Monday, June 30, 2008

Of Sheepdogs and Crackpots

From someone's point of view, just about anyone could be a crackpot. There are those who think home educators are crackpots. And then there are those crackpots who criticize home schoolers.

A major problem for Christian Martialist Sheepdogs is how to tell the harmless crackpot from the potential killer. Rather than present you with a lesson on this, I think I'll present you with an assignment. ("Should you decide to accept this assignment . . . ."}

Drpaleophd's blog recently had a post that linked to an article on Gary DeMar's The American Vision site. Gary DeMar is a Christian who has done a lot of work in history and worldview studies from a Christian perspective. He has also produced some curriculum material used by home educators.

The article in question centers on a letter Mr. DeMar received from someone who claims that homeschool graduates are good for nothing but cleaning toilets and mowing lawns. A crackpot, right? But is this crackpot potentially dangerous?

That's what I'd like you to decide for yourself. Read the article and the followup. Do you see any clues that the letter writer might possibly present a physical threat to Gary DeMar? Of course I have my opinions, and you will form yours.

In order to do this exercise justice, you must be able to form some kind of profile of the individual in question, and then you must have an idea of whether or not the subject's profile warrants heightrened security.

Here are the links to the articles:

Homeschoolers Are Only Good for Cleaning Toilets

"Cleaning Toilet" E-Mailer Responds

Let me know your thoughts on this. See mine in "Of Sheepdogs and Crackpots, 2"

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Cane Fighting vs. Fighting with a Cane

In Friday's post I suggested you pick up a weapon and ask yourself what empty hand techniques would work with it. Yesterday morning, I decided to take my own advice.

I normally take my Cold Steel walking stick on our morning walks, in case of aggressive dogs. After we got home, I took the stick to the heavy bag to see if I could fight with a cane.

I held the cane horizontally in front of my chest, with both hands. If I palm-heel jabbed quickly toward what would be the heavy bag's face, the stick snapped into the neck or side of head area. I tried a combination: jab, jab, right hook. The stick snapped into the neck area twice, and then the solid stainless knob connected with the "jaw".

Previously, when I've practiced striking with the cane, I've held it in the same manner but concentrated on swinging it, as though it needed its own technique, separate from my empty hand strikes. Using my hand strikes to set the shaft in motion is a lot faster. And the hits feel more powerful.

The cane extends my effective striking range. And mechanical advantage makes the tip travel faster than my hand, which adds speed to my strikes.

Next time, I think I'll try letting go with one hand while I perform a Judo Chop action with the hand holding the stick. Seems to me that would really whip the cane around, giving me a devastating long-distance chop.

By the way, if I were attacked by a knife wielder, I would hope it was at a time when I had my cane. It would have a longer reach than the blade, and I wouldn't have to worry about drawing my weapon in time, since it would already be in my hand.

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Friday, June 27, 2008

Knife Fighting vs. Fighting with a Knife, 2

Continued from Knife Fighting vs. Fighting with a Knife

I trained for a short while with a 5th degree black belt in the American Federation of Jujitsu & Arnis. Weapons training included instruction in Arnis, usually understood as the Filipino art of stick fighting. In actual practice in the Philippines, beginners trained with sticks until they gained enough expertise to handle machetes.

In addition, Arnis can be practiced as an empty-hand art. It's a little incongruous to append it to another system as a weapons program. Happily, the American Federation of Jujitsu no longer does this.

As a case in point, however, Arnis (or Kali/Escrima) demonstrates that, in theory at least, it is possible to for a system to make a presumably seamless transition from empty hand to stick/baton to bladed weapons. You learn the system, and you essentially fight the same with or without weapons.

I have read that Russian Systema evolved as an empty hand combat system from a blade-wielding system. The individual I read advocated learning to move in combat by slow-motion drills in which your training partner attacks with a knife & you avoid the blade. (I am NOT suggesting that you train with a real knife in this manner. It's all good fun, until someone loses an eye.)

I do recommend that you begin to analyze your empty hand techniques & ask yourself which ones would be suited to various weapons (knife, baton, cane, machete or whatever). Or pick up a knife and ask yourself, "What happens if I execute a jab (hook, uppercut, etc.) while I'm holding this." (Don't experiment like this with a real knife on a partner.) You may find you already possess all the knife techniques you need.

There is a big advantage to fighting with a knife over knife fighting that I've not yet discussed. Perhaps in "Knife Fighting vs.Fighting with a Knife, 3)

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Knife Fighting vs. Fighting with a Knife

The phrase "knife fighting vs. fighting with a knife" comes from John Peterson. I don't endorse his products, but he has made a few good points, and this is one of them. Can you use a knife without learning a new skillset?

In other words, could you use any of the hand techniques you now know if you had a knife in that hand? If so, you are able to fight with a knife. Or would you have to learn a new set of techniques just for when you are holding a blade? That's knife fighting.

Perhaps the most adaptable hand technique to fighting with a knife is the judo chop. One combat posltion I practice involves holding my right forearm 8-10 inches in front of my throat, fingers extended. The open left hand is held vertical in front of the solar plexus.

From this position I can snap out chops to the heavy bag's head, neck & throat. Now, what if I close my hand aroufnd the hilt of a knife -- blade extending out from the little-finger side of the hand? The same snapping motion transforms the chope into stabs.

Learning to fight with a knife instead of learning knife fighting involves economy of technique. You don't have to practice two different sets of moves to fight empty handed or with a knife. Nor do you have to switch gears, mentally.

Maybe that's why my jujitsu instructor always said that a person who's no good with his hands won't be any good with a weapon, either.

Continued in "Knife Fighting vs. Fighting with a Knife, 2"

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Point Shooting a Long Arm (Rifle, Shotgun)

Some time in the 1980's I remember having read an article about point shooting a rifle. It might have been in Soldier of Fortune magazine. At the time I owned an H&K 91 (which, as much as I love my M-1 Garand, I still dearly miss). I tried the position in dry-fire mode, but I don't recall if I actually tested it with live fire.

The weapon's sling goes from the butt under the right arm and then over the left shoulder and back to the front swivel. The rifle butt rests firmly in the abdomen while the right hand grasps the rifle's grip and the left hand rests on top of the barrel to stabilize it. (Sorry if the description's not clear enough -- I don't have pictures)

The end result is that the rifle sticks straight out from your abdomen, and it will shoot where you look -- out to about 100 yards, if I remember correctly. Without rearranging the sling, you can carry the rifle, muzzle down, by letting it hang under your right arm. You can then bring it into action by swinging the barrel up and planting the butt in your abs.

I have not verified the claims to accuracy, and I think this would take a little more practice than point-shooting a handgun, but if I were a soldier in a shooting war, I think I'd want to test this method for accuracy and speed of getting my weapon into action.

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Be Strong and of Good Courage

It's a funny thing . . . the word pastor means shepherd, but you don't often find a pastor who really understands sheepdogs. This message is different because it's brought by a regular reader and strong supporter of the vision and purpose behind WARSKYL. Here's the link:

Be Strong and of Good Courage

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Advanced Techniques

Advanced techniques are the basics mastered. (From Bruce K. Siddle's Sharpening the Warrior's Edge)

I read that quote yesterday, and it reminded me of something my Shito Ryu karate instructor once said (referring to a shelf of martial arts books in the dojo's waiting room): "Everyone reaches for the books on advanced techniques, but they leave the introductory books alone."

In the warrior arts, as in baseball, basketball or football, it's proficiency in the basics that count when you're in the clinch. There are a lot of people who want to jump to the advanced material, because they are looking for a silver bullet -- that magic move that will make them into master warriors. But in reality, the only silver bullet is practice.

I once read a jujitsu master's answer to a questioner who wanted to know if he could advance in his art even though he moved away from his instructor after advancing only a couple of belt ranks. The master answered that in any system the most important techniques are taught earliest. So, the major difference between a yellow belt and a black belt boils down to hundreds of hours of practice and thousands of repetitions.

During that time, he learns to feel the most efficient and the most effective ways to perform the basics. They also become almost automatic; they become second nature.

If you are following my suggestions for training in Christian Martialism (see "Christian Martialism on a Budget") either solo or with a partner, I hope you heeded my advice to first practice your techniques in slow motion. The reason is so that you learn the mechanics of a technique correctly. It's much easier for you or your partner to detect bad form when you are moving very slowly.

Slow practice imprints your neural pathways with the same form that you will later use when moving at lightning speed. But at first you must make it slow to make sure it's right. As your practice continues, the neural paths become stronger. But you're not ready for fast moves yet.

As your practice strengthens certain axon/dendrite patterns, you will notice that performing the movement requires less conscious supervision with respect to how you hold your arms or legs, the path that they travel, etc. The technique seems to flow, and your execution acquires a smooth quality. Now you are ready to increase your speed.

Don't try for blurring speed all at once, though. When you first notice how smooth and effortless your technique has become, you'll be tempted to pour on the speed. Okay, go a head and try a few reps, but then go back to your slo-mo speed and gradually increase the pace. Otherwise, jumping to warp speed may result in allowing sloppiness to creep in.

You can use this learning method in both empty hand and weapons practice. If you follow this model, your movements will be clean, crisp . . . and faster than a speeding bullet. And others will think that you have access to some secret, advanced techniques, when all you've done is master the basics.

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Friday, June 20, 2008

Mental Toughness, 6

Continued from "Mental Toughness, 5"

In "Mental Toughness, 4", I pointed out the teaching of Romans 5:3 that pressure -- stress -- yields endurance. Endurance is that facet of mental toughness that keeps you . . . .

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.

. . . How goes your training, brother?

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Christian Martialist Marching Song

(To the tune of "Scotland the Brave")

1st stanza:
Out to the far horizon,
Men ca'ed of God are risin',
Bound to the covenant, at Jesus' command.
He is the Sov'reign Saviour; yield not to fear or favor
Til all confess His Law's the law of the land.

Muster the mighty host.
Fear not the Dragon's boast.
Justice and mercy come forth from God's hand.
Guardsmen of Zion's daughter,
For Him whose life hath bought her,
Brothers by blood and water,
Cherethite band.

2nd stanza:
We serve the holy nation,
Heirs of our Lord's salvation.
We are the sheepdogs who watch over the fold.
Stand by the faithful pastor
As to the heav'nly Master
Mind not the danger nor the dark nor the cold.

Repeat refrain

Note: the Cherethites were King David's royal guard.
Also, WARSKYL received over 700 page hits in the last 30 days. Thanks to all the Christian Martialist Sheepdogs out there who keep coming back & who have linked to WARSKYL.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Combat Slap

The combat slap is a tool that should be in your war chest along with the other open hand strikes. Open hand -- as opposed to closed fist -- blows like the judo chop, palm heel, tiger claw & combat slap don't get enough credit for the devastating power they can deliver.

Properly executed, the combat slap is a potent and effective strike. When directed at the eyes and ears, it can disorient your attacker and cause intense pain. And, if you accidentally hit the orc's cheek or forehead, you don't risk breaking your hand as you might with a closed fist.

The following video is a continuation of the series that began with the chin jab & the knee spike. I think it was a mistake to entitle the series Fight Like a Girl, because page hits for those posts were uncharacteristically low. Macho pride?

That's too bad, because the techniques are good, solid CQC moves straight out of WWII combatives. The same caveat applies as with the knee spike video (my not-so-subtle way of encouraging you to go back, if you missed it). Here's the video clip:

Continued in "Combat Slap, 2"

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Fathers' Day

I was just thinking about this poem a day or two ago, and it showed up in my email as a Fathers' Day greeting from an eletter to which I subscribe. Providential. I pass it on to you . . . and happy Fathers' Day.


by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
‘ Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

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Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Right to Keep and Bear Arms, 3

Continued from "The Right to Keep and Bear Arms, 2"

The sixth commandment explicitly sets forth the individual's right to life: Thou shalt not kill (murder). Traditional Protestant interpretation also sees there an implicit responsibility to defend both oneself and others. Witness the Westminster Larger Catechism' s explication:

Q. 134. Which is the sixth commandment?
A. The sixth commandment is, Thou shalt not kill.

Q. 135. What are the duties required in the sixth commandment?
A. The duties required in the sixth commandment are, all careful studies, and lawful endeavors, to preserve the life of ourselves and others by resisting all thoughts and purposes, subduing all passions, and avoiding all occasions, temptations, and practices, which tend to the unjust taking away the life of any; by just defense thereof against violence, patient bearing of the hand of God, quietness of mind, cheerfulness of spirit; a sober use of meat, drink, physic, sleep, labor, and recreations; by charitable thoughts, love, compassion, meekness, gentleness, kindness; peaceable, mild and courteous speeches and behavior; forbearance, readiness to be reconciled, patient bearing and forgiving of injuries, and requiting good for evil; comforting and succoring the distressed, and protecting and defending the innocent. (emphasis added)

Exodus 22:2-4 makes the right to self defense more explicit. I have treated that passage in my post "What Does the Bible Say about Self Defense?" You may want to pay special attention to the questions and answers in the Comments section.

This Biblical understanding of self defense crossed the Atlantic and was considered a given among Congregational and Presbyterian ministers.

As a 1747 sermon in Philadelphia put it: He that suffers his life to be taken from him by one that hath no authority for that purpose, when he might preserve it by defense, incurs the Guilt of self murder since God hath enjoined him to seek the continuance of his life, and Nature itself teaches every creature to defend itself.(The Religious Roots of the American Revolution and the Right to Keep and Bear Arms by David B. Kopel)

The Rev. Simeon Howard reiterated that point in 1773:

The New Testament said that a man who neglects to provide for his family has implicitly denied the faith and is worse than an infidel. “But,” asked Howard, “in what way can a man be more justly chargeable with this neglect, than by suffering himself to be deprived of his life, liberty or property, when he might lawfully have preserved them?” (A Sermon Preached to the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company in Boston quoted in op.cit.)

The argument here is that the Christian has many God-given responsibilities to fulfill, and in order to so so, he must live. It is a dereliction of Christian duty to passively submit to life-threatening violence when one has the power to resist. (Note: Howard's use of the word lawfully probably refers to compliance with God's Law.)

Of course any right to self defense presupposes the means necessary to that end. This leads us to conclude that weapons or arms are a logical corollary to the right of self defense. Rev. Howard wholly embraced that corollary:

A people who would stand fast in their liberty, should furnish themselves with weapons proper for their defense and learn how to use them.(ibid.)

Puritan New Englanders did not leave this principle in the realm of theory alone, but put it into practice:

The meeting houses for church services were fortified buildings where the community could gather if attacked, and where arms and powder were often stored. (The community supplied militia arms to families which could not afford their own.) (op. cit.)

Contrast that image with the one you get from this passage of Scripture where the king of Israel and his son led the people to rise up against their Philistine oppressors:

Now there was no smith found throughout all the land of Israel: for the Philistines said, "Lest the Hebrews make them swords or spears:" But all the Israelites went down to the Philistines, to sharpen every man his share, and his coulter, and his axe, and his mattock. Yet they had a file for the mattocks, and for the coulters, and for the forks, and for the axes, and to sharpen the goads. So it came to pass in the day of battle, that there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people that were with Saul and Jonathan: but with Saul and with Jonathan his son was there found.

Scripture recognizes that an unarmed people is a people in bondage and servitude. And, conversely (or is it inversely?), the civil power that disarms them is tyrannical and oppressive.

There is also a passage in the Bible that relates the tale of a man who fashions his own weapon (very much like a Scottish dirk), conceals it, and uses it to assassinate a tyrant. Read the tale of Ehud:

But when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised them up a deliverer, Ehud the son of Gera, a Benjamite, a man lefthanded: and by him the children of Israel sent a present unto Eglon the king of Moab. But Ehud made him a dagger which had two edges, of a cubit length; and he did gird it under his raiment upon his right thigh.

And he brought the present unto Eglon king of Moab: and Eglon was a very fat man. And when he had made an end to offer the present, he sent away the people that bare the present. But he himself turned again from the quarries that were by Gilgal, and said, "I have a secret errand unto thee, O king."

. . . [The king] said, "Keep silence." And all that stood by him went out from him.

And Ehud came unto him; and he was sitting in a summer parlour, which he had for himself alone. And Ehud said, "I have a message from God unto thee." And he arose out of his seat. And Ehud put forth his left hand, and took the dagger from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly: And the haft also went in after the blade; and the fat closed upon the blade, so that he could not draw the dagger out of his belly; and the dirt came out. (Judges 3:15-22)

Presumably, Ehud had to make his own dagger because the Moabites, like the later Philistines had disarmed the populace. Further, while it says that God raised up Ehud, there is no record that He specifically spoke to him. It looks as though the Lord providentially raised Ehud up as a martialist sheepdog for His people.

Now, I have not said that you should carry weapons contrary to our society's laws. That would, in most cases expose you to high risk at this point, with a low return. I have just given you principles that I find in the Word, that you need to make up your mind about. At this point, you have to take God's Word, meditate on it, and decide for yourself how to apply it to your life in the context of today's society.

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Friday, June 13, 2008

The Master Warrior's Land

As I climb toward the peak, I stop often to rest. Why does the Master Warrior insist I meet him in such difficult places? Then I glance down at my expansive midsection, and I wonder no more.

I seek the wisdom and the warrior spirit of his ancient land -- a land with terrain not unlike this. As I draw near the craggy peak, I hear him chanting. It's a traditional song, beloved by his people.

I try to approach quietly . . . respectfully, but his trained senses know my approach. He speaks. "Come. Stand before me, Clodhopper."

I see him, standing relaxed but straight and strong in spite of his advanced years. He wears the venerable war garb and weapons of his ancient land: great kilt, claymore and dirk. He is the Master Warrior.

Last Saturday, I went to the Greenville Highland Games and Scottish festival. Merrianna, my youngest daughter and I ate haggis for the first time -- very good, but then again I like steel-cut oats without sugar for breakfast. That was just one highlight.

Another was the bagpipe bands. At any time of day, you could find small groups of pipers playing. The sound of the war-pipes provided a constant background to the day's activities. I love the sound of them.

For me, though, the best part was watching the medieval warriors from the European Martial Arts of America (EMAA). They were impressive. They used real weapons (not sharpened, but still able to wound) in their unchoreographed fighting exhibitions.

The temperatures rose into the high 90's, and still they performed. I liked talking with them, for they displayed knightly courtesy and wit. I could clearly see their camaraderie and their love for historic combat arms.

Dame Jennifer regaled Merrianna & me with some entertaining stories. She spoke of how Celtic wives and mothers knew the combat arts and tutored their children in fighting techniques. She also revealed that the EMAA teaches unarmed self defense. And I was pleased that their approach has definite similarities to my own.

Sir Teahawk offered me a welcome drink of ice water. And Sir William gave me one of his organization's promotional coins because I cheered for him in the contests. A more courtly group of medieval warriors I have never met.

As we watched them fight, Merrianna said, "Daddy, look." A burly man with a bushy black beard walked by, dressed in a bright plaid kilt with a big two-handed broadsword slung across his back. O, for a land where men walk freely about, armed or unarmed, as they please. Later, I paid way too much for an authentic carbon steel Culloden dirk, but it was a souvenir, and souvenirs are always overpriced.

All the way home, I could hear in my head the pleasant drone of bagpipes. Merrianna said she could, too.

"Master Warrior, I have been to a gathering that makes me homesick for a place I've never been, a land of haggis and tartans and warpipes and fiercely independent men who toss the caber, fear God and sing the Psalms."

"In that case, Clodhopper, there is hope that you may yet become a warrior."

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Point Shooting Aid

I recently posted a series called "Point Shooting: Grasping the Weapon," which seemed to spark some interest. The third post in that series featured a link to the Point Shooting website.

That site has a short article about using a product called "Clipdraw" as a point shooting aid. I ordered one for my model 1911 & it arrived in just 2 days. It's designed so that you can carry a handgun (which you should only do lawfully, of course) inside your waistband without a holster. The clip slides under or over your belt to hold the weapon in place.

It does away with the need for a holster, and my .45 clings to my side with no telltale imprint. The big bonus, though, is that it provides a rest which keeps the index finger away from the slide (or force cone gap) when you're point shooting. I've not tried it with live fire, but as I've experimented dry firing at various ranges, it appears -- to me, at least -- to be hard not to line up dead-on with this item.

I'm not a big fan of shooting gadgets, but the clipdraw is simple, it's low tech, it required no modification to my weapon, and it was a snap to install. It might even motivate me to work on improving my draw (especially after my last post).

If you're interested to check it out for yourself, here's the link:


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Monday, June 9, 2008

The Christian Martialist & Providence

Although US civil authority has historically treated the indigenous -- not native (native simply means born here) -- population abominably, the following story makes a valid point:

In the days of the American frontier, there was an itinerant preacher who believed in God's governing providence in the affairs of men. He particularly liked to apply this doctrine in his evangelistic sermons. "God has determined your time to die, and when your time comes, it comes, so you'd best be prepared to meet Him," he'd say.

One day, a somewhat cynical hearer approached the minister and posed a question. "Preacher, I've heard you say many times that 'when your time comes, it comes.'"

"Yes, that's so," replied the preacher.

"Well, if that's so," went on the man, "why do you always ride with a rifle slung across your saddle?"

Without hesitation the preacher replied, "Why, that's just in case I meet some Indians whose time has come."

The point is that God's providence works through secondary means, and that includes the unviolated free will of men (it's a paradox; accept it). From one second to the next, you retain life because of His providence. But you must never presume upon providence by lack of preparation or training.

Do you have that firmly in mind? I hope so, because this video may blow away all your confidence and cause you to ask, "What chance do I have?" Here, thanks to dlr, is the link:

Sparrow Hitman

(Bruce K. Siddle, the speaker in this clip, author of Sharpening the Warrior's Edge provided a lot of the research used by Col. Grossman in his book, On Combat.)

Some say, "Do the best you can & leave the rest in God's hands." It's better to say, "Be the best you can and leave it ALL in God's hands."

Now, I'd like to hear your reactions, observations & ideas. Please comment.

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Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Right to Keep and Bear Arms, 2

Continued from "The Right to Keep and Bear Arms"

At this point, I hope that it's clear that the RKBA, if it exists, must be found in Scripture, not in the statutes, constitutions & courts of men. Further, if the right is inalienable -- not subject to overruling authority -- we must find it in Scripture as an unequivocal, clearly universal command.

In my posts, "Buying a Sword" & "Buying a Sword, 2," I addressed Jesus' command in Luke 22:35-36:

And He said unto them, "When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing?"

And they said, "Nothing."

Then said He unto them, "But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one."

Here is a command from our King to go into the world carrying the message of His kingdom while defensively armed. Is this command, however, unequivocal and clearly universal?

Perhaps I can illustrate what I mean in a discussion of the command that provides the grounds of our right to own property: Thou shalt not steal. It seems a simple, clear and universal right based on a simple, clear and universal command.

But let's take a closer look. Some of the most egregious and widespread examples of theft in history have come in the form of confiscatory taxation. From the ancient days of our fathers in Israel (I Samuel 8:10-18) to the present, social elites have used taxation to enrich themselves by legalized plunder.

Should you, then, stand on your right to property and resist unjust taxation? How would Jesus respond to such a question? Very much, no doubt, as He did to the Pharisees:

"Tell us therefore, What thinkest Thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?"

But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, "Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? Shew me the tribute money." And they brought unto Him a penny. And He saith unto them, "Whose is this image and superscription? "

They say unto Him, "Caesar's."

Then saith He unto them, "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's." When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left Him, and went their way. (Matthew 22:17-22)

If you have a right to private ownership of property, why does Jesus not bid you to stand on your rights and fight for what's yours? Two words: strategy, tactics.

Jesus came to redeem His people and to establish His kindom among men. His commission to His Church is, basically, a mandate for world conquest:

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, "All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach [disciple] all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matthew 28:17-20)

Jesus requires Christians to lead whole nations into discipleship and to displace their pagan/humanist law systems with His commandments. This makes believers a threat to existing power structures. He does not want His people, however, to extend His reign by means of military force, a la Mohamed.

The King's subjects are to establish outpost communities (called churches) and live peacefully within the surrounding culture. Sort of like a light to the world or . . . I know -- a city set on a hill. (Matthew 5:14) This is not much different from the mission God gave to Old Covenant Israel through Moses:

Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the LORD my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it. Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon Him for? (Deuteronomy 4:5-7)

Strategically, there is a difference, however. Whereas Israel under the Old Covenant inherited a limited plot of real estate, the subjects of King Jesus will occupy the world (Romans 4:13). (For a more complete discussion of the strategy & tactics of the Christ's Kingdom, see my article, "What Will It Take for the Church to Fulfill the Great Commission?")

The whole point of this exercise is that, following our Lord's strategy, it is destructive of our ends to arouse the powers that be by unnecessarily defying them. This may mean that Christians will have to pay unjust taxes, in order that they may live in peace to establish their base of Gospel conquest.

Followers of Christ defer their property rights, in this particular case, for the cause of His Kingdom. Does this deference extend to the RKBA? The answer to that question is bound up in the right to life and the right to self-defense. I address that issue in "The Right to Keep and Bear Arms, 3"

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Friday, June 6, 2008

Defend Against a Knife Attack, 2/WARSKYL Conference

You can use a handgun to defend against a knife attack, but it takes more training than hitting a target at the range. A competent level of performance in the Tueller Drill is the very minimum you need for a knife attack from a distance. If you carry a knife rather than a firearm, you can practice a modified Tueller Drill to draw your blade and get it into action.

But that's minimum, because an orc doesn't normally stand 21 ft. away, wave his knife and holler, "Yoo-hoo! Here I come." He will try to get close. Weapon concealed, he smiles as he approaches and says something distracting like, "Hey, buddy. Can you tell me how to get to the movie theater?"

You need to be as wary of strangers approaching you at the fringes of activity as prison guards are wary of approaching inmates. Unofficially, prisons offer inmates university and graduate level training in mayhem, and no corrections officer wants to become some orc's field project in Shanking 101. When convicts approach, guards typically demand, "Give me five feet."

Five to six feet gives a trained person the minimum reaction time needed to react to a knife attack. Prison guards routinely enforce a personal a five-foot buffer zone around themselves. You need to do the same.

As you yell, "Give me five feet," you keep your weak hand in front, ready to fend while your strong hand reaches back to grip your knife. At this point, whether the attack continues or the attacker breaks it off will depend on his state of mind and level of desperation & determination.

These are very basic considerations for facing an assailant who has an edged weapon. I hope to have time to address the following topics at the WARSKYL Conference:
  • How to tell when someone with a knife is just posturing;
  • How to tell, when a stranger approaches, if he intends to knife you;
  • Stranger approach drills;
  • Knife attack reaction drill.
We have set the date for the conference: October 11, 2008 in the vicinity of Peoria Illinois. I sincerely hope to meet you there.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Defend Against a Knife Attack

How do you defend against a knife attack if your assailant has a knife, but you don't? Let me begin by saying that my opinions & conclusions do NOT come from personal experience, but are based on research. You may consider that a positive or a negative.

Knife attacks tend to be sudden and vicious. The orc does not stand at a respectful distance and announce, "En garde!" In most cases, he wants to get as close as possible before you even realize he has a knife.

Then without warning, he explodes into violent action with rapid, repeated stabbing strokes from less than a foot away. At that distance, you do not have sufficient time to react. Why did you let him get that close?

Last week on Monday was Memorial Day here in the States. I had to go to work, but the plant was closed, so I had a few precious quiet hours. I celebrated by re-reading W.E. Fairbairn's classic close quarters combat (CQC) manual, Get Tough! I paid particular attention to what he had to say about the use of the knife:

In close-quarters fighting there is no more deadly weapon than the knife. An entirely unarmed man has no certain defense against it . . . . (p. 41)

His best advice for defense against a knife is to snatch up a chair to serve as a combination shield/weapon (pp. 28-29). Considering Fairbairn's stature and place in the history of CQC, that's not very encouraging, is it?

Worse, police sergeant Dennis Tueller is famous for his demonstration that an orc armed with a knife can reach the typical police officer from 21 feet away and stab or slash him before the officer can draw and fire his sidearm. That puts a real damper on jokes about bringing a knife to a gunfight.

You may want to mull over these dismal facts. Meanwhile, I'll try to provide a glimmer of hope in the next post.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Mats & DVD

Today I received a [late] birthday present, the CORE DVD from Defendo. I will review it, when I finish watching it.

I also received my training mats from GetRung. Now, all I need is a parter to practice with.

Sorry, I can't post anything more substantial, today. Been busy.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Edification for Sheepdogs

Lt. Col. Dave Grossman popularized the metaphorical term sheepdog in reference to warrior/protectors in his book, On Killing (which I consider must reading). He expanded on that concept in On Combat (which I also highly recommend).

I write specifically for Christian Martialist Sheepdogs, and if you've followed this blog for long, you know that I fear there are more than a few wolves masquerading as sheepdogs in our military and police forces. Still, Grossman has something to say to those of us who choose to follow and serve the Great Shepherd as sheepdogs.

To that end, I submit to you this link to a rather long excerpt from On Combat:

"On Sheep, Sheepdogs, and Wolves"

Note: My link does not necessarily constitute an endorsement of the landing page's website, advertisers or contributors.

If you want to follow my thoughts & comments on being a Christian Martialist Sheepdog, click on this link:

"The Christian Martialist as Sheepdog"