Sunday, June 29, 2014

A Meditation on Psalm124:1-3

If it had not been the LORD who was on our side," Let Israel now say—“If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, When men rose up against us, then they would have swallowed us alive, When their wrath was kindled against us. (Psalm 124:1-3)

I have mentioned on previous posts that in the Book of Psalms you find the songs of the Warrior King. I have also said that singing the Psalms contributed to the Scots' character as formidable warriors.

With that in mind, consider the following excerpt as a meditation on the Scripture portion quoted above:

In the year 1582, this psalm was sung on a remarkable occasion in Edinburgh. An imprisoned minister, John Durie, had been set free, and was met and welcomed on entering the town by two hundred of his friends. The number increased till he found himself in the midst of a company of two thousand, who began to sing as they moved up the long High Street, "Now Israel may say," etc. They sang in four parts with deep solemnity, all joining in the well known tune and psalm. They were much moved themselves, and so were all who heard; and one of the chief persecutors is said to have been more alarmed at this sight and song than at anything he had seen in Scotland. (Andrew A. Bonar, in Christ and His Church in the Book of Psalms, 1859)

Saturday, June 28, 2014

My Own Favorite Khukuri

I am writing this on Thursday, 6/26. A little while ago, the dog was in the yard, barking. My daughter Merrianna checked and found that he was barking at a blacksnake resting on a ledge above the porch window.

Now, I realize that blacksnakes eat mice and other pests, but around here, we've found that they prefer hen's eggs and baby chicks, when they can get them. So, I unsheathed my khukuri.

A few minutes later, Merrianna took this picture.

The snake's head hangs by a thread of skin. If he had been against something more solid than the vinyl siding, the blade would surely have totally separated his head from his body. 

As long as my daughter had the camera out, I thought it would be a good opportunity for some more photos. This one shows the khukuri I used to kill the snake -- of the 3 khukuris I own, it is my favorite.

It came with an unfinished handle. I used Tru-Oil to produce a glossy finish, which while protecting against moisture, does not lend itself to good gripping when wet with perspiration. I may remedy that with a layer of camo wrap.

I bought the leather sheath separately because it holds the blade more securely than the traditional wood/buffalo hide that came with it. I added the camo wrap and wound it with a length of para cord. I also created a little pocket for the karda (little knife) and chakmak (steel sharpening & deburring tool).

This shows the back of the sheath.

Two DMT diamond hones reside in a pocket on the back, and below them I attached a little pouch with a magnesium fire-starting block. You may notice the D ring which serves to attach the sheath to a backpack.

While made from the 5160 steel, my blade has a flat rather than convex edge (read easier to sharpen), and it has a couple of shallow rough spots -- grinding marks. It was probably fashioned by an apprentice. Nonetheless, I have found that it holds its edge, and it cuts and chops superbly.

Below you will find a link where I bought the khukuri pictured above. Will you do me a favor? If you decide to order one of these or even another model on the same site, please enter the site through the link below. It will cost you nothing, and I will get a small advertising fee. I will never get rich from this blog, but it's a great encouragement to pick up a dollar here and there through the courtesy of my faithful readers.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Nepalese Khukuri in All Its Awesomeness

My barber sent me the link to the video below. It's a little long, but it shows the great value and utility of an authentic Nepalese made khukuri. (Warning: a few language issues lead me to caution any minor readers to let a parent preview this before you watch it to make sure it does not violate your family's standards.)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

What Kind of Warrior are You?

The Christian Martialist, as I have defined him, is a particular kind of warrior. I would like you to take few moments to consider what the words Christian warrior mean to you.

Do you see yourself as a warrior who happens to be a Christian, or do you see yourself as a Christian whom God has called to be a warrior? In other words, do you integrate your Christianity around your status as a warrior, or do you integrate your calling as a warrior around your status as a Christian. It makes a big difference.

I've heard some say that once the battle begins, all morality goes out the window. That would be the position of someone who sees himself as a warrior first with Christianity added in. The Biblical principles governing warfare have no place once the shooting starts.

To the Christian whom God has called as a warrior, the Word of God must govern all he does. This includes how he conducts himself in battle. He may have to take a life, but he lets God dictate the parameters of who, what, where and when.

Just to give you one passage that directs the ethics of warfare, please look at the following passage:

Deuteronomy 20:1-20    Israel – Rules of Warfare

When You Go To War
1 "When you go out to battle against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them; for the LORD your God is with you, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.

Priests Encourage the Soldiers
2 So it shall be, when you are on the verge of battle, that the priest shall approach and speak to the people. 3 And he shall say to them, 'Hear, O Israel: Today you are on the verge of battle with your enemies. Do not let your heart faint, do not be afraid, and do not tremble or be terrified because of them; 4 for the LORD your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.'

Soldiers Released From Duty
5 "Then the officers shall speak to the people, saying: 'What man is there who has built a new house and has not dedicated it? Let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle and another man dedicate it. 6 And what man is there who has planted a vineyard and has not yet eaten of it? Let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle and another man eat of it. 7 And what man is there who is betrothed to a woman and has not married her? Let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle and another man marry her.'

Release of the fearful
8 "The officers shall speak further to the people, and say, 'What man is there who is fearful and fainthearted? Let him go and return to his house, lest the heart of his brethren faint like his heart.'

Appointing Leaders
9 "And so it shall be, when the officers have finished speaking to the people, that they shall make captains of the armies to lead the people.

Offer of Peace and Tribute
10 "When you go near a city to fight against it, then proclaim an offer of peace to it. 11 And it shall be that if they accept your offer of peace, and open to you, then all the people who are found in it shall be placed under tribute to you, and serve you.

War Against a City – Spoils of War
12 Now if the city will not make peace with you, but makes war against you, then you shall besiege it. 13 And when the LORD your God delivers it into your hands, you shall strike every male in it with the edge of the sword.14 But the women, the little ones, the livestock, and all that is in the city, all its spoil, you shall plunder for yourself; and you shall eat the enemies' plunder which the LORD your God gives you. 15 Thus you shall do to all the cities which are very far from you, which are not of the cities of these nations.

Destroy Cities of Your Inheritance
16 But of the cities of these peoples which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance, you shall let nothing that breathes remain alive, 17 but you shall utterly destroy them: the Hittite and the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite, just as the LORD your God has commanded you, 18 lest they teach you to do according to all their abominations which they have done for their gods, and you sin against the LORD your God.

Do Not Destroy Fruit Trees
19 "When you besiege a city for a long time, while making war against it to take it, you shall not destroy its trees by wielding an ax against them; if you can eat of them, do not cut them down to use in the siege, for the tree of the field is man's food. 20 Only the trees which you know are not trees for food you may destroy and cut down, to build siegeworks against the city that makes war with you, until it is subdued.    NKJV

Monday, June 23, 2014

Firearms Training Under Stress

Very short post today. I'm giving a link to an article about a guy who trains under the stress of electric shock. Sound crazy? Well, I'm not saying it is, and I'm not saying it isn't.

Judge for yourself

Inducing and Controlling Stress in Firearms Training

Friday, June 20, 2014

The Khukuri as a Field Knife

My barber sent me the link to the following video:

I found it interesting and informative, but with one caveat. I wrote back to him my assessment:

Interesting. In Nepal, they use the khukuri for everything. I think as you become more familiar and comfortable using it, You learn the proper way to use the khukuri for different jobs. My experience has also been that I expend a lot of energy chopping with it, but I am aware that I'm not really letting the tool do the work, as I should. I need practice and experience, just as I first did when I started using an axe to split wood or a hammer to drive in nails.

Hmm. Maybe this should be a blog post.

He concurred in his reply, as follows:

Agreed.  Over the years I have had the bad habit of not letting the tool do the work.  It's the same with hair clippers, or a 16-ounce framing hammer.  Or a Cessna 150 airplane.  Gentle pressure inputs control the plane.  You don't need to man-handle it.  Same with knives and guns.  We tend to force things always.  We need to rethink that.  I often think that physical force is needed to accomplish the task.  They are called tools for a reason....  Ya' know, you and I never discuss or examine anything without extracting some edifying training value from it!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Joint Injuries and Range of Motion

Which takes a greater toll on joints, aging or traumatic injury? My answer is, "Yes!" 

In point of fact, your range of motion (ROM) loss as you age generally stems from two causes: 1) cumulative injury and 2) disuse. From this the question arises, "Can you do anything to regain your ROM?"

As a matter of fact, I know that you can. You can find various ROM exercises on the internet. As for myself, I have found Scott Sonnon's Intu-Flow exercises quite helpful.

But you need to know a couple of secrets in expanding your ROM. First, if it's too painful to do an exercise in one quadrant, practice it in the opposite quadrant. For example, at present I cannot lift my hand above my head to make circles, so I let my arm hang and do low circles.

Second, do not push through a motion if the pain is above a 3 or 4 on a scale of 1-10. Simply, make the motion until you reach that point, then over time, shave off the a little more of the lost range.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Took a Spill

If you can wade through the account of my boo-boos, there's a lesson at the end.

Yesterday, I carried a hay bale for my wife, then I went back to close the hatch on our van. As I went to put away my gloves, I tripped on a branch that was lying on the ground (a whole 'nother story).

In complete free fall, I put out my right hand against an outbuilding to catch myself. This wrenched my shoulder without stopping me. Then my head hit the building, and finally I landed on my left knee.

The knee hurt the most, at first. I had trouble getting up, because of the pain in both knee and shoulder. Much later, I noticed a little problem with my right hip, and a small laceration at the cuticle of my left thumb.

This morning, everything felt better (perhaps I should write a post on essential oils), but my right shoulder still hurts except in a limited range of motion, and if I try to lift anything heavier than a few ounces.

So, I had to ask myself WWMBD? What Would My Barber Do?

The obvious answer: Do a lot of left-handed dry fire practice.

Excuse me as I go get my airsoft Gov't Model replica and do some weak-hand practice.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Two Shillelagh O'Sullivan

Whether you're Irish or just a fan of Westerns, I hope you'll enjoy this old song by Bing Crosby.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Will He Shoot?

Back in 2009, I received an email from my barber with this link:

The text read as follows:

    Please tell me what you think about his statements after the encounter with the hillbilly with the shotgun.  Agree or disagree?

Immediately below, you will find the quote from the article that he referred to, and after that, my reply.

Popovich's first rule of firearms is pretty simple: The man who tells you he's going to shoot you will not shoot you.


Something about it rings true, but are there exceptions to the rule?

Not directly on topic, but when I was at Magee's, there was a veteran who had worked in Rhodesia as a merc. One time he was talking about how on TV & in the movies, the guy with the gun starts a monologue before he shoots his prisoners, giving them a chance to turn the tables or get away. He said, "Craig, if that was you & me, it would be, 
'What should we do with him?' 
'Shoot him.' Bang! 
'Okay, let's get out of here.'"

Popovich's principle seems to accord with what Col. Grossman says about the hesitancy most folks have of taking another human life. Talking about the deed could be
1) an attempt to stall & avoid going through with it (until it turns into bluffing?);
2) an attempt to talk oneself into pulling the trigger.

The second possibility is more worrisome, especially if the guy is not alone & has comrades to encourage him to pull the trigger (peer support mentioned by Grossman). If the orc can dehumanize you, receives peer support and gets the order to pull the trigger from someone he sees as a legitimate authority figure, then I think he just might go ahead and shoot.

So, the repo scenario might have worked out differently if the redneck had said, "Stop or I'll blow your head off," and then his buddies offered a chorus of encouragement AND someone high in neo-nazi circles was present and followed up with a direct order to fire.

Final conclusion: I think Popovich's principle is probably mostly true, most of the time, but there are exceptional circumstances where it would be dangerous to depend on it alone.

Monday, June 9, 2014

This is the sling I think I'd like to make. I have the leather and the paracord.

It's just a matter of sitting down and doing it. 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Give Me That Old-Time Religion

One of the verses of the song "Old Time Religion" says.
It was good for King David,
It was good for King David,
It was good for King David,
And it's good enough for me.

In the spirit of that song, I am thinking that a sling may be a good alternative weapon where firearms are unavailable.