Wednesday, April 30, 2008

WARSKYL Conference

This is the first official announcement that a WARSKYL conference is in the works. I have not settled on a final date as yet with the folks who are hosting the event. Right now they are busy preparing for a shooting match to be held at their place this weekend (young children will be able to watch the shooting from the host's living room window -- so cool!).

The conference is to be held in the vicinity of Peoria, Illinois, America's heartland. The theme of the conference will be: Understanding and Responding to Personal Violent Attack. It will include, among other things, Biblical insights into the psychology of violence, the Biblical rationale for self-defense, the anatomy of an assault, avoiding violence and some hands-on training for when violence is unavoidable. I've touched on some of these things here at the WARSKYL blog, but at the conference it will be presented in a systematic way and will include new material I haven't addressed here.

The best reason to come, however, is not to learn philosophy, mindset, tactics and techniques of self defense from some old fat guy. It will present an opportunity to get together with people like yourself. You will meet other Christian Martialist sheepdogs and from the first moment and forever after, you will know you're not the only one.

More details will be forthcoming, but right now the plan (if the Lord will) is to hold the conference some time this summer or early fall. It will depend largely on the host, as an event such as this requires a lot of planning and preparation.

I would be honored to meet you there as one of God's

Men in training for the King and by the Book.

(Shieldmaidens as well as warriors will be welcome.)

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Kidnap Survival Tactic: Do the Opposite

I used to teach in an institutional setting (i.e., a school). It put me in despair, at times, that I could give what I thought to be simple, clear instructions and yet some students would do just the opposite. Their excuse? "But you said . . . ."

While this trait is maddening in people (and teen-agers), it can spell the difference between survival and death in kidnap attempts. If an orc tries to snatch a woman or child, he often gives instructions: "Don't scream;" "Hold still;" "Get in the van." That's when the intended victim should do the opposite. Here's why . . .

The orc normally snatches people on the fringes of activity, say the farther reaches of a mall parking lot. People are within range of sight or hearing, but are not likely to notice what's going on, unless something draws their attention. Thus, when a predator gives you instructions, it is because it is to his distinct disadvantage for you to do the opposite.

Therefore, your survival chances go up if you do whatever he tells you not to do. And whatever you do, don't let him take you to a secondary location. The only reason he has to take you somewhere else is to do something to you that is too risky right where you are.

Statistically, your survival chances plummet if you are taken to a secondary location. If you think "Don't scream" is scary, imagine hearing, "Go ahead, scream all you want."

There is more to say on this topic. Perhaps in another post. In the meantime, I would recommend you see Marc MacYoung's "Safe in the Street" (sorry, available in VHS only). I'm adding it to my "Best Resources I've Found" list. I've had my family watch it more than once.

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

American Combat Judo: Nostalgic Review

When I was in elementary school (2nd grade, I believe), the boy in the desk next to me brought in a book called American Combat Judo by Bernard J. Cosneck. As a timid youngster who was teased and pushed around, I was immediately captivated by the idea that a book might teach me how to wreak mayhem on my tormentors. It even had a couple of pages dedicated to instruction in the delicate art of gouging out an eye. I wanted that book.

A few years later, when I was in Jr. High (Middle School to you moderns), I used to go into a stationery store (Ulbrich's) and covet items in their book rack. On one occasion, a strangely familiar cover caught my eye. It was my old friend, American Combat Judo. I think I had to wait until the next trip -- after raiding my piggy bank -- to plunk down the cash for the slim volume. I fearfully approached the cash register wondering if the clerk would permit a minor to even purchase such a book.

My 1959 edition did not contain the information on eye gouging that my friend's 1943 edition had -- a disappointment, to be sure -- but it was my first self defense book, and it became a personal treasure. It did not turn me into a formidable fighter, but it was a comfort to know that the potential was there.

A few of the techniques seemed to fit me, and I could see myself doing them. For example, the photos of middle-aged brutes in speedos showed me how to apply the Rear Naked Choke, and I even used it (unwisely) once or twice. Most of the techniques, however, required a practice partner to learn effectively, and it's probably a good thing that at that age & stage of my life I did not have someone to practice with. One of us might have maimed or killed the other.

Many years later, after I had trained in Goshin Ryu Jujitsu, I once again picked up the book, and understood how the techniques worked that had once seemed so impractical and out-of-reach. As with many books on the subject, some techniques are more practical than others, but on the whole, there are a lot of workable suggestions.

Bernard Cosneck was a collegiate wrestler in the early 1930's who served in the Coast Guard during WWII. He wound up teaching hand-to-hand combat alongside former heavyweight champ, Lt. Jack Dempsey. Cosneck's style was eclectic, taking elements of wrestling, jujitsu, savate and "police tactics".

American Combat Judo has been reprinted by Paladin Press, and it's available from It should not be your first --let alone your sole -- book on hand-to-hand, but if you're into WWII combatives and/or self defense classics, this one should be on your list.

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Mental Toughness, 3

Continued from "Mental Toughness, 2"

For the Christian, inner toughness begins with Christ by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand." In the Bible, grace can mean favor (in theological context, unmerited favor) ; it can also mean help given to a favored one. You can go through a lot if you know you occupy a privileged position with God.

Further, the Christian's standing causes him to rejoice in his ultimate destiny, the "hope of the glory of God." Paul goes on to say, "And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also." He thus links the believer's ultimate hope with present difficult situations. This puts me in mind of "Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame." (Heb. 12:2)

In His human nature, Christ endured the cross because he kept before His eyes the confident expectation (hope) of His joy (fulfillment of His redemptive mission, and the Father's approval). The recruit, similarly survives boot camp as he keeps . . . .

The remaining content of this post along with the other posts on Mental Toughness now appear in the e-book How To Cultivate the Christian Martialist Mindset. It is available as part of Gravelbelly's COMBAT PREP PACK.

. . . . Well, I didn't get to the actual process, today. I address that in "Mental Toughness, 4"

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Mental Toughness, 2

Continued from "Mental Toughness"

I have been writing about mental toughness lately because, in light of recent trials, I don't feel very tough. Therefore, I've been drawn to this Biblical explanation of the process of becoming mentally tough:

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope. And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. (Romans 5:1-5)

Note that this passage appears in the context of a discussion of the doctrine of justification by faith. Justification by faith teaches that, as sinners, we cannot gain right standing with God on the basis of our own efforts or good works. We can approach Him only by trusting in the perfect life and atoning death of Christ, which God's provides by grace for His people.

This faith brings peace with God and the hope (confident expectation) of one day dwelling in the presence of God's glory. That initial hope of a distant reward is the ground of the Christian's mental toughness. It sets into motion the inward . . . .

The remaining content of this post along with the other posts on Mental Toughness now appear in the e-book How To Cultivate the Christian Martialist Mindset. It is available as part of Gravelbelly's COMBAT PREP PACK.

I want to discuss that process in "Mental Toughness, 3"
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Monday, April 21, 2008

The Last Samurai

We watched The Last Samurai again on Saturday. I think one of its themes is that the individual warrior is often more honorable than the politicians who exploit his skills. Tom Cruise's character at the beginning of the film demonstrates the personal disintegration that results from putting one's obedience to superiors before one's duty to do the right thing.

The movie idealizes Samurai lifestyle -- which historically developed from a culture of feuding warlords -- and contrasts it to the American who sells himself to the highest bidder. The Samurai, on the other hand, rebel against the emperor's government to express their loyalty to the highest ideals of the emperor.

Cruise's character finds "redemption" as he learns the lesson that a soldier must sometimes disobey a superior officer out of loyalty to a higher authority.

The Last Samurai does not show the uglier side of the bushido code of honor. In many ways, the Japanese culture has valued honor in much the same way as contemporary American ghetto culture. Even the merest slight or hint of disrespect -- real or imagined -- might end with the shedding of blood.

In spite of its idealized portrayal of bushido (and its underlying Buddhism), I believe the Christian Martialist should watch The Last Samurai and recognize to whom his highest loyalty belongs. Neither the emperor nor the president is God. Jesus IS God, and He is our King. God grant that we serve Him in reality with at least the level of nobility as portrayed by the fictionalized warriors in The Last Samurai.
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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Warrior Fitness: Strength Training

My own fitness routine has been a little ragged, lately, due to colds & a "catch" in my upper back. I've been hanging myself a few times a week, though, and it's slowly straightening out the problem. But I wanted to share something I received in my email last week.

I have mentioned John E. Peterson's Pushing Yourself to Power before. I believe it contains all you need to get into fighting condition. This excerpt from a recent e-letter of Peterson's testifies to that. It's a letter he got from a soldier in Iraq:

For about four weeks I’ve been back at main camp here in Iraq and doing physical training with my soldiers six days a week. We do exercises from Pushing Yourself to Power, like the Furey push-up (they nicknamed it the ‘Boom Chicka Wanwan’), the Furey squat, the tiger bend pushup, and a variation of the handstand pushup (where we put our feet on a bench and walk out hands-backward till our legs are straight up and down but our torso has a slight angle to it). We also do incline push-ups on this bench, as well as several of the ab. exercises in PYPT.

Yesterday I did a practice APFT (Army physical fitness test) just to see how the Transformetrics training system works for different people. Well, the time for each event is two minutes, but for push-ups we brought it down to one minute just for this instance (you’ll understand why later). So everyone was excited with their numbers, everyone improved a good deal, everyone did at least half of their max on pushups(remember only one minute instead of two), and everyone improved on sit-ups. A few said they never thought they’d ever do that good on a PT test.

ALL THIS WAS AFTER ONE HOUR OF PT! So imagine the test results if everyone would have been rested and fresh. Not only do I believe in the Transformetrics training system, but now my soldiers do, too. ("Daily Transformations," March 20, 2008)

A warrior needs to stay in shape, even without the benefits of a gym or specialized equipment.
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Friday, April 18, 2008

Mental Toughness

Mental toughness is a key aspect of successful self defense (or any other type of combat). It is an essential to the Christian Martialist's mindset. Without mental toughness, you will fold under the pressure of an attack.

Some people equate toughness with roughness. Insensitivity or lack of compassion toward others does not make you tough. Tenderness of heart and deep feeling harmonize well with the quality of mental toughness.

The US military uses the time-honored ritual of basic training to instill mental toughness in recruits. Calculated physical and mental stress weeds out those most likely to crack under the pressures of combat. Those who survive become stronger, physically and mentally.

I've heard some US Marines say, "That which does not kill you only makes you stronger." The saying is predicated on the idea that mental stress increases mental toughness. It's similar to the idea that adding weight to your barbell will increase your muscular effort and result in greater strength.

In fact, physical and mental toughness go together. As a rule, the stronger and more fit you are physically, the more mental and emotional stress you can endure. Conversely, the tougher you are mentally, the harder you may train yourself physically.

Have you heard the saying, "Pain is just weakness leaving the body"? Sometimes training -- and combat -- require you to push through the pain. When you do that, you're increasing your mental toughness. (I'm not talking about ignoring real injuries in training. Those you need to heed.)

The Bible has something to say about this. I guess I'll try to tackle that in Mental Toughness, 2.
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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Irregular posts

Since the 1st of the year, my work has been in almost perpetual crisis. The last two weeks, the crises have intensified, accompanied by increased demands from the client. This week has turned into the marathon from purgatory (or even lower). I will post when I can.

Please pray for me (and Laura).

Sunday, April 13, 2008

3 Mighty Men, 1 Daring Deed

These be the names of the mighty men whom David had: The Tachmonite that sat in the seat, chief among the captains; the same was Adino the Eznite: he lift up his spear against eight hundred, whom he slew at one time. And after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo the Ahohite, one of the three mighty men with David, when they defied the Philistines that were there gathered together to battle, and the men of Israel were gone away: He arose, and smote the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand clave unto the sword: and the LORD wrought a great victory that day; and the people returned after him only to spoil. And after him was Shammah the son of Agee the Hararite. And the Philistines were gathered together into a troop, where was a piece of ground full of lentiles: and the people fled from the Philistines. But he stood in the midst of the ground, and defended it, and slew the Philistines: and the LORD wrought a great victory. (II Samuel 23:8-12)

The three foremost among a band of outstanding warriors were Adino, Eleazar and Shammah -- I think of them as Deano, Lee and Sam. They accompanied David when he was a fugitive from the unrighteous wrath of King Saul. They were strong men, proven in war and confident in their skills.

One night, David and his men sat about the campfire at their hideaway in the Cave of Adullam. A courier brings ill tidings. It seems that a troop of Philistines had garrisoned at the village of Bethlehem, David's boyhood home.

The king-to-be reminisces about the trips he made with his father and brothers to the village. He recalls the taste of water from the village well -- cold and refreshing after the long, dusty walk. As David remembers out loud, the firelight plays on the sword that Lee hones; nearby Deano rebinds the head of his spear; and Sam sits farther back in the shadows, fletching arrows by practiced touch.

Then David exclaims, " Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate!" (II Sam. 23:15) Deano flashes a meaningful glance at Lee, and then both look over at Sam and all they see in the darkness is the whiteness of his teeth, exposed by the broadest of grins. They know what they are going to do, what they are compelled to do -- for their beloved captain wants a drink.

So silently and furtively do they slip away that neither David nor any of the others takes notice of their departure. What follows would make a great scene in an action movie. The three come upon the Philistines as they sleep, dispatch the sentries, and nearly make it to the well before a host of the enemy rushes them.

The clash of swords and confusion of battle intrudes itself into his quarters as a still-sleepy Philistine commander demands to know what is going on. Breathless, an aide cries, "The Hebrews are upon us."

"What? Where? How many?"

"In the town square, sir. Three, sir."

The commander hastily begins to pull on his armor. "How did we allow only three companies of ragged Israelites to fight their way to the town square?"

The aide really does not want to tell him: "Not three companies, sir . . . three . . . men." The commander explodes out of his quarters into a bizarre scene of blood, death and three amazing men who fight and laugh and toss a water skin back and forth in a strange game -- seemingly to add more challenge to battle.

They do not return unscathed. They have slain many Philistines, but some of their own blood lies mingled in the street with the blood of their enemies. They have returned nonetheless elated, flushed with victory and eager to present David with a drink from his hometown.

Your wish is my command. This statement has become hackneyed over time and in our cynicism we view it as a sycophantic phrase from the lips of lackeys. But once, long ago, three mighty men of immeasurable heart and unswerving loyalty embraced that ideal and sealed their commitment in blood.

Their leader may have sat in a cave in the hinterlands of Israel, but he was the rightful king, and if he wanted a drink, even from the far side of hell, then he should have it. And when David saw and understood the gift and the motives from which it sprang, he knew he could not -- MUST not drink it. For one thing, I'm sure he did not want to encourage the rest of his men to go out on hare-brained quests to prove their loyalty.

For another, that kind of loyalty should be reserved to One alone. And to Him David poured out the water as a drink offering. It also served as an object lesson to show his men to whom such devotion belongs, and to remind them of their true strategic objective.

So, Christian Martialist, where lies your heart? Where lies your loyalty? We are men in training for the King and by the Book. Our King is Jesus. Is His wish your command?

(The story comes from II Samuel 23:13-17, although various details spring from the imagination of a certain gravelbellied old sheepdog who wishes he could have been there to see it.)
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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Street Fighting - Secret Technique

Today I want to present another guest article by Keith Pascal. As you read it, think of the Combat Wedge (as presented in the "Sucker Punch" series) and how you might use it in conjunction with this technique. Would you use it to stop your attacker's momentum? Or as the shove . . . or would you use it first as the stop and then (since you're already in position for it) use it again as the shove?

If you practice this technique, be careful not to tear the ligaments in your partner's ankle.

Also, note the link to the free e-booklet on street fighting.

Street Fighting - Secret Technique

By Keith Pascal

You are out in public. You see someone quickly and aggressively moving toward you. For whatever reason, you can't get away. You have to defend yourself or others. What follows is a little-used, but very practical secret technique. If you want an edge in defending yourself in a street fight, then this could be the martial-arts technique for you.

Lead-in Martial-Arts Technique
If an attacker is rushing you, then you have to stop the momentum, redirect the force, or somehow let your would-be attacker pass by.

If you know of a way to stop your attacker's forward movement, then the following technique works beautifully.

Note: It's not a very effective move, if you are passing the force, or some way helping the attack to be redirected and pass by. You need to be able to stop the force, if only for a second.

You choose how you will stop the initial onslaught. maybe a stop kick to the shins. Or an eye jab -- which doesn't even need to score, as long as it causes your opponent to stop forward movement. You could also punch an open target -- your attacker stops, to deal with your counterattack.

Choose the appropriate move for your particular circumstance and based on your set of skills. This makes sense, right?

Instant Street-Fighting -- Counter Technique Combination
The instant you stop your attacker, step on his or her foot. Don't make the set up for the move obvious. In fact, you should be able to find the top of your opponent's foot without even looking down.

Note: Make this one of your practice exercises. From a touching distance, learn to find your practice partner's foot ... by feel. Don't look down. It won't take you very long to develop a sense of exactly where the foot is at all times.

And now, the follow-up technique ...

As soon as your foot has your attacker's foot pinned, I want you to push your opponent. Don't wait too long after you catch the foot. And don't push before you have the foot pinned.

But the very instant you trap the foot, start your push.

Can you guess what the effect will be, when you hold the foot in place while pushing the body back?

Especially when you develop the proper shove, to direct you opponent's body ... down.

So, why is this technique such a secret street fighting technique?

Because most people either don't think it works, or haven't taken the time to perfect the martial-arts move.

Try it. You'll find it a lot easier to master than most martial artists believe.

For more on practical training download my new, free ebooklet, Street Fighting -- Ready for Anyone and Anything

For an article on martial arts improvement, read Martial Arts Improvement.

Download an ebook on elbow strike counters -- Free

Keith Pascal is a martial-arts writer and has taught martial arts for 25 years.

Keith Pascal - EzineArticles Expert Author

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Sucker Punch, 6 (From Reaction to Action)

Continued from "Sucker Punch, 5 (Defense Against)"

In summary so far, defense against the sucker puncher requires:
  1. Perception of surroundings and acknowledgment of reality (vs. denial);
  2. Non-challenging defensive posture;
  3. Line in the dirt;
  4. Startle response launches combat wedge technique.
Everything up to this point is designed to protect you from the initial assault. But if you do not follow up the combat wedge technique, you have only postponed an inevitable beating. If your wedge is powerful enough to drive that assailant back or throw him off balance, you may be able to get away.

If not, you must strike with palm-heel, edge of hand, knees, elbows and feet until you open an opportunity to escape. My book, 12 US Military Combat Techniques That Could Save Your Life explains and illustrates a dozen of the most simple and effective blows, in the best tradition of WWII combatives. In any case, the combat wedge is generally going to be your opening move, not the closing.

Once more I give you a link to a video clip by Tony Blauer. In it, he demonstrates that the combat wedge is simply a Bridge to the Next Move. (You may find some of his language offensive.)

That about wraps it up for the sucker punch. If you would like to review from the beginning, go to "Sucker Punch (Overhand Right)" and follow the links through this series of posts.
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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Sucker Punch, 5 (Defense Against)

Continued from "Sucker Punch, 4 (Defense Against)

Your natural reaction to a sudden movement toward your head is the startle response. I have previously given you -- and warned you about the language in -- this link to a video by Tony Blauer dealing with the flinch or startle reflex. The advantage of the startle response is that it is wired-in by the Designer and that it's extraordinarily fast.

The startle response is fast enough to stop the overhand right sucker punch you saw in the first post of this series. It's fast enough IF you already have your hands in front of you (non-challenging defensive posture). This reflex provides you with the foundation for an effective physical response.

In other words, you train yourself to use the startle reflex as a launching pad for your defensive technique. The particular technique is to thrust your hands forward so that your forearms form a wedge. Tony Blauer's trademarked term for it is a SPEAR, but to me it's a wedge. Blauer explains and demonstrates the technique in this video clip (language, again).

Note the advantages of this technique:
  1. It's the extension of a reflexive response, so it's very fast;
  2. It's the essence of simplicity, which means an accelerated learning curve;
  3. The same move can be used for an attack from the right or left and for a hook. overhand or straight punch.
The wedge is not reflexive in and of itself. This means you must practice. But the fact that it launches from a natural reflex and is so simple will shorten the time it takes to become proficient. Practice slowly to imprint the movement, then work up to full combat speed. Practice against various punches from the left & right.

Just one more post on this subject should do it. I'll wrap it all up in "Sucker Punch, 6"
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Monday, April 7, 2008

Sucker Punch, 4 (Defense Against)

Continued from "Sucker Punch, 3 (Overhand right, hook)"

Let's consider the defense against a sucker punch:

The stranger approaches. Your spidey sense sends a shiver down the back of your neck. You have a pretty good idea what's coming. What do you do about it?

Even if you know it's coming, the sucker punch can catch you flat-footed. You want to be ready, so first, you go into the non-challenging defensive posture. Second, you draw a psychological line in the metaphorical dirt. Third, you remain alert so your Startle Response can set you into motion as soon as the orc makes his move.

At this point, classical martial arts (and their derivative self-defense systems) will tell you to block the punch and then strike back (punch, kick, elbow, etc.). Wing Chun and Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do recommend that you begin your counterstrike BEFORE you begin your block (or check). These systems can work, but they require years of practice before you become proficient.

You must learn five or six basic blocks. Then you must learn to do them with both hands. Then you must learn to respond with the block that is appropriate to various attacks. Then you must practice, practice, practice until the responses become automatic.

This is the path followed by most martial arts. This is also why someone who has trained for two or three years and thinks he's proficient will often take a beating at the hands of a street predator. The punch lands before he can choose which of ten or twelve responses he is going to make.

If you choose this approach, you can succeed, but not right away. You must train intensively for automaticity of response. Moreover, it will take a long time for you to become proficient against the surprise attack of the sucker puncher.

OR . . . you can build on your natural responses and develop a single technique that you can use against any sucker punch. You can reach an acceptable level of proficiency at this in days or weeks, rather than years. If you are a martial artist, you can use this to augment rather than replace the moves you learned in your style. If you are a non-martial artist, begin with this and then, if you feel the need, add other moves to it.

I will give you the details of this technique in "Sucker Punch, 5 (Defense Against)"

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Sunday, April 6, 2008


I did not post yesterday, as I had planned because I had to go in to work to cover a 12 hr. shift for someone who called in sick. It destroyed my short, weekly escape from wage slavery, but it did provide me with a topic for today's post.

A truck driver was signing into the log at the entry gate. "Let's see, 7:50 . . . that's 1950hrs, right?" I assured him that 7:50PM would, indeed be 1950hrs, but that in actuality it was now 7:56 or 1956hrs. He said, "Jesus."

Now, he wasn't upset or angry, or anything like that. It was said in the same tone that one might say, "Ooops." Just a casual remark using the King's name as a curse word.

I was not in a mood to hear the Name sullied. I said, "That's my Lord."

"Mine, too," he replied.

"Then . . . . Never mind." Some things you shouldn't have to explain.

In Muslim countries you could lose your tongue, or your life for disrespecting Mohamed. In America, a self-professing Christian feels no shame or sense of wrongdoing when he drags the name of his Savior down to the gutter. In the Middle East, it would be a major offense mistreat a copy of the Q'uran. In America, I've seen a supposedly Christian teen drop her Bible, then kick it out of the way so she could move her desk.

A far cry from the honor given to the name of Jesus in The Crusaders' Hymn. There is some question as to whether 13th Century knights actually sang it, but if they didn't they should have.
Some scholars say the hymn originated among participants in the pre-Reform movement of John Hus.

Christian Martialists could do worse than to reverence the Person and the Name as described herein:

1. Fairest Lord Jesus, Ruler of all nature,
O Thou of God and man the Son,
Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honor,
Thou, my soul's glory, joy and crown.

2. Fair are the meadows, fairer still the woodlands,
Robed in the blooming garb of spring;
Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer,
Who makes the woeful heart to sing.

3. Fair is the sunshine, fairer still the moonlight,
And all the twinkling starry host;
Jesus shines brighter, Jesus shines purer
Than all the angels heaven can boast.

4. Beautiful Savior! Lord of all the nations!
Son of God and Son of Man!
Glory and honor, praise, adoration,
Now and forever more be Thine.

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Friday, April 4, 2008

Sucker Punch, 3 (Overhand Right, Hook)

Continued from "Sucker Punch, 2 (Overhand Right, Hook)"

Yesterday's Sucker Punch Video has at least one lesson in common with the Street "Fight" Video: both victims could have benefited from increased threat awareness. In the street beating, the bigmouth let the assailant walk right up to him and nail him with an overhand right without any sign that he expected to get hit. The man in the fast food restaurant got tagged on the jaw when he turned away from a potential threat.

Of course, it was an unusual situation. Orcs don't usually mug people in restaurants. They wait until a potential victim gets away from the crowd.

Certainly, the fast food place was relatively deserted -- possibly much less crowded than the street outside. I don't know how far he stalked his victim, but perhaps he figured the relatively quiet burger joint presented his best opportunity. Nevertheless, he did attack in front of a witness -- the counter person.

The intriguing question here is why the predator chose this particular man as his prey. He was an older gentleman, but did not appear sick or unfit. This leads me to believe that something about the victim's attitude or mindset caught the orc's attention.

My own guess is that it was probably the victim's unawareness -- the very thing we notice in the video that marked him as easy prey. He had just come from a big sporting event, and he was desensitized to the people around him. Predators choose people who walk around disconnected from their surroundings as targets.

But maybe the victim was aware that mugger was following him. Maybe he was in fear and denial. Street hoodlums can sense that, too.

Well, after analyzing the situations and seeing how you might have avoided them, we need to focus on how to defend against the unavoidable sucker punch. I plan to do just that in "Sucker Punch, 4"

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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Sucker Punch, 2 (Overhand Right, Hook)

Continued from "Sucker Punch: Overhand Right"

If you watched the video from the link in the previous post, I hope you found it disagreeable and unsettling. Such reactions can lead to new levels of readiness. In this post I want to address some of the more obvious lessons from the video.
  1. If you look for trouble long enough and hard enough, you'll find it. The trash-talking bigmouth kept pushing until he got hit. In the street, the cleverest answer may not be the smartest.
  2. In a potentially hostile situation, you need to remain alert. Bigmouth let the hitter walk right up to him, and he evidently did not pick up any signals of an impending attack. This leads directly to the next point.
  3. When a stranger approaches, go into the non-challenging defensive position (hands at chest height, palms outward). Bigmouth evidently suffered from overconfidence -- he believed his woofing made him the big dog. Confidence does not substitute for readiness.
In the video you saw last time, the victim actually provoked the attack. Here's another video of a sucker punch that comes out of the clear blue. In this one, the punch is more of a hook than an overhand punch:

Sucker Punch Video

In the next post, I want to talk about this video and lessons to be learned.
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