Saturday, February 28, 2009

Post-Collapse Survival, "7" & comments

The 7th installment of Post-Collapse Survival is now available over at the Access To Destiny blog.

Here are a couple of random ideas that this series has evoked:

1) At my suggestion, my wife bought some lentils this week. We need to buy them in bulk, to store. It's not that I'm fond of lentil soup or cooked lentils of any kind -- I'm not.

The reason she bought them is that they are very easy to sprout, and sprouts are good for you. If, for any reason you cannot get fresh vegetables, you can sprout some lentils. You can supply yourself with fresh veggies this way, even in an apartment in the city.

You get the most enzymes from sprouts before they turn green. But the greens are good for you as well. I plan to let some start to push out those tiny, tender green leaves to balance against the white sprouts.

Why lentils? Because they're cheap, and each sprout contains more food value than, say alfalfa sprouts. Also, they're easy to store and easy to sprout.

Good eating, too! Better than cooked lentils any day.

2) A number of years ago, I read a post-apocalyptic novel in which people used .22 cartridges as a kind of money substitute. They were used as "change" for larger purchases or barter deals.

When you think about it, almost everyone has a .22 lying around somewhere, so the recognized utility & value would be almost universal. The cartridges are small, very portable and could easily serve as a unit of exchange if hyperinflation should eviscerate the dollar.

And right now, a brick of 500 is still relatively cheap.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Humor: Don't Mess with Old People

My barber sent me the following story. I first heard it over 25 years ago, so it's old enough that it may be new to some of you.

An old prospector shuffled into town leading an old tired mule. The old
man headed straight for the only saloon in town to clear his parched
He walked up to the saloon and tied his old mule to the hitch rail. As he
stood there brushing some of the dust from his face and clothes, a young
gunslinger stepped out of the saloon with a gun in one hand and a bottle
of whiskey in the other.
The young gunslinger looked at the old man and laughed, saying, 'Hey old
man, have you ever danced?'
The old man looked up at the gunslinger and said, 'No, I never did dance,
-- and just never wanted to.'
A crowd had gathered quickly and the gunslinger grinned and said, 'Well,
you old fool, you're gonna' dance now,' and started shooting at the old
man's feet. The old prospector in order to not get a toe blown off, or
his boots perforated was soon hopping around like a flea on a hot skillet
Everybody was laughing fit to be tied.
When the last bullet had been fired the young gun- slinger, still
laughing, holstered his gun and turned around to go back into the saloon.
The old man turned to his pack mule, pulled out a double barreled
shot-gun, and cocked both hammers back.
The loud, audible double clicks carried clearly through the desert air.
The crowd stopped laughing immediately. The young gunslinger
heard the sounds, too, and he turned around very slowly. The quiet was
almost deafening.
The crowd watched as the young gunman stared at the old timer and the
large gaping holes of those twin barrels. He found it hard to swallow.
The barrels of the shotgun never wavered in the old man's hands.
The old man said, 'Son, did you ever kiss a mule's hind end?'
The boy bully swallowed hard and said, 'No. But I've always wanted to.'
There are two lessons for us all here:
1. Don't waste ammunition.
2. Don't mess with old people.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Post-Collapse Survival, 5

You can find the latest installment of Post-Collapse Survival over at my Access To Destiny blog:

Post-Collapse Survival, 5

Note: Either because it was mis-lableled originally, or because an installment went missing, the next post will be #7, not #6.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Anaerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercise is big on today's health and fitness scene. Walking and jogging are the two main aerobic activities, although cycling is also popular. Walking and cycling are preferable to jogging because of cumulative damage caused by the high-impact nature of the activity.

Joggers who run for three, four or five miles every day are doing harm to feet, knees hips and back that may not show up for decades. Some, like a jogger I knew who was in his late forties, never made the connection between his favorite activity and his chronic back troubles.

Anaerobic exercise begins when the muscle cells need to oxidize fuel faster than your blood can carry oxygen to them. Here is an explanation from the Wikipedia article:

Anaerobic exercise is exercise intense enough to trigger anaerobic metabolism. It is used by athletes in non-endurance sports to build power and by body builders to build muscle mass. Muscles trained under anaerobic conditions develop differently, leading to greater performance in short duration, high intensity activities, which last up to about 2 minutes.

Aerobic exercise, on the other hand, includes lower intensity activities performed for longer periods of time. Such activities like walking, running, swimming, and cycling require a great deal of oxygen to generate the energy needed for prolonged exercise.

There are two types of anaerobic energy systems, the ATP-CP energy system, which uses creatine phosphate as the main energy source, and the lactic acid (or anaerobic glycolysis) system that uses glucose (or glycogen) in the absence of oxygen. Events or activity that last up to about thirty seconds rely primarily on the former, phosphagen, system. Beyond this time aerobic and anaerobic glycolysis begin to predominate. Anaerobic glycolysis uses glucose inefficiently, and produces by-products such as lactic acid that are thought to be detrimental to muscle function; this limits activity based predominantly on anaerobic glycolysis to about 2 minutes. The effectiveness of anaerobic activity can be improved through training.

Note that [i]t is used by athletes in non-endurance sports to build power. Power is a function of both strength and speed. One athlete can do thirty pushups in 25 seconds while another of comparable weight can do them in 15 seconds.

While both athletes are performing the same amount of work (force x distance), the second one has more power, more pushups per second.

In another post I want to discuss the application of power in self defense training.

Post-Collapse Survival, 4

Yesterday, I posted the fourth installment of Post-Collapse Survival over at Access To Destiny. Here is the link:

Post-Collapse Survival, 4

Monday, February 23, 2009

Awkward Moment

I originally posted this on "The Ideasmith's Forge" (4/15/06). I thought you folks would understand & appreciate this story:

Yesterday afternoon & evening we spent time with B. & A. and their two bright & well-behaved daughters. B. & I spent 2-3 hrs at the shooting range on his dad's property. As B. was showing me one of his dad's handguns, its owner walked in.

So, there I stood, meeting a man I'd never even seen before, and I had one of his revolvers in my hand. It felt awkward to me — as though I were caught doing something way too personal with regard to a stranger.

I tried to explain this later & A. said, "As though you were holding his wife's hand?" She had hit the nail on the head. That described exactly the feeling I had.

Just so you know, that moment did not spoil our day. Merrianna got to practice with her Taurus .38 & enjoyed shooting from the hip at a floating chunk of wood with B's Ruger 10-.22. I was satisfied with a little offhand shooting with my Garand at about 60 yds, & some gratifying results of point-shooting with my model 1911.

Then came a great supper & fellowship of kindred spirits. Afterward, I had this deep sense of peace & satisfaction. Reminded me of certain days spent at the range with my barber in former years. Sometimes, life seems so good that even those little awkward moments can't interfere.

Posted on Saturday 15 of April, 2006 [15:21:26 UTC]

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Post-Collapse Survival, 3

Over at my other blog, you will find the third installment by an actual survivor of a catastrophic economic collapse in Argentina:

Access To Destiny

Friday, February 20, 2009

States' Rights Battle Brewing?, 2

In the post "States' Rights Battle Brewing?", I listed six states with state sovereignty resolutions pending: New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Arizona, Washington, Montana & Michigan. I have found out that Missouri also has a pending resolution, and California & Georgia have already passed similar resolutions.

In a Natural News article by Barbara Minton entitled "Resolutions to Affirm State Sovereignty may be Prelude to Secession" I discovered the following:

Nine state legislatures have either passed or introduced bills intended to reaffirm their state's sovereignty as laid out in the Ninth and Tenth Amendments of the Constitution. Another twenty states are expected to introduce similar measures this year. While the ramifications of these resolutions are still uncertain, one thing is clear. People are sick and tired of the federal government's usurpation of power not granted to it by the Constitution. They have had enough of fear based economic terrorism and underhanded promotion of policies and procedures that bypass public scrutiny and the will of the people.


A resolution is a statement, not a binding law. Just because these resolutions were proposed does not mean they represent consensus in the state legislature. Like the various resolutions for Bush's impeachment, resolutions may not reflect the beliefs of a majority in state legislatures.

Still, the fact that two states, California and Georgia, have already passed their versions of state sovereignty may be setting the stage for secession down the road if the federal government continues to show its scorn for the Constitution. The Oklahoma resolution has already passed in the House and is awaiting vote in the state Senate to be codified.

These are interesting developments, but apart from a catastrophic collapse that wipes out Washington's ability to govern (not likely, as U.S. troops in the Middle East are trained to "restore order" to civilian populations), I do not really expect much to come of these resolutions.

Still, it's nice to think that some of our legislators out there recognize the dangers of concentrated power.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Post-Collapse Survival, 2

You can read the 2nd installment of the eyewitness account of post-collapse survival over at my other blog, Access To Destiny.

Post-Collapse Survival, 2

And just in case you missed it, here is the link to the 1st post:

Post Collapse Survival

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

WARSKYL: A Christian Martial Art?, 3

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

Now that I have related how I differentiate a martial art from a civilian art, it is fair to ask into which category WARSKYL falls. My answer is that it has components of both.

The strong emphasis on self defense skills, including avoiding and evading assault within the context of loving one's enemy (Seth Ben-Ezra's excellent presentation at the conference), provide a strongly practical civilian component to the art.

I have carefully adapted WARSKYL's adrenaline stress control techniques along with the simple, brutal & effective physical skills, including point shooting, from proven practical combat methods. Those components of the system constitute a combat art suitable for the battlefield.

There is another component of WARSKYL that I have not yet finished systematizing. It includes the skills necessary to take control of another person in less-than-lethal circumstances. While it will include locks & holds drawn from jujitsu and other grappling arts, I am looking for simplicity and effectiveness in both the skills themselves and the training methods.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Post-Collapse Survival

I know that some of you are concerned about surviving a total economic collapse. I have posted a report on my other blog by someone who has survived such a collapse in his own country. Here's the link:

Post Survival Collapse

Monday, February 16, 2009

Self Doubt & Fear of Failure

The following comes from an email sent out by Damian Ross of the "The Self Defense Company":

My question is how do you destroy self-doubt? What I mean is I want to be confident and I do try, but there is still always some worry that it won't work or I'll fail-how do I stop that? I tend to give my opponent to much credit and myself very little even if I try shaking it out of my system. Thanks Regards Bob from, Northern Alberta, Canada

Bob, that is a very human and normal response. First, knowing that what your practicing actually works helps a lot. . . . When I was young I always had self doubt, especially in the street; even though I was an accomplished wrestler and karate tournament fighter. But once I began learning this method, my common sense and experience told me that this was the real deal. Finally and perhaps most important, you must practice and train harder. . . . Training consistently will erase most self doubt. Since we're human, you can't get rid of it all, even the biggest and the baddest till have a little voice in their head. What you want to do is minimize it and the only what you do that is through training. When trained properly you will automatically go into action.

I think that this is good advice. Before I started training in jujitsu, I harbored a lot of doubts about how I might do in a physical confrontation. My training in Shito Ryu karate did not do much to alleviate those doubts.

But my jujitsu training was different. I could feel the effectiveness of techniques both when I used them on my partner and when he used them on me. This gave me confidence in the system.

The WARSKYL self defense system gives me even more confidence. I designed it around the startle response and the simplest & most effective gross motor skills. These techniques work; I have seen and felt them. Moreover, they work with minimal training.

When you stop training altogether, however, you lose your edge. Then the doubts begin to creep back in. They are simply the messengers of the inner man, telling you what you already know -- you need to get back in training.

Friday, February 13, 2009

States' Rights Battle Brewing?

Has the heavy hand of Washington's bureaucracy finally sent the pendulum swinging back toward limited government? The following states have legislation pending to that effect:

New Hampshire



Washington (the State, of course)


Michigan (House Concurrent Resolution, No. 4)

A couple of $Trillion in the totally irresponsible welfare for bankers program, and a few people start to think that maybe all that concentration of power on the Potomac is not such a good idea.

I'm sure that at this time, these bills represent posturing more than any serious threat to the Union.

. . . although, the Nullification controversy did precede the [un]Civil War. Well, I hope that things don't get too interesting.

And, oh yeah! Keep yer powder dry.

How to Control Adrenaline Stress

I want to address the lessons we can learn about how to control adrenaline stress from the recent incredible emergency landing of an airliner in the Hudson River. Captain Chesley Sullenberger (Captain Cool) has received recognition for his calm, cool demeanor under extreme pressure.

How did he control his adrenaline stress at this point? On Monday Feb 9th, Good Morning America hostess Diane Sawyer asked him how he remained so cool and calm. His reply is instructive:

{The material which originally appeared in this blog along with a lot more information and practical methods now appears in my e-book, How to Take Control of Your Adrenaline. Click here to learn more.}

Thanks to my wife Laura for directing me to the ABC news video that includes the interview. (Pertinent footage begins at 8min 40sec into the video)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Safety: The Mandate of a Gun Culture, 2

Continued from "Safety: The Mandate of a Gun Culture"

Although dlr sent the link to this video in a comment, I wanted to make sure that everyone got a chance to see it. It features one of dlr's sons, and I think it typifies the kind of early firearms safety training that should mark a Christian Martialist gun culture.

If you're like me, you'll find this video entertaining and touching as well as instructive:

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Monday, February 9, 2009

Mindset: Ruthlessness

In Principles of Personal Defense, Jeff Cooper addresses the various facets of a survival mindset: alertness, decisiveness, aggressiveness, coolness, speed, ruthlessness and surprise. Today, I want to address the mental attitude of ruthlessness.

It is essential for the Christian Martialist to understand and practice ruthlessness in combat from a Biblical perspective. First, let's consider what ruthlessness does not mean.

From the perspective of God's Law, ruthlessness does not and cannot mean that we forsake Biblical ethical standards. I fully understand that there are a lot of teachers out there -- many with combat experience -- who say that everything you learned in Church goes out the window when you're fighting for your life.

I know I'm bucking the crowd here, but my answer to that assertion is: Not if you've gone to the right kind of church.

Not the tiniest particle of dust, not a single atom in the vastness of the cosmos exists apart from the rule of God in Christ. Further, there is no circumstance of human existence that does not come under His Law, including mortal combat.

In What Does the Bible Say about Self Defense, I have shown that defense of life and property are protected rights under God's Law, up to and including taking the life of the intruder. But this is not the same as saying "anything goes." For example, the context of the passage that protects a householder who, in protecting his home, kills a thief (Exodus 22:2 ff) also says that he may not hunt the thief down and kill him.

Before going any further, I'd like you to take a look at Merriam-Webster's definition of ruthless:

Pronunciation: \ˈrüth-ləs also ˈru̇th-\ Function: adjective Date: 14th century
having no pit

Having no pity. It's short and anything but sweet, but ruthlessness is pitilessness. Does the Bible address pitilessness? Take a look at the mental attitude God requires of His people when they execute someone found guilty of murder:

Thine eye shall not pity him, but thou shalt put away the guilt of innocent blood from Israel, that it may go well with thee. (Deu 19:13)

Pity involves "sharing the painful feelings of another" (Merriam-Webster), and the Lord does not want His people identifying with violent predators. This applies to those duly convicted of murder, and -- by extension, in light of Exodus 22 -- to those who assault you or who attack those under your care.

Once the imminent threat is past, however, you are not allowed to kill, torture, maim or disfigure your attacker. If you have gained control over him, you may turn him over to authorities, but you may not exact revenge upon him.

Furthermore, even if you rightfully shoot an attacker, you are not allowed to wantonly spray bystanders with bullets. You are responsible for every projectile that leaves the muzzle of your weapon. That's in harmony with Jeff Cooper's rules of safety as well as with God's Law:

4) Identify your target, and what is behind it. Never shoot at anything that you have not positively identified.

So, you see that while Biblical self defense can involve the extreme of ruthlessly taking human life, it does NOT condone the anything-goes mindset. Observing God's Law is what sets Christian Martialists apart from the orcs.

(By the way, Jeff Cooper's Principles of Personal Defense is the self defense book I recommend if you can have only one (assuming you already have a Bible). It does not include techniques or drills. And although it was written by the premier firearms specialist, the principles apply to unarmed defense, as well.)
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Friday, February 6, 2009

Safety: The Mandate of a Gun Culture

In my last post, I mentioned the American and Pakistani gun cultures. To me, the video clip illustrates an indispensable lesson -- a sine qua non of a gun culture.

In the video, the reporter is taken to a "shooting area" which happened to be on a roof in the middle of the village. He seemed to think it odd, yet he shot in a safe direction, toward the side of a nearby hill.

The fact that the village was not littered with bodies indicates an important fact. Although almost everyone was armed and many shots were fired through the day, those who handled the guns were practicing muzzle awareness.

I'm reminded of Theresa, my second daughter. When she was younger, she would not let anyone point a toy gun (or even a finger used as a play gun) at her, nor would she point one at any except imaginary bad guys. The lesson is that if you should not practice unsafe methods, even in play.

Maybe toy guns are a bad idea -- not because they're violent, but because they encourage sloppy gun handling attitudes.

Since it's always good to review the basics, I am including in this post Jeff Cooper's rules of gun safety in his own words:

We hoped by this time that the standard rules of safe gunhandling would have become universal throughout the world. They have been arrived at by careful consideration over the years, and they do not need modification or addition. We trust that all the family have them by heart in all languages, but for those who came in late here they are again:

  1. All guns are always loaded. Even if they are not, treat them as if they are.
  2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy. (For those who insist that this particular gun is unloaded, see Rule 1.)
  3. Keep your finger off the trigger till your sights are on the target. This is the Golden Rule. Its violation is directly responsible for about 60 percent of inadvertent discharges.
  4. Identify your target, and what is behind it. Never shoot at anything that you have not positively identified.
Those will do. We need all four and we do not need five. It should not be necessary to belabor this issue, but life is not perfect.
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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Gun Culture

There are pockets of gun culture in this country, and I think most WARSKYL readers would count themselves as participants in that culture. It is in the Middle East, however, that you will find the Mecca of gun culture (pun intended).

Back in the early '80's, I remember reading an article in Soldier of Fortune magazine about the arms trade in Pakistan along the Afghan border. Whole villages of gunmakers were turning out replicas of just about any firearm imaginable. And they were doing it mostly with hand tools.

Quality of steel seemed to be the only unknown in buying one of those weapons. Their raw material came from Russian tanks and other materiel destroyed during the occupation of Afghanistan.

Anyway, my barber sent me the link to this video that shows the continued thriving of the small arms trade in Pakistan. Notice the comment that these people "believe in many sons and a lot of guns." Ahhh . . . if only they were Christians.

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Monday, February 2, 2009

Weapon Retention

Thanks to Spencer for sending me a link to an article on weapon retention. It is by Richard Nance and appears over at Note that there are a series of photos to illustrate the technique.

I do have a couple of comments on the article.

The following comments represent my opinions, not legal advice. For advice regarding lethal weapons and self defense in your area, consult a competent professional.

1) Weapon retention is more an issue for law enforcement officers (LEOs) than for civilians. As a non-LEO, you should not draw your weapon unless you intend to shoot someone. (I'm talking about self defense in the extreme, life-threatening situation.)

The one exception might be if you are at home & hear an intruder in the house. You will want to investigate with weapon in hand. Other than that, if you draw your weapon to intimidate, threaten, "warn" or for any other reason than to shoot an orc who is an imminent threat to life, you put yourself in limbo both legally and psychologically.

Indecision is the violent predator's stock-in-trade. If you put yourself in that limbo, he will know it and you may very well end up in a weapon retention situation.

2) Your weapon retention technique should probably include a finger in the eye(s). It's simple, effective and hard for the orc to defend against because his focus is 100% on the handgun.

Now, I admit that mine are neither final nor supremely authoritative. If you have anything to add (even to disagree), please comment.
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