Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Free Burma Rangers: Mission in the Midst of War

In 2010, I wrote about the Christian tribal people of Burma fighting to survive a genocidal war waged by the central government of that country. (see Christian Freedom Fighters in Burma & the sequel)

The interview below reveals the testimony and ministry of former Army Ranger and Green Beret, David Eubank. It tells of his calling and present work among the beleaguered ethnic minorities of Burma.

The video will engage you, and you will count the half hour it takes as well spent.

To learn more, click here: Free Burma Rangers

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Simple Wrist Lock (My First Screencast Video)

I have [finally] made my first screencast. Although this is a test video, a learning experience for me, you may find it instructive as an introduction to the most basic wrist lock.

As mentioned in the video, the illustrations come from a book by Teddy Roosevelt's jiu jitsu instructor, John J. O'Brien. If you're interested in this vintage self defense book, I have republished it to make it available to a new generation. Click below to find out how to purchase it.

A Complete Course of Jiu Jitsu

Monday, September 21, 2015

Church Security Team on Hold

Over a month ago, I posted that my church's officers asked me to form and lead a security team. I had one meeting with a deacon who would also be a part of the team.

At that time, he told me that the team would not function as an official part of the church. He said the church wanted to distance itself from us for liability reasons.

On August 26, I sent a preliminary proposal for the team's mission along with proposed training in  non-violent and violent intervention according to the spectrum of force. I prefaced it with this paragraph:

In discussion with T-----, he revealed to me that the session wishes the team to operate unofficially so the church can avoid liability issues. This means that, as team leader, primary liability would fall on me. Other team members would be liable, as well. I am extremely hesitant to go ahead with this project under those conditions.

 The church session (board of elders for you non-Presbyterians) has not as yet responded. As the only church member who comes to worship armed on a regular basis, I function as the church's sole [unofficial] security person.

Meanwhile, it goes on . . .

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Jan Zizka, Christian Warrior Extraordinaire

Jan Zizka (zhishka) followed the teachings of the pre-reformation leader, Jan Hus who predated Martin Luther by a century, and whose teachings influenced Luther's beliefs.

Jan Zizka gained prominence as a warrior who defended Czech believers during the anti-Hussite crusades. He pioneered the use of firearms in battle to the point that our words pistol and howitzer can be traced back to his troops' terminology.

Zizka merged the use of armored carts, artillery and handheld firearms into a plan that places him centuries ahead of his time as a tactician.

Žižka helped develop tactics of using wagon forts, called vozová hradba in Czech or Wagenburg by the Germans, as mobile 
fortifications. When the Hussite army faced a numerically superior opponent they prepared carts for the battle by forming them into squares or circles. The carts were joined wheel to wheel by chains and positioned aslant, with their corners attached to each other, so that horses could be harnessed to them quickly, if necessary. In front of this wall of carts a ditch was dug by camp followers. The crew of each cart consisted of 16-22 soldiers: 4-8 crossbowmen, 2handgunners, 6-8 soldiers equipped with pikes or flails (the flail was the Hussite "national weapon"), 2 shield carriers and 2 drivers.

The Hussites' battle consisted of two stages, the first defensive, the second an offensive counterattack. In the first stage the army placed the carts near the enemy army and by means of artillery fire provoked the enemy into battle. The artillery would usually inflict heavy casualties at close range.

In order to avoid more losses, the enemy knights finally attacked. Then the infantry hidden behind the carts used firearms and crossbows to ward off the attack, weakening the enemy. The shooters aimed first at the horses, depriving the cavalry of its main advantage. Many of the knights died as their horses were shot and they fell.

As soon as the enemy's morale was lowered, the second stage, an offensive counterattack, began. The infantry and the cavalry burst out from behind the carts striking violently at the enemy - mostly from the flanks. While fighting on the flanks and being shelled from the carts the enemy was not able to put up much resistance. They were forced to withdraw, leaving behind dismounted knights in heavy armor who were unable to escape the battlefield. The enemy armies suffered heavy losses and the Hussites soon had the reputation of not taking captives.

Known to many as "One-eyed Zizka," he actually lost sight in his one good eye in 1421. Remarkably, the totally blind Zizka continued to lead his troops to victory until he died of the plague in 1424. 

Let's lift a cup to salute a man who in his life and service embodied the very meaning of Christian Martialist: a defender of the faithful.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

A Team Must Train

“Any group is weaker than a man alone unless they are perfectly trained to work together.”  --Drill Sgt. Zim, Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein (1959 novel) 

The above quote came courtesy of The Warrior, a long-time follower of WARSKYL.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Church Security Team

Rescue those who are being led away to death! Indeed, hold back those who are staggering to the slaughter! If you say, "Behold, we didn't know this;" doesn't he who weighs the hearts consider it? He who keeps your soul, doesn't he know it? Shall he not render to every man according to his work? Proverbs 24:11-12

The officers of my church have offered me the opportunity to choose and lead a church security team, formulate a security plan and inaugurate a training program. The "safety/preparedness" team will serve alongside the emergency medical team which the church has taken steps to form.

I recognize the great responsibility laid upon me by this appointment, and as I prayerfully approach this undertaking, I ask for the prayers of my fellow Christian Martialists. I intend to keep you informed as to the progress in team formation, training and deployment.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Living in a WROL World

Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and He shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. Isaiah 13:9

I believe God's hand of casts a shadow over our land -- a shadow of judgement to come. For many of us, the worst-case scenario involves the disintegration of society into a WROL (Without Rule of Law) situation.

While I see that as only one of several possibilities, I do see rough times ahead. That's why when my barber sent me the link to the video below, it got my attention.

Special Forces deal with catastrophe as an ordinary fact of life. That's why, when they discuss the possibility of the collapse of civilization, it's a good idea to listen.

CAUTION: The video below contains language and topics that may violate the family standards of some minors who read WARSKYL. I urge all young people to clear the video with parental authority before watching.

To me, it's significant that they do not discuss guns & gear so much as skills and mindset.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Mastery = Making the Basics Second Nature

I ascended the mist-shrouded mountain, the home of the Master of All Combat Arts, Ancient and Modern. As I toiled higher, I knew the question I must ask him: What must I do to achieve mastery in the art of self defense?

I knew I would find him robed in the traditional, ancient garb of his people, but I heard him before I saw him. His voice carried on the cool, mountain air as he intoned a song his folk have sung for many generations.

      The man is blest that hath not lent
         to wicked men his ear,
      Nor led his life as sinners do,
         nor sat in scorner's chair.
      But in the law of God the Lord
         doth set his whole delight,
      And in the same doth exercise
         himself both day and night.

I espied him, sitting on the flat top of a boulder, wrapped in his Scottish great kilt. I did not want to interrupt his devotions, so I waited at a respectful distance until he finished singing Psalm 1.

"Ye have absented yourself from my abode for quite a while, lad." The twinkle in his eyes belied the reproachful tone of his words. "What brings ye here this morning?"

"Well, sir, I've been involved in martial activities for some time, now, and I'm wondering how much more I have to learn become a real master."

"'How much more,' ye say?" He raised a thick, dark eyebrow that demanded clarification.

"Umm, yes. I want to know how many more techniques . . . er, skills I need to learn so as to have mastered an art."

"Hit me."


"I said, 'Hit me.'"

I knew better than to argue, so I snapped a palm heel strike to his chin. SLAP! His palm intercepted mine. He said, "Verrry good, Clodhopper! It would take a wee lass weeks of practice to hit that well."

Did I ever tell you how good he is at sarcasm?

He went on. "Almost every art introduces the most important skills very early in training. As the student learns more techniques, he must also keep practicing the basics. Learning all those techniques does not make him a master; mastery of the basics does."

"So, I need to master the palm heel strike."

"Train yerself to deliver it not only standing, but sitting and lying in bed. Train yerself to strike out the open window of your car -- both driver's and passenger's sides. Train to strike around obstacles and any other way you can imagine. Train by yerself, train wi' a partner, but train until you master that one skill."

"Okay, I'll practice that one skill."

"Not by itself, Clodhopper. Also practice one kick and one joint lock the same way -- from every position and every angle. After you master those three skills, add three more until you master them."

Then, he led me to his rocking chair and had me practice delivering palm heels with power from that unstable base. Finally, the time had come for me to descend the mountain, and I had plenty to think about on the way down.

I still had the principle of mastering the basics on my mind when I ran across this quote from Ken Hackathorn on FaceBook:

One of the most interesting things that I continue of learn as I study real world shootings is the fact that the degree of difficulty is not particularly high. Most shootings / shootouts require pretty straight forward skills. Running, jumping, rolling and other antics that are popular in the movies rarely come into play for real. Most of the time, it's just a simple matter of alignment and trigger press.

Steve C. had posted it on his timeline. I guess it goes to show that the basics matter most in just about everything.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Should Churches Be Gun-Free?

Recent events on the other side of my state have re-ignited the debates over whether legislators should declare every church a "gun-free" zone. To me, it's rather like the old question, "If you call a mule's tail a leg, how many legs would it have?"

The answer is, "Four, because calling the tail a leg doesn't make it one." And so it is that no matter how many laws get passed, and no matter how many levels of government pass those laws, a church will only be gun free until someone walks in with one.

My comments Thursday concerning the church shooting in Charleston, SC, jogged my memory about previous posts on the subject of church security. In particular, an article I wrote in 2008 about Charl Van Wyk's actions against a terrorist attack on his church in South Africa came to mind.

Then, I ran across the video below in which Van Wyk discusses how well gun-free zones have worked out in Africa -- and they've worked out very well . . . for evil dictators and terrorists. Before you view it, please ask yourself this question: "If they came to take away my pastor -- to bury him alive -- what would I do, what could I do to stop them?"

Video may appear to be null, but it works when I click on it. Please let me know if you experience a problem.

(Warning: The video does contain graphic images, so I'm asking all minors to have a parent/guardian preview it to make sure it does not violate your family's viewing standards.)

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Church Violence in Charleston

The official said the assailant methodically kept firing and reloading. (From an L.A. Times article)

My barber emailed me about this incident and called the shooter "another robot". It seems these lone gunmen go off the reservation at times a little too convenient to the liberal anti-gun agenda. Yes, my barber is a little paranoid. It's one of the things I really like about him.

Aside from all the impassioned liberal propaganda that will try to take this tragedy and turn it into political hay, I think we need to face some tactical realities. Below you will find the text of an email I sent to my pastor a little while ago.


I'm sure you are aware of the terrible incident at the AME church in Charleston where a white man shot nine people at a Wednesday evening service. Although that particular shooting probably had racial motivations, it serves to underscore the fact that shootings happen more often in churches than in schools.

As you know, the session of our church has given me express permission as a CCP holder to carry concealed in our church building. I have done so faithfully, and I want you to know my standard security practices.

I sit in the back row for a reason. From there, a simple turn of the head allows me to see whenever I hear one of the rear doors to the sanctuary open. Nevertheless, I think I will move back to the first row of the alcove where T__ & B___ used to sit. This will allow me an even better vantage point for all three entrances to the sanctuary.

Just so you know, I worship tactically. I have tried to cultivate the habit of always holding my hymnbook in my left hand, in case I need to access my weapon with my right. Any time I hear movement during prayer, I open my eyes to find the source. While I'm not a great multi-tasker, I believe the Lord will not count it against me if I spend a little more time during the service with my eyes open.

I also want to make this pledge to you: To show up at services both ready to worship my God and to serve as a sheepdog for His flock. To come with both my heart and my weapon clean and ready, and my skills current.

I realize that I am not present at every church function, so I would like to suggest that you bring up to the session the need for security plans, procedures and policies along with sufficient training to implement them.

As we recently discussed, our society finds itself shifting in a negative attitude toward Christians in general. It is my hope that you and the session will give church security some serious thought in light of this. Let me know if I can help in any way.

For Crown & Covenant,

In case you haven't figured it out, protecting the flock isn't just something you do; it involves who you are on a deep level. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

From the Barber's Chair: Tactical Thinking Covers All of Life

You should not relegate tactical thinking to only the crisis events. Unless you make it habitual mindset that covers all your life, you may not be able to summon it for the big events.

As a case in point, I recently received this email from my barber. It's a tactical debrief after one of life's mundane crises. (minor editing, chiefly to protect identities & location)

Whenever there is an major incident, first responders hold a debrief to analyze what happened, the response, and what can be done to improve.  Here's mine from today....

For over 30 years we have kept an outside key to our house in a secreted location.  We have been renovating our home, and the key has been on my desk in my office for weeks.

We have a barn cat that I feed at 0730 every morning.  I did not do my exercise walk today, so I dressed for the shop.  Jeans and t-shirt.  Returning from the barn, I found the door to my house locked.  And I had to go to the bathroom when I went to the barn.  Bacon defrosting in the sink.  TV on.  No cell phone.  Empty pockets. No EDC bag.  A slight shiver of panic swept my mind.

I walked down to the in-laws.  They did not have a key to our house, and my sister-in-law had to leave for work in Danville.  I walked to our neighbors.  The neighbor gave me a phone to call [wife], a cup of coffee in a travel cup, and loaned me their car to drive to the . . . hospital [where she works] to get a key.

Driving to and from [town], I reviewed this incident, here is my take on it.

When the SHTF, you need good neighbors.  We have them!

Neighbors who are followers of Christ are even better.  They are!

My neighbor gave me coffee.  Those who refresh others will be refreshed. (Proverbs 11:25)

God was looking out for me during this entire incident.  Despite having the clothes on my back, and empty pockets, the Lord supplied a phone, a key, a coffee, and a car.  And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.  (2 Corinthians 9:8)

On the drive up I got to thinking, here I am with no driver's license, driving a car that is not mine, what if I got pulled over right now, I don't even have the neighbor's phone number!  The LORD keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.  (Psalm 121:8)

When I arrived at the hospital, I stopped to assist an elderly lady into a wheelchair.  There is always an opportunity to serve the Lord, no matter what our circumstances be.

Have a back-up plan.  I didn't.  Seek the Lord's favor daily in Prayer.

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.  (Colossians 3:17)  That's why I am sending this report.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

2-Way Mirror Security Tip

Here's a security tip, especially for the ladies. If you're in a restroom, how do tell if the mirror is only a mirror or if a person or camera is behind it, spying on you?

Men, you may want to send the women in your life a link to this post.

The "fingernail test has made its rounds, and although it can give you a clue, it's not absolutely conclusive. The fingernail test says that if you put a nail against a real mirror, you will see a gap between it and the reflection, but no gap if it's a 2-way mirror.

This may give a hint, but some real mirrors have the reflective surface on the front, so it's not 100% accurate.

I like the flashlight test better. If you put a flashlight right up against the surface of a mirror (your cell phone flashlight will work), it will illuminate the space behind a 2-way mirror.

Tell if a Mirror Is Two Way or Not Step 3.jpg

You can find these and more tips about 2-way mirrors on wiki-how

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Who Says Wrist Locks Don't Work?

Who says wrist locks don't work? Not I. I own a copy of Keith Pascal's Wristlocks, and I found it packed full. It not only has techniques, but important suggestions on training, personalizing and practical application in self defense.

The animated video below is an ad for his book, but as always, Keith gives you something to think about.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Handgun: Focus on Front Sight

My barber sent me the link to this video a couple of weeks ago. It's about tightening up your handgun shooting groups by focusing on the front sight.

When I visited PA a couple of years ago, my barber and I went to the range, and I performed terribly with my aimed shooting. Then, I reverted to point shooting, which I practice by dry firing and with my airsoft.

I produced a respectable group, center mass. My barber commented, "Stick with what you know." Good advice, but if I need to make a shot more than 7 or 8 yards away, using the sights would be advisable.

That's why I was so glad that he sent me this video:

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Forty Brave Soldiers for Christ

Some people know the account of The Forty Brave Soldiers for Christ as The Forty Martyrs of Sebaste. Rather than comment, I will let you hear the story for yourself as presented below.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Sheepdogs and Wolves in Uniform, 2

Sexual misconduct is the second highest of all complaints nationwide against police officers, representing 9.3 percent in 2010, according to an unofficial study.

In 2010, 354 of the 618 complaints involved non consensual sexual acts, and over half of those involved were minors.

Earlier this month we reported on an officer in charge of a rape case who is accused of stalking and sexually harassing the victim.

Last month Oklahoma made headlines with three serial rapists in 3 weeks, all officers, as well as one police chief molesting children.

In July, a former New York Police Department officer convicted of planning to kidnap and rape women before killing and eating them was set to go free after a federal judge overturned his conviction.
(From article, "Former Cop Headed to Trial for Raping a Child While Other Officers Watched")

Continued from "Sheepdogs and Wolves in Uniform"

(Wikimedia Commons photo by Gunnar Ries)

Violent predators in uniform: we might call them wolves in sheepdogs' clothing. And deployment overseas gives them ample opportunity to act out their sickest fantasies while operating amid the chaos of war. 

The gun and the uniform provide the wolf with the power and the illusion of legitimacy he needs to get away with his crimes. Because of expediency or ignorance, his superiors may even find his service commendable.

When the wolf in uniform returns to civilian life, he has choices to make. If he continues his sociopathic behaviors as a civilian, he risks exposure, prison or even death. But one option remains open.

Most, if not all, police departments, give preference to hiring veterans. The violent, predatory vet thus has a better-than-average chance of gaining what he wants and needs most: power over the helpless wrapped in a blanket of legitimacy. In other words, society offers him a gun and a badge.

Col. Dave Grossman makes the point that sheepdogs gravitate toward careers in law enforcement. Sadly, it's only natural for wolves, as well.

Back in the 1970's, the movie Serpico highlighted the career of an honest cop who made his stand against corruption in the New York City Police Department. Nearly 80 now, Frank Serpico has written an article about the problem of criminal officers and the police culture that protects and nurtures them.

Serpico's article unfolds against the backdrop of the recent North Charleston, SC incident in which Officer Michael Slager shot Walter Scott eight times in the back, and then he dropped his Taser near the body to bolster his claim that Scott had wrested control of it from him.

The article makes some telling points:

If you think that what happened in North Charleston is a unique case, it is not. Only recently, in another case, a policewoman in Pennsylvania first Tasered a black man, then shot him twice in the back as he lay face down in the snow. She was chasing him for an expired parking sticker. There were five seconds between shots. She said she feared for her life. It was captured on her own Taser camera.

I’ve been saying this for a long time, ever since I spoke before the Knapp Commission investigating corruption in the NYPD more than 40 years ago: Unless we create an atmosphere where the crooked cop fears the honest cop, and not the other way around, the system will never change. Unless honesty is rewarded more often than corruption, the police will lose credibility altogether. I wrote a letter to President Bill Clinton in 1994 addressing this very issue, saying that honest cops have never been rewarded, and maybe there ought to be a medal for them. He wrote back, but nothing changed.

Now, in the era of citizen videotaping, police credibility is at stake as never before. If enough testi-lying is uncovered, then who is going to believe the police even when they are telling the truth? They will be seen as crying wolf.

Until now, the shoot-first-in-fear-of-my-life mantra has eliminated any cause for concern in the taking of life by police. When a civilian commits a crime, every nuance is looked at, the better to “throw the book at” the suspect. When cops err, it is the opposite reaction. Eyes are averted, aggravating circumstances are ignored. And now the public is learning about this every time a new videotape emerges that undermines the official police story.

There is only one solution: The good cops really have to step up, and the system needs to reward them, rather than punish them. (From article: "When Cops Cry Wolf", Politico Magazine)

Okay, what's the bottom line, here? I would like to see my fellow conservative Christians adopt the following principles and apply them in the way they react, think and speak about accusations of police violence.

1) Although not all police accused of brutality are guilty, neither are all innocent. Do not automatically take up a side when accusations surface.

2) We see enough corruption in the ranks of the police to know that they will lean much further toward justifying one of their own than bringing charges against him. Do not uncritically accept official statements that justify an officer's actions.

3) Recognize that, "With great power comes great responsibility." If anything, the powers granted to an officer should require higher standards of behavior than those imposed upon the average citizen (e.g.,  If a private citizen should burn for shooting a suspect in the back, the same should hold true for law enforcement -- perhaps more so.)

4) Commit yourself to the truth rather than opposition to the other end of the political spectrum. If the knee-jerk liberals automatically assume an officer's guilt, don't take the opposite position out of misplace loyalty to your party or your ideology. Don't fall into the trap of making each individual police act a political issue. It's an issue of truth and justice, not politics.

For further reading, I recommend Frank Serpico's article, "The Police are Still Out of Control".

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Sheepdogs and Wolves in Uniform

As a youngster, I would watch a war movie and ask my dad which were the good guys. My dad, a WWII vet tried to explain to me that it's not that simple.

Consider the following quote:

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III-R) of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) indicates that the incidence of "anti-social personality disorder" (that is, sociopaths) among the general population of American males is approximately 3 percent. These sociopaths are not easily used in armies, since by their very nature they rebel against authority, but over the centuries, armies have had considerable success at bending such highly aggressive individuals to their will during wartime. So if two out of three of this 3 percent were able to accept military discipline, a hypothetical 2 percent of soldiers would, by the APA's definition, "have no remorse about the effects of their behavior on others.

. . . . The presence of aggression combined with the absence of empathy results in sociopathy. The presence of aggression combined with the presence of empathy, results in a completely different kind of individual from the sociopath. (Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, On Killing, pp. 182-183)

The foregoing passage introduces Col. Grossman's most famous and oft-quoted portion of his book that gave us the term "sheepdog" to describe the protectors among us who can kill the bad guys and still live with themselves. My barber brought me a copy of this book just a few months after its publication and said, "Here, read this. We're in here."

When I got to these pages, I knew exactly what he was talking about. My purpose in this post, however, arises from a desire to further explore the phenomenon of wolves in uniform.

(Wikimedia Commons photo by Gunnar Ries)

The U.S. has maintained its war footing in the Middle East for over a decade. Therefore, by Col. Grossman's analysis, it seems likely that the military includes up to two sociopaths out of every hundred troops. In addition, they probably field one or two sheepdogs out of every hundred deployed.

We would like to think that no one in the U.S. military would disgrace his uniform by committing war crimes and atrocities against the civilian population. Others among us would like to think that all those in the military rape, murder and torture on a daily basis.

The truth lies in the extremes. A small percentage of those fighting overseas can kill the enemy with no crisis of conscience. Up to half of that number occupy the role of sheepdog. The rest function as violent predators.

Sheepdogs and wolves both serve as critically useful assets on the battlefield. Off the front lines, however, the predators become a liability as they use the confusion of war to cover their crimes against prisoners and civilians.

In the armed forces among the 98% or so who do not kill easily, you will find as broad a spectrum of personalities as in the general population: dependable & undependable, ambitious & lazy, brave & cowardly, truthful & liars, givers and thieves, honorable & knaves. Among the 2-3% who can kill without the reprisals of conscience, you will find two basic types: protectors and predators.

Why do I bother to point this out? Because, in our polarized society, you can find hardly anyone indifferent to the military. To one side, all in uniform are heroes, while to the other, all are murderers. Conflict between these two opinions serves to further polarize society on the issue.

I assume that most of my readers lean toward associating the uniform with heroism. This simplistic view, however, can blind you to some realities that bear fearful consequences not only overseas, but at home, as well.

When we project our naive view onto all men in uniform, we set the stage for tragic consequences that include both individual victims and society at large.

(Continued Here)

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Newest Addition: Gallery Gun

I have always liked gallery guns, but they're kind of hard to find. To me, those .22 caliber pumps represent the apex of plinking fun.

For the past couple of years, I've visited our local pawn shop occasionally, and I've always checked to see if they had any gallery guns. Then, a few weeks ago, BINGO!

Short version, I now own a Savage Model 29, chambered for .22 short, long and long rifle. The original bluing has long since worn off, and a pleasant patina has taken its place. It has some miles on it, but so does its new owner.

 It did concern me that its previous owner might have shot a lot of shorts in it, which can erode the chamber. Long rifle cases could then expand into the depression and be difficult to eject. However, when I tested it the next day, it performed flawlessly, and the action works smoothly, like licking an ice cream cone on a hot day.

I did some research online, and I found that a the octagonal barrel on my Model 29 pushes its origin to before World War II. The low serial number (52xx) makes me wonder if it dates back to the first year or so of manufacture.

The pawn shop had a gunsmith repair and refinish the stock. This photo does not do justice to the nice finish he put on it. In the lower right, you can see the line where the stock was broken.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Gunshot First Aid

Here's the link to an article I ran across that I thought was informative: Gunshot First Aid for Preppers.

This is an area where I really don't have experience. I'd be interested in hearing from readers with firsthand experience. (I'm looking for people with experience, not just opinions.)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Hanky-zilla: My Shemagh

Military types have long-since adopted the shemagh, due to its utility. I've included one in my every day carry (EDC), and when I forgot it this past Sunday, I felt almost as though I were going to church naked.

You may be asking, "So, whats a shemagh?" In short, it's a super-sized bandanna. It's a square that usually measures 42" on a side.

Okay, what's it good for?  Here are a few suggestions from an ad I received:

  • Dust Protection. Cover your face on motorcycles, truck beds, and tops of chicken buses.
  • Sun Protection. Great for when you’re stranded in mid-day heat without shade nearby.
  • Towel. Small, lightweight, fast drying, but thick enough get the job done. Perfect for the beach.
  • Warmth. Wrap it around your neck as a scarf on the top of a mountain.
  • Bag. Lay it out, put stuff in middle, tie four corners together. Instant hobo sack.
  • Sarong. While shorter than a normal one, it can still be wrapped around your waist.
  • Sweat Rag. Great for hiking, running, or other sweat-inducing activities.
  • Arm Sling. Sprain a wrist or break an arm? Perfect for temporary immobilization.
  • Emergency Bandage. Help stop bleeding and protect the wound until you get to a hospital.
  • Pillow. Thick & soft enough to ball up and sleep with on bus rides or camping trips.
  • Weapon. Twist a big rock up in the middle, and you have an instant self-defense tool!
  • Concealment. Breaks up head silhouette.  Covers gun.
  • Rope. Long enough to be rolled up to tie things together.
  • Water Filter. Fold up multiple times and filter debris out of water before boiling.
  • Keeping Cool. Soak in cold water and wrap around your neck.
  • Signal Flag. Large enough to wave and get someone’s attention.
  • Blanket. Good for covering your upper or lower body..
  • Pot Holder. Take that boiling water you just filtered off the fire.
  • Eye Mask. Sleep during the day or in a hostel when lights are on.
  • Poop wiper, nose rag, etc.  The list goes on and on.

When I ordered mine from Amazon (Click here to see), it cost me $9.99 with free shipping.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Power Signals, Posture and the Christian Martialist, 3

Continued from "Power Signals, Posture and the Christian Martialist, 2"

In the previous post I established that the Bible links physical posture to inner moods and attitudes. In the next post, I want to tell a little bit about how I use the power poses in my own training.

First, though, let's look at some of the poses I use. I'll call on two of my favorites, Doc Savage and The Phantom to illustrate.

Above, you can see both Doc and The Phantom taking up space, a classic characteristic of power posing. To me, this pose signifies ready for anything.

Dr. Cuddy calls this "the Wonder Woman pose". In reality, almost every comic book hero assumes this posture often.

Usually, folded arms connote weakness, but not here. The Phantom has not hunched his shoulders, his chin is up, and he has assumed a wide stance. This pose virtually screams, "I'm in charge, here.".

Doc Savage projects power with arms upraised. The upper image reminds me of what I call the strongman pose.

It's difficult to find comic book heroes using the victory pose. When I use it, the word "exultant" comes to mind.

Both Doc and The Phantom project authority, even when seated. For this one, you need the biggest armchair you can find, then spread out to fill the space..

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Power Signals, Posture and the Christian Martialist, 2

Continued from "Power Signals, Posture and the Christian Martialist"

In the previous post, I presented the principle that how you position your body affects your own inner attitude. When you are in a hostile environment, you want to project confidence and power to yourself as well as to potential adversaries.

The Christian Martialist, however, must ask himself the question: "Does this principle represent some fad in pop psychology, or does it arise out God's built-in design? Of course, the Word of God holds the ultimate answer to the validity of power poses.

I did a study on where the Bible associates physical posture with inner moods and attitudes. I also checked some commentaries that help to confirm and explain those connections.

Posture, Mood & Attitude

Psalm 42:5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? - Margin, bowed down. The Hebrew word means to bow down, to incline oneself; then, usually, to prostrate oneself as in public worship; and then, to sink down under the weight of sorrow; to be depressed and sad. The Septuagint renders it, “Why art thou grieved?” - περίλυπος (Barnes)

Psalm 27:6 And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.

And now shall mine head - Now shall I be exalted. So we say that in affliction a person bows down his head; in prosperity he lifts it up. This verse expresses the confident expectation that he would be enabled to triumph over all his foes, and a firm purpose on his part, as the result of this, to offer sacrifices of praise to his great Deliverer. (Barnes)

Psalm 110:7 He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head.

Therefore shall he lift up the head - Therefore shall he triumph, or be successful. The head falls when we are faint and exhausted, when we are disappointed and are ashamed, when we are conscious of guilt. It is lifted up in conscious rectitude, in success and triumph, in the exuberance of hope. (Barnes)

Psalm 119:48 My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes.

My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments ... - As an expression of delight or rejoicing, as people lift up their hands with their voice when they give expression to joy. It denotes a high state of joy, such as leads to an outward expression; not merely that which exists in calm contemplation, but where the heart is full, and when it finds outward expression. (Barnes)

Psalm 134:1 A Song of degrees. Behold, bless ye the LORD, all ye servants of the LORD, which by night stand in the house of the LORD.
Psalm 134:2 Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD.
Psalm 134:3 The LORD that made heaven and earth bless thee out of Zion.

Lift up your hands in the sanctuary - Margin, In holiness. The Hebrew word properly means holiness, but it may be applied to a holy place. See Psalm_20:2. The lifting up of the hands is properly expressive of prayer, but the phrase may be used to denote praise or worship in general. (Barnes)

Lam 3:41 Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens.

Heb 12:12 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;

Lift up the hands which hang down - As if from weariness and exhaustion. Renew your courage; make a new effort to bear them. The hands fall by the side when we are exhausted with toil, or worn down by disease; see the notes on Isa_35:3, from which place this exhortation is taken. (Barnes)

Isa 35:3 Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.

The weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees - Strength resides mainly in the arms, and in the lower limbs, or the knees. If these are feeble, the whole frame is feeble. Fear relaxes the strength of the arms, and the firmness of the knees; and the expressions ‘weak hands,’ and ‘feeble knees,’ become synonymous with saying, of a timid, fearful, and desponding frame of mind. (Barnes)

Job 22:6 For then shalt thou have thy delight in the Almighty, and shalt lift up thy face unto God.

And shalt lift up thy face unto God - An emblem of prosperity, happiness, and conscious innocence. We hang our face down when we are conscious of guilt; we bow the head in adversity. When conscious of uprightness; when blessed with prosperity, and when we have evidence that we are the children of God, we look up toward heaven. This was the natural condition of human beings - made to look upward, while all other animals look grovelling on the earth. (Barnes)

Ezekiel 1:28 As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.
Eze 2:1 And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee.
Eze 2:2 And the spirit entered into me when he spake unto me, and set me upon my feet, that I heard him that spake unto me.

Jos 7:6 And Joshua rent his clothes, and fell to the earth upon his face before the ark of the LORD until the eventide, he and the elders of Israel, and put dust upon their heads.
Jos 7:10 And the LORD said unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face?
Jos 7:13 Up, sanctify the people, and say, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow: for thus saith the LORD God of Israel, There is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel: thou canst not stand before thine enemies,

Pro 28:12 When righteous men do rejoice, there is great glory: but when the wicked rise, a man is hidden.

A primitive root; to jump for joy, that is, exult: - be joyful, rejoice, triumph. (Strong)

Gen 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

A primitive root; to tread down; hence negatively to disregard; positively to conquer, subjugate, violate: - bring into bondage, force, keep under, subdue, bring into subjection. (Strong)
I read a commentary that said this word’s usage stemmed from the practice of kings in the ancient Near East to place a foot upon the neck of a conquered foe, denoting total and absolute subjugation. (C.M.)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Power Signals, Posture and the Christian Martialist

The following helpful paragraph came from an ad:

There are three groups of power signals, each group or range communicates a personality or character quality.
  • Alpha Signals: Leadership, Dominance, Control. An Alpha will initiate action and take up space.
  • Beta Signals: Competence, Credibility, Intelligence, Confidence. A person with Beta characteristics interacts and shares space.
  • Gamma Signals: Friendliness, Likeability, Interpersonal Attractiveness. A Gamma will respond and give up space.
The ad goes on to say that each serves an appropriate role, depending on the social context. 

I've written previously about how when you project confidence (as opposed to cockiness or bravado), predators tend to steer away from you and look for easier prey. I was also interested to find out that your posture not only affects how others see you, it affects your own confidence levels -- how you feel about yourself.

Power posture -- I like to refer to this as my superhero poses -- has been shown to reduce the stress hormone cortisol. This will serve as one more tool in your kit to control adrenaline in emergency situations. The health benefits that result from regular practice of power poses come as an added bonus.

View the video below for the whole story, and it would not hurt to have your women folk watch it, as well. This could save them from an attack they will never know was imminent.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Fitness and the Warrior Fallen Ill

You train in order to be ready to meet the unannounced threat. But what do you do about training when you're down with a cold, or even something more debilitating? 

The infographic below by Dr. John Berardi addresses when, how and why you should exercise when you're ill. If you have trouble reading it here on the blog, you can access it at THIS LINK.

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Bow as a Defensive Weapon?

I'm not about to throw away my firearms in favor of bow and arrow, BUT when you see an archer who has developed better skills with his bow than many of us have with our guns, well . . . .

I feel the need to practice.

Monday, January 19, 2015

My Barber

I've mentioned my barber here many times. Some of you may wonder what he's like.

His shop is small -- one chair. You'll see one wall dedicated mostly to various pictures of dogs playing poker. On the opposite wall, above a nice, handmade oak bench, you'll see photos, including a huge, autographed picture of John Bianchi, a snapshot of my barber and his wife alongside Ollie North, and an autographed picture of Johnny Crawford that hangs among photographs of several Western actors.

I think of him whenever I watch Tombstone. Do you remember the scene after the big shootout at the creek? Doc Holliday is talking to the two Jacks and one of them says that Doc ought to be in bed and asks him what he's doing there. Doc replies, "Wyatt Earp is my friend."

The other retorts, "H***, I've got lots of friends."

Doc's quietly responds, "I don't."

I've never had many real friends. Close friends. My barber and my veterinarian are at the top of an extremely short list. They've each had my back. I'd like to think I'd have theirs if and when they needed it.

Anyway, if you'd like some idea of what my barber is like, here's a video that will give you a clue. He's somewhat younger than Leroy, and he's a lot more comfortable with a Mk 23 than with a guitar, but he relates to his customers in much the same way.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Have Gun Will Travel Christmas Show

My barber sent me the link to a Christmas show from the "Have Gun Will Travel" TV series. For fans of  "The Rifleman", it features a really young Johnny Crawford.

I don't want to reveal any spoilers, but I will mention that I almost got misty when Paladin took off his hat near the end of the show.

At our house, The Nativity celebration is winding down. Tomorrow will be the 12th day (by my count), then Tuesday will mark Epiphany. Blessings on all of you who have celebrated the advent of the King.