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Messages - stilljames

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Martial Arts Topics / Re: Winter 2013-14 DBMA Training Camp
« on: January 17, 2014, 11:03:10 PM »
Just checking in for an update so that I can plan my training budget and vacation days for the year.  Any updates on the dates?

Thank you for the elucidation.  I always admit that my experience in stick fighting, especially full contact, is rather limited.  Most of my experience is with empty hand and firearm.

From the times I have been clocked in the head with various hard objects, I can say that it doesn't take much to elicit a response.  Even a whipping branch from a willow tree coming at the eyes tends to make one duck as much as a boxer's overhand right.  Many years ago, one of my most influential teachers told me to respect every fist as much as a knife. To do otherwise is to teach ourselves bad habits.  If we rely on headgear to protect us, we are like LEO's relying on body armor or the old knights relying on the breastplate.  Headgear should be insurance not a bulwark.

As a warning to go along with the use of heavier headgear (a topic I remember from the past), my experience is that heavier, rigid headgear tends to amplify the brain rattle and the shock felt in the neck and spine.  Punches that would lightly rock me bareheaded would really jar my brain and spine.  So, perhaps those using the heavier head protection are merely trading one type of damage for another.  The force has to go somewhere.

I was speaking somewhat rhetorically when I asked what a jab was, but I again thank you for the clarification, Crafty.  I think what I was trying to say is that perhaps one should jab a little deeper before retracting to compensate for the headgear.  In one of my arts, we call this the difference between a whiphand and forefist.  The same shot, thrown with the same speed. But the forefist takes slightly longer because the additional 2-3 inches of penetration increases contact time..  It may be that one needs to practice a slightly deeper stick jab to offset the change in distance to target caused by the headgear.

As a lefty, I have always loved the jab, especially the inside jab.  This post reminds me of the old school boxers and the cheesy movie about Gentleman Jim.

Nostalgia aside, I think there are several good points and questions raised.

One basic point:  If an opponent cannot feel a jab through protective gear, what makes us think a really dangerous person would?  That is a question that gives us pause.

The second point comes to our own ego.  If we ignore a hit because the headgear or gloves lets us, what have we gained?  An illusion of our own abilities and a false sense of self?  This is where it gets really tricky.  If we stop the encounter because of a  hit, we are teaching ourselves to stop when it matters.  But if we ignore hits because of gear, we are imagining ourselves to be ubermensch.  I think the compromise is to keep fighting but acknowledge the touch and hit- a reverse counting coup.  And, after the encounter, giving the training partner credit to keep us humble.

The questions come.  Is there more than one type of jab?  I think there is.    There is the 'feelgood' jab.  A line from the shooting world (in keeping with the cross categories pattern) goes thus:  Most people shoot to make themselves feel better.   I think it is from Clint Smith.

Many people throw the jab because they don't know what to do but feel like they should do something other than dance around in a guarded posture. Note how many boxers launch bad, off balance attacks as soon as the 10-second warning smacks the mat.  Perhaps it is merely my opinion, but our actions should have a purpose and intent.

Assuming intent and clear purpose, I can see at least three types of jab-which become the same thing at higher levels.

The distracting jab.  One is merely trying to draw a reaction and thus set up for a later move.

The trapping jab.  One is trying to occupy a limb/weapon while one is busy elsewhere.  It's very similar to the first jab but with a bit more stickiness.

The positioning jab.   This is a jab that is designed to move a head or limb into position for the following strike that does the real damage.  It should have more ooomph and structure behind it.

Which brings me to another thought.  What is a jab?  It's not a KO shot but it should have something behind it.  A balancing act.  If there is nothing behind it, people will (and rightly so) ignore it. I am reminded of a training partner who was dancing around with a knife  like US Army 101 knife fighting meets West Side Story.  What that tells us is that the person doesn't really want to fight and we should just go. Too much effort and we put ourselves into an off balanced position like we're in a Rocky movie.  Going back into the martial arts and crafts, to me, that is where working the drills with increasing power while never breaking good structure and balance comes in to play.  Work the drills and pull our ego out of it.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: March 8-10, 2013 DBMA Training Camp
« on: January 04, 2013, 12:06:43 PM »
This promises to be an exciting class!  I am looking forward to attending it, if life allows.  For those of us needing to make travel arrangements, have training times for each day been set?  The two times that I am specifically interested in are: Start time, Friday 8 March and End Time, Sunday 10 Mar. 

Thank you for setting up this event!

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Women SD issues
« on: September 06, 2012, 08:09:43 PM »
My girlfriend is 5'1" and slender. We have the devil's own time finding concealed carry methods that work for her.  Most standard belt holsters, either IWB or OWB, would have her arm almost in a chicken wing position.  What she has had good results with is going for a more formal appearance and wearing a shoulder holster beneath a blazer as part of a pantsuit ensemble.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: How to fight fat people
« on: May 22, 2012, 11:42:14 AM »
A few weeks ago, I had the fortune to work with a friendly, strong and fat man at a seminar on several occasions.  Aside from  making a new friend, I was able to keep this topic from the forum in mind while working with him.  Of interest to me was the mechanics of punching him in the core of his body.  Topping well over 300 pounds at 5'10' of height,  this is one of the heaviest people I have trained with in a relaxed setting. One thing I noticed was that by the time my fist reached the abdominal muscles and organs beneath the fat, there was a rebounding shockwave already traveling back up my arm that tried to force me back into my heels.

Obviously, we can always punch to the head and throat and 'soft' targets.  But specifically for the mechanics of hitting through all that flab and muscle to get an effect, I found it similar to doing a speed break against a hanging board.  I had to punch very fast, very deep and snap back even faster to leave all the energy in the target without it coming back into my elbow.  In some ways, it also reminded me of proper wooden dummy work.  I was able to get an effect through all the tissue very much like a punch grenade.  I would land the punch.  Nothing. Then, 3 seconds later.. groan. 

Interesting chance to study the practical side of the mechanics.  Much thanks to my friend, Jeff, who let me experiment on him.   

Any other similar experiences?

Martial Arts Topics / Common Mistakes In The Martial Arts and Crafts
« on: April 03, 2012, 03:21:01 AM »
I have been spending a few weeks attending martial arts seminars and sparring with friends I have also been visiting.  The last few weeks of training with dozens of new people have really brought some of my 'Broken Record' points to mind.  There are mistakes that I seem time and again from almost everyone.  This includes myself, alas.  And others, from beginner to people who should know better.  I will list a few and see what else others see recurring like a bad Hollywood sequel.  I am coming from a primarily empty hand and knife viewpoint but many apply with other weapons.

A. Mistakes of Execution

1. Failure to Understand Range.  One of the most common errors I run into is a failure to understand what Threat Range truly is.  When it comes to hand and melee weapons, the failure can be partly explained because it changes somewhat with every situation.  This was really brought to my attention when i was trying to work defensive reactions.  Time and again, people would close to make their 'attacks' from a range well inside where the defender should have already been engaging or reacting.  The other side of this is people letting the 'attacker' get well inside the critical distance needed to launch an attack.

2. Failure to Understand and Use Angles.  I can be very, very guilty of this one, especially offensively.  From the outside, when teaching, I feel like I could bark until I passed out, "Get off the line off attack!"  Until drilled and drilled out of it, people just seem to move in a straight line, whether attacking or defending.  The best solution I have found is to have a third party witness who is there only to remind people to take angles until everyone's brain kicks in.

3. Defending Empty Space.  Time and again, I see people pouring energy into a block or parry well past the point at which the attack will miss.  A lot of this is nerves and a lack of confidence.  Most of the time, it takes very little effort to generate a miss.  Are there times to pour extra energy into an attack to guide the attacker somewhere? Yes.  But that is a deliberate action, not a reflective one.

B. Mistakes of Conceptualization

1. Misunderstanding of the Difference of Drill vs. Application.  A saying I hate having to use, over and over: It's Just A Drill.    After showing a drill that is designed to train one tiny facet of a combative encounter, someone invariably says: But that's not what I'd do in a fight.  The other side is someone trying to take a drill and use it in a fight.  It's an old problem.  It came up in Memphis, last Father's day:  Drills invented by people who understood what a fight is being taught to people who have never been in a fight creates problems.

2. Misunderstanding of Training vs. Street.  Another mistake that comes from not intuitively knowing what a fight is and what it is not. It is the difference in what we do in training, with people we theoretically like and care about, contrasted with what we do against strange baddies putting us into dangerous situations with difficult moral choices. This came up Sunday, sparring with a friend, showing an arm from the mount against a punch.  Friend: I'd just slide out the gap.  me: there's only a gap because I'm being nice.

There are plenty of other relatively common mistakes out there.  Just something to start the ball rolling with.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: How to fight fat people
« on: March 12, 2012, 07:02:56 PM »
To some extent, the question is: how fat is fat?  As someone born in The South, there are corn fed country farm boys who look something like competitors to Worlds Strongest Man With Biggest Beer Gut and there are Beached Whales.

 Without question the fat but strong guys are the most dangerous. My experience is that they also generally come with a rock for a skull.  These are the people that you can beat on all day and only hurt your hand.

In the dominance game, don't let them make body contact unless you are sure of mechanical advantage.  If you can push them back or bounce them, fine.  Otherwise, keep sidestepping with a smile and totally unconcerned expression on your face.  The strong, fat aggressor is almost always used to getting his way physically.  It is imperative to take him out of his game, either through timed strength or fancy footwork.

If the fight is underway, it depends on the level of seriousness.  For VERY serious, throat and eyeball don't get much protection from being fat. Neither does the hinge of the jaw.

For Beached Whales, avoid being the pancake.

I have found that for both types of fat people, dropping them with a fast clavicle or clavicular notch fish hook can defuse the situation without causing permanent injury.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: MMA: How to fight the taller fighter?
« on: January 09, 2012, 10:47:48 AM »
In an MMA sport context, I would jokingly say: lose weight so that you are not in his division.

I am 5'10."  I work with a lot of people who are 6'2" and above.  I have sparred with people who are 6'8."    One tactic that I have found to work reliably well is to work the low game.   Work on staying several inches lower than one normally would and working a fast bob.  Narrow the ranges that the blows can come from, forcing the taller person to punch down.   This takes some of the sting out, unless they are very good at sledging energy and also forces them to open their head up for an overhand, every time they throw a punch.  Attack the body and legs.  If viable, the groin is at very effective punching height, even for uppercuts and body hooks.

I liked the mind-hit theory of when the taller person punches, kick.  And when they kick, go inside and punch.  Never tried it specifically but I like the concept.  Other things that need to be practiced heavily, if you are going to stay low are a decent shoot and a dynamite fireman's carry or wheel.  Sooner or later, the taller person usually decides to 'pancake' and the shorter, low fighter needs to be ready for it.  The counter is to dump them and scramble for the back.

Problems with fighting low are that it can limit mobility if one is not used to it.  And it also burns out the legs almost as fast as the JKD shuffle.

With weapons and super-extreme reach, the main thing is to stay off the thrust line as much as possible.  And remember the fulcrum mechanics.  The longer the lever, the wider the swing arc and more distance it has to travel.  Try to force the swing and play in the greater time gap.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Multiple player situations
« on: December 04, 2010, 12:07:00 PM »
In Many vs Few/One, It helps if the Many has a strong, clear leader.  Sort of like a wolf pack. :) 

With people, there is a lot of psychology to work.  Few people are willing to be the first person to get hit when their is someone else  they can let be the person.  Or, dominant egos come out and start clashing.  People get tunnel vision on the "I need to do X' rather than 'I should do X so my buddy can do Y and then we can get Z done."  Get people used to planning out a scenario, talking it out and the going through a set scenario a few times.  Fail them if they don't talk or communicate.  After they get used to that, then start putting the random curves back in.

We all love neat, intricate dances.  But sometimes it is necessary to take it back down to a simpler level to learn a lesson.

I remember visiting a friend's dojo.  Towards the end of the night, we started doing 2:1 drills.  I was partnered with a black belt against a more senior black belt.  I started towards the senior student and started talking to the female I was working with:  "I'll get his attention. You smack him from behind when I do."  It worked out fairly well.  And it confused the target.  If you're used to working with the same people, it can be worked out with little more than a glance.

Another way to work it:  Give people a 'coach' and have them work with someone else telling them what to do.  And then have the two people switch roles.  This gets people used to listening and talking while their heartbeat is racing.   There are a bazillion teamwork development games out there.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: WHERE IS THE FOOTWORK!?!
« on: December 04, 2010, 11:42:37 AM »
Doing the footwork drills to a metronome or music with a strong, steady beat can help provide an auditory learning aid to help implant the footwork in the mind.  Mounting a cheap foam rubber kickball or football on the end of a broom stick can work.  One person can quickly move the ball around especially if they are good with their feet, forcing their partner to really work to chase it so they can hit it.  And there is always the old trick of tying one or both hands behind someone's back and having them defend themselves.

As far as footwork and the cage:  Man, those things are springy.  I've never been in the octagon.  But I've been in others and fought in them.  They're pretty bouncy.  I remember thinking that a few seconds before someone began pounding on my skull.  Different cage designs are more or less bouncy.  And the same design can have different bounce on different days.  It depends on the type of wood used and the age of the wood.  And all of the ones I've been in or seen up close are pretty big on the inside.

My most interesting footwork experience:  Try doing Tai Chi on the deck of a moving cruise ship in rough water that cannot get up onto its stabilizers.

It's a nasty problem that's developing.  Especially as explosives get better and research continues.  Monitoring equipment improvements are starting to show that certain wavelengths

 of blasts can penetrate the walls of concrete bunkers.  Even in cases where the person is completely shielded from the blast, a cumulative effect can still cause injury. 

I agree that TBI and PTSD can probably reinforce itself and cause a feedback loop.  And that can be a nasty problem.  Like doctors trying to figure out which part of a patient's symptom is the flu and which part is the staph.

A lot can be done with self-awareness, diet and lifestyle changes.  I was military but my own stress-induced issues come from trauma inflicted in childhood.  The issues were left undiagnosed and everyone just assumed I was a wild child.  As I aged, I used to self medicate in the classic way:  Drinking, fighting and talking to strangers in bars at 3am.

  As an adult, I can say they were the classic PTSD indicators.  To this day, I still occasionally get anxiety attacks when things are too quiet and going too well.  I've learned to watch myself and recognize the symptoms.  I've learned to apologize early and often.  And to warn people when I'm having an off day or a spell.

I've found that, while not magic, a healthy diet, exercise, regular sleep at a regular schedule and a bunch of little changes in the house mellow out a lot of life's problems.  A lot of tiny things can have major effects on a troubled brain.  Flicking on a bright white bathroom light while staggering to relieve oneself in the middle of the night can cause chemical instability.  Altering the bedroom so their are less vague shadows for the mind to play with.  Adding some sound-dampening to the bedroom to reduce the chances of stray noises triggering the primal reflexes.  A lot of simple things put together quickly adds up.

Having said that, I am always amazed at the coping mechanisms other far more severely affected individuals come up with.  And I have deep sympathy and respect for people suffering under both TBI and PTSD.  I've had both but never at the same time and can only wince.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Dog Fighting
« on: October 13, 2010, 08:08:50 AM »
A very interesting article and topic.  And the author of the website illustrates one of the biggest problems in dealing with a pure aggression attack of any sort-be it canine or human.  Unpreparedness for sudden violence and the fear in our own mind.

To me,  a dog's attack that illustrates it more so than any video of a gang attack of people.  A dog really only has one primary physical weapon, driven by a lot of pure mass and crunch power.  A dog's leap is no faster than a swung kali stick or a thrown baseball.  A dog is no harder a target than a good boxer's head or a well flung curveball.  A dog's method of attack also brings its primary target areas into range. 

What makes a dog attack so dangerous?  Pure aggression is very hard to deal with.  And the fear in our own mind that locks us down.

Apply the same principles of fighting people to a dog attack.  What's got to happen?  The dog has to cross distance into attack range and then cover the final danger zone until it can bite or impact with its body and then bite.  The same things that get us into trouble with people get us into trouble with dogs.  One, we don't notice the danger signs.  Two, we let someone or something get into attack range.  Three, we stay in the direct line of the attack.

Think about the advantages the AVERAGE human has over the AVERAGE dog.  One: A well developed brain.  Two:  Opposable thumbs.  Three:  About twice as much mass.  Four:  Reach.  We have long limbs that we can use to counter without putting a critical area at risk.  A dog's nose gets to  you before its teeth do.  And its eyes are very close behind its teeth.  Five:  Clothing, especially shoes.  Well, most of us.  *grin*

The disadvantages the average human has:  A well developed brain that shuts down.  Thinner skin.  A higher center of gravity.   Four:  A lack of exposure to aggression.

From what I have seen of dog attacks, police training and dealt with from aggressive dogs, most people get in trouble because they either stand there and take the attack or they run.

First thing:  Notice the dog coming.  Second:  The dog is moving.  Move as well.  Don't be a stationary target for the impending tooth-tipped bullet about to fly at you.  Next:  Worst case, don't be afraid to sacrifice a limb for the dog to latch onto.  After that, we get into specific techniques with are less than helpful without a lot more scenario information.

As martial artists, would we willingly stand flat-footed and let someone with a knife or a baseball bat run at us and start the swing before we start moving? 

Another point though:  If the dog is in full-blown all-out attack mode, there is a good chance that you will have to 'walk on the dark side'

Martial Arts Topics / Re: talent is what the unskilled call skill
« on: October 11, 2010, 06:42:09 AM »
another large determinating factor was passion, if passionate about a subject the drive to master skill is higher
how many of the folks here have given up social engagement, superfluous hobbies and even relationships to become better at expressing themselves through interpersonal human conflict

having personally spent 6 days a week 1-3 hrs per day trying to develop my skill as a practitioner and instructor of martial arts, sports, and science

this rang true

*laugh*  One of my standing offers to my friends is:  I'll go out partying all night with you if you will get up at 6am to go running with me.

To date, no one has taken me up on the offer.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Stretching
« on: October 11, 2010, 05:58:55 AM »
In agreement with Guru Crafty, I would say that 'yoga' is as vague of a term as 'kung fu'  or 'do.'  I am as guilty of misusing it as anyone else as a short of shorthand.  Much like any school or class, not all are equivalent.  Yoga is very popular at the moment so there are a lot of classes.  Many of them are not so good.  Whenever things are really popular atm, a common theme is to change up a pattern so as to put a personal stamp on it-whether or not this is a good idea.  Or to jump on the bandwagon and start cashing in without an adequate understanding.  As anyone here knows, that is a dangerous thing.  Think of all the fastbuck merchant MMA schools springing up these days.  Yoga is also like  that, right now.

My experience is that a bad yoga class is sleepily stretching to Indian music CDs.  A good yoga class definitely gets the heart rate up and works the muscles and trains the mind to focus and isolate in on things.  Part of it is the teacher and part of it is the student-GIGO on both parts.

Personally, I am far more into Tai Chi Chuan than Yoga. I'm not saying one is better than the other.  I just happen to like the former more.  It's my flavor of ice cream. But I go play with most things.  For Example, I'm going to go spend a few weeks playing with Baltic Dog's summary and see if I notice any differences in the gym.

One of the biggest things that I can say for sure about stretching, back pains and the like is: Pay Attention All The Time.  It only does us a little good to spend an hour a day stretching if we spend the other 23 hours a day hunched over, curled up, stiff, tight and tense.  There are a lot of little changes that can be made to reduce pains and problems.  Changing TV And Computer Monitor Heights a few inches.  Changing chair heights a few inches can reduce hip, back and knee pain.

Some personal examples:  I recently had to add some blocks beneath my couch because I noticed it was keeping my knees and back in a cramping position.   For years, I drove low slung sports cars and suffered knee pain.  I traced most of the source to the way I was getting in and out of the car.  Once I modified it, within 6 months, the knee pain was gone.  Until I got into my middle thirties and the cumulative mileage of a self-abusing life started showing but that is a different story.

My summary for the end:  If we're worried about stretching out tight muscles, pay attention to how we live our lives and see where we are putting the tightness into ourselves.

Just a thought.


Martial Arts Topics / Re: Stretching
« on: October 06, 2010, 05:05:55 AM »
Thank you, 5Rings.

I have been paying attention to my stretching since this post came up.  I noticed something.  Even my 'static' stretches are not all that static.  Over a decade ago, I started using breathing techniques I picked up from shooting firearms with stretching.  When I started paying closer attention, I spotted that I am almost always tightening and releasing the muscles with my breaths even when I appear stationary.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Nutrition, Diet Thread
« on: October 01, 2010, 06:52:32 PM »
I haven't tried the caveman diet.  These days, I am mostly vegetarian supplemented by fish and poultry in small amounts.  I find that works best for my endurance.  A medication that I have been on for the last year makes it uncomfortable for me to digest red meat, so I avoid that these days.  Before that, I'd use it in moderate doses when I was working on power at the gym for a few months.  I'm another person who ate like crap.  And then really ate like utter crap and got up to 287 pounds.  These days, I try to hang out in the low 170s.  I find that's a generally good weight for myself.  Plus, when I'm competing, it is a good weight that lets me easily play in my choice of about 3 weight divisions easily without affecting my game too much.

My general advice is to try different diet patterns that follow LOGIC until you find the one that works for you.  I'm constantly tweaking mine in small ways as I study more and try to dial in things.  My overall plan follows an 80/20 rule.  I try to eat healthy 80 percent of the time during a given week and then not just go hog wild in the other 20.  My biggest monitoring point is to watch my calorie intake.  I try to keep my breakdown generally as follows:  20-30 percent fat.  30 percent protein and the rest in carbs.  I modify both the total calorie limit and the carbohydrate percentage based on the activities of the day.  I also listen to my body.  If my body says that it needs more calories, then I give it to it in small doses.  I generally eat 6-8 small meals and snacks in a day. 

In addition to feeling better, sleeping better and having more energy, I am the one male in my family in 3 generations who has not had to be on blood pressure medicine by 30.  When I was heavy and ate like crap it had hit 150/100 and was climbing.  It's usually around 125/80 these days. Another thing that I have found is that I can get by on far fewer calories.  By expenditure tables, I should need 4000 or so calories on most days.  But I find that more than about 2500 or so and I tend to put on weight. That goes back to LOGIC and paying attention.  Don't be afraid to modify other peoples advice, even if they do have degrees after their name, if something does not work after an honest effort.  Nobody else has your exact genetic composition.  It's a lifelong process but what else have we got to do with our time? *grin*

The biggest thing I find to be important is to always listen to the body and be able to determine the difference between a want and a need.  I may WANT Breyer's Ice Cream.  What I probably need is some unbleached rice with a tablespoon of honey or some yogurt.  That's the other bit of advice I can give:  If you decide to snack on something unhealthy but delicious, then do it right.  Instead of the crappy cheap donut go to a real bakery and get a freshly made donut done by a real pastry chef.  One, it will taste better.  Two, the better ingredients probably won't do as much glue-like damage to your system.

That was a trick that I picked up in my hard drinking days:  If I am going to pickle my liver, I might as well do it on something that is pleasant to drink.

I will finish with a commentary on something I've discovered recently.  A thought on why most (but not all by any means)  genuine mystics in pursuit of enlightenment seem to end up as skinny aesthetics at some point.  Leaving out the lessening of desire, it is purely practical.  I've found that when I am really, really deeply into relaxation and meditation, it is very disconcerting to feel your digesting food making turns in your intestines.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: weightlifting
« on: September 29, 2010, 05:00:37 AM »
Part of the problem is that with chemicals and other bits of modern research and science, humans can build muscles that exceed the structural capacity of human bone-especially if there is an undiagnosed stress fracture in the bone used to support the heavy lifts.   World's Strongest Man competitors break bones like that on a not infrequent basis.   

Almost all of us can do the same if adrenaline triggers and we remove our internal safeguards.    Most of us who train in martial arts have also broken our own bones at some point by hitting things too hard-that's a different sort of stress but we are still overloading the structural abilities of the bone.

Our ancestors had thicker bones than modern humans but their own heavy musculature forced their bones into a slightly curved shape.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Stretching
« on: September 18, 2010, 04:17:10 AM »
I'm not a qualified athletic trainer.  I just go from my own personal experiences.

While I broadly agree with 5Rings, I would like to make a couple of points.

'Stretching' is a category of activities that all 'stretch' ie lengthen something.  In this case, we are discussing the muscles and tendons.  There are several types of stretching.  Static stretching is one of them.  Mobile stretching is another.  Ballistic stretching is a third.  There are a few others but I do not recall them at this instant.  All of the types of stretching have their place.  They all have benefits and they all have dangers if overused and done incorrectly.

What type of stretching works best? That depends on A Your body.  B Your Goals.   C Your Routine.

A runner's patterns are different than a grapplers and both are different than a power-lifter who is also different from a bodybuilder.

For myself, I find that a mixture of types of stretching works but I use more mobile stretching than static by about 3:1ish.  I also do not use static stretching before running.  I have about 10 different running patterns that I regularly use and then make up new ones for any given day all the time.  But my general warm up is about 5 minutes of rotations and other movements followed by 5-10 minutes of walking.  then I do a light jog for 2 minutes.  And then walk a minute.  Then I do whatever routine I've worked out for the day.  At the end, I do a 10 minute cool down and work my way through tight muscle groups to loosen them.  The big things are to listen to your body. And to know when to quit and when to push through.  Unfortunately, only experience can tell you that.

My big advice is to tailor your routine for your needs and goals.  If you're a fighter, why borrow a distance runner's routine.  Do a fighter's routine for running.  If you're a sprinter, don't train like a marathoner, save for a break.  There are all kinds of exceptions to these but we could be here for years discussing the exceptions to the guidelines.

A last point.  Does stretching weaken muscles?  The research I have done is this:  Sort-of.  In the sense that longer muscles tend to be less effective at short, explosive bursts of power, yes, stretched muscles are weaker.  At last count, their are 4 major types of muscle fiber (two types of fast twitch and two types of slow twitch.)  Again, this leaves out all the oddball muscles and exceptions.  Some types are better at some things than others.  Everyone has a different mixture of types. 

The trick is to figure out what your goals are and work to promote them.  For myself and myself alone, I prefer looser, longer muscles that are perhaps slightly weaker.  But I also have goals that primarily focus on endurance and people trying to tie me into a pretzel.

Again, I broadly agree with 5Rings.  But there is also more to the story.  There's not substitute for research and for listening to your body.   I would also add to not forget your upper back and shoulders when loosening up.  Carrying your upper body too tightly and out of position can through your hips and other parts of your stride off which leads to pain.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Dog (Canine) Training
« on: September 18, 2010, 03:26:13 AM »
The discussion of establishing dominance and stories about it being done has made me think of a story and a question for those who own alpha dogs.

I do a good bit of bicycling.  Dogs bark at me all the time while I am riding.  Usually, I ignore them.  Sometimes, they chase.  If they stop at the edge of their 'turf', I ignore them.  If they chase continually and aggressively, I stop and deal with them.  The one time I did not stop it was the one time I have been bitten since I was about 14.  The dog I ignored while it chased and chased for a block was a little old lady's Yipping Rat Purse Chi-annoyah.  Unfortunately, I had to stop for a car at the intersection.  And it left me a couple of nice holes in my calf.  The lady runs up to me to explain her precious is harmless.  And I have to show her the bite marks.  Luckily, it had its shot tags.  I griped at the lady and then went home.  The lesson is one from Musashi:  Pay Attention, even unto trifles.

Now, the question for owners of dogs who like to be dominant and show it?  This one has come up for me from the other side.  I've had dogs come up and try to establish dominance.  I either ignore them as if they did not exist or turn and back them down. if they continue to try to push it.  I've come close but have never been bit while backing a dog down.  On a handful of occasions, I've been a hair's breadth from giving a dog a defensive cuff or leg check. The problems are not with the dogs but their owners.  I've been threatened by more than one owner with violence if I struck their dog.   And then I have to deal with a person as well as a dog.

So, for owners and trainers of those dominant dogs, has anyone considered how to react to their dog attempting to establish dominance one someone who is not willing to be dominated?  Telling the other human to wait for you to get the dog is like telling a lady to wait for the police if threatened or attacked.  It's the exact same logic.  To be clear, we're discussing something moving beyond wooofing phase and is moving into touch and attack. 

I'm just wondering what other's think?  With the exception of that Yipper that was partially my fault because I was arrogantly dismissive and careless of what looked to be a non-threat, I've rarely have any issues with a dog for more than 5 minutes.  Mostly, dogs of all levels will approach and make friends with me after a few minutes.  But I do remember times from my early twenties when that was not the case.  And being threated with violence and firearms from angry owners of dogs that try to control more than their own yard.  You can take the end of the statement about either the owner or the dog.  *grin*

Any thoughts?

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Criminal Justice system
« on: September 09, 2010, 03:05:46 AM »
Towards G M

re: Israel.  That was just an illustration of what you can do when you look at perception of danger vs the reality of danger.  Those were merely the first statistics that I was confident of that popped into my head as I was trying to post before leaving for work.  Please, do not read too much into them.  I did not suggest that Israel do nothing, although, I will point out that Israel's response of invasion killed twice as many Israeli soldiers via friendly fire from mis-identification than the rockets killed that year.  I can discuss the situation for hours.  But that would be best done in politics.  I was not intending to start the discussion here.

re: Rehabilitation.  I agree that there is very little new under the sun.  People are essentially the same and have the same complaints that the Greeks and Romans did.  We can look at 18th and 19th Century articles in British papers and publications about crime and they are not all that much different from our own.  And to another problem that comes up:  Harsher punishments.  At one point, the English government made almost any crime against property and many against persons (esp persons of class and distinction) punishable by hanging.  And discovered that while there was a negligible  decrease in theft and assault, the murder rate sky rocketed.   Why?  The desperate or habitually criminals were already facing death, so they might as well kill a victim instead of merely robbing them.    It is a horrible balancing act to work with.  Crime should be punished.  Too little and we get more crime.  Too much and we get worse crime.

For myself, while I believe in both punishment for deterrence and in rehabilitation, I am a bigger believer in prevention.  The problem is that any program of prevention needs to start at about age 3 or 4.  And will take 15-20 years to show results.  Most of us are not that patient.

Next point:  There was a mention of TV and Video Games and delinquency.  My own theory, based on nothing but personal experience, is this:  There is an indirect linkage between an increase in TV/Video Game usage and crime.  Notice that I said: INDIRECT.  From watching my friends with children over the past 15 years or so, I have noticed a tendency to substitute TV and Video Games for parenting.  And if a parent is spending 2-4 hours a day playing Xbox or watching TV, that is 2-4 hours they are not spending with their children.  There is a discussion about dog training elsewhere on this forum.   Much like puppies, children need boundaries and consistent social interaction in order to be 'Normally' socialized.  In my view, it is not the content of TV and VGs that causes problems, it is the TIME taken up every day by these activities.

A lat point:  I've had statistics classes before.  We should always be careful when relying on numbers, especially from the internet.  I include my own numbers and statements in this.  Why should you trust me and my words?  And why should we take any other 'experts' statements at face value, either.  At the end of the day, there is no such thing as a hard fact.  There are merely educated guesses.  As anyone who has had a science class can tell you, even things such as the Law of Gravity are merely guesses that have not been disproved yet. 

I wish I had answers.  But mostly, I have questions.  Enjoy, everyone.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Criminal Justice system
« on: September 08, 2010, 04:30:26 AM »
At G M:  On my way to work but I'll try to dig up some statistics on relative incarceration and recidivism rates  in the next day or two.  Mind you, statistics are generally worth the money that you pay the person doing the collection and are a good way of messing up by the numbers.  But you've got to start somewhere.

You can look at numbers, if you want and show how things defy logic.  People in Israel are scared about the rocket attacks yet are 50 times more likely to die in a car accident.  8 vs 434, IIRC.  From official Israeli sources, just not put together by the government.   Or from US Gov't sources:  NSAIDs kill far, far more US Citizens every year than all the terrorists and Taliban and other extremists combined.   Those are ones I researched a couple of years ago.

As far as 'sick'  and 'Officer Krumpke'   I look at things like:  Yes, horrible things happened to you.   But each of us are responsible for what we do going forward.  We still make our own choices even if environment makes some choices look easier than others.

And sickness:  Although the difference in degree is quite severe, the same objectification and narcissism that lets us make fun of someone with a cleft pallet or who is ugly, silly or different, is the pattern of thinking that lets someone else rob, rape and kill.  That's a hard thought to deal with but it is also true.  The same pattern of I wants that has us gobbling down a super-duper combo for breakfast, get kicked out of a Chinese buffet for overindulging and then buying up stock in Breyer's ice cream is the same unthinking, unfettered catering to desires  that lets another fellow walk up and demand your wallet.

That's not a justification to do horrible things.  Quite the opposite.  It's a stand against all the little crimes against others and self that encourage the big ones.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Dog (Canine) Training
« on: September 07, 2010, 05:37:12 PM »
I'm glad of this topic.  I've been dogsitting for a friend.  One of the two dogs happens to be an Akita.  A friendly but very high energy one.  Using some of the suggestions, I've gotten them both a lot more controllable in very rapid order. Thank you.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Criminal Justice system
« on: September 06, 2010, 05:36:52 AM »
It just so happened that my brother and I were discussing the criminal justice last night.

One of the conclusions that we came to is that a major problem with our system is that it is a half-and-half system that does the worst of both worlds.  There's the rehabilitation by hammer system, aka France, where you fit into the mold or you die.  And there's  the complete rehabilitation system that a couple of other European nations use (Finland might be one).  In those, most criminals save the most horrible ones, are essentially sentenced to a prison version of a military college.

Both styles work better than what we do in the US.  I happen to be more for the rehabilitative systems.  My preference is to not be robbed or attacked rather than to punish the guilty after the fact.  It's crazy but when I ask people the question:  Would you rather not be attacked or would you rather punish the guilty, 2/3rds of the people I ask tell me that they'd rather punish the guilty.

Of course another think that our overly sheltered US Citizens really need to accept is that bad things happen.  We can't stop it all. That's a whole different issue.

There is a very small percentage of the population that are essentially broken when compared to the rest of us.  As I understand it, they're a corruption of a necessary hunter-killer subset of our population.  There is a small element of our population that basically exists to deal with threats.  But when an even tinier fraction of that subset is broken, the capacity for violence is turned on the rest of society.  And people like that are basically uncurable.  About all we can do is drug them to the gills, confine them or kill them.   One thing the system needs to be able to do is identify those people and separate them from the other criminals to keep them from warping the potentially redeemable criminals that make up the most of the population.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Kali Tudo Working Examples
« on: September 05, 2010, 08:59:45 AM »
The PS as demonstrated in the video is obviously optimized for classical boxing rules.   It does not have to deal with shots much below the navel, kidney punches, rabbit punches, backhands, etc.

I've seen modified versions of it show up in kickboxing, Jeet Kune Do, Hsing Yi Chinese Boxing and a few others.  Another modified version shows up in high school wrestling used by counter-throwers.

The biggest adjustments that I have found to make it more useful in a general self-defense, MMA or other tournaments are mostly in the stance and body angle.  The hand positions change a bit, as well.  The lower hand goes lower and the angles change a bit.

But the biggest adjustments are sinking further into the legs and then adjusting the body's angle to open up the foot and knee attack lines.  All those adjustments depend on the 5 Ws of the scenario.

From my own experience in practice (I admit that I've never used a PS or some version in a real fight) is that it gives you sneaky backfist, hammerfirst that rises up at an unusual angle and also allows for a forearm to the groin.  As for dealing with shoots and takedowns, I find that it limits  my own ability to sprawl that well.  But that you can do turn-overs, fast front and rear knees to the head and the like.  But it also leaves you vulnerable to having your arm trapped against your body and then you get a nasty dump.

I also find it to be not as effective against a good muy thai stylist.

I think it's something for a counter-fighter or a trickster rather than a straight forward freight train fighter.  I also note that it does leave you fairly well set up for Dog Catcher or a cross Tan Sao.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: No Trespassing
« on: September 01, 2010, 02:44:37 PM »
Most neighbors subconsciously filter out a man with a safety-vest, hard had, clipboard and a work truck who simply walks right up like he belongs.

Best defense is low key stuff.  Sturdy doors, llocks and windows.  Keep things nice but not eye-catching.   Vary your schedule.  Keep curtains closed and try not to let expensive things be visible from the street.  Take that enormous 52" LCD TV box straight to a dumpster instead of leaving it on a curb.  And keep everything possible insured.   If your number is up and you get a professional visit.. well, sometimes, you can do everything right and still get caught out.  It is just stuff.  Life goes on.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Kali Tudo Working Examples
« on: September 01, 2010, 02:22:28 PM »
*laugh*  I've never subscribed to the theory that if it is stupid but it works, it is not stupid.  To me, that violates Occam's Razor.  I prefer:  If it is stupid, but it works... Well, sometimes, stupidity works.

I remember showing students a movie blatantly and admittedly stolen from Shaolin Long Fist.  One of the students asked a question:  Doesn't that punch violate everything you've told us before?  To which I responded:  Yep.  I don't do that because I want to.  I do it because all the normal stuff is not working.

Oh and a follow up to Alex's good showing.  My objection to reaching for kicks is that I've seen too many fingers get broken that way.  That goes double against someone who can actually throw a good Thai style shin kick-which Alex's opponent did NOT (had to edit.  Curse typos)  pull off.  

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Kali Tudo Working Examples
« on: August 29, 2010, 06:31:22 AM »
Nice work on Alex's part.  If that is his first ring fight in front of a crowd, that makes it three times as nice.  I did not fair anywhere nearly as well in my first ring fight.

I especially liked the fact that he threw more than one or two punches at a time.  I also loved the elbow spike that put the opponent on the ground.

The only two pieces of advice that I would offer, based entirely on my own opinion and so feel free to ignore it, is that I personally would not reach my hand down for a kick that was below my waist unless I was planning on a takedown.  And the other one is that by the end of the barrage that Alex starts at about .05 seconds, it looks like he is starting to let his feet outrun his torso when he is attacking.  That might be an illusion caused by the camera angle.

Other than that, a wonderful first fight.  I like the way he does not just stay and punch in mount but also creeps his right leg up while in middle of punching to pin blue's arm

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Security issues
« on: August 13, 2010, 11:36:56 AM »
Most of the people that I run into misinterpret Yellow and forget the relaxed bit. 

For myself, I don't generally bother with colors, anymore.  I am either engaging you or I'm not.  But I've been dealing with junk a long time so I don't recommend that attitude for inexperienced people.

I also highly suggest that most people do not rely on alertness.  My experience is that, sooner or later, we are all going to be surprised by something.  Experience helps ups deal with it, yes.  But I feel that everyone worried about self-protection of any sort should spend time developing a lot of *OH CRAP!* reactions so that even blind-drunk, flu-ridden or carrying 4 bags of groceries, people have options.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Security issues
« on: August 10, 2010, 03:49:12 PM »
The color code level of awareness is a good starting point and training tool.  But like any basic set of guidelines and principles, there is a level beyond it. 

I can speak from personal experience that there are some problems of putting the 24/7 code yellow or better awareness into practice.  I often hear officers, trainers and the like talk about it.  Now, it is possible to do it for a limited time frame in the bush or up country in outer Boojalookastan.  But unless you're one of the 2 percent of genetically wired people that never burn out, there is a hard limit that varies from person to person on how long you maintain it.  180 days is the military's accepted average.  After that, people tend to reach states of hypervigilance that start to make them more dangerous to themselves and others.    Look at the experiences of some of the vets returning from the war on terror that can't turn it off.

Another point is that while you might or might not live a longer life by operating in the hypervigilant state, would you have a *better* life on a day to day basis?  The fact of the matter is that most of us are more likely to die from cancer, heart disease or a car accident than violent crime.  Hell, NSAIDs kill 7-8 thousand people a year in the US.

A point to consider is that one of the reasons an LEO or soldier can be more vigilant is that they is being paid to be so.  Most of us have the practical problem of doing our job well enough to keep it which tends to suffer if you are too paranoic.  If nothing else, you scare your boss and they fire you at the first infraction or work slow down.

I do recommend following the color guidelines for a month or two to start the foundation.  But then I advocate learning how to operate in a state of relaxes awareness.  This takes a lot longer to cultivate.  It boils down to working on a zen state without all the frills.    One learns to stop chattering inside one's own head constantly.  Once that internal noise goes away, it allows one to see and hear far more.  And then practice walking around on a daily basis in a state of just watching and listening without judging.  Not in a fearful away, looking for an attack.  And then one starts being able to notice little inconsistancies.  People who don't fit.  A strange bird.  Dogs acting abnormally.  The fact that a trash can is 3 inches from where it was that morning.  One notices beautiful things,too 

And I find that I have a lot more fun than when I walked around in a hypervigilant state.  And, guess what?  People tend to smile at me a lot more.  And fewer people take their anger out on me.  There's a lot more too it and it does take years to develop the state.  But once you figure it out,  it is absurdly easy.

It also helps if you can learn to think like an attacker or us robber and take basic precautions.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: biofeedback
« on: July 26, 2010, 03:05:32 AM »
*laugh* I've said something similar for years about serious martial arts training:

I can BS my friends.  I can BS myself.  It is hard to BS an honest punch, kick or stick coming at me.  Either the technique works the way it should or it does not.  And I can fix either myself or the technique if it fails.  Unless I want to keep getting hit.

I find that I am learning to apply the same self-critical view to other things in my life, these days.  It may take years to adjust something but most things that are just habits can be reset over time.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: biofeedback
« on: July 24, 2010, 04:48:47 AM »
I'm more of a BJJ dabbler than a true practitioner.  I spend 90 percent of my time doing other things and do just enough plus the occasional tournament to keep my hand in.  But a good friend of mine loves BJJ and trains it constantly.  He's a former Mr. Tennessee from years ago.  He also spent 6 years practicing Tai Chi along with me.  He finds that the self-analysis and internal feedback he learned in Tai Chi lets him take apart BJJ moves and figure out where he's got problems and work on fixing them.

Reading the biofeedback stuff made me realize that one of the main purposes of the Tai Chi form and also various Yoga routines was to calm the mind and quiet the body so one could listen to ones heart rate, respiration and feel the nervous system response and work to change it.  In effect, it functions as a form of biofeedback without the aid of modern devices.  Modern equipment certainly makes things easier and much more reliable, of course.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: biofeedback
« on: July 22, 2010, 02:30:57 PM »
Interesting blog entry.  I happen to agree with 95 percent of it.  The personal best for a given day mentality that I use has driven some of my more accounting-style gym partners to distraction over the years.

 The only thing I might halfway disagree with is in Point 7. Yes, at a certain point, we should all let go and just do things the way our body wants to do them naturally.  But we also need to periodically monitor ourselves to see if we're generating small tensions and problems in ourselves because some of them build up so gradually that it takes 6-8 weeks to notice the damage. 

A fascinating exposition, overall.  And something that I have noticed repeated all too often in life.  Very often, the majority will actually disagree with something but no one actually wants to say anything for one reason or another.

A very interesting post.   Amazing how logic can lead one wrong.  Without having done any research, I had assumed that the curve of the blade was a holdover from it being the utility knife of the average nomad.  It reminded me of some of the knives used in gutting deer.  But I can definitely see the hornlike characteristics now that they are mentioned.

I'm gonna have to go find the Burton book and add it to my library.

One possible source, provided someone can get them to talk, are the Berber tribes that still live in the old manner.  Mind you, it could be hard to reach most of them.

I'm planning on making this one, barring unforseen acts of real life.  Be nice to meet people and to make it bag to Fort Bragg to visit some of the old sand and scrub.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Ruptured achilles tendon - getting back up
« on: July 06, 2010, 01:55:09 AM »
I know I am coming at this one late, but I have a question. 

If you can remember, what were your hips and thighs doing at the time of the rupture?  And knees, as well, if you can?

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Hooooooooooooly Crap
« on: July 05, 2010, 06:39:08 PM »
re: Wrist Locks in fights.  

If we try to directly go after a wrist lock, you will probably get clocked.  But if we're playing the punching game. sometimes our hand, either in a pat/parry or recoiling from a punch, will end up in the starting position for a wrist lock almost by happenstance.  One should be able to recognize the feeling and instantly go for it.   And then abandon it for something better if it runs into problems.

The other part about getting effective use from Aikido- the most important part - is being able to listen to the other person's body and the direction of force they are offering us.  If the attack is not giving us force conducive to a wrist lock, then we had probably best not attempt one.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Guro Crafty's momentary ruminations
« on: July 05, 2010, 02:40:08 PM »
Another advantage of keeping the cloth of one's pants up past the knees, even on a typical US style toilet, is that it reduces the opportunity and effectiveness of the Public Toilet Takedown and the Public Toilet Wallet Grab.

Wallet Grab is where someone simply grabs your wallet while you are sitting on the pot.  The Takedown is where someone grabs your ankles and/or pants and yanks you from the toilet in an attempt to get you to crack your head against the toilet or the floor.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Criminal Justice system
« on: July 05, 2010, 04:21:26 AM »
I first heard it while listening to an Alan Watts lecture recording.  And then followed up on it a bit but not in a major way.   Prohibition ended December 5, 1933 but everyone knew it was coming well before that. Various anti-narcotic acts  came along as prohibition repeal momentum was building. (wikipedia has a good summary.       )

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Guro Crafty's momentary ruminations
« on: July 03, 2010, 11:57:46 AM »
There's a certain angle of hip and torso that opens things up and lets everything relax.  Consider that a diet heavy on rice often has a constipatory effect, I can see why the style would develop.

 As an amusing note, it is also a very common angle for the Chinese internal martial arts.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Door Work, Bouncing, Bodyguarding
« on: July 03, 2010, 09:29:07 AM »
One of the biggest brawls I have ever seen in a club was due to the chaos of a fight spreading out to the bystanders.  It got every on duty police officer that could make it called in.  IIRC, 17 people were arrested but the brawl was bigger than that.  And the bigger it got, the more people came out of the woodwork to pile into it.  Males and females, alike, were jumping in.  A big, nasty mess.  I'm glad I was not working the club.  I was peripherally involved in the sense that I stood in one of the doorways to the dance floor and simply became a wall to keep people from continuing to pile in.  That is one of the few things I miss about being 287 pounds-about the only thing.

It was definitely a big, nasty mess.  And started over carelessness and confusion.  Man A picks up the wrong beer mug by mistake.  Man B tries to grab his beer back.  They start yelling at each other.  Man B takes a swing at Man A.  Man A dodges.  The punch hits Man C.  Man C reacts by spinning around and throwing a punch at the nearest person, Man D.  Man D sees 3 people throwing punches and starts tossing wild swings at everything in sight.  Now, everyone's friends are diving in to help out their own buddy.    Ugly mess that looked more like a rugby scrum with 4 separate teams fighting over the ball than anything else.

that was back in the era when I still liked to go out and get into trouble.  But even then I had just enough sense to stay the heck out of the fur ball.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Criminal Justice system
« on: July 03, 2010, 09:15:44 AM »
That's rather nice. *grin*  I don't even use the stuff.  I just feel that it is an outdated set of laws proposed at the end of prohibition by people who realized they were about to be out of a job.  And I think that the DAs, LEOs and the rest of us have far more important things to concern ourselves with.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Criminal Justice system
« on: July 03, 2010, 04:05:46 AM »
I love intra-departmental rivalries that reveal themselves at budget time as well as people's lack of foresight.  All of the budget comes out of the same tax pool, more or less.  There is only so much of it.  But those tricks that shift the burden to the state or to the jail or anything else that make X department's budget work for the current FY only cut into the budget for the next  year.  Why?  they actually cost more.  But they cost more on other people's tab.

Little things like it costing a lot more to house an inmate at a State facility because of regulations, transport, etc.  And it costs more to keep 5 people in jail than to pay another Asst DA's salary.  Just like it costs us average citizens a lot more to buy things with a credit card than to save up for 6 months - something that I can be just as guilty of doing, too.  Failure to plan ahead with a thought to interactions gets us all in trouble.

One of those lovely things.  People want tougher crack downs on crime but do not want to pay more taxes to get them.  Politicians promise and give the voters tougher laws but not the taxes.  So, there are more crimes on the books with longer sentences.  And directives to arrest people passed on to police chiefs and commissioners and sheriffs who want to keep their own jobs.  People get arrested.  And, innocent or guilty, it costs more money to all parties involved.

Which brings up one of my pet peeves.  I've been involved in the criminal justice system as a defendant for something I did not do.  There's this trend for people to say: Arrest everybody and everything, just in case.  If a person is innocent, the courts will work that out.  It sounds reasonable.  Except that it is days and week of someone's time that they  could do other things with.  Like work to pay their  rent. *laugh* And the defendant does not get bail bondsman's fees or attorney fees  back when he is found innocent.  So a too-wide net costs an innocent person 5000 or 10000 dollars on a just-in-case arrest.  But that's his or her money, so it does not affect the rest of us.  Until it is our turn. 

Mind you, there is a lesson to be learned:  Do not hang out with or associate with or live near stupid people if we can help it.  So, where does one find a community full of smart, forward thinking, honest people?  Any ideas? *end tongue in cheek mode*

Maybe one thing that will come of a bad budget, though I feel that I hope in vain, is perhaps a loosening of what are social crimes.  ie, simple possession of light drugs, prostitution, gambling, vices.  Things that are more a function of social trouble and best solved by community and health systems rather than criminality.  As well as generally cheaper to handle that way.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Door Work, Bouncing, Bodyguarding
« on: July 03, 2010, 03:40:03 AM »
I don't know, Prentice.  That looks more like follow through and recoil from shoving white shirt than a deliberate warding action.  I could be wrong, of course.

I also agree with Tcrutcher that this has apparently been going on for a lot longer than on the clip.  Problem Child's shirt is torn, yes.  That is something I had noticed, as well.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Door Work, Bouncing, Bodyguarding
« on: July 02, 2010, 03:12:46 AM »
As far as open palm risks, you can mitigate them slightly by presenting the blade of the forearm and then turning the palm towards them.   Unless you have really stiff wrists.  It does not make the danger go away.  It just gives a smaller target.  One of my instructors (who does not work security)  likes a modified thinker posture.  The LEO traffic direction hand point can work.

With distance issues:  If you are on a door, it can be hard to just back up.  But you can probably take a slight angle.  When picking  your door position, make sure you give yourself room.  this might mean standing a bit further from the door.  The worst is when the crowd starts gathering and working each other up.  I've yet to find a good solution that is not a one-off.  But the general pattern is to stay calm and pick one person at a time and defusing them.  "What Would Make You Happy, Sir?"  This does not really work if they're already committed to fight.

A general guideline that I have found for confrontations, in general, is to not square up.  Even if it is just a couple of inches, get a little off center but turn towards their center.  And, if you have a partner, use them.  From the clip, the security guy had a friend.  When it was still at yelling phase, he could have taken a step towards the camera.    If the aggressor wanted to maintain his own body to body relationship, he would have ended up turning away from the second doorman.  So, if  you have a security team, work this stuff out ahead of time.

Verbalizations are wonderful.  I remember an instance where another vendor at a flea market got angry at me.  He was obviously working his way up to a fight.  What I said, very loudly, was:  Sir, you are trying to pick a fight with me.  He said: Yes..Yes, I want to fight!    He ended up storming off without a physical attack.  And for two hours, people would come up to me and talk about the guy who wanted to fight me.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Door Work, Bouncing, Bodyguarding
« on: July 01, 2010, 06:50:41 AM »
*laugh*  I would agree on that.  Mind, another helpful hint is to not let people creep into punching range on us-if we have a choice.  As long as someone has to take at least one step to land a hit, it buys an extra fraction of a second to react.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Door Work, Bouncing, Bodyguarding
« on: June 30, 2010, 09:43:34 PM »
I definitely do not disagree with your analysis, Guru Crafty.  I also apologize for my lack of clarity of intent and content.  I was not trying to bash Security Guy.  I was looking at it like I would one of my students.   What I meant by grading C+ is:  Security Guy, You solidly pass but work on X, Y and Z.  If I was grading it on SC vs White Shirt alone, I would have given it a B.  But the response to Yellow Hat (at approx .06 and .07) with both hands down and both feet essentially flat lowers it a good bit for me.  At This Moment, I have a strong bias against that  for reasons I decline to post publicly.

Actually SG's pichost clip makes it easier for me to see more and now that I do I better see why Jonobos posted this clip and hereby upgrade my opinion of the performance involved.

The weight on the heels and right hand dow as Problem Child approaches remain as serious defects, but there are some things I do like:

Using StillJames's comments as a frame of reference:

"When he avoids the punch, he wastes a tick bringing his left foot back in front while punching with his right hand.  While some people can hit hard from there, the way he's doing it is turning his hip away from the direction he's trying to project power."

Security Guy awaits in a left lead and takes a step back as PC approaches.  If he had kept his left hip and shoulder forward we could have said he was in a Kali Fence  :-D  I have no problem with his stepping in with the left foot as he throws the right hand-- indeed it is a primary option while throwing the right from the KF.

*This is one of my lack of clarity situations.  My objection is not that he stepped.  The reason I called it a wasted tick is that he did not do anything much with the step.  If he'd gotten his hips to line  up with it as Guru Crafty  suggested, I would have not been bothered by it.   Having watched the video a few dozen more times, I think that left foot might be him trying to get his balance back.  Or perhaps starting to move and then realizing halfway through it that he is off balance.

"And when he starts on the shove, knee, push sequence, he wastes time again having to get his left knee loaded by reversing his feet yet again.  , , , Oh, and while he is using his right to fight,  his other hand keeps a death grip on that loose white shirt the man is wearing.  Notice that the doorman's punch seems to have more of a damaging effect than the knee.  The knee moves the man backwards but does not appear to do any actual damage."

I see this differently.  I see the left hand's hold as doing a fine job of keeping PC turned and the footwork as driving nicely on what we call the T-Bone line.  Note PC's line of approach and that the angle SG's drive puts PC into the car.  I see the knee simply as a smoothly integrated part of this drive.

*I agree completely that the angle of the drive towards the car.  I also agree with the objective of keeping White Shirt turned so that Security Guy can take the outside line and drive towards his center.  (I apologize for not being up on proper DBMA terminology yet.)  I was merely noticing from the sidelines that White Shirt's shirt was loose and already torn.  In a fight, people take what they can get and it is not like SG had much time to work with.  I would have suggested that SG start with the shirt and then transition to a more secure spot to maintain the grab, if practical.  At the end of the day... He was there.  I wasn't.

Putting aside the weight on heels and the right hand down (which invites the intiation by the left hook) I'd give this a B or even a B+.

SG, would you please post this on the DBMAA forum too?

I would also note that, in the clip,  it looks like the primary Security Guy is trying to keep someone behind him from charging into things.  Not the other security guard who is helping him but a third party. So he does have a lot of distractions and other considerations to deal with than just the scrap.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Door Work, Bouncing, Bodyguarding
« on: June 30, 2010, 03:13:14 AM »
First, a couple of caveats.

Almost none of us perform to our best when the adrenaline gets going, so I make allowances for that.   Second, the fact that the doorman did not get killed or sent to the hospital and neither did the other fellow means that it is not a horrible response.

Limiting myself to the doorman:  Weight shifts WAY back into the heels as he edges back and the man closes in.  His right hip is cocked and his knee is almost locked. I wonder if he either has or is trying to pretend as if he has a pistol.  I do not see one from the clip. 

When he avoids the punch, he wastes a tick bringing his left foot back in front while punching with his right hand.  While some people can hit hard from there, the way he's doing it is turning his hip away from the direction he's trying to project power.   And when he starts on the shove, knee, push sequence, he wastes time again having to get his left knee loaded by reversing his feet yet again.    And then after it is back in yelling stage, after he's already been attacked, he still faces the attacker with both of his hands down almost like he was Richard Gere in Officer And A Gentleman at the bar.  Oh, and while he is using his right to fight,  his other hand keeps a death grip on that loose white shirt the man is wearing.  Notice that the doorman's punch seems to have more of a damaging effect than the knee.  The knee moves the man backwards but does not appear to do any actual damage.

Still, he does manage to avoid the punch, he gets control of the attacker's outside line and drives towards center.  I'd give it a c+  The biggest thing that bugs me is that after the scrap, he's still facing the man and keeping both of his hands way down.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizen-Police interactions
« on: June 27, 2010, 05:35:45 AM »
A personal example of not thinking that almost got me into trouble last night because I failed to blend in.

I suddenly remembered that it was a friend's birthday.  I'd been at the gym and was tired.  I went home and grabbed the first set of clothes off the pile I had taken from the drier before going to the gym.  I grabbed my easiet set of shoes to put on.  I grabbed his birthday present and drove to his home.  All reasonable, right?

Let's give the outside details a bit more.  I showed up at a trailer park in rural Tennessee and got out of a plain brown SUV wearing black BDU pants, a plain back t-shirt and black Bates zipper-sized combat boots with a 5.11 ball cap in my hand.  The cap was a present for my friend who had seen one and said he'd like one.  In about two seconds, I realized what I had done.   There were about 2 dozen residents staring at me.  two-thirds of them were obviously getting ready to either run or attack.

Many of these people had met me before.  but always in jeans and running shoes.   but I'd failed to think about what I looked like and where I was going.  and showed up on a weekend when a bunch of my friend's neighbors were drunk or stoned or both.  It gets even worse because I have a medical condition that means I cannot drink at all.  So when someone comes over to find out who I was and offer me a drink, I had to turn it down.   A dozen or so knives clipped to belts all over.  People nervous.  A recipe for trouble. 

So, I took off my shirt, gave my friend his hat, had some cake and got the hell out as soon as I could without inspiring them to chase me. 

An example of how simple, innocent decisions get us in to trouble.  In a hurry, I failed to think about what I was doing and almost got into a scrap with people that I've met before and know are pretty much only a danger to themselves, aside from the occasional rough and tumble fistfight                                                                 

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizen-Police interactions
« on: June 27, 2010, 04:56:46 AM »
First off, let me say that I respect the majority of LEOs.  I have an application in with the Chattanooga PD.  I've helped teach DT to police officers.  I hold a profound respect for what I would call natural law and a certain amount of respect somewhat less than total for societal law.  I will also say that I was commissioned in the USAR a long time ago.  That caveat is so that people understand that I look at things from the POV of a trained leader.

A couple of classic videos about talking to the police and not doing it.

One thing that I constantly tell people who get upset at LEOs is that LEOs are human beings, too.   That means they do good things and bad things, smart things and foolish things.  And are just as vulnerable to things like peer pressure, mob mentality and the Group Monkey Dance syndrome as the rest of us.

Repeatedly, I see that many events that end in tragic overreactions are contributed to by the officer who should have been in charge failing to act in that manner.  LEOs act in chaotic situations.  The more variables, ie people, in a situation, the more chaotic it is.  A senior officer's job is to stay as calm as possible and try to navigate the chaos and restore order.  On more than one occasion, officers questioned after an exhange of fire, when asked why they were firing at a vehicle, responded with something along the lines of:  Because the man next to me was shooting.

One of the hardest lessons for  NCOs and Officers in the military to learn is that shooting is for privates.  Supervisors should fire only when they must do so.  As a platoon leader, if I am shooting, I control one weapon.  If I am managing, I control 30 of them.  Plus artillery and air support.  When you have 3 or more officers, someone needs to step back and be in charge.

This is also true of civilians on the workplace, etc.   

This is my view of how to protect yourself from unreasonable search and seizure and no-knock warrants, etc.  Someone earlier in the topic  mentioned blending with the sheep.  I mostly agree.  It's called the passive defense.  Or as Guru Crafty has said:  Avoid doing stupid things in stupid places with stupid people.  It protects you from villains.  But it also keeps you from being mistaken for a villain.   It is a very common human tendency, for good reason, to think that, if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck and hangs around with a bunch of other ducks, it is probably a duck.  It is pattern recognition that aids survival.

The first guideline:  Try not to do anything illegal.  This is actually impossible in our society.  Our patchwork of a legal system with the emphasis on lawyers and hair splitting means that almost anyone can be charged with some sort of crime at any time.  Just try to drive the speed limit in a city.  Even if other drivers do not rear-end you in a fit of road rage, the police notice you.  DEA Officers have admitted, in news interviews, that they view anyone driving the speed limit as suspicious.

Second guideline:  Do not do anything to attract attention more than necessary.  Keep your vehicle reasonably clean.  Keep your registration and tag sticker current.  Keep your city and county stickers current if you need to have them.  Keep headlights, tail lights and break lights in proper working order.  All of those are cheap and easy to fix.  If you can afford to buy a handgun or medical marijuana or a bottle of scotch or DVDs or dinner for 2 at a restaurant, you can afford to have them working properly.

Keep your vehicle interior reasonably clean and neat.  If you have locking boxes, keep them shut and locked.  Have a locking box in your trunk and keep it locked with a sturdy lock.  Don't have empty or opened containers of alcohol in your vehicle even if you have not had a drink in 2 or three days.  Dress neatly.  It doesn't have to be expensively.  Just neatly.  If you have a beard or goattee, keep it trimmed.  Even if you have long hair, keep it maintained.  Talk respectfully.  Look respectfully.  Smile.

If stopped by an officer, be calm and polite.  Remember that the officer is probably at least a little scared of you.  If you can calm the officer down, it can only help you.  Pop hazard lights, pull over as soon as it is safe, kill the ignition and leave your hands on the wheel.    If it is at night, turn on the overhead light.  Do not fumble for license, registration or anything else.  Do not even roll down the window if it is up.  Wait for instructions from the officer.      Smile. 

Politely refuse the search if asked.  Don't be confrontational.  If pulled over incorrectly, don't attempt to hold court on the side of the road.  Hold court in the courthouse. 

Personal story  I was pulled over by an LEO for running a red light.  I thought this was improbable because I had been behind the officer at the traffic signal and had not had to drive around or through him.  I told the officer this.  He said, not politely, that I had indeed run the red light.  I immediately smiled and said, thank you.  I took the citation.  I showed up in court.  There was no officer.  I spoke with the judge.  I discovered that the officer had suffered a heart attack later that evening.  In all likely hood, the officer was in pre-cardiac arrest, was not thinking clearly, and genuinely believed I had run the traffic light.  So, when  you are pulled over, remember that you may not be cuffed, but detaining you is an arrest.  Act like it.  And you don't know if the officer is sick with the flu, suffering heat stroke or otherwise impaired.

If an officer attempts comedian of the year award with you or starts harassing  you, swallow your pride, take the verbal and psychological hits with a smile and let your lawyer hit him back later, in court. And remember that verbal judo works both ways.  If the officer attacks you, well, you'll have to make the decision on how to act for yourself.  I'm not going to make it for you because I probably won't be there. 

As far as your residence goes, follow similar guidelines.  A generally neat and weill maintained house or apartment.  Have good windows and doors with sturdy locks.  The heavy duty, insulated doors and windows that lower heating bills can also stop criminals.  And, should the police show up at the wrong address to serve a no-knock warrant at 3am, the delay in gaining entry because of security doors and windows, buys you time to wake up and analyze the situation.

If you have firearms, have a secure storage device.  Gun safes are not THAT expensive.  If the police decide they want to seize your firearms during an arrest, all you have to do is invoke your right to remain silent and to have legal counsel and wait.  They might get your ready shotgun and handgun.  But the rest of the collection is behind a 15 minute determined entry attack lock.  Hopefully, by the time the police get the equipment needed and can break into the safe, your lawyer will have been notified by someone and can check to see if they've followed procedure.

The best line of defense we have is our brain that helps us make wise choices. 

Without advocating illegal activities, look at it this way.  Smoking marijuana, drinking beer, etc, is a choice.  Doing either of those things while driving is also a choice.  A stupid and unsafe choice.  Honestly, eating fast food while driving is stupid and dangerous.  So is talking on our phones, swapping CDs, browsing through the iPod, etc.   

As an aside, I remember a lady I met complaining that bicycles frustrated her when she was driving.  They took up her lane and slowed her down.  She just wanted to run them over.  With a smile, I asked her, "Is your time so valuable that 10 minutes of it is worth killing someone over?"  As soon as I put it to her like that, she backpedaled.

The point of that digression:  Are we that strapped for time that we can't hold off on the phone call from Mom for 2 minutes.  That we can't  wait a bit before eating so we can stop and just eat?  If you are the sort of person who can't wait 10 or 15 minutes to get home to have a drink of beer or smoke marijuana, then you do not need to be doing those things at all.   If our time for any of those things is THAT short, we probably need to re-evaluate how we are spending our time and what our priorities are.

As Terry Pratchett wrote in a novel:  Rules are meant to make your think before you break them.

The important part is that we do think. 

When we deal with police officers, do we really want to die because we got caught up in the barking ego dance?

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