Monday, September 29, 2008

Elements of Punching, 2

Continued from "Elements of Punching"

If you want to work on the speed element of any kind of striking (including punching), there are some exercises that I've found which I believe will be helpful. I know I've mentioned some of these in other contexts, but I will repeat them here so you have them all in one place:

  1. Slow-Motion Practice -- Have you ever seen anyone practice Tai Chi? All the movements are slow, relaxed and graceful. When practiced as a martial art, the slow, easy movements of Tai Chi result in very quick and powerful strikes. I believe the rationale behind this is that performing the movements in a slow and relaxed manner allows the brain to distinguish the muscles necessary to the moves from those that are not. I was shocked at the power I developed in my brush, check, strike when I used this method
  2. External Resistance Practice -- I know that some of the karate-based arts practice kicking and striking in water up to the neck. The water provides resistance, and you feel which muscles are pushing against the water. Although the water slows down the moves, you try to execute your strikes as quickly as possible against the resistance.
  3. Self-Resistance Practice -- This may seem counter-intuitive, but it seems to work. It's a variation of Slow-Motion Practice, but you tense your muscles as you perform. If you're familiar with the sanchin kata of Shito Ryu karate, you will understand what I'm talking about. In this kind of practice, you deliberately tense your opposing muscle groups so that they work against each other. The movements are slow, deliberate, and difficult to execute. If you do it properly, your striking limb should quiver from the tension. This kind of movement provides an excellent workout, and will strengthen the muscle groups involved more effectively and more safely than working out with weights. I think it helps speed because it creates more body-and-muscle awareness.
  4. Mental Visualization Practice -- When I was in grade school, my friends and I would make elementary animated drawings on our writing tablets using stick figures. In drawing # 1, the figure would be in a normal, standing position; in drawing #2, his legs and arms would be out to the sides. By flipping the page back and forth, we could make it look as though the figure was leaping/dancing. In Mental Visualization Pracice, you see in your mind the beginning and ending positions of the strike you are working on. You have to see it from your own, subjective perspective. For example, you see in your mind's eye an orc standing in front of you, with your hands in the ready position. Then you see your hand at the completion of a palm heel strike. When you have these images firmly in mind, you "flip" back and forth between them. No in-betweens at all. Your brain will send low level impulses along the motor nerve pathways involved in the movement. On some level, your mind will also try to cause your actual strikes to imitate the incredible speed of your mental practice. This is how I developed a jab that amazed my jujitsu instructor who had boxed for eight years.
Continued in "Elements of Punching, 3"

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Elements of Punching

I want to write about the elements of punching because recently in the comments section someone expressed some skepticism about a statement made on one of the videos that proper punching technique takes months or years to learn. I want to tell why martial arts instructors say that, and also relate some possible ways to become competent at striking in much shorter time.

Speed vs. Mass

First, you have to understand that any strike involves a transfer of energy from the striker to the target. And this energy transfer is a function of mass and speed.

Force = Mass x Velocity squared

This formula shows the relative relationship of force to mass and velocity. Force is directly proportional to the mass. Thus, if you double the mass, you double the force. This is the physical foundation of the saying, "If it doesn't work, hit it with a hammer. And if it still doesn't work, get a bigger hammer."

A less well known corollary of this formula is that force is directly proportional to the square of the velocity. Thus, if you double the velocity, you quadruple the force.

Martial arts and combatives training seek to maximize striking with both mass and velocity. You learn the various techniques taught in your school for putting your whole weight behind your punch (throwing the hip into the punch, dropping energy, etc.)

The result is that you learn to punch with, say, 160 lbs of body weight rather than 14 lbs. of arm weight. Of course, it takes time to not only learn to punch with your whole body, but also to do so without overextending, thus losing balance and mobility.

Once you learn to practice this consistently, however, the only way you can use it to increase your power is to increase your body mass. For every pound you add, your punching force increases proportionally. But the real multiplier is speed.

If you can put all your body weight behind a punch, you can hit with X lbs. of force. If you can triple your speed, you can hit with 9X lbs. of force. But to increase speed you will probably have to enter into a process of unlearning and learning.

Most beginners want to hit hard. And, since they know that hitting hard requires muscular effort, they tense their muscles as they punch. (This goes for all types of strikes, not just punches.)

Tenseness while striking causes opposing muscle groups to work against each other. For example, the act of straightening the arm utilizes the tricep muscles. If the biceps, which bend the arm, are tense, however, they are causing "drag" on the work being done by the triceps. Ergo, the motion is slowed down.

Thus, punching (or any striking) becomes faster as you learn to contract only the muscles necessary to the movement while relaxing the opposing muscles. Simple? Yes. Easy? Not so much.

There are some drills that will help develop speed in striking.

Continued in "Elements of Punching, 2"

Friday, September 26, 2008

Confrontational Types, 4

Continued from "Confrontational Types, 3"

My wife keeps chickens -- mostly Rhode Island Reds. She also has a little Bantam Rooster maybe a little more than half the size of the hens around him. But his diminutive size does not deter him from strutting around and acting like king of the roost.

The human confrontational type that I call the Bantam Rooster shares similar characteristics. He struts and postures, but only to cover his innate insecurity. He's a wannabe.

Because he's just posturing, the last thing that the Bantam Rooster wants is for someone to take him up on his challenge. It's all a bluff.

Like the bully, he confronts others for the sake of his ego. The difference is that his ego is vulnerable, and he knows he cannot deliver. If he feels threatened and pulls a knife, he will display it prominently, perhaps waving it around to make sure you see it.

Years ago, when I worked hospital security, a bantam rooster was brought in for admission to the drug rehab program. He was about thirty with a worn leather jacket, tattoos on his neck -- looked like a tough customer. His mother brought him in.

He was loud, obnoxious and uncooperative, a real pain in the neck -- though some of the medical staff had a much lower opinion of him. They refused him admission, and asked me to escort him out of the hospital. In the parking lot, he said he wanted to fight me.

I did not want to fight him, and I admit his appearance did intimidate me, but he would not get in the car to leave, and kept advancing on me. I had drawn my baton, but ended up tossing it away and tackling him. (Note to my barber: this was before we received the PR-24 training.) He went down, and his mother started yelling for me not to hurt him.

In the end, he just caved, and it was no problem putting the cuffs on him. Just a Bantam Rooster, strutting and posturing.

If you do call a Bantam Rooster's bluff, though, get out of there as quickly as you can, and do not turn your back on him. He may decide to reclaim his injured ego by attacking you from behind, or he may go to his car to retrieve a firearm.

He's a bluffer, but he may still be dangerous.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Confrontational Types, 3

Continued from "Confrontational Types, 2"

Our third confrontational type is the big deal. This one is ego-driven. He thinks he's a big deal because he can dominate others.

Bullies fall into this category, but I think the description also fits gang members who beat or kill others for street cred.

When I was in 7th grade, I became the target of some big deals. For lack of a better strategy, my parents told me, "Just stand up to them, and they'll leave you alone." This does not work with the big deal, because his arrogance and his status grow out of his ability to fight, so he will welcome the challenge.

Unlike the raging bull, it does not work to offer to give the big deal what he says he wants. If you do, he will escalate his demands, because what he really wants is to inflict physical pain and/or humiliation on you.

The best thing to do about a big deal is to avoid him. A group of arrogant young males loitering on the street may well be big deals, and you should turn around or cross the street to avoid them. That's for a one-time encounter.

If the big deal knows you or sees you frequently, however, this strategy may cause him to conclude that you are afraid and lead him to seek you out. Eventually, you will have to decide whether to submit or to fight. It's not a good choice, especially if he has friends with him -- they will readily join in on his side.

To have any chance, you must draw the verbal line, as described in "Confrontational Types, 2" and strike preemptively. If he has friends, you have maybe a second or so to neutralize him before you take on his backup. You must therefore send him to the pavement without hesitation and without misgiving.

Two key mindset principles in dealing with a big deal are surprise and ruthlessness (See Principles of Personal Defense by Jeff Cooper).

Fighting is dangerous and carries the possibilities of injury to yourself or others, and can lead to criminal prosecution or civil liability. Since each individual and each threat is different, nothing in this article should be construed as specific advice for your situation. The decision to fight is yours and yours alone, and the author accepts no liability for the consequences, should you decide to do so.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Confrontational Types, 2

Continued from "Confrontational Types"

The raging bull differs from the true orc in that he's angry and is not likely to sidestep a fight. He will not back down at direct eye contact, and he will likely take it as a challenge.

The raging bull may be a guy who has chronic anger issues, or he may be the peaceful, quiet guy who has just had the last straw and snapped. Either way, something triggered his anger, and he's looking for satisfaction.

Most courses that teach you how to defuse (not diffuse, please!) potentially violent confrontations are aimed at raging bull types. The methods you learn will work with one of them, AS LONG AS he does not feel you're patronizing or manipulating him. That will only fuel his anger.

(Hint: Most of the techniques you learn in managing confrontations will not work against the other confrontational types.)

A major factor in opening dialogue with an angry person is empathy. "If what just happened to you had happened to me, I'd be furious."

One sure way to get a true raging bull to calm down is to give him what he wants. Your apology? Your table at the restaurant? Your parking space? None of these is worth fighting over, so if you can do so without violating Biblical ethics, let have what he wants so you can get on with your life.

If you cannot legitimately placate him, you need to draw a line. In the non-threatening defensive stance say, "I cannot give you what you ask. Is there any other way I can get out of this without a fight?"

If he says, "No," then the fight has begun -- neutralize the threat. Or he may say nothing and swing at you -- be ready.

Continued in "Confrontational Types, 3"

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Sheepdog Strategies, 10

LT (my barber!) sent me this, and I thought it would make a good personal security primer for the ladies in your life, and good review for the rest of us, as well.

Everyone should take 5 minutes to read this. It may save your life or a loved one's life.


Because of recent abductions

In daylight hours, refresh yourself of these things to do

In an emergency situation...

This is for you, And for you to share

With your wife, Your children, Everyone you know.

After reading these 9 crucial tips,

Forward them to someone you care about.

It never hurts to be careful In this crazy world we live in.

1. Tip from Tae Kwon Do :

The elbow is the strongest point on your body.

If you are close enough to use it, DO!
2. Learned thi s from a tourist guide.

If a robber asks for your wallet and/or purse,


Toss it away from you...

Chances are that he is more interested

In your wallet and/or purse than you,

And he will go for the wallet/purse.


3. If you are ever thrown into the trunk of a car,

Kick out the back tail lights and stick your arm out the hole

And start waving like crazy.

The driver won't see you, but everybody else will.

This has saved lives.

4. Women have a tendency to get into their cars

After shopping, eating, working, etc., and just sit

(doing their checkbook, or making a list, etc.


The predator will be watching you, and this

Is the perfect opportunity for him to get in

On the passenger side, put a gun to your head,

And tell you where to go.



If someone
Is in the car With a gun To your head




Instead gun the engine

And speed into anything, wrecking the car.

Your Air Bag will save you.

If the person is in the back seat

They will get the worst of it .

As soon as the car crashes

Bail out and run.

It is better than having them find your body

In a remote location.

5. A few notes about getting Into your car in a parking lot,

Or parking garage:

A.) Be aware:

Look around you,

Look into your car,

At the passenger side floor ,

In the back seat AND under the car

B.) If you are parked next to a big van,

Enter your car from the passenger door.

Most serial killers attack their victims

By pulling them into their vans while the women

Are attempting to get into their cars.

C.) Look at the car Parked on the driver's side of your vehicle,

And the passenger side... If a male is sitting alone

in the seat nearest your car, you should walk back

Into the mall, or work, and get a

Guard/policeman to walk you back out.


(And better paranoid than dead.)

6. ALWAYS take the elevator

Instead of the stairs.

Stairwells are horrible places to be alone And the perfect crime spot.

This is especially true at NIGHT!)

7. If the predator has a gun

And you are not under his control, ALWAYS RUN!

The predator will only hit you (a running target)

4 in 100 times; and even then,

It most likely WILL NOT be a vital organ.

RUN, Preferably in a zig -zag pattern!

8. As women, we are always trying To be sympathetic:


It may get you raped, or killed.

Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a good-looking,

Well educated man, who ALWAYS played

On the sympathies of unsuspecting women.

He walked with a cane, or a limp, and often asked

'for help' into his vehicle or with his vehicle,

Which is when he abducted his next victim.

9. Another Safety Point:

Someone just told me that her friend heard

A crying baby on her porch the night before last,

And she called the police because it was late

And she thought it was weird. The police told her

'Whatever you do, DO NOT Open the door.'

The lady then said that it sounded like the baby

Had crawled near a window, and she was worried

That it would crawl to the street and get run over.

The policeman said, 'We already have a unit on the way,

Whatever you do, DO NOT open the door.'

He told her that they think a serial killer

Has a baby's cry recorded and uses it to coax

women out of their homes thinking that someone

dropped off a baby. He said they have not verified it,

but have had several calls by women saying that

they hear baby's cries outside their doors

when they're home alone at night.

10. Water scam!

If you wake up in the middle
of the night to hear all your taps outside running or what you think is a
burst pipe,
DO NOT GO OUT TO INVESTIGATE! These people turn on all your
outside taps full ball so that you will go out to investigate and
then attack.

Stay alert, keep safe, and look out for your neighbors!

Friday, September 19, 2008

WARSKYL Conference Update

Yesterday I sent off for the proof copy of the manual for the conference. When the manuscript converted to a PDF file (for the printer), it somehow inserted two blank pages (each after a section break). Too much going on in my life right now to take the time to fix it -- maybe the 2nd edition.

Oh well, use the blank pages to take notes.

Each family represented at the conference will receive a manual. Extra manuals will be available to conferees at $7 each. Those not at the conference will have to pay more.

In the next hour or so, I will be leaving for North Carolina. It involves a possible change from wage slave to self-employed. I've been self-employed before . . . then self-unemployed. I'd appreciate your prayers.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Confrontational Types

I read an article by Bob Pierce about confrontational types -- the different types of people you may encounter in a potentially violent confrontation -- that I thought you might find helpful. It's not so much that he said anything you or I don't already know, but he put it together into a comprehensive picture.

I will give these four types my own descriptive names: 1) the true orc, 2) the raging bull, 3) the big deal, and 4) the bantam rooster. (I might also add a fifth, psychopath.) Over the years, I've run into these types, and I'm sure many of you readers have, as well. The bad news is that they can all be dangerous, but the good news is that if you can recognize the type, you are more likely to be able to derail the potential violence.

The true orc is a predator, plain and simple. He targets easy prey. If you notice him stalking you, you can often dissuade him by looking straight at him to let him know you've made him.

The other types may take direct eye contact as a challenge, but the true orc is not looking for a challenge. He wants to ambush his prey. The earlier you let this predator know you're on to him, the less it will take to persuade him to look for an easier mark.

If the situation reaches the testing phase, you must go into the non-challenging defensive posture and draw the appropriate verbal line. This informs him that you are not about to step into his net.

A woman who challenges an orc in this fashion at this stage has a 50% chance of altogether avoiding physical assault.

Continued in "Confrontational Types, 2"

Monday, September 15, 2008

Comments on "Combat Slap, 3"

I didn't receive any readers' comments on "Combat Slap, 3". I hope that doesn't reveal a lack of interest. Perhaps it's just shyness.

At any rate, I'll start with what I didn't like about Paul Vunak's version of the combat slap. My daughter picked up on the same characteristic that I did. The way Vunak teaches you to practice will almost guarantee that you will telegraph your moves.

He makes the strike, swings back, and then immediately strikes again. This gets you used to drawing back before you strike. In practice, you need to strike and withdraw, and then pause before you strike again, so that you do not associate the draw-back as part of the strike.

Here's what I liked about the video: he demonstrates fluidity of movement. You can see that the strike resembles a whip more than it does a club. If you can learn to effect that wave-like motion, your strikes can be wickedly fast and brutally powerful at the same time.

I'm still working on it. Perhaps in another post, I'll tell you how.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Combat Slap, 3

Continued from "Combat Slap, 2"

The combat slap is an effective close-quarters tool that should be in your arsenal. If you train without an instructor (or, perhaps even without a partner), sometimes a different instructional aid will give you a new insight. It may help you find a weakness and correct it, or it may give you a new insight for improved power or speed.

For that reason, I'd like to present you with Paul Vunak's video presentation on the combat slap or, as he calls it, "the ear slap". Some of you have been reading my comments for a time and may be able to anticipate what I might say about this clip. So, I'm going to reserve my discussion of it and let you comment based on your analysis.

Is there something here to gain? Something to avoid?

What do you think that I might think about this? More important, what do YOU think?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Warrior Mindset

A thousand techniques, practiced to perfection will not help you if you don't have the warrior mindset. Deolexrex sent me the link to this Fox news story dated September 5. The housewife's only technique seems to have been to hold on the shotgun and keep the muzzle pointed away from her loved ones. Oh yeah, she also smacked one of the intruders in the head with a jar candle.

Click here to read the article before you read my comments below.

What a great example of the protective instincts of motherhood as mentioned in "Sheepdog Strategies, 8".

If you're familiar with Col. Grossman's analysis of how to facilitate the act of killing among soldiers, you may have seen something else in the story. Even under the threat of further attack, the husband evidently choked at pulling the trigger.

The wife yelled, "Shoot him, shoot him," which provided authority and peer support to the act of killing the enemy. In the military, this support comes from the soldier's squad and especially his NCO squad leader.

By the way, did you catch that last part? The couple "PROBABLY won't be charged." As though, when two orcs break into your house with a shotgun and a handgun, there is any question about the legality of shooting them. In Texas, yet. O how the mighty have fallen.

The final lesson is this: even when the odds seem all against you, don't give up. Providence may grant what seems an unlikely victory.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Sheepdog Strategies, 9

In "Sheepdog Strategies, 8" I mentioned Customer Centered Selling by Robert Jolles. In it, he teaches sales people to lead the customer through the decision cycle.

The sales process begins with dissatisfaction. The salesman asks probing questions about the product, service or process the prospect currently uses to uncover areas of dissatisfaction. Then he continues with questions that reveal the features/benefits the prospect needs to satisfy him.

The salesman proceeds to the sale with a question: "If I could provide you with [product, service, process] that meets your requirements within your price range, would you buy it?" Now the salesman has a commitment to buy before he even begins his sales presentation.

This approach frightens a lot of sales people, because it puts the customer in the driver's seat. There is a lot more uncertainty than with a canned sales spiel.

What if the salesman can uncover no dissatisfaction, or his product line does not meet the needs of his prospective customer? Then the ethical salesman will recommend the prospect to one of his competitors who CAN meet the prospect's needs.

Now, this series is about how to get our womenfolk to see the need for self defense training. You want to sell her safety and security. Can you see how this approach may apply to your situation?

Do you know what your womenfolk rely on for safety? I mean, do you really know? Have you ever taken the time find out? Have you ever taken the time to figure out the right questions to ask?

Whatever she depends on for safety is the "product" she is presently using. Probing questions will reveal her doubts and fears (dissatisfaction) about that product.

Customer Centered Selling
contains a lot of insight into the process that I don't have space for here. If you really want to sell the idea of self defense to someone, I recommend you find a copy of the book at your local library and study it.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Terrorist Attack on Church

On one side, you have several terrorists armed with AK-47 rifles. On the other side, one man armed with a revolver that has a 2" barrel. Never underestimate the power of one determined man.

Here is a description of the man and the event as presented by raccoonbrat on youtube:

Charl Van Wyk was just an ordinary Christian man until July 25, 1993, the day that would become known as the St. James Massacre. It was on this date that Van Wyk shot back at the terrorists who were attacking an innocent congregation gathered in prayer, and saved many lives in the process.

More than just a remarkable story of courage under fire, Shooting Back deals forthrightly with the consequences of his actions that day, while addressing the concerns that plague so many God-fearing people in these lawless times:

1. Should we carry arms as Christians?
2. When is it appropriate to defend ourselves and our families?
3. What can we do when our God-given right to self-defense is legislated away from us?

In Shooting Back, Van Wyk tackles these difficult questions, using the light of Scripture and insights from his own experience to make the case for self-defense.

As you view the video, note how this lone sheepdog thought and acted tactically under fire. Also, note that 2 other [unarmed] sheepdogs perished protecting the flock.

Caveat: Sorry, but I have no control over the videos promoted at the bottom of the screen after featured video is over.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Avoid, Evade, Escape, 3

Stephen asks a good question regarding my p0st in "Avoid, Evade, Escape, 2":

You mentioned a family-type scenario earlier in the post, how does a family work together to eliminate a threat?

I'm thinking mainly along the lines of father/son cooperation but possibly also brother/sister or husband/wife teams.

There's a pretty sharp young guy who has a rather exclusive invitation-only blogsite. If all my readers could go there, I'd recommend that they look over his series on tactics. It provides an excellent overview that can be adapted to family defense.

Tactical elements include communication, movement and fighting. I won't say much about fighting, because if more than one train in a family, they can work out for themselves how to cover each other's back and how to stay out of each other's way.

Communication should be simple and easy to remember. "Orc alert at ten o'clock," for example, when one spots a suspicious character loitering ahead.

Ten o'clock refers not to time, but to position. Imagine standing on the center of a large clock face with the twelve straight ahead. Three o'clock would be on your left, nine on your right, and six to your rear. Ten o'clock would be to the left, a little forward of the nine o'clock position.

If you've ever watched NCIS, sometimes Gibbs will say to one of his agents, "On my six." He means, "Follow me (walk where six o'clock would be if I were standing on a clockface)."

This is just one example of direct, but terse, communication. A family should have this kind of communication capability. One of my daughters and her husband have taught signing (the hand signs used by the deaf and mute) to their children.

Thus, family members are able to communicate with each other silently so as not to disrupt a conversation or a church service. They can also "talk" to each other in noisy environments without trying to shout over the din.

Since coordinated movement often depends on it, I would make good communication a priority.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Avoid, Evade, Escape, 2

Continued from "Avoid, Evade, Escape"

As an individual, evading and escaping potential violence is easier than when you are protecting someone. Let's say you're by yourself and you see four or five orc-types converging on you. You simply leave -- run, if you have to.

Not so easy if you're with a wife, mother or sister. Sometimes she/they will want a detailed explanation of why you're saying, "Let's go. Now!" Or maybe, as in the case of young children, they just can't run very fast.

And don't think, "I'll just tell her to get away while I hold them off." Almost universally, womenfolk choose to stay with their men rather than escape to safety without them.

Efficient and effective personal security measures have to be discussed and even drilled. Your family should have an idea of what you are doing and why you are asking them to do it. Don't bank on the idea that you're the protector, and so they should have implicit trust in all you do & say -- maybe they should, but life doesn't work that way.

Larger groups, like your church congregation present a larger problem. If the violent predator targets them, you will not likely be able to lead the whole group into an evasion or escape. The ideal -- though unlikely -- tactic would be to see the orcs coming and to intercept them.

This means you will have to "escape" the situation by neutralizing the threat -- with extreme prejudice, as they say. In an emergency, people will often respond to the first person to step up and take charge. On the other hand, there are those who will challenge your authority and try to take over, themselves.

But when the bullets are flying, and you yell, "Everyone on the floor," so you can get a clear shot at the intruder(s), there will probably be few who will want to debate the issue. This kind of situation, however, puts you right at the center of the bullseye.

It's extremely dangerous, and if you have not or cannot work it out beforehand with your church authorities, you at least need a clear sense of what you will do. You should, as a matter of habit, be running scenarios in your head.

The bottom line is this: when you are protecting others, you cannot always depend on their cooperation. This means you need to prepare to stand between them and danger. And be prepared to stand alone.

For further discussion on the topic, CLICK HERE