My understanding is that though traditionally it is true that material was passed down from father or uncle to the next generation and as such could be considered a family style, ultimately it evolved with every generation. The only reason material was passed down was that it worked. The next generation was meant to take what they had learned 'and make it theirs'. I think the idea was that you were always meant to go test your stuff, the stuff passed down to you, the stuff observed from others, opponents or otherwise, and the stuff you had 'stolen'. It is personally what I have always admired in FMA, this constant search for betterment. Nowadays schools are more systematized for sure ... but I'm not sure if that is a good thing. The idea of fixed 'boxes' of knowledge seems to go counter to this more traditional approach. Material should come from what is useful, what works, not just what someone told you. Of course it is harder today to test what you learn, and by necessity limits must be put on contests for safety reasons. I don't duel with real blades for instance, there are no invaders coming that I will have to repel, so what I 'know', my style, has it's limits. But I think in the end fighting is fighting (though understanding context in hugely important - don't fight an opponent with a sword as though they have a stick for instance) and really evolution will come from new problems, new opponents that need to be beaten. Just like MMA has evolved over the years as different skill sets have become dominant and opponents have had to learn how to beat them, so with stick fighting, dueling, etc.
Violence has broken out in Cairo, beginning today at about 8 p.m. Demonstrators outside the state television station began firing on soldiers patrolling the area, according to reports from government sources. Two soldiers were reported dead and 25 soldiers were reported wounded so far. Other reliable reports say that multiple vehicle fires have broken out and that tear gas is being fired by the police at the crowd. Demonstrations are also under way at Tahrir Square.
Given elections scheduled for November, and the apparent magnitude of the violence, it would appear that this event is highly significant. We expect details and analysis to evolve as the events unfold.
Just a quick yip to say that IMHO we are missing an opportunity with the response of our side to the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations. Instead of focusing on the anti-free market element, I would focus on the correct anger at bailouts of some people, bank, and businesses that have acted very badly and communicate that what we see here is the natural result of the progressive/liberal fascist ideology.
Non-farm payrolls were up 103,000 in September To view this article, Click Here
Brian S. Wesbury - Chief Economist Robert Stein, CFA - Senior Economist
Non-farm payrolls were up 103,000 in September and up 202,000 including revisions to July/August. The consensus expected a gain of 60,000. Private sector payrolls increased 137,000 in September. Revisions to July/August added 42,000, bringing the net gain to 179,000. September gains were led by professional & business services (+48,000), health care (+44,000), telecomm (+38,000, due to the end of the Verizon strike), and non-residential construction (+30,000). The biggest decline was manufacturing (-13,000).
The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 9.1%.
Average weekly earnings – cash earnings, excluding benefits – increased 0.5% in September and are up 2.1% versus a year ago.
Implications: The employment report for September shows, without a shadow of a doubt, that the US economy is not in recession. Including upward revisions for July and August, nonfarm payrolls increased 202,000. That easily beat consensus expectations of a 60,000 gain and is a solid gain even if we exclude the 45,000 workers who ended a strike with Verizon. In addition, the number of weekly hours per worker increased to 34.3 from 34.2 in August, which is the equivalent of 320,000 jobs. But the good news does not stop there. Civilian employment, an alternative measure of jobs that factors in small business start-ups, increased 398,000. This was enough to keep the unemployment rate at 9.1% despite a 423,000 gain in the size of the labor force, the largest increase in more than a year. Very quietly, without any fanfare, private sector payrolls have grown by 1.8 million in the past year, while the workweek has lengthened and hourly cash wages are up 1.9%. A 9.1% unemployment rate means the labor market is still far from operating at its full potential, but it is moving in the right direction as are other data. September chain store sales were up 5.5% versus a year ago, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers. This includes luxury department store sales up 10.4%. Meanwhile, core railcar loadings are up 5.7% versus a year ago, according to data from the Association of American Railroads. Initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 6,000 last week to 401,000. But continuing claims for regular state benefits declined 52,000 to 3.70 million. Investors have been grossly misled about the odds of a recession.
STRATFOR --------------------------- October 7, 2011
WEIGHING AN EXTENDED U.S. PRESENCE IN IRAQI KURDISTAN
Kurdish officials in northern Iraq on Wednesday raised the possibility of some 1,500 U.S. troops remaining stationed at the airport in the contested city of Kirkuk past January 2012, the deadline for all American military forces to withdraw from the country under the current U.S.-Iraq Status of Forces Agreement.
"What is at stake for Washington is not the fate of Iraqi Kurds, but the most powerful means of leverage the United States has left in Iraq: its military presence."
Washington has been pushing for an agreement that would keep U.S. troops in Iraq past the deadline as a way to counter Iran, and some Iraqi factions would also like to see an extended U.S. presence for their own reasons -- especially the Kurds, who see the prospect of U.S. troops in northern Iraq as a way to ensure Kurdish autonomy. However, other Iraqi factions, many of which are influenced by Iran, have thus far been successful in preventing any such accord from being struck. Given the fractious nature of Iraqi politics and the logistical requirements for removing forces by the deadline, the longer these factions delay an extension, the more difficult it becomes to enact one.
What is at stake for Washington is not the fate of Iraqi Kurds, but the most powerful means of leverage the United States has left in Iraq: its military presence. The U.S. State Department plans to maintain the largest embassy in the world in Baghdad and the Iraqi government will continue to accept American aid and military hardware (as well as the contractors necessary to maintain it). But neither the diplomatic presence nor U.S. aid and equipment can provide the deterrent to Iran that military forces stationed in the country could, and the removal of troops will inevitably erode U.S. influence, along with situational awareness and intelligence-gathering capabilities. In addition, the advisory and assistance support the U.S. military has provided its Iraqi counterpart in areas of planning, logistics, intelligence and air sovereignty (among others) will be denied, meaning that Iraqi security forces will be somewhat less capable, particularly in the near term.
By invading in 2003, the United States destroyed the Iranian-Iraqi balance of power that had defined American foreign policy in the region since the fall of the Shah in 1979, and the Iraq of today is not capable of containing and counterbalancing Iran. This is not a problem that can be solved by military force, or at least by the military force the United States is willing to keep committed to the region. Because of this, a political accommodation and understanding with Iran is necessary. The question is about the terms of that accommodation and understanding, and at the moment the U.S. negotiating position is weak. Some sort of residual American military presence in Iraq is ultimately intended to buy time for the American negotiating position to improve while attempting to provide allies and partners in the region like Saudi Arabia enough reason to stay with Washington instead of reaching an independent accommodation with Iran on Iranian terms.
This is the context in which any residual American military presence in Iraq must be understood. That presence -- however it is officially described -- could be composed, equipped and positioned to serve as a credible conventional blocking force in coordination with U.S. forces stationed in Kuwait (though this looks increasingly unlikely). Alternately, the remaining U.S. forces could take the shape of a training mission with very limited applicability to the larger strategic problem (particularly if it is limited to 1,500 troops in Kirkuk). Either way, it will be vulnerable to attack by Iranian proxies while failing to address the real means of Iranian power in the region -- its extensive network of covert operatives that are able to move quite freely across the Persian Gulf region.
The United States wants to prevent Tehran from filling the power vacuum that would be left in Iraq after the withdrawal until other means of leverage can be brought to bear against Iran -- ideally when most U.S. and allied forces have also withdrawn from Afghanistan and the global economy is not being held hostage to skirmishes in the Strait of Hormuz. A residual military presence can be can be composed in ways that make it better- or worse-suited to deal with this, but it cannot solve the underlying problem of Iranian power in the region.
IMHO Rory has some great insights into being 'behind the curve', about the way the nervous system functions re: freezing and looping, and the real importance of having a default 'Oh Shit' response. One example was a demo he did at a workshop I took, looking at what getting grabbed from behind was more likely to be in an assault, and how it compared to the responses that are commonly taught as escapes. He pointed out that the only people that try to hold you in place are LEOs, as he then proceeded to swipe me off my feet from behind and throw me into a wall .... He didn't let me actually hit the wall hard which was very nice of him, but it illustrated very well to me at least, how stuff happens from an assaultive mindset - with no warning and no time - and how this is the place where it behooves us to learn to fight from.
I liked Battle:Los Angeles - Thought the filming, editing and sound were all well done. For a pretty unrelenting 2 hours of continuous fighting they paced it pretty well, and ....... one of the trailers they showed: The New Conan Movie ....
I have not really done very much yoga at all, one of the reasons being the 'scene' and the other the general quality of the instructors. Many seem under qualified to keep people injury free by the way they teach - either by not paying attention to anyone in the room - or as in your experience, forcing the poses. This is not universal though - I went to one awesome class in Santa Monica with some friends the morning after I came down to The Gathering. It was a 6.30am class taught by a French chap, and it was really, really good. His knowledge of body mechanics was top notch, and he gave personal attention to everyone, moving them and helping them all within their capabilities. He stands out because he was so different. It was one of the most exhausting workouts I've ever got through, really good, and I'd study with him again in a heartbeat.
It's been a good year of learning, and I had the opportunity to train with some great teachers, notably Rory Miller. More pieces of the puzzle have started falling into place on how to pass on Maestro Sonny's material, and seeing progress in students has been very satisfying. I'm still working on ways to keep my skills sharp, and improving on them as I can. The stresses due to the state of the economy have made it hard to focus sometimes, but I am certainly glad of my practice. It is engaging, creative and absorbing - a real gift. I hope to have more opportunities to be a student in 2011, and spending more time writing and documenting Sonny's art. Wishing everybody all the best in 2011. Maija
Sonny would play Largo (cane style) with us and tag legs and ass to get us to move. The 'ass shot' though not painful physically was definitely painful to the ego - there's no excuse getting tagged from behind ... especially when you eat a head shot straight after .... Knife in play also a good idea - has to be some incentive not to get hit. Not wanting to get stabbed is a good one
Suigetsukan - The Dojo out of which I teach is a predominately Japanese style school, though Chinese and Filipino styles are also represented. I'm not sure how you get the impression of 'soft arts', especially when relating to Eskrima, perhaps contact vs no contact teaching methods might be a better comparison? I second Reggie Burford and Oakland Eskrima a a great crew of guys, also the Inayan system guys, for sure check out Jon Ward in the South Bay In the end though, you should get out and go do some classes yourself - you are never going to get the feel of whether a system/method is right for you if you don't actually try and compare.
I don't believe there are any Dog Brothers training groups as such, in the Bay Area, though as Sting says, he still hosts his Gentlemens Fight Club (and other sparring sessions?). There are however teachers in everything from Serrada to Doce Pares, Senkotiros and Pekiti, to name but a few - just let you fingers do the Googling! I teach the Visayan Eskrima of Sonny Umpad here in Oakland, but it uses the sword as the primary weapon, not stick.
Crafty, are you saying that people that think talent is genetically determined will quit (if they don't think they have 'it') sooner than those that do not? I suspect that believing in the concept of innate talent, and believing in the necessity of hard work, are not mutually exclusive. Also, is it not a question of the chicken and the egg - which came first, the tendency to quit? Or the excuse?
I wholeheartedly agree that skill comes from practice - and a great deal of smart practice is necessary to gain superlative competence, but I have seen 'talent' in people, or perhaps 'natural aptitude' or 'gift' might be a better term? It may be an assessment made by others, but it is nothing to do with an ability to disguise weak performance. It can manifest at the earliest stages of practice all the way through to mastery.
Agree with points already made. Also I was pretty impressed with the store owner - not only did he do a great job point shooting under stress - perhaps he was lucky ... but still, great job ... Didn't freak out when he knew he was bleeding, AND managed to dial his cell phone for help after no doubt a huge dump of adrenaline.
I've learned a huge amount from our dog over the years. Him and my then fiance came as a pair, and Khan, a muttly Lab, Pitbull, Akita, mix, probably about a year and a half old was not overly impressed by the change in social dynamic. I knew that pretty early on we would have to settle the status issue, and one morning him an I were out in the yard on our own and he started to piss on my motorcycle LOL. I vocalized and stepped towards him, telling him to stop, and he just looked at me and bared his teeth. I had a very clear moment knowing that I needed to win or things would be difficult from then on, and I grabbed him by the scruff and chucked him on the ground with my knee on his neck. He bit me round the wrist, but not with any serious intent, and pretty quickly relaxed once on the ground. What I remember most was thinking that we now needed to establish a friendship and not to hold on to this moment - that was a great lesson for me. Clear intent, then let it go. That was 10 years ago, and though he's still more attached to my better half than me, we work together fine now. Occasionally he still might push the boundaries, but will comply without any drama. I've learned a huge amount from watching him, looking at how he understands the world, and observing the direct nature of canine behavior. My appreciation for the human/canine friendship has only increased over time, especially when out in nature. I never thought of myself as a 'dog person' but have certainly become one now.
A friend of mine has started the 'caveman' diet. He's a very active, physical guy, trains alot. Says he feels very good on it and that it's totally stopped his acid reflux issues, which I guess were a problem for him especially at night. Around here you can do deals with small family farms that raise grass fed cattle to buy whole animals. It arrives in a big box, cut up and frozen. Makes eating cheaper, and healthier.
It's interesting that you talk of the 'dark secret'. I have friends who own beach property in Mexico, a traveller friendly fishing village, where it's the same demographic as you are describing of gringos owning guest houses and bars, and plenty ex pats hanging out. On more than one occasion there have been violent home invasions, one involving a friend of a friend. Lady is in her 60s, but still got beaten up real bad, and only escaped being killed by neighbors who shouted the alarm. She had to leave her house and all her belongings behind. Like you said, the corruption is so bad that nothing was going to be done about it.
I have to say that I'm not so worried about the house and the stuff in it, it's pretty secure. I'm just irritated that scumbags can walk off the street on to my property, take a sniff about and pilfer what they want. Valuable stuff is locked up, and we have a dog. It's just the disrespect I guess that irritates me, and the aggravation of having to go and tell bug eyed freaks to sling their hook. It's not a particularly bad neighborhood, but not great. Have to say though, even the fancier areas have problems with garages and back yards getting stuff stolen from them. It's casual, opportunistic crime, and it would seem like signs would be a nice basic deterrent. Yes, locked gate and fence, that's coming, but just looking at ideas for the interim. I think the motion detector lights are a nice idea, though obviously have no effect in broad daylight ... I also heard that the solar powered ones are very weak. Anyone have any experience with them? @ScurvyDog - Nasty story ... what's up with the rising crime rate there? I have to say that your idea for a sign makes complete sense to me! Hope the guy who defended himself didn't get into trouble ... what is the law like for such cases?
Thanks for the input, Tony. The reason why I asked about the dog signs is I heard that if you have 'Beware of Dog' and it bites someone, you imply prior knowledge that your dog is 'dangerous' or something ridiculous. Around here they use "Dog in Yard" that implies nothing. I agree that the gun signs could have the opposite effect of the one looked for ... but I am sad that humor is so risky nowadays .... I will add that I used to know a guy that had a 'miss spent youth' who was completely unafraid of dogs and would break into peoples' houses with a dog inside if the dog looked like a pushover through the window ....
Thanks GM. Yes, I know. BTW, I've heard there are ramifications of having a 'Beware of Dog' sign - implication being the dog is dangerous or something .... Better to have "Dog in Yard' or something? Do you have any thoughts on that?
My house/yard is a big construction project at the moment, and though fenced is not completely secure as yet - though soon to be. Anyway, long story short - found a homeless guy wandering around in the side yard, the 3rd such incident now - "Oh sorry, thought the property was abandoned" Yah ...... No issues - joy of having a nice large canine companion, but it got me thinking of the psychology of protecting your home and environment (apart from the obvious high locked gates). My better half suggested pigs heads on stakes ... but I'm for a bit more subtlety personally! LOL For instance, an old friend on mine, is ex-military and has collected military gear for many years. His neighbors say that the camo net in the front yard that he uses as a shade structure has kept the crime on their block at zero compared to the rest of the neighborhood. I also started remembering some of the incredibly humorous no trespassing signs and bumper stickers I've seen, and thought you guys might have some suggestions to add. My favorites: "No trespassing. Those found on the property after dark will be found on the property in the morning". And for the bumper sticker: "Keep honking, I'm reloading".
Rarick and Crafty - Yes! Absolutely! I do not believe I was confusing 'initiation' with an aggressive defense, but perhaps the confusion (which I was just adding to apparently LOL) stems from stilljames June 16th post? Quote: "Where does proactivity end and being an aggressive bully begin? It is a hard line to draw." "Which brings me to the next question: Outside of a purely sporting situation, why teach offensive combatives at all?" "Fingers, fists, knees and other empty handed blows can be every bit as lethal as the knife. We should never forget that, ethically, when we argue, fight or teach. One of the reasons for the foundation of arts such as Aikido is so that someone could defend themselves without mangling someone else for the rest of their life."
Yes, I believe you defined 'offensive' in this conversation as 'initiation'. My post was adding to the previous post by Jonobos discussing the concept of what 'defense' actually IS. Sometimes the parameters become blurred because successful defense is often offense ... but not 'initiation'. Hence some teachers renaming what they teach as self protection instead of self defense. Am I getting my wires crossed here .. or perhaps just too caught up in the semantics?
There was debate a while back after the growth of the RBSD movement - Reality Based Self Defense that is - regarding the problem of using the word 'Defense'. Obviously Self Defense is a concept we all understand, but many in the field preferred to call what they did 'Self Protection' because ultimately people with experience understood that the best defense is offense, and on some level you NEED to be pro active. Purely defending yourself, and having preset, imaginary boundaries of not being willing to hurt your attacker are misguided at best. I have never been attacked, so I only speak from what I have learned and read from others that know and teach this stuff. So far the consensus is that the only way to stop a committed attacker attacking you, is to attack them. If they are not busy dealing with you, they are not going to stop. As those that never get closer to fighting than sparring or doing SKD know, you can't defend forever, it just doesn't work, even in this 'fair' environment. I have come to believe that it is not realistic to think of 'defense' in a non offensive manner. If you are BEING attacked, it's too late. Bringing a knife into the equation is obviously a matter for each individual to choose - perhaps you are not even given the option - but if you had the option, I think it is worth looking at if/when it would be useful, and what to do with it to help you survive and escape. IMHO the most important areas of inquiry need to be the triggers that set off an appropriate reaction - training so the fore and lizard brain are both processing (presence of mind in the adrenal state) and then very importantly the 'off switch'. When/how to stop - exit stage left? Control and restrain? etc. Though I'm sure many of you have read it, I truly recommend Rory Miler's book "Meditations on Violence" for some great insights into different types of violence and their motivations, and the best options for surviving.
Quote: "It is better to avoid than to run; better to run than to de-escalate; better to de-escalate than to fight; better to fight than to die. The very essence of self-defense is a thin list of things that might get you out alive when you are already screwed.- From “Meditations on Violence” Also: "Self defense is about recovery from stupidity or bad luck, from finding yourself in a position you would have given almost anything to prevent."
Bambi - Care to extrapolate re - 'various reasons' ... Obviously I have no idea what would be authentic or not, just curious what you see? I do like the material though - changing ranges, switching hands, combinations with kicks, knees and punches .... very enjoyable.
Rory Miller - as mentioned above ( http://chirontraining.com/Site/Home.html ) was in town for the weekend, and part of the seminar was talking about predatory behavior and the different types of violence that occur in society. It was interesting to see a video of some of what he was describing - he is an ex corrections officer. If you haven't read his book yet - 'Meditations on Violence' - I really recommend it.