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Messages - Karsk

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Whups, the link was broken.  That youtube showed the changes in brain morphology in NFL players due apparently to chronic pounding.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Historical Euro Martial Arts
« on: September 24, 2013, 12:56:55 AM »

I know nothing about this group but I thought you might find this video to be interesting. 

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Historical Euro Martial Arts
« on: June 28, 2013, 12:26:01 PM »



Lots levels of intensity and seriousness in HEMA.  Just like every other martial art.


Martial Arts Topics / Re: VIDEO CLIPS OF INTEREST
« on: May 24, 2012, 04:21:55 PM »
Here is an eastern european reality TV show called Battle of the Nations.  It is a full contact armored battle between teams from several countries using medieval weapons and armor.

Here is a link to the rules:

and here is episode 2:


I guess there is going to be a USA team this year.


Martial Arts Topics / Re: The Straight Blast
« on: March 22, 2011, 03:10:03 PM »
Most of the video examples show straight blasts with the rear arm doing the punching with each step (Lyoto and Vitor examples).  Punching with the front arm with each step or with more than one punch per step is possible.  In adrenal state situations you see the rear arm punching with each forward step more often than not.  I think that this cross position is instinctive and very natural.  Yet the front punch does exist in martial traditions and I think that its purpose is as a straight blast entry and overwhelm.  If you try to fight using it to lead you will get clobbered.  But in the context of entry after you have the opening, I think it has a greater reach and can really hit hard.  There is one example of this kind of punch in the forums already:


Chaining this type of entry move with subsequent punches that vary in type and target according to the distance that the opponent ends up is a good study.  In other words if the guy is farther away hit him with a forward hand.  If closer a rear hand and so on.


Martial Arts Topics / Re: Guro Crafty in Vancouver January 29-30
« on: February 02, 2011, 10:03:30 AM »
Thanks Marc for coming up and sharing again.  Thanks Loki for facilitating the workshop. I met more good people, learned good stuff, and had fun.


Martial Arts Topics / Re: Fencing masks
« on: January 17, 2011, 07:27:53 PM »
Windrose armory makes helms for armored fighting.   They just came out with a new helm for practicing with blunt steel swords.  This may be of interest:

Link to their website:


PS I know that this is overkill for gatherings but perhaps there is a use in some aspect of training

Martial Arts Topics / Re: VIDEO CLIPS OF INTEREST
« on: December 11, 2010, 10:35:10 PM »
youtube has a new beta search tool....I found this when I was playing around with it:

Teaser: In 1935 Richard Halliburton photographed guys in the mountains in Georgia wearing chain mail and practicing a medieval martial art.

From wikipedia:  "There has been a hypothesis, coming from the locals and descriptions by Russian serviceman and ethnographer Arnold Zisserman who spent 25 years (1842-67) during Russian expansion in the Caucasus (see Georgia within the Russian Empire), that these Georgian highlanders were descendants of the last European Crusaders because their folk culture – the material, social, and religious practices – greatly resembled those of the Crusaders.[3] American traveler Richard Halliburton (1900-1939) saw and recorded the customs of the Khevsur tribe in 1935.[4] Khevsurs are mentioned in Greek, Roman and Georgian sources before the formation of European crusades ( See History of Georgia and Georgian People), and the pure European origin of Khevsurs is not supported by most modern scholars. However, some form of settlement of Crusaders in these areas is possible, as they are mentioned in several manuscripts of the time as participants of several battles against the Muslims in Georgia (100 "Frankish" Crusaders participated in King David's army in the Battle of Didgori), and the fact that some passed through here after the fall of the Holy Land."

The creator of the video is a fellow traveled to the area to meet with the last remaining practitioners of this art, three 90 year old men.

Pretty Cool.


Martial Arts Topics / Re: The Older Warrior
« on: December 01, 2010, 08:59:45 AM »
Short aside here:  I live in Kamloops and I work out where the Masters Indoor Track and Field event occurred.  For a couple of days I was running alongside some of these incredible folks.   Guys in their late sixties running like gazelles and indeed a bunch of older folks who were in fantastic shape.  Pretty cool.


FYI  about Battlefield concussions:

The Warrior's Brain

One family's terrifying medical mystery could represent the military's next big crisis.
by Andrew Bast
November 08, 2010
The worst was the day Brooke Brown came home to find her husband with a shotgun in his mouth. But there had been plenty of bad days before that: after he returned from a deployment in Iraq, Lance Cpl. David Brown would start shaking in crowded places. Sitting down for a family meal had become nearly impossible: in restaurants he'd frantically search for the quickest exit route. He couldn't concentrate; he couldn't do his job. The Marine Corps placed him on leave prior to discharging him. Brooke quit her job to care for him and the children. The bills piled up.

It sounds like another troubling story of a war vet struggling with PTSD. But Brown's case is more complicated. In addition to the anxiety, he suffered a succession of mild seizures until a devastating grand mal episode sent him to the hospital covered in his own blood, vomit, and excrement. There were also vision problems and excruciating headaches that had plagued him since he'd been knocked to the ground by a series of mortar blasts in Fallujah four years earlier.

Brown, now 23, didn't have any visible injuries, but clearly the man who left for Iraq was not the same man who returned. "Our middle son clings to David; he knows something is wrong," Brooke, 22, explained late this summer. "Our 4-year-old doesn't know what caused it, but he knows Daddy's sick and he needs help."

But what kind of help does Corporal Brown need? His case perplexed civilian doctors and the Department of Veterans Affairs. The headaches and seizures suggest that he is suffering from the aftereffects of an undiagnosed concussion—or, in the current jargon, mild traumatic brain injury (TBI). But some of his symptoms seem consistent with a psychological condition, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Or could it be both—and if so, are they reinforcing one another in some kind of vicious cycle? The person who knows David better than anyone, his wife, thinks it was hardly a coincidence that one of his worst seizures came on the day last year that his best friend was deployed with the Second Battalion, Eighth Marines, as part of President Obama's surge into Afghanistan. 
David Brown's symptoms have placed him at the vanguard of military medicine, where doctors, officials, and politicians are puzzling out the connection between head injuries and PTSD, and the role each plays in both physical and psychological post-combat illness.

Invisible Wounds

The military reports that 144,453 service members have suffered battlefield concussions in the last decade; a study out of Fort Carson argues that that number misses at least 40 percent of cases. By definition, a concussion is a shaking of the brain that results from a blow to the head. Typical symptoms include headache, memory loss, and general confusion. For decades, head injuries were a challenge mainly for civilian doctors, who studied the results of auto accidents and football injuries. The best treatment, it was generally thought, was rest and time. And in the great majority of these civilian cases, the brain heals by itself in as little as a week.
Concussions sustained on the battlefield are another matter, and a vexing one. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, symptoms such as vision, memory, and speech problems, dizziness, depression, and anxiety last far longer in men and women returning from combat. Why? Doctors suspect that the high-stress combat environment stifles the kind of recovery that would normally occur. More often than not, those unlucky enough to suffer a concussion in Afghanistan, or especially in Iraq, do so in stifling heat, "which can make the effects of a concussion worse," says David Hovda, director of the UCLA Brain Injury Research Center. Then there's the question of reinjury before full recovery. If an injured fighter reports symptoms that match the concussion watch list, he or she is pulled from action for 24 hours. (There's currently no test for a concussion besides self-diagnosis, though the military is actively pursuing biomarker tests that could be done on site.) But in a macho military culture, admitting unseen symptoms that can take you out of the action doesn't happen as often as it should. "If you ain't bleeding, you ain't hurt," says Brooke of the military culture around head injuries.

Blood or not, evidence is mounting that battlefield concussions from these two long-running wars could result in decades of serious and expensive health-care issues for a significant number of veterans. After all, TBI is a relatively new problem of modern warfare. Thanks to technological advances, warriors are surviving what once would have been fatal blasts--but the long-term consequences of the impact are still unknown. Two years ago, the RAND Corporation published a comprehensive study, "The Invisible Wounds of War," which highlighted brain injuries as a massive, and little-understood, mental-health issue for returning combat veterans. This summer the nonprofit journalism site ProPublica chronicled challenges in diagnosis of head trauma and breakdowns in care within the military medical system. Around the same time, the Senate Armed Services Committee called the brass from each of the military branches and the Department of Veterans Affairs to testify on the topic, and at the hearing senators expressed concern that head trauma may be a factor in service-member suicide.
The military's concerns have arisen during something of a boom in concussion research in civilian institutions, and new research in sustained head trauma in athletes shows that repeated concussions can lead to a condition called chronic traumatic encephalopathy. This disorder, which can present 10 to 15 years after the initial trauma, is linked to depression and suicidal thoughts, as well as Parkinson's, dementia, and even a devastating neurological condition resembling Lou Gehrig's disease. Another study found that those who abused drugs and alcohol after a TBI had drastically increased rates of suicide attempts.
Suicide is a serious threat to the military: an August 2010 report by the Department of Defense showed that the military suicide rate comes to one death every 36 hours. In the past, suicide has been associated with PTSD—an issue armed forces across the world have been struggling with for years. "Nostalgia" afflicted Napoleon's troops fighting his endless campaigns far from home. "Traumatic neurosis" and "shell shock" overcame British troops in the trenches of World War I. Col. John Bradley, head of psychiatry at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, describes today's PTSD as the inability to dial back on the instincts necessary for survival in combat even long after one is out of danger. "If you go back to your family and you still feel like you're in mortal danger, that creates a problem," says Bradley. A common estimate inside the military is that 20 percent of veterans in combat experience symptoms of posttraumatic stress. Some 2.1 million service members have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan—implying more than 400,000 potential cases. 
Connecting the Dots
But in Iraq and Afghanistan, the symptoms of PTSD are often complicated by TBI—a condition seen as a consequence of the fact that, thanks to better battlefield technology and medical care, more soldiers are surviving blasts that proved deadly in previous wars. Figuring out what's caused by PTSD and what's the result of a head injury isn't easy, especially since the symptoms of TBI overlap with those of PTSD. "You may have been injured, may have lost a buddy during an attack," says Bradley. "Traumatic brain injury has both a physical and psychological component, and so does PTSD." After a concussion, one is almost certain to have headaches, but headaches are also common among people with a mental-health disorder. Concussions cause trouble sleeping—and so can PTSD. Difficulty concentrating is common to both. "It's very difficult to determine if it's a psychological problem or the results of an organic brain injury," says Terry Schell, a behavioral scientist at RAND.

Scientists are just starting to understand if and how the two are connected. It's been shown in animal models that a head trauma can make one more susceptible to PTSD. "Minor traumatic brain injury does not necessarily cause PTSD, but it puts the brain in a biochemical and metabolic state that enhances the chances of acquiring posttraumatic stress disorder," says UCLA's Hovda, who is part of a civilian task force of doctors and scientists commissioned by the military to assess how PTSD and TBI affect troops. They'll meet in December to discuss whether troops suffering from both should receive special medical treatment. Hovda also played a key role in the development of the National Intrepid Center of Excellence, a military medical facility in Bethesda, Md., devoted to the care of returning vets who suffer from PTSD and/or head trauma. "When they get to Bethesda, or get home, a lot of times individuals will be suffering from symptoms related to these multiple concussions," he says. "They don't understand that it's related to a brain injury, and they become very depressed and confused."

Murray Stein, a neurologist at the University of California, San Diego, is leading a consortium of doctors and specialists through several clinical trials investigating the long-term effects of concussions mixed with high-stress situations. Stein suspects there's more to the long-term effects of battlefield brain injuries than we now understand. "Right now it's extremely controversial," he says. "It's simply too simplistic to suggest [TBI] and emotional symptoms can't be linked."

There's not a lot research as of yet. Early on in the Iraq War, Col. Charles Hoge, then the director of mental-health research at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, surveyed some 2,700 soldiers about battlefield concussions and PTSD, as well as the extent of their injuries and the state of their current mental and physical health (relying on self-reported measures like days of work missed). In 2008, The New England Journal of Medicine published Hoge's findings: battlefield concussions existed, perhaps in significant numbers, but "cognitive problems, rage, sleep disturbance, fatigue, headaches, and other symptoms" that had become commonplace among service members back home resulted almost entirely from PTSD.  Hoge argued that attributing postcombat symptoms to the effect of concussions, which "usually resolve rapidly," could lead to a large number of military personnel receiving treatment for the wrong problem—treatment that could actually make things worse for the patient and put undue strain on the health-care system.
In an interview with NEWSWEEK, Hoge agreed that there was a connection between the two conditions. "PTSD and battlefield concussions are interrelated, and they have to be treated as such," he said. But he's also standing by his findings that one should not be confused for the other. In his new book, Once a Warrior, Always a Warrior, published earlier this year as a mental-health handbook for veterans and their families, Hoge reiterates that "concussions/TBIs have also become entangled and confused with PTSD." Battlefield concussions, he writes, are best diagnosed at the time of injury, and the more time that elapses, the more difficult it becomes to link symptoms to the incident.

That much is true: with shoddy records of brain injuries from the early parts of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, many veterans who could be afflicted by the long-term effects of battlefield concussions will have little—if any—documentation to rely on in their claims for disability benefits. And as evidenced by Lance Cpl. David Brown, in some cases those men and women could require a significant amount of ongoing care.

The Path Ahead
There's another, unsettling reality, of course: that PTSD and TBI are far from the only culprits for Brown's mystery symptoms. "Headaches are almost useless as a diagnostic," says Barry Willer, professor of psychology at the University of Buffalo and an expert on concussions. He notes that headaches present for a large number of  illnesses. And depression, anxiety, and trouble sleeping? Those are often the result of living with an unexplainable illness. In reality, the troops are coming home with myriad medical issues, some new, like TBI; some, like PTSD, as old as war itself; and some a hybrid of the two. The question is whether we have the tools and treatments to figure out which is which.

Brown finally found some respite thanks to Tim Maxwell, a fellow Marine, who was pierced in the skull with shrapnel in Iraq and later lost his leg to mortar fire. Maxwell has established a quiet network of wounded warriors and maintains a Web site on the topic, SemperMax. Earlier this year, he got wind of Brown's struggle and helped get him back into the Marines and into the TBI ward at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda. Today, Brown's back at Camp Lejeune, readmitted to the Marines and working to get medically retired. "I spend most of my time over at the wounded-warrior tent doing rehab," he says. He's taking Topamax, a drug usually prescribed to epileptics to stave off seizures, and it seems to be effective, despite the side effects. "He's lost his speech for 30 minutes a couple of times," Brooke says, but he hasn't had any more grand mal seizures. His wife is fighting for him at every turn. "I'm going to stand by my man," she said in August, and then stiffened her spine. "He stood for me over in Iraq. The least I can do is stand by him now."

Martial Arts Topics / Re: talent is what the unskilled call skill
« on: October 15, 2010, 04:25:00 PM »
How about that! I am used to that happening in reverse (not able to get things from the states) are some links to videos that give similar information:

A TED talk on it:

This one has to do with studies on Tibetan Monks:

and an article about neuroplasticity training and schizophrenia...


Martial Arts Topics / Re: talent is what the unskilled call skill
« on: October 15, 2010, 09:41:58 AM »
Came across this this morning.  Its worth it to take the time to watch it.  Its about how very serious psychological problems like obsessive compulsive disorder and schizophrenia can be corrected by "practicing".  This revolves around the idea that the brain is malleable rather than unchanging.  The term is "neuroplasticity".   What you use you "fuse" together neuronal circuit wise. relates to the development of capacity through practice.  More than the body is trained when we go through motions.   The brain itself can be rewired to be more efficient.  The documentary even draws parallels to zen practices.

I think about this stuff relative to repetitive practices.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: talent is what the unskilled call skill
« on: October 15, 2010, 09:25:31 AM »
I disagree that you will never equal God given talent to this extent.  If the person with talent is arrogant or lazy or stupid on top of the talent and they waste the gifts that they have been given by sitting on a couch swigging beer and watching Jackass part 10 then they will be passed by.  By anyone with tenacity and discipline. 

Its not enough to have the genetic capacity to deliver. You have to have heart as well.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: talent is what the unskilled call skill
« on: October 14, 2010, 03:07:01 PM »
What do you mean by skill or talent?  Are you talking about physiological parameters in general as well?  Like muscle fiber composition, torso to leg length ratio, levels of hemoglobin,  capillary density.  as well as ability to process information quickly and accurately?  How much does  purely physiological parameters affect success in any activity including fighting?   If you mean grasp of method and the ability to achieve it I think that there is a physiological component to this.  Body physiologies do vary and I think that this includes neurological function.   And certain body physiologies do seem to match up with specific activities.  I mean we all more or less acknowledge this.  For example, years ago, the Australians started using physiological means to pre-assess "talent" for rowing  (you could argue that rowing is not as complex an activity as martial arts but perhaps good rowers would argue that ...I dunno)  They had crappy rowing teams and when they adopted a physiologically based pre-assessment where they searched for physiologies that matched top Olympic athletes they in fact produced a winning team.  Now it is routine:

I think that they do this for soccer players too.  Kind of takes the "natural" out of natural selection....

I have noticed that in open fighting situations where there are no weight classes, certain physiological characteristics tend to dominate the winners circles.  Do you think that that is true?  I suspect it depends on type of fighting as well.  Anderson Silva body type versus Randy Couture?

That being said, I remember an old oriental tidbit saying "if one person tries one time try 10 times, for 100 try 1000, in this way even the dull become sharp"  or something to that effect.   I think that there are lots of people who are genetically gifted to do something who simply do not take advantage of it. It takes more than just genetic advantage. The best of the best seem to be people with genetic propensity who also bust their tails practicing and perfecting.  In the mid ranges where most people are, I think its possible for someone with less genetic propensity to overcome the disadvantages simply by putting way more into skill development.


Martial Arts Topics / Re: Nutrition, Diet Thread
« on: September 19, 2010, 10:22:15 PM »
I have been eating like this for about 80% of my diet.  Prior to this I ate lots of protein. Prior to that I ate mostly vegetarian with some chicken and fish.  Prior to that I ate like crap :)

I had high cholesterol and some health issues when I ate like crap.  Mostly vegetarian I had to work at keeping the weight off...lots of complex carbs.  Eating lots of protein and staying away from high cholesterol blood stats were good.  Eating primal but still minimizing cholesterol I had ridiculously good blood stats.  I am now allowing myself to eat more cholesterol to see what happens.  So I am eating meat, fish, poultry, veggies, nuts, fruit, dried stuff....and I have one bowl of oatmeal every day.  Feel great. Less inflammation.  I will have blood stats done prior to Christmas.


medieval much did they protect?

 I fight in armor with sword and shield.  My helm is made of of 12 gauge steel and the sticks are 1 1/4" rattan.  The choice of steel and weapon thickness has to do with maintaining sufficient adrenalin factor while still being relatively safe. The mass of the helmet slows down the impact.  The padding immediately inside the helm is neoprene followed by an inner cap of open cell foam that allows the helm to "float" around my head.  The sticks that we use pack enough of a wallop that you can still get your bell rung through a helmet like that.  When you get hit hard, you can feel the shock of the hit first moving the helmet and then causing your head to move as the padding presses into you.  It can cause a headache to get hit like that.  I do not know how getting  hit with less stout sticks in a saber mask compares. It looks worse.  It certainly seems to cause more peripheral damage to the skin and head.  And I assume you get a headache if you get clocked a good one.

In medieval times, as far as I know, field (not tournament) helms were lighter gauge steel and some were better engineered than the one I use and the swords in general weighed less than the rattan sticks that I am familiar with.  The helms were padded with horsehair in a liner and you often also wore a skull cap with a tie string.  I do not know how that compares in shock absorption but from examining helms in Europe it seems that they would protect less than my present helm. There are lots reports of guys getting stunned by head shots even with the helmets on and no penetration of the shot so concussions happened back then.   They probably protected better than saber masks especially for sharp weapons but not as good as my 12 gauge tank of a helm.  Even with my thick and heavy helm I have on occasion taken shots that I would not want to repeat given the choice. In some respects it may be like having the football helmet protection.  The more protection the bigger the stick and the more careful you have to be when dancing the line between getting concussed and having enough incentive.  I wonder about this.


Martial Arts Topics / Re: Guro Crafty in Seattle, Sept 11-12, 2010
« on: September 13, 2010, 09:29:13 PM »
Thanks for the great seminar.  I was happy to get to know a bunch of new people.  Thanks for sharing Marc and thanks for organizing things Rob.  

This is Mike aka Karsk  on the forum (olde guye with shield!).

I have a story to tell about the way home.  True story time!

 I spent the evening on Sunday at my son's house and took off this morning for a leisurely drive back home.  I stopped at Mt. Vernon at my favorite halfway restaurant...the Calico Cupboard..with massive and entirely not primal cinnamon buns.  I bought 4 to take home to the family.   Later in the day I stopped near Hope, BC at a gas station to refuel, to get more tea and stretch my legs.  

I decided I was hungry and what could be better than to snag a bite of those sticky buns?   So I opened the back door to my car and opened the box sitting just inside the door. I have a modest folding knife that I carry...nothing extremely sinister. I bought it for white water boating.  I was using it to cut chunks of the sweet roll out and then I would grab the chunk and pop it into my mouth.  I had just finished a chunk and I heard behind me "Hey buddy, I was just wondering if you could spare me a couple of bucks for some food... I turned around and a homeless guy had cut the distance to me. He was about 4-5 feet away already and was still moving directly for me. I was stuck between the car and the door.  

Before I knew it I had turned and in a detached way noticed that my knife had suddenly placed itself in a reverse grip. My hands had come up to near my head and my knife hand had just about initiating a dracula, while my other hand was up protecting myself as well.  (nice feedback about that Marc...)  I pointed at him and said in a calm. authoritative voice... "NO!  Get away from me!"  I had popped right back into the seminar and the stuff we had worked on yesterday.    I am sure he had incidentally watched my knife flip around in my hand as I brought it to bear.

Without even skipping a stride the guy cut right and rapidly moved out of my range saying, "Geez..take it easy pal"...I watched him go and felt like a mean dog on the end of a chain.   Then I turned back and ate another piece of sweet roll.  I looked up and he was making tracks and was 50 yards away.

Second thought...." I just scared the crap out of a harmless homeless guy".

As I got into the car and drove off, I started thinking about the whole thing.   Some random thoughts.  "I am glad he stopped." "Gee, wired a bit tight aren't ya?" I felt  mild chagrin.  But then I started thinking a bit more... "I missed that guy coming up on me."  "I was in a really bad position."  "Why in the hell did he walk right up into my space if he wasn't going to try to put some pressure on whoever he thought I was?"  He was really close.  Too close for normal.  By the time I had turned, he was within stick range.  One more step and he would have been in fist range.  I started to be really happy that I just happened to have my skimpy little pocket knife in my hand at just that moment.

I am absolutely certain he had not counted on that or my reaction or the calm tone of my voice with an edge to it.

I do not know if that really was just a homeless guy that I scared the crap out of or if that guy would have treated me different if I had been an older fellow with no piss and vinegar.   You recall my appearance (shorter, bald, grey haired...).  From behind I probably look the part of a prey.  I am pleased he changed his mind so rapidly   8-)

I think he most likely was not a hardened bad guy. I think he may have been a homeless guy not above a little positioning to intimidate an old guy.  If that was his intention then he got what he deserved.  If not....well it was an education for the both of us.

I just had to relate that story!



Martial Arts Topics / Re: Guro Crafty's momentary ruminations
« on: October 26, 2009, 11:01:17 AM »
Hiya Crafty,

I have had a pair of Five Fingers for about a year now.  I have used them for practice, for weightlifitng, running on a track,  road running and even for field work for my job (which earned me some interesting comments).  I have been doing lots of barefoot minimalist things over the years so it was not a leap to get into these shoes.  But they really are cool aren't they? 

The ideas of this post... squats are good,  Resting is good,  FF are good.  Couldn't agree more.   Another thing that I have been doing alot of is resting between sets of things by squatting low (squat-sitting?).  Its that whole thing of being limber and functional in the whole range of motion of your legs that I find to be exhilarating.


Martial Arts Topics / Re: MMA Thread
« on: May 24, 2009, 10:47:09 PM »
Pretty interesting fight.  Lyoto fought from a front stance at the outside edge of the distance.  I looked over all of the fights that I could find of him when I first heard of him on youtube because he has a shotokan background and that is my main emphasis.  His speed and timing is phenomenal.  I watched the brief about how he trains movement and accuracy on Spike a few days ago.  Also pretty interesting.  His Dad (his teacher) really emphasized evasiveness I think.  If you watch the videos carefully you can see that he uses a changing lead attack (front punch kind of thing).   He varies the timing between when he steps and when his hand comes out situationally but he is still changing leads and using that forward motion to attack.  Thats also the base of those sweeps methinks.



Martial Arts Topics / Re: Secrecy vs. Knowledge wants to be free
« on: February 09, 2009, 04:40:27 PM »
You can see this very same issue reflected throughout the past history of the martial arts and in the old books and writings.   Its also a broader human issue of having the capability to act and yet resisting the pull to abuse.

The issue is not trivial it is central. It is real, and it should be an important consideration of every teacher to pay attention to who you teach.   If you teach capability and you don't also try to build an equivalent moral capacity to support that responsibility then there is a problem in martial arts or in any other discipline or field where you have power (like accounting...) 

But the original post is about secrecy vs free knowledge in an era where everyone else is free with their knowledge.   I think that the fact that there are people out there who are freely sharing ways of fighting doesn't change the issue at all.  This has always been the case in history.  It doesn't change what i ought to do.  I still need to give people chances to learn, get to know who they are, try to teach values of good character, and ultimately to not teach someone if I do not think it is a good idea to do so.  And that decision is mine alone. Its up to me to decide where i draw the line recognizing full well that someone else might freely give away the same things that I might not want to talk about with that person.


Martial Arts Topics / Chessboxing?!
« on: February 08, 2009, 12:40:02 AM »
I came across this recently

Apparently it is a genuine sport with pros.   It combines 4 minute rounds of chess with boxing rounds in 11 round fights.  You can win by checkmate or knockout!


Martial Arts Topics / Re: Cooties in Training
« on: February 06, 2009, 03:15:10 PM »
Cellulitis.  Hoo boy.

So about 6 months ago, I had an interesting run in.    Having spent a lot of time barefoot, my feet had developed a bit of a tendency for the skin to crack at the heel.   Generally I have pretty much ignored this despite the fact that the cracks occasionally get deep enough to cause pain. 

I was working out at the Y and as near as I can tell picked up a staph infection through the crack. I presume from the locker room.  It was troubling me a bit so I tried to clean up the area with lots of soap and water and kind of working the area with my fingers to remove some of the dried skin.   As a result I contracted an infection of the epidermis, known as "cellulitis".  The infection had no bump or obvious focal point but instead looked like a deep, red skin rash.  In 8 hours it moved from my ankle to the middle of my hamstrings and covered the entire back of my leg. 

It took me almost a month of IV antibiotics followed by oral antibiotics to get this under control.  It was not MRSA. It was a regular staph infection. It was still pretty dangerous.

My lessons learned:

Cellulitis can kill you if it is not untreated.

Take care of my feet.  Rather than letting my heels get so bad that cracks form I now manage the area by abrading calluses down.   Your feet do not have to have lots of callus to be tough.

Avoid contact with obviously dirty places like locker room floors. (I won't go into details about what old codger YMCA clients do on locker room and shower floors!)

I have also started wearing a funky kind of shoe made by Vibram called Fivefingers.  These things are  a kind of sock with toes that is reinforced by a vibram sole.

I saw these on the Crossfit site and then again on a site dedicated to barefoot long distance running.  They are comfortable, have really good traction ( almost  too good if you need to spin on your foot), and are an amazing conversation starter!

I also am somewhat paranoid about following the CDC general guidelines. I wash my hands a lot and cover open wounds when before I might have ignored it.

I do not recommend allowing yourself to get this malady.


Martial Arts Topics / Re: Cooties in Training
« on: July 26, 2008, 07:14:10 PM »
High School and collegiate wrestling coaching and training associations are another good source for cootie control.

According to the PDF document:

"Additional information can be obtained by contacting:
Jim Porter at "

a link for mat cleaning products.  We used something like the product called "Whizzer"

Many moons ago when I coached in high school, we used some intense antibacterial cleaning agent that was commercially available for wrestling mats.  We washed the mats before and after practice every day. We also stringently followed the guidelines about showering and washing and getting the kids to bring fresh clothing and not share equipment.

Regarding the transmission of HIV and other bloodborn illnesses, I have used hand guards that are the old fashioned white pads with a thumb hole.  Apparently these are cheap, washable, and prevent splatter.  They don't do much to pad impact.

Have you considered asking fighters at gatherings to get tested for HIV/other things prior to the Gatherings? 


Martial Arts Topics / Re: What would you have done?
« on: June 30, 2008, 06:24:43 PM »
This is turning out to be a fairly interesting thread that is bringing up a more complex considerations.  Perhaps this is moving away from the original thread a bit but...

It illustrates that the world is not a black and white place when it comes to what is right and wrong and what is the right action in a given situation.  Extreme situations are often easy to make conjectures about while more common complicated situations there is less certainty over what is the appropriate path to take.  It is creating cognitive dissonance...that place where we can confront our own contradictions in thoughts and where growth occurs.

Thinking deeply about this has led me to thinking about its easier to be clear when one of your family and/or tribe is threatened.   Looking over the fence is different than something happening in your own house because those over there are not familiar to us, not in the same tribe.

But isn't that often at the root of many larger conflicts?  Differentiating between your tribe and others? By not including those others its easier to depersonalize whats going on on both large and small scales.

One way of improving relationships between groups is to get the "tribes" to see one another as part of the same group.

We started out looking at several individual circumstances and I am finding myself thinking about this in the larger context of conflicts between groups.

I heard on the news today that CA prisons are going to desegregate their living arrangements to break down perceived differences between races and groups.  I am wondering if this relates in some way to this conversation..about seeing others as close or separate, same or different.

Like I said I am finding this thread to be very thought provoking.


Martial Arts Topics / Re: What would you have done?
« on: June 30, 2008, 01:21:32 AM »

Once again I am reminded of the careful consideration that needs to take place to clearly communicate on the net.  I am not sure that I made it clear that I was referring to 2 different situations.  The first was the incident that I witnessed with the woman being beaten.  The second was the OP about the man who was beating a child to death.

The point that you seem to be making in several of your responses is that you have to think things through very carefully if you  find yourself in a situation where something is occurring because there are many hidden dangers to "sticking your nose" into other people's business.  If that is your intention I agree with you.

Many of the postings that I have read concerning real life incidents here often are about the contingency of what you might do if help is not available and you are witness to something very bad happening.  At what point do you choose to act?

With regard to this, if you see someone assaulting someone else, is it "sticking your nose into other people's business to turn around and watch?"  How about saying something , carefully worded to decrease the energy of the situation if you see an escalation?  What are the consequences to even these relatively mild actions?  These are rhetorical questions.  The point being that yeah there can be consequences and its good if you are acting in a way that allows you to avoid stepping into big problems.  But what if something really bad is happening and something needs to be done right here right now?

I think that you are right 100% about potential consequences.  Sometimes interceding can land you in a whole lot of hurt and perhaps even justifiable legal trouble.  So where do you draw the line between interceding and not doing so?  I think that is the point of this whole thread in a way.  That and a bunch of people standing there watching a baby get beaten to death.

In the case of what I witnessed with the couple...the point was that it only took some people focusing on this guy to make him stop. That's all it took. In that mild case people showing an interest stopped some woman from being beaten at least temporarily. That's probably good you know.  Give the guy sometime to cool off, her time to think...that sort of thing.  In the case of the original post (OP), the child attacker seemed to have something serious going on...beyond just a case of being angry.

I still think that you have a point about choosing when to intercede though.  Sometimes things that are not what they seem.

But If you saw a man brutally murdering a child would that be enough to make you act?  What if you were not an adept at fighting?  Would you still act?  What if the only way that you could come up with was really brutal in return?  One of the points of martial arts is to provide the capacity to deliver. Another point is to provide more options.   Correct me if I am wrong but "training" often requires greater responsibility in terms of decisions and escalating level of response than an untrained defender in the courts.  My comment about using a truck and a rope was mildly facetious.  I was thinking what a fellow might do if he wanted to intercede but did not feel capable of physically fighting.   I was kidding in a way...but maybe the real point is that there are creative ways to intercede in such situations. 

You know...
John Wayne lassoing the bastard and draggin' em down the street a ways till he cooooled off?  (facetious alert)

 In my work as a wildlife biologist I have had a few occasions to handle bears and other pretty dangerous critters.  The absolutely most sensible way to handle a bear is from as far away as possible, with the bear in a cage or tranquilized.  In my case, I was the one on the ground rolling a tranquilized bear out of the cargo net he had been transported in (conscious but unable to move...his eyes were on me the whole time....rather disconcerting). Handling people in real life situations is the same and more so.  If you can manage things from a distance, in safety from legalities and physical threat and you choose to jump right in there ...yeah thats the kind of thing you end up kicking yourself for later.  But there are also situations that require action are there not?

I also did not make it clear that I was commenting on what someone without training might do but upon the above reflection it is good advice for anyone trained or not trained to  use the safest and most tactically sound approach of handling problems. That only makes sense.

I have not gotten the impression that careless action is espoused on this  forum.

So I was not clear in my earlier post that I was referring in the end  to the original post of the fellow beating the child to death.

I still like the image of dropping a rope over the baby beater, and "draggin em down the street a ways" though.



Martial Arts Topics / Re: What would you have done?
« on: June 24, 2008, 09:10:19 PM »
This past weekend, I was going to the store and I drove past a pretty large First Nations fellow, manhandling his girlfriend.  He was yelling and screaming  and although I did not see it, I think he was slapping her around.  I stopped my car and started to walk over to the guy.  At the same time about 6 other men did the same thing.  On of them visible took out a cell phone and started dialing.    I was to one side and about 4 of the other men were on the other.  We are about  50 feet away.   In this case, the fellow noticed.

He started talking to the crowd.  Saying really loud things like  "Whats your problem?" and shooting the bird.  No one approached but no one left.  He kept chest pounding and walked to his car shaking his head.  His girlfriend got in with him.

Something mild perhaps compared to the above horrendous story.  Sometimes the right combination of things match up.  The guys awareness was still there.  He wasn't enraged nby the time people had gathered.  The proximity of the people around him, the witnesses, the phone call, and the growing attention was enough in this case.

The story above, seems way past that.  Very  bizarre.

How about a belt looped over the guys head tied to a truck?


Martial Arts Topics / Re: A Father's Question
« on: June 24, 2008, 10:26:24 AM »
Thats rather annoying.

I wonder at the response of men and fathers in Scotland to this.  Perhaps one of the folks from there would know.  What I have noticed about the reaction of men to such a deafening absence of a response. The article said that one group called the decision to do this absurd.  That's good.  Wonder what happened after that?

You really do not see lots of protests from men about being marginalized or put down in such ways.  Perhaps there is the ancestral guilt that binds men from saying that they think such things are unfair, or fear that they will arouse the wraith of women, or they cannot in their own minds state objections to such drivel without simultaneously feeling weak.  Perhaps the group mind of the cultures that we live in still sees a large imbalance between the genders such that holding men on a short leash is still the norm and men themselves wear the leash willingly...

But here is the thing.  I have discovered that calmly and rationally saying  the truth of how such things make me feel with no outrage or reactiveness combats this sort of thing.  If I am vocal and engage in "constructive trouble making" with clear eyes people see the other side. 

I wish that more men would say such things like "That action prevents my children from connecting with me in a way that matters and I don't like it."  out loud and in the drunken uncle at the wedding who cannot help but say what he's really thinking (minus the drunken part).  Just being honest and forthright and letting feathers get ruffled, chips fall where they may...constructive trouble making.



Martial Arts Topics / Re: A Father's Question
« on: June 22, 2008, 10:32:51 PM »
There was one other thing.

I think that there are times when the world goes chaotic.  At those times people get scared and they lose their connection.  Often those crazy times occur because of some catastrophe.  People who dwell on the far fringes of character can become feral and even the best of the best can be moved to savagery. 

Catastrophes can be abrupt.  But at other times, things can slowly increase the pressure on people. Things like increasing population pressure, people having to compete for EVERYTHING, or maybe even times of decadence where noble virtues are neglected for some reason...things you would just as soon walk away from but maybe you cannot for one reason or another.

I think that often this background pressure is intense and people don't even know it.
Acknowledging this does not excuse people loosing it.  It does help to explain why things go wonky sometimes. Once again, at those times, there are people who are capable of holding themselves together even in the face of that pressure and even then respond with nobility. 

That capacity is quite remarkable.


Martial Arts Topics / Re: A Father's Question
« on: June 22, 2008, 10:20:48 PM »
Here is an interesting story that I think relates.

Once upon a time (heh)  I was a school teacher too.  I taught for a while and then decided to move on to some other things. In the transition time between careers, I substitute taught for a while.

This was in Anchorage Alaska.   One day, I got a call to work at the larger school there.  When I arrived, it turned out that I was to teach the "bonehead" math classes.  These are the very basic math classes that are used as fillers and to meet requirements for lots of underachieving kids.  I went to my classroom which was, I kid you not, at the bottom of a stairwell underneath the stairs in a hall.   

The substitute job was typical.  They had left some lame boring material and expected me to teach that (worksheets) and then let them watch videos for the remainder of the class.  The kids were tough guys every one of them.  They were coarse and abrasive and as a sub I was cannon fodder.

So after attempting to teach this stuff, I suddenly got an urge to not follow the "lesson plan".  Rather than showing a video I said,  " You know, I can see a lot of bored and antagonistic looks right about now and I don't blame you.  Look at where you are sitting and what you are doing. No wonder.  Then I started talking about rites of passage and the knighthood.  Some of the things that I said above and more. It was too long ago for me to remember what I said beyond that.

At the end of the session, these kids stood up and applauded.  Not just a little but a lot.  I was quite frankly reacting to the appalling situation more out of disgust but when I got into it I let my passion show.  These people...the ones that you would never ever think would get it....they got it.  That incident reminded me that we are all in a struggle to find our nobility whether we realize it or not.

I figure that these archetypes of nobility resonate somewhere in all of us.  That is why courage matters. If you act with integrity and can inflame that same energy in others...

sometimes as a teacher you find out years later that some small thing that you did or said had a major impact on a kids life ( and sometimes NOT :) ) . I think most of the time it is our passion and our character that affects people more than what we actually say though.  And all those cynical people out there ...they were in those classrooms once.



Martial Arts Topics / Re: A Father's Question
« on: June 21, 2008, 04:58:40 PM »

I am not sure that my way of explaining this will resonate with you but:

I meet a lot of fellows with the sentiments that you are expressing.  I think that in some ways the folks that you are looking at are actually responding to the same sentiments.  Where you are sitting back and feeling a bit disillusioned, they have responded with cynicism and anger and a selfishness that says "Screw the rest of the world, I am going to take care of me".   I have actually met relatively few people who I would call genuinely evil, but I have met tons of people who I would call ignorant, afraid, reactive, and so on.   

I mirror Crafty's responses to you by saying that my father once told me that 75% of the people out there were "messed up".   He also said that being a good man isn't supposed to be easy.  I think that the implication is that if you set for yourself the goal of living life with character (as defined by yourself since by my reckoning your own assessment of what right is what counts) then expect challenge in your life. 

Please forgive the heavy metaphor but the kinds of challenges that you will face are Knightly.  When you decide to live a life of high character, expect to feel alone.  There are not masses and groups of people doing this.  All along the way you will choose by definition a path that diverges from the norm.   Expect to be weary of seeing all manner of behavior that does not live up to your values.  By definition of the choice you make, thats going to be true.

The bright side of this choice to live more nobly, is that despite the loneliness and the weariness you are not alone.   There are people all over who are shining...who are living according to values.  They  are separated from you by a sea of darkness (at least that is how it feels sometimes).  But to me that is the point and the relevance of those who choose a path of nobility.  If not for the darkness the knight would not be what he is.

All the people who are trying to live with character are comrades.  So in reality you are not alone.

A person that chooses to do this (live overtly with character) will be like a beacon.  If you are really walking the talk you will influence people around you just by living with integrity...with your presence.  You have an opportunity to promote something different in the world than what you see.  The way is to become an example, not to bemoan that others don't get it or to proselytize.  I don't believe in proselytizing.  The only way is by example.

If you truly believe in certain values then you will work to integrate them into your life in all respects.  It's a huge vow to take on.. to truly become integrated around your values.  The act of doing this is as serious as life and death.  By taking such a vow and trying to carry it into action in daily life you start on a path that leads you to a bunch of lessons.  You learn for example that what you thought was noble about yourself  might not be.  You will figure out that there is a kind of arrogance about aspiring and comparing to others and that knowledge will make you humble.  You will realize that all the people out there that you think suck ( and they probably DO SUCK) are also and simultaneously struggling and attempting and failing and making concessions to fear....and ...they are not all that different from you in a way.  So one lesson is about the humility that you have to have to completely realize your own values. 


So in the the sequel to Once and Future King...The Book of Merlin I think its called...King Arthur is standing on the battlefield.  His bastard son Mordred has succeeded in destroying the Knights of the Round Table and the ideal that Arthur brought into being called Camelot.  That alone is interesting since Mordred came out of Arthur's own loins. 

He is standing there looking at the ruin of the Battlefield and thinking very UnArthurly cynical thoughts and doubting himself and a young kid comes up to him and says "Where is the King?" 

Arthur says  "What King?"   
Kid "King Arthur of course, I want to join the Knights of the Round Table."

At that moment Arthur looks out over the sea.  Its a day of cool breezes and mild waves.  The sun, hitting the  surface of the ocean plays over the waves and creates millions of "shiny drops" that play in an ever changing pattern.  Arthur realizes that this is the nature of the Knighthood.  The shiny drops are the knights, who come and go over time amidst the deep dark ocean of humanity.  Sometimes there are dark times and sometimes the sea is awash with light...but the Knights always arise, making the ocean seem a bright place.

That passage which I paraphrased to an outrageous extent, really hit me when I read it in my 20's. 

Dunno if this resonates with you but there ya go.


P.S. I just re-read this and it sounded heavier (cornier ?)  than I intended. Nevertheless, I won't change it and just let it rest as is.  The sentiment is honest.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: A Father's Question
« on: June 15, 2008, 09:43:13 PM »
Today was an interesting day for me.  I have three sons.  Two are grown, and one is a step son with a mild form of autism.

Events of the day:

I wake up and my step son gives me a card.  It says 

"Happy Fathers Day Great Old Mike!"   You are are a great man.  You are very strong.   I love you.


WOW.  I thought.   Lukey doesn't often communicate that directly.  I actually wasn''t sure what he thought of me. I have a "male way" of communicating with my boys. Sometimes you wonder if they get it.  They do.

Second event.  Relates to the Relaxed vs prepared thread...

I go to the hardware store with Luke in the car.  As we are leaving a big burley fellow apparently gets annoyed with me for making him have to slow down as he walked into the store as I am driving past.  Without thinking I say "Mind your manners pal!"  out the window.  He responds with a string of insults and of course having grown up in Pittsburgh I respond quite eloquently with a string of my own and he gestures to me to "come get some".   I stop the car and for a minute my Pittsburghian upbringing is tempted.  But I stop and I have instantaneous flashes of how stupid it is to get involved in such nonsense when there are perfectly good leaving...but you know, I do get tired of the strangeness that abounds in people.  All manner of people.  The baseness seems sometimes just beneath the civilization is a thin veneer...even within ourselves.  That reality is why thinking and acting like a knight is so challenging.  So I drive off.  And at 54 years old I actually do not give it a second thought.  I drive away though thinking of my step son sitting next to me.   All the thoughts of walking the talk of self restraint and teaching by example.  I think that the best example is to show your kids your humanity...your own struggle to maintain character. That way they see the truth that is a conscious choice and its hard.

Third event.

Luke and I go to a father's day event.  I think most fathers day events are really just crappy advertising...or the opportunity for everyone else in the family to do something fun that THEY want to do in the name of celebrating your father...not like mother's day.  Some of the weakness of the energy of Father's Day  relates to several of the posts above.

This event was a free day of fishing for kids.  In most places in North America, outdoor sports like hunting and fishing are in decline to the extent that in a few generations most kids will not know how to do these basic survival skills.  Here in BC, there are efforts to bring interest back to people.  Today was one of those efforts.

So we spent the day with my step son rubbing elbows with venerable old retirees who took him out on the water and he caught a few trout.  I thought this was a good thing and a fitting thing for fathers day.

While we were there several of Luke's friends were there.  Kids vibrating with personal challenges.  Kids looking for guidance and lacking it are shaking apart at the seams in a variety of ways.  Face it.  Life is really hard.  Things can get much worse than they are. Kids need us.

I am reflecting on the day as I write this and I apologize for waxing away here.  I find Father's Day to be a trial most years. Even when you try to be a good father there are times when the world does not seem to notice.  But no one said such things are easy.  Of all the things in the world to use the energy of a warrior for, creating a safe space for your kids and their friends ( because a lot of kids out there need help),  giving them a sense that there is at least one person out there who they can count on and trust...who can show them a path in an imperfect world, that is pretty much the whole point is it not? 

When Father's Day comes along, I try to strike from my mind the thoughts that the Day is promoted to sell things, that it pales in comparison to mothers day, and that the events of the day are oddly canted by absent fathers and injured people and I take the day inside myself.  I become introspective.  I think about what really matters to me. I acknowledge the weird world and its imperfections from my point of view.  I pick up my metaphorical sword and renew my vow to care.

Salute to all men who have made the vow to protect and teach kids.

Happy Fathers Day.


Martial Arts Topics / Re: Native American Fighting Systems
« on: May 19, 2008, 10:10:57 PM »
As promised here is at least one link for an ax head that may or may not be suitable for fighting.

This is intended to be used with people in armor.  Often, some folks will fight in armored medieval combat with exposed parts...e.g.  minimal armor on arms. 

Its not the same thing as going at it with no protection.    How does it work at a gathering?  If you can find someone willing to fight you with your weapon its doable?

I have seen people use axes that have padding made out of the same kind of foam that step aerobic steps are made out of.  This foam does not deflate when you hit it repeatedly, absorbs shock but is stiff enough to impart some force.  You can create a head out of this  and then use a combination of fiberglass tape, duct tape and hockey tape plus glue to secure it.   If you build it right it will be padded more than a stick but because of the smaller area the net result will be the same level of impact.  You'd have to dink around with it and experiment...This can become a rather time consuming hobby to build the optimum weapon. 

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Native American Fighting Systems
« on: May 18, 2008, 04:06:12 PM »
Hi Maxx,

I have a pal who practices a bit with me who is First Nations (the Canadian equivalent of Native American).   He was taught how to fight by his father.  I do not think he is as sophisticated as your friend in terms of what he knows but I walked away from sparring with him thinking similar thoughts. 
You made a point that I think is interesting about the commonalities between tribal fighting versus "civilized fighting systems" that I need to think about a bit.  I am not sure if you are on to something there or not. 

At some point in the development of "systems" there seems to be a departure from reality based to a more theoretical base.   I am not sure if that is what you are talking about or if that occurs at the line between tribal and civilized.

I am thinking about the pretty sophisticated systems of Bagua and its sister arts and some other things.   There is definitely a flow and circularity there so what separates those arts from what you are refering to?  Is it the theory base of many.  I know some effective fighters who practice Bagua.

Aside: fighting with a tomahawk is probably like fighting with a battle ax.  I have seen some plans for building padded battleaxes.  I will try to dig them up and post them but I think that you would still have to test their whompage capacity prior to a fight.

The problem with such things is that the force is concentrated to a small area which is of course why they used em.


Martial Arts Topics / Re: VIDEO CLIPS OF INTEREST
« on: April 28, 2008, 01:14:09 AM »
It was all the youttube clip that I found had.   Here is the film this came from:


Martial Arts Topics / Re: VIDEO CLIPS OF INTEREST
« on: April 23, 2008, 11:57:20 PM »
I searched on the site for cagney to see if this was already here and came up empty so here is a cool old video of James Cagney doing Judo.

This has been around so it wont surprise me if most of you have seen this. But I thought I would put the link up in case you have not.


I have also worn glasses since I was a kid.   

Horn rim glasses (plastic frames) are bad if you get hit on them.  They tend to shatter nicely.   In a way thats a good thing because shattering takes energy that would otherwise be applied to your face.  If you get hit or hit someone on the corner of the frame it will tend to put pressure on the joint of the glasses and on the bridge of the nose.  Frames that have the spring loaded joints are better because they tend not to just snap, but I have had a few of those break as well.  Any energy that is not taken up exploding the glasses tends to get transferred to your face somewhere. 

The only sports glasses that seem to have any merit at all for martial arts are the really geeky looking black horned rims with a kind of rubber bridge.  Sports glasses like the kind that you wear to play racket sports like squash are REALLY BAD.   The ones that I am talking about have a solid wide plastic frame and elastic to hold the whole thing on.  This type of frame sits on your nose and nowhere else.  If you get struck straight on or from just about any angle the force transfers right to the bridge of your nose.   I broke my nose in about 20 pieces that way.  The glasses made a nice little mold of themselves in my nose.   If you want to ever see just how much a nose can bleed...well  this is one way to do that.

Incidentally, when that happened I reacted as I often do when something is chewed up on me. Without a lot of forethought I instinctively do something about it. In this case, I felt the compressed bones, saw all the blood, and thought gee I better do something to put all those bones back in place.   I held my nostrils together and blew to create back pressure.  This re-inflated the crushed area with a nice sound like chewing on a life saver and did in fact save me some time and money later since the nose did not need resetting.  Afterwards the doctor stared at me when I told him and he quietly suggested that it was a good way to get infected.  Instead its probably better to let them go in and manually push it back out. It bled a lot too.

Sorry for the graphic nature of that but I thought it would be useful to describe what can happen as a result of getting hit on the glasses. 

My favorite type of glasses are metal wire rims.  If you have a strong prescription (thick glasses) the smaller the lens size the better because larger frames will weigh more and have larger and more sharp edges.  Modern steel frames can be made of a variety of alloys and one popular material these days is titanium.  Titanium is supposed to be really flexible as far as metals go.  I have found that titanium frames are extremely light and comfortable which I really like.  They do seem to be pretty flexible compared to my older frames.  But they tend to fatigue around stress points and will suddenly just snap in two sometimes without notice.  That is if subject your glasses to whomping like I have on occasion in the past.  Keep in mind that the kind of stresses I put my glasses under are things like grappling with them and repeatedly smashing them into someone's side or having someone roll over them on your face .   Metal frames bend back. Plastic ones don't.

And if you are over 50 as I know some of us are, you can also have the fun of dealing with bifocals.  Some people get dizzy or disoriented when first wearing them because your field of vision warps when move your head back and forth.  It seems to be one of those thing that you can simply get used to though. 

As far as preparing for trouble goes, I think practicing under all possible scenarios with glasses is a good idea.  If you don't then you will not be ready for some of the things that might happen.  For example, if you are wearing them and you suddenly find them gone you can learn to just deal with it instead of being disoriented (much).  If you get hit in the glasses and they have an edge expect to get cut.  Even light hits can cut you.  Harder hits can lay you wide open and its possible that the lens or a piece of the frame could slip into your eye.   I am not sure if wearing glasses makes you better at getting your head out of the way because of all the negative reinforcement you get. More likely it makes your friends more wary of hitting you there and so you get biased practicing happening.  Taking shots with gloves would be dumb.

If I loose my glasses my vision of course goes from 20/20 or there abouts to seeing vague blurs where the opponent's head should be.  I seem to err on the side of extension.  8-)   I noticed that I tended to follow through more rather than less in that situation. quite naturally.  But you loose a lot of sensitivity and you have to rely on other things.  ARe some ranges better than others when you cannot see so well?

At this point, I use contacts most of the time.  Contacts actually give some protection to the eye but they can also be swiped or rubbed and get displaced.  Having a contact go missing is also a freaky thing. You can then have the situation where one eye is focused and one isn't. We all have dominant eyes.  If the dominant eye is the one that looses the contact its a little more disorienting than the other way around.


Martial Arts Topics / Re: The Older Warrior
« on: February 25, 2008, 04:44:06 PM »

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Ninja Babies
« on: February 05, 2008, 09:28:52 AM »
I didn't start bringing my kids to practice with me until they were around 11 or 12.  Prior to that we wrestled a lot and we would play a lot of contact games like tag, like sword fighting, like dodge ball to get them used to being hit and getting hit or body contact. Lots of kids have no experience with physical contact as in martial arts or other contact sports until they actually start.   My kids were my pups!

I also got them out in the woods.  Anything to wake up their senses and make them conscious and in the moment. I took them hiking and kayaking and scrambled around cliffs. 

And I let them have some freedom. We have lived away from big cities so we could let the kids go play like the old days more than most.  That kind of childhood freedom opens the heart.

Personally I think that all the natural things that dads do when they love their kids, roughhousing, hanging out with em, being there for them, pulling them up short when need be, setting boundaries, requiring all leads to what kids need to become good adults.  And it feeds right into martial arts.

Which came first...martial arts or human development. Martial arts mirrors the truths of human beings not the other way around.

So being an active involved dad who brings his kids into his world and uses that to teach em how to get along in the world is all you have to do.  The martial arts if it is a part of your life will find a place in their the very least as a strong example of how to live with integrity.

This thread once again touches on what I would call the "knighthood".  In another thread I asked you the question "Are there Knights?"  I think this thread has given me the insight on your answer to this question.   Knights, by my definition at least, couple capacity with character and nobility and that is what I think you are talking about.

This may sound naive or goofy, but I BELIEVE in this.   I think that capacity (realistic ability) coupled to character is ultimately stronger than the shadow.  I do not mean that bad guys cannot clobber good guys (at times).  THAT would be naive.  What I mean is that the knighthood that you speak of builds people up, makes them stronger, creates comrades that can be trusted, and builds a network of people who collectively create strength among themselves and others.    The shadow side may result in individuals who are temporarily powerful but who eventually fall because they base what they do on fear and suspicion and greed. That kind of strength feeds on itself and eventually breaks down.  Character matters in real ways.

In this day and age something out there tries to convince us that this is not true.  Maybe the contest between faith in character and doubt and fear has always been there.  In fact I am pretty sure it has.  If it weren't for that  "the Tao wouldn't be what it is" so to speak.


Martial Arts Topics / Re: The Older Warrior
« on: February 04, 2008, 10:28:23 AM »
That was a pretty cool article.

So what do you think is the equivalent of  "fast"  in martial arts?  In this article the focus was on running and times for races = fast.  And the idea that oxygen uptake is a limiting factor regardless of the intensity of training.  They mentioned getting slower but still being able to perform remarkable well in terms of overall times.   Martial arts has some different fitness components.  What factors are pertinent in martial arts?

This is a pretty interesting thing to think about.   In martial arts training and training for fighting, cardiovascular conditioning is important but so is anaerobic capacity and local muscle endurance.  How are those affected by aging?  I guess I am interested in getting some more details about what these folks discovered.

I find that the limiting factors determining intense training capacity in martial arts has more to do with my capacity to manage or avoid injuries.   And what it affects is basically how rough the workout can be before something happens that prevents me from  working out intensely.  Its a negative feedback thing. 

So as a younger fellow, I could get out there and take more shots, wrestle with gusto, and if I got hurt I would work through it and bounce back.  This capacity to bounce back quickly seems to be a little less bouncey  :-).  So I have to be a bit more careful but still try to maintain intensity.

For example, I can spar 2 on one with light contact and maintain three minute rounds with like 20 seconds in between for pretty much an hour and a half with little problem.  That sort of constant movement leaves me feeling exhilarated and satisfied.  But if I engage in intense grappling and put pressure on my knee or should in the wrong way I can knock myself out of practice for a while which defeats the intention of maintaining intensity.

I find that my hand speed or more importantly my ability to move my whole body quickly and explosively seems to be slowing a bit.  But I think that is an area where you can do things to maintain the speed.   Like weight training focused on that.

Long practices where I am repeating the same movements over and over (like practicing the same exact method of charging someone to hone it) used to be the best way to maintain that sort of quickness. But now such repetitive practice can aggravate old injuries.  So I vary things a lot more. I may do much less of the same thing, but approach the same idea in several ways.

So I do repeat a movement I want to be fast but not as much. I augment that with some power training and strength training. I  focus on specific parts of a movement and try to make that particular part fast.

One thing that I think improves with age is some capacities to flow with movements of others. While I might not be able to respond to a fast aggressive attack in a quick draw like fashion as before, I seem as able to read opponents and I think having a repertoire of techniques grows with time.  Not that I can always pull it off.


Martial Arts Topics / Re: 4 Elements query to Marc Denny
« on: January 08, 2008, 10:37:02 AM »
The last poster said "This is my feeling or my opinion but we seem to do things better with strong images. "

The way that the word theory is used in martial arts is a lot like the way theory is used in psychology.  In physical sciences, the meaning of the term is similar but on the other end of a gradient. 

Theory: a plausible or scientifically acceptable general principle or a body of principles offered to explain phenomenon.

On the one end, sometimes theories are sets of powerful images and ideas that allow people to talk, to connect, and to grasp concepts.  At this end of the spectrum the emphasis I think is on the image as a means of communicating something that is otherwise impossible to communicate.   In psychology, for example, there are tons of "theories" of how to help people and each one has a theoretical construct/image.  Psychoanalytic theory uses images of ones past as a vehicle to delve into the mind. Jungian theory uses archetypal images to do the same thing.  Behavioral (Skinner's) psychology on the other hand, relies on a theory of conditioning and minimizes the role of the unconscious to a much more mechanistic view of how things work.  Theories like these are just fine because they perform a function...that of communicating.   Am i REALLY all screwed up because my mother didn't like me?  Am I REALLY screwed up because my warrior is suppressed?  Who knows?  Who cares?  All that matters is that a person can take the imagery provided and understand themselves better within that context.  Is it a "true theory" in that it is actually what is happening?  How can you know that?  How do you prove that?  Does it matter?

In truth proving it or not is not the point. These theories are an image language that allow us to relate to ourselves and to others. Underneath it all something real happens....what that is is actually a mystery.  So we come up with ideas and images about how the world works...if the ideas help us to do what we need to do to survive, if it helps us to survive repeatedly, and if it doesn't contradict what we already know to be true we tend to trust the theory more.  But blind trust...thinking that this is what is actually happening absolutely positively...ummm, no.

This is an aside but mainstream science theory  is not all that different from these. I am talking about real scientific inquiry and the discovery of the theories and beliefs of how the world works.  A physical theory such as "the atomic theory" is just an image as well.  The difference in science is that science endeavors to "unify" all that we know so that it is all consistent within itself.  This "coherence" means that nothing contradicts.  When contradictions occur that pan out to be real (tested by repeatability and trying in a bunch of ways to test the idea and finding no contradictions) the unified "world view" changes to include that new idea. 

You said: "Cut thru to whats useful, its easy to get blinded by the bells and whistles".

I agree.  The "Truth" is out there somewhere whether it is nebulous or unattainable or whatever.  If theories and images are useful as a means to communicate about things we know to be true but cannot otherwise articulate thats great.  At the end of the day connecting back to reality through repeatability of results and through coherence is what increases the odds of survival.   The rest is a mystery that we try to talk about because (in my case anyways) it turns me on to think how cool the universe is.

in the spirit of sharing,


Martial Arts Topics / Re: Movie Fights
« on: January 02, 2008, 04:07:23 PM »
Heh.  I like this one:

Here is more of Cyrano in the 1990 movie   Eh. Lots of staged stuff but I like it anyway. Especially when he pokes his opponent with his nose.

Happy New Year, 


Martial Arts Topics / Re: VIDEO CLIPS OF INTEREST
« on: November 02, 2007, 08:58:42 AM »
Yeah.    That was absolutely my initial response as well.  When I see things like this, I try to look past some of what you might call "a bit odd" to see if there is some point that is worth looking into.  In this case, when I watched the videos I was thinking of the multiple stab wound victims that tended to happen during the knife fighting when people went to the ground at the spring gathering?  So whats the alternative to getting stuck on the ground (literally in this case)?  What if you end up down and you KNOW someone has a knife?  When I thought about it like that I started to wonder about this a little more seriously.  I dunno. 


Martial Arts Topics / Re: VIDEO CLIPS OF INTEREST
« on: November 01, 2007, 09:39:04 AM »
Guided Chaos

I came across this group a few weeks ago in my constant perusal of the net for martial arts things.

When I first found them I saw a video clip without any introduction.  My initial response was ?????Combat Capoiera!!!
The groundwork looks a bit bizarre.  Then the group has turned up in the latest Black Belt Magazine issue.  They have a following of law enforcement people, and the source of the method derives from military training, native american fighting, and other things.

In the Blackbelt article they talk about teaching balance, sensitivity, looseness and flow.  They want to avoid body to body grappling and a lot of their groundwork is about evading grappling as much as possible.

Have you heard of this and what do you think?

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Euro Martial Arts
« on: October 25, 2007, 04:25:31 PM »
Hi all,

Just came across this paper on a website dedicated to European martial arts.

Its about the lack of boxing as opposed to grappling in medieval manuals of fighting.   The author is saying that boxing as an endeavour separated from wrestling was not common and then goes on to try to explain why that might be.  One thing he notices is that this is similar to japan in that striking was in the context of grappling.  (Karate was an Okinawan import to Japan.  His comparison is to the homegrown Japanese martial arts.

This is not a refereed paper or anything but it does have a bunch of references.  I do not know if he is right or not and it reads a little redundantly but I am sharing it because of the cool images.

EDIT:  After re-reading this fellows paper, I had a bit more to add.  His main thesis is that german knights did not practice pugilistic martial arts like boxing, wing chun, or karate.   He is basing this on a preconceived notion of what those things are or how they developed.    If you look through the images, you can see a series that depicts what he calls boys  performing wrestling yet most of the moves involve striking or some defense against striking.  They look like pugilistic martial arts to me.   His point is that there was no formal type of fighting where people limited themselves to just striking while minimizing grappling at that time. 

Perhaps the important thing to draw from this is about martial arts that emphasize striking only.   If you survey martial arts histories, how often, when and under what circumstances did "specialized" martial arts develop.   The thread about the evolution of boxing relative to the filipino martial arts is discussion a different time of boxing's history. 

Wikipedia does a pretty good job on the history of  boxing :

and the following is from an additional online source.

Early Boxing (to 1838)

Fighting with fists was a sport about 6,000 years ago in what is now known as Ethiopia, from where it spread to ancient Egypt and eventually throughout the Mediterranean area. Ancient Crete also had a boxing-like sport, which probably developed independently, about 1,500 B.C.

Although the sport wasn't added to the ancient Olympic program until 688 B.C., some sort of boxing had become pretty well established among the Greeks before that time. In one form of Greek boxing, the two combatants simply sat on stones facing and pounded away at one another until one of them was knocked out.

Boxing in the Olympics wasn't quite that brutal, but there were no breaks in the action. Fighters wore leather thongs, originally to protect their hands and wrists. As time went on, harder leather was used, turning the thongs into weapons.

The Romans added iron or brass studs, creating the cestus, which could be a deadly weapon. Then they went even farther, developing a cruel, spur-like instrument of bronze, called the myrmex ("limb piercer"). Boxing in the Roman Empire was not so much a sport as a bloody amusement for spectators, like the gladiatorial contests, with slaves pitted against one another in a fight to the death.

The myrmex was finally abolished and boxing itself was banned by Rome about 30 B.C. The Romans had made one small contribution to the sport: They invented the ring, originally a simple marked circle.

With the spread of Christianity, pugilism in any form evidently disappeared from Europe completely. It resurfaced in England in the late 17th century. A London newspaper referred to a bout in 1681, and the Royal Theatre in London was the site of regularly scheduled matches in 1698.

The sport at that time was actually a mixture of wrestling and boxing. Although hitting with fists was emphasized, a boxer could grab and throw his opponent, then jump on him and hit him while he was down.

James Figg, who opened a boxing academy in London in 1719, introduced a measure of skill to the sport. Figg was an expert fencer as well as a boxer, and his academy was patterned after the fencing academies of the period. He taught parrying and counter-punching, just as fencing masters taught parries and ripostes to their students.

Figg won great publicity for his academy by challenging all comers to bouts of boxing or cudgeling, He never lost, and was generally considered champion of Great Britain until he retired in 1730.

His success inspired the establishment of several other boxing academies in London, and the fact that he was a fencer also gave the sport some prestige. A number of "gentlemen amateurs" took up boxing as a pastime. They also became enthusiastic fans at prize fights.

One of Figg's pupils, Jack Broughton, became known as the "father of English boxing." Broughton, generally acknowledged as champion from 1729 to 1750, taught boxing and operated an arena in London. In 1743, he drew up the first formal rules for the sport.

Under Broughton's rules, there was a 3-foot square in the center of the ring. When a fighter was knocked down, his handlers had 30 seconds to get him into position on one side of the square, facing his opponent. In effect, this marked the first division of a bout into rounds, since each knockdown ended fighting for at least 30 seconds. Although wrestling holds were permitted, a boxer was not allowed to grab his opponent below the waist.

Broughton also invented the first boxing gloves, known as "mufflers," to protect not only the hands but also the face from blows. However, they were used only in practice, not in actual fights.

The rules devised by Broughton were used throughout England with only minor modifications until 1838, when the Pugilistic Society (founded in 1814) developed the London Prize Ring Rules. The new code called for a ring 24 feet square, enclosed by two ropes. A knockdown marked the end of a round. After a 30-second break, the fighters were given eight seconds to "come to scratch," unaided, in the center of the ring.



In karate, there are throws and grappling but that these were de-emphasized when karate was introduced to Japan from Okinawa because the Japanese martial arts already placed a strong emphasis on grappling.  I think that the lack of grappling or for that matter weaponry in many martial arts has to do more with the creation of contests than anything.

At any rate, I hope this is off interest anyway.


Martial Arts Topics / Re: More or less technical?
« on: October 25, 2007, 03:49:51 PM »

1.  Somewhere in the past there was something that actually worked that was what caused people to care enough to systematize in the first place.  Somebody somewhere did something that was really cool.

2.  That person had to be clever enough as a teacher or demonstrator to portray that understanding in a way that made people get excited about it.  This means that there were other things that may have worked but that didn't get into a system.

3.  As soon as the first thoughts were placed down in some transmittable form, people started interpreting the ideas.  In a way, the degree of modification can be measured or at least discussed.

The term entropy describes the tendency to move towards disorder.  There is a kind of entropy in understanding that can occur over time.  Some ideas have a half life of understanding that is long. Those sorts of ideas tend to be fundamental or basic.  Perhaps an example of this deep fundamental is a consideration of body alignment.   Other ideas have a short half life.  An example of such an idea is "the application of this movement is...". 

4.  Sometimes there was a cultural or situational context to fighting systems that may have had an influence on what was considered appropriate, what worked, and what was acceptable. We KNOW that is the case.  Compare WW1 to WW2 tactically.

5.  Sometimes understanding is lost and the system has become rigid so it cannot recapture that understanding.  So things get weird.

One thought that seems to permeate this thread is that its a worthy endeavor to try to figure out the deeper meanings and applications of the standardized approached that have evolved.   In a way its trying to find the original intent and context in addition to innovating based on the hints you get along the way.

Take Japanese martial arts for example.  A lot of Japanese martial arts emphasize a very specific kind of extensiveness.  They de-emphasize feinting and close circular movements and emphasize seeing the opening and responding with a singular effective response.  They often begin at range and include an entry.   I cannot really think of any Japanese martial art that doesn't have this influence.  Even Judo and ju jutsu, while grappling arts and very circular, are derived from what to do when you are in close after a charge.  So there is a premium placed on finding the opening and utilizing it rather than generating openings by feinting. This is a generalization and there are exceptions but mostly I think its a valid thing to say.

I tend to think that this approach is very situational and it came form fighting in armor on the battlefield under certain conditions.  There is always the problem with what happens if I don't get the guy with my kill shot.  What happens if he doesn't go down.

There is a whole concept in japanese martial arts called "irimi".  It means "getting in".   It compliments fighting in range because it helps you get in.  Practices at range emphasize what to do once you are there.

I think that people studying this do not do enough reality checks and that is where the work has to occur to keep it current.  But there seems to be something really valuable here as a long lasting fundamental concept. 



Martial Arts Topics / Re: Brain damage in boxing, kickboxing, football, etc:
« on: September 15, 2007, 01:40:06 PM »
Has anyone ever sustained a head shot that affected them significantly afterwards?  I have.  I got hit as I was rising from the ground in the back of the head.  When I got back to work (technically oriented work)  I could not think straight enough to do the math I needed.  This lasted for about a month.

Over my lifetime, I have had at least 4 significant concussions, two of which were from martial arts.     One was from playing neighborhood football and another was from fall as a kid from a stupid height.  I have had my bell mildly rung in practice often enough.

After I got the head shot, I talked seriously to physicians about this.  I mean, like most, I tended to shrug off anything mild.  One comment I remember was "you have about 3 concussions that you can have in your life.  The also told me about Minor Traumatic Brain Injury being more significant than previously thought and they were all concerned with cumulative effects.  I think the current trends are more along the lines of getting hit in the head can cause damage and cumulative damage as well. so in effect its common sense.  The harder and more often you get hit the more your chances of having some form of trouble over time.  I do not believe martial artists should ignore this.

I still believe in the idea of having realistic practice events for a variety of reasons.  The middle path is always the hardest.  How do you have such realistic practice while not damaging yourself or other in your tribe?  I think this is possible to do.  But I think this is one of the main reasons that Character Values have to be incorporated into martial arts training.  You have to teach right action as well as combat effectiveness.  Otherwise your tribe suffers.


Exerpt from a link (  "June 17, 2006
Early Evaluation and Management of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
About 1.4 million incidents of traumatic brain injury (TBI) are reported in the United States each year,1 of which 75% are classified as "mild."2 Mild TBI (MTBI) results from a number of causes, including falls, interpersonal violence, and motor vehicle collisions.3 Many cases are sports-related; football and wrestling in men and soccer and basketball in women are primary sources.4

Patients who have MTBI may present with varying neurologic findings. Intoxication, preexisting conditions, polypharmacy, and dementia are confounders that are frequently encountered during the evaluation. Management decisions may be challenging in the patient who appears well during the evaluation but who was lethargic, confused, or amnestic at the time of the injury. Patients may also present days or weeks after the event with postconcussive symptoms, such as headache, sleep disturbances, memory and concentration problems, and emotional lability.

This article presents a pragmatic approach to the patient with MTBI, using evidence-based guidelines when available.


MTBI describes a condition in which there is little or no change from the patient's neurologic baseline after the traumatic event. Although the term "head injury" is often used interchangeably with TBI, this usage is inappropriate. Head injury is defined as clinically evident trauma above the clavicles, including scalp lacerations, periorbital ecchymoses, and forehead abrasions. TBI refers to injury to the brain itself; it may occur without visible head injury. TBI manifests as confusion, focal neurologic abnormalities, altered level of consciousness, and/or subtle changes on neuropsychological testing. It may also appear as an abnormality on cranial CT or MRI scans or during intra-cranial surgeries.

"Concussion" is another term that is used interchangeably with MTBI and defined in various ways in the literature, often in the context of sports injuries.5 Historically, MTBI refers to patients with head injury who have resolving neurologic symptoms and a Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score between 13 and 15; concussion refers to patients with head injury who have loss of consciousness (LOC) or amnesia of varying durations. For consistency, we will use the terms "TBI" and "MTBI" unless we refer to a scale or a table using the term "concussion."

There is no evidence-based definition of MTBI; inclusion and exclusion criteria vary by classification scheme. The Head Injury Interdisciplinary Special Interest Group of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine defines MTBI according to the following criteria6:

- Grade 1: Any alteration in mental state at the time of injury (eg, feeling dazed, disoriented, or confused).

- Grade 2: Any loss of memory of the events immediately before or after the injury, with post-traumatic amnesia of less than 24 hours.

- Grade 3: Any period of LOC of less than 30 minutes followed by a GCS score of 13 to 15.7.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Brain damage in boxing, kickboxing, football, etc:
« on: September 15, 2007, 12:55:39 PM »
This may be old news but  I recently just saw this video of Chuck Liddell in an interview.  What do you think of this?  Was he just sleeping off a wild night or is something wrong?

Martial Arts Topics / Re: A Father's Question
« on: September 12, 2007, 01:49:29 AM »
Hiyas Crafty,

My sons are 25 and 22.

I used to be a school teacher in one of my past lives.  I think that the kind of policy that you cite here is pretty typical of the policies in a lot of places.  But bullying still happens.  Kids still get chewed up.  Sometimes kids have to defend themselves because if they don't they face a life of ridicule and pressure from the jackals. 

I am all for a pleasant school experience. It would be nice if kids could get together and play nice.  But kids are often faced with terrible things in the imperfect systems that we have.

By being an active parent in the school you can do amazing things.  I witnessed the effects of intense direct strong parents.  Nothing puckers school districts up more than savvy parents who are ornery and who know how to fight at a variety of levels.  When my kids faced potential difficulties... I made sure that the school knew I was an active parent.  Active in the Alpha male of my  household sort of way.

I figured that no one was going to look out for my"pups" better than me.  On a pretense of one thing or another I would go talk to the principal and would convey somehow that I had fire in my eyes...that I was a live one.  I said things like.  "I see that you have a policy on self defense.  If you are insisting on preventing children from fighting back as a protocol then I expect that you WILL be able to adequately defend my children from bullying, derision and anything else that might make a kid miserable.  If you are failing in this what specific steps are you suggesting that I take as a conscientious parent who absolutely WILL NOT TOLERATE (eyes locked:feral look in eye) my kids being chewed up by their school experience. "  Then I would plant myself in the principals office for far too long and continue the discussion...repeating myself several times until I got answers.  My intention was to make sure that they knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that they did not want ME back there pissed off.  I also wanted to know exactly what their process was.   I planned on making sure that my kids followed the rules to the letter ...up to a point.  . If it failed after the boys tried that policy then they would have a fight on their hands to justify expulsion if my kids did fight back.

I think that I was creating conditions favorable for protecting my sons by doing this.   Making "fortifications"  for my kids.... making the school more sensitive to my kids needs had the affect of buttressing them better against potential problems.

I would also become more reasonable with the principal after I made my point. I wanted this guy to be my ally eventually.  I wanted him to know that I am a very reasonable guy but that I would cause major difficulties if my kids were not protected by their policy.  Several times I ended up with the principal confessing in private that he thought such ideas were stupid. This happened with my stepson most recently.  He had his jacket ripped in two by two idiots. They took it from him in the school yard.   When I arrived at the school one of the kids dads was standing over my stepson querying him about what he did to provoke those kids.  He took one look at me and backed into the wall. He was not acting honorably and he knew it.  (That issue was resolved peacefully.  thats fine)

My kids have all had to fight.  I told them that they were to try to obey the rules.  They should do the tings that the school system laid out.  And call me immediately if there was a real problem.  I prepared myself to drop whatever I was doing and be at their school raising hell in minutes. (Small town).  I told the boys about timing and distancing and taught them that staying away from trouble was long range self defense because they should be able to sense trouble and that they were to practice it.  I taught them about the danger of groups. That a gang of kids could turn on you and be much more dangerous.  But at that age sometimes walloping the leader is what it takes to change the way a group of kids looks at you.

I told them what my dad told me.  "Stay out of fights if you can.  But if you have to fight...hit em hard right in the nose as hard as you can. Throws work well too as impressive awe inducing responses.   And then get away and call me ASAP."  I also told them that it was moral to stop the instant that they could see that they had knocked the spirit out of the enemy.  That if they continued beyond what was needed then they would be at fault.  Both the boys learned that there is such a thing as a presentation that is vulnerable to being picked on.  They have learned not to present themselves in that way.

My oldest son had a bunch of kids surround him.  He tried all the things that policy required plus he just didn't want to fight.  Finally he picked one of them up and shoved him onto the top of a locker.   My other son had a guy try to clock him from behind.  He grabbed him and threw him hard.  Nothing ever came of the confrontations as far as the school was concerned.  In both cases my kids came home and told me exactly what happened immediately.  I was prepared to defend them if need be.

Lots of times such things happen AWAY from the eyes of teachers.  At the end of the day there is a time when you have to be willing to stop people from hurting you.  Where I grew up, I had to fight as well. I was lucky that my fights were not crazy.  Nothing lethal.  Back then there were rules of engagement.

Now I don't know about places like LA in this day and age.  Maybe the way kids fight is so harsh that the schools are scared of kids getting killed.  But even then, at some point no matter who you are you have to do something to protect yourself.

Good luck!


Martial Arts Topics / Re: VIDEO CLIPS OF INTEREST
« on: September 04, 2007, 04:24:41 PM »
This ones for the Girls:

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