Saturday, August 12, 2017

A Suggestion to Improve LEO Performance

I have previously dealt with the topic of "Sheepdogs and Wolves in Uniform," but today, I want to make a couple of suggestions that will help to improve law enforcement officer (LEO) self-control. 

Police in wrong house. Happens too often. Police overly aggressive. Happens too often.
Some people on FB are crying to abolish the police. Probably not happening any time soon. May I suggest a couple of measures that might go a long way toward avoiding incidents like this?

1) Start testing police routinely for steroid use, randomly as well as on an incident basis. A lot of LEOs want to pump themselves up to deal with potential physical confrontations, but steroids can alter mood and personality resulting in 'roid rage. A drugged police force is not the answer to drug use on the streets.

2) I'm seeing way too many videos where the LEO skips from verbal command to lethal force. This has to come from either clouded judgment due to steroid use (see #1, above) or lack of training in the spectrum of force. Officers should receive extensive training in Verbal Judo or something like it to deescalate confrontations. They need frequent scenario-based training to refresh those skills and the physical skills needed when a situation does unavoidably escalate.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Gravelbelly Meets South African Sheepdog/Missionary

In South Africa, Charl Van Wyk preaches the Gospel of Christ, wages warfare against the spiritual forces of wickedness in high places, and stands ready to use lethal force to protect those under his care. Oh, and after nine years of knowing about him, last Saturday I met this missionary sheepdog brother face to face in Wyomissing, PA.

In 2008, I blogged about a Reformed Christian Martialist who had stopped a terrorist attack on his church in 1993 (see here). I followed up with another blog several months later (see here), and then just two years ago, I referenced him in a post about the inadvisability of turning churches into gun-free zones (see here).

Last week, God granted me the privilege of chatting with him before and after his lecture "Fighting Demons in Africa, Body and Soul." You can hear his lecture below. It runs over an hour, but it includes teaching 99% of American evangelicals have not and will not hear in their churches

Friday, May 12, 2017

Gators, Orcs and Presence of Mind



An alligator grabbed Juliana Ossa by the leg, and she forced it to open its jaws to release her. A life-threatening attack is a life-threatening attack, whether by 'gators or orcs. Would you have as much presence of mind to respond as the ten-year-old girl in this news story?

She explains how she did it:

‘I put my two fingers up its nostrils and it couldn’t breathe and had to breathe from its mouth and then let my leg out.’
‘The gator didn’t do anything because he was too busy biting my leg and too busy with his claws in the sand. He didn’t have any attack moves to take out my fingers.’  (edited for spelling) 
She demonstrated control under stress which allowed her to use a simple technique to secure her escape. The mindset should remain the same whether in Moss Park, Florida, an alley in New York, the Metro in D.C. or a deserted parking garage in Chicago.

Juliana had received enough training to know what to do in the event of an alligator attack, and her training gave her enough confidence to act decisively when the attack occurred. Do you have the mental and physical skills to carry you through a life-threatening attack?

Click here to see more posts on retaining control under stressful conditions.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Sometimes Silence is the Best Defense

. . . who sharpen their tongue like a sword, and aim their arrows, deadly words, (Psalm 64:3)

And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. So the tongue is set among our members, spotting all the body and inflaming the course of nature, and being inflamed by hell. (James 3:6 MKJV)

Scripture warns that the heart is deceitful above all things, and it also cautions that words can become destructive weapons. Advancements in the study of the mind underscore the truth of Scripture's teaching in this area. Thus, the Christian Martialist must guard against bearing false witness . . . even against himself.

American Vision has published Joel McDurmon's excellent article that presents the Biblical perspective on the right to remain silent. Click the link below to read it.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Dual Spotlight Range Finder

For any do-it-yourselfers among my readers, here is Joerg Sprave's incredibly inventive approach to using two spotlights as a range finder.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Fitness for the Brain

This comes from an email sent out by Scott Sonnon who has some excellent training programs for sale at his RMAX site. (I do not have any financial stake in this endorsement.)

If you consistently move every day in the right way (explained below), you will experience significant testing score improvement in comprehending the written and spoken word, as well as, improve in scores in mathematics and science. Follow the 5 simple, practical steps to transform your movement exercise into brain power.
Neuroplasticity pioneer Michael Merzenich demonstrated that improving the ability to distinguish movement improves the general ability of the brain to keep time (called Temporal Processing). That improvement spills over into visual, auditory and fine motor processing, as having "more slices of time" improves the amount of data captured by the brain, and less missed micro-moments where data is uncollected.
Movement improved even visual-based IQ tests, so it isn't a character of mere exercise transferability to fine-motor enhancements. Your mental processing improves due to movement in a general way because of the improved temporal processing of motor control and spatial awareness. This improvement in motor control impacts the sense of time in the brain - its internal timepieces - which result in "better timing" of the entire brain.
Improved timing causes you to better comprehend reading, to better distinguish and store words that are spoken, and to improve your handwriting. Because of the spillover of these mechanical improvements in eye, ear and hand, your scores in math, science and social studies improve as well. Harvard Medical School Clinical Psychologist, John Ratey detailed these test score increases with relation to movement at "zero hour" (the hour before studying).
Those with prior learning disabilities, now can test higher than those with neuro-typical brains. As the saying goes, hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work. Imagine the test differences for those not facing learning challenges. Unfortunately, because people with "normal" brains don't experience performance deficits, they frequently don't consider the value of movement on optimizing their mental potential.
Neuroscience is beginning to explain in layman terms how movement, navigation and learning are collocated in the same brain region, and ignoring one, affects the other tenants. Test scores in ALL children decrease as schools remove movement from class schedules. For adults, the desk has become the new prison: mental performance plummets due to an absence of movement.
As I have provided for national security elements, Fortune 100 corporations, billionaires and professional sports: what works on the damaged brain or learning challenged brain also improves elite mental performance, on a continuum. The formula is very simple, if you'd like to apply it to your own mental performance.
  • Move daily, each morning, and for a few minutes at least every 90 minutes.
  • Perform complex movement once per day (mountain trail biking vs stationary bike, trail running / walking versus treadmill, and clubbells/kettlebells/medballs/sandbags versus machine lifting are examples of complex versus simple movement).
  • Perform some sort of exercise which challenges you to be "out of breath" at least every other day (preferably, daily). Use breath control techniques to recover your breathing as fast as possible, or you lose the effect.
  • Perform 15-20 minutes of this movement exercise.
  • Perform the movement at moderate intensity as it needs to be sufficient but non-excessive for optimal brain affect.
Move in the above manner, and you'll become stronger but more importantly, smarter.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

From the Barber's Chair: A True Life Application of Tactical Breathing

Wednesday afternoon, I received a phone call from my barber that caused deep concern. "I crushed my hands this morning, and I'm checking in to the hospital right now for emergency surgery." He did not have time to explain, but did ask for prayer. You may wonder what this has to do with tactical breathing.

Well, the next day I spoke to him again on the phone and found out that although he suffered a lot of painful soft tissue damage in both hands, the only bone fractures occurred in one finger of his left hand. He then related to me the story of his hospital visit.

"You took away my gun and pants and made me wear a dress," he joked with hospital staff, "and you wonder why men don't want to come here." He underwent surgery with only local anesthesia, and as he lay in his "dress," his legs began to shake uncontrollably and his blood pressure went up -- signs of adrenaline stress.

It was then he began to concentrate on tactical breathing, because he knows that breathing and heart rate go together. As he slowed his breathing, one of team commented, "Your blood pressure is going down." Adrenaline dump managed.

He should be back to cutting hair by the first week of March with a renewed sense of God's providence in good and bad life experiences and a cracker-jack story about tactical breathing for adrenaline stress management.

So, stop by his shop in few weeks. The story is a lot better when he tells it.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

A Link for Improvised Weapons

A Christian lady lawyer from Texas shared this link on Facebook, and I like the article's approach that you can turn virtually anything into an improvised weapon. Some of its ideas are more practical than others, but it's all there to inspire the MacGyver in each of us.

How to Turn 12 Everyday Items Into Improvised Weapons

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Why You Should Learn Wrist Escapes, 3

Continued from "Why You Should Learn Wrist Escapes, 2"

In the last post, I told about how leverage provides an efficient means to escape a wrist grab. It allows you break free from the strongest grip effortlessly.

Today, I want to point out that you must apply this leverage not only efficiently, but also effectively. Beginning at 2:30 in the video below, the instructor shows the use of leverage to efficiently break a wrist grab. As you watch, can you see the woman putting herself in a more vulnerable position?



As she pushes her elbow forward to touch her attacker's forearm, she get close enough for him to punch her upside the head with his left hand. She needs a means to apply the efficiency of leverage in an effective manner.

She can do this by changing the orientation of her elbow. Instead of pointing the elbow down toward the floor and leaning directly in where he can reach her, she can go to the side. The following video illustrates this, beginning at 1:00 and running to 2:44.


This application not only removes your wrist efficiently from your assailant's grasp, but also effectively gets you out of the way of his other hand. Additionally, it sets you up to deliver a judo chop to his face, throat or neck, if necessary.


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Why You Should Learn Wrist Escapes, 2

Continued from "Why You Should Learn Wrist Escapes"

Last week, I published a post that included an Attackproof video demonstrating that wrist escapes won't cut it in the event of serious violent attack. (CLICK HERE) While in full agreement with that premise, I then wrote an article that explained why wrist escapes serve a valid purpose where less-than-lethal force is called for. (see link at top of this post)

Now, I would like to address the subject of learning and practicing efficient wrist escapes. First, if your instruction in escaping wrist grabs included any reference to "pulling against the attacker's thumb", you did not learn an effective/efficient technique.

While it is correct that the thumb is the weak link in  grip, pulling against it may not work in 5-10% of cases. You see, there are some immensely strong orcs out there with huge hands, and while you concentrate on pulling against the thumb, they will clock you with the other hand just to stop you from squirming.

The key to an efficient & effective wrist escape is leverage. If you know how to lever your way out of an assailant's grasp, your moves don't need to be fast, sharp or strong.

In the Attackproof video you see an example of an efficient (but ineffective) wrist escape. Note the victim -- how she pushes her elbow in toward her attacker.

In terms of a lever, the force is her body weight applied at the elbow through her upper arm (humerus). The thumb is the load, and the fulcrum is at the web of his thumb.

If she has a short forearm, the distance from the elbow (where force is applied) to the fulcrum may be only 12 inches. But the distance from the fulcrum to the thumb is even less -- perhaps a quarter of an inch.

Thus, if she applies only 25 lbs. of force on the elbow side of the lever, that translates to 600 lbs. of force against the thumb. Not many orcs can withstand 600 lbs. with their thumbs.

When my third daughter was about 12, it took less than 5 minutes of instruction & practice for her to arrive at the point where I could not, with all my strength, hold on to her wrist. She did not have to pull or tug; she merely leaned her elbow toward me to lever out of my grasp.

We continued the practice for about 15 minutes to neurally imprint the technique. When we finished, the skin of her wrists was all red from the friction of my grasp. The point is that I was holding her tightly, and I towered over her, yet she could easily lever out of my grip.

Now, I mentioned that the wrist escape portrayed in the Attackproof video was efficient but not effective. In the next post I will tell how to make the escape effective as well as efficient.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Why You Should Learn Wrist Escapes

In  my previous post, Attackproof vs. Wrist Grab Escape, I featured a video that shows a woman who finds herself helpless against a large male attacker that has grabbed her wrist. The message of the segment is that when your life is on the line, you do not want to fool with partial or ineffective measures. While that is true, I will tell you why you should learn wrist escapes.

The main reason I believe a woman -- or anyone, really -- should learn simple wrist escapes is that not every man who grabs your wrist is bent on rape and murder. In fact, the great majority of unwelcome force that most people encounter will happen at lower levels, incurring mainly indignity rather than physical injury.

I'm talking about the jerk who grabs the waitress's arm or the brain-dead in-law who tries to pull a woman into his lap at a party. You may feel that such Bozoes deserve an all-out attack, but the judge may take a dim view of women who put them in the hospital.

Guys like that may be a pain in the neck -- and most of us have a much lower opinion of them -- but a deftly executed wrist escape followed by assuming the non-threatening, non-aggressive defensive position (just in case the low life decides to escalate the situation) may be all that's necessary in most less-than-life-threatening situations.

Also, in my opinion, the video does not show what I would consider the most advisable and effective execution for escaping a wrist grab. Maybe I'll write more on that another time. 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Attackproof vs. Wrist-Grab Escape

As many of my longtime readers know, I do not endorse any self defense system or instructor lightly. After looking over the Attackproof training manual and a couple of their DVD's, I have decided they have a lot of good instruction to offer, so I'm featuring one of their videos on the Wrist Grab Defense

The video below comes from Attackproof's website. (See comment below)



This video's offers excellent instruction, as far as it goes. Even though I acknowledge all the mentioned deficiencies of leveraged wrist escapes, I believe they belong in every self defense repertoire. Can you tell me why? I hope to address this in my next post..