion.
This video is disturbing not only for its brutality, but also for the quickness of that first punch. It's hard to catch it at normal speed. Bigmouth did not, I'm sure, see it coming until a millisecond before everything went black.

Street "Fight" Video

Could you defend against this kind of attack? The subject receives further discussion in "Sucker Punch: Overhand Right, 2".

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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Rifle Shooting Techniques: M1 Garand

The link below goes to a declassified WWII era training film on rifle shooting techniques. The rifle used, of course is the M1 Garand. I love the intro to the film where it shows the soldier firing his M1 -- I can feel the reassuring "nudge" his shoulder gets at each shot. Ahh . . . sweet memories of days at the range.

As to its value in teaching shooting techniques, I give this film four stars. I may be prejudiced, though, since on a few occasions when my wife was away, I've been known to fall asleep with my Garand beside me.

Thanks to dlr for sending me this link.
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Friday, March 28, 2008

Battle Eyes

MGM (Caranfinand) my 16 year old daughter wrote the poem below. Although her inspiration came from The Lord of the Rings rather than from some of my comments on channeling adrenaline, I think the poem fits much that I've been trying to say. And, often, art touches the core where science cannot reach.


Eyes that shine,
Eyes that glow.
Hard eyes.
Battle eyes.

They shine
Hard eyes.
Battle eyes.

Shine with terror.
Shine with joy.
Who can know?
Hard eyes.
Bright eyes.
Battle eyes.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Controlling Adrenaline Stress: Mental Imaging, 8

Continued from "Controlling Adrenaline Stress: Mental Imaging, 7"

Have you tried out the mental imaging as I described it in the last post? Remember, the keywords are vivid and detailed. If you have these two elements, your nervous system will treat your visualization as a real learning experience.

I've noticed in my own sessions of mental imaging, that my muscles will occasionally twitch and, at rare times, I will even become aware that I've raised an arm in concert with my imagined movement. This signals deep involvement in your imaging, and is a sign that your mental picture is real enough to your mind to trigger a motor nerve response.At times, you may also murmur or even speak out loud while you're involved in visualization. This is another sign that your focus is vivid enough and detailed enough.

One final tip: vary your scenarios. If you always picture the same confrontation in exactly the same way, your neural pathways will not adapt as readily to new situations. Visualizing different assailants in different contexts will help your system to generalize its response.

Mental imaging has helped numerous sales personnel, public speakers and athletes improve their performance. It can also help you to improve control over your adrenaline stress response to threat and danger. As you have already concluded, creative visualization can help you improve in other aspects of your training, as well. That, however, is another subject.

If you wish to read this series of entries from the beginning, click on this link.

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Islamic Objective

The politically-correct view -- promoted by the president, the media & the schools -- is that Islam is a religion of peace. Three or four years ago, a pastor in a conservative Presbyterian denomination (he allegedly affirms the Westminster Confession) told me that Islam & Christianity worship the same God. Are these things so?

Listen to the testimony and presentation of Goeksan Cik (pronounced Gurkson Chick), a Muslim convert to Christ, and see if the popular view gibes with reality: Conversion from Islam to Christ.

The presentation is over an hour long. During the question & answer session, he was asked if we in America should be afraid. His answer was no, because he thought that Muslims in America have been secularized. His answer contradicts everything he said in his presentation. Then he admitted that he has had no real contact with the Muslim community in the USA.

With that in mind, listen and judge for yourself.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Triumph of the Christ

Leni Riefenstahl's film, Triumph of the Will chronicled the events of the 1934 Nazi Party Congress. The title is an echo of Nietzsche, and during one speech in the film, Hitler declared, "It is our will that this state shall endure for a thousand years." Hitler died in a bunker in Berlin in 1945 . . . and he's still dead.

By way of contrast, Jesus of Nazareth died on a cross two millennia past, and then He rose from the grave . . . and still He lives. His resurrection set in motion many pre-ordained effects. I would like to mention just three.

  1. The resurrection vindicates His life and ministry, as well as His claims to be the Eternal Son incarnate;
  2. The resurrection seals the justification of His people;
  3. The resurrection marks His glorious heavenly works: His priestly intercession for His people, and His reign from heaven, until His enemies become His footstool.
Scripture tells us that one day every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. Hitler will be there, and he will be forced to bow to the Lordship of Christ, as will the Buddha and Mohamed along with every other false prophet, false teacher and false messiah from the beginning of time. The resurrection of Jesus guarantees that this will take place.

I have recently thought of a motto for Christian Martialism: Men in training for the King and by the Word. It is only the fact that we serve a risen King that gives meaning to those words and meaning to our calling as Christian Martialists. The resurrection is the triumph of the Christ, and if we are in Him, it is our triumph, too.

A joyous celebration of the resurrection to all.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Street Fight -- Tactics

Most who read this blog do not frequent places where a melee is likely to break out. But, as our economy worsens and tempers wear thin, you never can tell. It might happen anywhere.

Today's entry is a guest article by Keith Pascal. (Note the link to a free e-booklet).

Street Fights - Rejecting The Mob Mentality
By Keith Pascal Platinum Quality Author

Often, when I am asked for street fighting techniques, the person asking is thinking of a fight against one attacker, possibly two.

Whether it's a street fight, a brawl in a bar, or an obnoxious crowd at a sporting event, there is definitely a possibility that a fight could break out with a small mob involved.

If this were to happen, what would you do? How would you handle yourself in a crowd-street-fight?

Primary Martial Goal

Would your goal in such a situation to stay safe?

Is it really?

If so, then don't even think about staying a fighting. No 'duking' it out for you. If your main goal is to be safe or keep those with you safe, then you will figure out how to get away from the crowd as quickly as possible.

Always keep this in mind.

Note: This becomes even more important if you are caring for loved ones. If you are cavalier enough to risk your own life, don't take risks with the lives of others.

Using Martial Arts in a Street Fight Anyway

My advising that you get away from potential danger, doesn't mean that you are safe instantly. Saying it doesn't magically make it so.

You still have to get to safety. (And the friends with you as well.)

While escaping, you may still have to defend yourself. Make your moves short and crisp. Don't go for "sequences." Use techniques that allow you to continue moving.

If you have to plough through a thick crowd, use joint pressure to tweak people to the side. Don't take the time to effect a full wrist lock ... just hit the pressure against the joint.

Don't be afraid to shove one bad guy into another. Keep moving. Get out of there.

Make it Inconvenient for a Street-Fighting Attacker to Pursue You

If you can get away unnoticed all the better. Slink off into the distance. Escape into a safe store.

If you are noticed:

* Put a lot of distance between you and your attacker.

* Get on the other side of big objects -- put something large, like a car between your would-be pursuer and you.

* Keep track of your friends and loved ones. If you are being pursued, then you hang to the rear, to 'defend the ranks.'

Are you looking for a crisp, efficient technique to use in your escape. Here's a free ebooklet that not only teaches you to make your strike efficient and powerful, but it teaches you what to do to counter anyone who gets close enough to you to try the strike on you....

Download free street-fight techniques ebook - Elbow Strike Counters

Keith Pascal has been a full-time martial-arts writer for eight years and a martial-arts teacher for 25 years.

Keith Pascal - EzineArticles Expert Author

Friday, March 21, 2008

Speed Training: Palm Heel Jab

Several years ago, my jujitsu instructor saw how dejected I was after our pre-sparring training session. He asked me,"What's wrong?" I explained to him how discouraged I was that I could not get a single punch past his defenses.

Then my instructor told me that he had boxed for eight years, and that when I jabbed, he had to draw on all his experience and training to stop me. And for all that, he was barely succeeding. I found comfort in that, for he was not one to exaggerate or lie just to make a student feel better.

That meant my speed training was working. I practiced my jabs while I walked my rounds on my security job. About 25% of the time, I actually threw punches, but 75% of the practice was in my head. I had previously practiced the jab in slow motion to teach the movement to my muscles and nerves (and also to eliminate telegraphs and extraneous motion.

Still, I needed something more -- something to put snap and speed into the punches. For some reason, a memory popped into my head of the crude animation I played with in grade school. At the bottom edge of my writing tablet, I would draw a circle, and then put the features of a frowning face in it.

Then, in the same place on the next page, I'd trace the circle and make a smiling face. By flipping the page up & down, the face appeared to go from smiling to frowning and back again. Using the same technique, I could make a stick figure dance.

That memory prodded me to think of the jab in only two positions: ready and fully extended. I would leave everything in between to muscle and nerve memory from the slow motion practice, and I would visualize my jab as though the in-between did not exist. In my mind, I practiced my jab seeing only those two positions. Ready. Jab. Ready.

It was incredibly fast (in my mind). After a time of mental practice, I tried the actual jab. I found that I had improved my speed -- considerably. That's the little edge that gave a 50-year old student the speed to beat his instructor. Well . . . almost.

Try it with your palm heel jab. Let me know if you see a difference.

To find out more about the palm heel, click this link:

Fight Like a Girl: Palm Heel Chin Jab

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Controlling Adrenaline Stress: Mental Imaging, 7

Continued from "Controlling Adrenaline Stress: Mental Imaging, 6"

The final step in learning how to control adrenaline stress through mental imaging is to visualize your response to the threat. I think it's good to imagine the whole scenario, from the time that the orc confronts you. It's a temptation to want to visualize only the part where you clean the other guy's clock, but remember that your objective here is to control adrenaline stress.

So . . . he's big & mean & scary, and in your mind's eye, he's standing in front of you. "Got a light?" You respond with the information you read in "Lines in the Dirt" (and LITD2 and LITD3). You might even start with the scenario I provide in that series.

You see and hear yourself responding to him. "No. Leave me alone," as you bring your open hands up to chest height in the non-challenging defensive position. And you control the scenario from here.

The first vital point is that your visualization be vivid enough to evoke an emotional response. The second point is that you visualize yourself keeping your cool right up to the moment of attack. You see yourself as unflappable as James Bond facing incredible odds, and then, at the moment of action, you transform into Attila the Hun.

In the next post, I want to describe how you'll know if your visualization is working.
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Monday, March 17, 2008

Martial Arts and Street Self Defense

The martial arts interest me, and they always have. As a youngster I collected ads for martial arts courses from comic books and old Popular Science magazines. I pored over them, looking for variations the way some kids did with their stamp collections.

I did not enroll in an actual martial arts class until I was 48 years old. Then I learned 3 valuable lessons about martial arts:
  1. Martial arts training is not a magic bullet; it is hard work;
  2. Regardless of what various proponents claim, the primary purpose of the Eastern arts is to teach the Buddhist version of morality and self-control (see "Martial Art as Way");
  3. Some of the most effective techniques have been excised from the curriculum of the majority martial arts schools (because of liability, perhaps).
If you think about it, martial means military. Properly, martial arts should be training in close quarters combat (CQC), not civilian self defense. The main objective of such training is to eliminate the enemy with one's bare hands. Period.

Thus, most "martial" arts are, in reality, civilian arts. (There are exceptions.) I'm not saying that martial arts training isn't useful. It can be quite useful, BUT you must learn to discern which skills and techniques are transferable to an actual street confrontation and which might put you in jeopardy of your life.

More on this, later.
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Saturday, March 15, 2008

Patrick's Lorica

Monday is St. Patrick's day, and the day has been thoroughly Americanized. The average citizen associates this hero of the Christian faith with drunken orgies, leprechauns and "the wearin' o' the green." In reality, Patrick was a stalwart believer who challenged Druidism in Ireland and championed the cause of Trinitarianism in the Church.
Patrick Friend explains the significance of the hymn known as "The Lorica" or "Breastplate of St. Patrick":

There is a beautiful prayer that legend says was written by St. Patrick himself. As the story goes, he suspected an ambush while he was on the way to meet King Laoghaire. He said the prayer, known today as St. Patrick's Breastplate, the Lorica, or the Deer's Cry, and as the soldiers lay in wait Patrick and his companions passed by but all the soldiers saw were deer! (source: All About Irish)

A lorica is meant to protect its wearer from harm, like a breastplate. As the Druids used magical incantations to call upon the powers of Nature, Patrick invokes the name of the Triune God and claims all the phenomena of nature for his armor because God created them.

May you, Christian Martialist, be imbued with the faith and love of the truth that marked the spirit of Patrick, evangelist of the Scoti. Happy St. Patrick's Day.

Breastplate of St. Patrick

I bind unto myself today
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same
The Three in One and One in Three.

I bind this today to me forever
By power of faith, Christ’s incarnation;
His baptism in Jordan river,
His death on Cross for my salvation;
His bursting from the spic├Ęd tomb,
His riding up the heavenly way,
His coming at the day of doom
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the power
Of the great love of cherubim;
The sweet ‘Well done’ in judgment hour,
The service of the seraphim,
Confessors’ faith, Apostles’ word,
The Patriarchs’ prayers, the prophets’ scrolls,
All good deeds done unto the Lord
And purity of virgin souls.

I bind unto myself today
The virtues of the star lit heaven,
The glorious sun’s life giving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea
Around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today
The power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, His might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need.
The wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, His shield to ward;
The word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.

Against the demon snares of sin,
The vice that gives temptation force,
The natural lusts that war within,
The hostile men that mar my course;
Or few or many, far or nigh,
In every place and in all hours,
Against their fierce hostility
I bind to me these holy powers.

Against all Satan’s spells and wiles,
Against false words of heresy,
Against the knowledge that defiles,
Against the heart’s idolatry,
Against the wizard’s evil craft,
Against the death wound and the burning,
The choking wave, the poisoned shaft,
Protect me, Christ, till Thy returning.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself the Name,
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One and One in Three.
By Whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation,
Salvation is of Christ the Lord.

Words: Translated from the Gaelic by Cecil Frances Humphreys Alexander, 1889.
Music: "St. Patrick" Charles Villiers Stanford, 1902

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Friday, March 14, 2008

Controlling Adrenaline Stress: Mental Imaging, 6

Continued from "Controlling Adrenaline Stress: Mental Imaging, 5"

In order to use mental imaging to practice controlling adrenaline stress, you need a subject for a powerful image. I suggest you choose a confrontation with your biggest nightmare. It might be a biker gang member with grungy teeth or a gang banger with a tattoo on his neck, or maybe even an Islamic terrorist with death and destruction in his eyes. Whatever image you choose, it should be someone who would make you nervous (or even scared) if you met him at midnight in a dark and lonely place.

Now, close your eyes and imagine yourself in exactly that situation. Do not see yourself from the outside. Put yourself into the scenario and see the orc as though he were standing in front of you & you are looking out at him through your own eyes.

Put as much detail into the image as possible. Look at your adversary and see his facial features -- does he have scars or blemishes? is he dirty? does he have bad breath? Feel the ground beneath your feet and the night air on your skin,

Once the image becomes vivid and real to you, you can let the scenario play out. The orc taunts you & tries to goad you into a fight. He is big & mean and totally self assured. He reaches out toward you.

You must not only imagine the orc's appearance and actions, but you must also imagine your own reactions. I want to speak to that issue in "Controlling Adrenaline Stress: Mental Imaging, 7".

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Controlling Adrenaline Stress: Mental Imaging, 5

(Continued from "Controlling Adrenaline Stress: Mental Imaging, 4")

In my last post ("Tactical Lesson at Wal-Mart"), I linked to a story and suggested it had a connection to controlling adrenaline stress. If you read it, and if you put yourself in the place of the writer, you may have experienced an adrenaline rush. One of my sons-in-law said he felt his own adrenaline rise when he read about my being stopped by a police officer (Adrenaline Stress).

Both of these serve as examples of the power of imagination. And if your imagination has the power to create an adrenaline dump, then your imagination can create the conditions necessary for you to learn to control it. It's a matter of creative visualization.

Students of applied psychology learn that, in order to get maximum training benefit from visualization techniques, you should meet the following conditions:
  1. Imagine vivid details which include not only visual particulars, but sounds, smells and tactile sensations, as well (makes the experience more real in your mind);
  2. Attach strong emotion to the experience (anchors the experience in your memory).
Since your aim is to visualize a situation that stimulates a powerful and emotional hormonal response, the second point will follow if you succeed with the first.

In "Controlling Adrenaline Stress: Mental Imaging, 6", I want to help you begin to construct a vivid mental image for adrenaline stress training.
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Monday, March 10, 2008

Tactical Lesson at Wal-Mart

A shopper at America's #1 discount retailer almost got more than he bargained for when he narrowly averted the mugging of him & his little daughter in the Wal-Mart parking lot. In God's providence, alertness along with tactical thinking & acting (and a Model 1911 .45) saved the day. He tells about it in his blog entry at this link.

CAUTION: Some offensive language appears in the post. Also, there may be some practices I do not endorse, such as shopping for leisure items on the Lord's Day. Other than that, the story has training value.

Do you see any signs of adrenaline stress in the story? How about yourself? Did you experience some of the signs of an adrenaline rush as you read it? (See Controlling Adrenaline Stress: Mental Imaging, 4.) Can you apply the principles found in these posts to this story?

Controlling Adrenaline Stress Through Breath Control
Controlling Adrenaline Stress Through Breath Control, 2

Controlling Adrenaline Stress: The Battle Cry
Controlling Adrenaline Stress: The Battle Cry, 2

Would a battle cry be wise or helpful in this situation? Analyze. Think tactically. Put yourself there. Learn from his experience by making it yours, as well.

Thanks to TC (aeriescape) for sending me the link.
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Saturday, March 8, 2008

Benaiah, The Warrior Priest

And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man, of Kabzeel, who had done many acts,
  • he slew two lionlike men of Moab:
  • he went down also and slew a lion in the midst of a pit in time of snow:
  • And he slew an Egyptian, a goodly man: and the Egyptian had a spear in his hand; but he went down to him with a staff, and plucked the spear out of the Egyptian's hand, and slew him with his own spear.
These things did Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and had the name among three mighty men. He was more honourable than the thirty, but he attained not to the first three. And David set him over his guard. (II Samuel 23:20-23)

Benaiah is my favorite Old Testament character. He's not a central figure like Abraham, Moses or David, and you won't find as much written about him. But the Word reveals more about him than most people realize.

The passage above comes from the the roll of David's Mighty Men. To put it into neopagan terms that our society can understand, these men were Olympians among warriors. And, although Benaiah was an "Olympian" warrior, he was not a medalist.

Adino, Eleazar and Shammah, respectively, took the gold, silver and bronze. Benaiah did not even place among the top three. That's not to say, though, that he wasn't a skilled and fearsome warrior.

He was the son of Jehoiada, a mighty man of Kabzeel. I Chronicles 12:27 tells us that Jehoiada, priest and descendant of Aaron, led 3600 armed Levites in support of David's claim to the throne. Benaiah followed his father's example as a warrior priest.

In addition, by the nature of the work, a priest had to be good with a knife. Killing, skinning and butchering animals for sacrifice all went into a day's work for a priest serving at the Tabernacle. Wielding a blade no doubt became second nature to Benaiah from childhood.

Perhaps it was this training that fitted him for killing the lion in the pit -- a rare and memorable event linked in the scribe's mind to another Middle East rarity, a snowy day. I picture David's men standing about the pit they dug on a deer trail. They had hoped to trap a buck for meat, but inadvertently captured a lion.

Suddenly, the young priest no longer stands among them; he has dropped into the pit, and in the flicker of an eye, the beast lies limp and lifeless, and Benaiah's knife drips with its blood. As his comrades haul him out of the hole, they ask him what in the world he was thinking. He jokes that he "slipped on the snow at the edge of the pit."

Only a man who, from his earliest days, had learned both how to use his blade and how to keep it razor sharp would be able to slay a lion in a confined space before it could shred him with its claws.

With such a heritage, Benaiah did not shrink from ferocious beasts or beastly warriors. Did he find himself with only a staff in his hands? No matter; he could snatch the spear from his enemy's hands and dispatch him with it. But, skilled as he was, he never made it to the medal stand.

Even so, he stands out. In spite of the fact that other warriors possessed more skill or more dramatic accomplishments, Benaiah "was more honourable than the thirty." He was most respected of all the Mighty Men -- respected by his peers, and by King David.

While leadership of the army went to Joab, David's cousin, the king appointed Benaiah to head his personal guard, the Cherethites. For this responsibility, David needed a man of unquestioned loyalty and incorruptible character. These he found in Benaiah.

The warrior priest served faithfully throughout the reign of his liege, and after the shepherd king of Israel lay in his grave, his son Solomon called upon the aging sheepdog for yet another great act of service. He must execute the murderous and treacherous Joab to safeguard the integrity of the new king's reign. (see I Kings, chapter 2)

Joab had fled to the Tabernacle and laid hold of the horns of the altar, claiming the right of sanctuary. This was a practice to protect those wrongfully accused from vengeance and premature execution until the authorities could investigate the matter. But Joab was guilty.

Who would enter God's house to slay a man -- even a guilty one? Who, but a priest? It is a major function of the priest to guard the Temple from the profane. So Benaiah, priest, guard and warrior "went up, and fell upon him, and slew him." (I Kings 2:34)

Solomon then appointed Benaiah as leader of the host of Israel. The priest, whose name means son of Yahweh (Jehovah), remained a warrior and sheepdog to the Lord's anointed even into his old age. For good cause did Scripture name him as the most respected of all the Mighty Men.

May God multiply the sons of Benaiah among us.
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Friday, March 7, 2008

Controlling Adrenaline Stress: Mental Imaging, 4

(Continued from "Controlling Adrenaline Stress: Mental Imaging, 3)

Through experience you can learn to control adrenaline & adrenaline stress. You can learn to stay calm in the face of threat or provocation, and you can learn to "throw the switch" that opens the floodgates. To deliberately seek the experiences that will teach you these things, however, is neither sage nor safe.

Nevertheless, through a peculiarity of human psychology, you can train your responses to potentially violent situations without actually putting yourself through them. I refer to the fact that for purposes of learning, the human psyche cannot tell vividly imagined experiences from real ones. They both affect the neural paths of the brain in like manner.

Perhaps this gives insight into Jesus' admonition, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. (Matt. 5:28) Could it be that this exhortation arises -- at least in part -- out of the tendency for the human mind to treat imagined adultery the same as the act itself? This would mean that imagining an immoral act molds character and habit, thus rendering the outward expression easier and more likely.

God did not create the imagination for evil, but for good. The Christian Martialist must discipline himself against evil imaginations. But beyond that, he should learn to use the power of mental imaging to benefit his life and calling.

I want to continue with application in "Controlling Adrenaline Stress: Mental Imaging, 5".
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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

A Friend Indeed

Within about a week of exactly ten years ago, I was in trouble and my family was in danger. We were about to relocate to another state on short notice, and I stopped by to say goodbye to my friend. I told him that I was going armed, in case it became serious, and that my next stop before we left was the sporting goods store to buy a holster and a speedloader for my Taurus 85ss.

My friend said, "Wait here a minute." He disappeared into his house & returned with the right size speedloader for my weapon and handed it over to me. I have always marveled at that single, simple, generous act.

Many of my acquaintances would have tried to talk me out of doing anything "rash." Most would say I was overreacting. My friend did not do that. He knew me, he trusted my judgment, and if I said I needed to be prepared for the worst, then by God's grace he would help me.

(Incidentally, [and thankfully] we made it without any armed confrontations.)

Life is short and hard, and I have had not had many friends. I've met lot of acquaintances, a lot of neighbors, but few real friends. Right now I could count those I consider my true friends (including the Lord himself) on my fingers and have several left over.

I wish two things for the Christian Martialists who read my posts. 1) When the chips are down may you have a friend like that; 2) When the chips are down, may you BE a friend like that.

By the way, if you want to check out my story, you can ask my barber. He was there when it happened. I know he was there because he IS that friend.

Thanks for having my back, Bro.
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Monday, March 3, 2008

Controlling Adrenaline Stress: Mental Imaging, 3

(Continued from Controlling Adrenaline Sress, Mental Imaging, 2.)

As I learned to fight back, I gradually learned that rage pushes out fear. Now, rage is not the most efficient use of adrenaline (I believe that something I call the thrill of battle may be the most efficient kind of adrenaline rush), but when you're under attack, lashing out in rage is better than freezing with fear.

After facing a number of threats, I also learned that I could delay the adrenaline dump. In the face of imminent danger, I have, at times (not 100%), found a deep calm come over me. I was also alert and focused, knowing that at the right moment, I could "throw the chemical switch" that would throw me into rampaging warrior mode.

That kind of adrenaline stress control is the result of real-life experience. It can also come as the result of simulated experiences. That is the objective of Peyton Quinn's RMCAT training camp.

Quinn leads training sessions in which participants are exposed to trainers who simulate street assaults. The emphasis is on realism and realistic responses. The goal is for trainees to learn what an adrenaline dump feels like, and then to manage it so it works for them rather than against them. He describes the process in his book, Real Fighting: Adrenaline Stress Conditioning Through Scenario Based Training.

The point is that experience CAN teach you to control your adrenaline. I want to apply that to mental imaging in "Controlling Adrenaline Stress: Mental Imaging, 4".

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Saturday, March 1, 2008

Christian Martialism: Ego vs. Service

I came to know KB because we worshiped at the same church. He had been in the USMC for . . . I think it was about 13 years. Before he left the Corps, he was training to become an instructor in the Marine Corps Martial Art Program (MCMAP).

Before I met him, this man with a warrior's heart tried to organize a group of Christian young men who would train together and function as a service organization. The service part of the plan was to patrol the roads carrying 5 gallons of gasoline, bottled water, a cell phone and a tool kit. The object was to find motorists in distress, help them and then give them a piece of Gospel literature.

KB called his group the Paladins (after Charlemagne's knights of the palace guard). I thought it was a neat idea, but he told me the members of the group didn't want to get involved in the service aspect. They just wanted to learn to fight. Because of that, KB disbanded the group.

I think disbanding was a wise move. I guess a young man will always be enamored and impressed with the idea of becoming a warrior. But if the purpose is only to inflate his own ego, then he will never be a true paladin, a Christian Martialist.

The whole idea of Christian Martialism is service to the King and Shepherd of our souls through serving and protecting His Church. Our service includes true worship, support of the local church (time & tithe), and submission to the government & discipline of the spiritual leaders whom Christ has appointed. It's simple; it's humbling; and often it's hard.

A Christian Martialist wannabe can't resist bragging that he's a warrior, and how important he is. The true Christian Martialist does not advertise his unusual calling. For him, it's not a matter of ego; it's a matter of service.

Sheep rarely understand the sheepdog and his role. They'd like to think that peace is normal and automatic. They don't appreciate the idea that it often takes force and blood to purchase peace and safety, and they resent those who bring such realities to their attention.

Therefore, the Christian Martialist trains, studies and watches without fanfare or recognition. He knows who he is, and so does his Master. That is as it should be. And that is enough.
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