Saturday, January 31, 2009

Analyze Colorado Springs Shooting

Here is one of those tactical analysis situations, again. It is based on a shooting in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

First, go to the link & read the article. Then tell me whether or not the shooting was justified. Careful, though. Read & analyze thoroughly.

If there is insufficient information for you to make a judgment, then give me hypotheticals: "If it went down [this way], then it was a justifiable shooting." Give reasons (that hopefully correspond to Biblical principles) for your conclusions.

Here's the link:

Colorado Springs Shooting

I will probably post a follow-up on Monday. Thanks to my barber for sending me the link to this article.
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Friday, January 30, 2009

Locate Sex Offenders

A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.
(Proverbs 22:3)

Forewarned is forearmed.
(Old saying)

Here is an online information tool that will pinpoint the residences of registered sex offenders in your neighborhood. Just type in your address, and it generates a map with your house at the center and markers for registered sex offenders who live and/or work within a radius of about four or five miles.

The results may surprise you. I know they surprised me.

This information may change how you think about the safety of your neighborhood. It may also move you to teach your children to think & act tactically.

Here's the link:

Family Watchdog
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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Only Me

My daughter Merrianna wrote this when she was 15. I had published it on another blog which is soon going to be dismantled. Thought it was appropriate for the WARSKYL context.

Only Me

When I was compassionate,
I did not know I was.
I knew only
I had been there;
I knew how it felt,
So I said so.

When I was courageous,
I did not feel brave.
I knew only
It had
To be done,
So I did it.

When I was full of loss,
I did not feel noble.
I felt only
The pain,
And alone
I wept.

But those to whom I had compassion
Remembered me.
Those for whom I was courageous
Thanked me.
Those who saw I was full of loss
Honored me.

But it was only
Who I was
And what was
To be done.
God worked it all.
I was only me

Sheepdog Chef Foils Would-Be Robber

My barber drew my attention to this news story. His only comment was that "this has you written all over it!!!!" I wonder what he means by that?

The incident took place in Waukesha Wisconsin. Here's the account as related in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

According to a criminal complaint and restaurant employees, a man wearing a black motorcycle helmet and black leather jacket entered Williams Supper Club, S76-W17745 Janesville Road, about 10 p.m. Friday from the rear kitchen entryway, grabbed an employee by the arm and said, "Give me the money or I will shoot you."

The complaint says the man, later identified as Geraci, also told restaurant employees he had a knife. When one employee asked Geraci who he was, Geraci replied: "Would you want to die? I have a gun," the complaint says.

Bartender Terri Blight pulled two bags of cash from behind the bar and gave it to Geraci, the complaint says.

. . . . The chef, Erik Minor, and a cook, Andrew Tess, realized what was happening and fought back, Blight said.

The chef hit Geraci on the helmet with a large metal spoon, and the spoon broke in half, according to the complaint.

The chef then grabbed Geraci, put him in a headlock, dislodged the helmet and wrestled him to the floor. A customer and Tess helped pin Geraci down until police arrived, the complaint says.

Minor on Monday said he at first didn't realize Geraci was robbing the restaurant. He said he went after Geraci because Geraci had an employee by the arm.

"I wasn't going to let someone manhandle an employee," Minor said. (emphasis added)

Chef Erik Minor's motivation and reaction was that of a sheepdog.

He gets an "A" for attitude & mindset, and also for improvised weaponry. Let's also not neglect to mention his grappling skills.

Kudos as well to the unnamed customer and to Andrew Tess, the cook who helped restrain the robber until police arrived.

I'm not sold on the idea of using a headlock on a man who claims to be armed. But thank the Lord, the crook was bluffing.

Does this remind you of Under Siege (caution: movie contains language & nudity)? As you may recall, Seagal's character was a ship's cook who put the hurt on a bevy of terrorists who had hi-jacked a nuclear-armed navy vessel.

You just never know who may be wearing that white apron and poufy hat.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Choosing Sides

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
(Eph 6:10-13)

Choose your friends carefully, because on the basis of your friendships, your enemies will choose you.

It's not just the friends you choose, though. It's every choice you make. If you choose red meat, vegans will hate you and brand you a murderer.

If you choose to defend your daughter's (sister's/mother's) sexual purity, then the feminists will ascribe incestuous motives to you.

Most of all, if you choose Christ as your Saviour, Lord and King, all the forces of wickedness up to and including Satan himself will array themselves against you. Even now, as they continue in their slide toward the fiery pit, they snarl and sneer and lash out against God's elect.

Most of you I do not know well, if at all. But if you have chosen to follow the posts on WARSKYL for the right reasons, we probably could be friends. And if our choices define us . . . if our friends and our enemies define us, then I think we have chosen well.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

"Have You Ever Thought about Putting Your Rifle Away?"

At the end of his interview with Benjamin Busch, National Public Radio correspondent Scott Simon asked, "Have you ever thought about putting your rifle away?" He wisely avoided commenting on the answer and let the interview end there.

I sometimes find NPR's liberal bias maddening. This interview, however, is a listening must. Here is the link:

Bearing Arms

Thanks to my wife Laura for drawing my attention to this powerful audio presentation.

Friday, January 23, 2009

WARSKYL: A Christian Martial Art?, 2

Continued from "WARSKYL: A Christian Martial Art?"

Having arisen out of the heart of Buddhist faith and practice, the Eastern civilian arts developed as more than methods of self-defense. They served as a means to pursue self mastery & perfection and, ultimately, to escape the limitations of existence.

Under the Meiji regime in Japan, the samurai were suppressed, along with the unarmed combat arts. In response, the arts downplayed their self-defense applications and emphasized their disciplines as philosophical paths to enlightenment.

Thus karate (whose ideograph can be interpreted as Chinese fist), became karate-do (now interpreted as "the way of the empty hand"). Jigoro Kano transformed jujitsu (supple technique) into Ju-do (now interpreted as "gentle way").

Jujitsu seems to be the first Eastern art to gain a following in the West in the late 19th & early 20th Centuries. Among the best of the various manuals of jujitsu published in the US during that period was Secrets of Jujitsu by Captain Allen C Smith.

As a logical-thinking Scot, Smith was able to assimilate, analyze and explain the aspects of Eastern arts that are difficult for Westerners to understand. He transformed his jujitsu into a Western art by separating it from its Eastern philosophical and mystical environment.

I have had enough jujitsu training to know what will likely work & what won't. Smith's book teaches principles and includes training exercises that provide a practitioner with the necessary kinesthetic sense to achieve a measure of proficiency in the art.

One of my long-range plans is to include Smith's instruction, along with comments and supplementary drills, in a Big Book of WARSKYL Self-Defense and Combat Skills. It would also include material from my "12 Techniques" book and from the WARSKYL Conference.

At any rate, World War II rekindled an interest in the combat arts. W E Fairbairn combed through the techniques of the Eastern arts to isolate a few that were brutally effective and simple enough to learn in a short period of training.

Thus, WWII Combatives came into the world as a true martial art.

To be continued.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

WARSKYL: A Christian Martial Art?

Since I started discussing the origin and development of WARSKYL in "Defining Terms, 7", the question has arisen as to whether or not it may be considered a Christian martial art.

First, I think you have to determine what you mean by martial art. Merriam Webster defines martial as follows:
  1. of, relating to, or suited for war or a warrior
  2. relating to an army or to military life
  3. experienced in or inclined to war : warlike
It is plain that most "martial arts" taught today are not really martial in this sense.

In the East in particular, many of the arts practiced are and always have been civilian arts. Historians credit Buddhist monks at the Shaolin Temple with origins of Kung Fu (gong fu) in its various permutations.

Kung Fu passed over the waters to Okinawa where civilians modified and adopted it under the name Karate. It arose as a measure of self defense in a society where their Japanese overlords forbade common folk from carrying weapons. (Sword control? Disarming the populace has always been a tactic of tyrants.)

In Japan, the various forms of Jujitsu descended from the hand-to-hand techniques of the Samurai warriors. Therefore Jujitsu is, in a historical sense, a true martial art. And, although many think of it as a grappling art, it includes the handstrikes and kicks that you would find in other arts.

Continued in "WARSKYL: A Christian Martial Art?, 2"

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Christian Martialist as Sheepdog, 4

The events of the weekend, which included some viciously misleading remarks about me and WARSKYL by at least one self-appointed exemplar of "true" womanhood make it hard to settle back into the routine. It began with comment #661 on a post over at a Christian Gossip blog where some women systematically tear apart those with whom they disagree (and, often enough, tear at each other).

The comment (in its entirety) says, "Speaking of scary stuff, get a look at what the VisionForum/neoConfed kids are into these days:"

Cynthia, the author of those words responded to one of her cronies by saying "You're hysterical . . ." (comment #659) Hysteria indeed seems to be the hallmark of their discussions.

All of this underscores a simple fact that we all have to face: "The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog." That quote comes from a letter attributed to Charles Grennell.

I may not agree with every detail of his letter, but I think he makes some points about the relationship between sheep and sheepdogs that we have to keep in mind.

No matter how ugly, disagreeable or hysterical the sheep get, they are still sheep, and it is the sheepdog's duty to protect them.

The problem some of us have is that when they attack other sheep as they do in their gossip sessions, it's sometimes hard to tell them from the she-wolves. Attacking us is one thing. We can take it. Attacking the sheep is something else, entirely.

All that follows comes from the post ""Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs" over at

This letter was written by Charles Grennel and his comrades, veterans of the Global War On Terror. Grennel is an Army Reservist who spent two years in Iraq and was a principal in putting together the first Iraq elections in January 2005. It was written to Jill Edwards, student at the University of Washington , who did not want to honor Medal of Honor winner USMC Colonel Greg “Pappy” Boyington.

Ms. Edwards and other students and faculty do not think those who serve in the U.S. Armed Services are worthy as good role models.

To: Jill Edwards, Student, c/o University of Washington

Subject: Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs

Miss Edwards, I read of your student activity regarding the proposed memorial to Colonel Greg Boyington, USMC and a Medal of Honor winner. I suspect you will receive many angry emails from conservative people like me. You may be too young to appreciate fully the sacrifices of generations of servicemen and servicewomen, on whose shoulders you and your fellow students stand. I forgive you for the untutored ways of youth and your naiveté. It may be that you are simply a sheep. There's no dishonor in being a sheep, as long as you know and accept what you are.

William J. Bennett, in a lecture to the United States Naval Academy November 24, 1997 said "Most of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident. We may well be in the most violent times in history, but violence is still remarkably rare. This is because most citizens are kind, decent people, not capable of hurting each other except by accident or under extreme provocation. They are sheep.

Then there are the wolves who feed on the sheep without mercy. Do you believe there are wolves out there who will feed on the flock without mercy? You better believe it. There are evil men in this world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or pretend it is not so, you become a sheep. There is no safety in denial.

Then there are sheepdogs and I'm a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf. If you have no capacity for violence and you are a healthy productive citizen, you are a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath, a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? What do you have then? A sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the uncharted path. Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed.

We know that the sheep live in denial, which is what makes them sheep. They do not want to believe that there is evil in the world. They can accept the fact that fires can happen, which is why they want fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers, fire alarms and fire exits throughout their kid's schools. But many of them are outraged at the idea of putting an armed police officer in their kid's school. Our children are thousands of times more likely to be killed or seriously injured by school violence than fire, but the sheep's only response to the possibility of violence is denial. The idea of someone coming to kill or harm their child is just too hard. So they choose the path of denial.

The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, cannot and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheepdog that intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed. The world cannot work any other way, at least not in a representative democracy or a republic such as ours. Still, the sheepdog disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that there are wolves in the land. They would prefer that he didn't tell them where to go, or give them traffic tickets, or stand at the ready in our airports, in camouflage fatigues, holding an M-16. The sheep would much rather have the sheepdog cash in his fangs, spray paint himself white, and go Baa. That is, until the wolf shows up, and then the entire flock try desperately to hide behind one lonely sheepdog.

The students, the victims, at Columbine High School were big, tough, know-it-all high school students, and under ordinary circumstances would not have had the time of day for a police officer. They were not bad kids; they just had nothing to say to a cop. When the school was under attack, however, and SWAT teams were clearing the rooms and hallways, the officers had to physically peel those clinging, sobbing kids off of them.

This is how the little lambs feel about their sheepdog when the wolf is at the door. Look at what happened after September 11, 2001 when the wolf pounded hard on the door. Remember how America , more than ever before, felt differently about their law enforcement officers and military personnel? Understand that there is nothing morally superior about being a sheepdog; it is just what you choose to be.

Also understand that a sheepdog is a funny critter. He is always sniffing around out on the perimeter, checking the breeze, barking at things that go bump in the night and yearning for a righteous battle. That is, the young sheepdogs yearn for a righteous battle. The old sheepdogs are a little older and wiser, but they move to the sound of the guns when needed, right along with the young ones. Here is how the sheep and the sheepdog think differently. The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day.

After the attacks on September 11, 2001, most of the sheep, that is, most citizens in America said "Thank God I wasn't on one of those planes." The sheepdogs, the warriors, said, "Dear God, I wish I could have been on one of those planes. Maybe I could have made a difference." You want to be able to make a difference. There is nothing morally superior about the sheepdog, the warrior, but he does have one real advantage. Only one. And that is that he is able to survive and thrive in an environment that would destroy 98 percent of the population.

Research was conducted a few years ago with individuals convicted of violent crimes. These cons were in prison for serious, predatory crimes of violence: assaults, murders and killing law enforcement officers. The vast majority said they specifically targeted victims by body language: Slumped walk, passive behavior and lack of awareness. They chose their victims like big cats do in Africa , when they select one out of the herd that is least able to protect itself.

Some people may be destined to be sheep and others might be genetically primed to be wolves or sheepdogs. But I believe that most people can choose which one they want to be, and I'm proud to say that more and more Americans are choosing to become sheepdogs. Seven months after the attack on September 11, 2001, Todd Beamer was honored in his hometown of Cranbury , New Jersey . Todd, as you recall, was the man on Flight 93 over Pennsylvania who called on his cell phone to alert an operator from United Airlines about the hijacking. When they learned of the other three passenger planes that had been used as weapons, Todd and the other passengers confronted the terrorist hijackers. In one hour, a transformation occurred among the passengers - athletes, business people and parents - from sheep to sheepdogs and together they fought the wolves, ultimately saving an unknown number of lives on the ground.
Edmund Burke said "There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of evil men." Here is the point I want to emphasize, especially to the thousands of police officers and soldiers I speak to each year. In nature the sheep, real sheep, are born as sheep. Sheepdogs are born that way, and so are wolves. They don't have a choice. But you are not a critter. As a human being, you can be whatever you want to be. It is a conscious, moral decision. If you want to be a sheep, then you can be a sheep and that is okay, but you must understand the price you pay. When the wolf comes, you and your loved ones are going to die if there is not a sheepdog there to protect you.

If you want to be a wolf, you can be one, but the sheepdogs are going to hunt you down and you will never have rest, safety, trust or love. But if you want to be a sheepdog and walk the warrior's path, then you must make a conscious and moral decision every day to dedicate, equip and prepare yourself to thrive in that toxic, corrosive moment when the wolf comes knocking at the door.

This business of being a sheep or a sheepdog is not a yes-no dichotomy. It is not an all-or-nothing, either-or choice. It is a matter of degrees, a continuum. On one end is an abject, head-in-the-sand-sheep and on the other end is the ultimate warrior. Few people exist completely on one end or the other. Most of us live somewhere in between. Since 9-11 almost everyone in America took a step up that continuum, away from denial. The sheep took a few steps toward accepting and appreciating their warriors and the warriors started taking their job more seriously.

It’s OK to be a sheep, but do not kick the sheepdog. Indeed, the sheepdog may just run a little harder, strive to protect a little better and be fully prepared to pay an ultimate price in battle and spirit with the sheep moving from "baa" to "thanks".

We do not call for gifts or freedoms beyond our lot. Just like the sheepdog, we in the military just need a small pat on the head, a smile and a thank you to fill the emotional tank which is drained protecting the sheep.

And, when our number is called by The Almighty, and day retreats into night, a small prayer before the heavens just may be in order to say thanks for letting you continue to be a sheep. And be grateful for the millions of American sheepdogs who permit you the freedom to express even bad ideas.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Word of Explanation

I deleted 5 comments under "Chrstian Fems Dis Warskyl". They included comments by a regular reader and my answers. I deleted them because, in retrospect, I realized we were mocking the critics of WARSKYL, which is not a good or proper thing to do.

Yes, it is laughable that some of these women seem set (to the point of near-hysteria) on the notion that I am somehow organizing a vast army across the land. One, who goes by the name of Cindy, seems to be going through my posts with a fine tooth comb to find any phrase that she can use to support that notion.

Cindy sees me, no doubt, as some kind of terrorist. She is blind to a more subtle species of terrorism -- terror by innuendo.

She no doubt thinks that she is doing God's work by " building her case" against me. Sad. So sad.

From scanning through the comments on the thatwoman blog and others of that ilk, I see that quite a few of these women claim that they have been abused by men who were authority figures: husbands, fathers, boy friends and pastors.

It seems that one result of that abuse (& I will give them the benefit of the doubt that all of them actually have suffered abuse), is that they tend to react against males in roles of authority. Providentially, my pastor preached a sermon on gender roles this morning.

He said that feminism is, in large part, a reaction against men who abused their stations of leadership in one way or another. So it is with the Christian Fems. They are largely a reactionary group who have suffered abuse and blame it on male leadership.

What they may not realize is that I've suffered under abusive pastors, too. I've had abusive bosses (male and female). And I'm not unique. In this society, just about everybody has their horror stories.

Instead of looking for ever new occasions to be offended, we need to recognize that God commands us to forgive those who have offended us and get on with our lives. Perhaps some of these hundreds and hundreds of ladies from all over the world will wake up before they've wasted their lives on bitter recrimination.

Perhaps they will forsake their bitterness, stop ragging on Stacy MacDonald and her daughters, Doug Phillips and (of all people) me and devote the rest of their time here to doing something positive for Christ and His kingdom.

Let's pray that they do.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Christian Fems Dis WARSKYL

It seems that some Christian feminists have set their sights on WARSKYL.

Well . . . okay, my blog is only mentioned in the comments section (and first appears in comment #661, at that). Wait a minute! Almost 700 comments? Somebody has a lot of time on their hands.

It will come as no surprise to my regular readers (who are in on the conspiracy) that WARSKYL is not really my creation and responsibility. It is actually a conduit for the "patriarchalism" of Vision Forum. (Since I'm their conduit, do you think I could get them to endorse WARSKYL? It might increase my readership.)

Also, my blog is "scary" and "despicable" because I " use urban legends to create fear".

Not only that, I am guilty of "the widespread online networking of 18-20 something NeoConfederate types, who are VisionForum trained and who are recuiting [sic] youth in their areas into Warskyl based groups throughout the country."

Okay, guys. Who's recruiting people into WARSKYL based groups -- and why wasn't I informed? They say I'm spreading fear, but their stuff is pure paranoia.

I did respond to their comments (my comments were no's. 665 & 666 -- just to provide more fuel for the paranoid fires). I invite you to read them, but I would caution you against getting caught up in the discussion. They can and will bury you in responses, and they are not above taking personal shots at those with whom they disagree.

My advice? Just observe for your own edification and amusement.

Truly Paranoid Womanhood

Origin of Man's Protective Sheepdog Function

And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress [cultivate] it and to keep [guard]it. (Gen 2:15)

As I've indicated above, the Hebrew word -- shamar -- translated as keep literally means to guard or protect (See Brown-Driver-Briggs Lexicon & Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament).

Some may ask, "In a perfect world, why would the Garden of Eden need protection?" You find the answer to that in the next chapter. An interloper, in the person of a serpent (or dragon, see Revelation 20:2) comes to challenge God's ownership of and authority over the Garden (Genesis 3:1-5).

Adam failed in his duty to confront the trespasser and physically eject him from the Garden. Instead, he sided with the trespasser and joined him in his rebellion.

Compare Adam to the security guard who ulocks the door for thieves and helps them load their van with stolen merchandise. In Adam's case it began with a dereliction of duty followed by wholehearted complicity.

Scripture seems to indicate his derelicton of duty in Gen. 3:6 where it says that Adam was with Eve. He was with her. He presumably saw and heard the exchange between his wife and Satan, yet stood by and did nothing.

The English Standard Version's rendering of the passage makes this a little easier to see:

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. (Gen 3:6)

Adam should have challenged the dragon and, if necessary, physically engaged him in order to eject him from the Garden. That was his duty, his trust from God.

Adam failed in his protective function. We are his sons, and we, too, shall fail apart from the grace of the Living God. May we, as Christian Martialists and sheepdogs of the Great Shepherd, always maintain our focus and reliance upon Him for the grace to do right.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Handgun Disarm, Fairbairn Style

I haven't practiced handgun disarms, much. There is one I learned from my jujitsu instructors for when someone is standing in front of you that I like (and I think would work). But this disarm is for someone behind you with a pistol or revolver.

Here is a clip of W.E. Fairbairn himself demonstrating The pistol disarm begins one minute into the clip. Fairbairn is the one wearing the mask (hee hee).

That same move was used by Marc Lawrence to disarm Gary Cooper in the movie cloak and dagger. I've used this clip before, but it really is good

Finally, if these clips do not illustrate the move well enough, here are the steps taken from Fairbairn's Get Tough.
Hold your arms as in Fig. 131.
2. Turn rapidly inwards towards your left-hand side, passing your left arm over and around your opponent's right forearm, as near the wrist as possible, and bring your left hand up your chest (Fig. 132).
Note. - It is impossible for him to shoot you or release his arm from this grip.
3. Immediately the arm is locked, knee him in the testicles with your right knee and chin-jab him with your right hand, as in Fig. 133.

In general, I like this disarm, but there is one major caveat. You have to know which hand the orc is using to hold the gun so that your body clears the muzzle as you turn. I've seen it suggested that you turn your head to the rear as you speak to your assailant in order to catch a glimpse.

I 'd want to practice this one (a lot!) before I tried it.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

New Links Page

I have learned that reciprocal links can hurt a site's ranking by Google and other search engines.
Therefore, I have moved some of my links offsite. They are still available at
on the "Links" page.

At some time I hope to make it more useful by adding annotations and more links. In the meantime, I encourage all my regular readers to link here, and if I like your site & link to you, it will be at the links page on the other site.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Defining Terms, 7

Continued from "Defining Terms, 6"

In "Defining Terms" I explained Christian Martialism as "my understanding of the motives, values and beliefs of the warrior who submits to the authority and discipline of Jesus." Just as Christian Martialism is a philosophy and lifestyle, so WARSKYL comprises the system of close combat that I have embraced as consistent with that philosophy and lifestyle.

I'm not sure, but it may have begun when I was as young as 3 or 4 years. I was in the kitchen, having a knock-down drag out battle with an invisible adversary. My mother asked me what I was doing, and I told her that I was helping God fight the Devil.

Over the years, I maintained a vigilance, looking for techniques or tricks. Many I did not understand or feel I could do, but every now and then something would click, and I would say to myself, "I can do that."

My first experience with a Judo front roll came from a (library, I think?) book on Judo by E.J. Harrison. In it, he described exactly how to perform the roll. I took the book to the back yard, then followed the directions, and I executed them in the grass. I was about twelve.

During that same time period I a couple of other books came into my possession: American Combat Judo by Bernard Cosneck and My Method of Judo by Mikonosuke Kawaishi. The latter was a Christmas present from my grandfather, and I still count it among my prized possessions.

During that same time period, I discovered a comic book hero called "The Fly". Some of the early issues each included a page which taught a jujitsu or self defense technique. I also found a little red paperback book with poorly drawn illustrations and a promise that I could learn karate by following its instructions.

My encounters with bullies in junior high school taught me something about how rage and ruthlessnes can overcome size and strength. I did a little wrestling in high school (season-and-a-half), and that taught me a little bit about the kinesthetics of grappling.

After marriage, I received some basic instruction in subduing and cuffing a suspect along with my armed security training in Florida. About that time, Fairbairn's books Get Tough and Shooting to Live convinced me of the rationale behind WWII combatives.

Up to that point in my life, however, those elements of close combat that I had picked up from such varied sources did not represent a unified, coherent system. They were merely the raw materials.

To be continued

Monday, January 12, 2009

Defining Terms, 6

Continued from "Defining Terms, 5"

I began explaining the term Christian Martialism in the first "Defining Terms" post. Now, I want to move on the the term I chose as the title of this blog: WARSKYL.

Here is how I define it on the home page of my website over at

WARSKYL (ˈwr - skil) noun, 1. the skills and abilities that go into making a warrior

2. the close combat skills of Christian Martialism

I coined the word -- as I'm sure 99.99% of my readers realize -- from a stylized amalgamation of war and skill. I am please with it, because it is, to a degree self explanatory. I also think it evokes a reaction that makes it rather easy to remember.

In the first sense of the definition given above, WARSKYL embraces all combat skills, from any source. If you have trained in a martial art, or if you practice riflery and handgunnery, you have WARSKYL in the broad sense.

If you attended the WARSKYL conference and learned some rudiments of the skills I practice and teach, then you have WARSKYL in the narrow and particular sense.

I do not see myself as an expert, let alone the fountain of all combat skill and knowledge. Therefore you can have WARSKYL no matter where you get your skills. A major purpose of this blog is not to force you into a particular mold, but to challenge you to hone your skills in the context of a Christian ethic and worldview.

To be continued

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Winning the Street Fight Every Time - Reader Beware

This article by Keith Pascal reminds me of the old riddle: "How do you eat an elephant?"

Winning the Street Fight Every Time - Reader Beware!

By Keith Pascal

In this age of the quick fix, everybody wants instant answers. The masses want riches without working, skill without practice, and the ability to win a fight with one 'guaranteed' move. Have you been reading articles in search of ways to win a street fight every time? Well, I have some good news and some bad news....

Self Defense Reality

For some, this may sound like bad news, but it makes perfect sense. There is no one who can win a street fight every time. That person just doesn't exist -- no matter what you read in the hyped ebook sell pages.

Not only does the ultimate fighter not exist in this day and age, but there is no "one method" that works every time. If there were, then we'd have a paradox the instant more than one person knew the technique. If the move is guaranteed to work, and two fighters use it on each other, then one of them has to lose.

Note: It's rare that two fighters knock each other out at the exact same time, where both would lose and neither would win.

Good Streetfighting News

The good news is that you can significantly lessen the number of bad people in the world who can do you harm. As you acquire more and more skill, the number of jerks who can overcome you in an attack goes down.

Keep training. Continue learning. And you'll improve your odds of coming out the winner in an altercation.

More Streetfighting Bad News

Those looking for an instant fix will probably be disappointed. In a confrontation, if one fighter has significantly more skill in fighting and knows practical application of martial skills, then that person will win. No surprise there, right?

So, if you want to get good at street fighting and self defense, you will have to practice. For some people reading these words, this will be the place to click away. (Yes, that's the easy way ... don't read what you don't want to know.)

And Even More Street-Fighting Disappointment

Not only will you have to practice, in order to gain enough skills to survive a street fight, but you'll have to practice the "right stuff" -- the "good stuff."

You will most likely have to go beyond single articles -- even this one. Articles will just give you cursory information. They aren't complete enough in and of themselves to give you any sort of complete training.

Learn Self Defense -- The Good News

It's much better to find a punch ecourse, or a book on wrist locks -- train one element at a time. Focus on one aspect of the martial arts.

Note: If there is good martial arts instruction in your area, then joining the class is much better than trying to go it alone. If you aren't taking classes, then you'll need a training partner. You have to be able to practice and perfect what you read.

Eventually, combine those aspects ... learn how to stop the attack with a punch or a kick, take control with a lock, and then shut down further aggression, counter attacks, and escapes with more kicks, punches, and joint controls.

The good news is that by taking learning into your own hands, you'll change styles, add elements from different martial systems, practice with a variety of partners, and improve at your own rate.

Some of the best martial artists in the world eventually design their own training schedules and get their own workout partners.

To get on a great list all about effective punching sign up at: Free Punch Newsletter. (You get a great free ebooklet on devastating punches, when you join.)

Keith Pascal has taught martial arts for over 25 years. He left his job as a high school teacher in 2000, to become a full-time writer.

Keith is the author of several practical martial arts books, including Wrist Locks (Revised) Wrist Locks Book

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Friday, January 9, 2009

Officer Down: Peter Soulis (review), 2

Continued from "Officer Down: Peter Soulis (review)"

In this brief analysis of the incident in question, please do not construe my comments as a criticism of Officer Soulis. There are many things to keep in mind in situations like these, and departmental policy can also have an effect on how police react under threatening situations.

Now back to the incident. I believe Stephen and drpaleo are correct in saying that it was a critical mistake to send the subject back to his own car. Bruce also picked up on the fact that the red flag had already gone up in the officer's head, and he should not have relaxed his control of the situation or the subject (as he did by sending him back to the car).

When you get those inner danger signals, you ignore them at your own peril.

I believe the second critical tactical mistake was to approach the subject from the passenger side of the car. The subject's right arm (the one that the officer suspected held a weapon) was in front, between the subject's legs.

Approaching the driver's side from the rear would require that the subject turn around to his left in order to get a clean shot at the officer. The slight delay and the awkward firing position would have given the officer the advantage in the exchange. As it was, the subject simply raised his arm to the right and fired.

Well, thanks for thinking that through with me, and I want to thank those who commented. The whole point of an exercise like this is to give all of us a little more background and data in case we find ourselves needing to think and react tactically.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Officer Down: Peter Soulis (review)

Peter Soulis is a police officer in a "large metropolitan police department". An article over at describes a shootout in which he was involved.

Thanks to my barber for sending me the link. He says it's "must reading", and I agree. Before you click over to the article and read it through (it's fairly long), though, I'd like you to consider these excerpts and evaluate them in terms of tactics.

I've organized them into ten points. Can you find the two points that represent critical, tactical errors? I'd like your feedback on this before you read the entire article, as there is a critique of his performance at the end.
  1. Soulis decided to investigate. The lot was dimly lit, so he left his headlights off as he pulled forward and stopped behind the Toyota. After angling his car to the left for cover, he logged out on his
  2. Suddenly, the driver lunged to his right and down. Without conscious thought, Soulis drew his gun—a .40 caliber Glock 22—as he moved to his left and shined the light into the car. "Show me your hands!" he shouted.
  3. At Soulis' command, the man slowly exited the car with both hands in full view. Soulis was now standing well off to the left of the Toyota with his flashlight aimed into its front seat.
  4. Soulis kept his light on the driver as he reholstered and ordered him to come to him. Obediently, the driver stepped forward and handed Soulis his driver's license. After frisking the man for weapons and finding none, Soulis checked the license . .l . .
  5. He decided to run him for warrants but suspected he might take off on foot. After ordering Palmer to return to his car, he walked backwards to his cruiser, sat down, and tried to run him on his MDT. But NCIC was down, so there wasn't much he could do. He decided to ask for permission to search the Toyota and take it from there.
  6. In the meantime, he noticed Palmer was nervously glancing around in every direction as he sat waiting in the Toyota. . . . Becoming increasingly convinced that Palmer intended to run, he lit up the car with his spotlight, headlights and takedown lights.
  7. At first, Palmer turned away from the blazing light, but then he adjusted his inside mirror and fixed his eyes on Soulis. Now even more distrustful of Palmer, Soulis opened his door . . . . Moving quickly to make contact before Palmer could run, Soulis stepped out of his car and started forward.
  8. He'd gone barely 10 feet when the alarm bells went off. No fear or panic, but his senses were crying out for greater caution, and he changed his approach. He circled around the back of his cruiser and moved up to the passenger side of the Toyota.
  9. As he stopped alongside the car's right-rear fender and looked inside, every instinct told him Palmer was armed and waiting for him. The man was sitting behind the wheel, hunched forward with both feet firmly planted on the floorboard, his eyes glued to the mirror and his right hand thrust between his legs. His left arm was locked straight down along his left side, pressed down onto the floor next to the open driver's door as he readied himself to spring into action.
  10. Soulis had planned to shoot through the back window if Palmer drew a weapon, but for reasons he still doesn't fully understand, he moved forward and to his right, stopping alongside the passenger door, not more than two feet from the window.
Did you see 'em? If so, please post your observations & reflections in the comments section.

Also, let me know if you think this article warrants a followup post.

Monday, January 5, 2009

New Year Evaluation, 2

Continued from "New Year Evaluation"

So, what do I need to strive for this year in the area of means?

1) In terms of therapeutics, I need to encourage healing of the shin splints & also find way to normalize my lower back;

2) In terms of fitness, I need to continue my walking regimen & make the anaerobic exercise a regular habit; also, I need to learn to vary my strength training so as not to risk injury (or aggravating old injuries);

3) In terms of physical skills, I need to find a regular practice partner (still hoping and praying -- anyone in the Greenville, SC area interested?); I need to hone my hand strike skills and, assuming full recovery from shin splints, work on adding dropping energy to my strikes; I also need to work on my low kicks;

4) In terms of knowledge, I need to work on making the WARSKYL system deeper (in its effectiveness) and broader (in its scope, including strategic and tactical considerations);

5) In terms of gear . . . well, there's always the desire for more & better.

I have the means . . . and the mindset.

I believe that mindset is an attitude (or a cluster of attitudes), and I further believe that attitude is a spiritual quality. Therefore, mindset evaluation offers peek into one's spiritual condition.

A couple of years ago, my pastor counseled (I'm talking about serious Biblical counseling, here)
me about a particular fear that has caused me some problems. After those sessions, I wrote a little book entitle "How to Master Your "Fear". The book works toward the conclusion that, ultimately, fear is a spiritual problem.

been reviewing and adding to the book, lately (and thinking of publishing it -- see poll at right). But I've also been thinking of writing a companion book to it about courage.

So, anyway, my spiritual self-evaluation is that I need to work through the courage issues. Not because I'm fearful (fear is not the opposite of courage), but because I'm easily dis-couraged. More on that in the book, as it develops.

What do I need to strive for spiritually this year?

1) I need to develop more consistency and discipline in my study of Scripture and in prayer;

2) I need to deepen my loyalty to the King and my obedience to His Royal Law;

3) I need to work regularly at my own part in fulfilling the Great Commission;

4) I need to use the means of grace to banish fear from my life and to develop true courage in service to the King.

If I can do these things, I will be able to say in all honesty:

I have the means, and the mindset. I will journey into Hell and darkness to protect the ones I love.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Year Evaluation

As seen on a gun forum:

I have the means, and the mindset. I will journey into Hell and darkness to protect the ones I love.

It's that annual evaluation time, again. My barber sent me the quote above, and it's one that strikes a chord with me. As I interpret it, it represents what I want to be as a warrior for Christ.

Not that I have attained to that high status, but it's what, in my best moments, I would like to be.

I have the means . . . .

I believe this includes both knowledge and training as well as weapons. And the former far outdistance the latter in importance.

Tony Blauer has spoken of the naked warrior. (As an aside, Pavel Tsatsouline has an excellent physical training book by that name.) It's a concept that means if you strip away everything from a true warrior right down to his skin, he's still a warrior. Heart and skill make the warrior, not the sword, not the firearm.

Have I grown in knowledge and training over the past year? Yes, but not as much as I wish I could have. Shin splints in August really put a crimp in my fitness training.

Although the condition is better, recovery has been slow. Both lower legs are still tender & swell if I don't elevate them. I resumed taking regular walks about six weeks ago, and have modified my knee-kick anaerobic exercise so that it does not require my feet to impact the floor. Started that just this past week.

I was experimenting with dropping energy when the shin splints developed, and I will not resume until I fully recover from the condition. It puts a lot of stress on the lower extremities.

I did practice the combat wedge for presentation at the WARSKYL conference in October. That's a skill which bears further practice & development.

I have also practiced my palm heel strike and judo chop. The other morning, I think I finally made a breakthrough in speed with both skills.

In October, after the conference, some of us had a shooting session at the house of deolexrex. For the first time, I actually hit clay pigeons in the air. I guess that's the beginning of a rudimentary shotgun skill.

My preparation for the WARSKYL conference pushed me into a deeper knowledge and understanding, as well. It forced me to into a needed review of some concepts and new research. Also, Seth's conference presentation on loving one's enemy provided new insights.

To be continued.